The Hideous Sun Demon - 1958
The Hideous Sun Demon - 1958 - Low budget monster effort starring Robert Clarke. He is a tormented nuclear scientist who discovers after a lab accident involving isotopes that he alters into a violent lizard-man when exposed to sun light. Needless to say, this is problematic for he and his would-be girlfriend (Patricia Manning). Consequently, a good portion of this tale takes place at a night, conveniently at a night club where the scientist watches a pretty lounge singer (played by Nan Peterson) and the pair take off to swim and sleep overnight at the local beach, which turns into a disaster when the sun comes up.
Star Robert Clarke also directed this film and he keeps it moving as the lizard-man/scientist struggles to keep his sanity and to defeat the gangster boyfriend who keeps a proprietary eye on the lounge singer.
While The Hideous Sun Demon seems to mimic the usual 1950s science-gone-wrong films that had come before, it also throws in a piece of King Kong for a poetic finis, and contains a certain energetic get-up-and-go that helps compensate for the thin budget.
Page December 2018
From former screen legends who have faded into obscurity to new revelations about the biggest movie stars, Valderrama unearths the most fascinating little-known tales from the birth of Hollywood through its Golden Age.
Winner of the 2020 Peter C. Rollins Book Award
Longlisted for the 2020 Moving Image Book Award by the Kraszna-Krausz Foundation
Named a 2019 Richard Wall Memorial Award Finalist by the Theatre Library Association