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Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Doctor X (1932)

A mad murderer known as the "full moon killer", who eats the flesh of his victims, terrorizes a metropolitan city. The suspects are narrowed down to the staff of a medical research facility. The head (Lionel Atwill) of the institute decides to conduct experiments among his staff to expose the killer but this puts his daughter (Fay Wray) in danger. Directed by Michael Curtiz in the early two strip Technicolor process. This pre-code (cannibalism and there's a scene in a brothel) mixture of horror and science fiction more than creaks a bit but that only increases its charm. The second half of the film takes place in one of those huge secluded cliff side mansions on a dark and stormy night, a perfect setting for the hysteria that follows. Wray can lay claim to being the original "scream queen" though she only gets to exercise her lungs once or twice here. Unfortunately, the killer is pretty obvious which takes away from any possible suspense the movie may have but luckily the cast of stock types emote as if their lives depended on it including Lee Tracy doing his patented fast talking reporter bit. With Preston Foster, Harry Beresford, John Wray, Arthur Edmund Carewe and Leila Bennett. 

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