Racketeers murder an incorruptible judge and frame ex-con Karloff for the deed. Karloff is executed for his supposed crime, but is brought back to life by kindly and eccentric doctor Gwenn. He comes back with a new purpose -- revenge.
Excellent little B-picture that, thanks to Curtiz's direction and Hal Mohr's cinematography, manages to have more substance in its 66 minutes than many films twice as long. Though it is never outrightly stated, it is pretty obvious that Karloff has been brought back with a divine purpose, namely to strike down the sinners who brought about his death. And though it was made in 1936, this film is quite clearly a film noir, and not just because of the moody visuals. Ellman is as much a victim of fate as Tom Neal in Detour, or any one of a hundred other poor schmucks that littered the screen in that genre's heyday. One of Karloff's best "minor" films.
Note: Karloff's character name is spelled "Elman" in the credits, but "Ellmann" in newspapers and teletypes seen on screen. Similarly, Kenneth Harlan's character is named "Stephen Martin" but called "Paul Martin" at least once by Ricardo Cortez. Some scenes must have been deleted, as several uncredited roles don't appear on scren anywhere.