Noble-born cad Dennis (Stapley) has been tricked into a forced stay at the eerie manor of the Sire de Maletroit (Laughton), an evil madman who can't get over the death of his beloved, ... See full summary »
Dr. Bernard Adrian is a kindly mad scientist who seeks to cure a young woman's polio. He needs spinal fluid from a human to complete the formula for his experimental serum. Meanwhile, a ... See full summary »
Dr. Julian Blair is engaged in unconventional research on human brain waves when his wife is tragically killed in a freak auto accident. The grief-stricken scientist becomes obsessed with redirecting his work into making contact with the dead and is not deterred by dire warnings from his daughter, his research assistant, or his colleagues that he is delving into forbidden areas of knowledge. He moves his laboratory to an isolated New England mansion where he continues to try to reach out to his dead wife. He is aided by his mentally-challenged servant Karl and abetted by the obsessive Mrs. Walters, a phony medium, who seems to exert a sinister influence over him. When their overly curious housekeeper discovers the truth about their experiments, her death brings the local sheriff in to investigate. Written by
Gabe Taverney (email@example.com)
Cy Schindell plays the role of Julian's hulking manservant Karl. He often used the name Al Seymour, but here is billed under the name Ralph Penney, for the only time in his career. See more »
Dr. Julian tells Mrs. Walters she had 10,000 volts pass through her body. Volts do not flow or pass, amps do. See more »
They say my father's spirit must still lives in that house. I don't know. When he seemed to be so close to what he sought, something reached for him - a warning that human beings must not try to reach beyond death! I don't know. No one will ever know, and yet perhaps the time will come when the door to infinity will open... perhaps... perhaps...
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At last, Karloff has met his match. One glance from the steely-eyed Ann Revere (Mrs. Walters) is enough to freeze even Frankenstein. She doesn't need make-upshe's scary enough just walking onto the set. I'd love to see a stare-down between her and an icy Bette Davis. Anyway, the movie is occasionally atmospheric, especially the cliff house scenes. The plot doesn't make much senseI guess that's why we get the voice-over narration. It's something about getting brain waves from the dead and turning them into talk. Apparently, that requires that Dr. Blair (Karloff) assemble a junk pile in his laboratory. On special occasions, the metal heaps sit around a table in diving helmets and sort of rock out on brain waves. Then there's the live person who puts on a helmet and sticks neon tubes in her ears. Apparently, that triggers an indoor wind, and then wispy ghost-like things appear. The wind doesn't bother them, but it sure musses-up Karloff's hair. It's one wild and crazy lab scene.
The cast and crew are an interesting bunch. Director Dmytryk was one of the blacklisted Hollywood Ten, who then decided to sing to the House committee, and so, went back to work. On the other hand, Revere never did sing and stayed blacklisted for a decade or so. There's also young Robert Fiske who plays Dr. Sayles. He has the distinction of being one of a handful of movie actors killed in action during WWII don't they deserve some kind of Hollywood memorial. And between Dorothy Adams (Mrs. Marcy) and the equally familiar Ellen Corby, housekeeper roles stayed monopolized in Hollywood for about twenty years. Nothing special in this 50 or-so minutes, except for the goofy lab scenes. But something should be said for the great Karloff. Even in this routine programmer, he gives it his all, a spirited performance that almost makes the hocus-pocus believable. I hope there's a place in Hollywood heaven for great old pro's like him.
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