CREEPY CLASSICS presents...
Every weekend we're watching movies together...whether you're in Pennsylvania USA, or Sydney Australia. It's a throwback! Back to the days when you had the anticipation for waiting till the weekend to see the classic horror or science fiction film that was listed in the TV Guide. The plan is to watch a movie at 7:30PM on Saturday night in your own time zone. Or, if you can't Saturday night...anytime during the weekend. Then, we'll all get together and e-mail our thoughts on the film...a few paragraphs...or simply a sentence if you'd like. They after-viewing reviews appear on our Creepy Classics/Monster Bash News Page. See the latest thoughts posted by viewers ther now.
Concept submitted by Mike Adams of Carteret, New Jeresey.
Don't have the movie of the week? Order it right now from Creepy Classics for fast delivery!
You can see comments from past movies from viewers by clicking on their title.
Creepy Classics TV Movie This Last Weekend: MARK OF THE VAMPIRE (1935) Fan Comments (Spoilers):
Every week, readers here are selecting a movie to view...then we all try to watch it together utilizing our DVD/video library. This past Saturday night, many of us watched MARK OF THE VAMPIRE (1935). This was suggested by John DeGarmo of Georgia. Details about movie nights to come are HERE. Please include your name and location after your comments, so we can see how we're all joining together from diffeent locals around the globe!
Above: Hard to see here, but it's the eeries scene with Luna "flying" with huge bat wings through the great hall.
I was out of town for Easter this past weekend, but got a chance to watch this old, wonderful selection after returning. I'll be brief with my comments and let others speak there thoughts. Even though this movie is bashed a lot for having the "cheat" non-supernatural ending...it's still just amazing to watch. You have director Todd Browning re-creating his DRACULA with better photography and effects. Still, it's a different take too.
The opening graveyard scene with the old woman running ans screaching from an large bat is atmospheric and great. The perfectly oppressive howling wind soundtrack that seems to never end throug the movie, keeps you planted in this other world of horror. One of my favorite scenes is of Luna flying with bat wings inside the great hall of the castle ruins. More of this scene (and even creepier) can only be scene in the trailer for the movie.
The few things I don't care for: Lionel Barrymore's acting (overshadowed by Atwill, Lugosi, Borland and everyone else) and naturally the "cheat" ending since many of the things we see during the film just don't add-up to that ending.
Even with a few shortcomings THIS IS A GREAT movie to sit, unplug yourself and just watch. -Ron Adams, Ligonier, PA.
“Mark of The Vampire” will always have a warm place in my heart for being one of the very few classic horror films I have seen in a real theater. Back in 1972, a triple bill of “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” (the impressive Fredric March version), “The Mask of Fu Manchu” and “Mark of The Vampire” played what even then was known as the Old Paramount Theatre in Salem, MA. I was all of 12 and loved every second of every film!
As an adult viewing the film it’s hard to be partial, but I know even as a 12 year old I had an issue with the whole setup to get a murderer to confess. Perhaps I was simply disappointed that the vampires were not real! And as many reviewers do of this film, I find much of it improbable and perhaps even leaning towards intentional parody. Was Todd Browning spoofing his 1931 hit “Dracula” at MGM’s expense? Wasn’t Lionel Barrymore (Drew’s great uncle and brother to John) sending up Edward Van Sloan with his over the top Professor Zalin? Were not the butler and maid exaggerations of the sanitarium workers? And wasn’t the innkeeper the, well, yes he was the same actor from “Dracula”!! Clearly some moments were played for intentional fun (the cat in the suit of armor, for example) but I am now viewing much of the production as perhaps Browning’s nose thumb to MGM for not supporting “Freaks”. Who knows?
What I do know, is that when he settled down and went for the chills, he came up with chilling gold: The empty coffin of Sir Karrell, Luna flying in from the window half woman half bat, dead Sir Karrell at the organ, Luna in the mist, expressionless as the horse and carriage nearly topple at the sight of her, Count Mora appearing from the bat-mist and chasing the staff down the hall… yikes!!
This is probably the weirdest movie from the 30's in my opinion. It seems like a straight horror film and then turns into a supernatural crime drama with Bela Lugosi as a psuedo vampire and Carol Borland as a psuedo vampire woman who terrorizes the countryside.
Turns out they are actually investigating a series of murders and are doing this to flush the killer out.
The Great Lionel Barrymore plays the Professor who is investigating the case and director Tod Browning does his usual good job.
Mark Of The Vampire is memorable, to me, for three reasons: Carroll Borland, Bela Lugosi, and Tod Browning.
Hey Bash Synchers!
I think that the scenes with the are probably some of most eerie ever produced in the 1930’s. The opening scene with Lugosi and Borland, while extremely atmospheric and scary is actually a rehash of Lugosi’s first scene in “Dracula”. Lugosi is creepy and full of power but he really has nothing to do. The bullet hole in his head looks great but it is not explained. In Famous Monsters, Forry stated that the explanation for the bullet wound was cut from the final print.
