The Phantom Creeps (1939)

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The bravura performance of Bela Lugosi is the main selling card for the 12-episode Universal serial The Phantom Creeps. Unhinged by the death of his wife, Dr. Alex Zorka (Lugosi) vows to avenge himself on the world with a variety of strange inventions, including a "disvisualizer belt" which allows him to carry out his perfidy under the cloak of invisibility. Zorka also terrorizes the countryside with an eight-foot-tall robot, which appears to have enlarged kidneys (no wonder he's so grouchy!) Defying both the US government and various foreign spies, Zorka charts his own villainous course, keeping one step ahead of the nominal hero and heroine, Captain Bob West (Robert Kent) and girl reporter Jean Drew (Dorothy Arnold). One particularly spectacular laboratory sequence was "borrowed" via stock footage from the 1936 Universal horror film The Invisible Ray, which also starred Lugosi. The rip-roaring climax finds the demented Zorka flying high above the ocean, carrying a vial of deadly explosives with which he intends to blow up the world (one wonders where he plans to land his plane). A feature-length cutdown of The Phantom Creeps (75 minutes) is also available on videotape.
Rating: NR
Genre: Classics , Horror , Science Fiction & Fantasy
Directed By: Ford Beebe , Ford I. Beebe , Ford I. Beebe , Saul A. Goodkind
Written By: Wyllis Cooper , George Plympton , Basil Dickey , Mildred Barish
On DVD:
Runtime:
VCI

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Cast

Edward Van Sloan
as Chief Jarvis
Edwin Stanley
as Dr. Fred Mallory
Dora Clement
as Ann Zorka
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Audience Reviews for The Phantom Creeps

Since this was originally a serial, I'll pardon the bad editing. Outside of that, it's an alright idea, although it gets slow at points and you get tired of the characters. The robot was neat enough, and Lugosi played his part well. The ending is a hit-or-miss.

Wes Shad
Wes Shad
½

Bela Lugosi plays a scientist who creates really cool inventions like an invisibility cloak and an exploding insect. It's really pretty interesting, but towards the end gets kind of silly.

Aj V
Aj V

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