Friday, August 21, 2009

Horror Movie Review Preview: Near Dark

Coming Soon...Near Dark. A young man reluctantly joins a travelling "family" of evil vampires, when the girl he'd tried to seduce is part of that group.

Near Dark

Killing you would be easy, they'd rather terrify you...forever.

...pray for daylight.

In one hot hungry kiss, he gave her everlasting love. She gave him everlasting life.

Blood is our life, Darkness, our feeding ground and sunlight, our eternal damnation.

Vampires can only kill you once, but they can terrify you forever.

Starring Adrian Pasdar, Jenny Wright, Lance Henriksen, and Bill Paxton,Near Dark won the Silver Raven award at the 1988 Brussels International Festival of Fantasy Film.

Join us soon to shed some light on...Near Dark.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Horror Movie Review: Murders in the Rue Morgue

Starring: Bela Lugosi, Sidney Fox, Leon Ames, and Charles Gemora
Directed by: Robert Florey

Written by: Robert Florey, Tom Reed, and Dale Van Every based on short story by Edgar Allan Poe

Release Date: February 21, 1932

Production Company: Universal Pictures

After his success in Dracula, Bela Lugosi was offered the role of the monster in Frankenstein. However, Lugosi was not interested in the silent role and passed. Universal Pictures then offered their adaptation of Edgar Allan Poe's "Murders in the Rue Morgue." That decision is universally considered a huge mistake on Lugosi's part, and Murders in the Rue Morgue doesn't seem to be highly regarded.

Couple Pierre and Camille go to a carnival and enter the sideshow attraction of Dr. Mirakle. It's less a sideshow and more a lecture on man's relation to ape. Well, throw in Erik, an actual ape (well, Charles Gemora in an ape suit, but we're going with the movie). Camille and Pierre stay after to get a closer look at Erik. Erik, the silly ape, falls for Camille and dreams of eating fleas out of her hair back in Africa. (I don't know what ape's dream of when they meet their love, just go with me.)

Dr. Mirakle, it turns out, isn't just an eccentric sideshow entertainer. Determined to prove our relation to apes, Mirakle has been abducting women and injecting them with Erik's blood. We see him experiment on a prostitute after "comforting" her after two men fight and kill each other over her. I guess neither wanted to be sloppy seconds. Mirakle has the lady of the evening tied to a wooden X in an oddly sado-erotic scene. But Erik's blood ends up killing her just like the two previous women he experimented on.

Mirakle decides his next test subject will be Camille. Will Pierre be able to prove Mirakle's connection to the murders and save Camille? Or will Erik get Camille's love and affection?

Murders in the Rue Morgue was released in 1932, so there are some things that tell its age that all movies this old suffer from. We don't have deep acting here and it does have a guy in an ape suit, but all things considered it's a fun film. Universal Horrors, a book about Universal Pictures horror films between 1931-1946, says that even when it was released some of Florey's techniques gave the film a dated feel, though it seems to fit with all the other horrors. And some say Bela Lugosi's line delivery was stilted pretty much everywhere, but I think his slow, deliberate performances help his characters carry that aura of exclusion from the normal world.

So if you've only ever seen Lugosi in Dracula and wanted to see another of his films, Universal Horrors is a good one to watch...if you can get past a guy is a gorilla suit.

Related Trailers

White Zombie

Bela Lugosi followed his performance as Dr. Mirakle with the role of Murder Legendre in White Zombie. A young man turns to a witch doctor to lure the woman he loves away from her fiance, but instead turns her into a zombie slave.

I Married a Monster From Outer Space

Charles Gemora made a career as the guy in the Gorilla suit but very rarely got to diversify his performance like in I Married a Monster From Outer Space where he played an alien. Aliens from Outer Space are slowly switching places with real humans -- one of the first being a young man about to get married. Slowly, his new wife realizes something is wrong, and her suspicions are confirmed when her husband's odd behaviour begins to show up in other townspeople.

The Beast with Five Fingers

Robert Florey also directed The Beast with Five Fingers. Locals in an Italian village believe evil has taken over the estate of a recently deceased pianist where several murders have taken place. The alleged killer: the pianist's severed hand.

The Black Cat

Edgar Allan Poe's works have been made into film since films were being made. Universal Pictures next filmed The Black Cat. American honeymooners in Hungary are trapped in the home of a Satan- worshiping priest when the bride is taken there for medical help following a road accident.

Bride of Frankenstein

Tom Reed, who assisted with the screenplay, also assisted with Bride of Frankenstein.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Horror Movie Review Preview: Murders in the Rue Morgue

Coming Soon...Murders in the Rue Morgue. In 19th Century Paris, the maniacal Dr. Mirakle abducts young women and injects them with ape blood in an attempt to prove ape-human kinship. He constantly meets failure as the abducted women die. Medical student Pierre Dupin discovers what Mirakle is doing too late to prevent the abduction of his girlfriend Camille. Now he desperately tries to enlist the help of the police to get her back.

Murders in the Rue Morgue

Innocent Beauty - this was her wedding eve. On the wall a shadow...the beast was at large grinning horribly-cruelly. What was Her Fate?

A powerful cast that will guarantee entertainment!

Based on a story by Edgar Allan Poe

Edgar Allan Poe's dramatic story of the horrors of Paris

Starring Bela Lugosi, Sidney Fox, and Leon Ames, Murders in the Rue Morgue premiered on February 21, 1932

Join us soon to see if Murders in the Rue Morgue is...Poe-etic.