“How to Make a Monster” (1958) / Z-View

How to Make a Monster (1958)

Director: Herbert L. Strock

Screenplay by:  Herman Cohen. Aben Kandel

Starring:  Robert H. Harris, Paul Brinegar, Gary Conway and Gary Clarke

Tagline:  See the ghastly ghouls… IN FLAMING COLOR!

The Overview:  Beware of spoilers

Pete Dumond (Harris) has been a monster movie make-up man for American International Pictures for decades.  When the studio is sold, the new owners decide that monster movies are on the way out.  They fire Dumond and his long-time assistant, Rivero (Brinegar).  Dumond uses mind control to get the actors playing the teenage werewolf (Clarke) and teenage Frankenstein (Conway) to kill the new owners one-by-one.  When the clues begin to point towards Dumond all bets are off on who will be the next to die!

How to Make a Monster is more clever than good.  It’s clever because…

  • It brings back monsters (Teenage Frankenstein and Teenage Werewolf) from their past movies for a team-up.
  • It uses American International Pictures (the real movie studio that released the film) as the studio in the movie.
  • It takes us behind the scenes on the studio of American International Pictures when in reality AIP didn’t own a studio!  They rented space from other studios.
  • The monster head props and movie posters that appear in the background of scenes are from past AIP monster movies.
  • The ads say that you will see the monsters (Teenage Frankenstein and Wolfman) in color for the first time, but only the last scenes were shot in color to save money!

How to Make a Monster rates 2 of 5 stars.