One thing that might just go against this 50’s movie, The Magnetic Monster is the fact there’s no monster as such. Still the impact of this, is something more terrifying and devastating for the whole world than anything you can imagine. So where we may not find a ginormous Godzilla type monster stealing all your spoons and saucepans with its magnetic powers. We are in fact terrorised by an invisible foe, so destructive, so catastrophic and fatal that Earth is likely to be thrown out of orbit!
Tagline – Cosmic Frankenstein Terrorizes Earth!
What we need is a hero from some tough heroic organisation. Power Man and Iron Fist?, Nick Fury’s Howling Commandos? The Justice League Task Force?…. WHAT! insert scratch the needle off the record sound here!…. The Office of Scientific Investigation! Well they might sound a bit geeky but Dr. Jeffrey Stewart (Richard Carlson) and Dr. Dan Forbes (King Donovan) are tougher than you think. They are called A-Men, they are science detectives. Like a scientific X-Files they are brought into investigate the strange going ons within a domestic appliance store.
The store manager and his staff slowly begin to become aware of the bizarre phenomenon when all the clocks stop together. This mild strangeness develops into a full-blown freak out when a lawnmower creeps across the shop floor and washing machine doors start to open and shut. All the metal products inside the store have become magnetized and it’s caused quite the hullabaloo. Lucky Jeff and Dan are speeding their way to investigate the odd incident.
Howard Denker – “It’s hungry! It has to be fed constantly – or it will reach out its magnetic arm and grab at anything within its reach and kill it. It’s monstrous, Stewart, monstrous. It grows bigger and bigger!”
Suited up in their hazmats and scientific reading equipment, these two experts discover a curious and oddly chilling happening upstairs. The brave duo make their way up to the electric omitting room. With special devices reading the magnetic and electronic pulses they venture through the doorway. Radioactive activity is all around them. The place is trashed, is that a body? With all the gathered information they have collected they could really do with some sort of supercomputer to relay all the data in! If only!
Step forward the supercomputer with the best name ever. MANIAC Mathematical Analyzer, Numerical Integrator, and Computer. A massive room sized computer with enough power to, umm, well maybe store one photo on nowadays! But for crunching data and figures MANIAC was in his element. After analysing the dust particles and the dead man’s finger nail scrapings, say what!, they feed all the results into the electronic brain. They needed to find the source of the power. The ever-growing radioactivity would remain a constant threat if they couldn’t stop it and maybe even worse! It could become a planet killer!!
Tagline – Already one whole city has been devoured…. and still it grows, minute by minute, reaching out with countless invisible mouths to shallow the Earth!
How could they fight something with powers of this magnitude? What they need now was some kind of underground experimental power generator with a badass sounding name. The DELTATRON! “that’ll do“. Canadian’s very own super generator and they agree to let the Magnetic Monster and Deltatron battle it out. Intense electronic isotopes, alpha particles and incredible unimaginable powers unknown to home science smash together. What will happen? Can the world be freed from this invisible foe? Can Dr. Jeffrey Stewart and Dr. Dan Forbes save the day?
- Both Richard Carlson and King Donovan are no strangers to science fiction films. Carlson starred in 1954s Creature From The Black Lagoon and 1953s IT Came From Outer Space to name a few. And Donovan was in Don Siegel’s classic 1956 horror sci-fi Invasion of the Body Snatchers.
- Amazingly the underground Deltatron magneto-dynamo scenes where all stock footage from a crazy looking German science fiction thriller called Gold from 1934! The film is in public domain and can be found on Youtube here but there’s doesn’t seem to be any subtitles. It’s incredible to see the massive set designs from the mid 1930’s. Anyone seen it?
- This was actually the first of a trilogy of films centered on the Office Of Scientific Investigation. Which I read was producer Ivan Tors pet project. The other two were both from 1954 Riders to the Stars and the funny named Gog. I haven’t seen either but have seen the crazy robot “Gog” design before. One day I’m sure to get to them.
I enjoyed this a lot but I like stuff like this. It takes itself pretty serious and throws in as much science talk as it can. I loved them showing off supercomputers of the time. The two leads are very likeable. Is it worth your time? Definitely if you like 50s sci-fi. Plus if you’re ticking off Richard Carlson sci-fi films then it’s a must but rest assured you are not missing too much if you don’t see it.