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Someone is poisoning brides so they die in the middle of the ceremony,
then steals their bodies ... however, the police doesn't seem to do
anything in the case, only one society reporter, Pat Hunter (Luana
Walters) realizes if she could follow this story through it would be her
big break - even though her boss (Kenneth Harlan) would rather like to see
her to do society reports for the rest of her life than snooping around.
Anyways, Pat soon discovers a rare kind of orchid that was given to all
the dead and missing brides and that was apparently poisoned, and she soon
finds the only man in all of the USA who grows this orchids - Doctor
Lorenz. And since Doctor Lorenz is played by Bela Lugosi, it only comes
natural that he is indeed the bridekiller/bodysnatcher.
Doc Lorenz actually needs young women to keep the beauty of his wife,
the Countess (Elizabeth Russell) restored (why the women need to be brides
I don't know, and how the brides restore the beauty of his wife also
eludes me) and thus kidnaps brides on a regular basis, helped by an old
hag, Fagah (Minerva Urecal), and her two sons, the brute giant Angel
(Frank Moran) and the midget Toby (Angelo Rossitto).
Eventually, Pat arrives at Doc Lorenz' house together with family
Doctor Foster (Tristram Coffin), whom she soon falls in love with, and at
first she doesn't suspect anything bad about Lorenz, who even invites her
to stay for the night ... until at night, she wakes up with Angel
leaning over her and follows him down to the cellar where Lorenz keeps the
brides' bodies. And when she witnesses Lorenz kill Angel, she faints ...
... only to wake up in bed at Lorenz' place the very next morning. And
Lorenz doesn't even have any objections to her leaving, even though he has
overheard when she told her adventures from the previous night to Doc
By now, Pat is (understandably) convinced that Doc Lorenz is indeed
behind the case of the missing brides, and he persuades her boss to
stage a phony wedding, just to lure Lorenz out into the open. Lorenz
though is one step ahead of her, and instead of the phony bride (Gwen
Kenyon), he drugs and kidnaps Pat herself, and the cops, when seeing him
getting away, only manage to shoot midget Toby ...
Back at his lab, Lorenz wants to operate on Pat, but Fagah has grown
angry at him because through him, she has lost both her sons, so instead
of assisting him in the operation, she stabs him ... and he strangles her
to death with his dieing breath. When Pat awakens, she finds them both
dead, and all that is left for the police that arrives just now to do is to
arrest the Countess.
Of course the film is cheap, of course it's silly, and of course it has
more plotholes and leaps of reason than one can count - but it's also
pretty entertaining, provided you don't take it too seriously: The story
moves along at a reasonably fast pace, the dialogue is fittingly snappy,
Bela Lugosi is naturally an enjoyable villain, and Luana Walters makes a
spunky leading lady who manages to carry large portions of the film.
One of the better Monogram shockers.