Friday, November 24, 2017


Here are the seven horror movies that Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi appeared together, always good stuff to be sure!

The first movie our guys appeared together was Edgar Allan Poe's THE BLACK CAT in 1934. Travelling across Eastern Europe, Peter and Joan Allison meet Dr Werdegast (Lugosi) on the train. When the bus taking them to their destination crashes, the Allisons go with Werdegast and stay with him at the foreboding castle of famed architect, Hjalmar Poelzig (Karloff). However, the Allisons find themselves in danger when it becomes apparent that Werdegast and Poelzig have a deadly history with each other. Directed by Edgar G. Ulmer.

A year later, the guys are back in THE RAVEN, another story from Poe. This time a wealthy judge coaxes the brilliant but eccentric neurological surgeon Dr. Vollin (Lugosi), who also has an obsessive penchant for Edgar Allen Poe, out of retirement to save the life of his daughter, a dancer crippled and brain damaged in an auto wreck. Vollin restores her completely, but also envisions her as his "Lenore," and cooks up a scheme to kidnap the woman, then, torture and kill her fiance' and father in his Poe-inspired dungeon. And, to do his dirty work, Vollin recruits a wanted criminal (Karloff), and turns him into a monster to guarantee his subservience!

In 1936, they star again in THE INVISIBLE RAY. In this story, a scientist, Janos Rukh (Karloff), convinces a group of scientists and supporters to mount an expedition to the African continent to locate and study an ancient meteorite of great significance. He exposes himself to the highly toxic radiation of the meteorite, and while an antidote devised by Dr. Benet (Lugosi) saves him from death by radiation poisoning, his touch causes instant death to others. Back in London, the benefits of the meteorite's controlled radiation offer Dr. Benet an opportunity to restore eyesight to the blind! The antidote's toxicity excites Prof. Rukh into paranoid rages as he seeks revenge against the members of his expedition, who he accuses of stealing his discovery for their own glory!

The boys are back in SON OF FRANKENSTEIN from 1939. Wolf von Frankenstein returns to the Baronial manor from the United States with his wife Elsa and son Peter. He's not welcomed by the locals, who are still terrified of his father's work and the monster he created. The local Burgomaster gives him a sealed briefcase left by his father and inside, Wolf finds his father's scientific notes. At the manor house he meets his father's assistant Igor (Bela) who has a surprise for him, the monster his father created is still alive, although, in some sort of a coma. Wolf's initial attempts to re-animate the creature seem to fail but when Peter says he saw a giant in the woods, it appears he's met success! When people are mysteriously killed in the village, there is little doubt that the monster is responsible!

In 1940, Boris and Bela return in BLACK FRIDAY, hey, that's today! When his friend, Prof. George Kingsley, is at deaths door, brain surgeon Dr. Sovac (Karloff) saves his life by means of an illegal operation that transplants part of injured gangster Red Cannon's brain, who was in a gun fight with another gangster, Eric Marnay (Lugosi). Unfortunately, the operation has a disastrous Jeckll and Hyde side effect! Sovac soon learns of the duel personality and of half a million dollars the gangster has hidden away. He attempts to find the money, an attempt that brings Kingsley closer to madness as he alternates between a meek professor of English and a brutal gangster out for murderous revenge! This is the movie that Bela was hypnotized in order to achieve a realistic portrayal of his horror!

Also in 1940, Peter Lorre joins in on the fun in YOU'LL FIND OUT, a musical horror comedy with band leader Kay Kyser. In this one, Kay and his orchestra are hired to entertain at the birthday party of a young heiress at a creepy old mansion, where they uncover a plot against her life. So, who's the villain?.. The sinister judge? The phony medium? The skeptical psychologist?.. Well, you'll freakin' find out!!

Our last film is THE BODY SNATCHER from 1945. In Edinburgh in 1831, Dr. MacFarlane runs a medical school where Donald Fettes is a student. Fettes is interested in helping a young girl who has lost the use of her legs, and, is certain that MacFarlane's surgical skills could be put to great use. But, Dr. MacFarlane has a dirty little secret, he has hired his cabby, John Gray (Boris) and his assistant Joseph (Bela) to supply him with dead bodies for anatomical research. Gray constantly harasses MacFarlane and clearly has a hold over him, dating back to a famous trial where Gray refused to identify the man for whom he was robbing graves.

We'll have more for you tomorrow, check in if you can... Later, dudeskis!

1 comment:

Grant said...

Even some Big Band music fans find the comedy act by Kay Kyser and his band members a little trying, but if you don't mind pretty "broad" comedy, there's nothing wrong with it.
Maybe the funniest part of YOU'LL FIND OUT (even though part of the reason is a SPOILER) is when Kyser plays amateur detective and goes to Peter Lorre for advice, and Lorre spends the whole scene just humoring him.

Monster Music

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