An Egyptologist returns from the dead to take revenge on those who have violated his tomb.An Egyptologist returns from the dead to take revenge on those who have violated his tomb.An Egyptologist returns from the dead to take revenge on those who have violated his tomb.
The history of this Karloff gem is fascinating. 'The Ghoul' had completely disappeared, not even the trailer survived. Yet in the 1980's (if I remember correctly), a lone nitrate print turned up in Prague, (with Hungarian subtitles) in *appalling* condition. Apparently, the nitrate film had shrunk to a mere third of it's original width, was exceptionally brittle and in a number of pieces yet was effectively restored... albeit not to the quality of it's release. Therefore, I was prepared to overlook the graininess, variable contrast and sound-track distortions.
'The Ghoul' belongs to Karloff. Had the film not vanished it would have become a hardy perennial of late night television horror alongside the Lemalle classics. As for the cast, sets and script (in that order), the film is superior to other horror classics of the period.
The story-line is vaguely reminiscent... an eccentric, terminally ill man (of Egyptian ancestry) decrees that a rare artefact must be entombed with him otherwise trouble will befall. As to be anticipated, the scarab jewel is removed from the hand of his corpse by a tomb robber not long after internment providing the impetus to wreak revenge in the signature fashion.
The quality of the film may distract some viewers, but the atmosphere retains most of it's inaugural impact. Definitely an eight and a half!
- May 24, 2001