Horror Noir: Where Cinema's Dark Sisters Meet by Paul Meehan

By Paul Meehan

This serious survey examines the ancient and thematic relationships among of the cinema's hottest genres: horror and picture noir. The impact of Nineteen Thirties- and 1940s-era horror motion pictures at the improvement of noir is precise, with analyses of greater than a hundred films within which noir illegal activity and secret meld with supernatural and mental horror. incorporated are the flicks in line with well known horror/mystery radio indicates (The Whistler, internal Sanctum), the works of RKO manufacturer Val Lewton (Cat humans, The 7th Victim), and Alfred Hitchcock's mental ghost tales. additionally mentioned are gothic and gown horror noirs set within the nineteenth century (The photograph of Dorian grey, Hangover Square); the noir parts of newer movies; and the movie noir points of the Hannibal Lecter video clips and different serial-killer thrillers.

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Freaks was considered so over-the-top when it was released that it was banned in many venues and became a major embarrassment for MGM. It nearly ended the career of director Tod Browning, and existed in the special limbo reserved for “cult” or “exploitation” films for decades. Seen today, however, Freaks still has the power to shock. One of the film’s major flaws is its thin storyline that resembles a brief anecdote or joke, complete with punch line. ”3 Adapted from a short story entitled “Spurs” by Willis Goldbeck and Leon Gordon, the storyline is padded out with the scenes of domestic life among the freaks, including the erotic complications of Siamese twins, an armless, legless “human torso” lighting a cigarette and a woman without arms using her feet to hoist a glass to her lips.

Gorman surprises her while she is absconding with the evidence, and chases his wife through the darkened zoo, hurling her into a pit filled with hungry alligators who voraciously dispose of her body. When the missing mamba is found and returned to its cage, Woodford measures the width of the animal’s fangs and finds that they do not jibe with the bite marks found on Hewitt’s leg, indicating that the victim was bitten by another snake. ”). When parts of Evelyn’s dress are fished out of the gator pit, Gorman realizes that he must dispose of Woodford, whom he also suspects of having fooled around with his wife.

Freaks is a noir story of lust, murder and revenge in which the deformed exact street justice on the physically “normal” characters in an inversion of our sympathies. ” Three from 1933 By 1933 the horror movie craze was in full bloom, and that year produced a number of unusual horror noirs, the most memorable of these being Warners’ The Mystery of the Wax Museum. Directed by the versatile Michael Curtiz, who would later helm classic films noir such as Mildred Pierce (1945) and The Breaking Point (1950), the film was shot using the early two-color Technicolor process.

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