Nine Lives, Seven Curses, and a Triphibian Monster
Part three of my jumbo list of all the films illustrated in A Pictorial History of Horror Movies by Denis Gifford which I still have to see.
Have decided to mark the films out in red as I see them. People will be able to look back at these posts in a thousand years and they will appear SOAKED IN BLOOD.
110. THE LAST MAN ON EARTH — this might be the next Gifford-illustrated film I watch, since I have a disc of it lying around somewhere. Sounds promising enough — Vincent Price is that man.
113. I admit it, I’ve never seen WEREWOLF IN A GIRLS’ DORMITORY, originally known (in Germany) as LYCANTHROPUS, a rather classy title somebody should re-use.
118-119. With the heading “Women’s Lib hits Transylvania,” Gifford provides images of lady vampires. I find I can’t be sure I’ve seen RETURN OF COUNT YORGA, but I’m almost sure I have. The original COUNT Y ceases to be interesting the second George MacReady’s narration ends, apart from a cool end shot of happily vampirised townsfolks, if I’m recalling it correctly. Bert Gordon’s SAINT GEORGE AND THE SEVEN CURSES must be worth a few chuckles, but it’s not one that I’ve ever come across.
128. PHAROAH’S CURSE (1956) seems like it’s practically bound to stink, but the make-up in this still is fairly impressive.
138. Never seen GAPPA, THE TRIPHIBIAN MONSTER. Loved giant monster movies as a kid, but Gappa and Gamera never seemed to turn up. I would see Godzilla and pals in kids’ matinees at my local Odeon. My appetite for giant Japanese monsters has waned a bit since then.
144. THE MAN IN HALF MOON STREET is the original of THE MAN WHO COULD CHEAT DEATH, so is probably a snooze.
146. THE BRUTE MAN. Rondo Hatton fascinates me. Possibly something to do with his appearance, but I can’t put my finger on it.
150-1. Boris Karloff in a string beard, for THE MAN WITH NINE LIVES. I’ll happily watch Boris in any old crap, including string beards. I don’t know if I ever saw all of THE WALKING DEAD, but I downloaded it so now I can. I love Michael Curtiz’s other horrors, so this has to be of some value. DEAD MEN WALK has two George Zuccos for the price of one. The cheap, cheap price.
152. Rondo again! HOUSE OF HORRORS will have to be seen, as will THE MONSTER MAKER, in which Ralph Morgan pretends to have acromegaly, the disease that afflicted R.H. for real, giving him his distinctive manly appeal.
154. THE DEVIL BAT is widely available but I somehow missed it so far. I think it’s meant to be a fairly enjoyable Poverty Row Lugosi effort.
156-7. THE RETURN OF COUNT YORGA gets a colour still this time, and then there’s a monochrome one from BLACK DRAGONS, with Lugosi. Was just offered a copy of this one.
158-9. The motherlode! Never seen DR RENAULT’S SECRET, THE MAD MONSTER, RETURN OF THE APE MAN, THE APE MAN or CAPTIVE WILD WOMAN. An entire two-page spread which I’m a stranger to. That must mean something. Maybe I’m supposed to watch all of these in a marathon session. From what I’ve heard of the two APE movies, that might nery well prove fatal. Actor Steven McNicoll observed of Lugosi’s performance in THE APE MAN, that the tragedy was “you can see he’s thought about it.”
160. THE STRANGE CASE OF DR RX. Weird title, weird film. No doctor of those initials appears in the story, but “Pinky” Atwill plays Dr. Fish, apparently. In a way, that’s even better.
162-163. Monogram’s VOODOO MAN somehow rates two stills. Well, it does combine Lugosi, Zucco and John Carradine.