The Invisible Man (1933)

Originally Posted October 4th, 2017

TONIGHT ON TEMPLARKNIGHT MEETS THE UNIVERSAL MONSTERS:

THE INVISIBLE MAN (1933)

So invisibility has been the least desirable power for me as far as usefulness. Unless you plan to commit crime, it is kind of useless. Especially considering you have to be naked to use it effectively. My favorite user of Invisibility is The Shadow, which is more accurately convincing people he is not there rather than being truly invisible. It helps he doesn’t have to be naked to use it.

This is one of the first monsters that isn’t anything more than just human. Although he becomes monstrous, he is simply a human. What’s interesting is that he ends up with a much higher kill count than any of the other monsters combined up to this point.

I loved Claude Rains performance. He just seemed to have so much fun with the role. Also the patrons and owners of the Lion’s Head were so much fun. The Hysterical screaming innkeeper’s wife was just great.

My notes for the film:

-Claude Raines (The Invisible One) Spooky Scary.

-Nice little player piano joke.

-What? It’s as if you’ve never had a mysterious figure walk in out of the cold before!

-Sorry, not a lot of jokes or observations to make here, far too engrossed in performances.

– I do not wish to be disturbed.(five seconds and one disturbance later) WHAT DID I JUST SAY?!?

-and now to the family Dr. Franke- I mean Dr. Griffin left behind.

-Okay, Dr. Kemp seems to be trying to steal Dr. Griffin’s girl.

-And back to the Lion’s Head

– My god that woman seems to scream at the drop of a hat. It’s just a tray, you crazy broad!

-Yeah, the mysterious stranger routine only works when you can pay your debts, otherwise you are just a mysterious bum.

-Ouch, that’s a nasty fall down the stairs.

-And more hysterical screaming.

-your power is being invisible. That’s it. You can’t be warning people about anything.

-DAMN YOUR EYES!

-Wow, rather astute reasoning from this country policeman. “He’s invisible, as long as he’s dressed, we can catch him.”

-Though apparently him wearing a shirt is still too much for you.

-I guess being invisible just requires you to mess with people. Can’t just escape, you have to screw with people’s perceptions of reality.

-Yeah, I’m less bothered by talking with an invisible person and more bothered with an invisible person whom I know to be sitting in my chair naked.

-Wow, turn invisible and just immediately decide, “Let’s rule the world, Just you and I!”

-Huh, here you are having a big meeting to prove whether or not an invisible man is terrorizing your town, and when a door mysteriously opens and you immediately assume some kids did it?

-And more hysterical screaming.

-Okay, it is ONE invisible man. When that ONE invisible man is strangling one person, the rest of you try and grab the invisible guy who is doing the strangling.

-My that is a long long list of weaknesses. I hope the person you are telling this to doesn’t turn against you.

-damn, took you long enough to move the body!

-We are searching for an invisible man! Good luck.

-A thousand police officers out LITERALLY beating around the bush, and the invisible man is at home sleeping comfortably.

-BETRAYED!

-God damn, people are trying way too hard to get a crime stoppers reward. “Throw paint on him and shoot him, now when do I get my 1000£?”

-yeah, he’s going to kill you all. Just, all of you.

-Dr Griffin to his fiancé:”That funny little head.” Okay, what is 1930’s obsession with heads?

-And back to the insanity speech, but I have to admit, she is taking it well.

-come on, don’t insult the poor girl’s father.

-Damn, this guy took one minor power, and went FULL ON SUPER VILLAIN MONOLOGUE MODE!

– we shall defeat the invisible man BY HOLDING HANDS!

-And hand holding failed miserably

-Okay, yeah, I would also enjoy freaking people out by being a disembodied pair of skipping singing pants.

-and just killed two people, for no real reason.

-HOLY SHIT HE DERAILED A GOD DAMN TRAIN! Which I guess you don’t need to be invisible to do, but GOD DAMN!

-Uh, if you are carrying a tray of money around, you are able to be found.

-alright children gather round gather round.

-Again, he is INVISIBLE, not insubstantial. He can’t go through walls.

