The Corpse Vanishes is often described as a weird movie. Probably, given to the Monogram budget, made weirder due to the lowest common denominator production values. Yes, a cheapie done quickly; yes, a slow burner; yes, the editing needed a bit more oomph (okay, more than a bit; and that's at a running time of 63 minutes). Bela Lugosi, however, delivered his usually interesting mad-scientist performance and the staging is other worldly due to dialog and blocking that's either undercooked or overdone. But there's something about Bela Lugosi that is always watchable and, especially with the stern, sinister, face of Elizabeth Russell (Cat People, Return of the Cat People, The Seventh Victim) adding to the glum proceedings, the hour goes by with limited eye-rolls (for me, anyway). There's something to be said for Monogram's poverty row horrors, which range from say what? to what did I just watch? that captures the 1940s like no other movie from that period does. With Angelo Rossito (all 34 inches of him) tossed into the mix (well, maybe 'tossed' is the wrong word to use around small persons, but you know what I mean), and Minerva Urecal adding the criminal element that she brings so well, I recommend you catch the blu ray for this movie or the MST3K laugh-fest version. I also point you to reading Poverty Row Horrors! by Tom Weaver, which covers the Monogram, PRC, and Republic horrors of the 1940s for more information on this notable category of horror cinema. While I don't always agree with Weaver's critical assessments, he does provide a lot of background information of interest.
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