Now remastered in High Definition for Blu-ray, The Magnetic Monster is a ‘50s sci-fi film with an ambitious idea, a low budget, and a complicated history.
As with so much of sci-fi cinema, it all started with Curt Siodmak. Before he fled Hitler’s Germany and eventually landed in Hollywood, he wrote a big-budget German hit in the sci-fi genre—really more of a techno-thriller—called F.P.1 Antwortet Nicht. The film concerned trouble on a floating platform for airplanes in the Atlantic Ocean, and its popularity was directly responsible for director Karl Hartl reuniting with star Hans Albers for an even more expensive follow-up: the 1934 epic Gold. Siodmak didn’t work on that one, but he did write the British remake of Germany’s third big-budget techno-thriller, Der Tunnel.