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Universal Horror Collection Volume 2 Main

Universal Horror Collection: Volume 2 - The Mad Doctor of Market Street Blu-ray Review

Written by ZigZag

Blu-ray released by Scream Factory

Universal Horror Collection Volume 2 Large

Directed by Joseph H. Lewis
Written by Al Martin
1942, 60 minutes, Not Rated
Released on July 23rd, 2019

Starring:
Una Merkel as Aunt Margaret Wentworth
Lionel Atwill as Dr. Ralph Benson
Claire Dodd as Patricia Wentworth
Richard Davies as Jim
Nat Pendleton as Red Hogan

Universal Horror Collection Vol 2 05 Universal Horror Collection Vol 2 06

Review:

Dr. Ralph Benson has successfully conducted experiments of suspended animation on lab animals but knows his work is useless until tested on human subjects. He takes the leap, but his patient dies and Benson flees the police, making him a fugitive wanted for murder. He hops a ship to New Zealand, but a fire leaves him and a handful of passengers stranded on a tropical island. Confined by the natives, Benson takes advantage of a medical emergency and assumes the title “God of Life” and makes the locals his slaves. He uses his position to continue his experiments, this time on his fellow castaways, with the exception of the lovely Patricia Wentworth, whom he intends to make his captive bride.

Lionel Atwill is up to no good in Mad Doctor of Market Street, this time playing a power-hungry mad scientist trying to conquer death. He is cold and self-serving as he abuses his knowledge of modern medicine to high position among the tribe. The rest of the characters are two-dimensional archetypes, including the handsome hero, the strong-willed woman, the tough-guy boxer and the daffy aunt. This really is Atwill’s show and he excels at playing a memorable villain. His scenes opposite Claire Dodd as Patricia are effective and full of menace.

Al Martin (Invisible Ghost) handles the writing duties and Joseph H. Lewis (So Dark the Night) directs as our plot moves from the titular Market Street to an ocean liner and finally to a remote island. All three settings are full of drama with the island hosting the bulk of the running time. Aside from a promising title and the villain being something of a mad scientist, this isn’t so much a horror movie as it is a thriller. Atwill made better pictures than this, but it is nice watching him chew some scenery.

 Universal Horror Collection Vol 2 07 Universal Horror Collection Vol 2 08

murders in the zoo previous the strange case of dr rx next

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