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Old 11-10-2017, 02:49 PM   #1076
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Another from Rolfe, but I'm not as conversant with Phantom as Dracula. Still, interesting.

+ YouTube Video
ERROR: If you can see this, then YouTube is down or you don't have Flash installed.
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Old 11-10-2017, 11:11 PM   #1077
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but I'm not as conversant with Phantom as Dracula.
...You are now dead to me.
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Old 11-10-2017, 11:39 PM   #1078
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...You are now dead to me.
I didn't say I'm unfamiliar with it. Do you believe Phantom of the Opera superior to Browning's Dracula?
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Old 11-10-2017, 11:51 PM   #1079
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I'm mostly just fucking with you.

I have yet to see either of the 1931 Draculas, though the Phantom version I watched (which I guess is a color-tinted Eastman print, because it wasn't just black-and-white and had the masquerade in multicolor) was a damn good flick. I'd have to rewatch it to offer a stronger opinion because it's been too long since I've seen it.
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Old 11-11-2017, 12:07 AM   #1080
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Wait, wait, wait. You've never seen the Bela Lugosi Dracula? You really need to fix that.
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Old 11-11-2017, 12:17 AM   #1081
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Stop nagging me, Space Mom. I'll get around to it.
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Old 11-12-2017, 08:00 PM   #1082
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Man, that's a big one to not have seen!

To be honest though, the 1931 Dracula is one of my least favorite of the core Universal monster movies. I love Dracula himself, but the lack of a score on that movie makes it very dull to watch. I think Frankenstein and The Mummy are both far superior and were released around that time. The spanish one IS better. The cast is pretty good.
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Old 11-12-2017, 08:19 PM   #1083
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^I had to be told by someone that Dracula didn't have a score. I watched that movie maybe a dozen times before a friend pointed that out and I thought "oh, I guess it doesn't." It never bothered me. And personally while I feel a score can have a big effect on a movie, I don't think it's an indispensable component. Silence can be used very effectively.* To me Dracula is like a stepping stone between silent and sound and on that scale, it's a good one.

Frankenstein is definitely a better production, but I have a hard time thinking of Mummy as superior since it cribs so much from Dracula (basic plot, characterization, cast). It does, however, have great effects and the dramatic pacing is probably tighter.

But aside from any objective standard, I just enjoy Dracula more. The characters draw me in and are all acted superbly. Just by what I get a kick out of, I'd probably have to rank them Wolfman, Dracula, Frankenstein Meets the Wolfman, then Frankenstein or Bride (they are so close in quality in themes that I go back and forth). But, as I say, that's a subjective, not objective (if that's even possible) ranking.

*EDIT: I've been studying M (1931) for film club and I think score would have hurt the film. It works perfectly in the movie that the very few music bits are source music (two characters who whistles and one organ grinder).
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Old 11-17-2017, 06:54 PM   #1084
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Speaking of the Frankenstein movies, Rolfe's latest video (I guess this is a series of classic movie mysteries) tries to explain the continuity:

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ERROR: If you can see this, then YouTube is down or you don't have Flash installed.
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Old 11-17-2017, 07:08 PM   #1085
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I'm making up my Christmas list, and it's gotten longer now than at any point in probably 10 years.

The reason? I've added on a bunch of the Universal "Complete Legacy Collection" volumes as suggested gifts. Seeing this vids from James makes me want them all even more.
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Old 11-17-2017, 09:48 PM   #1086
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^I have the Universal DVD sets from about 10 years ago and I'm good with that, but I might pick up some of those more recent one-offs BDs if I catch them cheap. The other stuff I do or don't have depending on availability. I love it.

As I used to say with Abin Surly, anything with Bela Lugosi interests me, even the crappy stuff.
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Old 11-18-2017, 09:21 AM   #1087
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I used to have the green Uni sets that came out to support the Sommers Mummy movie. Those were great for having everything for each character in their set, no matter the duplication across sets. They only problem was there were plenty of flip discs which I despise. I waited years for a bluray set and gave up when Uni finally rereleased them in those black and white covered sets. I no sooner finished buying them all over again and, you guessed it, Uni started releasing the same package design on bluray.

