Another in the series of mad scientist movies starring Boris Karloff for Columbia, this was directed by Nick Grinde and written by Robert Hardy Andrews.

Karloff is Dr. John Garth and he’s on trial for mercy killing a friend, predating the right to die controversy by decades. He had been trying to invent a cure for aging but it was too late to give it to the patient. He asks the judge to allow him to live as he’s close to this medication, but he is due to be hung in three weeks. Yet with support from the warden (Ben Taggart) and Dr. Ralph Howard (Edward Van Sloan), he is able to take the blood of an executed murderer and turn it into a serum that reverses the effects of aging just in time to be saved from the gallows.

If you’re wondering, “Will that killer’s blood make Dr. Garth a killer?” you don’t have to wait all that long to find out. He kills Dr. Howard and a fellow prisoner, which looks like he was the hero, and he’s soon released to live with his daughter Martha (Evelyn Keyes).

Dr. Garth then tries to convince each of his elderly friends to let him help them escape the ravages of age. When they refuse, his evil blood takes over and he kills them. Convinced that he could even kill Martha, he runs back to the prison and is killed trying to get back inside, in effect killing himself to protect his friends and daughter.

There are nearly five similar movies in a year starring Karloff as a scientist driven to murder. I’d watch them all and more.

Mill Creek’s Thrillers from the Vault set also includes The Black Room, The Man They Could Not Hang, The Man With Nine Lives, The Boogie Man Will Get You, The Devil Commands, The Return of the Vampire and Five. There’s also a documentary, Madness and Mayhem: Horror in the 30s and 40s. You can get it from Deep Discount.

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