Posts Tagged ‘Boris Karloff’

img_6490I’ve said it on my other blog and that is I am always trying to find new and different ways to watch films. I am a huge fan of classic horror and that is where the Turner Classic Movies APP Watch TCM comes into play. So for today’s film, I chose to use the app and watch the film Isle Of The Dead which was released in 1945. It’s 1912 and Greece has been in a very long war that has worn out a lot of men. Gen. Nikolas Pherides (Boris Karloff) a.k.a. The Watchdog, is definitely one of those men especially known for his stuff and unrelenting tactics. One day after visiting an island in the Balkans, the general is afraid that a plague is spreading among the residents so he forces a quarantine lock down. During the lock down however, fear that one of the people in the house is a vampire begins to spread and chaos ensues. The film also stars Ellen Drew (The Man From Colorado) as Thea, Marc Cramer (The Bachelor and the Ballot) as Oliver Davis, Alan Napier (Marnie) as St. Aubyn, Ernst Deutsch (The Golem) as Dr. Drossos, Helene Thimig (Cloak And Dagger) as Madame Kyra, and the film was directed by Mark Robson (Valley Of The Dolls).

img_6491There was a general belief back in those days that the plague was caused by Vampires so I am not surprised that it was mentioned during the film. This wasn’t my favorite horror film that I have watched so far during this month, but it’s a very good one that features some great acting especially from Karloff and Marc Cramer. The plays on the idea of fear and paranoia especially that of certain characters. The film even touches on the subject of God vs Science as a bet is wagered during the quarantine lock down. The killer in this film is not a monster or a masked man, but a invisible killer or at least that is impossible to see with the naked eye. If you’re looking for action then the last five minutes of the film is probably what you’ll enjoy the most. The actual story itself is the other attractive selling point to the film because you see this man who has this reputation for being ruthless fall victim towards the end to hysteria when facing death. That is definitely what I also loved about the film besides everything else I already mentioned. If you have the Watch TCM App on your mobile device or tablet, then give this one a watch. I am going to give the film an B+ for a final grade only because there is more drama and mystery than Horror in the film.

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son-of-frankensteinThree years ago, we checked out The Bride Of Frankenstein for Eddie’s 31 Days Of Halloween as well as others from the Universal Monsters collections since then. This year I wanted to check out another film from the series so I chose to watch Son Of Frankenstein for today’s film. The Frankenstein name has been tarnished or at least feared in the town where the family castle is located. Baron Wolf von Frankenstein (Basil Rathbone), the son of Dr. Frankenstein, and his family decide to move to the castle to reclaim his family’s name. When there he receives a package from his father containing information of his discoveries and experiments. What he doesn’t expect to find in his father’s laboratory is the monster himself, but the monster is in a coma. After Ygor (Bela Lugosi) convinces him to awaken the monster, the monster does Ygor’s bidding and now the town is enraged as the killings continue. The film also stars Boris Karloff (Frankenstein) as Frankenstein’s Monster, Lionel Atwill (To Be Or Not To Be) as Inspector Krogh, Josephine Hutchinson (North By Northwest) as Elsa von Frankenstein, Donnie Dunagan (Tower Of London) as Peter von Frankenstein, Emma Dunn (The Great Dictator) as Emilia, Edgar Norton (Dr. Jekyll And Mr. Hyde) as Benson, and the film was directed by Rowland V. Lee (Captain Kidd).

basilThe film features the legendary Basil Rathbone who at one time played Sherlock Holmes and he played the son of Dr. Frankenstein in this one which was a treat. Basil was an amazing actor who was an attempt to breath new life into the series. The only thing that bothered me about the movie was his kid Peter who was played by a child who was obviously from the south in America while his parents were clearly British. Every time he spoke, it just bothered me that he was the only one with an American accent. I was surprised to see that Bela Lugosi was in the film as Ygor after it was thought that he hated Karloff (at least he did in the Ed Wood film). You didn’t get to see Frankenstein’s Monster do much in the film, we only see him in action a couple of times, but it’s the mystery that he is doing Ygor’s bidding that is the excitement. The acting is the selling point of this film from the one armed inspector to the amazing acting ability of Rathbone. I loved the design of the sets for the film, it has that Gothic feel to it like we were used to seeing in horror films of the time. If you’re a fan of the Universal Monsters, then give this one a shot and check it out. I am going to give the film an B for a final grade.

