The Boogie Man Will Get You (1942)
I will watch Peter Lorre in anything, including this horror comedy where Boris Karloff plays a meek scientist who is politely piling bodies in his basement. (Much of the film smacks of being a cheap knock-off of Arsenic and Old Lace.) Lorre and Karloff are charismatic and play well together, but they can only do so much. The supporting cast and flat direction made me feel like I was watching a failed TV pilot aimed at the Bewitched crowd.
Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man (1943)
From the director of many Sherlock Holmes films, and featuring a supporting cast pulled from that series including Lastrade (Dennis Hoey) again playing a clueless homicide Inspector. There's initial promise, and the way the story combines the two horror icons into the same universe makes sense, but as it stretches logic to create an inevitable monster vs. monster showdown I started wishing for more of a team-up where the two take on all the stupid villagers. As I feared, the climactic fight looks like a bad wrestling match. Atmospheric potential squandered.
Carnival of Sinners aka. The Devil's Hand (1943)
* * * - Okay
Directed by Maurice Tourneur, acclaimed for his silent films and father of Jacques Tourneur. (You find a lot of writing about how 70-year-old Maurice released this the same year as young Jacque's Cat People.) The basic story is a routine "sell your soul to the devil for greatness" involving a cursed hand. I like the portrayal of Satan as a mild-mannered accountant and there's a knockout sequence where all of the hand's previous owners gather to tell their story. Filmed like an German Expressionist version of You're Next, it's easily the best single scene of the Marathon so far. Takes a while to get there though.