Scaredy Nerds Week 10
Werewolf? There Wolf!
It probably goes with out saying and especially after this weeks film, don’t trust people who build their homes on the grave of thousands of dead soldiers. I think that is some good advice we can all follow. What did you think of The Black Cat? Was it everything you hoped for? Something about Bela Lugosi and Boris Karloff, that pair immediately set a movie apart from others. More on that in a minute though. This week we are introduced to another first in the horror world, the first on screen werewolf! Werewolves have got a bad wrap lately in cinema, but it wasn’t always that way. This week we find out how it all started, but first we need to put the cat out!
The Black Cat
This movie was really special, the first of seven collaborations between Lugosi and Karloff, this film has an atmosphere that gives you the creeps throughout the entire film. I don’t think there is another actor out there who immediately dominates a scene in quit the same way that Bela Lugosi does. The moment he arrives you just feel his presence, like all the light is focused on him. Then when he finally exits the scene it feels as though the weight of his presence has been lifted, and he isn’t even the villain in this piece! Karloff is no slouch either, he wreaks evil and had I met his character in person I don’t think I would have stayed a second longer. These two men are playing a chess game throughout the entire movie, and I am not talking about the time they literally sit down to play chess. The back and forth of power and control and manipulation make it feel like the stakes are higher than any of us can imagine. Too bad for the lovely couple caught in the middle too, because they are just pawns to these two larger than life men. In the climax of the film audiences were treated to a scene that is considered one of the most memorable scenes in film, the skinning alive scene. Of course nothing was shown, this was 1934 after all, but it is there it happens, and the audience fills in the gaps of what it didn’t see with its own imagination. It is rare that we get to see two masters of their craft in a film like this. If you didn’t have a chance to watch it, please go back and make sure you do. This film is one that is not to be missed.
This Weeks Homework
This week we meet the very first werewolf and no he doesn’t run around without his shirt on. This is the film that showed audiences their very first werewolf transformation but sadly was a box office failure. Apparently even back in the 1930’s audience demanded variety in their films. Critics slammed the film for seeming too similar to the film Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde which had opened 3 years earlier. Good thing we watched that film, now we can see if the critics were right.