Film (1932). First National/Warner Bros. Directed by Michael Curtiz (1888-1962). Written by Robert Tasker, Earl Baldwin, based on a play by Howard W Comstock and Allen C Miller. Cast includes Lionel Atwill, Preston Foster, Lee Tracy and Fay Wray. 77 minutes. Original prints two-strip Technicolor; later black and white.
A series of cannibalistic murders committed when the Moon is full is investigated by reporter Lee Taylor (Tracy) and medical expert Dr Jerry Xavier (Atwill), the latter (also a suspect) making use of a crude Lie Detector. Love interest is supplied by Xavier's daughter Joan (Wray). The killings prove, in this blend of sf, Horror and the whodunnit, to have been carried out by amputee Scientist Dr Wells (Foster) while maddened by the effect of his newly invented synthetic flesh, from which he can grow a temporary artificial arm. Curtiz's customary hard-edged direction enlivens this early, low-budget potboiler. A more sophisticated version of the central idea is found in Darkman (1990). [JB/PN/DRL]
see also: The Vampire Bat.
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