The Video Vacuum (thevideovacuum) wrote,
The Video Vacuum

BEFORE I HANG (1940) **

Boris Karloff stars as Dr. Garth, the “Mercy Killer” who is on trial for assisting in the suicide of his patient (kinda like a prototype of Jack Kevorkian I guess).  While on death row, the court allows Garth to continue his experiments and he winds up creating a serum that restores his youth.  The serum also has a peculiar side effect:  it turns him into a wild-eyed murderer.  Pretty soon, Garth escapes from prison and goes on a killing spree.  


This cheapie sci-fi potboiler from Columbia has a promising premise but it takes far too long to get cooking.  Even though the flick runs a scant 62 minutes, Before I Hang really plods along at a lumbering pace and seemingly takes forever to arrive at its predictable conclusion.  Karloff does a solid job playing yet another variation on his Kindly Old Scientist Who is Actually a Homicidal Maniac role, yet his presence alone isn’t enough to save this lukewarm B picture.  Edward (Dracula) Van Sloan also puts in a decent turn as Boris’ ill-fated assistant.


Boris gets the best line of the flick when he says, “Your old age is a disease and I have the cure for it!”

Tags: b, karloff, sci-fi
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