Not Great Print Quality
HungryJack | West Coast | 01/17/2005
(2 out of 5 stars)
"I would go for the Arcanum version of this film as the print quality is better and it's paired in a double feature with Tod Slaughter's MURDER IN THE RED BARN. A MUCH better value."
An impressive old-school horror movie
Daniel Jolley | Shelby, North Carolina USA | 12/15/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This 1940 George King production from British Lion Studios is a delightfully evil if somewhat hokey little horror film. The setting is Paris, France in the year 1880, and a series of murders has the populace in mortal terror of "Le Loup" ("the wolf"). Why the killer is described as a wolfman is beyond me because in each case, the victim sees a horrifying face in the window and is stabbed in the back with a dagger. When M. de Brisson's bank is robbed during one murder, he fears he will be ruined financially. Then a new client, Chevalier Del Gardo appears to entrust a substantial amount of money to his care; the Chevalier's motives are far from noble, however, as he wants the hand of the young, beautiful Cecile de Brisson in return for his help. Cecile is in love with "lowly" bank clerk Lucien Cortier, and Del Gardo attempts to frame him for the murders. Several additional murders are perpetrated during the course of the story, and Lucien's last opportunity to prove his innocence involves a great new discovery made by a "mad" (yet noble) scientist. This scientist has successfully used electricity to reanimate dead animals, and he is convinced that he can do the same for a dead human; in this manner, one of Le Loup's victims will be able to come back just long enough to name his murderer.
I found this to be an excellent early horror flick. Some elements of the plot are a little ridiculous, but the actors play their parts exceedingly well and do not at any time overdramatize and thus undermine the story. Tod Slaughter plays the evil Chevalier Del Gardo to the hilt and could rightfully make reference to a truly evil cackle on his acting resume, John Warwick as Lucien Cortier shines as the quintessential hero determined to clear his name and nab the true killer, and Marjorie Taylor is delightful as Cecile de Brisson. The special effects, such as they are, are also very effective, particularly the coalescing image of the hideous "face at the window." The introductory text that introduces the motion picture sums the movie up quite well; The Face at the Window is an old-school melodrama "dear to the hearts of all who unashamedly enjoy either a shudder or a laugh at the heights of villainy.""