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Thursday, December 29, 2016

Warner Tries a Wartime Horror


The Mysterious Doctor (1943) Is Hour Long Guessing

A wartime Warners horror film (yes, I'd call it that) that should have been put into a dedicated chiller package for TV, but apparently never was. There is a headless ghost decapitating others on swampy ground you'd expect Sherlock Holmes to investigate were this Universal. Shock-folk lend comfort of recognition: John Loder, Lester Matthews (he of The Raven and Werewolf Of London), and Matt Willis, who'd go wolfish for Columbia a same year with Return Of The Vampire. WB overlays the whole with German scheme to exploit a haunted tin mine outside "a tiny Cornish village," further linking The Mysterious Doctor to us v. Axis strategy of the Sherlock series, though by the time they'd gotten around to The Scarlet Claw, which is very similar to this, the war references were dropped from Holmes in favor of straight mystery with horrific overlace. The convenience of a programmer like this was Warners' ability to package it with another of thriller inclination, The Gorilla Man, to have a chill program for 1943 marketing that saw nearly all monster movies sold as B's and in pairs.

3 Comments:

Blogger Randy Jepsen said...

Our local CREATURE FEATURE ran THE GORILLA MAN one week. Talk about a rip-off.

8:41 AM  
Blogger Reg Hartt said...

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x14sy3f_mysterious-doctor-1943_shortfilms

10:00 AM  
Blogger Dave K said...

You've done it again! Don't know how I never crossed paths with this one, but thanks to your piece and Reg Hartt's link I can report, yeah, it's kinda okay!

11:11 AM  

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