When Enoch Powell called Harold Macmillan "The last of the old actor-managers" he overlooked Sir Donald Wolfit who deserved the appellation far more than any politician.
Wolfit had appeared in a number of films in the 1930s, but his film career was sporadic and it was not until the 1950s that he began to appear on screen again. For an actor who liked to be centre stage in the theatre it is surprising that he accepted so many supporting and cameo roles in movies. However there are extant a few films in which he stars, the present offering being such a one.
Wolfit plays Callistratus, the governor of a prison who uses the hapless inmates for experiments in blood transfusion which he carries out, not to benefit mankind at large, but because he has a great need for blood to keep himself alive due to a disorder brought about by those who had thoughtlessly executed him believing him to be a vampire!
Wolfit brings a great deal of menacing presence to the part of Callistratus and Victor Maddern also gives a sympathetic performance as his mute and horribly disfigured assistant, Carl.
The script is by Jimmy Sangster who worked on many films produced by Hammer Studios.
I find myself disagreeing with another reviewer of this issue who believes that this could be mistaken for another "Hammer Horror" as I feel there is a different sense of style to this production although, superficially, it is true, there are a number of similarities with certain Hammer productions. Where I concur wholeheartedly with the other reviewer, however, is in recommending this re-issue of a title which has been rather overlooked in favour of some of the potboilers which Hammer brought out in the 1960s and with which it compares very favourably indeed.