The Hideous Sun Demon (1959) (DVD film review).

June 16, 2015 | By | Reply More

Scientist Doctor Gilbert McKenna (actor Robert Clarke), affected by a radioactive experiment in the presence of direct sunlight, turns into a scaly creature and goes on the rampage periodically. Throughout the film, he kills a rat, a dog and a couple humans before being stopped. Without the scales, the monster could be the Frankenstein creature or a more homicidal Hulk. From the DVD cover, he’s even green and predates the Marvel Comics character but has a passing resemblance to a certain Ben Grimm only with more teeth. The one difference is that ‘The Hideous Sun Demon’ aka ‘Blood On His Lips’ was released in 1959 and predates them all.


I’ve been curious about watching film for some time now, especially as all I’ve seen was the creature either in a car park or standing looking menacing. Seeing the film, I was quite impressed by the latex but it must have been a bitch to have worn it in the Californian sun, let alone run around in it.

The back of the box says there’s liner notes but the case doesn’t have any. On the DVD, there is the original trailer which, if you watch the film first, you’ll quickly realise shows the entire film at speed and even the ending. No dialogue but that doesn’t really help the film. No, that’s hardly fair. Actor Robert Clarke portrays the poor McKenna at his lowest ebb. He knows what he is capable of and does his best to avoid the sunlight and his penultimate was less his fault. With the exception of the odd triangle between the scientist and the two leading ladies, the other roles are really secondary. I should point out that Clarke also produced and directed this film and no indication if his role as the sun demon was replaced with a stuntman.

Oddly, although a B movie, it does stand up reasonably well, exploiting the California settings and although much of the more grisly stuff is moved off camera, you do know what is going on. In many respects, you can’t help feeling sorry for McKenna behind the scales as he didn’t mean to turn into this creature but his fate was sealed when he became uncontrollable. I doubt if any sun blocker would have stopped him. An interesting curio.

GF Willmetts

June 2015

(region 1 DVD: pub: Image Entertainment ID8586CODVD. 1 DVD 75 minute black and white film. Price: about £ 3.80 (UK) if you know where to look))

cast: Robert Clarke, Nan Peterson, Patricia Manning, Patrick Whyte, Bill Hampton, Fred La Porta, Donna King Conkling, Xandra Conkling and Robert Garry

check out website: www.image-entertainment.com


Category: Films, Horror, MEDIA

About the Author ()

Geoff Willmetts has been editor at SFCrowsnest for some 15 plus years now, showing a versatility and knowledge in not only Science Fiction, but also the sciences and arts, all of which has been displayed here through editorials, reviews, articles and stories. With the latter, he has been running a short story series under the title of ‘Psi-Kicks’ If you want to contribute to SFCrowsnest, read the guidelines and show him what you can do. If it isn’t usable, he spends as much time telling you what the problems is as he would with material he accepts. This is largely how he got called an Uncle, as in Dutch Uncle. He’s not actually Dutch but hails from the west country in the UK.

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