Best Horror Movies of 1940

1.

The Ghost Breakers

3.8
7.2/10 IMDB

After intrepid working girl Mary Carter becomes the new owner of a reputedly haunted mansion located on Black Island near the Cuban coast, a stranger phones warning her to stay away from the castle. Undaunted, Mary sets sail for Cuba with a stowaway in her trunk—wise-cracking Larry Lawrence, a radio announcer who helps Mary get to the bottom of the voodoo magic, zombies and ghosts that supposedly curse the spooky estate.

Starring: Bob Hope, Paulette Goddard, Richard Carlson, Paul Lukas, Willie Best, Pedro de Cordoba, Virginia Brissac, Noble Johnson, Anthony Quinn, Tom Dugan ..
Directed by: George Marshall
Release date: 1940-06-21
2.

Black Friday

3.4
6.3/10 IMDB

When his friend Professor Kingsely (Ridges) is at deaths door, brain surgeon Dr. Sovac (Karloff) saves his life by means of an illegal operation that transplants part of injured gangster Red Cannon's brain. Unfortunately, the operation has a disasterous Jeckll and Hyde side effect and under certain conditions the persona of Cannon emerges. Sovac soon learns of the duel personality and of half a million dollars the gangster has hidden away. He attempts to find the money through the manipulation of his friend, an attempt that brings Kingsley closer to madness as he alternates between a meek professor of english and a brutal gangster out for murderous revenge on those who tried to kill him.

Starring: Stanley Ridges, Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi, Anne Nagel, Anne Gwynne, Virginia Brissac, Edmund MacDonald, Paul Fix, Murray Alper, Jack Mulhall ..
Directed by: Arthur Lubin
Release date: 1940-04-12
Best Horror Movies of 1940 : The Invisible Man Returns
3.

The Invisible Man Returns

3.3
6.5/10 IMDB

The owner of a coal mining operation, falsely imprisoned for fratricide, takes a drug to make him invisible, despite its side effect: gradual madness.

Starring: Cedric Hardwicke, Vincent Price, Nan Grey, John Sutton, Cecil Kellaway, Alan Napier, Forrester Harvey, Jimmy Aubrey, Billy Bevan, Harry Cording ..
Directed by: Joe May
Release date: 1940-01-12
4.

Dr. Cyclops

3.3
6.4/10 IMDB

Four explorers are summoned to Peru by the brilliant physicist Dr Thorkel. They discover a rich source of radium and a half-mad Thorkel who shrinks them down to one-fifth their normal size when they threaten to stop his unorthodox experimentation.

Starring: Albert Dekker, Thomas Coley, Janice Logan, Charles Halton, Victor Kilian, Frank Yaconelli, Paul Fix, Frank Reicher, Jane Webb, Billy Wilkerson ..
Directed by: Ernest B. Schoedsack
Release date: 1940-04-09
5.

The Mummy's Hand

3.3
6.1/10 IMDB

A couple of young, out-of-work archaeologists in Egypt discover evidence of the burial place of the ancient Egyptian princess Ananka. After receiving funding from an eccentric magician and his beautiful daughter, they set out into the desert only to be terrorized by a sinister high priest and the living mummy Kharis who are the guardians of Ananka’s tomb.

Starring: Dick Foran, Peggy Moran, Wallace Ford, George Zucco, Cecil Kellaway, Charles Trowbridge, Tom Tyler, Eduardo Ciannelli, Sig Arno, Leon Belasco ..
Directed by: Christy Cabanne
Release date: 1940-09-20
6.

One Million B.C.

3.1
5.7/10 IMDB

One Million B.C. is a 1940 American fantasy film produced by Hal Roach Studios and released by United Artists. It is also known by the titles Cave Man, Man and His Mate, and Tumak. The film stars Victor Mature as protagonist Tumak, a young cave man who strives to unite the uncivilized Rock Tribe and the peaceful Shell Tribe, Carole Landis as Loana, daughter of the Shell Tribe chief and Tumak's love interest, and Lon Chaney, Jr. as Tumak's stern father and leader of the Rock Tribe.

Starring: Victor Mature, Carole Landis, Lon Chaney Jr., John Hubbard, Mamo Clark, Inez Palange, Edgar Edwards, Nigel De Brulier, Conrad Nagel, Jacqueline Dalya ..
Directed by: Hal Roach, Hal Roach, Jr.
Release date: 1940-04-26
Best Horror Movies of 1940 : The Devil Bat
7.

The Devil Bat

2.9
5.5/10 IMDB

Dr. Carruthers feels bitter at being betrayed by his employers, Heath and Morton, when they became rich as a result of a product he devised. He gains revenge by electrically enlarging bats and sending them out to kill his employers' family members by instilling in the bats a hatred for a particular perfume he has discovered, which he gets his victims to apply before going outdoors. Johnny Layton, a reporter, finally figures out Carruthers is the killer and, after putting the perfume on himself, douses it on Carruthers in the hopes it will get him to give himself away. One of the two is attacked as the giant bat makes one of its screaming, swooping power dives.

Starring: Bela Lugosi, Suzanne Kaaren, Dave O'Brien, Guy Usher, Yolande Donlan, Donald Kerr, Edmund Mortimer, Gene O'Donnell, Alan Baldwin, John Ellis ..
Directed by: Jean Yarbrough
Release date: 1940-12-13
Best Horror Movies of 1940 : “Sredni Vashtar” by Saki
8.

“Sredni Vashtar” by Saki

2.7
6.2/10 IMDB

David Bradley creates a faithfully suspenseful adaptation of a story by Saki which boasts an inadvertent post-modern attitude.

Starring: David Bradley, Mrs. Herbert Hyde, Reny Kidd, Lester Luther, Lucielle Powell ..
Directed by: David Bradley
Release date: 1940-11-13
Best Horror Movies of 1940 : The Door with Seven Locks
9.

The Door with Seven Locks

2.7
5.6/10 IMDB

This early British horror film was called "Chamber of Horrors" when it was released in the United States. Upon his death, a wealthy industrialist leaves behind a huge treasure in his private tomb. The way to the treasure is through seven interlocking doors with seven distinct keys. The evil Dr. Manetta has six keys but Lilli Palmer, the rightful heir, holds the last.

Starring: Leslie Banks, Lilli Palmer, Cathleen Nesbitt, Gina Malo, David Horne, Romilly Lunge, Richard Bird, J. H. Roberts, Aubrey Mallalieu, Harry Hutchinson ..
Directed by: Norman Lee
Release date: 1940-10-12
10.

You'll Find Out

2.6
6.3/10 IMDB

The manager of Kay Kyser’s band books them for a birthday party bash for an heiress at a spooky mansion, where sinister forces try to kill her.

Starring: Kay Kyser, Boris Karloff, Peter Lorre, Bela Lugosi, Helen Parrish, Dennis O'Keefe, Alma Kruger, Bess Flowers, Joseph Eggenton, Kay Kyser Band ..
Directed by: David Butler
Release date: 1940-11-22

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