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The Corpse Vanishes

Theatrical poster
Directed by Wallace Fox
Produced by Sam Katzman
Jack Dietz
Written by Screenplay:
Harvey Gates
Sam Robins
Gerald Schnitzer
Starring Bela Lugosi
Luana Walters
Tristram Coffin
Minerva Urecal
Elizabeth Russell
Cinematography Arthur Reed
Editing by Robert Golden
Distributed by Monogram Pictures Corporation
Release date(s) May 8, 1942 (1942-05-08)
Running time 64 minutes
Country United States
Language English

The Corpse Vanishes is a 1942 American mystery and horror film directed by Wallace Fox. The screenplay was written by Harvey Gates. The film stars Bela Lugosi as a mad scientist who injects his aging wife (played by Elizabeth Russell) with fluids from virginal young brides in order to preserve her beauty. Luana Walters as a journalist and Tristram Coffin as a small town doctor investigate and solve the disappearances of the brides. The film bears some resemble to the real world story of Elizabeth Báthory, a sixteenth century Hungarian countess and serial killer who was said to preserve her beauty by bathing in the blood of virginal young women.



On the day of Alice Wentworth’s wedding, mad scientist Dr. Lorenz sends the young bride a poisoned orchid, the scent of which places the young woman in a state of suspended animation. He then spirits her body away to the basement laboratory of his isolated mansion and extracts her bodily fluids to inject into his vain and aged wife in order to renew her youth and beauty.

A young journalist, Patricia Hunter, investigates the case and discovers it involves an unusual orchid. She is directed to Lorenz, a known expert on orchids, and visits his mansion where she meets with a chilly reception. She is forced to spend the night when a storm breaks, and discovers the basement laboratory. In the morning, she hurries back to her newspaper offices.

Hunter and her colleagues make an attempt to trap Lorenz but he outfoxes them, chloroforming Hunter and carrying to his laboratory to use her bodily fluids upon his wife. During the injection procedure, Lorenz is stabbed by an angry servant woman who holds Lorenz responsible for her sons’ deaths. He strangles her then collapses and dies. The servant rallies weakly and stabs Lorenz‘s wife to death. The police arrive and Hunter is rescued.


  • Bela Lugosi as Dr. Lorenz, a mad scientist trying to preserve his wife’s youth and beauty by injecting her with fluids removed from the bodies of young virginal brides
  • Luana Walters as Patricia Hunter, a newspaper reporter investigating the disappearances of the brides
  • Tristram Coffin as Dr. Foster, a small town physician who aids Hunter during her investigations and eventually marries her
  • Elizabeth Russell as Dr. Lorenz’s aged wife
  • Minerva Urecal as Fagah, a crone and Dr. Lorenz’s servant
  • Angelo Rossitto as Toby, Fagah’s son and a dwarf
  • Frank Moran as Angel, Fagah’s son and a brutish half-wit
  • George Eldridge as Mike, Lorenz’s henchman and the driver of his getaway car
  • Joan Barclay as Alice Wentworth, a bride who becomes Lorenz’s victim
  • Gwen Kenyon as Peggy, a nightclub cigarette girl who poses as a bride in Hunter’s scheme to trap Lorenz
  • Kenneth Harlan as Keenan, a newspaper editor and Hunter’s boss
  • Vince Barnett as Sandy, a newspaper photographer and Hunter’s colleague



Home media

In 2009, the film was available on videocassette and DVD.

See also

External links


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