While absent minded scientist Arthur Hornsby (George Meeker)
experiments on his drug enabling suspended animation, a maniac (Edwin
Maxwell) prowls the premises of the Rinehart estate, the very place
Hornsby has his laboratory at. And soon enough, Richard Rinehart (Tully
Marshall), Hornsby's mentor and father of his bride-to-be Mary (Sally
Blane) is killed by the maniac ...
These events don't stop Hornsby's experiments for even a minute though,
and only a few days later - while the heirs are still fighting over their
inheritance, and while the maniac is still prowling the premises -
Hornsby invites a commitee of scientists to witness the progress of his
research ... and to that end, he has himself buried alive for eight hours.
But as soon as he is entombed, someone is starting to kill off the heirs
to the Rinehart fortune, first Rinehart's brother John (Bryant Washburn),
then his psychic maid Sika (Mary Frey) - to whom Rinehart has also left
some money. The police is positively baffled, but with Sika gone, her
husband (and Rinehart's servant) Degar (Bela Lugosi) vows revenge, and
soon enough, he and Mary's other love interest (besides Hornsby),
nosey reporter Tom Hartley (Wallace Ford) pick up investigations.
Eventually they not only kill the maniac, but catch the culprit of the
murders of Richard, Sika and John, which were only attributed to the
maniac. And it is ... Arthur Hornsby.
It turns out his whole experimenting with suspended animation was only
a fraud to get his hands on the Rinehart estate, and with him being
entombed (of course the tomb had a secret exit) he would have had a
perfect alibi ... well, almost perfeect, since Degar has suspected him for
a long time.
In a totally out-of-place (but amusing) ending, the maniac comes back
to life and threatens to go after everybody who gives away the ending of
the film ... ooops.
Top-billed Bela Lugosi has actually very little to do in this film and
is little more than a red herring. As a whole, the film is rather a
disappointment, an over-convoluted murder mystery made up of essentially
silly plot elements and plot twists. Not something to write home about.