“The tongue is an unruly member, is it not?”

An Egyptian Arab named Mahmoud is looking for a sacred jewel called the eternal light that has been stolen from an ancient tomb. He finds the thief that stole it. The thief (Aga Ben Dragore) tells Mahmoud he sold it to a man named Morlant. He says that Professor Morlant is a fanatical believer that gave most of his fortune for the jewel. He believes that the eternal light will open up the gates of paradise.

Professor Morlant (Boris Karloff) is an Egyptologist who believes in the pagan power of ancient Egyptian gods. Dying from a mysterious disfiguring ailment he is preparing for death by ensuring everlasting life. He has acquired “the eternal light” and he believes it will do just that. He instructs his servant to bandage the jewel in his hand and place the statue of Anubis with him when he is placed in the Egyptian style tomb on his estate. His belief is that Anubis will accept his offering of the jewel and allow him to pass through to the afterlife. Morlant warns his servant of dyer consequences should his wishes not be met. Someone steals the jewel. On the first full moon Morlant’s body rises from his grave to seek revenge.

Who stole the jewel is part of the mystery and there is no shortage of suspects. Morlant’s butler Laing (Ernest Thesiger), his lawyer Broughton (Cedric Hardwicke), the parson Nigel Hartley (Ralph Richardson), Mahmoud (D.A. Clark-Smith), or Ben Dragore (Harold Huth).

There certainly is a lot of talent here. Karloff may not have as much screen time as I would have liked, but Cedric Hardwicke is in great form and for the most part steals the movie. There’s also the butler played by Ernest Thesiger that is well worth watching. It’s a different performance than his Dr. Septimus Pretorius in “Bride of Frankenstein”.

In 1933 Gaumont-British Picture Company produced the horror movie “The Ghoul”. Primarily, in the early 30’s the horror movie genre was based in the United States what with Universal being the king of horror. British film companies had not yet come on board when Gaumont jumped into the deep end and snagged Boris Karloff for their foray into terror. Good plan. The Ghoul turned out to be good. Of course it being a British movie it will have a British ending.

If you’re looking for a good horror movie and you ran out of Universal monsters. This one is the next best thing. At one time the film was thought to have been lost and the only copy available was from Czechoslovakia. It was damaged and missing eight minutes. This was in 1969 so it was released on the current hi-tech vehicle VHS. In 1980 a copy in perfect condition was finally found in a forgotten vault at Shepperton Studios. The movie was then released on DVD. It’s a classic that was misplaced for a time, but is now back where it belongs.