Der Sonntag Zwischen-Titel

“I destroyed a genuine one!” or something…

I was recently telling someone that maybe Italian intertitles are the prettiest, which I’d stand by, but there’s no doubting that the Germans knew what they were up to with cine-typography. This is from HOMUNCULUS, or one episode of it, an influential expressionist serial which survives only in fragments. Typically, the Italians go for beauty at any price, and the Germans go for brute functionality. But both express an underlying IDEA.

Bought this in a fit of madness from a bootleg DVD salesman in Union Square. He did warn me that it was untranslated, and my brain warned me that I don’t speak German, but it was too cheap not to buy.

Olaf Fønss – he’s homuncular and avuncular!

It was all worthwhile since I also got from the same source a copy of a super-rarity illustrated in Denis Gifford’s A Pictorial History of Horror Movies — Lawrence Huntington’s THE VULTURE, with Oscar Homolka mutating into the titular scavenger. So that’s well worthwhile. Gifford has the film down as a William Castle movie, which seems to be one of his rare-ish factual errors, but I’m psyched to see anything somebody would mistake for a Castle flick. Might be better than a real Castle flick!

12 Responses to “Der Sonntag Zwischen-Titel”

  1. Christopher Says:

    Never did business with a bootleg dvd seller face to face..only over the Net..That must have been an experiance..Sounds like a good lite haul.The Vulture used to get some TV showings in the 70s..I’ve seen it ,but don’t remember it..I remember reading about Homunculus in probably that Gifford book in the hazy 70s..My cousin had that one..I had Everson’s Classics of the Horror Film

  2. The bootlegger looked EXACTLY as you’d hope. Plus he was very nice to me, and seemed to genuinely know his stuff — he corrected me on the William Castle misapprehension.

  3. Christopher Says:

    psst!..Stranger..I have what you seek..2 lost films from the Dennis Gifford Quest! =:oO….:o).

    When I was collecting movie memorabilia in the 70s and early 80s here in Texas,my favorite dealer was Ed Neal,the long haired hitchhiker from the original 1st. Texas Chainsaw Massacre…He had the best STUFF in the way of Lobby Cards and Posters if you liked obscure Noir and B-Westerns from the 30s, 40s and 50s…I still have a $1000.00 dollar poster of The Blue Dahlia I got off of him for a couple of cheap blaxploitation films from the 30’s(which was my thing then).yes..go ahead..I’m a Slave trader!..

  4. Tony Williams Says:

    So, has Gifford’s book become that rare? I still have my copy.

  5. I think the Gifford still turns up in discerning second-hand stores on a regular basis. It’s the films in it which are rare.

    All I know about 30s blaxploitation is that Ulmer did some and there’s this guy Oscar Micheaux whose work I’ve never seen… although I believe I have one or two very poor-quality DVD copies.

  6. Christopher Says:

    I wasn’t aware of the vastness of films for african americans till i started attending the comic /film conventions in the early 70s..a huge chunk of film “paper” material from dealers of poverty row pictures(and really..who wasn’t/ isn’t?)was the most colorful and interesting posters and lobby cards for black films…and they were cheap then..

  7. Read Donald Bogle, an excellent historian of African-American film, for the nearly-complete story.

  8. Fascinating stuff. Been meaning to look at Bogle’s book for ages.

  9. Micheaux is fascinating. Some of his silents are quite good. The sound filams are vairable, but fascinanting. One shceme he had for filmmaking was to raise money thrpugh Harlem nightclub owners by shooting scenes in their clubs. This was great publicity for them. The REAL dividend was the footage Micheaux shot is some of the only footage available of any number of black vaudeville acts.

    He tried toss a litle bit of everything in his movies — including the kitchen sink. The infinitely less talented Tyler Perry has the same entreprenural approach.

  10. That all sounds very appealing — I’ll be sure to pick up the Bogle and view some Micheaux soon. I have Ten Minutes to Live and I think one other.

  11. Oscar Homolka in The Vulture? I think you mean Akim Tamiroff. (I understand the confusion.)

  12. Gee, you’re right. And I never confuse them normally. Maybe Gifford has that wrong as well, and that confused me? I even sneaked a peak at the disc and SAW Oscar Homolka… who’s not in it.

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