Accomplished but eccentric movie make-up artist Pete Dumond has been with the studio for decades and is totally devoted to his art especially in the creation of screen monsters. His world ends abruptly when new management acquires the company and arbitrarily decides that the horror cycle has run its course, and the studio will now concentrate on escapist musicals. When Dumond hears he will be pink-slipped, the neurotic but usually affable Pete turns psychotic and vows vengeance on the two movie executives responsible. Using a combination of hypnosis and a newly developed chemical formula, Dumond is able to use mind control to compel the young actors playing the teenage Frankenstein and werewolf to exact vengeance for him. Written by
The visitors to the studio are told they are about to visit the set of Horrors of the Black Museum (1959). That film, which was also produced and written by Herman Cohen, was actually shot in England, not at the U.S. studio. See more »
[Trying to justify horror films]
Why, even psychiatrists say that in all these monster pictures there's not only entertainment, but for some people there's therapy. Well, you know, we never get over our childhood fears of the sinister - those terrifying faces we see in our nightmares. Well, through these pictures we can live out our hidden fears. It helps.
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In 1957, American International Pictures had a big hit with their I Was a Teenage Werewolf. Immediately following its heels came I Was a Teenage Frankenstein, and then this film. This film is in many ways an inside look at the workings of the movie business and its thinking in the 50s as well as the ending chapter in the Teenage Trilogy cycle at AIP. It is not a great horror picture by any standards, yet it is fun to watch. It has a pretty good story about a make-up man who gets the pink slip and then promises to kill the execs who fired him and bring the studio to its knees. Mild-mannered Robert Harris plays the vengeful artist with restrained aplomb. He effectively captures the insanity that courses through his mind with great subtlety. In the end, we see Harris for what he real was...not just an innocent artist but a monster obsessed with his works and his creations in much the same vein as Vincent Price's character in The House of Wax. The rest of the actors are acceptable, and the ending scene where we see the works of the artist is a walk down memory lane. On the walls one can see the head mask of the She-Creature, the It from It Conquered the World, one of the saucer men from Invasion of the Saucer Men, and many others. The colour sequence that is suppose to be in the final 8 minutes of the film does not exist on any version of the video presently out. Hope it is remastered.
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