Tuesday, June 15, 2010


Gary Clarke and Gary Conway in HOW TO MAKE A MONSTER

HOW TO MAKE A MONSTER (American International Pictures, 1958)

My second of six B-Horror 50s faves!

Robert H. Harris plays Paul Dumond (erroneously identified as "Drummond" on several websites). Along with his assistant, Rivero (Paul Brinegar), Dumond has been the go-to monster make-up artist for AIP for many years. Abruptly, the studio is sold and "modernized", and Dumond and Rivero are fired to make way for the new way of movie production. Rivero "just wants to go to my brother's ranch in Arizona", but Dumond is furious and begins a series of revenge murders on the people who wronged him. He accomplishes this by concoting a sort of "hypno-foundation creme" that he uses on two of his teenage stars (Gary Conway as the Teenage Frankenstein and Gary Clarke as the Teenage Werewolf) and instructs them to commit the murders. Eventually, Dumond is found out and meets a fiery end in his home surrounded by his "children", masks of his various creations from over the years (in actuality masks from Paul Blaisdell's collection of creations such as from THE INVASION OF THE SAUCERMEN and THE SHE CREATURE).

HOW TO MAKE A MONSTER is great fun. The storyline, whether intentional or not, could very easily be a biopic of the last days of Jack Pierce at Universal. A crisp pace, pretty good acting, and a mini monster rally to boot. I recommend it!

Various masks created by Paul Blaisdell used in the climax of HOW TO MAKE A MONSTER

HOW TO MAKE A MONSTER movie poster

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