This ranks high on the list of most asinine movies ever made. Lots of unintended laughs in this totally ridiculous production. When you run out of ideas, this is what’s left.
Looks like a seaside village in Cornish is haunted by a half man, half bird. In the 1700’s Frank Real was buried alive as a sorcerer by the Stroud family. He was accused of having his pet vulture carry off a Stroud child. His cache of gold coins were buried with him in case he had to go to the mall.
School teacher Ellen West gets off a bus during a rainstorm at the Stroud estate. The driver tells her it’s haunted but she’s not paying attention and walks through the church graveyard. A tombstone starts moving and then….a loud flapping of wings. Ellen faints.
Inside the big house lives Brian Stroud (Broderick Crawford). His niece Trudy Lutens (Diane Clare) is visiting. Soon to join her is her nuclear scientist husband from America Eric (Robert Hutton).
Ellen is in the hospital. Her hair has turned white. She says she saw a huge vulture rise from the grave. It had a man’s face and hands. The local church Sexton, Melcher goes into her room and says she should have kept her mouth shut. A nurse comes in and chases him out.
Eric is finally on the scene. He warns Brian to keep the windows closed and locked. Scientist that he is he buys the whole half man, half bird story along with the curse on the Stroud family.. Later there’s a knock on Brian’s window. It’s just his brother Edward.
Eric visits retired professor Hans Koniglich (Akim Tamiroff). He tells him he believes the creature is the result of nuclear transmutation. He oughta know. He works for the Atomic Energy Commission. The prof has trouble getting around. He took a fall and has to use two canes. There’s a scene to come where Eric explains it all to Brian. Now that’s funny.
Later Brian gets another knock on the window. He opens it and goes outside. Finally Crawford gets a break as his sentence in this movie is over. Scotland Yard thinks it’s the work of a thief who stole the box of coins from the grave. Eric still goes for the creature story.
Outside the house a man finds a gold coin. Eric and Trudy investigate. Eric says to look for footprints in the soft ground. Instead he finds another coin. He says it had to have fallen from the air and he’s convinced more than ever that the vulture critter is the real deal.
Edward is planning to go back home and Eric takes Trudy out of harms way to London. Now there’s a knock on the window and Edward finally checks it out. No bird. Just that creepy sexton. Scotland Yard is also around. They say they been watching him.
Eric gets a call in their hotel room from the professor. He found a coin near a cave. Eric thinks that’s where the creature lives and rushes back. Before he leaves he gives Trudy a gun the size of a Pez dispenser.
The next day Trudy gets a telegram from Eric to hurry back. She’s to meet him at the professor’s place. He gives her a newspaper with the headline that Uncle Edward has been murdered. You may be asking yourself if this can get any dumber. It can and it does.