Join or Sign In

Sign in to customize your TV listings

Continue with Facebook Continue with email

By joining TV Guide, you agree to our Terms of Use and acknowledge the data practices in our Privacy Policy.

The Corpse Vanishes Reviews

Bela Lugosi's career was well on the skids by 1942 as this programmer testifies, but the film has a genuinely weird quality that makes it well worth investigating. Lugosi plays a mad botanist who kidnaps virgin brides from the altar to provide glandular injections needed to keep his 80-year-old wife (Elizabeth Russell) fresh and young. Assisting him are an old woman and her half-wit son (Minerva Urecal and Frank Moran) and a dwarf named Toby (Angelo Rossitto). A girl reporter (Luana Walters) finally cracks the case. What with a gothic castle, a crazy botanist, poison orchids, virgin brides, glandular injections, an old hag, and a dwarf, this is a pretty strange film. Monogram even managed to work a hint of Lugosi's Dracula image into the proceedings by having him and Russell sleep in matching coffins. This created a problem during shooting, however, for when it came time for the couple to retire for the night, Russell was afraid to step into the coffin and refused to do the scene. A double was used instead. This is also one of several films that paired Lugosi with dwarf actor Rossitto; others include BLACK DRAGONS (1942) and Lugosi's only color film, SCARED TO DEATH (1947)--another very odd movie, which would make a nice double-bill with this one.