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Undying Monster, The

Entry updated 4 April 2017. Tagged: Film.

Film (1942; vt The Hammond Monster). 20th Century Fox Film Corporation. Produced by Brian Foy. Directed by John Brahm. Written by Lillie Hayward and Michael Jacoby based on The Undying Monster: A Tale of the Fifth Dimension (1922) by Jessie Douglas Kerruish. Cast includes Heather Angel, James Ellison, Bramwell Fletcher and John Howard. 63 minutes. Black and white.

Set in Wales, where the aristocratic Hammond family has been plagued for generations by a creature which preys on its members, though only on certain foggy, cold nights. Investigating recent murders in the area which appear to have been committed by a savage animal, Dr Jeff Colbert (Fletcher), suspects that the killer is a member of the Hammond family itself. Indeed Oliver Hammond (Howard) proves to be a Werewolf who is slain along the cliffs in the final five minutes of the film, otherwise remaining unseen.

This film was made in the hope of cashing in of the popularity of Universal Pictures' The Wolfman (1941), but was unsuccessful, owing perhaps to the creature remaining off-screen until the climax. As in the Jessie Douglas Kerruish novel, a thin sf underpinning is given for the Monster by tying the family curse of lycanthropy into prehistory – although Oliver is cured in the novel rather than killed. [GSt]


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