The Wacky World of Dr. Morgus (1962)

Article 2183 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 3-8-2007
Posting Date: 8-4-2007
Directed by Roul Haig
Featuring Sid Noel, Dan Barton, Jeanne Teslof

A creepy inventor creates a machine that can turn people into sand and back again. He is contacted by spies who want to use his machine for nefarious purposes. Hilarity ensues.

Having grown up with the whole horror host craze, I ask myself what it would have been like to have found out that my favorite horror host was going to make a movie. I would have been thrilled, and I would have made every effort to catch it when it came out. And I would have loved it, even if it was as bad as this one.

Well, it’s been several decades since then, and Dr. Morgus wasn’t my horror host. And even though I feel a little sympathy for this effort, it’s still a stinker that is painfully short on laughs. Part of the problem is Dr. Morgus himself; though I think this character (who looks a little like Fredric March’s Mr. Hyde with long hair and bad posture) would have passed muster as a horror host, he simply doesn’t have a sharp enough comic persona to sustain the length of a whole movie. Actually, I’d probably feel this way about most horror hosts, with a few notable exceptions (Zacherle, for example). It also doesn’t help that the plot is a muddled mess with no real point. Still, it does have a couple of memorable moments; the weight-lifting monkey steals the movie, and the scene where Dr. Morgus has to use a plunger to force a fat man into his machine, if not really a barrel of laughs, is at least hard to forget. The best acting here comes from David Kleinberger as a spy; at least he knew how to inject energy into his scenes.



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