On Wednesday night at 11:00pm, when all was dark and the leaves were slowly rustling down the quiet, lonely streets outside, I sat my very tired, yet thrilled, self down to catch TCM’s viewing of “The Black Cat“. It had been years since I had caught it by chance and fell in love with it’s sheer spectacular awesomeness. I mean with a description like this, “American honeymooners in Hungary are trapped in the home of a Satan- worshiping priest when the bride is taken there for medical help following a road accident.”, how could it be anything except terror-ific?!
The more detailed plot synopsis (which is almost as long as the movie it’s self – it clocks in at just over an hour long) goes like this…Honeymooning in Hungary, Joan and Peter Allison share their train compartment with Dr. Vitus Verdegast, a courtly but tragic man who is returning to the remains of the town he defended before becoming a prisoner of war for fifteen years. When their hotel-bound bus crashes in a mountain storm and Joan is injured, the travellers seek refuge in the home, built fortress-like upon the site of a bloody battlefield, of famed architect Hjalmar Poelzig. There, cat-phobic Verdegast learns his wife’s fate, grieves for his lost daughter, and must play a game of chess for Allison’s life. Written by Sister Grimm
I swear that doesn’t even do justice to the film, which when released in 1934 was Universal Pictures’ biggest box office hit of the year. Visually it’s a stunner and I felt like the house was a character in it’s own right (I mean, just look at that and that’s just the outside!). With Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi in the starring roles, there is an instant classic touch that feels so right.
Of course, they say that this was based on the story The Black Cat by Edgar Allan Poe, but I think that stretches credibility a wee bit far (I suppose the name is the same…).
What is your favorite horror classic?
Have a Spooktacular Weekend!
Namaste ~ Ella