Sunday, 5 November 2017

"Doctor X" 1931 From the Video Vault

I have mixed feelings about this campy horror pic. It is bizarre, corny, tedious and confounding in equal doses. Its 77 minutes running time seems more like 107 minutes. The two-colour Technicolour adds to the the film's weirdness. Production design is very German Expressionist. The sets are the stars (seedy waterfronts, spooky manor, dark corridors, strange staircases), although Lionel Atwill ("Son of Frankenstein") has fun.
Forget the grating main hero's (Lee Tracy) vaudevillian antics. When the villain starts his "Synthetic flesh! Synthetic flesh" scene, your jaw will drop.
First National (Warner Bros) tried to jump on Universal's horror bandwagon (after the release of "Dracula" and "Frankenstein"), so we have mad scientists, a full-moon killer, rape and cannibalism. This film was made pre- Hays Censorship Code. But the film doesn't really work as a horror movie or a who-done-it.

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