John Considine plays the flamboyant Dr. Death, a thousand-year-old magician who has mastered he art of transferring souls from one body to another and thereby manages to perpetuate himself ...
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John Considine plays the flamboyant Dr. Death, a thousand-year-old magician who has mastered he art of transferring souls from one body to another and thereby manages to perpetuate himself by jumping from one body to the next. Apparently the Doc is a kindred spirit since his blood is a highly-corrosive acid that can strip flesh from bone. Written by
The legendary Berry Gordy, who turned out to be one of the film's financiers, was allowed to direct one sequence. This would be one of the sequences where Dr. Death is trying to convince a spirit to enter the wife's body. See more »
Now, would you listen to see if there is any heartbeat?
Volunteer in the Audience:
Oh, why, certainly!
[Dr. Death holds out a stethoscope, but the volunteer instead puts his ear directly against the dead girl's chest]
Volunteer in the Audience:
She's dead, all right. I couldn't feel - uh, I couldn't hear a thing.
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Soap actor John Considine is a bit too pretty and lightweight for the title role, and it's quite surreal to see Moe Howard appear in the first act of the movie, but DOCTOR DEATH is actually an interesting little movie that might have been better. It's very, very much of its time -- not just in terms of the production design but also its treatment of the occult and of horror stories -- but they really try to do a big story on a little budget. And that's nearly always a respectable thing.
For me, one of the highlights of the film is the brief (and silent) appearance of Larry "Seymour" Vincent, the premier Los Angeles horror host of the 1970s. He is part of an amusing movie-within-the-movie that actually makes you wish that you could see *that* movie instead of the one you're actually watching (DOCTOR DEATH)!
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