Within a year of becoming the screen's first and still-best Dracula, Bela Lugosi was starring in this "epic" for The Halperin Brothers. Don't ask who they were-long ago forgotten!!
So is this film, and that's one mistake you can swiftly rectify by buying it. You won't find another quite like it.
Only 5 years after sound films had started I know, but there are some fairly wobbly bits of recording. As for the soundtrack, that is even scratchier, off 78's!
But this only adds to the atmosphere. The eerie, low-lit photography is quite astounding and completely at one with the studio backdrops. God knows where Haiti was actually recreated, but it's convincingly chilling even if it was Poverty Row, LA!
The soundtrack is actually parts of Schubert's Unfinished symphony, parts of other half-recognisable classical pieces, plus a bit of refrains or variations based on what's gone before. In any other context, you'd probably rush to sell it on e-bay or here, but it really is compelling stuff alongside Bela!
And it is Mr Lugosi who makes it, finally. All I will say is that the hero is daft enough to put into Port-au-Prince with his fiancee to stay with another single bloke they met on the boat to New York, and his fiancee is daft enough to stand around in her underwear by the shuttered window listening to native drums!
That is quite enough encouragement for Murder Legendre,sugar-mill owner and interesting second occupation, to run amok. And Bela Lugosi was never better than when he did that.
Well, this film really is an one-off. It's stood repeated viewings on VHS and is now doing the same on DVD. It's a real treasure, and a compelling entertainment.
All I can finally do, to encourage a purchase(I'm not selling it, by the way!)is to quote Mr Lugosi's final words:-
"For you, my frend, they are the Angels of Death"
So now you know where that came from,too!