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Indestructible Man

Entry updated 4 April 2017. Tagged: Film.

Film (1956). C G K Productions/Allied Artists Pictures. Produced and directed by Jack Pollexfen. Written by Vy Russell and Sue Dwiggins (credited as Sue Bradford). Cast includes Marian Carr, Lon Chaney Jr, Ross Elliott, Stuart Randall, Robert Shayne and Max Showalter (credited as Casey Adams). Narrator: Casey Adams. 72 minutes. Black and white.

Career criminal Charles "Butcher" Benton (Chaney) is double-crossed by his three partners in an armoured-car heist, and sent to the electric chair in Los Angeles (see California). Somehow obtaining his corpse for experimentation using injected chemicals and high-frequency electricity as a hoped cancer treatment, Professor Bradshaw (Shayne) revives the killer. Benton shows his gratitude by murdering Bradshaw and his assistant, then departs to make good on his promise of vengeance and to retrieve the hidden loot from the robbery. The process which restored him to life has made Benton all but invulnerable, and has given him superhuman strength as well, although his vocal cords no longer work. One by one, Benton tracks down and kills his former partners, then takes to the storm drains where the stolen money was hidden. Police Lt Richard "Dick" Chasen (Showalter) and a large force pursue him through the drains, trying various Weapons against the killer. Trapping him at last atop a power plant, Benton's invulnerability leaves him for reasons not explained, and he is finally killed for the second time by flame-throwers and massive electric shock.

Indestructible Man may be an unacknowledged remake of Chaney's earlier, similar film Man Made Monster (1941). Chaney actually had almost no dialogue because his alcoholism was making him forget his lines – a pattern repeated in The Cyclops (1957). The present film has apparently been edited from the original version; director Pollexfen said he shot scenes of Chaney attacking a police station and making off with his girlfriend Eva (Carr). Still photos exist of these scenes, but no complete print of the film has yet surfaced. It is inferior to Man Made Monster; its plot also resembles that of the film The Most Dangerous Man Alive (1958). [GSt]


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