Boris Karloff made 14 films between Frankenstein (1931) and The Bride of Frankenstein (1935). WOW! Among them was The Ghoul, a film that completely disappeared from sight for many yearts until a badly degraded nitrate print surfaced in Prague with Hungarian subtitles. This print is the basis for the copy available at Archive.org. Finally, an excellent print was discovered in the archives of the British Film Institute which is the basis for the DVD release. It is the best way to see this picture. [You can rent it through Netflix.]
Karloff plays Professor Henry Morlant, a dying Egyptologist, who requests that he be buried with a sacred jewel bandaged to his hand so that he can obtain eternal life. His grave is robbed and he rises from the dead to seek revenge. Karloff is creepy and wonderful in every scene he's in. He is MIA in the middle of the film and I found myself waiting for him to appear again. Personally, I would have changed the script so that we could see more of this iconic horror actor.
If his faithful servant Laing looks familiar, he should be. Laing is played by none other than Ernest Thesiger who would go on to portray Dr. Pretorius in The Bride of Frankenstein. He is just as compelling here as he is in Bride.
This film was directed by T. Hayes Hunter who did an adequate job with the film. However, I can't help but wonder what this film would have looked like if it were in James Whale's capable hands. It would have most definitely become a horror classic. Still, even without Whale, it's pretty good and well worth watching.
RATING: Very Good.
Download a copy of the film from Archive.org
For more info check out the film's entry in IMDB.