Indestructible Man (1956): Horror Sci-Fi Thriller, Starring Lon Chaney

Produced and directed by Jack Pollexfen, Indestructible Man, a crime horror sci-fi based on original script by Vy Russell and Sue Dwiggin, stars Lon Chaney.

The picture was produced independently by C.G.K. Productions, and distributed by Allied Artists Pictures, on a double bill with World Without End.

Heavily narrated, the story spans 72-hour in the work of L.A. detective Dick Chasen (Max Showalter).

Lon Chaney plays Charles “Butcher” Benton (Chaney), a double-crossed convicted robber-murderer, executed in gas chamber. His body is unlawfully sold to a scientist (Robert Shayne) who experiments with cure for cancer.

Benton’s corpse is subjected to chemical injection and high-voltage electricity in order to study the effect on human tissues. But when Benton’s heart is restimulated, he revives (though mute due to electrical damage to vocal cords),  with skin that’s impervious to scalpels, police bullets, and bazooka shells.

After killing the doctor and his assistant (Joe Flynn), Benton sets out to avenge himself on his two henchmen and his attorney (Ross Elliott) who had betrayed Benton to steal his loot.

Benton had left the location of his stash to his stripper-girlfriend (Marian Carr), who had begun dating the detective who brought Benton to justice, after she had rejected the lawyer’s own advances.

The story then depicts Benton’s revenge on his enemies; the police who first learn of a wave of mysterious killings, then of Benton’s reanimation; and the developing relationship between the detective and the stripper.

The lawyer, fearing for his life after the two henchman are murdered, confesses that Benton had always used the sewer system to evade detection, and to find  hiding place for the money.

Benton takes direct hit in the solar plexus from bazooka, and is burned by  flame thrower. Weakened, he flees to a power station, where he climbs atop a gantry, setting it in motion.

As he watches the police below, the gantry is moving toward the main transformer. Hundreds of thousands of volts surge through its metal frame, searing Benton to ashes.

In the happy ending, Chasen proposes to his girlfriend.

Lon Chaney, Jr. as Charles “Butcher” Benton
Casey Adams as Lt. Richard Chasen
Marian Carr as Eva Martin
Ross Elliott as Paul Lowe
Stuart Randall as Capt. John Lauder
Marvin Press* as Henchman “Squeamy” Ellis
Ken Terrell as Henchman Joe Marcelli
Roy Engel as The Desk Sergeant
Robert Foulk as Harry the Bartender
Robert Shayne as Dr. Bradshaw
Peggy Maley as Francine, a stripper
Marjorie Bennett as Floozie at Bar


I am grateful to TCM for showing the film on January 10, 2020.