One would think that a film with both Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi would be a sure fire winner. However, The Body Snatcher falls a bit short of the mark. First of all, Lugosi only appears briefly in the film and really adds very little except his name on the marquis. [There's a sucker born ever minute!] Karloff is loads of fun as John Gray, a nefarious grave robber who procures bodies for anatomical research. [Just don't ask him for too many details on how he procures his specimens!] Karloff gleefully fills the role as only he can and adds a touch of humor as well as dread to the character.
The big weakness in The Body Snatcher is Henry Daniell as Dr. MacFarlane. Ho-hum. While it's true he's a distinguished British actor with a resume a mile long, I found his performance uninteresting and rather flat. It made me wonder what Karloff would have done with the role.
While Body Snatcher is filmed nicely, it just didn't grab me. I'd categorize it as a melodramatic thriller with an emphasis on mellow. Not much happens here. This is not the finest work from Lewton, Karloff or Lugosi by any stretch of the imagination. This one is for serious fans only.
For more info check out the film's entry in IMDB.