zombie or a mad scientist or a zombie mad scientist. But, well, you've never seen The Return of Dr. X. No relation to Dr. X.--it's not a sequel--or to The Revenge of Dr. X., which was written by Ed Wood and is only marginally worse.
highwater pants and his fedora flipped up like a hayseed--is trying to interview a famous actress. You can tell she's a famous actress because she lives in a luxury hotel, wears satin negligees and has a pet monkey and a indiscriminately foreign accent. She is played by Lya Lys, better known from her role in Bunuel's L'Age d'Or. Hey, surrealist manifestos don't pay the bills, aight?
Intrepid Reporter prints the story that Famous Actress is dead. Doesn't tell the hotel manager, doesn't call the cops, just leaves the body and informs the authorities with a front-page headline. Of course, Famous Actress turns up, quite pale but very much alive and threatening to sue. But then another body drained of a rare blood type--the same as Famous Actress--turns up and Intrepid Reporter busts into the hospital where he makes friends with Random Doctor.
Intrepid Reporter with the orders to "come back when you sober up" (But he's not drunk; he's just stupid.), Random Doctor is promptly summoned to another hotel room with a dead body, this time "a professional donor," also of the same rare blood type.
Gorilla murder... Aw, Mike, if you can figure that one out we'll have a front-page spread on every newspaper in the country for weeks!" (Gorilla murder, Donald Trump candidacy--tomato, tomahto, same difference.) But it's not gorilla, or even animal, so Random Doctor goes to visit a hematologist colleague of his, Dr. Flake. It is here he meets Humphrey Bogart as Kang, apparently Dr, Flake's Renfield figure.
Uber. Also to prevent us from assuming the obvious about Intrepid Reporter and Random Doctor. (She doesn't and, yes, we've already assumed it about Flake and Kang as well.)
I didn't know Dave Vanian's dad was a butler but, really, it makes perfect sense.
doctors. And probably why Famous Actress winds up dead. Again. For real this time.
rabbits and humans from the dead. Among his experiments: Kang, who is actually the feared Dr. X. who was "that skunk who wanted to see how long babies could go without eatin'" and subsequently got the chair. There's some poking around in funeral homes and graveyards and they finally go back to see Dr. Flake who is all like "Hell, yeah, I brought an electrocuted baby murderer back from the dead and am now draining human blood to keep him alive. What?" Of course then Kang reappears and demands the vampire rolodex of people with the magic blood type he needs. Of course one of them is Joan the Uber-Beard. And off we go...
1939, long cited as the greatest year in cinema history. The year of Gone With the Wind, The Wizard of Oz, Ninotchka, The Women, Destry Rides Again, Laughton's The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Dark Victory ... and The Return of Dr. X. Ultimately, The Return of Dr. X. is an unremarkable C-grade horror movie that's not particularly horrifying at all. It's sole distinction is the slumming appearance as a zombie mad scientist sorta vampire from one of the most respected and iconic stars of all time.
* Also, i found out in the credits that it's apparently Dr. Flegg and his assistant Quesne. Whatever.
I'm sticking with Flake and Kang.
I'm sticking with Flake and Kang.