IMDb > How to Make a Monster (1958)
How to Make a Monster
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How to Make a Monster (1958) More at IMDbPro »


Overview

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Down 11% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writers:
Aben Kandel (original story) and
Herman Cohen (original story) ...
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for How to Make a Monster on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
1 July 1958 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
See the Ghastly Ghouls in Flaming Color! See more »
Plot:
When master monster make-up man Pete is sacked by the new bosses of American International studios he uses his creations to exact revenge. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
User Reviews:
Bizarre tale of a latent madman who wreaks havoc against the movie studio where he's employed. This disturbing shocker deftly contrasts make-believe horrors of motion pictures with the psychotic killers of See more (23 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)
Robert H. Harris ... Pete Dumond

Paul Brinegar ... Rivero
Gary Conway ... Tony Mantell (Teenage Frankenstein)
Gary Clarke ... Larry Drake (Teenage Werewolf)

Malcolm Atterbury ... Security Guard Richards
Dennis Cross ... Security Guard Monahan
Morris Ankrum ... Police Capt. Hancock
Walter Reed ... Detective Thompson
Paul Maxwell ... Jeffrey Clayton
Eddie Marr ... John Nixon
Heather Ames ... Arlene Dow
Robert Shayne ... Gary Droz
Rod Dana ... Lab Technician
Jacqueline Ebeier ... Jane
Thomas Browne Henry ... Martin Brace - director of 'Werewolf Meets Frankenstein'
John Phillips ... Detective Jones
Paulene Myers ... Millie - the pedestrian
John Ashley ... Himself
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Herman Cohen ... Banks - Director in Projection Room (uncredited)
Frank Richards ... Studio Groundskeeper (uncredited)

Directed by
Herbert L. Strock 
 
Writing credits
Aben Kandel (original story) (as Kenneth Langtry) and
Herman Cohen (original story)

Aben Kandel (screenplay) (as Kenneth Langtry) and
Herman Cohen (screenplay)

Produced by
Herman Cohen .... producer
James H. Nicholson .... executive producer
 
Original Music by
Paul Dunlap 
 
Cinematography by
Maury Gertsman (director of photography) (as Maury Gertzman)
 
Art Direction by
A. Leslie Thomas  (as Leslie Thomas)
 
Set Decoration by
Morris Hoffman 
 
Makeup Department
Phillip Scheer .... makeup artist (as Philip Scheer)
 
Production Management
Herbert E. Mendelson .... production manager (as Herb Mendelson)
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Herbert E. Mendelson .... assistant director (as Herb Mendelson)
 
Art Department
Sam Gordon .... property master
 
Sound Department
Verna Fields .... sound effects editor
Herman Lewis .... sound
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Oscar Rodriguez .... wardrobe
 
Editorial Department
Jerry Young .... editorial supervisor
 
Music Department
George Brand .... music editor
Paul Dunlap .... conductor
 
Other crew
Mary Gibsone .... script supervisor
Lee Scott .... choreographer
Barbara Lee Strite .... production secretary
Paul Blaisdell .... monster suits (uncredited)
 

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
73 min
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.66 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Ryder Sound Services)

Did You Know?

Trivia:
This was advertised with the tagline "See the Ghastly Ghouls in Flaming Color!" However, most of the movie was in black and white with only the final two reels in color.See more »
Goofs:
Factual errors: 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 »
Quotes:
Larry Drake:[Looking at the horrific heads on the walls] What are those?
Pete Dumond:My family... my children!
See more »
Movie Connections:
Soundtrack:
You've Got to Have Ee-OooSee more »

FAQ

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11 out of 14 people found the following review useful.
Bizarre tale of a latent madman who wreaks havoc against the movie studio where he's employed. This disturbing shocker deftly contrasts make-believe horrors of motion pictures with the psychotic killers of, 18 May 1999
Author: Jeffrey Talbot from Toronto, Canada

Movie audiences attracted by the sensationalistic advertising proclaiming, "See the ghastly ghouls in flaming colour!", doubtlessly expected that the film HOW TO MAKE A MONSTER was actually a colour movie and were surprised and disappointed to discover that the film was essentially a black and white feature with the final 8 minutes shot in colour (Leonard Maltin in his movie guide review states it is the final 18 minutes but this is probably a typographic error).

