Any movie starring Bela Lugosi and Boris Karloff should be a home run. However, Black Friday is just O.K. There's nothing horribly wrong with it. It's simply leaves you feeling like you've seen it before.
Karloff is definitely front and center as Dr. Ernest Sovac who transplants part of an injured gangster's brian into a mild-mannered English professor. [Just go with it.] The result is a person with a Jekyll and Hyde personality which the doctor tries to exploit for his own benefit. Karloff is fine in this role but his performance is nothing special. Lugosi has a much smaller role in the film and simply blends in with the rest of the cast. It's hardly his best performance either.
The screenplay was written by Curt Siodmac who also wrote the iconic The Wolf Man and The Invisible Man. Because of this, I also had high expectations for Black Friday that were not met. The dialogue was fine but the plot was very formulaic and predictable.
The final nail in the coffin is that there aren't any nails in the coffin! With a title like Black Friday I expected a little horror, a touch of gore, and perhaps a little devil worship for good measure. None of that is to be found here. Black Friday is a straight up gangster-themed thriller that offers little else. My question is why waste your time when there are so many other excellent films out there?
For more info check out the film's entry in IMDB.