While scavenging for food among dead bodies during the Russian Revolution, a slow-witted peasant named Sergei (Lon Chaney) is hired by a desperate woman to guide her out of the carnage. In exchange for promises of friendship and a secure future, he endures torture to save her. The woman turns out to be a countess, the friendship and secure future become a degrading job in her kitchen and Sergei, inflamed by proletarian ideals, embraces violence. In a striking performance, Chaney proves he doesn't need prosthetics or bizarre makeup to create a visceral screen experience. Although Mockery made money, its star returned to horror for his next film, donning vampire makeup for London After Midnight.