For today, the fifth day in my 30 Days of Terror, let’s jump back to 1956 and take a look at The Black Sleep. The pure genius of this film sets it high in my world of bizarre, creepy things to see.

The Black Sleep posterThe Black Sleep (1956) is set in 1872 London and has quite the cast of some of my all-time favorite actors. This is a strange one with a mad doctor who is looking for a way to bring his wife from a coma by experimenting on the brains of others while they are under the influence of ‘The Black Sleep’. Mental and physical changes occurred from his experiments.

I’m impressed with the effects, they are on the mark for the most part; the exception is the scalp during a brain exploration surgery that looks like wax paper. But to make up for it, they made a good effort with the creatures, each having distinct qualities. The screams are disappointing. I expected many more from a film released in 1956, but I guess I can’t have everything.

Basil Rathbone is always exceptional in everything he’s in, and this is no different, playing a what seems to be a deranged man experimenting randomly on people. In his defense, it is the perfect way to learn about brain function. When the reason is revealed, we learn that it’s for the good, though misguided.

4 Stars

If you haven’t seen The Black Sleep, I highly recommend it, and give it 4 out of 5 Stars.

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