Doctor X is an insane pre-code Technicolor horror blast and it’s now streaming

“Pre-code Hollywood” refers to that brief, beautiful window between 1929 and 1934 when studios weren’t strictly enforcing the Motion Picture Production Code / Hays Code, and you’d see more adult content and themes in the footage from studio before the arrival of production code administration. and began to castrate films. Because it was made during this window, “Doctor X” has more teeth than you’re used to seeing in a classic horror image, and coupled with its colorful look, it feels surprisingly contemporary. .

The plot involves a nosy alcoholic reporter played by Lee Tracy investigating a series of “full moon murders” committed by a serial killer who witnesses say is a disfigured monster. These murders appear to involve the killer cannibalizing the victims, as detailed in an autopsy scene. It is about prostitution, rape, drug addiction and a final scene before the credits featuring a “joy buzzer” that can only really be interpreted in a lascivious way.

There is one particular scene where we are introduced to blindfolded Dr. Rowitz (Arthur Edmund Carewe) with his white blouse spotted with red blood. This was probably the first time audiences had been exposed to colored blood, decades before Hammer Studios made a mint by pouring drops of bright red paint all over the screen in their films “Frankenstein” and ” Dracula ”by Christopher Lee / Peter Cushing.

“Mystery of the Wax Museum” is also loaded with innuendo and “offensive” material, including Fay Wray posing suggestively in a scene where she is chatting on the phone. His roommate is a hangover reporter named Florence played by the hilarious Glenda Farrell, who at one point in the movie walks up to a cop and asks him bluntly, “How’s your sex life?” One of the main characters is a drug addict (we see him doing drugs in the shadows at one point) whom the cops let dry until he finally agrees to confess to a crime, revealing dark circles on his eyes. .

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