I have already bought the series 3 times as I did it in the 90s on vhs. If I convert to bluray it would be the 4th time.
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Old 11-18-2017, 02:12 PM   #1088
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I used to have the green Uni sets that came out to support the Sommers Mummy movie. Those were great for having everything for each character in their set, no matter the duplication across sets. They only problem was there were plenty of flip discs which I despise. . .
Yeah, I'd prefer not to do flip discs either. At least they put the first title (Dracula, Frankenstein, etc) on a printed disc for each of them.
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Old 12-06-2017, 12:13 AM   #1089
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Has anyone heard a possible street date for the bluray releases of The Complete Legacy Collection editions of The Invisible Man and The Creature From The Black Lagoon? They obviously are going to be 2018, making 2 per year for all 6 (as 2 came out in 2016 and 2 in 2017). I'm trying to find out when exactly in 2018 the last 2 are going to hit. I want to upgrade my CFTBL, and I don't own The Invisible Man at all in any format.
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Old 12-26-2017, 03:25 AM   #1090
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Werewolf of London (1935)

"I'm sorry I can't share this with you!"

Wow, this is older than I expected (though that does explain the spots in the audio and the slightly-fuzzy visuals.

Overall a surprisingly humorous film for something set in the horror genre (I chalk this up to characters that are more stereotyped than normal, because damn if a lot of this stuff isn't heavily tongue-in-cheek). Some of it, such as how the partygoers brush off the "devil in the house" ravings of the near-victim woman as her "fixing her drinks too much," are pretty understandable but other bits, such as the two old woman who drink a lot, are the sort of thing that makes you raise your eyebrow.

I did like Hull's transformation, exactly like what LCJr first showed me as a kid whenever I watched my taped-on-home-VHS The Wolfman. Hull's design was less hairy but no less bestial, and actually makes for a haunting "human trapped inside a monster's flesh" motif. Bastard's also tough as nails, ripping apart (age-weakened!) iron bars.

I did find the senior officer's line at the end, about how he'd word his report, to be very thoughtful of him, recognizing both the gravity of the situation (that nobody would believe in werewolves) and that Wilfred deserved better than he got.

Now I need to start working my way through the others. Watching both versions of the 1931 Dracula will be a special case, given that I'll need to watch them close together (maybe this Sunday, since I almost never go anywhere).
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Old 12-31-2017, 04:36 PM   #1091
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Steadily (read: slowly) getting through the many classic Universal horror flicks, this past week saw me viewing two of them.

She-Wolf of London (1946)

"Oh, I never touch a drop, sir -- before six PM!"

I was quite surprised and pleased with how this one turned out. You go in expected a straight-up werewolf flick themed so that a woman is the focus, but it turns into this clever and satisfying mystery with a more realistic grounding.

I found the two inspectors to be highly entertaining (the older one reminded me of JK Simmons from the Raimi Spider-Man films, the younger being a bit more comic relief but endearing).

I like the ambiguity involved in whether or not the protagonist really is turning into a beast and slaughtering anybody in the park unfortunate enough to cross paths. There's plenty of evidence that she has a dark, alternate being within her, but also clues that suggest she's innocent.

Overall it was a solid and entertaining film, very balanced in its content and presentation, and a hidden gem from the bygone days of the Silver Screen.



And last night I achieved a much larger accomplishment: I finally watched Frankenstein (1931).

"Dangerous? Poor old Waldman. Have you never wanted to do anything that was dangerous? Where should we be if no one tried to find out what lies beyond? Have your never wanted to look beyond the clouds and the stars, or to know what causes the trees to bud? And what changes the darkness into light? But if you talk like that, people call you crazy. Well, if I could discover just one of these things, what eternity is, for example, I wouldn't care if they did think I was crazy. "

It was either this or The Mummy (1932), but I decided that it would be Whale's masterpiece.

This was incredibly satisfying, albeit with some dissonance in the back of my head (the names Henry and Victor being switched for the reason that Victor sounded too severe and unfriendly to American audiences, and Igor being Fritz).

I really have to say that Colin Clive was phenomenal as Dr. Frankenstein, just an animated and frightfully brilliant performance. Made me think of the mad doctor from Transylvania 6-5000, with him being a mad scientist in the lab but a normal guy outside of it. I also was really pleased that he had a redemption turn rather than being consumed by his twisted science and the Monster, which is what we get a fair bit as it is. Really stunned and thrilled at the ending he got!

