Monster of the Day #58

Another iteration of the Jekyll & Hyde / werewolf story, given a patina of ’50s respectability and pertinence by dint of that ol’ debbil Radiation.  The movie came about because star Robert Clarke had, to his surprise, made a batch of dough from his 5% of the profits from The Astounding She-Monster.  Figuring he could make a film as good or better than that one, he laid out a big five hundred bucks for a cool monster suit (built on a wetsuit, so that he sweated like crazy during the shoot) and went to work, directing as well as acting.  Sadly, the company that distributed the film went out of business 18 months later, and ate his profits, ending his production company.  Still, people fondly remember the film (Tom Selleck one called it his guilty pleasure), and the character lives on in a very minor way.

  • John Nowak

    Uhm… Hideous Sun Demon?

  • I was really excited to see this when I was a kid. Then I saw it … :P


  • Not-So-Great Cthulhu

    This movie never seemed to play on the local stations when I was a kid, but stills showing the monster seemed to be everywhere (or at least in all the books and magazines on monster movies that I had). With such a cool looking monster, this movie was easily one of my “must see” ones.

    My reaction upon finally seeing it a few years ago mirrors Sandy’s…

  • The Rev. D.D.

    Oddly enough, I just saw this for the first time a couple of weeks ago. The make-up’s great, and I admire the director/lead for running around in the sun and heat with all of that crap on, but…yeah, the movie is one of those “how does 70 minutes moves so slowly?!?” type of movies. I wanted to like it more, but wow does it drag.

    Still dig the monster though.

  • BeckoningChasm

    I’m of the impression that everything Clarke directed has that slow, deadly pace despite the intriguing premise. I haven’t seen this, but I did see “The Slime People” and found it not only hard to stay focused, but hard to stay awake.

  • BeckoningChasm

    Oops, sorry, that was Robert HUTTON as star and director.

  • The Rev. D.D.

    I haven’t seen Slime People but your opinion of it seems to match the general consensus.

    Maybe that was a problem for Hutton after all…

  • Gamera

    Well it looks like the Sun Demon.

    Unless Sandy really convinced Ken to run only moth monster movies, in which case I’ll guess it’s West Virginia’s mysterious Mothman.

  • David Fullam

    Who cares about the Sun Demon, we got big tities!

  • David — The approved Jabootu term is “gazongas.”

  • Rock Baker

    One of the ‘film noir’ type monster movies. I think this was the first film I saw with wrap arounds by Elvira, but she did manage to host the uncut print with The Rat Scene so I still have that tape today (it came in a two-pack with Missile To The Moon, which I haven’t seen since. My folks bought the set, and they hated Missile, so it got tapped over. I’m happy to say they were more forgiving of Sun Demon.)

    I’ve always liked Robert Clarke. I feel sorry for him going from things like this and The Man From Planet X to later appearing in Fred Olen Ray movies (or at least the one I saw, the title escapes me but it pretty closely resembled The Unearthling -Pod People for MSTies- and managed to rip-off Terminator, Predator, AND Star Wars! Bob was in the Star Wars scenes, dressed as Obie Wan Kenobe and it seems like his character got killed with a light saber thru the chest).

    As for the, ahem, zofty nature of the girl pictured (Nan Peterson, who also sings the film’s featured song “Strange Pursuit”), well, you should see her in the film itself. I’m not a breast man, but wow! The picture doesn’t do her justice either! (And that time I meant her face, not just her figure.) Speaking of the women of Sun Demon, at the time Clarke was married to Alyce King (whom he remaind married to from 56 to 96 when she died, proving there ARE nice guys in Hollywood) and made the show a family affair. I think I read that all the King Sisters had parts, and the group is mentioned over the radio.

    By the way, I first saw this guy in a theater! I remember quite vividly being entranced by his popping up in the credits of Ernest Scared Stupid.

  • David Fullam

    Gazongas, duly noted!