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The Electronic Monster (1958)

Escapement (original title)
Approved | | Crime, Mystery, Sci-Fi | May 1960 (USA)
An insurance investigator finds there's more to electronic dream therapy than meets the eye.
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Rod Cameron ...
Jeff Keenan
Mary Murphy ...
Ruth Vance
Meredith Edwards ...
Dr. Phillip Maxwell
Peter Illing ...
Paul Zakon
Carl Jaffe ...
Dr. Hoff
Kay Callard ...
Laura Maxwell
Carl Duering ...
Blore
Roberta Huby ...
Verna Berteaux
Felix Felton ...
Police Commissaire
Larry Cross ...
Brad Somers
Carlo Borelli ...
Signore Pietro Kalini
John McCarthy ...
Clark Denver
Jacques Cey ...
Police Doctor
Armand Guinle ...
French Farmer (as Armande Guinle)
Malou Pantera ...
Clinic Receptionist
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Storyline

Jeff Keenan, insurance investigator, checks out the car-crash death of film star Clark Denver in the south of France. He learns that Denver, and two other victims of recent suspicious deaths, all knew the lovely Verna Berteaux...and all had been patients at a private psychiatric clinic, being treated by electronically induced dream therapy. But the deaths are only a byproduct of a sinister plot; and Zakon, owner of the clinic, is due to marry Jeff's old flame Ruth... Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

MONSTER MACHINE VS. HELPLESS BEAUTY! (original ad - all caps) See more »

Genres:

Crime | Mystery | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

May 1960 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Electronic Monster  »

Box Office

Budget:

$125,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.75 : 1
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User Reviews

 
Worst ever adaptation
27 February 2006 | by (New Zealand) – See all my reviews

In Charles Eric Maine's excellent (for its day) novel, a scientist invents a mind-tape-recorder (helmet on the head, bazillion-track tape), hoping to use it for Good, like studying mental disorders. A movie mogul gets hold of it and soon billions of people waste their lives and their savings in tanks "experiencing" recorded porn or schmaltz (ultraslow replay intensifies the sensations). The scientist decides to take drastic measures, batters the mogul to death and plays the recording to the billions, hoping to scare them back to reality. Instead they die and the book ends as he's about to be sentenced for the death of the mogul, raising the ethical question of the collateral damage.

Bear in mind that when Maine wrote this, brain waves were novel, magnetic sound recording was only about a decade old and video recording was still in the future.

In the Z-grade film, the WHOLE story is ripped out (daren't offend Hollywood) and we're left with an ordinary quarter-inch reel-to-reel recorder and a squawking electronic soundtrack that has nothing to do with the action on screen. I've completely forgotten the new plot, but vaguely remember people in leotards writhing around some cheesy gauzes to hint at forbidden pleasures.

I'd give it an award for Worst Adaptation ever.


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