The Brute Man (1946)

May 25, 2011

Even though this film was distributed by PRC (Producers Releasing Corp.) the film was made by Universal as a continuation of the character “The Creeper” played for the third and last time by Rondo Hatton as he passed away shortly after from his horrible disfiguring acromegaly, a glandular disease that got him Hollywood roles but ultimately cost him his life. Perhaps PRC was interested in distributing the film because they had made Monster Maker (1944) and viewed it as a sort of sequel as they both had to do with acromegaly? The Jean Yarbrough directed picture also featured Tom Neal, Jan Wiley, and Jane Adams who played a disfigured woman herself in Horror of Dracula. The film opens with Hal Moffet played by Rondo Hatton killing his chemistry professor who he blamed for his ghoulish appearance which was caused by his own doing in the chemistry laboratory. He continues to terrorize the town of Hampton seeking further revenge. In spite of his evil there is a soft spot in his heart as he befriends a blind girl and decides he will steal enough money so she can have an eye operation. He does this knowing the friendship will end as soon as Helen sees him. In the end he is captured but Helen will get the operation anyway as she helped the police in bringing him to justice. The film score was a series of recycled Universal cues (audio clip included) from their previous horror movies. I think he was captured and not killed at the end because in the back of the minds of the producers they were thinking sequel. The film is available to watch for free on the internet archive as well as for purchase from Alpha Video (CHZ 5020D) at a very low cost. The weakest of the three “Creeper” films is still worth a watch. (**)

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