Best Horror Movies of 1940
The Ghost Breakers
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.
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.
The Invisible Man Returns
The owner of a coal mining operation, falsely imprisoned for fratricide, takes a drug to make him invisible, despite its side effect: gradual madness.
University professor George Kingsley is struck by gangsters while crossing the street, leaving him with brain damage and one of the gangsters, Cannon, paralyzed. Kingsley's friend Dr. Sovac attends to both men, and when Cannon offers him a reward for aiding his recovery, Kovac transplants part of Cannon's brain into the dying Kingsley's skull, creating a dual personality.
The Mummy's Hand
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.
You'll Find Out
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.
The Devil Bat
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.
Before I Hang
A physician on death row for a mercy killing is allowed to experiment on a serum using a criminals' blood, but secretly tests it on himself. He gets a pardon, but finds out he's become a Jekyll-&-Hyde.
Drums of Fu Manchu
The nefarious Dr. Fu Manchu searches for the keys to the tomb of Genghis Khan, in order to fulfill a prophecy that will enable him to conquer the world. His nemesis, Dr. Nayland Smith, and his associates fight to keep the evil doctor from getting his hands on the keys. In 1943, the serial that was edited together into a feature movie also called Drums of Fu Manchu.
“Sredni Vashtar” by Saki
David Bradley creates a faithfully suspenseful adaptation of a story by Saki which boasts an inadvertent post-modern attitude.