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What Horror and Sc-Fi films have you seen lately?

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intothenitrate
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Re: What Horror and Sc-Fi films have you seen lately?

Postby intothenitrate » June 15th, 2012, 9:58 pm

I'm in the "love it" group for The Black Cat. Everyone is in top form. It's got its own, very distinctive mood. Is that the first film that teams up Karloff and Lugosi?
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Re: What Horror and Sc-Fi films have you seen lately?

Postby MikeBSG » June 16th, 2012, 8:40 am

Yes, "The Black Cat" (1934) was the first, followed by "The Raven" (1935) and "The Invisible Ray" (1936). "Son of Frankenstein" (1939) and "Black Friday" (1940) were their last team-up films for Universal. They appeared together in "The Body Snatcher" (1945) for Val Lewton at RKO. I think they appeared together in a comedy as well, called something like "You'll Find Out" but I don't know much about that film.

Last year there was a book called "100 Films You Should Die Before You See" which listed both "The Black Cat" and "The Raven." "The Raven" is pretty weak, especially compared to "The Black Cat," but then "The Raven" was made at a time of extreme nervousness about censorship. (Apparently, footage of Karloff's makeup tests were sent to the Breen Office for approval and Breen Office's advice led to changes in the makeup. This is supposedly the only time this ever happened.)

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MichiganJ
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Re: What Horror and Sc-Fi films have you seen lately?

Postby MichiganJ » June 16th, 2012, 10:06 am

Technically they both first appeared in The Gift of Gab (1934), but in cameos (and not together).
They also are paired in The Invisible Ray (1936). You'll Find Out, which also features Peter Lorre, is a haunted house, musical, comedy that isn't bad as long as you don't go in expecting a Karloff/Lugosi horror film.
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Re: What Horror and Sc-Fi films have you seen lately?

Postby CineMaven » June 29th, 2012, 2:11 am

I fell asleep with my tv set on last night ( as usual ) and when I woke up "VILLAGE OF THE DAMNED" was on. I saw this actress and heard her voice...

Image

Who IS this dulcet toned actress? Mature, attractive and standing toe-to-toe with old Hollywood pro, George Sanders.

Then later on in the day, there was Quatermass doing his thing in "FIVE MILLIONS YEARS TO EARTH." Not really paying attention b'cuz I had been recording the morning of TCM anyway, again I heard that voice. I turned around and there she was again, Barbara Shelley. She has a moment where she's in a room with Quatermass and she sees some sort of apparitions. Quatermass and another scientist put some type of headphones on her as she gets more uncontrollably frantic. Yeah I know, it sounds silly, but she gives a riveting performance in this scene. She's seeing something very terrifying and her commitment to acting this out is amazing. I want to know more about her now. If you go here and scroll to the bottom of her IMDB entry, you'll see some trailers for her movies where you can get a little dose of her performance. I see now that I have seen her before in "DRACULA, PRINCE OF DARKNESS" ( and who doesn't look good in fangs? )

Oh yes, there was the great Ingrid Pitt, and who can deny Barbara Steele's place in British horror history...but I gotta tell ya, Barbara Shelley is worth a look. She makes me think of the allure that Capucine had. Beauty, talent, maturity and class. Hey...you can't beat that with a stake.

If you're at all curious about Ms. Shelley today, you can check out this interview below:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x0oSKlXDKao[/youtube]
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Re: What Horror and Sc-Fi films have you seen lately?

Postby Western Guy » June 29th, 2012, 10:01 am

Re: The Raven -

Greg Mank humorously and indeed accurately refers to Karloff's makeup in this film as resembling a pumpkin (left out in the sun too long). I agree The Raven is a pretty weak film (reminds me of a condensed serial), especially when compared to other Karloff/Lugosi pairings. However, it does afford Bela a juicy (if admittedly, at times, overplayed) character that completely dominates Karloff. Love 'em both, but always regretted that Bela got the short end of the stick in their filmic partnerships.

While we're on the topic, I always felt (and go so far as to include it in the autobiography I co-wrote with Dolores Fuller) that Bela should have been nominated for a Best Supporting Oscar for his Ygor in Son of Frankenstein. To me, that was acting at its finest, as in portraying that hunchbacked, crooked-neck character Bela does not suggest even a remnant of Count Dracula or his other dignified, aristocratic roles, villainous or otherwise. Ygor is a startingly original character and a strong argument against anyone who would say that Bela could not act.

