|Vintage Pulp||May 7 2014|
The Black Cat has been called one of the greatest horror films ever made. Taken in context it’s creepy, no doubt, and it stars spookmeister Bela Lugosi alongside Boris Karloff, he of the sinister widow’s peak and cinderblock head, so they alone make it somewhat unsettling. But it was produced in 1934, and much has changed since then in terms of what is truly terrifying. Plotwise, what you have here are two honeymooners in Hungary who encounter a mysterious traveler and who all end up stuck in the dreaded hilltop manse—not the gothic pile you would expect, but rather a linear, art deco box. The house is occupied by Karloff, a sort of war criminal, and it turns out Lugosi has traveled there with revenge in mind, for it seems Karloff had something to do with the deaths of Lugosi’s wife and daughter. The honeymooners are basically hapless bystanders to this situation, and their approach to the predicament doesn’t remotely resemble the approach you or I would take, but people had better manners back then. Eventually, though, manners are jettisoned and that’s when the movie gets interesting.
|Vintage Pulp||Mar 28 2011|
Above, a promo poster for the horror film Mark of Vampire. It was directed by Tod Browning of Freaks fame, was a remake of his earlier silent London After Midnight, and stars Bela Lugosi, Lionel Barrymore and Elizabeth Allan. It isn’t a flawless movie, but it does have some good moments, all the rubber bats notwithstanding. Mark of the Vampire premiered in the U.S. today in 1935.