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Old 07-23-2018, 10:28 PM   #1151
Trey Strain
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Some of you also might not know that Glenn Strange, who appeared in House of Frankenstein, House of Dracula, and Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein, played Sam the bartender in Gunsmoke. You can spot him in a scene at 8:49 in the episode posted above.
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Old 07-27-2018, 10:30 PM   #1152
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Was listening to a bunch of Ghost songs yesterday, and came across their song "If You Have Ghosts" off the album If You Have Ghost. Naturally, I immediately noticed it was based on Nosferatu (1922).
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Old 07-30-2018, 12:41 AM   #1153
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So I just finished watching The Old Dark House (1932), plus the extras at the end of the video.

Shit man, that is a really great house/set. Huge, foreboding, and loaded with weirdos. Karloff played one ugly and intimidating bastard, and the cadaverous brother and nutjob sister were a sight (swear the old man in bed looks like a woman with fake facial hair).

I think the whole falling-in-love bit was a bit dumb, but I suppose it's balanced out by the "fire cuts like knives" conversation.

But damn if that thing doesn't have some serious atmosphere!

Maybe later on I'll find a copy to own for my personal collection, because it really is a gem, but for now I need to gradually knock out the long list of suggested films from the sidebar:

The Bat Whispers (1930)
The Ninth Guest (1934)
Murder by the Clock (1931)
Cry of the Werewolf (1944)
The Black Doll (1938)
The Black Raven (1943)
The Strange Case of Doctor RX (1942)
Horror Island (1941)
The Rogues Tavern (1936)
The Thirteenth Guest (1932)
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Old 07-30-2018, 12:57 AM   #1154
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^I agree on Old Dark House. It has great atmosphere, good acting, and a decent story. I might have been turned off by all the humor, but I had heard about that before going in, so I wasn't surprised.
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Old 08-03-2018, 12:25 AM   #1155
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The Undying Monster (1942)

"Hydrophobia!?"

A strange monster stalks the area near an old English manor, a curse upon Hammond Hall and the Hammond family. As the horror mounts and attacks rise, a forensic investigator begins to unravel the nightmare.

I was searching for The Night Monster (Lugosi, 1942) on YouTube and other than a trailer and review, this was one of the hits (sadly, NM wasn't uploaded for free viewing but whatever, I still got to see this).

It's a lost/little known werewolf flick that I swear is heavily influenced by the Universal classic The Wolf Man (they literally have a creepy saying about walking around at night when there's frost on the ground, just like TWM has its prayers-by-night slogan).

Overall this is actually not too shabby, with a great outdoors set for the environment/cliffside and a spacious manner with some unnatural-looking dog-like statues. The hero (James Ellison playing Robert Curtis) is one relentless fellow, asking so many damn questions that he probably wrote his own edition of the Policeman's Handbook. Heather Angel is opposite him as Helga Hammond, and you have to sympathize with her "this superstition is bullshit, I'm getting work done here" attitude because of how much the legend comes up (then again, this is a horror flick, and the butler is required to keep mentioning it).

Also in classic horror news, when I was at my LCS yesterday, my Count Orlok action figure had arrived. I didn't pick it up (trying to clear out other things, I've got so much shit there it isn't even funny anymore), but I look forward to bringing him home one day.
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Old 08-03-2018, 01:01 AM   #1156
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^I don't believe I've seen that. Thanks for alerting us.
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Old 08-05-2018, 02:55 AM   #1157
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Dracula (Spanish, 1931)

"Considering you have not lived even one lifetime, you are a wise man, Professor."

So I finally sat down to watch this, and it wasn't what I was expecting (I don't know where I heard this was a comedy, because it has some humor to it but no more than the English version, so...). It was good, though, just didn't expect how straight-faced it was since I had previously had the wrong impression of it.

That said, it was a very good film. The cast handles things in a serious manner, and the acting is actually pretty damn good (Rubio's Renfield and Arozamena's Van Helsing are both comparable to their English counterparts, and certainly Villarias's Dracula is worth noting; I also liked Arbo as Martin the orderly, because he reminded me of Lou Costello).

The sets, same as the English one in the most literal sense, were great. Seeing all the ornate designs of older establishments is a total treat.

I'm pretty sure much of what can be said about this has already been said (by me in my own review, I'm sure) of the English version, so this will be a brief review (of course I say that towards the end).

Overall I'm glad I saw this, because it serves as a great companion piece to the English version, both having their strengths and weaknesses.
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Old 08-05-2018, 03:09 AM   #1158
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Agent Purple View Post
Dracula (Spanish, 1931) ... and certainly Villarias's Dracula is worth noting ...
Usually, he seems to be listed as one of the few weaknesses of that production by those who rank it on par or superior to Browning's film (even you seemed to innately rank his performance under his supporting cast). I thought he was alright, but probably suffers in comparison to Lugosi's more suave and even-keeled performance.