His father, Frederick Kerr, was a hoot. I loved his performance, this lovable old dad with some serious verbal barbs. His interaction with the Burgomaster was a scream. And speaking of Lionel Belmore, when my dad first saw his name on the opening credits, he momentarily thought it said "Lionel Barrymore." I myself noticed that Karloff only got a question mark until the repeating of the credits at the film's end.

As for the Monster, Karloff did a stellar job. His entrance was awkward (walking in backwards, of all things), and how he leaned forward so much was perhaps a little unusual, but damn if he doesn't commit to the role. This disfigured, mentally-unstable beast that just stumbles through a world he doesn't understand, his only experiences full of pain, fear, and anger (seeing Fritz use the torch and whip on him was jarring; guy's a total sadist, and he also has a post-mortem invisibility shield). I also noticed, thanks to James Rolfe, that his Monster haircut is similar to the one in The Criminal Code (need to see that).

I did quite like how animated the Monster is, moving about quickly as opposed to shuffling and staggering. Seeing such dynamism really changes your perspective on how the Monster is often portrayed. I suspect that, during the fiery death at the end, the studio sped up the film or removed some frames (doubtful of the latter, since I couldn't see any jumps), because of how quickly things happen (you can literally see that the physical movements of both Karloff and his surroundings are faster than they should be).

The scene with the father carrying his dead daughter through town was nerve-wracking, that haunted look on his face and everyone celebrating less and less as the scene goes on. Really makes you shudder.

Overall I am very happy with this work of art. Now to get through the rest of them.
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Old 12-31-2017, 07:04 PM   #1092
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Agent Purple View Post
Steadily (read: slowly) getting through the many classic Universal horror flicks, this past week saw me viewing two of them.

She-Wolf of London (1946)

"Oh, I never touch a drop, sir -- before six PM!"

I was quite surprised and pleased with how this one turned out. You go in expected a straight-up werewolf flick themed so that a woman is the focus, but it turns into this clever and satisfying mystery with a more realistic grounding.

I found the two inspectors to be highly entertaining (the older one reminded me of JK Simmons from the Raimi Spider-Man films, the younger being a bit more comic relief but endearing).

I like the ambiguity involved in whether or not the protagonist really is turning into a beast and slaughtering anybody in the park unfortunate enough to cross paths. There's plenty of evidence that she has a dark, alternate being within her, but also clues that suggest she's innocent.

Overall it was a solid and entertaining film, very balanced in its content and presentation, and a hidden gem from the bygone days of the Silver Screen.



And last night I achieved a much larger accomplishment: I finally watched Frankenstein (1931).

"Dangerous? Poor old Waldman. Have you never wanted to do anything that was dangerous? Where should we be if no one tried to find out what lies beyond? Have your never wanted to look beyond the clouds and the stars, or to know what causes the trees to bud? And what changes the darkness into light? But if you talk like that, people call you crazy. Well, if I could discover just one of these things, what eternity is, for example, I wouldn't care if they did think I was crazy. "

It was either this or The Mummy (1932), but I decided that it would be Whale's masterpiece.

This was incredibly satisfying, albeit with some dissonance in the back of my head (the names Henry and Victor being switched for the reason that Victor sounded too severe and unfriendly to American audiences, and Igor being Fritz).

I really have to say that Colin Clive was phenomenal as Dr. Frankenstein, just an animated and frightfully brilliant performance. Made me think of the mad doctor from Transylvania 6-5000, with him being a mad scientist in the lab but a normal guy outside of it. I also was really pleased that he had a redemption turn rather than being consumed by his twisted science and the Monster, which is what we get a fair bit as it is. Really stunned and thrilled at the ending he got!

His father, Frederick Kerr, was a hoot. I loved his performance, this lovable old dad with some serious verbal barbs. His interaction with the Burgomaster was a scream. And speaking of Lionel Belmore, when my dad first saw his name on the opening credits, he momentarily thought it said "Lionel Barrymore." I myself noticed that Karloff only got a question mark until the repeating of the credits at the film's end.

