“Another kidnapping of a dead bride’s corpse — what a story!”
A spunky reporter (Luana Walters) investigates a rash of kidnappings involving brides who faint and die at the alter after receiving orchid corsages. When she learns about a mysterious madman (Bela Lugosi) who creates a serum from the brides’ corpses to keep his aging wife (Elizabeth Russell) looking youthful, Walters — with the help of a concerned doctor (Tristram Coffin) — concocts a plan to trap him.
Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:
- Amateur Sleuths
- Bela Lugosi Films
- Mad Doctors and Scientists
This run-of-the-mill horror flick by Monogram Pictures is, as noted by Richard Schreib at his Moria Reviews site, “marginally better” than most of the Poverty Row studios pictures produced at the time — but ultimately not good enough to merit inclusion in Peary’s book. Bela Lugosi’s performance is as limited as ever:
… and the plot — while mildly titillating — is full of holes (are the kidnapped brides really dead? why does Lugosi need so many? how long does his special serum last? is he looking for virgin blood?).
While no great actress, Luana Walters — as the film’s feisty, no-nonsense protagonist — ultimately emerges as the most enjoyable aspect of the film; too bad she’s given such a dated and cliched final scene.
Redeeming Qualities and Moments:
- A refreshingly spunky female lead (Luana Walters)
No, unless you’re a diehard Bela Lugosi fan.