Thursday, October 06, 2005






Like asking the age old question, "do you like the Rolling Stones or the Beatles more" I'm sure theres discussion groups out there battling out who's better of these old boogey -men, Bela Lugosi or Boris Karloff. I'm not going to pick a favourite I love em both and I was happy when Universal realased a 5 movie package called the Bela Lugosi Collection [Murders in the Rue Morgue, The Black Cat, The Raven, The Invisible Ray and Black Friday) . Boris appears in every movie except 1 so it could almost be called the Karloff collection but Karloff had a longer more successful career so why not cut Bela some slack.
The sad thing is with the cheap price comes no documentaries or commentaries and all these movies have interesting stories and personalities who worked on them. But If I had to pick one, I wish The Black Cat had had received a bit of special treatment.


Beautiful Art Deco/30's Moderne sets and a rather morbid story line make this the most visually arresting of the bunch. The movies director Edgar G Ulmer is known if at all, for a few low budget gems like the Noir classic Detour but he was a fascinating personality who was involved an unbelievable amount of cool things. He contributed to the art direction of many films like Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, Nosferatu and Sodam and Gomarrah. He was head of the minature department in hollywood and a assistant art director and worked on Lon Chaneys' Hunchback and Phantom of the Opera. He worked on many hollywood movies as a production designer like Chaplins the Gold Rush. He helped desing Howard Hughes Hells Angels and it goes on and on and working at the end of his career on tv pilots and being unit production manager of The Doris Day Show.Right on Ulmer!

6 comments:

Steve Daye said...

I didn't know Ulmer graduated to television later in his career. He did work on a lot of great movies! "The Black Cat" is one of my favorite Karloff movies and I just so happen to have that exact same poster hanging on my studio wall!

Drazen said...

thats cool Steve Its a gorgeous poster eh!
I guess like a lot of old directors he went to tv when the movie work was slow. I find his energy amazing and inspiring even if he never directed a blockbuster.

Steve Daye said...

Yeah, I love the poster! A friend of mine GAVE it to me in highschool for doing one his art assignments. Fair trade I'd say! Football players are so stoopid...

Michael said...

Wow - an original print of the Black Cat poster?!! Kah-ray-zee!

I'm a big fan of all the "Poverty Row" films, and I think Ulmer was one of the great geniuses in that sub-genre. I just looked him up on IMDB and it's fascinating to see just how many films he directed! I had no idea.


And thanks for the plug in the previous entry Drazen! That's fun to read about you and the Fleshtones too!

Drazen said...

Its wasn't an original 30's was it Steve? You could retire!
Me to Michael, image and allday dvd have put out some of his other films in a Edgar Ulmer collection that has some nice extra stuff.
I like what one reviewer said of him using a line from his own film, "He wasn't a man, he was a way of life'.

Steve Daye said...

Haha! No it wasn't an original, I'm not that lucky!