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Episode 103

The Mad Monster
With Radar Men from the Moon

Another episode of Commando Cody. Oh no it looks like Cody is a goner this time.

The Mad Monster

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The Mad Monster is a 1942 horror movie starring George Zucco, Glenn Strange, Anne Nagel and Johnny Downs
A mad scientist, Dr. Lorenzo Cameron (George Zucco), has been discredited by his peers.
He injects a serum he made from wolf’s blood into Petro (Glenn Strange) Cameron’s simpleton gardner. Petro, loses consciousness, grows fur and fangs, and awakens after he has turned into a wolf man. Cameron then administers an antidote to Petro that turns him back into his normal self but Petro is oblivious to the change.
Cameron turns to his attention to destroying the scientists who ruined his career. He sets up scenarios in which Petro is alone with each scientist when he becomes a wolf. With each transformation Petro becomes more and more unpredictable.

Cameron’s daughter Lenora (Anne Nagel) is dating a newspaper reporter named Tom Gregory (Johnny Downs). As the professors are killed off one by one, Gregory begins to suspect that Cameron is somehow responsible.

One night while Tom is visiting Cameron’s home, a thunderstorm begins and a bolt of lightning sets Cameron’s laboratory on fire. Lenora and Tom encounter Petro in wolf form but manage to escape the blaze. With the house nearly engulfed in flames, Petro turns on Cameron and kills him, just as the fire destroys the house.

Johnny Downs is most recognized for playing Johnny in the Our Gang series from 1923 to 1926. Although he continued acting he also hosted an after school kids tv show, The Johnny Downs Show, during the 50’s & 60’s in San Diego.
Before this Anne Nagal stared in Hoosier Schoolboy with Mickey Rooney
George Zucco appeared in almost 100 films normally in supporting roles into the 1950’s. He often played a suave villain.
Glenn Strange appeared as Frankenstein in House of Frankenstein, House of Dracula and Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein(1948). He was in a whole bunch of western movies and tv shows including the role of Sam Noonan, the bartender on Gunsmoke.

The movie is pretty standard fair for a 1940’s horror movie. Unfortunately the film quality is pretty bad, lots of crackling sounds in the audio, but at least something happens. There is a scene early in the film where Cameron has a long conversation with his rival scientists but none of them are actually in the room. Its all a figment of his imagination. Guess that’s why he is a mad scientist.

One of the host segments had Tom Servo flirting with a blender. When Joel comes up and takes a drink from the blender, Tom yells at him” nobody drinks from my girl.” Petro reminded me of Lennie from “Of Mice and Men.” Joel and the bots notice that too. Servo had a really good take on the Beverly Hillbillies theme but with a wolfman twist.

The poor quality of the film kind of brings this one down some. I give it 2 out of 5.

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        George Zucco

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        Glenn Strange

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           Anne Nagel

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           Johnny Downs

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