Dr. Laurence, a once-respectable scientist, begins to research the origin of the mind and the soul. The science community rejects him, and he risks losing everything for which he has worked. He begins to use his discoveries to save his research and further his own causes, thereby becoming... a Mad Scientist, almost unstoppable... Written by
Boris Karloff's second feature in Britain, filmed March 3-mid April 1936, followed quickly by "Juggernaut." See more »
[Growing bitter as camera dollies in]
I meant my work to be given to the world to be used for the common good, but they wouldn't have it! They wouldn't believe me... they laughed. All right, I'll keep it for myself, and I'll use it for my own ends.
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This was a low-budget horror film with very modest pretensions. No one involved believed they were making "high art" and with a small budget and running at only 62 minutes, this is a definite B-picture. And in light of these factors, it's an amazingly effective and enjoyable film.
Boris Karloff plays a mad scientist--this is certainly no great stretch. His research involves trying to switch the mind of one person with another--sort of like the plot that was often used in cartoons or cheesy comedies in the 60s. How exactly this was going to be a GOOD thing certainly wasn't a primary concern for th doctor, though later in the film, greed and an over-active libido push this strange doctor to make this switch with unwilling victims.
So despite a pretty corny plot, why did I like this film? Well, the pacing was excellent but more importantly the film had wonderful dialog and was at times very 'tongue in cheek'. In particular, when Karloff's evil and physically twisted assistant changes bodies with the rich philanthropic newspaper owner, I found myself laughing repeatedly because the writers for the film deliberately injected some levity into the horror plot. You just have to see it to understand and appreciate this.
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