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The Hideous Sun Demon (1958)

Unrated | | Horror, Sci-Fi | 12 April 1962 (Mexico)
After exposure to radiation, an atomic research scientist finds himself changing into a murderous, lizard-like creature every time he is exposed to sunlight.


Robert Clarke, Tom Boutross (co-director)


E.S. Seeley Jr. (screenplay), Doane R. Hoag (additional dialogue) (as Doane Hoag) | 2 more credits »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Robert Clarke ... Dr. Gilbert McKenna
Patricia Manning Patricia Manning ... Ann Russell
Nan Peterson ... Trudy Osborne
Patrick Whyte ... Dr. Frederick Buckell
Fred La Porta Fred La Porta ... Dr. Jacob Hoffman
Peter Similuk Peter Similuk ... George Messorio
William White William White ... Police Lt. Peterson (as Bill Hampton)
Robert Garry Robert Garry ... Dr. Stern
Donna King Donna King ... Suzy's Mother
Xandra Conkling Xandra Conkling ... Suzy
Del Courtney Del Courtney ... Radio Deejay
Richard Cassarino Richard Cassarino ... Barfly / Man on Beach with Kids / Policeman (as Cass Richards)
Helen Joseph Helen Joseph
Darryl Westbrook Darryl Westbrook
Bill Currie Bill Currie


A scientist, Gilbert McKenna has an accident where he is exposed to high levels of radiation. Surprisingly this does not kill him but instead leaves him unable to be exposed to sunlight. Whenever exposed to sunlight, McKenna devolves into a lizard man with homicidal tendencies. After having a brief fling with a nightclub singer, and killing her boyfriend, McKenna is on the lam from the police which culminates in a one on one battle on top of a tower. Great monster costume and Shatner type acting from Clarke are the most memorable parts of this great 1950s creature feature. Written by Campbellnator

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Thermodynamic horror from outer space! See more »


Horror | Sci-Fi


Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


Robert Clarke stated in his biography that this movie was made for less than $50,000, including $500 for the rubberized lizard suit he wore. He shot the movie over 12 weekends to get two days' use of rental camera equipment for one day's fee. See more »


The barrel of the police officer's rubber prop gun visibly bends back and forth as he is chasing the Sun Demon on top of the gas tank. See more »


Dr. Gilbert McKenna: You are not going to find out anything that way, Dr. Hoffman, my heart is all right.
Dr. Jacob Hoffman: No, Gil, you must let us doctors play our games, won't we? We are like acorns, you know? We like to show off.
See more »

Alternate Versions

A sequence (totalling a few seconds) featuring the monster (Robert Clarke) eating a rat has been removed from many existing prints of the film. See more »


Referenced in The Naked Monster (2005) See more »


Strange Pursuit
Sung by Nan Peterson
See more »

User Reviews

If you're a monster, find a quiet bar to forget your troubles.
17 August 1999 | by Ted-101See all my reviews

In this incredibly inept film, a scientist spends plenty of screen time moaning and groaning about the fact that he has contracted a serious radiation sickness, which causes him to transform into a monster when he is exposed to sunlight. He just can't understand how engaging in dangerous experiments could result in such a catastrophe. This results in some unintentionally funny dialogue, such as, "No one can help me, what I've got is DIFFERENT! Why me? Why me? WHY ME!!"

Then something very odd happens. After the contaminated scientist gets through howling in despair, he goes for a long drive in the middle of the night to some bar. There, a sultry, gorgeous, blond named Trudy is playing the piano. Suddenly, he's a changed man. He forgets all about his troubles, and he even forgets he has a girlfriend, and starts going out with the blond bombshell. The sequences with the blond, played nicely by Nan Petersen, are the best part of the movie.

The scientist bounces back and forth between his dark haired girlfriend at the lab, and his girlfriend at the bar, occasionally forgetting the time and turning into the sun demon while in transit. This strange double life he's leading is presented as an "innocent" development which we can all understand, because he's sick and troubled, and what he's got "IS DIFFERENT"! Actually, these relationships he has are very superficially explored unfortunately, and one wishes Trudy had a larger part.

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Release Date:

12 April 1962 (Mexico) See more »

Also Known As:

Terror from the Sun See more »


Box Office


$58,500 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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