Count Alucard (read his name backwards) finds his way from Budapest to the swamps of the Deep South; his four nemeses are a medical doctor, a university professor, a jilted fiancé and the woman he loves.
Lon Chaney Jr.,
In the 15th century Richard Duke of Gloucester, aided by his club-footed executioner Mord, eliminates those ahead of him in succession to the throne, then occupied by his brother King ... See full summary »
Rowland V. Lee
Down-on-his luck entrepreneur Bill Martin and sidekick Stuff Oliver try to stay one step in front of creditors in their seedy waterfront office when they meet "The Captain," an idiosyncratic peg-legged old sailor. The Captain is convinced that the treasure of pirate Sir Henry Morgan is hidden somewhere in a castle on an offshore island recently inherited by Martin. His proof is a treasure map, half of which has been stolen by a mysterious Phantom who lurks in the shadows waiting for an opportunity to steal the other half. Sensing a moneymaking opportunity, Bill tries to recruit customers willing to pay $50 apiece for a "treasure hunt" outing to the "haunted" island. Among those signing up are heiress Wendy Creighton and her bored, ineffectual boy friend, a dimwitted police sergeant, a professor whose expertise is old maps, a wanted murderer and his moll, and Bill's cousin George, who has recently offered $20,000 to buy the supposedly worthless island. They all get more than the few ... Written by
Part of the original SHOCK THEATER package of 52 Universal titles released to television in 1957, followed a year later with SON OF SHOCK, which added 21 more features. See more »
Upon arriving at the Island Castle, the group of treasure seekers walk from the foyer to the study. A very visible crew member is in frame holding a spotlight on lead man Dick Foran. As the camera pans right, the crew member turns and walks out of frame. See more »
Fast-talking promoter takes motley group of people to haunted island in search of hidden treasure.
Shot, edited, and released, all in 25 days, and frankly it shows. Must be some kind of record, even for a B-movie quickie. In my book, it's the screenplay that suffers most. Looks like they took 90 minutes of material and crammed it into 60 minutes of film. If you can make sense of the castle goings-on, there should be a place for you in the space program. Also looks like the writers took every dark-house gimmick and shoe-horned it in somewhere, anywhere. Note how many puzzles (crossbow killing of the phantom; George's killing) are given abruptly awkward and hurried explanations. Apparently, there was no time for anything else. All of which would be okay if the scary parts were really scary or the funny parts, funny. But unfortunately they're not.
What the movie does have are expensive leftover sets, Woody Bredell's first-rate photography, and two really likable leads (Moran and Foran). Foran makes an engaging fast- talking promoter, while Susan Hayward look-alike Moran is both cute and lively. There were a number of these haunted mansion films during this period. My favorite is Bob Hope's Cat and Canary (1939), which really shows how the premise should be done. Too bad that Universal didn't give the production more time to develop, especially to better organize the screenplay.
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