The Undying Monster

Movie Information

In Brief: The Undying Monster (1942) is one of the most curious of all werewolf movies — mostly because it offers so very little werewolfery. Truth to tell, it's fairly typical of Fox's rather limited forays into the horror genre. It's very well made. The cast is solid. The production values are top notch (thanks in no small part to standing sets), and the entire film is as atmospheric as you could possibly wish. But the horror content is pretty darn subdued, and, based on the evidence onscreen, looks like it was goosed after the fact. (I can think of no other reason why the one good look we get at the film's werewolf is obviously an effect achieved in post-production. I'll grant that it adds a layer of creepy unreality to it all, but I doubt that was the idea.) In the main, this is an atmospheric period mystery with James Ellison and Heather Thatcher doing a Holmes and Watson bit as investigators brought in by Scotland Yard to uncover the truth behind "the Hammond mystery" (which was the film's UK title to get it past the censors). It's terrific to look at and a lot of fun, but the horror content is on the tepid side.
Genre: Horror Mystery
Director: John Brahm
Starring: James Ellison, Heather Angel, John Howard, Bramwell Fletcher, Heather Thatcher
Rated: NR

The Thursday Horror Picture Show will screen The Undying Monster Thursday, Feb. 18, at 8 p.m. in Theater Six at The Carolina Asheville, hosted by Xpress movie critics Ken Hanke and Scott Douglas.

About Ken Hanke
Head film critic for Mountain Xpress from December 2000 until his death in June 2016. Author of books "Ken Russell's Films," "Charlie Chan at the Movies," "A Critical Guide to Horror Film Series," "Tim Burton: An Unauthorized Biography of the Filmmaker."

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