Timothy Owen Driscoll (pulpjunkie) wrote,
Timothy Owen Driscoll
pulpjunkie

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Son of Horror Movies on TCM

This weeks horror flicks, kind of a mixed lot:
19 Friday
6:00 AM     Brain That Wouldn't Die, The (1962)
      A scientist keeps his wife's severed head alive until he can find a new body for her. Cast: Jason Evers, Virginia Leith, Leslie Daniel. Dir: Joseph Green. BW-70 mins, TV-PG, Letterbox Format
7:30 AM     Soul of a Monster, The (1944)
      A mysterious woman saves a doctor's life at the price of his soul. Cast: Rose Hobart, George Macready, Jeanne Bates. Dir: Will Jason. BW-62 mins,
8:45 AM     I Bury The Living (1958)
      A cemetery keeper thinks he can mark people for death. Cast: Richard Boone, Theodore Bikel, Herbert Anderson. Dir: Albert Band. BW-77 mins, TV-PG
10:15 AM     Tomb Of Ligeia, The (1964)
      A man's obsession with his dead wife leads to trouble for his new bride. Cast: Vincent Price, Elizabeth Shepherd, Oliver Johnston. Dir: Roger Corman. C-82 mins, TV-PG, Letterbox Format
11:45 AM     Abominable Dr. Phibes, The (1971)
      A madman uses the plagues of ancient Egypt to avenge his wife's death. Cast: Vincent Price, Joseph Cotten, Virginia North. Dir: Robert Fuest. C-95 mins, TV-14, CC, Letterbox Format
1:45 PM     Dementia 13 (1963)
      Members of an Irish family are being killed off by one of their own who wishes to inherit the family fortune. Cast: William Campbell, Luana Anders, Bart Patton. Dir: Francis Ford Coppola. BW-75 mins, TV-14, Letterbox Format
3:00 PM     Berserk (1967)
      A lady ringmaster milks the publicity from a string of murders. Cast: Joan Crawford, Diana Dors, Ty Hardin. Dir: Jim O'Connolly. C-96 mins, TV-PG, Letterbox Format
4:45 PM     Scream of Fear (1961)
      A wheelchair-bound heiress doubts her sanity when she sees her dead father's body around the family estate. Cast: Susan Strasberg, Ronald Lewis, Ann Todd. Dir: Seth Holt. BW-82 mins, , CC
6:15 PM     Die! Die! My Darling! (1965)
      A religious fanatic imprisons her late son's sinful fiancee. Cast: Tallulah Bankhead, Stefanie Powers, Donald Sutherland. Dir: Silvio Narizzano. C-96 mins, TV-14
8:00 PM     Mark Of The Vampire (1935)
      Vampires seem to be connected to an unsolved murder. Cast: Lionel Barrymore, Elizabeth Allan, Bela Lugosi. Dir: Tod Browning. BW-61 mins, TV-PG, CC
9:15 PM     Freaks (1932)
      A lady trapeze artist violates the code of the side show when she plots to murder her midget husband. Cast: Wallace Ford, Olga Baclanova, Harry Earles. Dir: Tod Browning. BW-62 mins, TV-PG, CC
10:30 PM     Devil Doll, The (1936)
      A Devil's Island escapee shrinks murderous slaves and sells them to his victims as dolls. Cast: Lionel Barrymore, Maureen O'Sullivan, Frank Lawton. Dir: Tod Browning. BW-78 mins, TV-PG, CC
12:00 AM     London After Midnight (1927)
      In this silent film, vampires are suspected in an unsolved murder. Cast: Lon Chaney, Marceline Day, Henry B. Walthall. Dir: Tod Browning. BW-47 mins, TV-PG
1:00 AM     Unknown, The (1927)
      In this silent film, an escaped killer pretends to be a sideshow's armless wonder. Cast: Lon Chaney, Joan Crawford, Norman Kerry. Dir: Tod Browning. BW-50 mins, TV-PG


A thorough hodge-podge of random horror throughout the day, with a Tod browning director spotlight in the evening. No rhyme or reason on display here: Brain... is ultra-cheese of the lowest order. Weird and sleazy, but so, so slow. For the record: I had never before heard of The Soul of a Monster. As I've said before, this is not a promising indicator when you're dealing with "classic" era horror. I Bury the Living is OK "quiet" horror. Tomb... is the last Corman Poe film. More exterior shots, so the atmosphere is less consistent, but still good. Phibes is one of my favorite Price films, a cartoony super-villain story which makes for a  fun throwback to Fantomas and company from 50 years previous. After that, it's psychos all the way . Multiple murders at an Irish castle (Dementia 13), multiple murders in Joan Crawford's circus(Berserk), and two Diabolique knock-offs (Scream of Fear is a Hammer production and features Christopher Lee.).

As for Tod Browning, here we have a display of both his genius and his mediocrity. Freaks and The Unknown are disturbing yet essential. Mark of the Vampire is just silly (though nicely staged). London After Midnight is not an actual film (it's one of the most famous :lost" films, but rather a "re-creation" using production and advertising stills and a copy of the script. It would be better (and quicker) to read the script, really. Plus, it's more or less the same silly plot as Mark..., so I'm not really convinced of its classic status. Devil Doll is between the two extremes, quite silly, but with effective parts (and some really impressive "giant" sets.)

After Browning comes this:
2:00 AM     Head (1968)
      A manufactured rock group tries to find its own identity in a world gone mad. Cast: The Monkees, Annette Funicello, Timothy Carey. Dir: Bob Rafelson. BW-86 mins, TV-PG, CC, Letterbox Format

Not horror, of course, but one of my favorite film obscurities. Random, almost nonsensical comedy with half a dozen decent songs and several odd guest appearances.



On Sunday, two random (and too famous to bother introducing) genre flicks:

21 Sunday

12:00 PM       House Of Usher (1960)
      A young man tries to rescue the woman he loves from her demonic brother. Cast: Vincent Price, Mark Damon, Myrna Fahey. Dir: Roger Corman. C-79 mins, TV-PG, CC, Letterbox Format
1:30 PM     War Of The Worlds, The (1953)
      A scientist on vacation stumbles upon a Martian invasion. Cast: Gene Barry, Ann Robinson, Les Tremayne. Dir: George Pal. C-85 mins, TV-PG, CC

More next week.
Tags: 1920s, 1930s, 1940s, 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, bela lugosi, christopher lee, circus, film: circus, film: science fiction, film: suspense, film:horror, lon chaney, midget, movie reviews, roger corman, tcm, tod browning, vampire, vincent price
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