18 April 2005 | fwmurnau
Awful script and direction wastes good cast
A good story and a good cast are wasted in this amateurishly written and directed misfire. It's nearly as bad as Ed Wood films like PLAN NINE FROM OUTER SPACE.
How these no-talents managed to engage so many name actors is a mystery. It was a French production, I guess, and they tried to film it in French and English, but the results are amazingly tacky and clumsy.
Virtually every scene falls flat or is unintentionally funny. But it's not quite bad enough to be good, like PLAN NINE. It's just bad.
What's worse? Christopher Lee's unintentionally comic "maniacal laughter"? Or the jaunty, jazzy musical score. Apparently no one told the composer he was writing music for a horror film. The grimmest scenes are accompanied by toodling flutes and cheery jazz riffs that would be more appropriate to a 1960s documentary on "Swingin' London".
The best version BY FAR of this much-filmed story is 1935's MAD LOVE, directed by the great Karl Freund, with Peter Lorre.