-oh shit, they just spraypainted that poor cat. I wonder what peta thought about this film.

-Wow, those old cars burst into flames REAL good.

-YES I SHALL RULE THE WORLD WITH MY AWESOME POWER, but have to sleep on a bed of straw for the night.

-Bit extreme to burn down the barn to catch someone.

-and shot dead.

-Weird ending, he becomes visible after he died. But at least it wasn’t the abrupt ending as the others gave.

Over all, I enjoyed this one a lot. Still not scary, but my god the voice acting and melodrama can’t be beat.

Tomorrow Night: Dracula, The Mummy, and the Invisible Man all had love interests to pursue and give them purpose, now it is time for the monster to be the Bride.

The Mummy (1932)

Originally posted October 3rd, 2017

TONIGHT ON TEMPLARKNIGHT MEETS THE UNIVERSAL MONSTERS:

THE MUMMY (1932)

Before Brendan Fraser’s The Mummy (1999), I thought this was the least threatening and oddest of the classic monsters. It was only a slow moving zombie in bandages. So what? Even going into this film, I simply pictured it being something like the first Alien movie, where the suspense and story was being trapped in a tomb with the Mummy walking around picking people off, and some falling victim to the booby trapped tomb.

Nope. Fleshed out monster with goals, intent, and powers.

Unlike in Frankenstein where Boris Karloff switched back and forth between slow and lumbering and cat burglar-esque agility and speed, here Boris Karloff sticks to slow and methodical movements throughout. Where I thought the Mummy would spend most of the movie in bandages and lumbering around, he is only in bandages for one scene. You see him open his eyes, grab the scroll and then just see two bandages dragged out of the scene.

Here are some of my thoughts while watching the movie:

-ooo, an actual Model as the Title. How very Mystery Science Theater 3000.

-It’s only a model(shush!)

-Wabbit season, Field Expedition Season, Wabbit season.

-hey Van Helsing, shrugged off that murder by Frankenstein’s monster, I see.

-A CHEST MADE OUT OF GOLD? Damn, murder the other two, and become rich.

-(When Van Helsing Warns them NOT to open the chest)LISTEN TO VAN HELSING! HE KNOWS HIS SHIT!

-what was the point of explaining the scroll of Thoth in the title card if you were just going to have Van Helsing explain it himself almost word for word later?

-This is how the world ends, not with a bang, but with an idiot opening a box.

-Imhotep: I’ll just take my things and go. . . laughing crazy bastard.

-(When the best archeologist quits because of tragic event his last trip) That’s what we in the business call a “Hint”

-Ardeth Bay? Gotta say, seems the Mummy has done well for himself getting back into things. Has his own secret identity, has figured out the modern era, and even has managed to keep his plans in motion for 10 years.

-I swear Helen looks luke Sarah from Cinema Snob’s Midnight Screenings.

-I’m exposition man, vaguely gesture to a character, and I shall tell you their entire story.

-(When Helen suddenly leaves the party due to being possessed) At least this possession didn’t make you leave behind your coat. And also gets how public transportation works.

-Locked doors are too much though.

-Helen: “How did I get here?” Frank(with a BIG smile on his face)”My father and I brought you here! You Fainted!” STOP SMILING WHEN YOU SAY THAT!

-(When Frank is describing his feelings when he unwrapped the mummification of Anut Su Namoon) Wow, you fell in love with a dead chick. Neat.

-Frank: “There was something about her head.” That’s creepy. You’re creepy. Stop being creepy!

-Frank: “You really want to know why I didn’t take you to the Hospital?” Because they would have used a rape kit you CREEPY CREEPY BASTARD!

-When the Mummy is acting less creepy than the leading man, we got some problems.

-Helen! Ardith! Leave some room for Jesus!

-Van Helsing is not afraid to just call out monsters on their monstrosity.

-What’s a Nubian?

-Mummy surveillance. and of course his cat.

-Can’t trick Van Helsing by burning newspaper instead of the scroll.

-And Helen, you are choking that dog as you drag it through the street.