Sadly, it was the comeback that overall would not be, as Bela soon would be dropped from Universal (that never used him to best advantage following SoF anyway, and find his fortunes, such as they were, at Monogram and other lesser studios.

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Re: What Horror and Sc-Fi films have you seen lately?

Postby charliechaplinfan » June 29th, 2012, 5:04 pm

I've only read about Bela Lugosi second hand from the biography of Boris Karloff called more than a monster. I really enjoyed Son of Frankenstein, Lugosi's Ygor is great, certainly worth an nomination for an Academy Award. There is a later movie wih Karloff called The Bodysnatchers and he's great in that too, in fact I love him and Karloff as a double act. Both were typecast but I think Karloff handled it better.
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Re: What Horror and Sc-Fi films have you seen lately?

Postby MichiganJ » June 29th, 2012, 5:42 pm

Western Guy wrote:Re: The Raven -

Greg Mank humorously and indeed accurately refers to Karloff's makeup in this film as resembling a pumpkin (left out in the sun too long). I agree The Raven is a pretty weak film (reminds me of a condensed serial), especially when compared to other Karloff/Lugosi pairings. However, it does afford Bela a juicy (if admittedly, at times, overplayed) character that completely dominates Karloff. Love 'em both, but always regretted that Bela got the short end of the stick in their filmic partnerships.

While we're on the topic, I always felt (and go so far as to include it in the autobiography I co-wrote with Dolores Fuller) that Bela should have been nominated for a Best Supporting Oscar for his Ygor in Son of Frankenstein. To me, that was acting at its finest, as in portraying that hunchbacked, crooked-neck character Bela does not suggest even a remnant of Count Dracula or his other dignified, aristocratic roles, villainous or otherwise. Ygor is a startingly original character and a strong argument against anyone who would say that Bela could not act.

Sadly, it was the comeback that overall would not be, as Bela soon would be dropped from Universal (that never used him to best advantage following SoF anyway, and find his fortunes, such as they were, at Monogram and other lesser studios.

I really like The Raven and think it has one of Lugosi's best performances. Sure Lugosi "overplays" Vollin, but to me, that broad playing is entirely in Vollin's character.

The Raven and The Black Cat are a perfect double feature because Karloff is featured in Cat and Lugosi in The Raven. Plus, each run just over an hour, so you can watch 'em both and still see Lawrence before he gets to Arabia.

While Lugosi's Ygor is great in Son and even Ghost, if Dwight Frye didn't get a nomination for supporting actor as Renfield, no way Lugosi gets it for Ygor.
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Re: What Horror and Sc-Fi films have you seen lately?

Postby Western Guy » June 29th, 2012, 5:55 pm

Okay MichiganJ, respect your opinion but we'll have to agree to disagree on your last point.

You're right about the two Karloff/Lugosi films being a great double feature. In fact, back in the bygone videotape days both The Black Cat and The Raven were released on a single tape.

And, yes, Lugosi's broad playing - his descent into utter madness, as it were - really makes The Raven fun to watch.

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Re: What Horror and Sc-Fi films have you seen lately?

Postby Western Guy » June 29th, 2012, 6:40 pm

One thing I was wondering, re: Lugosi receiving an Oscar nod for Ygor. Had that happened today, might he have received a nomination? In effect, Lugosi's was quite the comeback story. Hollywood knew of his troubles during the horror ban, the dry-up of work, losing his home, his wife with child; Hedda Hopper wrote about it in her column, championing Lugosi. Finally Bela comes back, accepts a humbling contract, a role which must have initially injured his pride . . . but creates a character as far removed from the vampire typecasting as could be and IMO steals the show. Yeah, that's nomination- worthy I think. Heck, it happened to Dennis Hopper with Hoosiers and Hopper chose to self-destruct.

But I reckon Hollywood of yore didn't eye potential nominees with that kind of sentimentality.

But I'll go to my grave adamant that as far as Ygor in SoF goes, Bela was ripped off. IMO Ygor and Boris Karloff's Cabman Gray are two of the greatest performances in Hollywood horror history. And both should have been duly recognized by the Academy. Even Dr. Philip Chamberlin, who was on the Board at AMPAAS for many years agreed with this in conversations we shared.

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Re: What Horror and Sc-Fi films have you seen lately?

