4.6/10
677
26 user 11 critic

The Phantom Creeps (1939)

Approved | | Sci-Fi | 17 October 1939 (USA)
A military intelligence officer and a pretty reporter try to find a scientist whose inventions can destroy the world.

Writers:

(screenplay) (as George Plympton), (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
Reviews

Watch Now

With Prime Video

WATCH NOW
ON DISC
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Horror | Sci-Fi | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A scientist becomes murderous after discovering, and being exposed to the radiation of, a powerful new element called Radium X.

Director: Lambert Hillyer
Stars: Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi, Frances Drake
The Devil Bat (1940)
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

A mad scientist develops an aftershave lotion that causes his gigantic bats to kill anyone who wears it.

Director: Jean Yarbrough
Stars: Bela Lugosi, Suzanne Kaaren, Dave O'Brien
Comedy | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  

An insurance investigator arrives at a creepy mansion to protect a millionaire who has had death threats made against him.

Director: Frank McDonald
Stars: Jack Haley, Jean Parker, Bela Lugosi
Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  

Kindly soup kitchen operator and professor of criminology Bela Lugosi uses his soup kitchen as a front for a criminal gang who commit a series of daring robberies and murders. When things ... See full summary »

Director: Wallace Fox
Stars: Bela Lugosi, John Archer, Wanda McKay
Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.2/10 X  

James Houghland, inventor of a new method by which television signals can be instantaneously sent anywhere in the world, refuses to sell the process to television companies, who then send ... See full summary »

Director: Clifford Sanforth
Stars: Bela Lugosi, June Collyer, Huntley Gordon
The Phantom Creeps (TV Movie 1949)
Crime | Sci-Fi | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.3/10 X  

Not a feature, but an edited version of the 1939 serial "The Phantom Creeps" which was released to TV in 1949.

Stars: Bela Lugosi, Robert Kent, Dorothy Arnold
Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.9/10 X  

From a slab in the morgue, a dead young woman tells the bizarre tale of how she got there, through a maze of murder involving a hypnotist, a midget and a mysterious figure in a green mask.

Director: Christy Cabanne
Stars: Bela Lugosi, George Zucco, Molly Lamont
The Black Cat (1941)
Comedy | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Elderly Henrietta Winslow lives in an isolated mansion with her housekeeper and beloved cats. As her health fails, her greedy relatives gather in anticipation of her death.

Director: Albert S. Rogell
Stars: Basil Rathbone, Hugh Herbert, Broderick Crawford
Crime | Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

When Dr. Savaard's experiment in cryonics is interrupted by the short-sighted authorities, his volunteer dies, and he is condemned to death. He vows vengeance if he can survive his own hanging.

Director: Nick Grinde
Stars: Boris Karloff, Lorna Gray, Robert Wilcox
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A man who has set up the perfect lifestyle for himself makes the mistake of marrying while drunk...and his fantasies of murder are used against him.

Director: Richard Quine
Stars: Jack Lemmon, Virna Lisi, Terry-Thomas
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
Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.2/10 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
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Edwin Stanley ...
...
Jack C. Smith ...
...
Dora Clement ...
Ann Zorka [Chs. 1-2] (as Dora Clemant)
...
Hugh Huntley ...
Perkins - Mallory's Lab Assistant [Chs. 2-12]
...
Al - Guard [Ch. 5]
...
Train Engineer [Ch. 6]
...
Skipper [Ch. 9] (as James Farley)
...
Mac - AMI Agent [Chs. 2-12]
...
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 more 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

A robot similar to the one in this film was later used by Rob Zombie in his "Hellbilly Delux" album cover art. 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 Lugosi: Hollywood's Dracula (1997) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
One of Lugosi's finest films
23 June 1999 | by See all my reviews

As an avid serial fan, I have to say that this is one of my favorite serials of all time! Why? Many serials tend to be predictable, but this one contains a lot of interesting concepts -- giant robots, invisibility belts, "z-ray guns", "neometers", mechanical "death spiders" and other futuristic gadgets.

Plus, I'm a Bela Lugosi fan, and it is generally considered that he was at his peak in this film. He shows genuine sorrow when his Wife dies in the beginning of the film, and a madness to destroy those he blames for his death.

Many people on the East Coast saw this film on Officer Joe Bolton's TV show (circa 1960) and have never forgotten it.

Must see!


17 of 21 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?
Review this title | See all 26 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

'Star Wars' Creatures We Love

"The IMDb Show" breaks down the origins of some iconic Star Wars creatures. Plus, legendary sword choreographer Tim Weske explains the basics of lightsaber combat.

Watch now