Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

DARK EYES OF LONDON


DARK EYES OF LONDON [aka HUMAN MONSTER/1939-British). Director: Walter Summers.

Bela Lugosi not only runs an insurance company that drowns its clients for profit, but also disguises himself (with white fright wig and dubbed voice) as the kindly head of a Society for the Blind. Lugosi’s latest victim turns out to have a living heir, but the man is dispatched by Lugosi’s hulking, disfigured servant anyway, as Lugosi is still the beneficiary. But the man’s daughter turns up in London and meets a police man who is investigating a series of murders (all tied to the insurance scam). Dark Eyes is not a schlocky programmer by any means, but is well-produced and features an excellent performance by Lugosi, who gives his portrayal of the evil man 100% and then some. Watch him throwing one poor victim out of a second story doorway and into the river, or intoning "they were in my way" as he speaks of other victims. Lugosi’s character wanted to be a doctor but was turned down and pronounced "brilliant but unbalanced." Let’s face it – no one is better at being bitter than Bela Lugosi! A bit slow, and there’s way too much of the cops, but otherwise this is a nice, entertaining surprise with several nifty sequences.

Verdict: Definitely worth a look. ***.

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