The Corpse Vanishes
THE CORPSE VANISHES. 1942

Director: Wallace Fox

Reviewed by Paghat the Ratgirl



There have been a series of bridal deaths at the alters, followed by theft of the brides bodies, orchestrated by a mad professor (Bela Legosi). Girl reporter Patricia Hunter (Luana Walters) discovers that every dead bride received a toxic orchid just before going down the aisle to take vows, & soon tracks down a certain orchid fancier, Professor Lornez.

The Corpse VanishesThe brides turn out to be in a state of suspended animation, but do not live long, & end up in morgue drawers in the basement. Professor Lorenz slowly kills them by taking glandular extracts to rejuvenate his beloved, the Countess (Elizabeth Russell), who is vastly older than she appears.

The professor & the countess have twin coffins that they sleep in, though he at least is at no time shown to be vampires, & even the Countess seems more of an experiment gone awry than a vampire, the term never being used. Sleeping in coffins is merely an eccentricity, which is explained in giddy terms by the Professor as "more comfortable than a bed."

Their "family" is odd, including a lusty mental deficient (Frank Morgan), a sinister dwarf (Angelo Rossitto, whose long career scored him roles from Tod Robbins' 1932 classic Freaks to Mad Max Beyond Thunderdrome in 1985), plus their edgy mom Fagah (Minerva Urecal).

The professor's unwitting confederate, Dr. Foster, doesn't know about the basement full of corpse brides. He & the reporter stay in the spooky mansion on a dark & stormy night, when the usual happens, Cat & the Canary sort of secret passages & what not.

It's all fairly lame melodramatics but fun to watch Legosi scowl menacingly from time to time, & there are at least a half-dozen truly campy moments. In a perfunctory climax, Pat is saved, the professor & countess meet their just reward, & best of all, Pat quits the paper so she can marry the doctor.

copyright by Paghat the Ratgirl



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