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Archive for July 19th, 2013

by Sam Juliano

A regional based horror piece with supernatural underpinnings “The Hungry Glass” is set in a sedate seaside community during a brisk and picturesque New England autumn.  This atmospheric early Thriller pre-dates the celebrated “Pigeons From Hell,” which likewise made striking visual and thematic use of it’s deep south environs.  Based on a story by Thriller stalwart Robert Bloch titled “The Hungry House” the show is a chilling ghost story that plays on one’s aversion to mirrors. Indeed Karloff, in grand Edwardian garb, sporting a stovepipe hat and carrying a lantern urges his audience during his introduction to “make sure that your television casts no reflection!” while gazing into a mirror that showcases the episode’s star players.  Other perceptions revealed during the course of his opening include: “Mirrors never lie,” “Mirrors bring a house to life” and “Every time you look in a mirror, you see death.”

Beginning with a prologue that is equally as effective as ones that began the classic episodes “The Cheaters” and “The Grim Reaper” Laura Bellman fans herself while admiring her reflecting in one of a roomful of mirrors.  A man then raps at the door and is answered with “Leave me alone, can’t you–leave me alone with my mirrors.”  Then the story proper begins when Gil and Marcia Trasker buy the old Bellman house, a brooding but picturesque enclave along the seashore.  After hearing some cryptic warnings from the locals about the Bellman house they are escorted to their new home by the realtor Adam Talmadge and his wife Liz.  Gil inquires about the absence of mirrors in the house and Adam informs him that some previous residents were killed by shattered glass.  The deaths were given more sinister interpretations by the superstitious townspeople. (more…)

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ILT 1

by Allan Fish

(USA 1948 94m) not on DVD

I hate to be mauled

p  S.Sylvan Simon  d  S.Sylvan Simon  w  Roy Huggins  ph  Charles Lawton Jnr  ed  Al Clark  m  George Duning  art  Stephen Goosson, Leslie Thomas

Franchot Tone (Stuart Bailey), Janet Blair (Norma Shannon/Gretchen Breeger), Janis Carter (Mrs Caprillo/Jane Breeger/Janie Joy), Adele Jergens (Boots Nestor), Glenda Farrell (Hazel Bixby), Steve Geray (Keller), Eduardo Ciannelli (Caprillo), John Ireland (Reno), Lynn Merrick (Mrs Johnston), Tom Powers (Johnston), Raymond Burr (Herb), Robert Barrat (Lt.Quint), Donald Curtis (Martin), Roseanne Murray (Miss Phipps), Sid Tomack (Buster Buffin), Martha Montgomery (Angel),

As I write I Love Trouble isn’t available on DVD.  The only way to see it is by dodgy off-air recordings.  My copy flickers, has jumping frames, other frames and even seconds where it cuts to black and a soundtrack which goes out of synch.  It’s truly in a desperate state.  All of which may be a surprise when one considers how so many of the third generation public domain noirs have been lovingly restored to DVD – think Decoy, Born to Kill – but quite a few others that are yet to be so.  There are a host of cult noirs that one could have included in this selection; de Toth’s Pitfall (Dick Powell and a never better Lizabeth Scott), Shane’s Fear in the Night (actually on DVD but unrestored), Lewis’ The Undercover Man (Glenn Ford does Eliot Ness in all but name), Lubin’s Impact (with the imperious bitch Helen Walker), Wiles’ The Gangster (with Barry Sullivan), and Too Late for Tears (with Scott, Dan Duryea and Arthur Kennedy).  All are solid examples of the B noir tradition.  Yet I leave all at the gates, because I really do love Trouble(more…)

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