A physician on death row for a mercy killing is allowed to experiment on a serum using a criminals' blood, but secretly tests it on himself. He gets a pardon, but finds out he's become a Jekyll-&-Hyde.
On a Greek island during the 1912 war, several people are trapped by quarantine for the plague. If that isn't enough worry, one of the people, a superstitious old peasant woman, suspects ... See full summary »
Dr. Julian Blair is engaged in unconventional research on human brain waves when his wife is tragically killed in a freak auto accident. The grief-stricken scientist becomes obsessed with redirecting his work into making contact with the dead and is not deterred by dire warnings from his daughter, his research assistant, or his colleagues that he is delving into forbidden areas of knowledge. He moves his laboratory to an isolated New England mansion where he continues to try to reach out to his dead wife. He is aided by his mentally-challenged servant Karl and abetted by the obsessive Mrs. Walters, a phony medium, who seems to exert a sinister influence over him. When their overly curious housekeeper discovers the truth about their experiments, her death brings the local sheriff in to investigate.Written by
Gabe Taverney (firstname.lastname@example.org)
I must confess to a degree of disappointment after having watched "The Devil Commands" the other night, after several years of waiting to do so. The memory of its excellent source novel, William Sloane's "The Edge of Running Water" (1937), is still very much with me from several years ago, you see, and I'm afraid that the film does suffer in comparison. The book has sharply drawn characters, a well-detailed plot (a scientist attempting to communicate with his dead wife), great suspense and a very satisfying windup. The film, unfortunately, has none of these things in much abundance. Still, there ARE some good things to be said for it. Boris Karloff, as usual, is wonderful, as is Anne Revere in her role as his assistant. The effects are more than passable, and, at a mere 65 minutes, there is no unnecessary padding. Indeed, the film can be accused of being not fleshed out enough! Several things aren't explained; even Boris' fate is never clearly shown, unlike his character's amazing finish in the book. This is a story that is truly ripe for a remake, if done faithfully and by a team that respects the source material. Still, I can think of many more fruitless ways to spend an hour than by curling up with "The Devil Commands."
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