Let’s take a look at Black Friday. No not the retail’s most insane day…actually shouldn’t that be Black Thursday or Black Thanksgiving now? No let’s take a look at the 1940 film Black Friday staring Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi…well sort of since his part was small and he never actually shared screen time with Karloff in the film.
This strange science-fiction film from the 40’s goes like this:
The famous Dr. Ernest Sovac’s best friend, bookish college professor George Kingsley, is run down while crossing a street. In order to save his friend’s life, Sovac implants part of another man’s brain into the professor’s. Unfortunately, the other man was a gangster who was involved in the accident. The professor recovers but at times behaves like the gangster, and his whole personality changes. Sovac is horrified but also intrigued, because the gangster has hidden $500,000 somewhere in the city. The doctor continues to treat his friend and, when the professor is under the influence of the gangster’s brain, Karloff attempts to have the man lead him to the fortune. Béla Lugosi plays a gangster also trying to get his hands on the cash.
I’ve enjoyed this cult classic many times simply because of Karloff. His role as the doctor in my opinion is the best in the film and of course he plays it as only Karloff can. Yes this can be classified as a b-movie, but it is one classic horror fans must have in their possession.
It is a unique blend of the typical mad doctor stories from this era and the gangster films. Even though the science behind the film makes little to no sense in our world it works especially mixed with the dark and gritty tone of the film. The only drawback is the waste of Lugosi in the movie for whatever reason. Regardless it is a film worth watching if by some chance you never have seen it.
I’d rather be spending the day watching Black Friday then out in the stores participating in it!