By Arvalis

By Arvalis

If you are a fan of the original The Mummy film that starred Boris Karloff or any of the rebooted Universal Monsters films like Dracula AD, etc. then I have some news for you. Universal is about to launch the first film in the reboot of The Mummy film and there is a major change in the character. The Mummy apparently is going to be played a female with what experts are saying is a unique backstory. Universal commented by saying, “the gender of the monster in the new film, which is set in the modern day, likely will depend on casting, expected to happen in the next couple of months.” They also revealed that there are two different versions they could go by, “one that would feature a female monster, and one that would feature a male.” Alex Kurtzman is set to direct the film that was written by Jon Spaihts (Prometheus). The film will be released on March 24, 2017 with another the following year. I have to go along with the major consensus in saying that I don’t care what gender The Mummy is as long as the story is tight.

gutterdammerungSome of you may be wondering just what in the hell is Gutterdämmerung? Apparently it’s a dark rock and roll fairy tale that stars the likes of Slash, Joshua Homme, Lemmy, Grace Jones, Iggy Pop, Justice, Henry Rollins, Slayer’s Tom Araya, Volbeat, Mark Lanegan, Nina Hagen and Jesse Hughes. The film was done by Björn Tagemose and apparently a live band will accompany the film according to the trailer. It looks like a film that could either be epic or an epic cheesefest. Check out the trailer for the film here.

godzzillaIn other news, we have some cool info on some of my favorite monsters that are not from Universal. Legendary Films and Warner Brothers did so well with the reboot of Godzilla that the company has announced that they are creating their own universe which seems to be the thing to do these days. Nevertheless, it has been announced that Godzilla, King Kong, and many others old and new will be appearing in films in the future. According to businesswire.com, the first films you’ll see are “2017’s KONG: SKULL ISLAND; GODZILLA 2 in 2018; and then GODZILLA VS. KONG, arriving in theaters in 2020.” According to a report, the two companies did acquire the rights from Toho to have King Ghidorah, Mothra, and Rodan which allow them to create the universe. Legendary CEO Thomas Tull said, “Audiences really responded to Godzilla. Today, I’m excited to reveal that film was only the beginning of an epic new entertainment universe. As a lifelong fan of these characters, I’ve always wanted to see the ultimate showdown, and today we’re pleased to be announcing that and more.”

christopher_lloyd___h_2015On October 21, 2015, it is officially Back To The Future day. What is weird is that in the film, the Chicago Cubs won the world series and the Cubs have now moved on to the next round in the MLB playoffs for real. Christopher Lloyd who played our beloved Doc Brown says that he would take the role in a fourth Back To The Future if everyone returned. Who are the everyone he speaks of, well it’s Robert Zemeckis, Bob Gale, Michael J. Fox, Lea Thompson, and Thomas F. Wilson of course. Lloyd in an interview says, “I would love to do Doc again, no question.” He went on to say, “It’s tough to come up with an idea that contains the excitement of the original three,. So it would be a real challenge for the writers to come up with an original Back to the Future story that has the same passion and intensity and excitement as the other three. But it could be done, you never know.” He went on to talk about Michael J. Fox and whether he thought he would return to play Marty McFly once again, “I think regardless of the Parkinson’s, he’d probably jump on the role and he’d be great. I can’t see doing another sequel without him. I would certainly want Bob Zemeckis directing it, Bob Gale writing it and the other principals being involved.” And, of course, there has got to be a DeLorean, he added. “It was such a perfect choice for the film. It looked so speedy and futuristic.” Let’s just wait and see what happens in the future.

apeI didn’t where else to put this post unless I created Eddie’s Monster Picture Show (which sounds like a great idea), but I was always curious about watching this film and I remember picking it up at one of my local pharmacies for about three bucks. The film is called The Ape and it stars the legendary Boris Karloff (Frankenstein) as Dr. Adrian, a mad scientist  of sorts who is not very well liked in the town he lives in. The doctor lost his wife and daughter to a paralyzing disease so he has made it his mission to cure a neighbor that he treats like a daughter named Frances (Maris Wrixon) who is paralyzed from the waste down. So, when a trainer at the circus gets mauled by the gorilla which in turn lets the Gorilla escape, the doctor takes it upon himself to collect spinal fluid from the man in order to find a cure. All in the name of science I tell you! The film also stars Gene O’Donnell (The Devil Bat) as Danny, Dorothy Vaughn (Black Legion) as Mother Clifford, Gertrude Hoffman (Before Dawn) as Jane, Henry Hall (The Desert Trail) as the Sheriff and the film was directed by William Nigh (Mr. Wong, Detective).

