Day 22 – Night Monster (1942)

Night Monster posterDay 22: Night Monster (1942)
Cast:      Bela Lugosi as Rolf
Lionel Atwill as Dr. King
Leif Erickson as Laurie

Screenplay by Clarence Upson Young
Directed by Ford Beebe (Flash Gordon Conquers the Universe)

Plot: Curt Ingston (Ralph Morgan) is a recluse living in a mansion outside of town and seeking help from several doctors to help cure him of his paralysis. There is a supposedly insane sister, a mystic and secretive house staff. Of course, there’s also a series of murders to help stage a whodunit.

Personal Thoughts: On the surface, this is simply another old dark house movie. However, it really stands out as an underrated gem due to the expansive settings and cast. Sure, there is a house surrounded by fog and murders with hidden panels. But several scenes actually take place outside of the house, including the nearby town and train station. The characters also add to the fun, such as Leif Erickson as the oversexed chauffeur and the “crazy” sister. Lugosi turns in another butler performance but his upper class attitude and general disdain for anyone opposing the family makes it stand out amongst his other similar roles. I love the unique twist ending but Lugosi does seem to disappear at the end of the movie. Well worth checking this seldom mentioned Universal Horror classic.Night Monster 1

Trivia:

  • Part of the Universal Shock Theater package.
  • Miniature of the burning mansion is the same of the castle seen at the end of Ghost of Frankenstein (1942).

Night Monster 2Availability:

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