31 Monsters in 31 Days: The Hideous Sun Demon

1959’s THE HIDEOUS SUN DEMON was one of my first ventures into the realm of vintage B movies. And despite its inherent silliness–it’s a $60,000 movie in which a radiation-stricken scientist transforms into a lizard when in sunlight–DEMON is a lot of fun, mostly due to its patently ridiculous premise. Director and star Robert Clarke ups the campy ante by wringing out melodrama by the bucketload, whether it’s his tortured monologues about his newfound condition, or the romantic subplot in which he woos a gangster’s moll. It’s a dizzying balancing act–overwrought enough to elciit sardonic laughter, with a healthy dose of earnestness to invest in the story–and probably an unintentional one, too.

The monster makeup, while not iconic, is still a treat, once again riding the edge of goofy and effective. Pair him up with Paul Blaisdell’s She Creature and you’d have one swingin’ ’50s couple.

Reputed to be a favorite of Tom Selleck’s.


One Response to “31 Monsters in 31 Days: The Hideous Sun Demon”

  1. Hahha — the monster looks hilarious… And the trailer, hmm, well… Hopefully the sea mollusk monster in the The Monster Who Challenged the World (1957) will be on your list!

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