Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Scared to Death (USA, 1947)

Nicking a review isn't a very nice thing to do but I'm gonna do it anyway cos this write-up is great fun! Over to you, Michael:


By Michael Weldon
This almost surreal little film is remarkable for three reasons: it's in color, it's narrated by a woman's corpse, and it's the closest thing to a horror movie released in the lean year of 1947. Bela Lugosi (in a crooked, wide-brimmed hat and a Colonel Sanders tie) acts like he's in a trance. He lurks around peering in windows with dwarf pal Angelo Rossitto. Angelo, who was in two other Lugosi movies, also appeared in Freaks and played an alien in Galaxina. With villain George Zucco, idiot Nat Pendleton, one-time star Joyce Compton, and Douglas Fowley (who later directed Macumba Love). It's only 65 minutes long. Watch it closely and decide: Had the actors ever seen the script? Were some of them under the influence of a very disorienting drug? Fascinating in a different way from Bela's Ed Wood films.

- Michael Weldon, from "The Psychotronic Encyclopedia of Film" (1983)


I watched the film tonight and I wholeheartedly agree with Weldon; Almost surreal! But despite the qualities of whatever film Bela Lugosi was in he always gave his fullest! And I must say 1947 really WAS a lean year!! The year isn't even listed in "The Encyclopaedia of Horror Movies" book!!! O_O

There are 20 different public domain versions of this film out there. If you wanna purchase a copy I recommend you either get the reg. 1 DVD from Miracle or the reg. 2 DVD from Network. Someone who collects Lugosi films told me these two releases are head and shoulders better than the rest of the PD drek out there. I've got the Network DVD and can confirm it's of decent quality. There's no extras other than the trailer.

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