Monday, February 14, 2011

THE DEVIL COMMANDS / Columbia Pictures - 1941

Welcome everbloody to Mondo Monday with Tabonga, here at The Dungeon! Tonite we gots a great little flick from Columbia Pictures, and is often confused as being a Universal title.

The story's simple, Dr. Julian Blair, Boris, becomes obsessed with the idea of communicating with his dead wife after she's killed in an accident. The tag-line reads... "This mad wizard kills at will in Satan's service!"

The music is by 8 uncredited composers, they are George Antheil, Gerard Carbonara, Sidney Cutner, Werner R. Heymann, Ben Oakland, Karol Rathaus, Gregory Stone and Victor Young. Morris Stoloff was music director.

Welp, the Felix The Cat clock on the wall sez it's time to bring in our littlest Dungeon helper, that's right, Rufus The Gnat! Hooray for Rufus!.. Brik-a-braka, fire-cracka, sis boom bah, Rufus, Rufus, rah, rah, rah!.. Anyways, here he is, all cute and ready to be pushin' that big red 'GO' button located conveniently way over there, by the potted fern. Here's tonite's Eariffic Earclip... THE DEVIL COMMANDS!

Dr. Blair's daughter, Anne, gives the narrative at the beginning and sets up the viewer with some nice creepy expectations...

Our good doctor is involved in unconventional research on human brain waves, and, of course, it invites much skepticism by his colleagues and questions of morality... Only God's supposed to know about this stuff, right?

His beloved wife, Helen, is killed in a freak auto accident, so, grief-stricken, he moves to a secluded country estate in New England.

There, he meets Mrs. Walters, a (phony) medium that ends up working with him on his experiments into the unknown.

She's the perfect guinea pig and becomes intoxicated with the uncanny power of the machinery...

Check out these most excellent mattes and miniatures!

Sherrif Willis, played by Kenneth MacDonald, works with the doctor's maid to try and find out what's going on in the doctor's secret laboratory. She finds out alright, you can hear her scream in the soundclip!

If Kenneth looks familiar, it's because he played the very slick Icabod Slipp in the classic Three Stooges episode, LOOSE LOOT! He was also in ISLAND OF DOOMED MEN, THE MAN WHO RETURNED TO LIFE, THE PHANTOM, THE MONSTER AND THE APE, THE SHE-CREATURE and THE TEN COMMANDMENTS.

Great stuff here... Tabonga thought about doing neon art back in the seventies!

The doc uses his own daughter for the final communication with his wife.

He pushes the machine to it's limits and is unable to stop the impending overload explosion that will occur within moments!

As the angry crowd storms the doctor's place, the machinery blows, destroying much of the house and killing our dear Boris. The angry crowd turns and runs like crazy back down the stairs!

Tune in next Monday wif' Tabonga for Peter Lorre in MAD LOVE, here at The Dungeon!

Ghoulnight Everbloody!!..


Suzanne said...

this movie mad me mad when i watched it because there is no Devil Commanding at all. False advertising. LOL It was a strange one. I didnt get the whole "wind tunnel" effect that communicating with the dead caused. Look forward to Mad Love. I abs adore Peter Lorre and that film was a really good one.

Exeter said...

You keep posting these films that I can't find time to watch! I guess I gotta do somethin' DRASTIC!

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