How to Make a Monster is a 1958 American horror film released by American International Pictures (AIP). The film is a follow-up to both I Was a Teenage Werewolf and I Was a Teenage Frankenstein. Like Teenage Frankenstein, a black & white film that switched to color for the final moments, How to Make a Monster was filmed in black & white, with the entire last reel filmed in colour.
Pete Dumond, Chief Make-up Artist for 25 years at “American International Studios,” is pink-slipped by the new management from the East, Jeffrey Clayton and John Nixon, who plan to make musicals and comedies instead of the horror pictures for which Pete has created his remarkable monster make-ups and made the studio famous. In retaliaton, Pete vows to use the very monsters these men have rejected to destroy them. By mixing a numbing ingredient into his foundation cream and persuading the young actors that their careers are through unless they place themselves in his power, he hypnotizes both Larry Drake and Tony Mantell, who are playing the characters Teenage Werewolf and Teenage Frankenstein in the picture Werewolf Meets Frankenstein currently shooting on the lot.
In recent years, the title has been used several times: for a song on Rob Zombie’s 1998 debut solo album, Hellbilly Deluxe; for a TV movie in 2001; for the name of the 2004 album by The Cramps; for a documentary on special make-up effects applications in 2005; and for an 8-minute short film in 2011.
“How to Make a Monster owes its superiority to the prototypical I Was a Teenage Werewolf to a combination of speed and wit on the one hand, and the engaging, well-drawn character of Pete Drummond on the other. In marked contrast to most AIP movies of the time, How to Make a Monster zips right along, aided by the fact that its premise allows it to incorporate action scenes from Teenage Frankenstein vs. the Teenage Werewolf whenever the main plot starts to bog down. And the comedic elements are surprisingly funny for 1958, relying more on sly jabs at the foolishness and absurdity of the movie business than on the juvenile slapstick more typical of late-50’s B-movies.” 1000 Misspent Hours and Counting
“Unfortunately, the novelty of the film-within-a-film angle is not enough to carry the picture. The movie is more of a murder melodrama than an honest to goodness monster flick, and the details of the investigation grow tiresome. That’s not to say there aren’t some enjoyable scenes.” Exclamation Mark