A mad scientist transforms a panther into a man-like creature that escapes and goes on a murderous rampage.A mad scientist transforms a panther into a man-like creature that escapes and goes on a murderous rampage.A mad scientist transforms a panther into a man-like creature that escapes and goes on a murderous rampage.
Putting The "Thigh" In Thyssen...
"Terror Is a Man" (1959) is perhaps more well known for its status as the first Filipino horror film, rather than for its own fine merits. That's a real shame, as it turns out to be an extremely well done take on H.G. Wells' "The Island of Dr. Moreau," but with unique slants all its own. Here, the marooned sailor is played by the likable Richard Derr (who sci-fi fans may remember from 1951's "When Worlds Collide") and the not-so-mad surgeon/scientist by Francis Lederer. The doctor has a hotty wife in this version of the story, and she is played by Greta Thyssen (Miss Denmark, 1954), shown to good advantage in negligee and bathing suit in several steamy scenes. (She really does put the "thigh" in "Thyssen," lemme tell you!) In addition to uniformly fine, no-nonsense acting, the film boasts beautiful B&W photography (nicely presented on this clean and crisp-looking DVD), eerie and suspenseful music, stylish direction, and a unique-looking monster that is unfortunately (and literally) kept under wraps until the denouement. The film gives us some interesting speculations on just what makes a man a man, and is really quite intelligent and restrained throughout. A warning bell alerts the audience to a shocking scene (a close-up of a surgical incision) that should gross out only the most squeamish of viewers. My only problem with this DVD, really, was the fluctuating sound quality. But that should not deter viewers from checking out this most interesting horror tale. It's a winner.
- Dec 6, 2007
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