“Scared Jed Harper so bad he went and got religion. “
Dr. Lorenzo Cameron (George Zucco) is insane. He has found a way to take the blood from a wolf and create a serum with it. When he injects the serum into his simple minded gardener Petro (Glenn Strange) he turns him into a werewolf. His aim was to create an army of werewolves to use as a weapon. His theory involved blood transfusions from wolves to humans. When he presented his theories he was laughed at by both his colleagues and the press.
In his insanity he pictures his former colleagues sitting around a table in front of him. They are Professor Blaine (Robert Strange), Professor Warwick (Reginald Barlow), Professor Fitzgerald (Gordon De Main), and Professor Hatfield (John Elliott). He addresses each one, imagining their response to his claims. He then tells them that he is going to kill each of them, one-by-one. After his little moment of separation from reality he gives Petro the antidote and changes him back to normal.
The next night, after Cameron injects Petro, he sends him out into the swamp. Petro kills a little girl. He then returns to the doctor’s home where Cameron injects him with the antidote. Now that the doctor knows his formula works he is ready for his real targets. Each time Cameron injects Petro and sends him out to kill, the more unpredictable Petro becomes.
Cameron's daughter Lenora (Anne Nagel) is in love with a newspaper reporter named Tom Gregory (Johnny Downs). He is investigating the death of the little girl. The more people that are killed, the more he begins to suspect that Cameron may have something to do with it.
“The Mad Monster” was released in 1942 and was directed by Sam Newfield. The movie was distributed by PRC (Producers Releasing Corporation). One of the poverty row movie producers. At 77 minutes it is the longest movie produced by any of the poverty row companies.
The wolf in the movie is really a rather sad looking coyote. Zucco‘s performance is over the top. He is both insane and properly evil. The werewolf make-up is kinda crappy. There is nothing new about it and nothing special about it, but I liked it a lot. Maybe it was Zucco’s quiet insanity that made the movie so much fun. He even has that maniacal laugh that all mad scientists are suppose to have. I would watch it again just to see and hear that part. It really was wonderful.