Topic: The Black Cat (1934)
I've been wanting to see this film for years. I recorded it a couple of months ago from Turner Movie Classics and figured since I'd already waited forever to see it, I'd wait until October and make it part of my Halloween viewing. Proper decision, indeed.
The film itself is supposedly suggested by Poe's tale, but has nothing to do with it aside from Lugosi's character being afraid of black cats.
A couple of young honeymooners meet one Vitus Verdeghast (Lugosi) in Hungary only to end up in a bus crash that leads them to the castle of the mysterious Hjalmar Poelzig (Karloff). Eventually, it is revealed through a series of intense confrontations and revelations that Poelzig has victimized poor Vitus in more than one way in the past, making everyone in the castle unwilling participants in a game of revenge.
Much has been made of the film's art deco set design, and rightfully so, as it injects a coldy modern atmosphere into an otherwise classic gothic tale. Both horror icons deliver perhaps their finest performances as Lugosi manages to be equally sympathetic and menacing, with Karloff being smoothly evil. Despite the departure from the traditional gothic horror trappings, The Black Cat features several memorable set pieces including ghostly beautiful women preserved behind glass, an artfully staged black mass that is the highlight of the film, and a violent finale that prefigures the sadistic torture porn of the past decade. The Black Cat is highly recommended to fans of classic horror and suspense and of these two legendary performers.
Last edited by Maxwell (2012-10-10 19:41:28)