3 July 2007 | Witchfinder-General-666
"I Find A Coffin Much More Comfortable Than A Bed."
Wallace Fox' "The Corpse Vanishes" of 1942 starring his greatness Bela Lugosi, is certainly not one of the highlights of Lugosi's career, but it is certainly underrated and its reputation of being total garbage is, in my opinion, unfair. The plot is chaotic and the movie is certainly not very good and completely illogical in many parts, but is has a certain atmosphere and its creepy moments, as well as some very funny ones.
After several brides drop dead during their marriage ceremonies and their bodies are stolen, the police are unable to find any clues. When a female journalist (Luana Walters) decides to do some research, her investigations lead her to the sinister Dr. Lorenz (Lugosi) , who lives in an eerie mansion with his sardonic wife and a bunch of freaks...
It seems to me that director Fox actually didn't do a bad job bringing a completely messy script to screen. The movie's beginning is, admittedly annoying, and so fast-paced that hardly a scene lasts longer than half a minute. The movie improves after some time, however, and even though some parts are still incredibly cheesy (and therefore unintentionally funny), "The Corpse Vanishes" becomes quite atmospheric after some time. The atmosphere is aided by a pretty nice score (mostly violin music, which fits in very well), and I really liked some of the characters.
Bela Lugosi is, of course, always a pleasure to watch, this man knew how to bring eeriness to screen in a very special and unique way and his status as one of Horror's greatest icons is more than justified. Elisabeth Russel does a great job playing Lugosi's creepy wife, a malevolent and sardonic countess, whose spiteful character becomes great fun to watch at times. Luana Walters also fits well into her role and the cast furthermore contains Angelo Rositto (the midget from Tod Browning's masterpiece "Freaks" of 1932).
All things considered, "The Corpse Vanishes" is a movie that is certainly illogical and incredibly cheesy at times, but it has a certain atmosphere, and Bela Lugosi, as well as some of the other cast members make a good effort making up for the messy script. Certainly not a must-see, but amusing and recommended to Lugosi fans. 5/10