Wednesday, 25 April 2007

The Dark Eyes of London (1940)

While the 1940s wasn’t a good decade for Bela Lugosi, and he found himself reduced to making B-movies for Poverty Row studios, some of his movies from that decade actually aren’t too bad. The Dark Eyes of London (also released as The Human Monster) was made in England, and it’s really a crime thriller with a seasoning of horror. Lugosi plays a kind of mad scientist; he’s actually a “brilliant but unstable” doctor who has been forbidden to practice medicine. He now makes a living from insurance scams, scams that involve murder. He also runs a charity for the blind, and he has the blind people helping him in his plots which adds a slightly odd touch that works quite well. The rest of the cast are a tad on the bland side, but Lugosi is in good form. There’s some nice atmosphere, with plenty of mysterious shadows and some fairly creepy and effective sets. Overall it’s surprisingly entertaining. Definitely recommended for Lugosi fans, and for fans of mystery and horror B-movies.

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