Mad Love (1935)
Director: Karl Freund
Main Stars: Peter Lorre, Frances Drake, Colin Clive
Storyline: An insane surgeon is in love with an actress in which he replaced her wounded pianist’s hands with that of a murder.
Review (Spoils): Dr. Gogol (Peter Lorre) while watching a performance falls in love with the beautiful Yvonne Orlac (Frances Drake). When he finds out after obsessing about her that she is married to a pianist, his mind cracks even further. The pianist Stephen (Colin Clive) gets hurt during a train accident which crushes his hands which Yvonne then goes to Dr. Gogol for help. Dr. Gogol agrees but uses his sick mind to win her over by replacing her husband’s hands with that of a knife throwing murder. The hands have a mind of their own and this leads to some serious conflict.
Peter Lorre yet again plays the mad character to a tee. He is carries the performance of his obsession amazingly and the end when he finally snaps is classic.
Rating: This film should sit up there as a classic b/w horror, maybe not as high as Dracula or Frankenstein but it should still be recognized for a classic. Love the idea of Colin Clive who is best known for being a mad doctor (Frankenstein) is now the victim from a new mad doctor. Check this one out if you have not as Dr. Gogol is a brilliant villain.
Director: Fritz Lang
Stars: Peter Lorre, Ellen Wildmann, Inge Landgut
Storyline: A city in Germany is trying to track down a child killer; even the criminals are on the manhunt.
Review: Hans Beckert (Peter Lorre) lives in Berlin and is secretly murdering little girls. The murders are disturbing the whole city and everyone is feeling paranoid. The police cannot nail down the murder and the local riff raff decide to take the investigation in their own hands.
Peter Lorre is the best in this film, he plays the quiet man who knows in the back of his mind he is doing the wrong thing but cannot control it. I enjoyed the scenery and imagery that played out in the film with the floating balloon and bouncing ball. It set the tone for the creepy film and we do not need to rely on gore, blood or screams. The paranoia that the film sets for the people involved is awesome where nobody trusts any man that talks to children. Too me this was special and a take way from the film as you can feel the intensity of it.
Rating: Fritz Lang created a masterpiece of a slasher film here without relying on the typical stuff like blood, gore and effects. Instead he relied on acting and storyline and it worked greatly. The whistling alone of the killer is something that will stay with horror movie lovers of the classics. Cheers to Hans Beckert.
The Raven (1963)
Director: Roger Corman
Main Stars: Vincent Price, Peter Lorre, Boris Karloff, Hazel Court
Storyline: A magic user has been turned into a raven and turns to his former sorcerer to help him.
Review (Spoils): This is based on the Edgar Allan Poe poem which Vincent Price is known to do. What we have is Bedlo (Peter Lorre) comes to Dr. Craven (Vincent Price) for help as he has been turned into a raven from an evil wizard named Scarabus (Boris Karloff). Through this we also learn that Scarabus has enchanted Craven’s long lost wife Lenore (Hazel Court) who he believed to be dead!
The acting is well done in the film but the horror is lacking in this Poe film unlike other films that Vincent Price has done. This is film is more of spoof then actually to be taken serious even the special effects are a little silly. Nothing shocking here except some crazy spell effects.
Rating: As for Vincent Price films this one lacks as there are a lot better ones out there to checkout for the king of macabre.