Genre: Horror, Mad Scientist
Source: Rental (Netflix)
Well another day goes by and once again I find myself watching a damn good Bela Lugosi movie based on an Edgar Allan Poe story. Or better put "loosely" based. Though unlike 41`s The Black Cat this one is slightly more faithful to its source material. Never the less though this movie completely strays from the original Poe story about a old detective and a macabre murder case. No instead this movie takes its own path based around a mad scientist, rage, revenge, and obsession. It strays in other aspects as well such as it isn't a mystery story at all like the original book, and Duplin rather then being an old detective is portrayed here as a young scientist.
Now in defence of this movie it does keep a couple elements from the original book like the psycho gorilla, the two women who are assaulted in their house, and the body that gets stuffed/crammed into the chimney. All these were graciously included into this movie.
Though one thing in this movie i`d like to praise in particular is the style of directing this film took on. The director Robert Florey (who was a contender to direct the original Frankenstein!), definitely was at his best here. He brings in some insanely dark, eerie, creepy atmospheres that with Bela Lugosi work just so well. I also admittadly picked up on the very high influence of German Expressionism through out this movie, particularly that of The Cabinet Of Doctor Caligari. Just look at the set design and you`ll see what I mean.
The other thing I wanted to bring to light was the performance of Bela Lugosi in this. Wow, he was truly incredible in this, also it was his first Horror movie role since Dracula (which I think came out a little less then a year before this). Anyway`s Lugosi brings in a certain amount of madness and obsession into his character that it will make you shiver a little in comfortableness!
Sadly though upon this movie`s release it was a box office disappointment, which lead to Universal refusing to renew Lugosis oe year contract with them. Not only that but apparently this movie was drastically cut, from 80 mins to the 61 mins that we have today in order to "tone it down'' of all ridiculousness. Fortunately it does not show at all and i`d have never none otherwise unless I hadn`t read it already on IMDB.com. Any how bottom line this movie Rocks. Its dark, its disturbing, and its got Bela Lugosi at his all time best one again. Its a true piece of artwork and an overall amazing horror film.