Condemned to Live
Condemned to Live is a 1935 American horror film starring Ralph Morgan and Maxine Doyle, and directed by Frank R. Strayer. The film is unusual for its time, as it approaches the topic of vampirism from a sympathetic standpoint and presents it as if it were an illness.The film opens with a trio of explorers in Africa who are hiding in a cave. One of the explorers, a pregnant woman, is bitten by a vampire bat.The film then cuts forward in time to a small European village where a series of mysterious murders are taking place. The villagers readily assemble in mob form, with torches, at the house of Professor Kristan (Ralph Morgan) after every murder. The villagers suspect that a giant bat is to blame for the murders. Kristan gives the villagers advice on staying safe, and assures them a scientific explanation exists.However, in subsequent scenes, Kristan himself is revealed to be the murderer. He is seized by attacks (triggered by darkness) which transform him into a trance-like state of murderousness. After he commits a murder, he awakens from the trance with no memory of the deed, believing himself merely to have fainted. Kristan's obliviousness is further enabled by the intervention of his loyal hunchback Zan, the only person aware of Kristan's condition. Zan follows Kristan when he is in his trances, ensuring the professor is not discovered.
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