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The Hideous Sun Demon

Theatrical poster to The Hideous Sun Demon (1959)
Directed by Tom Boutross
Robert Clarke
Produced by Robert Clarke
Written by Robert Clarke
Phil Hiner
Doane R. Hoag
E.S. Seeley Jr.
Starring Robert Clarke
Patricia Manning
Music by John Seely
Cinematography Stan Follis
Vilis Lapenieks
John Arthur Morrill
Editing by Tom Boutross
Distributed by Pacific International Enterprises
Running time 74 minutes
Country United States
Language English

The Hideous Sun Demon (1959) was the directorial debut of Robert Clarke, star of many of the 1950's best sci-fi films. The movie became an Atomic Age cult classic. Clarke wrote, directed and produced The Hideous Sun Demon. Clarke wrote in his biography that he made the movie for less than $50,000, including $500 for the rubberized lizard suit he wore. He shot the movie over 12 weekends to get two days' use of rental camera equipment for one day's fee. The movie was featured in the 1982 movie send-up It Came from Hollywood which starred Dan Aykroyd, John Candy, Gilda Radner, Cheech Marin and Tommy Chong and was re-dubbed with Clarke's permission as the 1983 comedy What's Up, Hideous Sun Demon (aka Revenge of the Sun Demon on DVD) featuring the voice of Jay Leno and new scenes starring veteran voice actor Cam Clarke reprising his father's role with the nuclear accident origin turned into a mishap with an experimental sun tan lotion.


A radiation mishap made a scientist, Dr. Gilbert McKenna (played by Clarke), transform into a hideous, reptilian monster every time he was in direct sunlight. During the hours that he was corrupted by the sun, he obsessed about finding prey and a mate. On one of his nightly drinking binges, Dr. McKenna fell for a busty lounge singer, and the two ended up spending the night together on the beach, Unfortunately, Dr. McKenna overslept and had to run home without even a word to his lover. Of course, he risked going out to see her again even though he was supposed to contain himself to his cellar, risking not only his life, but the life of the woman he loves.


  • Bill Hampton
  • Fred La Porta
  • Nan Peterson
  • Patricia Manning
  • Patrick Whyte
  • Robert Clarke.

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