MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 8,604 this week

The Phantom Creeps (1939)

Approved  |   |  Sci-Fi  |  17 October 1939 (USA)
4.5
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 4.5/10 from 590 users  
Reviews: 25 user | 13 critic

A military intelligence officer and a pretty reporter try to find a scientist whose inventions can destroy the world.

Writers:

(story) (as Willis Cooper) , (screenplay) (as George Plympton) , 2 more credits »
0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

Free at Internet Archive

ON DISC

IMDb Picks: May

Visit our IMDb Picks section to see our recommendations of movies and TV shows coming out in May, sponsored by COVERGIRL.

Visit the IMDb Picks section

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 42 titles
created 22 May 2011
 
a list of 28 titles
created 23 Oct 2011
 
a list of 30 titles
created 10 Jul 2013
 
a list of 35 titles
created 17 Jul 2013
 
a list of 33 titles
created 15 Oct 2013
 

Related Items

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: The Phantom Creeps (1939)

The Phantom Creeps (1939) on IMDb 4.5/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Phantom Creeps.

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Crime | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

Insurance agent-physician collects on policies of men murdered by a disfigured resident of the home for the blind where he acts as doctor-on-call.

Director: Walter Summers
Stars: Bela Lugosi, Hugh Williams, Greta Gynt
Drama | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

When an errant bomb unearths the coffin of a vampire during the London Blitz, a gravedigger unknowingly reanimates the monster by removing the stake from his heart

Director: Lew Landers
Stars: Bela Lugosi, Frieda Inescort, Nina Foch
Night Monster (1942)
Horror | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Kurt Ingston, a rich recluse, invites the doctors who left him a hopeless cripple to his desolate mansion in the swamps as one by one they meet horrible deaths.

Director: Ford Beebe
Stars: Bela Lugosi, Lionel Atwill, Leif Erickson
Certificate: Passed Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

When a nobleman is murdered, a professor of the occult blames vampires; but not all is what it seems.

Director: Tod Browning
Stars: Lionel Barrymore, Elizabeth Allan, Bela Lugosi
Horror | Adventure | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

The Black Magic cult of Ubasti, based on the isle of Lemuria, believes that Nadji, a princess of Egypt, is a reincarnation of their long-dead goddess, Ossana, and intend to sacrifice Nadji ... See full summary »

Director: Ray Taylor
Stars: Bela Lugosi, Maria Alba, Clara Kimball Young
Action | Adventure | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

When delusional madman Roxor kidnaps a scientist in hopes of using his death ray to achieve world dominance, he is opposed by Chandu, a powerful hypnotist and yogi.

Directors: William Cameron Menzies, Marcel Varnel
Stars: Edmund Lowe, Irene Ware, Bela Lugosi
Black Friday (1940)
Drama | Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Dr. Sovac transplants the brain of a gangster into his professor friend's body to save his life, but there is a side effect that causes a dangerous split personality.

Director: Arthur Lubin
Stars: Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi, Stanley Ridges
Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.1/10 X  

The town's leading citizen becomes a homicidal maniac after his wife deserts him.

Director: Joseph H. Lewis
Stars: Bela Lugosi, Polly Ann Young, John McGuire
The Ape Man (1943)
Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.5/10 X  

Conducting weird scientific experiments, crazed Dr. James Brewster, aided by his colleague Dr. Randall, has managed to transform himself into a hairy, stooped-over ape-man. Desperately ... See full summary »

Director: William Beaudine
Stars: Bela Lugosi, Louise Currie, Wallace Ford
Crime | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.4/10 X  

A colonial police detective in an Eastern seaport seeks a stolen gem, and infiltrates the underworld by posing as a look-alike wharfside bar owner.

Director: Fred C. Newmeyer
Stars: Lon Chaney Jr., Zarah Tazil, John Ince
Action | Adventure | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 1.7/10 X  

When a plane carrying the daughter of a millionaire crashes in an African jungle, two pilots set out to collect the reward. They discover that she has become the goddess of a primitive ... See full summary »

Director: Lewis D. Collins
Stars: George Reeves, Wanda McKay, Ralph Byrd
Adventure | Romance | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

A mad scientist tries to sell his formula for a dist integrating gas to foreign powers.