-okay, yeah, Imhotep is officially catching up in the creepy contest.

-Flashback to Ancient Egypt Dream Sequence

-Disapproving Egyptians Disapprove.

-MOVING STATUES!

-Oh no, you caught me! Very well, let’s go.

-yes yes, these heavy stone sarcophagi, easily maneuvered by just two guys.

-Killed the slaves who buried them. Killed the guards who killed the slaves. Killed the Officers who ordered the killing of the guards, who killed the slaves.

-So is this The Mummy or Phantom of the Opera? Cause seriously what is up with this love triangle shit.

-did. . . Did the cat just walk off and kill the dog?

-HOLY SHIT! THE CAT DID KILL THE DOG! WHAT THE FUCK?!?

-Frank: Well, have this charm that kept me alive until now. And now I’m dead.

-one dead guard, a costume change, and off screen ritual later, Helen is now Anut Su Namoon.

– oh Frank’s alive. Yay.

-Deus Ex Machina. I would credit the god that did, but I think that might be misconstrued. Let’s just say her name got borrowed by a not good group.

-And Helen is back, I think. Doesn’t matter story over.

I swear, there is never more than a minute or two between the monster getting vanquished and The End title card. I don’t know why Universal is trying so hard for a cinematic universe here when they had one back in the 30’s. If they didn’t insist on renaming Van Helsing every movie(and killing him in Frankenstein) they could have had him just coming into every movie and being the occult expert. It’s not like they change his role or accent very much.

Again, not very scary but an interesting story. Can’t say I’m a fan of Frank. He was only there to serve as a different love interest for Helen.

Tomorrow Night: From one wrapped up cinema classic to another.

Frankenstein (1931)

Originally posted October 2nd, 2017

TONIGHT ON TEMPLARKNIGHT MEETS THE UNIVERSAL MONSTERS:

FRANKENSTEIN (1931)

And when I say Frankenstein, I mean both The mad scientist and the monster. Cause people tend to supply their last name to the life they create, you smug a**holes!

Even more so than Dracula, the tale of Frankenstein is ingrained into Pop culture and cinema history that I knew most of this film before ever watching it. When I first watched the Godfather it was much the same way. I knew the scenes through parody and homage before I ever knew the original source.

The acting of Henry Frankenstein(Colin Clive) and his creation(Boris Karloff) are just phenomenal highlights of this film. The script handed to Colin Clive just gave him the best lines and he had such great delivery. Hell, it was Henry Frankenstein’s line and delivery in the Dark Universe trailer that made me want to check out these old movies more than anything else.

Some thoughts as the movie played:

-The monster-? Apparently they did not include Boris Karloff’s name in the original title card at the beginning. Either to raise suspense or because Bela Lugosi was previously attached, who knows.

-Wouldn’t it be easier to just notate which grave is fresh and come back an hour or so later? Instead of watching one man bury the body for hours, then undo all the work again?

-is that Van Helsing?!?(it is!)

-so. . . why is the skeleton on a bungee chord?

-Also Renfield plays Igor

-WHO THE FUCK IS FRITZ?!?

-dude, use some gloves.

-Fritz, while running up the stairs, stops to pull up one sock on his leg, then continues on. So was that an actor choice, scene direction? What?

-So we have Henry Frankenstein, but also have a Victor?

-Why all these weird choices and changes?

-If i ever have children, I am giving the “It’s ALIVE!” Speech in the delivery room.

-And rather abrupt scene change to a pleasant afternoon tea.

-There is no other woman, the wedding is being delayed because Henry’s busy creating monsters.

-Henry Frankenstein has such great lines and delivery.

-Walking backwards onto set? Was reverse just easier?

-Fritz you fucking dick! Igor would have never pulled this shit!

-Well, Fritz is dead. . . I guess?

-Damnit, he killed someone who abused and bullied him. I guess our only choice is to abuse and bully him before we kill him.

-Quick, Hide the body! My father thinks I’m having an affair!

-Is that the front door? I dunno, you walked up to the place.

