The Undying Monster Film Details
Overview: Surviving members of an aristocratic English family are threatened by a legendary monster when they venture out on chilly, foggy nights.
Tagline: LUSTS UPON BEAUTY!
Review: The House of Hammond is burdened by a family history of suicides at the supposed sight of a monster. When a nurse..and Oliver Hammond(John Howard), who now owns the current estate of his family..is attacked at the edge of a sea-side cliff next to the lane traveling to the Hammond estate, Scotland Yard science detectives Curtis(James Ellison)and his unflappable assistant Christy(the delightful Heather Thatcher)are called on to solve the mystery that has shrouded the family for centuries. Also left mangled and torn at the scene of the attack is a dead cocker spaniel dog. The troubling aspect of this crime scene, where it appears as if a savage animal of some sort committed the carnage, is that there are no footprints leaving a trace of what caused such a violent rampage. With the nurse unconscious in a coma and slowly withering away from a severe brain hemorrhage, amazingly Oliver is recuperating well despite some nasty cuts and bruises he supposedly suffered at the hands of whatever caused the attacks. When asked about what committed the attacks, though, Oliver’s muddled story leaves little for Curtis and Christy, and the village police, to go by. Ruffling the feathers of the Hammonds and their hired help, it appears that secrets are being held from Curtis and Christy as they pursue the truth behind the deaths that have plagued this family for so long. Also acting suspiciously is the village doctor, Jeff Colbert(Bramwell Fletcher)who seems to be deliberately making things difficult for Curtis such as muffling the footprints left on the floor of a secret locked room, or his taking the Hammond family history book from a library before the detective could retrieve it. And, curiously, why would a renowned brain specialist leave London for a small village position? Would it be that he has designs on marrying Helga Hammond(Heather Angel)who would be sole heir of her family estate if Oliver was out of the way? Curtis and Christy will have to use their scientific methods of spectrum DNA analysis, which has solved cases in the past, if they wish to figure out what monster, or possible human murderer, is behind the death of the nurse who would succumb to her injuries. Before directing “The Lodger”, John Brahm does what he was commissioned to do..bring an atmospherically crafted mystery, shooting from all sorts of fantastic angles, with his cunning abilities using the camera, fluidly expressing a sense of style that would later cement his legacy as a quietly underrated genius. You can see how Universal inspired other studios in just how “The Undying Monster” opens. I felt the “bending trees” which populate the surrounding areas of the Hammond estate, and the massive studio sets representing the inside of Hammond castle(..and the mausoleum housing the Hammond ancestry), resemble “Frankenstein” more than “The Wolf Man”, the model obviously for the werewolf theme in “The Undying Monster”. You can certainly see what skills director Brahm had in the studio system such as the opening shot where the camera eyeballs various Hammond staples in the living room of the castle, and the nurse running for her life down the lane as the camera follows her from a distance. I loved one particular shot where Brahm’s camera captures a conversation behind the rising flames of a fireplace. The monster itself, certainly a werewolf style which resembles the iconic Jack Pierce standard, only makes a major appearance at the end..only do we get a good look at it’s face, with the director using the usual dissolves from hair to face when we find out who is plagued with lycanthropy. A good portion of this film, though, is the unveiling of a mystery, with Curtis discovering what secrets this family might be hiding, while also utilizing the new methods of investigation to find about about strange evidence in order to find out what caused the attacks that lead to an unfortunate death. The script has the family’s past as sordid with supposedly a member selling his soul to the devil. That kind of reputation only fuels the idea of a monster, with the family’s name continuously remaining notorious. As each suspect is ruled out, Curtis, a scientist who scoffs at the notion of the supernatural, will discover, through science no less, just who his culprit actually is. Lycanthropy, in this film, is looked at as an affliction of a diseased mind, passed down through the generations. Thanks to Brahm’s sure hand, and an interesting script, this film rises above being just a Wolf Man rip-off. But, this was just a stepping stone to greater triumphs, with “The Undying Monster” serving as a template where Brahm would lay the stylistic groundwork for what was to come later.
Country: United States
Duration: 63 min
Genre: Drama, Horror, Mystery
Also known as: The Hammond Mystery,Das unsterbliche Monster,To teras pou den pethainei,El secreto del monstruo,O Segredo do Monstro,The Undying Monster,Бессмертный монстр