I was going to start on comics soon but have decided to take a break and go in a different route for a number of reasons:
1) There is real world stuff I gotta take care of (begh!)
2) Comics..kinda suck. Now I know this should drive me to then make my own to counter the
liberal, increasingly hipster pandering and derivative crap I see, but it has done the opposite. The only comics I even look at now are horror comics, historical or apocalyptic/survival in nature. I just am not in the mood to draw the Hanover girls right now..maybe the 100 years in the Red thing had got me down. It will return don't worry but not in September like I thought.
3) I want to play around with my videocamera...that and the photography is what intrigues me right now.
4) I had to use money I saved for it on something else so I need a few paychecks to get the digital coloring program and tablet.
Now on to a review of a Universal horror film starring both Bela Lugosi and Boris Karloff, a film that fits into my recent WW1 fixation nicely.
The Black Cat (1934)
An annoying American couple is on a train to Budapest and run into Bela(I will just use their real names), a psychiatrist who seems quite obsessed with reaching a nearby destination. Bad weather forces them to join him and they end up in a strange castle/home of a mysterious architect(Karloff) who is well known by Bela.
The two were Austrio-Hungarian soldiers in the Great War garrisoned at a fort. Karloff betrayed his comrades to the Russians(pre Revolution) and they all died except for Bela who was imprisoned. Karloff now has his home above the fort and where thousands of men were buried in a mass grave.
Kinda cool huh? It gets better with double crosses, lots of fight scenes (for these kinds of movies)a collection of embalmed women hanging in weird containers, Lugosi freaking out whenever he sees a black cat, satanic rituals and horrific (and implied) torture! Plus the heroine faints like a million times and the hero is an idiot who actually shoots the wrong guy!
The film is very much in the expressionist style (with lots of use of shadows) and the entire set design is Art Deco, giving it quite a unique feel for what is supposed to be the Gothic style of Edgar Allen Poe!! Like most movies based on Poe this is very, very , very , extremely loosely based ('suggested' is the word used in the opening credit).
Rather this reflects the post WW1 modernist theme visually, with tragedy and the shadow of that war in the background.
Lugosi is actually the hero in this and is a pleasure to watch, as is Karloff who is a scary looking
and real evil sonofabitch(SPOILER: he takes Lugosi's wife AND daughter as his concubines!) . I would say this is one of Lugosi's best performances as he shows lots of angst and then his humorous side and then him as a sadistic avenger.
Also for the time this is quite a sadistic and edgy film. In England it was edited so that Karloff's satanic cult became sun worshippers. Modern audiences may not like the slow pace and the acting style of the old timers but for classic horror fans who don't always need a creature
or supernatural angle, this movie is the tops.