Topic: Five Entertaining Films Of The 1940's
Here we go with five in my opinion still watchable films and two of which are classics. As usual in reverse order.
5. The Devil Bat ( 1941) Any of you who know anything about this film may be surprised at it's inclusion here most review and guide books say it's pretty bad but when i saw it , i had a pleasant surprise. A Scientist develops an aftershave lotion and gives it to people he wants out of the way, because it drives his pet giant bat into a murderous frenzy. Yeah this film is cheap, the bat special effects are laughable, you can see the strings, Lugosi hams it up as usual but it 's one of his better films and was very successful for the PRC studio that made it, so much so that four years later it spawned a sequel " The Devil Bat's Daughter " which i have not seen. good fun and will make you think twice before accepting a bottle of aftershave from a stranger.
4. The Mad Ghoul ( 1943)this was a lesser known film released by the " horror studio" Universal and is a nice little film not without flaws. it's basically a fiendish " Eternal triangle " tale plus one with horror elements. An opera singer is in a relationship with a man who she is very fond of and doesn't want to hurt but she really loves her pianist . She tells her fiance's employer ( a scientist) of her dilemma but he is also in love with her and uses an ancient mayan gas that he is experimenting with on her fiance that turns him into a zombie like creature with caked skin who needs to kill and take out the hearts of his victims to return to normal and the professor plans to use him to have the girl for himself.
3. The Uninvited ( 1944) the first of the two big titles here and this one is a rather good classic haunted house film starring Ray Milland as a music critic who falls in love with a house by the sea in England and purchases it with his sister. it turns out to be haunted and a young girl believes it is the ghost of her mother but there are two ghosts there and one is an evil prescence. This film was the first to actually feature a proper supernatural haunting and not be revealed as a trick or hoax. it has some classic spooky moments and is still a good piece of entertainment.
2.Dead Of Night (1945)An architect arrives at a house where he meets a group of people and says to them that he has dreamt about them and reveals what the dream was. This is the second big title and proberly the most well known here on this list. It is a film with six different stories ( if you include the wrap around story) most of which are terribly British and now out dated but a couple of them pack a chill. the first story involves a racing driver who has a dream about a tragedy. the second is a comedy segment about two golfers one of whom dies and haunts the other. The third is a spooky little tale about a ghost at a child's birthday party, the fourth is about a haunted antique mirror. It is the final story that is the show stopper here and is still haunting today and has a good performance from Michael Redgrave as a ventriloquist who starts to think his dummy is alive and taking him over. I remember when i first saw this film on T.V when i was a young boy it scared the shit out of me! the final twist has been used so many times it is a cliche now but is still effective.
1. The Return Of The Vampire ( 1943)Forget Dracula, Bela Lugosi is much better here as vampire Armand Tesla who terrioses a family in England in 1918 but is staked. During a bombing raid in the second world war his grave is disturbed and someone thinks the stake sticking in him is a result of the bomb raid and removes it and the vampire returns to life, takes on the identity of a scientist who has escaped from a concentration camp and aims to get revenge on the decendants of the family that destroyed him, with the aid of a werewolf assistant. This film is great entertainment and one of Bela Lugosi's best in my opinion and he gets to don his cape!
there we go next time i shall have five films from the 1950's. if you have seen or get to see any of these here let me know what you think!