The Face of Marble (1946)

Article #544 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing date: 9-10-2002
Posting date: 2-3-2003

Scientists experiment with techniques to bring people back to life, but the subjects exhibit strange powers.

I’ve ragged on some of Monogram’s horror movies on occasion, but seeing this one in close proximity with REVENGE OF THE ZOMBIES has given me a respect for movies like THE CORPSE VANISHES, RETURN OF THE APE MAN and VOODOO MAN. These movies were silly, but I’ve come to realize they risked silliness in the attempt to be interesting to watch. I can also appreciate Bela Lugosi, especially in the care he would show to make practically every line he delivered sound important and interesting. This one, however, doesn’t court silliness at all; it is serious, somber and humorless. Don’t let the presence of Willie Best in the cast fool you; outside of a couple of very tepid lines near the beginning, he doesn’t serve as comic relief but instead is merely used to advance the plot at a point late in the movie when none of the other characters can do so. And though I think John Carradine gives a good performance (he is much better here than he was in REVENGE OF THE ZOMBIES), it is a very serious performance in a movie that badly needs a little silly comic spice to liven things up. It’s a bit of a shame; there are some very interesting ideas in this movie, but the plot spends way too much time on uninteresting romantic triangle subplot which, though it sets up some of the events later in the movie, is in itself very tedious. This is one movie where I wish at least one of the scientists was really MAD rather than both being fairly reasonable.


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