How to Make a Monster (1958)

It will scare the living yell out of you

I watched the 73-minute, 1958 American International Pictures movie “How to Make a Monster” on Svengoolie. A Monster Make-up artist, of 25 years, and his assistant lose their jobs when the new studio owner wants to get rid of monster flicks. They feel that kids today want more comedy, music, girls, singing, and dancing. Angry, he uses an experiment mind control chemical, in his make-up, to control the monsters in the current movie to kill at his will.

The movie was written and produced by Herman Cohen (Bela Lugosi Meets a Brooklyn Gorilla, Target Earth, I Was a Teenage Werewolf, I Was a Teenage Frankenstein, Blood of Dracula,

Horrors of the Black Museum, The Headless Ghost, Konga, A Study in Terror, Berserk!) and directed by  Herbert L. Strock (A Man Called X, I Was a Teenage Frankenstein, Blood of Dracula, The Crawling Hand, TV episodes (7) Colt .45, (6) Bronco, (17) Highway Patrol, (26) I Led 3 Lives, (19) Science Fiction Theatre, (11) The Cases of Eddie Drake)

Cast
  • Robert H. Harris as Pete Dumond – (July 15, 1911 – November 30, 1981) The Invisible Boy, Valley of the Dolls, How To Make a Monster
  • Gary Conway as Tony Mantell / the Teenage Frankenstein – (born February 4, 1936) How To Make a Monster, I Was a Teenage Frankenstein, The Saga of the Viking Women and Their Voyage to the Waters of the Great Sea Serpent, TV episodes of Land of the Giants-Captain Steve Burton, Burke’s Law
  • Gary Clarke as Larry Drake / the Teenage Werewolf – (born August 16, 1933) Missile to the Moon, How To Make a Monster, TV episodes of The Virginian-Steve Hill, he wrote the Get Smart episode that introduced Hymie the Robot[1]
  • Paul Brinegar as Rivero – (December 19, 1917 – March 27, 1995) Phantom of the Rue Morgue, How To Make a Monster, High Plains Drifter, TV episodes of Lancer, Rawhide-Cook Wishbone
  • Malcolm Atterbury as Security Guard Richards – (February 20, 1907 – August 16, 1992) Blood of Dracula, I Was a Teenage Werewolf, How To Make a Monster, The Birds, The Towering Inferno, TV episodes of Apples Way, The Hardy Boys: The Mystery of the Chinese Junk, Little House on the Prairie
  • Dennis Cross as Security Guard Monahan – (December 17, 1924 – April 6, 1991) How To Make A Monster, TV episodes of The Blue Angels, The Rifleman, Rawhide, The Munsters, Death Valley Days, The Big Valley, Gunsmoke, Mod Squad, Mission: Impossible
  • Morris Ankrum as Police Capt. Hancock – (August 28, 1896 – September 2, 1964) Rocketship X-M, Flight to Mars, Mutiny, Red Planet Mars, Invaders from Mars, Earth vs. the Flying Saucers, Zombies of Mora Tau, The Giant Claw, Giant from the Unknown, How To Make A Monster, From the Earth to the Moon, Tower of London, X: The Man with the X-ray Eyes, Guns of Diablo, TV episodes of Perry Mason (22)
  • Walter Reed as Detective Thompson – (February 10, 1916 – August 20, 2001) Flying Disc Man From Mars, Superman and the Mole-Men, How To Make A Monster, Hell’s Island, TV episodes of Annie Oakley, Mike Hammer, Whirlybirds, Cheyenne, Dennis the Menace, 77 Sunset Strip, Wagon Train, The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet, The Virginian, My Three Sons
  • Paul Maxwell as Jeffrey Clayton – (November 12, 1921 – December 19, 1991) Blood of Dracula, Thunderbirds Are GO, How To Make A Monster, The Pink Panther Strikes Again, A Bridge Too Far, Aliens, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
  • Eddie Marr as John Nixon – (February 14, 1900 – August 25, 1987) Mr. Moto in Danger Island, Charlie Chan at the Wax Museum, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, I Was a Teenage Werewolf, How to Make a Monster, TV episodes of Gang Busters, The Red Skelton Hour, The Life of Riley, Circus Boy, Circus Boy, Climax!, Lux Video Theatre, Leave It to Beaver, The Twilight Zone, Maverick, Dennis the Menace, The Real McCoys, The Addams Family, The Munsters, Land of the Giants
  • Heather Ames as Arlene Dow – (April 15, 1936 – July 15, 2008) Funny Face, Blood of Dracula, How to Make a Monster, The Hot Angel, TV episodes of Overland Trail, Bat Masterson, 87th Precinct, The Joey Bishop Show, The Virginian
  • Robert Shayne as Gary Droz – (October 4, 1900 – November 29, 1992) Invaders from Mars, The Neanderthal Man, Indestructible Man, Kronos, The Giant Claw, Spook Chasers, War of the Satellites, Teenage Cave Man, How to Make a Monster, The Lost Missile, Son of Flubber, Tora! Tora! Tora!, The Million Dollar Duck, TV episodes of Adventures of Superman
  • John Phillips as Detective Jones – (December 29, 1919 – January 11, 2015) Superman and the Mole-Men, Francis in the Haunted House, Francis Joins the WACS, How to Make a Monster, The Longest Day, Delta Force 3: The Killing Game, TV episodes of Racket Squad, Ramar of the Jungle, The Range Rider, Adventures of the Falcon, The Lone Ranger, Tales of the Texas Rangers, Adventures of Superman, Fury, Navy Log
  • Paulene Myers as Millie – (November 9, 1913 – December 8, 1996) How to Make a Monster, To Kill a Mockingbird, The Sting, My Cousin Vinny, TV episodes of Kolchak
  • John Ashley as himself – (December 25, 1934 – October 3, 1997) How To Make A Monster, Frankenstein’s Daughter, Beach Party, Muscle Beach Party, Bikini Beach, Beach Blanket Bingo, How to Stuff a Wild Bikini, The Eye Creatures, Brides of Blood, The Mad Doctor of Blood Island, Beast of Blood, Beyond Atlantis, Apocalypse Now, TV episodes of Wagon Train, The Beverly Hillbillies, The A-Team
Click on images to enlarge

When we see all of the masks in Drumond’s house they are creations of created by Paul Blaisdell for earlier AIP films including The She-Creature (1956), It Conquered the World (1956), Invasion of the Saucer Men (1957), and Attack of the Puppet People (1958).

The movie was shot at Ziv Studios (founded by Frederic Ziv in 1937 in Cincinnati, Ohio, and in 1954 bought the Eagles-Lion Films lot in Hollywood, California).

The concept of them making a horror movie during the horror movie was pretty cool. I liked the movie and will give it 3 out of 5 stars.

Footnotes
  1. Hymie the Robot is a fictional robot from the 1960’s spy-spoof television series Get Smart, portrayed by Richard Gautier. Hymie was built by the villainous Dr. Ratton to serve KAOS, but in his first mission, Maxwell Smart managed to turn him to the side of CONTROL, and from then on he loyally served that organization.
Sources

Wikibin
Wikipedia
IMDB
Rotten Tomatoes
Svengoolie

Author: Doyle

I was born in Atlanta, moved to Alpharetta at 4, lived there for 53 years and moved to Decatur in 2016. I've worked at such places as Richway, North Fulton Medical Center, Management Science America (Computer Tech/Project Manager) and Stacy's Compounding Pharmacy (Pharmacy Tech).

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