Saturday, December 17, 2016

Terror is a Man, ...or a Panther Man

On the surface 1959's "Terror is a Man" is a minor B horror film.  A deeper look at this quirky film reveals it is a nice mesh of "Creature from the Black Lagoon," "The Mummy," and "From Here to Eternity." Made in the Philippines, our film today has a suave mad scientist, a sultry damsel in much distress, a creature, and a schmuck hero.  Furthermore, I was attracted to this film after our mad scientist antagonist stated his desire to "...bring about a modification of a species... lose traits of it's own and to take on characteristics of the new one.  To speed up evolution."  That is exactly what I'm doing in my basement laboratory.  To think, someone imagined that in the late 1950s.
William (Richard Derr) is the lone survivor of a shipwreck.  He washes up on a remote island inhabited by superstitious natives and a mad scientist, Dr. Girard (Francis Lederer) and his wife Frances (Greta Thyssen).  Before he regains consciousness, Dr. Girard's experiment escapes and mauls several islanders to death before it is recaptured.  So spooked by the monster (Flory Carlos), all the islanders flee the island.  The monster?  It used to be  Frances' pet panther.  After Girard's experiments, the panther is half human/half panther.  As William awakes, Girard lets him in on his experiments and secrets.  To make matters complicated, the stunning Frances is attracted to him.
After William comes across Frances sunbathing, the two lock lips on the island surf.  They will eventually have extra-marital sex.  Frances pleads with William to help her escape the island and her mad scientist husband.  Further experiments by Girard cause our panther man to grow more unstable and violent.  Uh oh, the straps no longer can hold the fiend and it escapes...and it is ticked off?
Will Frances' former pet seek to claw her to death, or carry her off for some sick animalistic mating ritual?  Will Dr. Girard let this happen in the interest of science?  Perhaps this film is a little lacking on shocking horror, but it is heavy on the sexual tension given off by Greta Thyssen's Frances character.  Relax, grab a Heineken, and enjoy "Terror is a Man" (also known as "Blood Creature") which is available on YouTube.

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