Films listed in the "M" section of The Psychotronic Encyclopedia of Film by Michael Weldon (Ballantine Books, 1983), the single…
The Mysterious Doctor
The citizens of a tiny Cornish village are tormented during World War II by a headless ghost which is haunting the local tin mine.
[Originally published at the now defunct cinespect.com.]
The Mysterious Doctor (1943) is a delightful nothing of a movie, a fog-shrouded Warner Brothers programmer that does a nifty job of being both a cheapjack horror flick con job and an example of WWI propaganda at its most cheerfully absurd.
With its Cornish setting and affection for broad English stereotypes, the movie fits awkwardly into the mini-tradition of know-your-ally productions such as 1942 Best Picture winner Mrs. Miniver and the Irene Dunne vehicle White Cliffs of Dover (1944) though we’re a long way away from Nazis hiding out in Greer Garson’s kitchen.
The quaintly abstract backdrop gives notice that Warner Brothers had been paying attention to Universal Studios’ contemporaneous monster movies. But…
A mysterious doctor appears in a mining town where the towns people has stopped mining because of a headless ghost who roams the mines and chops off peoples heads. Descent effort with some atmospheric scenes.
Tepid horror B-programmer from WB’s vaults. The doc arrives in a small town that has abandoned its mines due to the curse of a headless ghost rumoured to decapitate his victims, which promptly appears when he wanders down there to investigate. The townfolk blame a mentally challenged young man, but it’s really part of a Nazi plot (?!). Surprisingly gruesome for the time, but the plot is both predictable and preposterous. Not a bad timekiller, however.
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