Category Archives: Classic

The Black Room (1935)

The Black Room PosterThe Black Room is a slight, but effective little horror film that gives us the pleasure of seeing Boris Karloff as twin noblemen. When there are twins in the movies, one of two things will happen. Either both are really evil (like twins in real life) or there is one that’s evil and one that’s a pretty good guy. When you have one of each, it allows lots of cool stuff to go on, usually involving the bad twin impersonating the good twin so that he can do twice the bad things in half the time. Continue reading

The Sea Hawk (1940)

SeaHawkPosterApparently there’s a book called The Sea Hawk. This movie is based on that book and by that I mean that it’s based on that book’s title. The story in this Errol Flynn pirate vehicle is really based on Sir Francis Drake and his crazy adventures with the Sea Dogs. Clearly, a bunch of Sea Hawks is much more manly than the Sea Dogs, which sound more like a group of horny swimmers than charming rogues who delight in putting those Spaniards and their silly helmets in their place. Continue reading

The Spiral Staircase (1945)

SpiralStaircasePosterDo you remember when Snoopy used to sit on top of his dog house and type a story that started “it was a dark and stormy night?” If that dog ever buckled down and got beyond that first phrase, this would have been the movie based on his story. At least it would have been if his dark and stormy night involved a serial killer who was bumping off women with various physical deformities. Continue reading

Hold Back the Dawn (1941)

HoldBackTheDawnPosterIt’s the age old story of an international playboy who uses a lonely small town school teacher to get himself into the United States so that he and his old dance partner can reunite and take the country (and rich American broads) by storm. Obviously, this film was made before we had a Department of Homeland Security that was specifically designed to prevent these sorts of terror attacks on the hearts of desperate women. Continue reading

The Letter (1940)

TheLetterPosterLeslie Crosbie (Bette Davis) is the wife of a guy who runs a rubber plantation in Malaysia and if you know anything about life on a rubber plantation in Malaysia like I do, there isn’t much more to do than your husband’s best friend. And even though this all went down in Malaysia, it still turns out that you just can’t go around killing secret boyfriends because they dump you! You can’t really blame Leslie though. How can anyone be expected to know the intricacies of Malaysian homicide laws? Continue reading

Bride of Frankenstein (1935)

Bride of Frankenstein PosterWidely considered as superior to its predecessor, Bride of Frankenstein is one of those movies that is probably as great as many will tell you and is not nearly the dreary, serious meditation on the folly of playing God you may have been lead to believe nor is it an old and creaky monster movie that modern audiences will yawn during. In fact, watching this, I was reminded of the Re-Animator movies, what with the off-hand treatment of the Monster and the various shenanigans he gets into along the way. Continue reading

Frankenstein (1931)

Frankenstein PosterLike for so many of us, Henry Frankenstein’s college years were a time of turmoil and self-discovery. He was way too advanced to stay in school and wanted the university to provide him with a steady stream of corpses so that he could continue playing God. The school refused, saying that they preferred to suck people dry over the course of a lifetime through their student loan program instead. So Henry put a flyer up at the student union looking for a hunchback to join his band and got an off-campus apartment with a windmill. If you substituted “kegs” for “corpses,” that pretty much describes my freshman year! Continue reading

Elmer Gantry (1960)

ElmerGantryPosterSinclair Lewis won the Nobel Prize for literature, was ripped off of a Pulitzer by the Columbia University trustees, won it for real later, declined it, wrote Babbitt, and eventually hired secretaries to play chess with him until he croaked from the effects of alcoholism. Somewhere in all this, he found time to pen what has to be regarded as the definitive novel about the nature of religion as Big Con. Continue reading

Halls of Montezuma (1950)

Halls of Montezuma PosterTheir names roll off my tongue far easier than they ever had a right to: Tobruk, Corregidor, Guadalcanal. And even now after all these years, sometimes late at night when the house is at its quietest and I close my eyes, all I can see are the flares lighting up the night, illuminating the hellish place (probably a studio backlot) of dirt and rock and blood where I watched a bunch of actors dig in, praying that some Axis pillbox didn’t hit the jackpot, sending a telegram to our moms and dads that began “we regret to inform you.” Continue reading