In 1918, an English family are terrorized by a vampire, until they learn how to deal with it. They think their troubles are over, but German bombs in WWII free the monster. He reclaims the soul of his wolfman ex-servant, and assuming the identity of a scientist who has just escaped from a concentration camp, he starts out on a plan to get revenge upon the family. Written by
Ken Yousten <email@example.com>
The text of Tesla's book as shown is: "THE SUPERNATURAL AND ITS MANIFESTATIONS By Dr. Armand Tesla. From the beginning of time, man has been troubled by the uncertainty of death and by the rare and horrible manifestations which occur at intervals in which the dead are known to return from their grave. Such people are known as vampires or werewolves. Scientific men throughout the ages have endeavored to delve into the mystery that has baffled them The most ancient writings have mentioned this strange phenomenon and it has always left the writer baffled. It is a known certainty that these beings do do return to earth and have been known to attack humans. They have at times left horrible marks of their visits. The victim of such an attack by the un-dead insists upon the memory of a horrible dream, or nightmare. In addition, there are lacerations about the size of pin-pricks, on the throat and an almost total absence of blood in the body. They strike with such suddenness that it has been impossible to locate their coming and going and it is usually a case of sudden death to the unfortunate victim. Some tribes have recorded the visits of these beings and scientific research has revealed them to be beyond the realm of superstition. From the beginning of time..." (text begins repeating at this point.) See more »
While it is stated that Andreas is a werewolf, no explanation is given as to how or why he transforms without benefit of a full moon. However, this story appears to incorporate a different version of the werewolf legend, in which Andreas' transformations occur only when Tesla has control over his mind and therefore don't have anything to do with a full moon. See more »
This has got to be one of Bela's most underrated performances, a bright spot among the dreariness of Monogram potboilers. Columbia allows him to both reference Dracula while at the same time expanding the definition of vampirism by having him play Dr. Armand Tessla, the "depraved Roumanian scientist" who is so obsessed with evil that he actually becomes a bloodsucker. (there is also a nifty sketch of Lugosi drawn in a book about his character) Lugosi is alternately sinister, avuncular, lovestruck, arrogant, and commanding. His voice, usually cause for laughter at its ripe indelibility, is used extremely effectively as a whisper when he is calling Nina Foch into the graveyard. ("Just a little bit further--further--further!") This is actually quite eerie. His exchanges with Matt Willis are atmospheric and believable, in that someone undead would naturally have supernatural acolytes surrounding him. (so what if they sprout facial hair; that just gives the acolyte more "texture") I have to disagree with viewers who think Willis is ridiculous as a talking wolf; I happen to think he's the best thing in the film. Willis' natural speaking voice is kind of strange, half Southern, half something..and when he's the werewolf with those teeth his line readings are really creepy. My favorite is when he's saying "as if they could tell what happened!" and then he chuckles. He is really effective. The whole production is sort of tongue in cheek and the Britishness at its height. (Frieda Inescort: "The Gerries have rather taken things out of your hands") The WWII element adds more interest, and Lugosi has a droll line that he is going out of his hotel but, "whether I can be reached is another matter." A jarring note is Foch's boyfriend, who has "Lady Jane" as his mother and yet speaks with a German or Dutch accent. All in all, a must for Lugosi fans and all other horror film fans interested in how Columbia does this kind of movie as opposed to Universal.
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