Experiment #103 – The Mad Monster w/ Molten Terror

Season 1
MST3K Story: The Mads are discussing the events that drove them mad just before calling Joel, who has a nifty invention: the Hell in a Handbag. The Mads counter with the Acetaline-Powered Thunder Lizard. After watching the serial episode, Tom comes across the love of his life: a blender. He is put off by Joel drinking out of her head. The movie confuses Tom because it doesn’t make it clear as to whether the monster is killing people or just mauling them. Joel explains that older movies left that to the viewers imagination. They continue discussing the various aspects of lycanthropy. Later on, Joel is inspired by the movie to switch Crow and Tom’s heads, much to their annoyance. After the film, Joel offers the bots RAM chips if they can name a good thing and a bad thing about the film. But they keep arguing, so Joel decides no one deserves them. Not even the Mads are pleased, given the death of the film’s mad scientist.

Molten Terror Story: Cody is able to escape from the villainous moon leader, Retik. He consults with his crew and then returns to the moon base and steals Retik’s ray gun. But as he makes his escape, Cody hides in a cave where Retik is able to turn the rock into molten lava, trapping our hero inside.

Mad Monster Story: Dr. Lorenzo Cameron has been experimenting on his handyman, Petro, injecting him with a serum derived from wolves. After Petro transforms into a wolfman, Dr. Cameron imagines a conversation with his fellow scientists who rejected him and his theories. Dr. Cameron’s daughter Lenora, meanwhile, expresses her concerns over his activities and her desire to return to the city. When he next uses the serum, Dr. Cameron lets Petro loose in his wolf form and the monster kills a child. This arouses the suspicions of Tom Gregory, Lenora’s reporter boyfriend, who visits Professor Blaine, one of Dr. Cameron’s detractors. Shortly after this meeting, Dr. Cameron arrives with Petro in tow, supposedly to prove his theory to Blaine. He leaves Petro to kill Blaine, intending to use the monster to settle all of his old scores. Despite the doctor’s efforts, Tom’s investigations inevitably lead straight to Dr. Cameron, who has continued to use Petro in his plans for revenge. But Petro eventually goes wild, attacking Lenora, setting Dr. Cameron’s house on fire and killing the doctor.

MST3K segments written by Trace Beaulieu, Joel Hodgson, Jim Mallon, Kevin Murphy, Mike Nelson & Josh Weinstein
MST3K segments director unknown

Molten Terror written by Ronald Davidson
Molten Terror directed by Fred C. Brannon
Molten Terror music by Stanley Wilson

The Mad Monster written by Fred Myton
The Mad Monster directed by Sam Newfield
The Mad Monster music by David Chudnow

MST3K Guest Cast: none

Molten Terror Cast: George Wallace (Commando Cody), Aline Towne (Joan Gilbert), Roy Barcroft (Retik), William Bakewell (Ted Richards), Clayton Moore (Graber), Peter Brocco (Krog), Robert R. Stephenson (Daly), Don Walters (Mr. Henderson)

The Mad Monster Cast: Johnny Downs (Tom Gregory), George Zucco (Dr. Lorenzo Cameron), Anne Nagel (Lenora Cameron), Glenn Strange (Petro), Reginald Barlow (Professor Warwick), Robert Strange (Professor Blaine), Gordon DeMain (Professor Fitzgerald)

LogBook entry by Philip R. Frey.

Notes: The second host segment is a redo of a sketch originally performed in episode #K11 – Humanoid Woman.

Johnny Downs was a child actor whose first film was The Champion in 1923. He continued to work into his young adulthood, with his final work coming in 1953. He passed away in 1994.

Glenn Strange is probably best known for his long run as Sam Noonan on the popular TV western Gunsmoke from 1961 to 1973, the year of his death. He also made numerous other television ppearances on shows such as Petticoat Junction, The Untouchables and Maverick. Before the advent of television, he appeared in hundreds of serials and B-movies. In 1944 he took over the role of the Frankenstein monster from Boris Karloff in House of Frankenstein, a role he would repeat in House of Dracula and Abbot & Costello Meet Frankenstein.

Robert Strange began working in Hollywood in an endless array of small parts before first being credited in 1931’s The Cheat. He would go on to appear in over seventy movies, including High Sierra, The Adventures of Captain Marvel and A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. His final appearance was in 1949’s Flamingo Road, three years before his death.

Fred Myton wrote hundreds of films and television episodes, beginning in 1916. Myton worked mostly on westerns, including two “Billy the Kid” films starring Buster Crabbe. He had begun a transition to television with episodes of The Gene Autry Show in the early 1950s before his death in 1954.

Sam Newfield began his career in 1926 with B-Movie comedies such as Which is Which? and Jane’s Engagement Party before switching to action and adventure films, where he spent much of the rest of his career. Had two notable series that he shepherded; a series of “Billy the Kid” movies (ten in all) and one featuring “the Lone Rider” (nine entries). Directed the movies MSTied in episodes #208 – Lost Continent, #507 – I Accuse My Parents and #520 – Radar Secret Service. Newfield retired after 1958’s Flaming Frontier, passing away in 1964.

Notable Riffs: “Isn’t terror bad enough without being molten?”
“That felt good. Now I’m going to turn my daughter into a woodchuck.”
“His human half really likes the flaky golden crust, while the wolf in him really enjoys the seven vitamins and minerals.”

Molten Terror original release date: 1952
The Mad Monster original release date: 1942

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