House of Mystery (1934)

Article #94 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing date: 6-18-2001
Posting date: 11-1-2001

An adventurer kills a sacred monkey and is cursed by the priests of the temple of Kali. Twenty years later, the investors for the expedition locate the adventurer to get their share of the treasure, but in order to do so, they are asked to spend a week in the mansion. They find themselves dying one by one at the hands of a gorilla.

Yes, it’s more “old dark house” fun here, with George “Gabby” Hayes and Brandon Hurst in the cast. The motley assortment of characters is quite fun in this case, including a hen-pecked absent-minded professor, his shrewish wife, a comic-relief plumber with a secret, and an insurance salesman who uses the murders to drum up business. Maybe it’s just me, but I would have thought that the insurance salesman would have made an ideal first victim of the gorilla, but he turns out to be the romantic lead, so what do I know? I have to admit to giggling a few times throughout this one; my favorite gag has to do with a detective’s “subtle” way of trying to find out whether a man in a wheelchair is really crippled.

You know, as silly and repetitive as these “old dark house” mysteries are, they can get quite addictive.


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