It’s nice to see Bela in something that’s not camp or a parody. The storyline isn’t original as it contains all of the usual vampire lore. It does leave out a few things concerning werewolves. It’s a Columbia Picture so Dracula doesn’t get a mention. Bela’s role is as the two hundred year old scientist Armand Tesla.
It’s 1918. Tesla’s werewolf servant Andreas lets him know his latest victim is in a nearby sanitarium run by Lady Jane Ainsley and Professor Saunders. The patient dies screaming. Saunders has an article about Armand Tesla and the dead returning.
While he’s busy with that Tesla is busy getting into Saunder’s young granddaughter’s room and biting her neck. Can’t fool the prof. He knows Nicki is the victim of a vampire. Saunders and Lady Jane go to the cemetery and drive a spike through Tesla’s heart. That causes Andreas to pass out and revert to his old self.
Move to 1941. Andreas works for Lady Jane as a lab technician. Saunders was killed in a plane crash. Nicki (Nina Foch) is engaged to Lady Jane’s son John who is a concert pianist.
Lady Jane tells Inspector Fleet of Scotland Yard about Tesla. He wants to go to the graveyard. If a body is discovered with a spike through it Lady Jane could be up on murder charges. During a German air raid a bomb destroys a lot of the area and that takes care of any charges.
Two men are cleaning the place up when they come across the body. They don’t think it should be reburied with the spike so thye remove it. Tesla’s back and calls Andreas who grows all that hair again. His first job is to get rid of Dr.Hugo Bruckner. He’s been smuggled out of a concentration camp. Andreas does what he’s told and Tesla masquerades as Bruckner.
Lady Jane gives him full access to the lab and he also retakes full access of Nicki. Lady Jane can’t help but notice the two puncture wounds on Nicki’s neck. Tesla is staying at the Professional Club. He’s left orders not to be disturbed since he sleeps during the daytime.
Tesla continues his revenge as he sends Nicki after John. Fleet remains a skeptic even after two of his men say they were questioning Andreas about a bundle he was carrying. Andreas fights them off after turning into a werewolf. He doesn’t even need a full moon.
It comes to the usual wrap up. Thanks to Bela it is worth seeing. The last few seconds are also interesting and fun.