- Complete Monster: Hjalmar Poelzig is a depraved Satanist who plumbed depths almost unheard of in 1930s horror cinema. Having served in World War I, Poelzig betrayed his comrades to have them slaughtered and condemned the survivors to torturous death camps, including his closest friend Vitus Werdegast. Seducing and marrying Vitus's wife, Poelzig murdered her and kept her preserved corpse—before marrying the daughter of her and Vitus when said daughter was of age. Running a Satanic cult, Poelzig captures hapless travelers and sacrifices them to his master, intending to sacrifice the female lead of the film. Finally, Poelzig murders his current wife, adding her preserved corpse to his macabre collection.
- Foe Yay: Seems to be a certain amount between Vitus and Poelzig.
- He Really Can Act: Anyone still in doubts about Bela Lugosi's acting talents should see this film, and especially the scene where he discovers his wife's preserved corpse.
- Nightmare Fuel: The skinning scene. Yes, it's handled very tastefully via Gory Discretion Shot, but we can hear Poelzig's dying screams.
YMMV / The Black Cat