The scientific fact remains, we’ve conquered death.
Mad scientist Dr. Charles Randolph (John Carradine), is trying to bring back the dead. After a boat sinks he finds a body that washed up on the shore. This looks like a good subject for his experiment. His assistant Dr. David Cochran (Robert Shayne), is worried about the ethics of the experiment. Randolph assures him that he will take full responsibility for it, and should anything go wrong they can always put the body back where they found it. Sounds like a good plan. The experiment goes well. The man comes back to life, for a little while. Then he dies, again. At one point the sailor’s face looked like marble.
Maria (Rosa Rey) is Elaine’s companion. Elaine (Claudia Drake) is Dr. Randolph’s wife. Maria doesn't care for Dr. Randolph and is using her voodoo magic to try to get Elaine and David together. Inspector Peter Norton (Thomas Jackson) shows up suspecting Dr. Randolph of murder. They found a sailor washed up on the shore. There were electrical burns on him. The inspector knows that Randolph uses electricity in his experiments. Oops. Randolph deflects most of the accusations.
Dr. Randolph needs to do another experiment. What better test subject than his wife’s pride and joy, her pet dog Brutus. Brutus is a Great Dane. A big dog is perfect for the experiment. He kills Brutus then he zaps Brutus with electricity and…nothing. Dr. Randolph and David leave the room. They hear the dog bark. They go back to the lab and Brutus is sort of alive. But different. He barks and growls and then walks through the wall. Yep. That’s what I said. He is sort of a ghost.
Dr. Randolph sends a telegram to David’s fiancée Linda (Maris Wrixon) pretending to be David and telling her to come. She shows up and Maria is not happy. Elaine is not really happy either. David is very happy. David has no clue. That night Brutus shows up in Linda’s room and scares her. Linda wants to go home and she wants David to come with her. Maria does one of her voodoo magic spells to kill Linda. She doesn’t know that Elaine and Linda changed bedrooms. She ends up killing Elaine. David and Charles bring her back to life. For a moment her face looks like marble.
The movie is a potpourri of mad scientist experiments, voodoo, ghosts and zombies. It plays more like a comedy of errors than a horror movie. A string of events. Like little parts of different scenes stuck together. It’s not horrible. Not even really bad. The acting is solid. John Carradine is a plus. He makes the movie more presentable and he does a decent job of keeping things all together. The movie is just, well, weird. Like one of those stories written by a bunch of authors where a different author writes each chapter. And one picks up where the other left off but moves the story in a different direction. Kinda like that.
The movie was released in 1946. It was directed by William Beaudine and written by Michael Jacoby, Edmund L. Hartmann and Wilhelm Thiele. So with three people writing the screenplay maybe that’s why the movie is a mish mash of plots. As for the name of the movie, “The Face of Marble”, ya got me. It’s only mentioned twice and has absolutely nothing to do with the movie. The movie is still watchable it just suffers from Dissociative identity disorder, or Multiple personality disorder since it was made in the 40’s.