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      The Henderson Monster

      1980 1h 45m Sci-Fi List
      Reviews A genetic scientist's (Jason Miller) helper (Christine Lahti) and her husband (Stephen Collins) begin to question the results of his DNA work. Read More Read Less

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      The Henderson Monster

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      Ms. A A garrulous TV movie about bio-ethics and academic freedom. While its subject matter (DNA editing, disaster-prone nuclear power plants, corporate intellectual property) holds up surprisingly well for a film released in 1980, it imagines that religious anti-intellectualism comes on about as strong as a Brady Bunch musical performed in matchy-matchy bridesmaid gowns. There are some good jabs at academic smuggery, but heavy-handed tirades about Mary Shelley's Frankenstein are tedious and cringe-inducing, particularly when spoken by Stephen Collins' annoying sci-fi writer (a good actor hamstrung by sophomoric dialogue). The cast is certainly good. Along with Collins, there is the always worthwhile Christine Lahti, the most emotionally mature character in the entire tale, but alas, she's a PhD biogeneticist married to Collins' gadfly (how and why did these two get married?). Nehemiah Persoff is a former Manhattan Project scientist who has done a moral 180, becoming kind of a lovable Timothy Leary type advocating for restraint in genetic research. Heading up the cast is Jason Miller as Dr. Henderson, an intense, vainglorious science superstar (looking a little bit like Carl Sagan) who gets most of the uneven script's good dialogue. He is the poster boy for hubris, but there is no denying his gifts as a researcher, which Miller does so credibly you'd think he spliced genes on his days off from this acting gig. The script strains too hard for its bons mots between the university chancellor and a populist mayor and anyone vs. Stephen Collins, but Lahti anchors the story with her frustration and reactions to the egos raging around her. Worth a watch for her work and Miller's. Don't expect a monster of any kind, however, unless it looks a lot like a shaggy dog. Surely, we needed Florence Henderson to help with those religious protest scenes. Rated 3 out of 5 stars 06/29/23 Full Review Read all reviews Post a rating

      Cast & Crew

      Movie Info

      Synopsis A genetic scientist's (Jason Miller) helper (Christine Lahti) and her husband (Stephen Collins) begin to question the results of his DNA work.
      Waris Hussein
      Original Language
      Release Date (Streaming)
      May 23, 2017
      1h 45m
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