Their Mina (Eva) was very pretty.



And as much as I love Browning and his Dracula, even I would have to admit that the Spanish version is more dynamically shot.

It's interesting how Hollywood has variously attempted to either appeal to the non-English-speaking market or adapted stuff from it. Double-filming a production is a rather intriguing solution.
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Old 08-14-2018, 12:52 AM   #1159
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Son of Dracula (1943)

"Some way to spend an evening, listening to some goof talk to himself in two voices!"

It's been quite a while since I last saw this, and it was the last Classic Universal Horror flick I had to watch (as I currently don't own any Invisible Man films). But I saved a good one for last, I think.

The opening credits were very tastefully done, right up there with The Mummy ('32), Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man, and House of Frankenstein. (I'm putting those last two in because I can't remember which had the chemical set intro, so I'm just naming both to cover my bases).

I like the clever little trick with Dr. Brewster (Frank Craven) almost figuring out the plot right at the start, the backwards name (I wonder if this really was the first time something like that was done; it was at least one of the early trendsetters for it). Craven himself was great throughout, shouldering more than the usual share of an older character in a film of this age and genre, practically the hero (arguable that he is, because he gets a helluva lotta work done, rivaling Robert Paige's Frank Stanley).

Gotta admit that both Louise Allbritton as Katherine and Evelyn Ankers as Claire were both alluring and well-acted (easy for Ankers, who already starred alongside Chaney in Wolf Man and Ghost of Frankenstein). I like the angle applied to Katherine, with her being obsessed with the occult and drawn into Dracula's world, but at the same time using him for her own ends. It's a good twist on the usual gig.

Pat Moriarity (Sheriff Dawes) is a good inclusion, really liked how he's firm but reasonable, really holding the standard for law enforcement as portrayed in these films. Gotta pity him a bit for being caught up in everything.

I thought Paige's acting was spot-on. He's actually very smartly written, investigating Dracula and attempting to undo his scheme, only to be driven half-mad by the horror of what's really going on. His final acts were definitely satisfying to watch, facing down both Dracula and his own personal demons to end the nightmare.

Ah, Professor Lazlo (J. Edward Bromberg). God, he makes me think of James Earl Jones so damn much but with just enough of Edward Van Sloan's Professor Van Helsing that he makes for a wonderful take on the character type. I really enjoyed his introduction, how he jokes about being an authority on supernatural matters and warns Craven that Chaney may be dangerous because only a dangerous man would pretend to be associated with the Dracula line.

Now we come to the titular villain, Lon Chaney Jr's Count Dracula. He's done very well here I'd say, with an air of authority and loftiness, insisting on being announced right after murdering an old man, his persuasive words to Allbritton right before Paige crashes their honeymoon. I thought the scene of him appearing in the swamp atop his coffin was incredibly well done, really showing off a mixture of elegance and power, not just another bat on strings gag. Even better was when Bromberg is explaining vampires to Craven and Chaney materializes from under the door, attempting to kill them before the can halt his plans.

And the way he was finished off made me think that this was where Carradine's skeleton shenanigans come from. Gotta say, Chaney's hand in the water, the sun burning him to the bone, was a solid move on the film's part, very visually appealing and thematically strong.

I chose the quote I did because damn if Cyril Delevanti's Dr. Peters (coroner) doesn't make me think of a newspaper editor with a wild sense of humor.

Overall a great view, and I'm only possessed of a minor case of "should have rewatched it sooner."

All those out of the way, I just need to get the Creature and Invisible Man sets on Blu-ray and then watch the IM stuff (save for Invisible Agent, I remember it well enough, and one of the other ones about a crooked mine foreman or something). Hopefully those come out soon.
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Old 08-14-2018, 01:00 AM   #1160
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Quote:
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Son of Dracula (1943) ...
Fun fact (which I didn't notice until I heard it on the commentary): while Daughter is a proper sequel to Browning's Dracula, if you listen to the key dialogue about Dracula's past, Son is actually a sequel to Stoker's novel. The timing and manner of his death don't fit the movie.

Quote:
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All those out of the way, I just need to get the Creature and Invisible Man sets on Blu-ray and then watch the IM stuff (save for Invisible Agent, I remember it well enough, and one of the other ones about a crooked mine foreman or something). Hopefully those come out soon.
That's The Invisible Man Returns (the second movie) where Vincent Price is the invisible man and Cedric Hardwicke is the villain you speak of.
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Old 08-26-2018, 06:24 PM   #1161
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Cry of the Werewolf (aka Daughter of the Werewolf) (1944)

"Adamson is dead and I'm the last of the sons."

