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Mystery Of The Wax Museum Review


Very Good
Bet ya didn't know that the "original" House of Wax was a remake! Here's the real original (in fact, it was a play even before this), a 1933 film that is strikingly similar to the Vincent Price horror film, but which also borrows heavily from then-popular vampire movies. Lionel Atwill plays the Price part, but Fay Wray is more memorable as the wannabe gumshoe who's on the case of the local wax museum and why its wax figures have an uncanny resemblance to the recently dead. Made in early, two-strip Technicolor.

Off The Menu: The Last Days Of Chasen's Review


Very Good
No one outside of Hollywood has any business knowing anything about Chasen's. And yet, here's a movie about the restaurant that everyone enamored with the high life ought to see.

This Hollywood landmark closed in 1995 after nearly 60 years in business, and the stories inside are legion.

Continue reading: Off The Menu: The Last Days Of Chasen's Review

King Kong (1933) Review


Essential
There are very few works of cinema that stand up to repeated viewings and decades of changing film mores and audience expectations. Most notable among these is the classic King Kong. While the special effects that really came to symbolize the film look a bit ragged and prehistoric today, they carry an emotional weight that remains unequaled by modern CGI trickery and model work. You can spout off all you like about the wonders of The Lord of the Rings' Gollum but for all his slimy verisimilitude the guy still looks 2-D. There is, of course, a reason for that: He is. Kong wasn't.

Everyone knows King Kong but few people can actually recount the plot of the film he starred in. Perhaps that is because in the ensuing years since the film's release, the plot has become so tried and true, almost hoary, that it no longer registers on the cultural radar. It is simply archetypal.

Continue reading: King Kong (1933) Review

Mystery Of The Wax Museum Review


Very Good
Bet ya didn't know that the "original" House of Wax was a remake! Here's the real original (in fact, it was a play even before this), a 1933 film that is strikingly similar to the Vincent Price horror film, but which also borrows heavily from then-popular vampire movies. Lionel Atwill plays the Price part, but Fay Wray is more memorable as the wannabe umshoe who's on the case of the local wax museum and why its wax figures have an uncanny resemblance to the recently dead. Made in early, two-strip Technicolor.

The Vampire Bat Review


Bad
Hollywood's answer to Nosferatu, and a lame one at that. Far Wray stars (and even she is unmemorable here) in a story that has the typical German village besieged by a neck-puncturing mystery. Vampires presumed. Very low in production values and with a forced script that can't hold a candle to even a bad Dracula movie.

The Most Dangerous Game Review


Excellent
Early talkie, starring Fay Wray as a damsel in distress, trapped on that infamous mad Russian's island, where humans (including shipwrecked Joel McCrea) are hunted for sport. You read it in high school, now see the original film version of the Richard Connell story, done with impressive effects, moody cinematography, and an unbeatable adventure tale. (Plus: only 62 minutes long!)
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