Scared to Death (3 stars)

Scared to Death

(U) 65min (Network)

This B-movie chiller from 1947 is chiefly distinguished for being the only colour film to star Bela Lugosi (he appeared but did not star in the 1930 Technicolor film Viennese Nights). Lugosi was long into his poverty row years at this point in his career, so Scared to Death hardly ranks with his glory days as Universal’s horror star. Still, keeping fang firmly in cheek, there’s much to be savoured in this old dark house style mystery. In it, a dead woman recounts the bizarre tale of how she arrived on a slab in the morgue through a maze of murder involving a hypnotist (Lugosi, of course), a sinister doctor (horror cohort George Zucco), a midget and a mysterious figure in a blue mask. The deliciously hammy dialogue alone is worth watching the film for: ‘Pardon me, Professor, but didn’t I just see you outside baying at the moon?’ No extras.

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