Film / The Raven (1935)

While this mad surgical genius chanted "The Raven", horrible screams rose up from his torture chamber below!

The Raven is a Universal Horror movie from the year 1935. As the name suggests, the works of Edgar Allan Poe are referenced heavily.

Young woman named Jean Thatcher crashes her car and is left in critical condition. Her concerned father convinces retired Dr. Richard Vollin (Bela Lugosi), a noted Edgar Allan Poe hobbyist, to help her. He manages to save her life and becomes infatuated with her. Her father is displeased with this development and orders Vollin to leave her alone. Vollin, grudgingly, agrees.

Soon after this, a man on the run from law named Edmond Bateman (Boris Karloff) approaches Vollin about fixing his face so that he can end his life in crime. Vollin pretends to take up on the offer to help him, but ruins his face instead and forces him to be a part of his mad scheme of revenge.

The examples in this film:

  • Beauty Equals Goodness: Bateman believes that his ugliness is to blame for his life in crime.
  • Bookcase Passage: Vollin has one in his office to his secret laboratory.
  • Brains and Brawn: Dr. Vollin is the schemester and Bateman is his unwilling muscle.
  • Creepy Ravens: Vollin thinks of ravens as his talisman.
  • A Glass in the Hand: When Judge Thatcher tells that he doesn't want Vollin and Jean to start a relationship, Vollin in anger crushes the vial in his hand.
  • Hostile Weather: Stormy weather builds up outside during the night at Vollin's mansion. Due to it, a tree branch crashes through Jean's window just as Bateman tries to enter her room from a trap door.
  • Rage Against the Reflection: When Edmond sees what Vollin really did to his face on the laboratory mirrors, he starts shooting them one by one.
  • Sarcasm Mode: Holden's remark about the success of Jean's play.
    Jean: They really liked me!
    Holden: No, not much. They only called you back twelve times.
  • Torture Cellar: Dr. Vollin's basement hosts a collection of various torture devices. Yes, even to a pendulum.
  • Two-Faced: To ensure Edmond's servitude, Vollin makes half of his face even uglier.
  • The Walls Are Closing In: Vollin's plan for Jean and her beloved Holden is to lock them up in a room like this and have them crushed to death.
  • Working for a Body Upgrade: Why Edmond stays working for Vollin.