Wizard (1927)

Genres - Horror, Thriller  |   Sub-Genres - Creature Film  |   Run Time - 61 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Synopsis by Hal Erickson

A film that has apparently long since disappeared, Fox's The Wizard is, together with MGM's London After Midnight, one of the most highly sought-after of the "lost" silent horror films. Based on a story by Gaston Leroux (of Phantom of the Opera fame), the story concerns one Doctor Coriolos, played by the satanic-visaged Gustav von Seyfertitz. Outwardly a saintly humanitarian, Coriolos is actually a fiend in human form, secretly plotting the murders of those who sentenced his son to the gallows. To this end, he has developed and cultivated an "ape man" named Balaoo (George Kotsonaros) to do his bidding. To offset the grim goings-on, a pair of comedy-relief detectives stumble and bumble around to solve the murders orchestrated by Coriolos. The Wizard was remade, and considerably simplified, as Dr. Renautl's Secret, with George Zucco as Renault and J. Carroll Naish as his half-simian flunkey.