Drive-In Classics: Indestructible Man (1956)

Written by Amanda at Old Hollywood Films


Summer is a great time to relax with a fun B movie from old Hollywood. The streaming site The Film Detective now has a great line-up of  drive-in classics that includes the film noir/monster movie mash-up Indestructible Man (1956) starring horror icon Lon Chaney, Jr., as a criminal who comes back from the dead.

Indestructible Man begins with tightly wound L.A. cop Dick Chasen (Max Showalter, billed here as Casey Adams) narrating the unusual tale of Charles "Butcher" Benton (Chaney), a convicted robber and killer who vows revenge on his crooked lawyer (Ross Elliott) and two associates (Marvin Press and Ken Terrell) before heading off to what everyone thinks will be his final moments in the San Quentin State Prison gas chamber.

However, Butcher's corpse falls into the hands of cancer researcher Dr. Bradshaw (Robert Shayne), who decides to go full-on Dr. Frankenstein by giving Butcher a chemical infusion and 287,000 volts of electricity (provided by General Electric in what was perhaps a bit of unintentional product placement). In no time, the now-mute Butcher (he lost his vocal cords in the electric shock) is careening around Southern California on his quest for revenge.

Indestructible Man was the brainchild of director, producer, and writer Jack Pollexfen, who made several low-budget films in the 1950s that were intended for the drive-in movie market. Indestructible Man, which was co-scripted by Vy Russell and Sue Dwiggins (billed as Sue Bradford), was based on several other noir and horror films, most notably Man Made Monster, which Chaney made for Universal Pictures in 1941. The movie was released by Allied Artists and often played with other low-budget movies at drive-in theaters across the U.S. Eventually, Indestructible Man made its way to TV where it became a late-night staple. The film was also featured on the popular parody show Mystery Science Theater 3000 in 1992. 


To read the rest of Amanda's review, click here!

Be sure to head over to TheFilmDetective.tv to watch Lon Chaney, Jr. in action in "The Indestructible Man" (1956).

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