The House of Professor Morlock

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Amanda Globe (Amy Ball) tells ace investigative reporter Janet Lawton (Mara Marini) that since global warming is diminishing her alien super powers, she must leave earth and won’t be able to battle Morlock in “The House of Professor Morlock.”

In this, the only Morlock film that Jesse Merlin directed, fans were quick to notice that he inserted himself in many scenes in which his character didn’t take part.

Mara Marini as Janet Lawton and Michael Lackey as Zombie #3 being directed by Jesse Merlin in “The House of Professor Morlock.” With the astonishing popularity of the rebooted Morlock franchise, Merlin finally had the leverage he needed to demand the director mantel of this eighth film in the series. One of his primary motives for wanting the job was that he felt it finally put him in a position of authority over Miss Marini, who always commanded higher billing and a massively larger salary than his in the four previous Morlocks that they had appeared in together.

But Merlin overestimated his influence, since a standard clause in Miss Marini’s contract stated that directors weren’t allowed to speak to her directly but had to submit any communications to her in writing through an assistant (most of which were ignored). This applied not only to first-time directors like Merlin, but also to the two films she made with Martin Scorsese and the four with Steven Spielberg.

Miss Marini’s outrage in the picture is very real since it was taken on the first day of shooting when Merlin was unaware of that clause in her contract. It represented only the second time they had spoken together off-camera; the first being at the premiere of “Professor Morlock’s Daughter” when she mistook him for a waiter.