As for the Monster, Karloff did a stellar job. His entrance was awkward (walking in backwards, of all things), and how he leaned forward so much was perhaps a little unusual, but damn if he doesn't commit to the role. This disfigured, mentally-unstable beast that just stumbles through a world he doesn't understand, his only experiences full of pain, fear, and anger (seeing Fritz use the torch and whip on him was jarring; guy's a total sadist, and he also has a post-mortem invisibility shield). I also noticed, thanks to James Rolfe, that his Monster haircut is similar to the one in The Criminal Code (need to see that).

I did quite like how animated the Monster is, moving about quickly as opposed to shuffling and staggering. Seeing such dynamism really changes your perspective on how the Monster is often portrayed. I suspect that, during the fiery death at the end, the studio sped up the film or removed some frames (doubtful of the latter, since I couldn't see any jumps), because of how quickly things happen (you can literally see that the physical movements of both Karloff and his surroundings are faster than they should be).

The scene with the father carrying his dead daughter through town was nerve-wracking, that haunted look on his face and everyone celebrating less and less as the scene goes on. Really makes you shudder.

Overall I am very happy with this work of art. Now to get through the rest of them.
I don't think you'll be disappointed in The Mummy. I think it's the best of Universal's early horror films, and that Karloff's performance in it even tops the one he gave in Frankenstein.

If you haven't seen it, I suggest that you also watch Freaks.

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Old 12-31-2017, 07:15 PM   #1093
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I know I'll like it, and my decision wasn't motivated even a bit by possible disappointment; I just wanted to see Frankenstein more.

Fun fact: as a child, my mother had nightmares that the Frankenstein Monster was lying in a ditch in front of a neighborhood family's house, waiting to rise up and get her as she walked by. Similarly, she was afraid the Mummy would come down from the attic and get her (her room had the door to the attic, full set of stairs and all, and her bed faced it).
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Old 12-31-2017, 09:35 PM   #1094
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And last night I achieved a much larger accomplishment: I finally watched Frankenstein (1931).
Well, there's another benefit of picking that one. In fact, I'm planning to watch it tomorrow because it will be the 200th anniversary of Mary Shelly's book being published (I won't have time to re-read the whole book).

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. . . and Igor being Fritz . . .
That one's not a change. There is no assistant in the novel. That's a movie invention (see the wiki here). Fritz was first.

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Old 12-31-2017, 11:17 PM   #1095
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The Fritz Ygor thing from the movies is very odd. One one hand you have Universal loving using the actor playing Fritz over and over again, but then out of nowhere they got Lugosi to come in and created the character of Ygor for him. I always wondered why they didn't find a better way of linking Fritz and Ygor as the same guy in the story.
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Old 12-31-2017, 11:19 PM   #1096
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And The Mummy was a terrific movie. When I was a kid I didn't watch it as much because to me I was being cheated out of seeing him wear his wrappings throughout the movie like the sequels or the Hammer version. But later on as a teenager I rediscovered the Karloff version and appreciated it for the classic it is.
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Old 12-31-2017, 11:23 PM   #1097
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^The reality is they didn't care about "canon" and no one thought of such a thing as "a shared universe" for monster movies and they never envisioned a day when the movies would be watched again and again and owned and analyzed by the viewers. It's pretty much impossible to keep a head canon within the Universal Monster franchises let alone across the board.
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Old 12-31-2017, 11:54 PM   #1098
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^The reality is they didn't care about "canon" and no one thought of such a thing as "a shared universe" for monster movies and they never envisioned a day when the movies would be watched again and again and owned and analyzed by the viewers. It's pretty much impossible to keep a head canon within the Universal Monster franchises let alone across the board.

I like to try to keep the head canon though, with at least the Wolf Man, Frankenstein, amd Creature FTBL lines. I love the bits where they line up from movie to movie, and downplay the spots where they don't.
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Old 01-01-2018, 12:04 AM   #1099
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I like to try to keep the head canon though, with at least the Wolf Man, Frankenstein, amd Creature FTBL lines. I love the bits where they line up from movie to movie, and downplay the spots where they don't.
Creature is probably the easiest since it only has the three. I'd have to watch them again, but except for some possible chronology difficulties, I don't remember a big plot hole.
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Old 01-01-2018, 12:35 AM   #1100
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Creature is probably the easiest since it only has the three. I'd have to watch them again, but except for some possible chronology difficulties, I don't remember a big plot hole.
It was a trilogy before trilogies were cool!
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