Its short running time accounts for much of its problems, especially the disjointed narrative structure that robs the first half of necessary coherence. It's one of the most striking looking pictures of 1930's Hollywood with tableaux that look like solemn paintings and a nightmare version of Paris. The story is so putrid in its somewhat silly perverseness, it still manages to surprise a modern audience.
Apparent re-editing harms the storyline, but the real stars are the direction, atmosphere, camerawork and of course the towering presence of Lugosi. Forever in the shadows of the great Universals, there is enough here to show promise of what Florey might have made of Frankenstein.
More 3 1/2 and more for the really impressive technical work on the film. The set design is astonishing. The camera flow is unbelievable, especially for its time. Bela is fun every time he's on screen and the film is short. I definitely got homoerotic undertones between Pierre and his roommate which was interesting. Other than that the acting sans Bela and the storyline was pretty weak. Still worth seeing though.