Friday, February 25, 2011

The Body Snatcher (1945)

No, not one of the Invasion Of movies. 1945's The Body Snatcher is based on a Robert Louis Stevenson short story. I should see if I have a copy of it to see how close it comes. Here, the body snatcher is a man who steals dead bodies and sells them to medical students. His name is Cabman John Gray, but folks round town call him Boris.

Young hot-shot medical student has second thoughts about his chosen profession, but the cold hearted head doctor takes him under his wing and makes him his apprentice. Here he learns that not all cadavers the college uses are obtained in a strictly legal manner.

Young good doctor feels a little better about it when he decides to champion the case of a young girl who lost the use of her legs in the same accident that made her hot momma a widow. Hubba hubba. When young good doctor finally convinces old heartless doctor to actually touch a patient, he once again needs the service of even older, evil cabman.

But the body Boris brings back is a little fresher than most. If it weren't for the poor little girl, and her hot momma, he would have some serious misgivings about this arrangement. Besides, you can't turn in the guy who you buy dead bodies from.

Anyhow, we find out more of Cold Old Doctor and Evil Older Cabman's history together. Seems that the cabman did some serious time for protecting the identity of the old doctor, and he uses that fact to his advantage. How does it end? You'll just have to rent it. Bela Lugosi plays Ygor to the Old Doctor.

This came on the same DVD as I Walked with a Zombie and was something of a surprise. While I liked the former better, this had the same quality production. It was directed by Robert Wise, who has his name on films like The Day the Earth Stood Still, The Sound of Music, and West Side Story. Sadly, he also has his name attached with stinkers like Star Trek: The Motion Picture.

Now, everybody know the Bela Lugosi voice. I Vant to Bite your Neck! There is also a Boris Karloff voice, an over-the-top English accent parodied in the song, The Monster Mash. Here is the first film where I heard that voice. Boris was a bit over the top, but it worked. Each film I see him in I am impressed anew. AMRU 4.

1 comment:

  1. Probably the best of the handful Karloff/Lugosi flicks. One of my faves of the '40s.