Tuesday, October 10, 2006

31 Days of Halloween - Day 10 Movie

"The Mad Ghoul" (1943) was a real treat for me. I haven't seen it in such a long time, it was like seeing it for the first time, something I don't often get to say when it comes to one of the Universal horrors. I've been wanting to see it for so long, I was prepared to be completely disappointed. Instead, I found it highly enjoyable.

Eager to please medical student David Bruce doesn't know that he shouldn't get mixed up with George Zucco, who is pretty charismatic in this movie, and assists him in experiments to recreate an ancient poison gas. Zucco exposes Bruce to it, so that he can move in on Bruce's girlfriend, Evelyn Ankers, and turns Bruce into a living corpse, who obeys his every command.

The only way to revert Bruce, temporarily, to normal is by extracting hearts out of the recent dead. This sends them on a graverobbing, corpse mutilating, murder spree, interspersed with a love triangle between Bruce, Ankers, and Turhan Bey, with Zucco eager to eliminate the competition.

Seeing so many familiar faces from genre movies of this period (plus "King Kong" star, Robert Armstrong) increased my enjoyment of this movie. While not one of Universal's classics, I found it, at least, on par with some of their higher profile films from this period.

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