MERRY CHRISTMAS FROM MONSTERS AFTER MIDNIGHT!
Island oasis or jungle hell? While Jeff looks for a vacation getaway, Richard is wary… particularly considering the movies we’re discussing: Island of Lost Souls (1932), The Twilight People (1972) and The Island of Dr. Moreau (1977).
As if those three aren’t enough, club member Steven Turek provides comments for Terror is a Man (1959), The Island of Dr. Moreau (1996) and Lost Soul: The Doomed Journey of Richard Stanley’s Island of Dr. Moreau (2014).
Don’t make us haul you out of the water by your feet. Row your boat on over to this month’s meeting as we call The Classic Horrors Club to order…
Stick around to the end to learn who won last month’s contest and these three fabulous prizes:
To participate in our next meeting just…
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Written by George Bricker and M, Coates Webster
Original story by Dwight V. Babcock
Directed by Jean Yarbrough
Starring Rondo Hatton, Tom Neal, Jan Wiley, Jane Adams
Released October 1, 1946
RT 58 min.
Home Video Amazon Prime (streaming)
Classic Horrors rating = 5 (out of 10)
I thought The Brute Man was all right, but it was only after watching it that I learned about its reputation. My first clue should have been that there was no Universal introduction; instead, the beginning read, “Producers Releasing Corporation.” Apparently, Universal produced The Brute Man during a pending merger with International Pictures and adopted a policy against releasing any more B movies.
Or did they? Because Universal was still releasing other B movies in the months before the merger, film experts believe the studio simply wanted to distance itself from a film that would tarnish its corporate image. Instead of taking a…
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Written by Joseph Green
Directed by Joseph Green
Starring PJason Evers, Virginia Leith, Anthony La Penna, Adele Lamont
Released August 10, 1962
Home Video Shout! Factory (Blu-ray)
Classic Horrors rating = 6 (out of 10)
Despite its reputation, it has taken me many years to finally watch The Brain That Wouldn’t Die (1962). In spite of its reputation, I really enjoyed it. It’s not exactly an action-packed thrill ride, but if it were less talky, we might not hear such wisdom as, “The paths of experimentation twist and turn through mountains of miscalculations and often lose themselves in error and darkness!”
That’s from Kurt (Anthony La Penna), whom I guess you’d call the assistant of Dr. Bill Cortner (Jason Evers). He runs the country branch of Cortner’s lab during the week when Cortner works his day job in the city, being scolded by his father that “an operating…
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As many know, Alfred Hitchcock making Psycho was never a sure thing. The studio, and apparently his wife, weren’t too keen on the Master of Suspense adapting a novel that people thought was cheap sensationalism. Robert Bloch’s book was based on the infamous Ed Gein murders, which had been grisly national news a few years before. Like Norman Bates, Ed Gein had an unhealthy relationship with his mother, who he later dug up and kept in his house as his sole companion. But Hitchcock saw great potential in the story, an opportunity to make an entirely new kind of film, one that, like Val Lewton’s The Leopard Man, explored the darker, terribly lonely and compulsive urges of the serial killer.
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When I first watched Gaslight (1944), I was blown away by the standard of the performances overall. It is still my favourite Charles Boyer role, and I think that Ingrid Bergman really shows her capacity for exhaustive emotional depth in her portrayal of the beleaguered woman, desperate to not succumb to insanity. But I think that Angela Lansbury’s performance as the conniving, disrespectful and openly sexually mature young maid, who treats the lady of the house disparagingly and flirts with her husband in front of her, is my favourite performance of the film. That may seem like an odd thing to say. Her character is probably as unlikable as Charles Boyer’s, and almost as destructive, because she is complicit in his abuse of his wife. But what Angela Lansbury shows, is that she is one of the greatest actresses of her generation.
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The Phantom of the Opera (1925) is considered one of the greatest silent films ever made. That may be a bold claim considering that the majority of silent films are lost, perhaps forever, but the film’s compelling central performance by Lon Chaney, its technical mastery and its fascinating plot make an extremely valid case.
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