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Monthly Archives: October 2006

The Monster Walks

From the DVD case: People in an old dark house on a stormy night are menaced by a killer ape. (1932, b&w)

Mark says: If I had to describe The Monster Walks in one word, it would be clichĂ©. The events of the film take place during a dark and stormy night in an eerie mansion. The rich master has died suspiciously and the family is gathered for the reading of the will. The house is full of unsavory characters, including an old, invalid uncle, and two creepy house servants. There’s also a fearsome ape locked in the basement, which has a renowned hatred for the deceased’s daughter.

In addition to all of this, the mansion is full of hidden passages and paintings that move so eyes can peer through. Of course, the young daughter inherits everything. If she should die, all the money goes to the repugnant old uncle. Any of this sound familiar? I had a feeling it would.

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Virginia Leith is Jan in the Pan

From the DVD case: A mad scientist accidentally decapitates his pretty fiancĂ©e in a car accident and then rushes her head to his secret laboratory to keep it alive. Needing a replacement body for his beloved, the doctor visits various strip-clubs and girlie shows in order to pick just the right body for his needs. Meanwhile, the revived head is conspiring with a grunting thing that is locked away in the doctor’s closet, seeking revenge on her boyfriend. (1962, b&w)

Mark says: If you’ve ever bought a compilation horror DVD, you probably already own a copy of The Brain that Wouldn’t Die. It’s one of those films that is included in almost all “classic horror/cult” collections. I own several copies of the movie myself, but the one I most often refer to is produced by Diamond Entertainment and comes as a duel pack with The Amazing Transparent Man. The Brain that Wouldn’t Die was filmed in 13 days during 1959, but was not released until 1962.

As a child, this movie terrified me. The opening sequence where Virginia Leith whispers the words, “Let me die,” inspired genuine chills. I was also horrified by the image of a human head detached from its body, speaking, blinking, and undeniably angry. Add to that a mystery monster in the closet and you have a frightening movie experience for a pre-adolescent boy.

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