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Janet (Gloria Talbott) arrives at the mansion of her guardian Doctor
Lomas (Arthur Shields) with her fiancé George (John Agar) for her 21st
birthday, when she is to learn about her inheritance. Soon, she is in for
two surprises, one good one bad: The good one is that her guardian's
mansion is actually hers, and the vast fortune that goes with it. The bad
news though is that she is also the daughter of Dr Jekyll - yes, that Dr
Jekyll - and she might have inherited the family curse. When Janet goes to
sleep that night, she has a horrible dream about killing the maid (Molly
McCart), and on the next day, the maid is actually found dead. Now this
might still be a coincidence, but where are the traces of blood coming
The next few days, this incidence seems to repeat itself, and even
though Doc Lomas and George try to convince her it's just her nerves,
she's not so sure - after all, the blood on her nightgown is real, right?
And the corpses that turn up are real as well.
It's only eventually and
by chance that George finds out that Doc Lomas actually drugs and
hypnotizes Janet to believe she has killed all those people while he
himself turns into some kind of monster (Mr Hyde, most probably) who's
actually responsible for the murders. George wants to stop Lomas, but he
knocks him out and gets away ... but a bunch of torch- and stake-bearing
angry villagers ultimately do the trick and kill Lomas.
you wondered: Yes, the plot of this film is as silly as I make it sound,
and yet the film as such - thanks first and foremost to director Edgar
G.Ulmer - is a pretty good piece of horror cinema, atmospheric and
suspenseful in all the right places, making maximum use of the minimal
sets by including the architecture into its framing, and carried by expert
pacing not usually found in low budget horrors of the time.