Monday, July 12, 2021

THE BLACK CAT / Boris And Bela Battle It Out - 1934

Here's a wild one co-written and directed by Edgar G. Ulmer back before Universal ruined his career. I stars our very favorite guys, Boris  as Hjalmar Poelzig and Bela as Dr. Vitus Werdegast, who I will refer to as Boris and Bela. It also stars David Manners as Peter Alison, Julie Bishop as Joan Alison, Egon Brecher and Harry Cording.

In this story, Peter and Joan Alison are honeymooning in Hungary and share their compartment on the train with the strange Dr. Werdegast. When they take the bus to the hotel, there is an accident that leaves Joan injured. The doctor takes them all to the home of an old 'friend' of his, famed architect Hjalman Poelzig, where he treats Joan's wounds. Unfortunately, Hjalmar is a Satan-worshipping priest, what could possibly go wrong?!

Peter and Joan Alison are on their honeymoon in Hungary when Bela comes into their compartment on the train. After Joan falls asleep, Bela tells Peter some very disturbing facts about his life, like, he was just released from prison after 15 years of incarceration as a political prisoner.

On the way to a hotel, the the bus slides off the roan in a hellacious rain storm. The group is near Bela's old friend's place so they head off to his fortress-like home.

Bela is familiar with the place and just comes into the house (where he was going in the first place) and has Joan laid on a bed where he tends to her wounds. Boris walks in on the group and has a very distasteful look on his face, almost evil...

Bela sees a black cat and totally freaks out. He kills the poor cat after he throws an object at it. Still crazy after all these years!

Boris, Bela and Peter are talking when Joan, on medication, comes into the room and seems really out of it. For some reason now, she gives Bela the evil eye while swooning over Boris, a perfect host! When Joan gets frisky with Peter, Boris grabs his statue of a nude woman... It seems like Boris has some special plans for Joan!

What Bela is there for, is, he wants to know what happened to his wife! It seems that Boris was also in love with Bela's wife, he tells Bela that he married her after he went to prison, but she died and hung her in the dungeon so that he could always admire her beauty! WTF!

There's another black cat that Bela has to be afraid of. Love this shot!

Peter and Joan have had it with Boris and want to leave, but, they'll have to get through Thamal first. It doesn't go well for the couple, the brute knocks Peter out and he's tossed into a dark locked room, Joan faints and is carried back to her room.

Bala's the good guy here. He goes in the comfort Joan and reveals to her that Boris is an evil Satan-worshipping priest that has an eye on her, but he's there to help. Bela has had a plan for revenge from the beginning, and is playing along for just the right moment to occur.

In the meantime, Bela's daughter Karen walks in on Joan and they chat until Boris comes in and breaks it up. You see, Boris is either 'married' to her or just living with her!

The night is perfect, a storm is brewing, all his minions are due to arrive any time and get the party started! This scene is similar to the one in CURSE OF THE DEMON.

Wow, Satan-worshippers really have a crazy cool way of looking at things! This works good here... WHAT THE HELL!!

Now get ready for this one, Thamal is actually working for Bela!! Yeah, that's right!

In a tussle after the ceremony to sacrifice Joan is broken up, Thamal has been shot and Boris attacks Bela, trying to choke him out.

But Thamal is one tough SOB and he jumps on Boris to save Bela. He then helps Bela put Boris into some chains to subdue him, then he collapses and dies!

Bela has a good talk with Boris, and lets him know what he has in mind for him...

Thankfully, you only get to see Boris attacked with a scalpel in the shadows!! But you do get to hear all the screams!

But alas, Bela is shot by Peter when Bela tries to help Joan get the door key, because Peter thinks Bela is attacking her! So, since the place was built over an ammo dump, our hero has the solution. He tells the couple to leave quickly, and pushes the lever down to create a short circuit in the electrical systems...

And the place blows to holy Hell, bringing our tale to an end. This was one wild movie, you need to check it out when you get a chance, only 65 minutes long!

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