Saturday, October 04, 2014

31 Days of Halloween - Day 4 - Movie 2

In The Man They Could Not Hang (1939) Boris Karloff plays Dr. Savaard, a scientist who invents a machine that can bring people back to life, the idea being that complex surgeries could be performed on patients with greater ease and success by causing the patients to die first, then revive them after the surgery was completed. His first attempt to do so on a human volunteer ends in tragedy when the police stop his experiment before he could bring his volunteer back to life. No one believes Savaard's claims, and he is sentenced to death. Savaard's assistant revives his corpse, and the resurrected Savaard carries out a plot of vengeance and murder against all parties involved in his conviction.

This low budget film moves along at a pretty brisk pace. The opening is appropriately tragic, and Karloff does a good job in the short amount of time allowed to take his character from benevolent man of science to madman of vengeance. The sequence where he traps the people he wants dead in his own home is a clever sequence involving inventive death traps and mounting tension. This second tier Karloff vehicle is a perfectly enjoyable viewing experience.

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