AMC is running its annual Halloween two-week marathon.
As always, the schedule is larded with Friday the 13ths and Halloweens, but there are a few treasures if you dig for them.
One is 1958’s How To Make a Monster, airing at awkward times, like today at 9:30 AM.
If you’re a Famous Monsters of Filmland type and haven’t seen this, you’ll want to.
In 1957, the folks in charge at American International Pictures stumbled upon a formula that would revolutionize the production of B-horror films. They took a look at their audience demographics and concluded that horror movies with teenage heroes would be their golden ticket, and the genre has never been the same since.
A whole slew of teenage monster flicks came off AIP’s production line in ‘57, including the famous I Was a Teenage Werewolf and I Was a Teenage Frankenstein, Blood of Dracula (which more people would probably remember today if it had been called I Was a Teenage Vampire instead), and Invasion of the Saucer Men, in which teens battle midget aliens on lovers’ lane in between make-out sessions.
But it was a year later, in 1958, that the studio released one of the best and certainly the smartest of the bunch, the all-but-forgotten How to Make a Monster. Not only is this picture a standout among the movies of AIP’s teenage monster cycle, it’s also one of the best inside jokes in cinema history.