This Saturday night on MeTV- you’re sure to get a charge out of what we have in store- some fun from way before conventions were halted due to the pandemic, and a classic visit from one of our favorite WWE Hall of Famers- all wrapped around what is considered Lon Chaney Jr.’s very first entry into true horror films in a literally shocking performance! It’s the tale of a cruel and devious scientist who uses Lon’s incredible tolerance for electricity to transform him into the “Man Made Monster”!
The story begins on a stormy night- on dangerous roads slicked by rain. We witness a bus losing control and skidding into an electrical tower, resulting in the tragic death of the driver and every single passenger- except one. That survivor is rushed to the hospital, where the medical staff is astounded to find he has not only survived the accident- but is, in fact, hardly affected by it at all! The attending physician, Dr. Lawrence, discovers that the survivor is none other than “Dynamo Dan”- a carnival sideshow star whose act involves him exposing himself to high electrical current as entertainment! All this prior exposure to huge doses of electricity appears to have played a part in his survival. The doctor, intrigued, invites Dan to move into his home research facility, so he can be studied and he can ascertain that the “previous exposure” theory is valid.
Dan cheerfully moves in, and finds the place to be a great haven for him- because the doctor’s pretty daughter also lives there- and – he gets to play with the family’s dog. However, there is a dark cloud in this happy existence, though nobody knows it at first- provided by the doctor's in-house co-worker- Dr. Rigas. Rigas has his own agenda- he wants to prove his personal theory that living creatures can be altered and mutated to survive strictly on electricity! He’s been experimenting with lesser life forms, but now that "Dynamo Dan” is available as a human subject – he sets out to covertly experiment on the human sideshow attraction, while keeping his plans secret from Dr. Lawrence.
Rigas begins to experiment, subjecting Dan to massive amounts of electricity, never revealing the real reason to his cooperative subject. This experimentation, however, changes Dan -both physically and emotionally. The Lawrence family soon takes notice, and are concerned about Dan’s well-being. Regardless, the experimentation continues- and Rigas charges Dan with such devastating power that he becomes , literally, what his carnival moniker suggested - a human dynamo! Dan emits an unearthly glow and possesses unfathomable raw electrical force- now becoming an electrified zombie, completely under the control of the man who "created" him! Rigas commands Dan to do his bidding, unleashing his power on anyone who gets in Rigas’ way. This “Man Made Monster” soon is terrorizing the countryside – incredibly unstoppable and seemingly unable to be killed!
This 1941 film has some interesting special effects for its time, and definitely has some frightening moments. For those viewers who are used to Lon Chaney as the brooding, fatalistic Larry Talbot, or as the haunted characters he played in the “Inner Sanctum” series, it may come as a surprise to see Lon portraying such a happy-go-lucky fellow at the start of this film. Reportedly, this film actually got Lon his perennial role as Talbot, the Wolf Man. We'll tell you about the film’s cast, and send up some clips from the film in Svensurround.
Also, we bring back a vintage visit from our friend, WWE Hall of Famer, best-selling author, and Santa Claus enthusiast, the one and only Mick Foley- who regales us with stories about himself and his family, his love of the Universal films, and the “20 Years of Hell” tour was on at the time ( chronicling his astounding wrestling match with the iconic Undertaker, in which Mick took some horrendous falls off the top of a massive steel cage!) There is some dated material mentioned, since Mick, like most folks, cannot be on tour now, due to the COVID crisis- and, in fact, recently tested positive for the virus- but is doing okay. We’ll top off this visit, after the short movie, with Mick as the ONLY contestant in a game show especially geared towards him! Plus- we remember the fun of conventions with a look back at the 2018 C2E2 comics and entertainment convention at Chicago’s McCormick Place- including a look at some of the incredible costumes!
"Man Made Monster" lights up MeTV tonight at 8pm eastern/pacific, 7central, or check your local listings (or www.metv.com) for time and channel. Remember that MeTV invites you to support our show by live-tweeting during the program on Twitter- usually making us trend very high nationally every week! Our local Chicago viewers can dive into an encore of "Creature from the Black Lagoon” on our main local station, the CW26, at 11 am.
Please make sure to check out our Sven merchandise – just click on the store tab here on our site. The numbers of Sven Studio Sets and At Home boxes is gradually dwindling, so, if you have an interest in them, you might want to order- once they are gone- they’re gone!
Join us tonight when Dr. Rigas yells “Charge!”- and Lon Chaney Jr. is “charged” with “battery”- or, becomes one!