Mystery of the Wax Museum (2/17/33)

Mystery of the Wax Museum (2/17/33) Park avenue body snatchers. In Universal’s hands this tale would have been set in some quasi European olde worlde micronation, but dragged kicking and screaming into the two strip technicolor NY noir, it packs a terrific wallop. From the gruesome Grand Guignol fire bombing of the waxworks humans to […]

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The Vampire Bat (1/10/1933)

The Vampire Bat (1/10/1933) Waste not, want not. Majestic Pictures was pretty clever pushing this piggy back production into theaters at the height of advertising campaigns for similar pictures. By using Lionel Atwill, Fay Wray and Melvyn Douglas, and shooting at night on Universal’s European village and the Old Dark House sets, absent great cinematography […]

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the Mummy (12/22/32)

the Mummy (12/22/32) Merry Christmas 1932, Mummy’s home. Paramount brought you beastiality for the holidays, Universal tops it with necrophilia. If you doubt that, just look at the poster. Mummified mummy gets very little screentime but is on all the merchandizing. To his credit, Ardeth Bey didn’t know he was looking for a soul buried […]

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Island of Lost Souls (12/1/32)

Island of Lost Souls (12/1/32) Wrong time, wrong island. Moreau plays Mengele on a bunch of unsuspecting animals, setting himself up as the deity to his beastmen, fire and bloodly climax assured. Experimenting on live unsedated animals was a thing back in the day, and people were outraged at the idea, it’s still a thing […]

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Mask of Fu Manchu (11/5/32)

Mask of Fu Manchu (11/5/32) or madness takes its toll. There is much to roll your eyes at in this one. NOTE: I have a visceral reaction to actors being made up as other races. Saying Lugosi is Egyptian is one thing, adding a few pounds of makeup to Karloff is another. Nearly all non-white […]

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Old Dark House (10/20/1932)

Old Dark House (10/20/1932) A high water mark for a genre already entrenched in literature and film. Whale slathers his own special sauce all over what was already a dark psychological chamber piece. The black humor was much too high brow for an American audience who were expecting cheap thrills. Marketing Karloff as the monster […]

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Chandu the Magician (9/18/1932)

Chandu the Magician (9/18/1932) The first time I saw this picture I really didn’t appreciate it. A special effects buffet served up by William Cameron Menzies, he utilizes EVERY trick in the book: miniatures, dry for wet, optical tricks, double exposures, rear screen projection, glass paintings, practical stunts, Tesla coils!….everything but the kitchen sink. For […]

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The Most Dangerous Game (9/16/32)

The Most Dangerous Game (9/16/32) What is now considered Cooper and Schoedsacks test reel for their later epic, was always meant to be an epic of its own. I think reducing the budget helped make it a better movie, cutting away anything extraneous leaving us with the best version. There is nothing subtle about this […]

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Dr. X (8/27/32)

Dr. X (8/27/32) Wanting a bite of the Dracula/Frankenstein apple, Warner tries to out Universal Universal. Serving up an inherently B list picture with A list trimmings, Michael Curtiz’s direction, Anton Grot’s set designed, and Max Factor’s makeup (yes, he was a real guy like Jack Pierce) and cutting edge two strip technicolor, they do […]

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White Zombie (8/4/32)

White Zombie (8/4/32) There is much to like in White Zombie, but you have to wade through the other dreck to get to it. I haven’t seen the restored version but I would like to. I really like the way they reuse Universal’s redressed sets and props, I hardly find myself pointing at something in […]

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