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Non-Review Review: Frankenstein (1931)

We are about to unfold the story of Frankenstein, a man of science who sought to create a man after his own image without reckoning upon God. It is one of the strangest tales ever told. It deals with the two great mysteries of creation – life and death. I think it will thrill you. It may shock you. It might even – horrify you. So if any of you feel that you do not care to subject your nerves to such a strain, now’s your chance to – uh, well, we warned you.

James Whale’s Frankenstein tends to be overshadowed by its sequel, The Bride of Frankenstein, as perhaps the definitive take on the mad scientist and his creepy, tragic monster. While the script for Universal’s 1931 Frankenstein is occasionally a bit too loose for its own good, it’s still a stunning piece of classic monster movie cinema. I had the pleasure of watching the recent blu ray release of the film, and it looks just as good now as it ever did.

“It’s aliiiive!”

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Non-Review Review: The Hound of the Baskervilles (1959)

Back in its heyday, Hammer Horror had a reputation as an assembly-line studio, churning out cheesy exploitation horror after cheesy exploitation horror with an efficiency that would make battery farmers jealous. I won’t pretend that the reputation is entirely undeserved, although I do have a certain fondness for the delightful schlock the studio would produce. Still, I think that this reputation tends to overshadow the occasional gem that the studio would produce, something that managed to transcend the cost-effective scenery and cookie-cutter approach to film-making. While it probably isn’t the definitive adaptation of the tale, Hammer’s The Hound of the Baskervilles is still an absolute delight for gothic horror aficionados.

Put that in your pipe and smoke it…

Note: This review contains spoilers. I consider a classic novel and fifty-year-old film to be fair game.

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