15 Apr

Suicidal Night at the Movies: The Black Cat (1934)

Posted by Bryan White | Friday April 15, 2011 | Suicidal Movie Night

The Black CatHey! Let’s watch a fuckin’ movie! Shall we? In lieu of anything else worth posting, I bring to you this seriously awesome Bela Lugosi/Boris Karloff joint from 1934. The Universal Monsters of the time did major box office and if anything, Hollywood has proven itself to be consistent over the year so it should come as no surprise that super star team ups like Frankenstein and Dracula hit the scene as the studio did their best to squeeze every drop of blood out of their new bread winning horror franchises. As charming as the Universal B’s are, very few of them are actually any good and most of them are viewed with high regard as relics of early exploitation/cult movie status. Not so with The Black Cat. Though, this flick floated on the gangbusters appeal of Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi, this flick, by director Edward Ulmer, is an anomaly and is seriously dark in the subject matter department. Instead of riding high on monster schlock, this movie delves deep into psycho-sexual territory and the occult, evoking a picture that is massively creepy in every conceivable way. Karloff’s antagonistic Hjalmar Poelzig is allegedly based on master of the esoteric, Aleister Crowley. Also bear in mind, the movie is based on a Poe story… barely. Before Roger Corman was indulging in Edgar Allan Poe adaptations in name only, Universal broke ground thirty years prior. Watch. Thrill. Enjoy.