NIGHT KEY (1937)
Article #1104 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Day: 3-23-2004
Posting Day: 8-20-2004
Directed by Lloyd Corrigan
Featuring Boris Karloff, Jean Rogers, Warren Hull
An elderly inventor is cheated for the second time when he tries to sell his new alarm system to a burglar alarm company. He then invents a device that hoodwinks their current alarm system in order to force them to install his new invention.
So what do you do with a horror actor when horror has fallen out of favor? 1937 was one of the lousiest years for horror movies, and so that’s why we found Boris Karloff as a lovable and distinctly non-threatening grandfatherly type in what is a fairly standard crime melodrama with touches of science fiction. Oddly, it opens like many of his horror movies do, only in those movies his revenge was much more sinister; here, he breaks into stores to set up harmless practical jokes which nonetheless display his ability to subvert the alarm system. It’s a decent enough little film, well acted by all (especially Karloff), but it was really too minor a film to effectively open up a whole new genre of film for Karloff. Fortunately, horror would be back in a couple of years, and he would find himself in much more demand. The movie also features Ward Bond as one of the gangsters.