-Knock once, “THERE DOESN’T SEEM TO BE ANYONE HERE!” It’s a big place, WAIT A DAMN SECOND! You’re not UPS!

-Baron Frankenstein needs to bugger right off. He’s annoying as hell.

-Yeah, Van Helsing not quite showing the craftiness he did in Dracula. And now he’s dead.

-Yeah, I would like at least a followup on the destruction of my life’s work instead of just moving onto my wedding and forgetting about it. Did no one think to invite Professor Waldman?

-No drinking on the job, you’re all fired.

-Yeah, that child is strangling that cat. Get in there Creature and save that CAT!

-oh yes. . . They float. . .You’ll float too!

-yeah, I guess she couldn’t swim. . . Even though we see her treading water briefly. Cut scene for Super Drowning Skills.

-She has the Shine! This is connected to the Dark Tower! EVERYTHING IS CONNECTED!

-So are you slow and lumbering or are you a cat burglar? Pick one, Creature!

-Dude, this is a wedding, you’re killing the mood with your dead daughter.

-Alright, there’s a guy carrying around a dead body, STOP DANCING!

-“She drowned. . .She’s been murdered!” Or she couldn’t swim? What evidence do you have she did anything more than fall into the lake?

-Henry Frankenstein changed outfits?!?

-Who are you searching for?!? Unless Frankenstein is just VERY forthcoming about the creature, nobody knows who they are looking for.

-search the mountains? Am I just too modern and comfortable to think searching mountains is a relatively difficult endeavor.

-My, that night sky has a few wrinkles in it.

-Well shit, fire doesn’t work anymore. Congrats on getting through your pyrophobia through immersion therapy!

-yeah, the monster isn’t as misunderstood as the hype would like you to believe. He killed Fritz in self defense, yes, and the flower girl was an accident, but he intentionally killed Dr. Waldman, intentionally attacked Frankenstein’s fiancé, and intentionally tried to murder Henry Frankenstein.

-Ah, rag doll physics at their best.

-“Lets take him down to the village, and take him home.” Momentarily forgetting the angry mob mentality.

-Okay yes, got over fear of torches, getting over your fear of burning to death in a windmill is probably a little too much to expect.

-Guys, the windmill is engulfed, step back a safe distance.

-Henry’s alive, monsters dead, end film.

-Now let’s just all keep quiet about Henry’s involvement in causing three confirmed deaths.

So yeah, another movie that is not scary in the slightest, but very well done. I enjoy the story much more here and they do a better job presenting the tale.

Tomorrow night: Life has been given to a new creation, but now life shall be returned to one who was long since . . . placed under wraps.

TemplarKnight meets the Universal Monsters!

Originally Posted September 30th, 2017

Coming this October. . .

TEMPLARKNIGHT MEETS THE UNIVERSAL MONSTERS!

So after last year ranking all my favorite Christmas movies, I thought, “Hey, I should do my favorite Halloween/Horror movies. But that would be a damn short list. It would be The Crow, Nightmare Before Christmas, a few Halloween specials, and maybe some Friday the 13th.

I have never been a big Horror buff. If something even SOUNDED scary, I would avoid it like the plague until I got FULL GUARANTEES it was not scary. Hell, I avoided Dead Poet Society for a time simply because I thought it was gonna be traumatic.

So as I am getting over some of my needless childhood fears, I figured I would watch some classic horror movies this halloween I had been avoiding and review them. One of the ones on the top of that list was The Shining, because Jack Nicholson looks fantastic in some scenes. So I was going to compile a random list of movies I needed to see and go from there.

Then Universal Pictures dropped this trailer for their Upcoming “Dark Universe” and that whole plan went into the trash.

I went to Amazon, found a set of 30 classic Universal Monster movies and planned my October. 30 Films, 30 reviews, in 31 days.

Can the original tales and monsters still inspire terror after all these years later?

Are these classic monsters still cinematic triumphs, or are they just campy movies of their time?

Only time shall tell.

Turn out the lights, say your prayers, and roll a SAN check. For tomorrow we start with the Count.

Tomorrow: Dracula (1931)