The Curator of Schlock #197 by Jeff Shuster
The Magnetic Monster
Master of Magnet
This just in! This just in! New photos have surfaced from Star Wars: The Last Jedi. From these photos, we can now assess full plot of Episode VIII. This will be a science fiction adaptation of the riveting BBC series, Call the Midwife. These are extra terrestrial nuns who deliver babies to the various alien races fleeing from the villainous New Order. Luke Skywalker has put the Force behind him in favor of a life of medicine.
Wait a minute! New Order is the band that succeeded Joy Division. Why are the villains in the new Star Wars movies named after the creators of “Blue Monday”? There must be some hidden meaning here. I need to ponder.
Oh, it’s week four of the Museum of Schlock’s Relativity Series, a selection of movies that celebrates science. Yay science! This week’s entry is 1953’s The Magnetic Monster from director Curt Siodmak and director Herbert L. Strock. Wait. What? You can’t have two directors on a movie. There’s only one captain of a ship. Granted, there’s the Cohen Brothers and the Hughes Brothers and the Wachowski Brothers, but they’re brothers! They’re practically the same person.
I don’t get why this movie has two directors.
Wikipedia states that Herbert L. Strock was uncredited. Hmmmmmm. I wonder what was going on behind the scenes. Oh, it looks like Siodmark wrote Donovan’s Brain. No one remembers Donovan’s Brain–no one, but me. What a sad, lonely life I lead.
The Magnetic Monster is all about the adventures of the OSI, the Office of Scientific Investigation. They’re a team of hotshot scientific detectives, led by the courageous Dr. Jeffrey Stewart (Richard Carlson) and Dr. Dan Forbes (King Donavan). They are out to stop a monster from destroying the world, a Magnetic Monster. It’s running around town magnetizing metal objects, stopping clocks, stalling cab cars, and making an all around nuisance of itself. Oh, and it’s killing people with radiation.
A scientist experimenting with a radioactive isotope called serranium brought the Magnetic Monster to life. Once microscopic, it’s now increasing in size and if unchecked, it will destroy the world. Kind of reminds of that Life movie I reviewed a couple weeks back. You have the scientists poking their nose where it doesn’t belong and the rest of the world has to suffer for it. It’s a race against time for Dr. Stewart and his band of super scientists to figure out a way to stop the creature before it destroys the world.
Still, it’s not like the end of the world is preventing Dr. Stewart from dealing with his personal life. His wife is expecting a baby, but he keeps wondering why she hasn’t “gotten fat.” He keeps going about this and the conversation makes me uncomfortable after awhile.
Dr. Stewart is also obsessed with buying a house, insisting he and his wife go house hunting so their kid can have a patch of grass to play on. Yeah, that’s all well and good except that there’s a Magnetic Monster out to destroy the world! Get your head in the game, Dr. Stewart!
Jeffrey Shuster (episode 47, episode 102, episode 124, and episode 131) is an MFA graduate from the University of Central Florida.
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