"There's only one hard and fast rule in running: sometimes you have to run one hard and fast."

Thursday, October 8, 2009

1930's Horror Films

This is mostly for the benefit of Jenny, who's going to blog on the subject.

The fllowing is a nearly complete list of extant horror films of the 1930's. There's some subjectivity as to what to include, but I had to put in the Fritz Lang psychological horror/suspense films and left out all creepy old house melodramas. I've added star ratings to those I think are worth seeing (Maniac is terrible, but oh so fun). The ratings look inflated, but the poverty row horror of PRC and Monogram were yet to come and most poor films were destroyed. All the rated films are available on video, except The Man Who Lived Again (aka The Man Who Changed His Mind) and the Walking Dead.

Beast of Borneo (1935)
The Black Cat (1934) ***
The Black Room(1935) ***
The Bride of Frankenstein (1935) ****
Chandu, the Magician (1932)
Condemned to Live (1935)
The Crime of Dr. Crespi (1935) **
Deluge (1933)
The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (1936)
Devil Doll (1936) ***
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1932) ***
Dr. Syn (1937)
Dr. X (1932) ** 1/2
Dracula (1931, Tod Browning) ***1/2
Dracula (1931, George Melford) ***1/2
Dracula's Daughter (1936) ***
Frankenstein (1931) *** 1/2
Freaks (1932) *** 1/2
The Ghoul (1933)
The Golem (1936)
Hellevision (1939)
The House of Mystery (1934)
The Hunchback of Notre dame (1939) *** 1/2
The Invisible Man (1933) *** 1/2
The Invisible Ray (1936) ** 1/2
Island of Lost Souls (1933) *** 1/2
King Kong (1933) ****
M (1930) ****
Mad Love (1935) ***
The Man They Could Not Hang (1939)
The Man Who Lived Again (1936) **
Maniac (1934) 1/2*
Mark of the Vampire (1936) ***
The Monster Walks (1932) ** 1/2
The Most Dangerous Game (1932) ***
The Mummy (1932) *** 1/2
Murders in the Rue Morgue (1932)
Murders in the Zoo (1933) ***
The Mystery of the Wax Museum (1932) ** 1/2
Night Must Fall (1937) ***
Night of Terror (1933)
The Phantom Fiend (1935)
The Raven (1935) ***
Revolt of the Zombies (1936)
Secret Witness (1931)
She (1935) ** 1/2
Son of Frankenstein (1939) ***
The Testament of Dr. Mabuse (1933) ***
Unholy Three (1930)
The Vampire Bat (1933) ** 1/2
Vampyr (1932) *** 1/2
The Walking Dead (1936) ***
Werewolf of London (1935)
White Zombie (1932) ***

The Black Cat is an Edgar Ulmer expressionist film. Mystery of the Wax Museum was one of the first color films (two color technicolor). White Zombie is slow and creaky and the sound is bad; the rating is for a pristine copy and mostly for the art direction - it has a cult following.

I'd recommend for Halloween viewing: Island of Lost Souls, Freaks, Murders in the Zoo and Maniac (in that order). The total viewing time is 4:10. I can pretty much guarantee a night of bad dreams, especially if you've never seen them previously.

1 comment:

Jennythenipper said...

Thanks so much for the list Steve. I haven't quite finalized mine yet. I'm aiming for 10, and I'd like to do as many pre-code as possible (though who can resist the Bride of Frankenstein, eh?) I'm a bit torn as to whether to do re-watches of things which I've seen because they are readily available (Dracula '31, The old dark house, will be on TCM).