The StoryIn 1933, Boris Karloff's star was on the rise. Universal took advantage of this with The Ghoul, a film that combines ideas from previous Karloff films. It has a mummy-like character and is set in an old, dark house. Gee, both of those sound like things from other movies. The film also features the film debut of Ralph Richardson, back before you had to put 'Sir' in front of his name- the bastard! The movie was released in 1934 and re-released in 1938...before it disappeared. Bummer!
Was It Discovered?Yes, a couple of times in fact. In 1969, a film collector discovered a lost, subtitled copy in Czechoslovakia. Sure, why not?!? It sucked, but we at least had a copy. Sometime in the 1980s, an undiscovered film vault at the famed Shepperton Studios was opened and a perfect nitrate of the film was found! We wouldn't get this version on DVD until 2003 though. Why? Who knows?
SignificanceThis film is a part of horror film history as one of the early Karloff films. Furthermore, it is based on a story that has since been turned into much more comic fare. It's nice to see the thing before it turned into crap. Whether you like the film or not, it was deemed important enough for The Museum of Modern Art to commission an official release of it. That counts for something, right?
Up next, one of the oldest lost films gets a chance to shine. How does a mummy get from Egypt to France again? Stay tuned...