A mad scientist is forced to leave San Francisco when his experiments become known. He lands on a tropical island, takes control and terrorizes the local populace. The survivor of a ... See full summary »
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 fiancee, beautiful concert singer Isabel Lewis, wants to break off the engagement because she prefers the professor as a more "mature" lover but in reality loves Eric Iverson, 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
"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 »
What kind of corpse do I make, Mr. Egan?
Very nice, very nice indeed... considering you have the disavantage of being alive. Now if I was preparing you...
Never mind. That's one disadvantage I want to keep for a while.
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Of all the Universal stars and stock character actors, the one that seems to get lost in the shuffle the most is George Zucco. It is a shame as I can never say I saw him give a bad performance despite the lack of depth in the cinematic vehicle he was appearing in. Zucco is the star of Mad Ghoul and does a wonderful job playing a man obsessed with a pretty singer played by Evelyn Ankers. Zucco works with the fiancee of Ankers, both scientists working on what keeps life after death..in a zombie form at least. Ankers, however, is not quite sure she loves David Bruce still, and is having a relationship with the pianist touring with her, Turhan Bey, who has little to do in his role. Zucco somehow induces Bruce to become a zombie/ghoul at times...thus telling his pretty fiancee things that cool down the relationship so old George can have a crack at her..or so he thinks she might be so inclined toward him(not knowing about Bey of course). The Mad Ghoul is a wonderful film because it has some great scenes and dialogue for George Zucco. Zucco shines as a sinister man with a battle between moral conscience losing to his base desires. The rest of the cast is good(look for Robert Armstrong of King Kong fame), the scenes and graveyard sets in particular are very appropriate. Don't forget the Mad Ghoul when catching up with your list of Universal horror films. It is worth seeing if for no other reason than seeing Zucco in one of his finest performances.
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