So I decided to watch... well the next movie that came across my desk. Never heard of this little gem before. It seems like a pretty big deal movie too. Where had I been? We have both Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi! Both! Like I need to say this but they are tremendous actors in this genre and both preform incredibly. Hugely iconic.
The story is bizarre and loosely biased on an Edgar Allan Poe tale. Yes, this is yet again another Poe inspired movie. These movies are a dime a dozen right now. However, this one does it right. The story is memorable and fun. A couple meets a weird Doctor (Bela) on a train. They get into a pretty horrible accident and people are killed. It's pretty obvious, but they never speak of this again. Instead The doctor and the couple continue on. They all stumble, pretty conveniently, to the Doctors destination. A house owned and built by Boris Karloff's character, a psychotic and Satan-worshiping architect. The story states that the architect stole the doctors love during the war and put him into an internment camp when he returned. So Bela came to this place with these people to pay a little visit to the man that screwed him over, so many years prior.
There are numerous versions released all with different cuts. I hear that one of the cuts actually has a decent amount of early gore in it. They even show a skinning, though I've yet to see it. Unfortunately, I had to watch the condensed 59 minuet version. I suggest finding a longer version. The shortness did it no justice. It did, however, show things that were incredibly shocking for its time. For example; it showed Boris Karloff in the same bed as a woman, which is uncalled for in horror movies until this point really. The film also shows a woman being kissed on the neck, pretty passionately. This is a milestone movie, hell it was produced by Universal.
A movie this memorable should be an attraction. It does have its flaws though there are problems with continuity, bodies moving, and the whole driver thing. Those flaws only serve to be the charm of a movie with this much nostalgia. I recommend this movie to anyone that wants to delve deeper into the horror realm.
Director: Edgar G. Ulmer
Starring: Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi, David Manners, and Jacqueline Wells
Style: Classic Thriller