By the late 1950's, Britain's Hammer Films was producing, to great critical acclaim and financial success, a series of well-crafted horror movies which boasted that they were filmed in colour. These pioneering efforts marked the beginning of the end for the relatively inexpensive black and white programmers which had been the mainstay for the success of film companies like American International Pictures. Probably in an effort to tap into this ready-made market for colour movies, it was determined that small portions of a film would be economically shot in colour so it could be extensively promoted in the film's publicity (another consideration was to also utilize colour sequences for effect). With his next project, HORRORS OF THE BLACK MUSEUM, producer Herman Cohen would present his own answer to the Hammer movies by filming it in England and in colour.

For those interested, the colour footage begins after Pete Dummond and his captive guests, Tony and Larry, along with Pete's accomplice, Rivero, enter his house and Dummond lights some candles in his living-room/macabre shrine. Unfortunately the prints made available to television and home video omit the colour and are struck in black and white and there has been no real outcry from horror fandom or any of the genre magazines to effect a restoration of the colour footage. Perhaps someday soon this longstanding negligence on the part of the film's distributors will be rectified.

The script for HOW TO MAKE A MONSTER is credited to Herman Cohen and Kenneth Langtry. Kenneth Langtry is a pseudonym for a writer actually named Aben Kandel (he also employed the pen-name Ralph Thornton), who collaborated with producer Herman Cohen on a number of film projects including I WAS A TEENAGE WEREWOLF, BLOOD OF DRACULA, I WAS A TEENAGE FRANKENSTEIN, HORRORS OF THE BLACK MUSEUM, THE HEADLESS GHOST, KONGA and THE BLACK ZOO.

Kandel's script for HOW TO MAKE A MONSTER is a reworking of much of the same plot elements found in his TEENAGE WEREWOLF and FRANKENSTEIN films, but the villain of this piece not only employs those under his control to commit murder, he also participates in some of the mayhem himself. Perhaps sensing that the late 1950's audiences were becoming too sophisticated for outright monsters in horror films, author Kandel decided to weave a story utilizing this theme and present the movie audience with a much more realistic menace, the psychotic mastermind/killer (Cohen and Kandel would carry this concept to its logical extreme the following year in HORRORS OF THE BLACK MUSEUM, a horror film without a monster in sight).

The efforts behind HOW TO MAKE A MONSTER would be much diminished without the presence of character actor Robert H. Harris. His skilled interpretation of the deranged makeup artist Pete Dummond is a multi-faceted one eliciting a wide-range of qualities which at one moment engenders our respect as he encourages a young actor to give his utmost to his film role, our sympathy in the wake of the overbearing new studio executives and their pragmatism and crassness toward horror films and his art, and our dread as he tells his two guests in his monster museum that he wants to include their "heads" in his collection. His scenes where he brow-beats his weak-willed assistant, Rivero, over his incompetency and cowardice are an absolute delight. Harris portrays his villain in a quietly menacing fashion making his characterization all the more sinister and his subtle and controlled performance is a memorable one.

One wishes that Michael Landon could have been recruited to reprise his teenage werewolf role, his participation would have certainly added more stature and authenticity to the proceedings. Since the story supposedly occurs at American International studios, instead of utilizing an actor to portray the director of "Frankenstein Meets Werewolf," it's a pity AIP standby Roger Corman wasn't approached to fill the role and it seems only fitting that James H. Nicholson and Samuel Z. Arkoff (the actual founders of American International) should have somehow been worked into the storyline. All these additions would have given HOW TO MAKE A MONSTER a more auto-biographical and self-parody tone.

HOW TO MAKE A MONSTER is an engaging and fascinating oddity from American International Pictures of the 1950's and marks an interesting phase in the chronology of Herman Cohen productions for this movie company.

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