Tag Archives: Conrad Veidt

TWENTY-FOUR CLASSIC SILENT HORROR FILMS

Crimson Stain Mystery

Crimson Stain Mystery

Halloween month continues at Balladeer’s Blog with this look at two dozen of my favorite silent horror films.

THE CRIMSON STAIN MYSTERY (1916) – This was a 16 chapter silent serial that contained multiple horrific elements. The fact that it is so little remembered these days makes it perfect for this list, given Balladeer’s Blog’s overall theme. A mad scientist calling himself the Crimson Stain experiments on human guinea pigs in an attempt to create an intellectually superior race. His experiments all fail, producing hideous, mutated monsters. The Crimson Stain organizes his misbegotten menagerie into a villainous organization and wages a campaign of terror on the world at large. A heroic detective leads the opposition against them and tries to learn the identity of the Crimson Stain. Chapters in this serial boasted wonderfully campy titles like The Brand of Satan, The Devil’s Symphony, Despoiling Brutes and The Human Tiger.  

THE MAN WITHOUT A SOUL (1916) – A man returns from the dead bereft of any trace of morality or humanity. He now views the people around him as victims and prey. 

THE GOLEM AND THE DANCER (1917) – In the very first known horror movie sequel Paul Wegener starred and directed himself once again as the clay monster called the Golem. In this enjoyably “meta” production decades before Scream or The Human Caterpillar II, Wegener played himself. In an innovative storyline the Continue reading

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HUMPHREY BOGART AS AN UNDEAD MAD SCIENTIST: THE RETURN OF DR X (1939)

Return of Dr XTHE RETURN OF DR X (1939) – Category: Enjoyably campy bad movie elevated by kitsch-value in the casting.    

Yes, it’s the famous “Humphrey Bogart as a zombie mad scientist” movie. The tale goes that Jack Warner inflicted this role on gangster-flick star Bogart as punishment for resisting being cast in too many formulaic crime films. This was, of course, before The Maltese Falcon made Bogie a big-time star and long before actors had the kind of contracts that they have these days.

Bogart plays the titular Dr X, but not the same Dr X that Lionel Atwill played in a movie of that name earlier in the decade. This Dr X is Dr Maurice Xavier, a mad scientist executed in the electric chair for, among other things, bizarre experiments on infants (a pretty ballsy story element in those pre- Auschwitz awareness days).

The “return” mentioned in the title refers to the fact that Bogart’s Dr X has been brought back from the dead by the film’s secondary menace, Dr Flegg (and let’s face it , The Return Of Dr Flegg just doesn’t have the same sinister  appeal).

Flegg can bring people back from the dead but needs Dr X’s help to Continue reading

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THE BEST SILENT HORROR FILMS: PART THREE (1916 – 1928)

Crimson Stain Mystery

Crimson Stain Mystery

HAPPY HALLOWEEN! Here is the 3rd and final part of Balladeer’s Blog’s examination of the best silent horror films, from short subjects to feature length. With the hurricane nonsense going on right now this may be the last post I’m able to make between now and Halloween on Wednesday.

THE CRIMSON STAIN MYSTERY (1916) – This was a 16 chapter silent serial that contained multiple horrific elements. The fact that it is so little remembered these days makes it perfect for this list, given Balladeer’s Blog’s overall theme. A mad scientist calling himself the Crimson Stain experiments on human guinea pigs in an attempt to create an intellectually superior race. His experiments all fail, producing hideous, mutated monsters. The Crimson Stain organizes his misbegotten menagerie into a villainous organization and wages a campaign of terror on the world at large. A heroic detective leads the opposition against them and tries to learn the identity of the Crimson Stain. Chapters in this serial boasted wonderfully campy titles like The Brand of Satan, The Devil’s Symphony, Despoiling Brutes and The Human Tiger.  

THE MAN WITHOUT A SOUL (1916) – A man returns from the dead bereft of any trace of morality or humanity. He now views the people around him as victims and prey. 

THE GOLEM AND THE DANCER (1917) – In the very first known horror movie sequel Paul Wegener starred and directed himself once again as the clay monster called the Golem. In this enjoyably “meta” production decades before Scream or The Human Caterpillar II, Wegener played himself. In an innovative storyline the Continue reading

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BAD MOVIE PAGE UPDATED: HUMPHREY BOGART AS AN UNDEAD MAD SCIENTIST? IT’S “THE RETURN OF DR X” (1939)

For some variety I’ll do my usual Monday feature, the Cool-Named Team Of The Day, tomorrow instead and go with my fresh new addition to my bad movie page. It’s the role Humphrey Bogart wanted everyone to forget, as he invades Bela Lugosi/George Zucco territory to portray an undead mad scientist in the enjoyably campy film The Return Of Dr X.  And for more Bad Movie entries click here: https://glitternight.com/bad-movies/ 

THE RETURN OF DR X (1939) – Category: Enjoyably campy bad movie elevated by kitsch-value in the casting.     Yes, it’s the famous “Humphrey Bogart as a zombie mad scientist” movie. The tale goes that Jack Warner inflicted this role on gangster-flick star Bogart as punishment for Continue reading

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Filed under Bad and weird movies