20 August 2014

The Mad Ghoul (1943)
65 min.
Directed by James P. Hogan.
David Bruce, Evelyn Ankers, George Zucco, Robert Armstrong, Turhan Bey, Milburn Stone, Andrew Tombes, Rose Hobart, Addison Richards.
Early zombie fun from Universal!

Experimental scientist Dr. Morris (Zucco) develops a nerve gas that can turn a man into one of the living dead.

He tests the concoction on his assistant Ted (Bruce) and voila - instant undead!

Morris now finds he can control his mindless subject with simple verbal commands. Only problem is, the whole effect is temporary, and requires substance from a human heart in order to sustain it.

Meanwhile, Morris has his eye on Ted's lovely girlfriend Isabel (Ankers). Perhaps the madman can use his new mind-slave to not only further his research, but to get the girl as well? What's not to like about this minor - but heartfelt - Universal horror from 1943?

With solid makeup FX by genius Jack Pierce, and a cast of familiar genre players including Zucco (1943's Dead Men Walk) and Ankers (1942's Ghost of Frankenstein), this one is worthy midnight viewing.

Bruce does some fine work as the lumbering creature, and Zucco underplays the mad doc role nicely.

Spicing up the pot are a few deliciously gruesome moments with the two as graverobbers.

Also known as Mystery of the Ghoul.

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