A town museum dedicated to a deceased family is stricken with tragedy when its director is murdered, seemingly by an unknown animal. As the mystery grows, a local tribe of Gypsies and its high priestess princess become the focus of the investigation and whether or not they are involved with werewolves.

This wasn't too bad for a film of the subject from back then. I disliked the intro (live footage of a "wolf" on a black background with the text overlaid) because the moving animal was distracting; I think a static image or series of static images relating to werewolves and/or the Old South would have worked better.

For the stars we have Fritz Leiber as Dr. Charles Morris (museum director), Stephen Crane as his son Bob, Osa Massen as Else Chauvet (his coworker and girlfriend), Nina Foch as Celeste the Gypsy Princess/werewolf, and Barton MacLane as the hilarious Lt. Barry Lane of the local PD. There's also Ivan Triesault as Jan Spivero (janitor), who reminds me a fair bit of Christoph Waltz.

Oh, and John Abbott is Peter the tour guide.

I'm not gonna lie, while the whole thing really felt like more of a TV show mystery/horror series episode, fitting the bill for a lot of the genre standards of those days, it actually is somewhat entertaining (to a lesser degree than the last The Undying Monster, but still decent). Both Foch and Massen were damn beautiful, and I liked the whole setup for the ancestor of Marie La Toure being a nod to the old werewolf legend of the noblewoman who's discovered by her husband to be a monster.

Frankly, I think the worst part is when Crane visits the funeral home (where I got the quote, because I found it so direct and inadvertently funny) because he sneaks down to the records to search them for clues and Celeste stalks him down there, but when he races back to the elevator and goes back up, she's there waiting for him. It's bad writing, plain and simple.

On the other hand, we have MacLane as a no-nonsense cop. He has a job to do, damn it, and he ain't gonna let some superstition get in the way! Dude seriously has some of the best lines in the film, makes me think Griffin Jay (screenplay/story) was a big cops-and-robbers fan.

I think the ending was both different (a hunt through the museum while Massen was at the same time under Foch's influence), but the "fight" between the wolf and Crane was just awkward and dumb.

Overall not a bad film, decent way to kill an hour, but not great either.
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Old 09-06-2018, 08:26 PM   #1162
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So apparently Parade magazine, in honor of the 200th anniversary of the original Frankenstein story by Mary Shelley, released a special collector's issue. I just saw it today, but it probably came out earlier this week.

My local market only had three copies left, all had broken-as-fuck spines, one so bad it may as well have been torn in half, another with a twisted bottom to go along with the fucked spine, and I was forced to grab the one which had the least awful amount of damage.

I strongly dislike the material that makes up the cover. I shit you not, it feels like the cover pages were made from goddamn sandpaper, I am not even remotely exaggerating.

Haven't had time yet to go through it, I just got home from a long day at work, and I want to do a bunch of shit before I waste my birthday weekend on miscellaneous chores, but I'll see if I can trudge through the pages and give you all a report on the quality of the content.

Cover price is $12.99.
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Old 09-12-2018, 11:53 PM   #1163
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So, last Saturday was my birthday, and I had told the clerk at my LCS. Today when he came in for his shift, he gave me a present: a custom-made Count Orlok HeroClix figure (the name on the base says Nosferatu, technically).

Gonna have to take a picture of it sometime and show the world.
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Old 09-12-2018, 11:56 PM   #1164
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^That's a pretty cool LCS guy.
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Old 09-13-2018, 01:32 AM   #1165
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He had actually designed it for me a while back, when I had recently told him I was a big fan of Nosferatu with Mac Schreck, and was waiting for a good time to gift it to me. Guy loves HeroClix and makes minis of all sorts of stuff that isn't in the actual games.

I've meant to ask him for a little while now to paint some of my Warhammer/40k minis, which he's offered to do, and maybe one for a friend, but I keep forgetting to mention it to him lately. Gonna have to try and remember now.
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Old 09-13-2018, 01:43 AM   #1166
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^I've been thinking of taking up miniature painting. I used to do models and detail painting was my favorite step. Since then, I restored a manger set for my stepdad and (less detailed) garden gnomes for my mother.
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Old 09-16-2018, 07:09 PM   #1167
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The Ninth Guest (1934)

"I'm sorry, sir, but you're not allowed to send swear words in a telegram."

A group of men and women are gathered together in a ritzy penthouse, each one believing they are the guest of honor at a party. But something is very wrong and soon they are being killed one by one with no chance to escape.

This is basically the first survival horror flick, and even though it's only 1h7m, it's well written and well acted, and has a pretty solid plot as the cast tries to keep from turning on each other in their bid to escape. The reveal at the end was actually rather good. Only real complaint I have is that the one character I actually liked dies, but other than that this is a good use of an hour.
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