Monday, October 18, 2010

MARK OF THE VAMPIRE / MGM - 1935

Hello everbloody, welcome to a special Halloween Moldie Oldie Monday, here at The Dungeon! Tonight's feature is directed by Tod Browning and stars two Lionels and a Bela!

This film had 20 minutes edited out because of incestuous scenes, thus leaving a few holes in the plot and coming in at a measley 60 minutes. And, the budget was over $300,000! Browning had a way of really pissing off those MGM execs!

The uncredited stock music was composed by Jack Virgil. Most of Jack's credits come from the Music Dept. He worked on films like THREE ROGUES, ALICE IN WONDERLAND (1933), THE THIN MAN, OPERATOR 13 (cool!!), MAD LOVE, A NIGHT AT THE OPERA, LAST OF THE PAGANS, THREE LIVE GHOSTS, BEG, BORROW OR STEAL, RADIO HAMS, BOMBER'S MOON, BELLE OF THE YUKON and THE SHOCKING MISS PILGRIM.

Here's our lil' Dungeon helper and shelf duster, Rufus The Gnat, to be pushin' that big red 'GO' button yet wonst again... and start our Eariffic Earclip a-rollin' along! So, hit the button, Rufus!!.. MARK OF THE VAMPIRE!

The story is very involved, so all I'll say is that Count Mora (Bela) and his daughter Luna (Carroll Borland) are blamed for the murder of a prominant citizen by the townspeople. They are thought to be vampires living in a castle. Lionel Barrymore, as Professor Zelen, tries to bring some sanity to solving the crime.

Above, a party to celebrate the birth of a child...

What a great graveyard! Art direction was by Cedric Gibbons, cinematography was by James Wong Howe.

This outsider gets a lesson about local vampires from the inn-mates.

Here's Count Mora and daughter Luna, just wandering around in their castle for no apparent reason... Well, except to make the audience suspicious! There's actually a bat there.

To prove Eddie steals from only the best, here's Luna standing by a roadway and she scares the bejesus out of some travelers! Raise your hand if you're familiar with the scene in NIGHT OF THE GHOULS where Harvey B. Dunn and his scaredy-pants wife encounter the identical situation!

Some interesting trivia... "Allegedly, Carroll was fascinated by Lugosi when saw him as Dracula at the Fulton Theater in Oakland, she wrote a novel called "Countess Dracula" and sent it to him. He called her to play Lucy, Dracula's favorite victim, on stage. Later he gave her the role of Luna Mora in the film Mark of the Vampire." She only had 5 acting credits including SCALPS in 1983 and BIOHAZARD in 1985 and was a Pisces.

The Count decides to get in on some of the action... Hubba, hubba!

More excellent graveyard scenes!

That creepy part near the end of the soundclip is where the Count tears into the scene, and it is very weird!!

Another standout scene is where Luna transforms from a bat to her human form as the organist plays on!

Three nice stills involving windows!

Professor Zelen finds some interesting things in the Count's basement!

The bat effects used in this movie were as good as it ever got for them little critters, until there was CGI!

This twist ending will make your head spin!!!.. Get it?

Ghoulnight Everbloody!!

4 comments:

Greg Goodsell said...

This is really a great film. Director Todd Browning gets a lot of the blame for DRACULA being a creaky flick, but this number positively drips with style and menace until the cop-out ending. Carol Borland is iconic as the vampire mistress!

prof. grewbeard said...

i love this movie, so atmosperic. i never heard about the incest bit though, where did you hear that?!?...

Christopher said...

I keep meaning to look at the London After Midnight STILL recreation again,to see whats missing from this re-make..Theres another scene with Carroll Borland in the hallway thats always Skeeeery!
BAT WOMAN THEATER!

TABONGA! said...

PG - IMDB review.

Monster Music

Monster Music
AAARRGGHHH!!!! Ya'll Come On Back Now, Y'Hear??