Bowery at Midnight casts Bela Lugosi as Professor Brenner, a psychology instructor at New York University (which looks a lot like Berkeley in the exterior shots). When not enlightening his students -- most of them buxom Monogram starlets -- Brenner is engaged in charitable work, running a mission in the Bowery. In truth, however, the kindly professor is a fiend in human form, who uses his mission as a front for a vast criminal empire. When Judy (Wanda McKay), one of Brenner's students, stumbles onto the truth, she's targeted for extermination by the Dr. Jekyll-and-Mr. Hyde prof. Hal Erickson, Rovi
Despite the typical Monogram drawbacks -- murky photography, stolid staging, ramshackle sets -- The Corpse Vanishes remains one of the more deliciously outrageous horror exercises of the 1940s. Bela Lugosi, as hammy as ever, stars as Dr. Lorenz, a European horticulturist whose octogenarian wife (Elizabeth Russell) needs fluids from the glands of young virgins to remain forever young and beautiful. Jumping to conclusions, the insane medico's rationale seems to be that the best place to find a virgin is at the altar. Consequently, seven young women are in short order poisoned by a mysterious orchid just before their "I do's" and brought in a catatonic state to Dr. Lorenz' mansion in Brookdale. Cub reporter Pat Hunter (Luana Walters) is on to the scheme and visits the Lorenz estate under the pretense of researching an article on orchids. With a typical sound-stage storm brewing up, she agrees to spend the night, and what a night it proves to be. Not only is poor Pat awakened by a visit from Dr. Lorenz' slobbering, hunchbacked helper, Angel (Frank Moran, who stalks her while eating a drumstick), the reporter is also slapped in the face by the disagreeable countess, snubbed by a nasty dwarf (Angelo Rossitto), and nearly suffers the same fate as the poor brides when rescued in the nick of time by an enraged housekeeper (Minerva Urecal) and her boyfriend, Dr. Foster (Tristram Coffin). Hans J. Wollstein, Rovi
Director Monte Hellman (who would later direct a young Jack Nicholson on two low-budget westerns) earned his low-budget wings on Filmgroup's bizarre fusion of hostage/crime thriller and big-rubber-monster flick -- a quirky juxtaposition employed to similar effect 35 years later in From Dusk Till Dawn. The story begins with a team of gold thieves hiding out in a ski resort cabin after a heist, taking two people hostage as they prepare to smuggle their loot across the Canadian border -- unaware of the giant, icky-looking spider-monster lurking in a nearby cave, which preys on anyone unlucky enough to stumble near its lair. The film's woodland exteriors add a richness lacking in the typical dusty desert settings of this film's genre contemporaries. The cobwebby monster is played by Chris Robinson, later the star of General Hospital. Cavett Binion, Rovi
In Condemned to Live, Ralph Morgan stars as Professor Paul Kriston, the kindly and generous doctor of a tiny European village. So well-liked is Kriston that the beautiful Marguerite Mane (Maxine Doyle) is willing to marry him, even though she loves another man, young David (Russell Gleason). Things take a sinister turn when a series of murders occur in the village, apparently committed by a vampiric beast. David makes himself quite unpopular when he suggests that the killer may be a human being. Meanwhile, Professor Kriston turns to an old family friend, Dr. Anders Bizet (Pedro de Cordoba), for a possible solution to the murder spree, but Bizet is strangely secretive. Condemned to Live was filmed on standing sets at Universal City and on location at Bronson Canyon. Hal Erickson, Rovi
- Horror Comedy, Satire, Crime Thriller, Sci-Fi Horror, Creature Film
- Doctors and Patients, Vampires, Hostage Situations, Human Giants, Woman In Jeopardy, Members of the Press, Americans Abroad, Mad Scientists, Double Life, Time Sleepers, Experiments Gone Awry, Cons and Scams, Terror in the Water, Mutants, Murder Investigations
- 08 hr 43 min
- June 7, 2005
- Ed Kemmer , Anne Kimbell , Ralph Morgan , Bela Lugosi , Michael Forest
- Gwen Kenyon , Anna Hope , Lucille Vance , Lew Kelly , Frank Moran , John Farrell MacDonald , Joan Barclay , Ray Miller , Carl Stockdale , Lucy Beaumont , Kenneth Harlan , John Berkes , Inez Palange , Vince Barnett , Wyott Ordung , Wally Campo , Bob Steele , Mischa Auer , Minerva Urecal , Elizabeth Russell , Morris Ankrum , Richard Sinatra , Tom Neal , Jack Hayes , Pedro de Cordoba , Tristram Coffin , Buddy Baer , Russell Gleason , Frank Wolff , Wanda McKay , Sheila Carol , Sally Fraser , Luana Walters , John Archer , Stuart Wade , Maxine Doyle , Bernard Gorcey , Richard Pinner , Edmundo Rivera Alvarez , Dave "Tex" O'Brien , Edward Wain , Anthony Carbone , Robert Towne , Robert Bean , Sonya Noemi , Betsy Jones-Moreland , Angelo Rossitto , Wheeler Oakman , George Eldredge
- Roger Corman , Monte Hellman , Frank Strayer , Wyott Ordung , Wallace W. Fox , Coleman Francis , Richard E. Cunha
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