Synopsis by Clarke Fountain
This 1944 Spanish film, the first directed by Edgar Neville (who was also a Count), was based on the Spanish Gothic horror novel by Emilio Carrere, El Torre de los Siete Jorobados. Although sometimes referred to in books on the history of the horror film, it is seldom seen. It combines many classic horror movie features with elements of humor and surrealism. In the story, an underground complex formerly used by Jews at the time of the Inquisition as a hiding place is now the hideout of a group of hunchbacks in the counterfeiting racket. The ghost of an anthropologist who was killed for having discovered the site enlists the aid of a heroic young man, Basilio Beltran (Antonio Casal) to protect his niece Dona Inez (Isabel de Pomes). She's in danger from the mastermind of the hunchbacks, Dr. Sabatino (Guillermo Marin). Typical of the film's offbeat approach are the periodic appearances of the ghost of Napolean, who can't seem to find the right seance. The bizarre mix of horror and comedy might appeal more to modern viewers than it did to audiences in the '40s.