5.8/10
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24 user 22 critic

The Mad Ghoul (1943)

Not Rated | | Horror, Sci-Fi, Thriller | 12 November 1943 (USA)
A university chemistry professor experiments with an ancient Mayan gas on a medical student, turning the would-be surgeon into a murdering ghoul.

Director:

(as James Hogan)

Writers:

(screenplay), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
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Andrew Tombes ...
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Della
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Gavigan
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Storyline

Dr. Alfred Morris, a university chemistry professor, rediscovers an ancient Mayan formula for a gas which turns men into pliant, obedient, zombie-like ghouls. After medical student Ted Allison becomes a guinea pig for Morris, the professor imagines that Allison's fiancée, beautiful concert singer Isabel Lewis, wants to break off the engagement because she prefers the professor as a more "mature" lover but n reality loves Eric, her accompanist. In order to bring Ted back from his trance-like states, Morris commands him to perform a cardiectomy on recently deceased or living bodies in order to use serum from their hearts as a temporary antidote. When the serial murders seem to coincide with Isabel's touring schedule, ace reporter "Scoop" McClure gets on the mad scientist's trail. Written by duke1029@aol.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A NEW SENSATION IN HORROR! (original poster-all caps)


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

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Details

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Release Date:

12 November 1943 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Mystery of the Ghoul  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

"The Mad Ghoul" was the last film of director James P. Hogan,who died after finishing the film in May but over a month before it was released,on November 12,1943. See more »

Quotes

Dr. Alfred Morris: [Responding to the corpse sitting up and pulling a gun on him] Reports of your death seem to be greatly exaggerated.
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Connections

Featured in 100 Years of Horror: Zombies (1996) See more »

Soundtracks

Our Love Will Live
(uncredited)
based on "Piano Concerto No. 1"
Music by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Lyrics by Everett Carter
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
THE MAD GHOUL (James B. Hogan, 1943) **1/2
23 January 2010 | by (Naxxar, Malta) – See all my reviews

One of the lesser Universal horrors is a still enjoyable if decidedly silly outing. The former is due largely to the typical low-budget atmosphere (from intermittent graveyard raids, for plot purposes, down to the recycled music cues), George Zucco's equally reliable presence as the obligatory mad scientist (with this in mind, the title – actually referring to the 'human monster' of the piece – has always struck me as kind of desperate) and, to a lesser extent, Robert Armstrong ditto as the fast-talking but ill-fated reporter who cracks the case. The 'monster' (afflicted by sudden 'attacks' which transform him, in a matter of seconds, into a scruffy and wizened zombie) is a student in love with a renowned singer (resident Universal scream queen Evelyn Ankers), predictably also desired by the elderly Professor - deluding himself, a' la the Bela Lugosi of THE RAVEN (1935), that she corresponds this affection - but who has herself fallen for the accompanying pianist (the just-as-ubiquitous Turhan Bey) of her concert tour. Obsessed with the Ancient Egyptian ritual of death-in-life (improbably involving a release of poison gas followed by an impromptu heart transplant!), Zucco first experiments with a monkey but soon turns his attentions to a human specimen…for which his naive assistant (a surgical genius no less) fits the bill perfectly (however, no attempt is made to explain how he manages to operate repeatedly on himself – since, naturally, it transpires the effect of the revivification is only temporary – without being fully conscious of the fact!). As I said, this is standard low-grade fare – not quite as good as even the minor classics among Universal's second outburst within the genre, though certainly nowhere near as bad as the worst of the lot - THE CAT CREEPS, SHE-WOLF OF London and THE SPIDER WOMAN STRIKES BACK (all 1946).


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