The Human Monster (1939)

February 4, 2011

This 1939 horror/drama starring Bela Lugosi as Orloff/Dearborn was based on an Edgar Wallace novel “Dark Eyes of London” and told a story of an insurance agent, wronged as a doctor, who kills clients for their life insurance after they have signed the policy over to them. He also plays a second role as Dearborn, a blind man who runs an operation for the destitute and homeless blind. The dual role is a front to show he is really a kind and loving man. Jake a deformed but devoted employee in the blind center played by Wilfred Walter is the henchman until the tables turn at the end of the film and Lugosi becomes his final victim. The love interest is between a Scotland Yard inspector and the daughter of one of the insurance policy victims. The film has the honor of being given the very first ‘h’ rating in British film. Wallace is probably best known for his King Kong character but spent a relatively short life of 56 years producing novels, a television program, and screenplays.

While produced by Argyle productions on a meager budget this film can be classified as an above average B film due to the superior story. This film is available from http://www.oldies.com for $1.00 on their Alpha series #4004D. Below average in film quality I’ve included an audio clip of the main title music. You can’t go wrong for a $1.00. The 75 minute Black and White film will go by fairly quickly.

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