Here are the screenings I have lined up for the Evil Expo. Each one highlights an outstanding villain!
Have a favorite? Click the thumbs up button next to the film!
Peter Lorre is at his best as a mad, sadistic villain! He was a serious student of abnormal psychology who attended Freud’s lectures as a youth in Vienna. So it’s no surprise he can give us a chillingly accurate portrayal of a malignant narcissistic personality disorder!
In this story, He’s running a penal colony with slave labor using convicts paroled into his custody. His sadism is subdued, his wife despises him, his white tropical suit is impeccable. Robert Wilcox is the federal agent undercover as a prisoner who must organize a slave revolt. Rochelle Hudson is Peter’s lovely enslaved wife, desperate to break free. Charles Middleton, a powerful actor famed for portraying villains, is surprisingly restrained as Peter’s scheming second-in-command.
Directed by Charles Barton, who gives us a pace that will hold your attention, with lots of action and careful attention to characterization. A forgotten gem that is most entertaining, a well-told tale.
The Black Cat, with Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi, directed by German expressionist Edgar Ulmer. Not a horror film but a moody meditation on the despair unleashed throughout the world by The Great War. After 15 years in a Russian prison camp, Lugosi has returned to Hungary to confront Karloff, the commander of the fortress of Marmoresz, who betrayed him and all his men when he surrendered to the Russians. Karloff has turned Ft. Marmoresz into his art-deco residence, where he is leading a satanist cult, and has married Lugosi’s wife. And then, when she died, he married Lugosi’s daughter. In real life, Lugosi served as an artillery officer in the Carpathians and was twice wounded in combat with the Russians, Karloff was spared service because of a bad back, and Ulmer was too young to enlist. But they all lived through the war and its impact echoed within them. It was Universal’s biggest box office hit of the year, and was one of the first movies with an almost continuous music score.
Also known as Flash Gordon’s Trip To Mars. Ming The Merciless has come to Mars and cut a deal with Queen Azura. He’s destroying our atmosphere with the Nitron Lamp, only Flash, Dale and Dr. Zarkov can save us. Meet the Clay Men who come out of the cave walls, are they friend or foe? Cross a chasm on a bridge made of light! Fly a chunky, art-deco Strato-Sled! Learn the secret of the mystic gems, the Black and White Sapphires. Endure the torment of Ming’s deadly Disintegration Chamber! With lots of thrills and action, a silly script, bad acting and crude special effects!
Charles Laughton is the giggling, nutty Dr. Moreau, who is turning animals into manlike creatures through vivisection in his House Of Pain. The beast-men worship him as god. They recite his laws in an eerie, pathetic ritual voiced by furry-faced Bela Lugosi — not to shed blood, eat meat, or go on all fours. Richard Arlen is the shipwrecked sailor the madman tries to mate with his creation, the Panther Woman (Kathleen Burke). This film has a moody, atmospheric quality that we rarely see today and an interesting Freudian subtext. From the H.G. Wells story.
We’ll also see an assortment of serial first-chapters introducing a variety of old-time evil characters. First chapters introduce all the characters and the villain and end in a classic cliffhanger, playing well as standalone episodes ,and giving us a cross-section of this thrilling genre of the 30s and 40s.