This Saturday night on MeTV- Lon Chaney Jr. provides a shocking performance- literally- when a heartless scientist (we've run into a lot of those lately, haven't we?) finds Lon to be the perfect subject for his experiments that turn the burly guinea pig into a “Man Made Monster”!
It all begins on a dark and stormy night-when a bus loses control on a rain-slicked road, and skids into an electrical tower. There is a tragic death toll- the driver and every single passenger, except one-who is rushed to the hospital, only to mystify the medical staff by seemingly having survived the accident, barely affected by it! The hospital's Dr. Lawrence learns that this lucky lone survivor is none other than carnival headliner “Dynamo Dan”- whose act consists of him braving high electrical current. Could this be the key to his surviving the collision with the live wires? The doctor asks Dan to spend sometime at his home research facility, to see if they can discover for sure if Dan's previous experience with high voltage conditioned his body to withstand the accident.
The facility is actually very pleasant- and Dan enjoys spending time there with the doc's pretty daughter and the playful family dog. Not as benign is the doctor's in-house co-worker- Dr. Rigas- who has a theory that living creatures can be altered so that they only need electricity to survive! Rigas has experimented with lesser life forms- but the chance to try out his theory on the carnival's "Dynamo Man” seems like a dream come true! Unbeknownst to Dr. Lawrence, he begins to subject Dan to massive amounts of electricity- and his experimentation brings about noticeable physical and emotional changes in Dan that have the Lawrence family concerned. Rigas finally charges Dan up with such devastating power that the poor subject becomes , literally, his carny namesake, a true human dynamo- emitting an eerie electrical glow and raw electrical force, completely under the control of the man who "created" him! Dan is an unstoppable menace, an electrified zombie, following Rigas' commands, and terrorizing the countryside - seemingly unable to be killed!
This film has some really scary moments, and some decent effects for its time. You'll be surprised to see that, early on in this 1941 horror film, Lon Chaney is actually a very happy-go-lucky guy- very different from his roles like Larry Talbot (although this movie is supposedly what got him his job as the "Wolf Man") and his various "Inner Sanctum" characters . We'll tell you about his fellow cast members, bring you some Svensurround, and enjoy a visit from hilarious comedian Dana Gould, whom you saw in the "Svengoolie Stomp" video-he was on "Seinfeld",wrote for “The Simpsons”, hosts the “Dana Gould Hour” podcast, and is preparing for the launch of his show with John C. McGinley "Stan Against Evil" on the IFC channel. He's a huge horror movie fan, and actually became the caretaker to one of the original horror show hosts of the 50s, a story which he'll relate to us!
"Man Made Monster" lights up your screen on MeTV tonight at 10 pm eastern/pacific, 9 central, or check your local listings (or www.metv.com) for time and channel. Our local Chicago viewers get a special viewing of "Munster Go Home" on our sister station, WCIU, the U at 11 am. Normally, we'd be showing last Saturday night's MeTV feature in that time slot, but we were only allowed a single run of "The Cage" on the MeTV network.
Speaking of which- we appreciate all of you who tuned in for "The Cage"- which broke all records for the MeTV Sven show- according to the Neilsen NTI ratings, our show peaked that night with over a million viewers!
We also appreciate the huge throng that turned out for our J.J. Blinkers appearance in Antioch,IL last Sunday- we had to stay an extra hour , even after the line was cut off, to take care of all the autographs! Just an FYI- we'll begin posting more of our Halloween season appearance information within days, so you'll have a heads-up on the early October ones!
Meanwhile, join us tonight when we jump-start the terror with the "Man Made Monster"!