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The Undying Monster (1942).

October 28, 2008

The Scoop:
Excellent photography highlights this bite-size British thriller, which moves briskly through its too-short 60 minutes.

Scotland Yard investigators use modern forensic techniques to examine the legends of centuries worth of supernatural killings at an isolated English manor, which may or may not be caused by an ancient family curse. In addition to the creepy atmosphere, there are strong performances from the entire cast (led by James Ellison, Heather Angel and John Howard) and the odd burst of dry humor. John Brahm’s direction is brisk and tight, working from a script by Lillie Hayward and Michael Jacoby, who adapted the novel by Jessie Douglas Kerriush. Although some of the plot elements owe an obvious debt to “The Wolf Man” and “The Hound of the Baskervilles,” they are not merely derivative and are used here to good effect.

Highly recommended, this is an A-list film in B-movie clothing.

Best Line:
The last line — I won’t spoil it for you.

Side Note:
Brahm became more commercially successful after coming to Hollywood and working in television. He’s best known for working on episodes of “The Twilight Zone,” “Alfred Hitchcock Presents,” “The Man From U.N.C.L.E.” and “The Outer Limits.”

Companion Viewing:
“The Wolf Man” (1941) and “Sleepy Hollow” (2000).

The Missing Link.
The Grim Cellar.

Take a Look:
The trailer:

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