Postby MichiganJ » June 30th, 2012, 8:58 am

Western Guy wrote:Okay MichiganJ, respect your opinion but we'll have to agree to disagree on your last point.


My point was, that even in the beginning, Hollywood rarely awarded actors for performances in horror roles. March won best actor for Dr. Jeckyll, but after that, I can't recall anyone being nominated for a horror role, except, maybe Hopkins as Lecter (which should have been for supporting and not lead) and Ledger for his Joker. I'm sure there were others, but not many, and no nominations for actors that are remembered primarily for horror, i.e. Karloff, Lugosi, Price, Cushing, etc., all of whom have given some award worthy performances.

While I love Lugosi's Ygor (which I also wrote in the Frankenstein thread), if it were up to me, his supporting nod would have been for his return as Dracula in A & C Meet Frankenstein. There he brilliantly performs the balancing act between horror and comedy, and none of the comedy is at the expense of his Dracula or the other monsters, and his Count is even more menacing than in the original film.
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Re: What Horror and Sc-Fi films have you seen lately?

Postby charliechaplinfan » June 30th, 2012, 11:52 am

Weren't the Oscars in those days stacked towards the bigger studios or at least the actors and directors that operated within the system? Horrors aren't well received when it comes to awards, neither are comedies. I think once you've been typecast it's the hardest thing to escape from and to do so even within the same genre is quite an achievement. Bela wasn't treated well and wasn't always the best judge of what was good for him but he stole the show as Ygor totally. Karloff tried to escape typecasting by acting on Broadway but even there he played the bad guy in Peter Pan and Arsenic and Old Lace.

I've only watched the earlier Universal movies because I frightened easily, I really am soppy and suceptible to bad dreams, growing up when videos were in their infancy along with Freddy Kruger, it was a bad combination. Then I watched Children of the Corn when I was baby sitting alone, I was so frightened. So when it comes to discussing horror movies I don't really go past the 1930s which is really rather silly.
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Re: What Horror and Sc-Fi films have you seen lately?

Postby Mr. Arkadin » June 30th, 2012, 2:20 pm

charliechaplinfan wrote:I've only watched the earlier Universal movies because I frightened easily, I really am soppy and suceptible to bad dreams, growing up when videos were in their infancy along with Freddy Kruger, it was a bad combination. Then I watched Children of the Corn when I was baby sitting alone, I was so frightened. So when it comes to discussing horror movies I don't really go past the 1930s which is really rather silly.


There are a lot of amazing films out there that are the antithesis what you describe. I'm sure we could come up with a pretty good list, if you're willing to discuss your interests and let us know what you have and have not seen. For instance, have you watched the Val Lewton movies?

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Re: What Horror and Sc-Fi films have you seen lately?

Postby Rita Hayworth » June 30th, 2012, 2:25 pm

intothenitrate wrote:I'm in the "love it" group for The Black Cat. Everyone is in top form. It's got its own, very distinctive mood. Is that the first film that teams up Karloff and Lugosi?


I like this movie too ... I agree with intothenitrate.

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Re: What Horror and Sc-Fi films have you seen lately?

Postby Western Guy » June 30th, 2012, 2:42 pm

Yes MichiganJ, I cannot help but to agree on your first point. March winning for "Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde" (while definitely deserved) was such an exception as far as actors being recognized for horror performances. But I cannot say that Lugosi's return to Drac in "A & C Meet Frankenstein" would merit an Oscar nod as much as his role as Ygor. He was so unlike Lugosi in "SoF" as to be unrecognizable, and IMO that is true acting talent. Lugosi had already perforned Dracula (and variations of the vampire) enough times that . . . why would he be particularly acknowledged for this film? Don't get me wrong: I LOVE Lugosi in "A&C Meet Frankenstein", just feel that it had been done before. No one could play the Count as well as Bela. Even Philip Chamberlin says Bela should have been recognized for a nomination for the '31 film. But since he was overlooked then, doubtful as to why the unsympathetic Academy would give his second and last filmic incarnation of the Count a second look.

Ygor, though, was fresh, original and unforgettable.

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Re: What Horror and Sc-Fi films have you seen lately?

Postby Western Guy » June 30th, 2012, 2:47 pm

Alison: You were frightened by Children of the Corn???!!!

If that is so, my dear, stay clear of fright films.


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