‘Horror to make you gasp!’
The Undying Monster is a 1942 American horror and mystery film featuring a werewolf as the primary antagonist. The movie was directed by John Brahm (The Mad Magician; The Lodger; Hangover Square) and is based on a 1936 novel by Jessie Douglas Kerruish. It was also released as The Hammond Mystery.
On November 22, 2016, Kino Lorber released the film on Blu-ray with the following special features:
Audio Commentary by Film Historian Tom Weaver | Concerto Macabre: The Films of John Brahm Featurette | Restoration Comparison | Trailers
The Hammond family has been cursed since the Crusades, with family members dying or committing suicide under mysterious circumstances. When two people, including Oliver Hammond (John Howard) are attacked by an unknown creature, Robert Curtis (James Ellison) and his sidekick Christy (Heather Thatcher) are dispatched to investigate. Although the local townspeople are convinced that the attacks are the result of a curse upon the Hammond family, Curtis believes that he will be able to find a more scientific explanation for the attacks.
Curtis’ investigation at the Hammond household reveals a number of unusual circumstances, including slamming doors and clanking chains, a recently-entered secret room that had supposedly been locked for years, and a statue of a strange dog-like creature in the Hammond family crypt. During his investigation, one of the initial victims of the attack dies (after being in a coma) and the case is sent to an English jury for judgement. Upon hearing testimony from members of the Hammond family and their associates, the jury rules that the victim died at the hand of an unknown person or creature of unknown species…
“This movie is, on the whole, more old-fashioned, though, with Brahm— a German immigrant, not surprisingly— serving up the purest jolt of Expressionist styling to be seen in Hollywood since probably The Cat and the Canary.” 1000 Misspent Hours and Counting
“The Undying Monster is a mere 63 minutes long, but far too much time is devoted to Curtis’ forensics rather than the more interesting legend of the Hammond family. Surely the intrigue of a family curse involving an ancestor selling his soul to the devil should take precedence over a detective comparing cloth samples.” Exclamation Mark
” …an entertaining, if short (63 minutes) film. The best parts are the thrilling beginning and the climactic chase scene. Admittedly, the middle act of the film, where it’s mainly heavy in dialog (lasting over forty minutes) slows the film down and detracts from the suspense and horror elements. However, the use of fog and scenery makes it very atmospheric; a vital ingredient in horror films of this type.” David Steigman, DVD Drive-In
“The story is quite compelling, though it’s likely aided to the quick runtime. At just 62 minutes this one just flies by. The important thing is that it does manage to be very entertaining throughout. It’s a monster film and mystery rolled into one and succeeds on both fronts for the most part. They mystery aspect works much better as little hints are dropped throughout and we see Curtis and Christy piece the evidence together one by one.” Chris Coffel, Bloody Disgusting review of the Blu-ray