Monday, October 31, 2011

The Body Snatcher

Due to a shortage of cadavers, a consummate doctor is forced to resort to buying specimens from a grave robbing carriage driver in 1830s London, who continually blackmails and intimidates the doctor. When the need for dead bodies becomes more urgent and the cabbies deeds become more suspicious, he resorts to more sinister methods of providing his services. Based on a short story from Robert Louis Stevenson, director Robert Wise's "The Body Snatcher" is the product of RKO studio's famed horror producer Val Lewton, who also coscripted under his pseudonym Carlos Keith. It was the last film to feature a collaboration between Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi and both men, Karloff playing the cabbie and Lugosi in a smaller supporting role as the doctor's assistant, give rousing, scene chewing performances. In addition to the fun work of both horror legends, Henry Daniell is good as well as the proper and determined doctor, and Wise creates an atmospheric film to back up his strong performers.