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Bela Lugosi's Dead Pt 2

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Posted 24th April 2009 at 10:52 PM by Sam@Cult Labs

Scared To Death

Lugosi's only starring role in a colour film is not among his best work, but Bela is never boring to watch, even in a real crud like 'Bela Lugosi meets a Brooklyn Gorilla' (you can't make these titles up...).

In Scared To Death we follow the narration of a deceased woman who describes the events leading to her demise. Opening in a morgue, we here that a beautiful lady has died of fright, but how did such a terrible thing occur? The poor woman is married to a doctor's son and is being subjected to mental health treatment against her will. The doctor and his son seem to be trying to drive her mad in order to end the marriage...The scurvy dogs!

When a strange man accompanied by a deformed dwarf shows up we find out he's the doctors' brother but the wife is petrified of them because they are foreign. It transpires that her husband was murdered by Nazi's and now the evil gang try to implicate her in his slaying. Can anyone help this tortured soul?

Well, no... we already know she's dead at the top of the picture so that kind of kills any tension. What's left is a rather ropey B picture with only Bela doing anything to lift it out of the mire. There is still entertainment to be had watching all these non-actors trying to maintain their dignity and the ridiculous dwarf is fun. Worth watching once if you love Lugosi like I do and bad movie fans will cherish it.

The Corpse Vanishes

Bela Lugosi starred in numerous low budget schlock horror movies once his star faded but The Corpse Vanishes is definitely one of the better offerings.

Lugosi is a botanist trying to rejuvenate his 80 year old wife by shooting her up with the bodily fluids of youthful virgin brides (or Boswelox as it is now more commonly known...). He induces a death like state in the unfortunate young woman by means of a rare orchid that the woman wear at their weddings, which gives off poisonous fumes that knocks them out. Once declared dead he steals the bodies and stores them like a morbid living blood bank until they are needed.

A gutsy female reporter sniffs out a story when she visits the evil doctor with a young man who is going to Lugosi's house on business. Everything about the set up there is odd, from the doctor's peculiar manner to his dwarf and half-wit assistants. The house's twisting staircases and secret panels soon lead her to the awful truth and she sets up a fake wedding to trap the murderous Bela before he can kill again...

OTT acting and spooky weirdness abound in this B-movie classic and it's a shame Bela couldn't transcend his most famous role as Dracula, as he was terrific old ham who deserved better roles than some of the unfortunate rubbish he end up doing in order to scrape by.
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  1. Old Comment
    Great piece on a true B movie legend Sam .
    TCV is definitly one of the better films Bela done after "his star faded."
    It was a crime imo how Lugosi was treated later in his life.

    Its good to see the great mans name on THE place to be , Cult Labs .

    5 stars.
    Comment with Quote permalink
    Posted 25th April 2009 at 12:23 AM by vipco vipco is offline
  2. Old Comment
    Sam@Cult Labs's Avatar
    He needs his own tribute page on here.
    Comment with Quote permalink
    Posted 25th April 2009 at 07:19 PM by Sam@Cult Labs Sam@Cult Labs is offline
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