Dr. Lynn Harper, psychologist, has been called out to the old Ingston Mansion, a dark and mysterious place with a very bad reputation, in order to make an assessment of the sanity of Margaret Ingston, daughter of patriarch Kurt Ingston. She claims to be sane, but she is clearly very disturbed; we can't be certain, although the doctor gives her a clean bill of health. But then Dick Baldwin shows up on the scene, just when Dr. Lynne has been receiving thinly veiled threats from the inhabitants of the house. He's our hero. Three medical doctors have been invited out to the mansion as well, Dr. Timmons, Dr. Phipps and the sleazy Dr. King (Lionel Atwill). One by one the doctors are mysteriously murdered. Dick Baldwin must figure out who is doing the killings, and he must do so before whoever it is can kill his new love interest, Dr. Lynne Harper. But the only one he can trust is Kurt Ingston himself, since Ingston has no legs and can't have perpetrated these murders. Is it sinister Rolf, ... Written by
Forget the much vaunted Val Lewton "Cat People" as a classic horror film from the early 40s. "Night Monster" is a glittering gem of chilling beauty that supplies the juice and frission and performances that make "Cat People" look like "Ishtar." Veteran director Ford Beebe had only two weeks to whip his crew of Grade A technicians and Hollywood's greatest B actors into shape. Cult B-Actress, Fay Helm, is fantastic as the emotionally unstable Margaret Ingstom who claims she sees a hideous night monster creeping around her mansion at night. Irene Hervey is attractive and warm as the psychiatrist. Leif Ericson (former husband of tragic-prone actress Frances Farmer)is hilarious as the lecherous, over-sexed chaffeur. Bela Lugosi is here, too, but he mostly leers and raises his brows. There's plenty of mist, beautifully lit and photographed scenes of fire places and wavering shadows.The great character actress, Doris Lloyd, is wonderfully intense and lethal. She and Helm also starred together in "The Wolf Man." A great Hollywood mystery is whatever happened to Fay Helm? Not even film historians know. Although filmed on a low budget, "Night Monster" shows what can be done with great talent--before and after--the camera, in post-production and editing. H.J. Salter does the music which is mostly the much beloved excerpts from "Son of Frankenstein" in l939. This is a great movie to watch on a wintry night. Now, just to get it on DVD. Come on MCA/Universal Home Video--get with it. Put this one and "Captive Wild Woman" on the same disc and give us all a thrill!
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