Directors: Alan James, William Witney
Stars: Ralph Byrd, Bela Lugosi, Maxine Doyle
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Robert Kent ...
Dorothy Arnold ...
Edwin Stanley ...
...
Jack C. Smith ...
Edward Van Sloan ...
Dora Clement ...
Ann Zorka [Chs. 1-2] (as Dora Clemant)
Anthony Averill ...
Hugh Huntley ...
Monte Vandergrift ...
Al - Guard [Ch. 5]
Frank Mayo ...
Train Engineer [Ch. 6]
Jim Farley ...
Skipper [Ch. 9] (as James Farley)
Eddie Acuff ...
Mac - AMI Agent [Chs. 2-12]
Reed Howes ...
Signalman [Ch. 10]
Edit

Storyline

"The Phantom Creeps" was Universal's 44th sound-era serial (between "The Oregon Trail" and "The Green Hornet") and was re-issued to theaters in 1949 by Commonwealth Pictures Corporation, a distribution set-up handling primarily Universal re-issues. Commonwealth had no hand at all in the production of this serial (as incorrectly shown on site) as they were a distribution company only. Some sources mistakenly identify them as the serial producer because all of the 1949 re-issue prints (and the 16mm prints sold to television circa 1952) show "Commonwealth Pictures Corp. Presents" above the title.There is a whole lot of difference between "presenting" and "producing", a fact that some sources appear to not know or don't care. The serial is of interest to some collectors as it re-unites Bela Lugosi and Edwin Stanley from 1931's "Dracula", and the crater-discovery of the meteorite fragment by Zorka in the serial is stock footage from Universal's 1936 "The Invisible Ray." The stock footage ... Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

CRASHING...SMASHING...DASHING DYNAMITE! 12 spine-shivering chapters of thunderbolt action and amazing adventure! See more »

Genres:

Sci-Fi

Certificate:

Approved
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

17 October 1939 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Shadow Creeps  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(12 episodes) | (edited feature film)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The explosion and avalanche footage from Universal's 1934 serial 'The Vanishing Shadow' (1934) is used in Chapter 11 of this serial as stock footage. See more »

Goofs

Anthony Averill and his two co-henchmen wear heavy mustaches that appear and disappear from one chapter to another, and even from one scene to another in the same chapter, #7, for example. See more »

Quotes

[after surviving a car crash, Zorka notices the hitch hiker they picked up, who looks like him, is dead.]
Dr. Alex Zorka: How fortunate, this will simplify everything!
See more »

Connections

Featured in 100 Years of Horror: Man-Made Monsters (1996) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
I Will Rule the World, Ha, Ha, Ha!
26 February 2005 | by (Ottawa, Ontario, Canada) – See all my reviews

"The Phantom Creeps" was Bela Lugosi's last serial. It was produced by Universal where he achieved some of his greatest successes. As such and with the resources of the studio, I expected a better product. Instead what we get is a routine "mad scientist" serial filled with stock footage and obvious gaffs. As an example when Lugosi is supposed to be bombing the Federal Building, what we clearly see is a burning dirigible.

Anyway, the story has mad scientist Dr. Zorka (Lugosi) in possession of a piece of a meteorite which contains powers which enable him to create an 8 foot all powerful robot, an invisibility belt with which he can become invisible and move about unseen, the ability to induce suspended animation in his enemies by loosing tacky looking mechanical spiders upon them and God knows what else. Assisting him is his treacherous assistant Monk (Jack C. Smith) who is held under Zorka's control.

Opposing him are G-Men Bob West (Robert Kent) and Jim Daly (Regis Toomey), reporter Jean Drew (Dorothy Arnold) and Zorka's former partner Dr. Mallory (Edwin Stanley) who try to get hold of Zorka's box containing the meteorite fragment.

Also in the hunt are "spies" Jarvis (Edward Van Sloan) and Rankin (Anthony Averill). Zorka had originally intended on selling his invention to the highest bidder but when his wife is killed he goes mad and decides to take over the world himself.

Needless to say the "box" changes hands among the three adversaries over the course of the serial's 12 chapters until things are all tied up in Chapter 12.

Lugosi is way over the top as Zorka and with firmer direction might have saved this serial. Edward Van Sloan had appeared as Van Helsing with Lugosi in 1931's "Dracula". Oh how the mighty have fallen.

Also appearing in small roles are Eddie Acuff, Roy Barcroft, Lane Chandler, Edmund Cobb, Charles King, Forrest Taylor, stinting Tom Steele and Dave Sharpe and as a road foreman in Chapter 11 Lee J. Cobb.


20 of 22 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Better print out there? coppington
Discuss The Phantom Creeps (1939) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?