Check the Lost & Found Dept.
In Monogram Picture’s The Corpse Vanishes, Lugosi is at it again. Young brides have been dropping dead at the altar all over town, and immediately after the corpses have been – um, vanishing. It is a reporter, this time pretty Luana Walters, who traces the clues back to the spooky house of the local mad scientist, Dr. Lorenz. She’s the only one that suspects that the extremely suspicious behavior of said scientist is indicative of nasty business. It seems that Lorenz has been abducting the young brides – presumably virgins – to take part in an experimental serum that reverses the aging process of his wife.
The doctor’s house is all antiques and secret panels, though both are of a better class than the ones he had at PRC. Even the library music at Monogram is better. By turns spooky and strangely goofy, this is one of the more entertaining of Lugosi’s nine pictures for Monogram. Shots of Lugosi and wife sleeping in coffins, creeping through shadowy corridors, or playing downbeat tunes on his organ, bring a nice little chill. Lorenz even takes time out to whip an assistant now and then, much to the delight of little Angelo Rossitto (Lugosi’s frequent co-star at Monogram). Unlike the self-righteous doctor of The Devil Bat, Lugosi’s character here is an obvious psychopath, ready to strangle anybody that gets in his way.
The Corpse Vanishes is taken from a darker print – so much so that I suspect the deep shadows may have been deliberate, both for mood and to obscure Monogram’s cheap sets.