The Mad Doctor of Market Street (1942)

Article #952 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 10-23-2003
Posting Date: 3-21-2004
Directed by Joseph H. Lewis
Featuring Una Merkel, Lionel Atwill, Nat Pendleton

When an experiment goes awary, a doctor experimenting with suspended animation tries to escape from the police by taking a ship to Australia, but ends up stranded on a tropical island with other passengers when the ship goes down.

You’d think a movie about a mad doctor on Market Street would spend more time on Market Street than an unidentified tropical island, but I suppose it really doesn’t matter in this type of movie. I’ve always connected this movie to THE STRANGE CASE OF DR. RX in my mind, probably because both of them are minor Lionel Atwill horror outings that played on my local creature feature when I was a kid, but at least the other offering had a horror sequence with a gorilla that I remembered as well as the title; I didn’t remember a thing about this one, and I can see why; it’s a pretty forgettable entry in Universal’s horror output, being more of a jungle adventure movie than anything else. You know you’re in for it when not only does one of the comic relief characters gets higher billing than the mad scientist, but both of the comic reliefs get higher billing than the romantic leads. Atwill does all right, but the movie just doesn’t have much in the way of novelty.

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