Two cinematic legends ? Boris Karloff (Frankenstein) and Peter Lorre (Casablanca) ? join forces in a movie that combines spine-tingling thrills with slapstick comedy. Karloff stars as bumbling scientist Nathaniel Billings, whose experiments have led to the deaths of several traveling salesmen, leaving their bodies piling up in the cellar. When a young divorcee (Jeff Donnell, Sweet Smell of Success) buys the professor's house to create a hotel, it's only a matter of time before suspicions arise. The town's sheriff/doctor/loan shark (Lorre) looks to stop Billings, but sees the financial gain and becomes his partner instead. Will the doctor's experiments be stopped before more bodies get added to the cellar? Newly remastered.
In this silly but enjoyable rip-off of ARSENIC AND OLD LACE, Boris Karloff plays an addlepated scientist who is experimenting with bringing the dead back to life. To do this, he has "killed" several travelling salesmen and placed them in suspended animation in his basement. Karloff is fiercely protected by his housekeeper (Maude Eburne), who is none too normal herself. Beauteous real estate agent Jeff Donnell approaches Karloff to buy his New England home; Donnell wishes to turn the ramshackle domicile into a rustic inn. Other visitors to the Karloff manse are Donnell's ex-husband Larry Parks, and the local sheriff/justice of the peace (Peter Lorre)! who holds the high-interest mortgage on the house. Travelling peddler Maxie Rosenbloom also shows up, and is promptly made a subject of Karloff's experimentation. It turns out that Karloff has really killed no one--all the salesmen are merely stunned, especially the dimwitted Rosenbloom--but the plot is complicated by a real murder, committed by person or persons unknown. As the convoluted storyline runs down, the Karloff home is invaded by an Italian P.O.W. (Frank Puglia) who is wired with explosives, and finally by representatives of the local booby hatch.
Mad Doctor |
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