A physician on death row for a mercy killing is allowed to experiment on a serum using a criminals' blood, but secretly tests it on himself. He gets a pardon, but finds out he's become a Jekyll-&-Hyde.
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
Dr. Julian Blair is engaged in unconventional research on human brain waves when his wife is tragically killed in a freak auto accident. The grief-stricken scientist becomes obsessed with redirecting his work into making contact with the dead and is not deterred by dire warnings from his daughter, his research assistant, or his colleagues that he is delving into forbidden areas of knowledge. He moves his laboratory to an isolated New England mansion where he continues to try to reach out to his dead wife. He is aided by his mentally-challenged servant Karl and abetted by the obsessive Mrs. Walters, a phony medium, who seems to exert a sinister influence over him. When their overly curious housekeeper discovers the truth about their experiments, her death brings the local sheriff in to investigate.Written by
Gabe Taverney (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Creepy tale has lots of atmosphere but silly plot...
BORIS KARLOFF is a scientist who wants to communicate with the brain waves of his dead wife. His daughter narrates the tale and concludes with: "It is dangerous to communicate with the dead." That's about the impression the viewer gets after seeing what happens in the course of a brisk one hour and six minutes.
Columbia produced this low-budget feature and gave the directing chores to Edward Dmytryk, who would later go on to bigger and better things at RKO. But it's an efficient thriller thanks to his direction and the low-key, shadowy photography that makes the absurd story at least come to life on occasion.
Enjoyable too are the performances of ANN REVERE as a sinister housekeeper who knows all about Karloff's experiments and what goes on behind the locked doors of his laboratory; DOROTHY ADAMS as an inquisitive servant who agrees to check out the lab and gets locked inside; and KENNETH MacDONALD as the Sheriff determined to find out who is responsible for all the missing bodies from the graveyard.
It's typical Karloff stuff and he lends his commanding presence to the role with more dignity than it deserves. If it emerges as a better than average horror vehicle, it's because director Dmytryk is at the helm, but the script is absurd. The low-budget production values are neatly hidden by all the shadowy photography.
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