Escapement; Electronic Monster, The

1936. THE ELECTRONIC MONSTER (Escapement) (1957-ENGIAND). With ROD CAMERON, MARY MURPHY. While filming on location in France, Oscar-winning move star Clark Denver dies in a mysterious car crash. Was it suicide? Was it foul play! After Denvers’s studio makes an insurance claim, investigator Jeff Keenan (rugged Rod Cameron) is dispatched to play Sherlock Holmes. It seems that Denver had recently spent several months at a psychiatric clinic. So did a famous oilman and an eminent industrialist, and they too have turned up dead. All three were taking “brain treatmentsÓ at the clinic, via a process devised by Dr. Maxwell, a not-so-mad scientist. The well-meaning doctor has invented an electric contraption which emits the eeriest noises, and which allows his patients to become deeply relaxed via “electric hypnosis.” “We simply take over the mind for awhile, and reshape it,” he explains, via a process by which “specially selected thought processes, or dreams,” are transmitted into the brain. A wonderful therapeutic breakthrough, you say. Not if it is up to the villainous Zakon, the doctor’s patron, who has other ideas on the manner in which the device will be used. You know Zakon is a creep the instant he appears on screen, as he casually observes that he has no intention of closing down the clinic “simply because a few patients die.” Also finding her way into the proceedings is Ruth, Keenan’s ex-flame, a glamorous but ingenious movie star who has gotten herself engaged to marry Zakon. This is a fascinating science fiction thriller- chiller, guaranteed to keep you on the edge of your seat. Plus, several surreal fantasy sequences, depicting a patient’s visions while under the spell of the device, are especially well done. Listen also for an early use of “electronic music.” 78 minutes. Horror-Science Fiction