I thought that “Mark of the Vampire” was a well made and well acted film but the end makes all that came before illogical. Why would the actors make Luna fly when there was no need to do so? Why are they hanging around in the old castle when they should have been scaring the townspeople? These and other questions arose when the film reached its climax.
I'm sorry to say the “Mark of the Vampire” is a film that the parts are better than the sum. It’s a shame because if Tod Browning revealed that Lugosi and Borland were actually vampires not actors, the film could have been one of the great classics of the 1930’s.
Mark of the Vampire is just a great looking fun movie. It's a fast paced movie that's all over the place. Todd Browning's look of the film is impressive compared to DRACULA, even though the two films are similar. I love the fact that it even has real bats used in it. The fact that Mark of the Vampire is that remake of LONDON AFTER MIDNIGHT makes it a stand. This maybe is the closest us horror fans will get to a complete look at LONDON AFTER MIDNIGHT. I love the look and style of this moive still to this day. It's the best and I've got the tattoo to prove it
P.S. - "Count Mora rocks!"
Hello All Creepy Synchmeisters out there in Czechoslovakia! (Where this film is supposedly set) After watching this film twice (once on Saturday evening and then again early Sunday afternoon- Yeah Folks!- I spent my early Easter Sunday watching monster movies!) Hey-When your single and mom has to work on the holiday- What else is there to do but feed your passion for all things horror and sci-fi?! Anyway, Folks, Here are my interesting observations about this 1935 oddity: First, Great Cast in this film (Lugosi, Borland,Barrymore, Atwill, Allan and Visiroff) Everybody above me (in their reviews) pretty much summed everything up nicely concerning Lugosi`s and Borland`s acting/roles in this film!--But I would like to add that Carol Borland`s seductive, eerie and evil potrayal of "Luna"(at least it appears so until the very disappointing give-away/cheat ending) especially in the scene when she attempts to bite Irena`s neck inside the mansion (until she is "rescued") by her lover!---Can be considered the forerunner of aggresive female vampiric roles in horror cinema-(especially when you see Luna hiss when discovered trying to attack her victim!) ---For reference in horror history folks, Compare this scene with the scene in Hammer`s classic "Horror Of Dracula" (1958) when a vampirized,evil Lucy (played by Carol Marsh) tries to seduce and then, attack an unsuspecting Arthur Holmwood (played by Michael Gough) before being stopped by Van Helsing (Peter Cushing) and his cucifix. By watching these scenes you can see similar styles in Carol Borland`s and Carol Marsh`s performances (at least to a degree!) This shows how wonderful a performance Carol gave in "Mark Of The Vampire" although her screen time is not great and she has few lines! (except when she says to Lugosi at the end "Sure-Sure-Take Off Your Makeup")
As far as the other actors go- I found that Lionel Barrymore did a nice job with his "Van-Helsing" type role! Lionel Atwill is always great! Bela Lugosi does a super job as always- and I ABSOLUTELY love his lines at the end of the movie! ("This vampire business has given me an idea for a new act" "I WILL BE THE VAMPIRE!" and also "I was greater than any real vampire!" (with saying this line he swings his cape around himself and the film fades out- THE END.) And it is always nice to see character actor Michael Visiroff (the inn keeper in "Dracula") do his thing. Also, an unsung award should go to Elizabeth Allan in this film, for she does a super job in potraying a woman who is terrified of the unknown (at least we think so at first!) An Interesting bit of trivia here folks: actor Jean Hershholt, who is in this film, is the uncle of actor Leslie Nielsen! ("Forbidden Planet") Concerning the comedy relief in this film, I did find it to be rather irritating! (except for the cat coming out of the suit of armor trick) Lastly, even though I did enjoy this film alot (It was a first time watch for me!) I did find the trick/switch ending EXTREMELY disappointing. I really wish director Tod Browning and MGM would have made this a 'STRAIGHT" VAMPIE FILM and not a "CHEAT". I think it would have been considered one of the best of the 1930`s horror films then. As is, it is still an interesting, yet flawed movie with some really cool images and neat performances! So until next time, folks, when I see you from the volcanic lands of Mexico to watch, analyze and discuss "The Black Scorpion" I bid all of you a "GOOD EVENING"!!
Dan Brenneis, Strongsville, Ohio - Monster Bash Staff Member and Lifetime FilmFan Extroadinairre.
Hi Dan, While Browning was re-making his LONDON AFTER MIDNIGHT (aka: THE HYPNOTIST), he definatrely was re-working it with elements of DRACULA, trying to make them better. Bringing in a "Van Helsing" rather than a multi-task detective (like in LONDON), the crawling animals in the crypt, the close by ruins....it was a mix of LONDON and bettering DRACULA where he could. Except he used the "catch" ending from LONDON rather than the real supernatural from DRACULA. You are so right about the "hissing" strong vampire female. That "hiss" became a standard through the decades. -Ron Adams, Ligonier, PA