ape 2This was the last movie that Boris Karloff would star in for Monogram Pictures and it was actually a pretty good film. The film is only 61 minutes long which means it’s tolerable to watch as far as length is concerned, but you should watch it for the brilliance of Boris Karloff. The Ape in this film is awkwardly shaped and of course they wouldn’t use a real ape, it’s a man dressed in a suit, but I don’t think he ever saw an ape walk before in his life. The circus scene was very good as it captures the feel of a circus and the overwhelming imagery that is at your fingertips at one. The footage was a little grainy, but the film dates all the way back to 1940, but I love Black and White films because they seem so much more rich than color. It’s definitely an oldie, but goodie. So on a scale of 1 being closer to an A-List hollywood film and 5 being the cheesiest film of all time I am going to give this film a 1.8 on the scale because the acting was superb for the most part.

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brideThis was a film that I always wanted to watch from the classic Universal monster films so I figured why not. The film starts right where Frankenstein left off with us believing that both Dr. Frankenstein (Colin Clive) and his monster (Boris Karloff) have died. Looks can definitely be deceiving as the monster lives and so does Dr. Frankenstein. During the film, a scientist that is even crazier than Dr. Frankenstein suggest that they build the monster a bride and so they do. Will the bride reject the monster or will she love him? The film also stars  Valerie Hobson (Great Expectations) as Elizabeth, Ernest Thesiger (The Robe) as Dr. Pretorius, Elsa Lanchester (Mary Poppins) as Mary Shelly/The Monster’s Bride?, Una O’Connor (Robin Hood) as Minnie, Dwight Frye (Frankenstein) as Karl, Gavin Gordon (The Bat) as Lord Byron, and the picture was directed by James Whale (The Invisible Man).

bride of frankensteinThis is one of the most brilliant films in the Universal Monster saga and it’s all because of those last 15 minutes of the film. There are so many ranges of emotion that are portrayed in this film and in those 15 minutes. Frankenstein’s monster is a freak no doubt and it’s hard for him to fit in because of the fact that everyone is scared of him. After being rejected and losing the only friend he thought he had, Dr. Pretorius takes advantage of the monster’s emotions and uses it to his advantage. Of course as we all know, the bride rejects the monster and he ends it because after all no one will ever accept him. That is some powerful stuff and it’s something that I can relate to because it’s hard to fit in when you’re different. It’s truly some brilliant stuff, but I do have to say one thing. I could have done without the annoying character of Minnie, she was too much to handle even if the film is only an hour and 15 minutes. I am giving the film a A- for a final grade.

the mummyIt’s the second year of Eddie’s 31 Days Of Halloween and so to kick it off I looked to a classic monster movie from Universal Studios called The Mummy. You can’t get any better than the classic Universal monster movies and this is one of Boris Karloff’s finest. He stars as the ancient Egyptian priest Imhotep who was buried alive for trying to resurrect his dead girlfriend Ankh-es-en-amon. Now, we travel back to the present time in the film which is 1921 and Sir Joseph Whemple (Arthur Byron) and his team have just made a remarkable discovery which is the body of Imhotep. The only problem is that they didn’t listen to their friend Dr. Muller (Edward Van Sloan) who told them not to open a box that came with Imhotep. Whemple’s overly anxious assistant goes ahead, opens the box, and he awakens Imhotep. We fast forward ten years to 1932 and Imhotep is now known as Ardath Bey and he is looking to resurrect his long lost love, but can Dr. Muller and Whemple’s son Frank (David Manners) stop him before he takes the beautiful Helen (Zita Johann)?

mummyJust think about this for a second, The Mummy is now 81 years old and it’s still a remarkable film to watch even today. You cannot beat the classic horror of the early days, but I will admit something to all of you. I can see why these early classic horror films were marketed to kids back in the 1930’s and so on because they’re not terrifying in the sense of a serial killer going after victims or the boogeyman.  I do imagine that some of them were scary to kids back in the 1930’s so I can appreciate horror of this caliber. There were some flaws in the film that I noticed like at times it seemed like they were waiting for the director to call cut because it seems that they are awkwardly standing there. Boris Karloff is masterful in his role as Imhotep as he was carving his own way like Bela Lugosi was for Dracula or even Lon Chaney Jr as The Wolfman. Plus, he showed all of us that he could play something else other than The Monster from Frankenstein. I am giving the film an A- for a final grade.