Oh Helen, it’s been such torture, I love you so. Frank Wemple
The original The Mummy (1932) is something to see. Boris Karloff is the king of classic monsters, and plays three characters in this movie, though technically it’s only one. Ardath Bey is very creepy, and travels to a dig site to see Frank Whemple, who he tells where another burial ground is located. Of course, this is after Whemple’s father’s assistant had already awoken the Mummy previously.
The strange chant mesmerizes Helen Grosvenor (Zita Johann) from across town, awakening something in her. The plot is simple, Imhotep, another of Karloff’s personalities, sees the resemblance of Princess Ankh-es-en-Amon in Helen and wants to reincarnate her into the Princes. Every time I see Zita in a scene, I wonder if she’s stoned or on a fry-trip.
The intensity of the dramatic acting in this film pushes it to the top for me. Too bad the recent remake wasn’t even close to this gem.
In 1931, Dracula, staring Bela Lugosi came to the silver screen. The thing about B&W, it hides the strings, and makes it so you can’t tell what is backdrop and what is set. This castle, I never realized until watching this is what I envisioned for my short-story Magic Secrets, which was written when I was in High School.
The Bela Lugosi eyes, they are the best, the perfect vignette lighting. I’ve seen this attempted in recent movies, but it falls flat. Seeing this movie now, I can’t say whether I’ve seen it before, I know the eyes, but those are pop-culture. I don’t remember any of this, which is a good thing, I’m going in a virgin, though it is surprising to have never seen with all the others that we saw growing up.
Some of my favorite things in this movie are: during the storm while at sea, we see Dracula, but he’s not affected, not even a spray of water touches him; Renfield’s laugh is awesome, so creepy with that demonic grin; David Manners is such the dramatic actor, and as John Harker he is a little over the top, but it adds to the fun. The one thing that made my brow rise was Van Helsing wanting Mina Seward to drink Wolfbane tea. Well I guess Dracula won’t want her if she’s already dead.
This film is creepy and tense, and I loved it, and would if I had seen it before.