The Unholy 3
Jack Conway | USA | 1930 | 74 minutes
A “Talkie” remake of Tod Browning’s 1925 silent film. A trio of former sideshow performers double as the “Unholy Three” in a scam to nab some shiny rocks. This was Lon Chaney’s only speaking performance, his untimely death the same year preventing him from becoming the premiere horror icon of the 1930s and giving this opportunity to Karloff and Lugosi.
The Mask of Fu Manchu
Charles Brabin | USA | 1932 | 68 minutes
Englishmen race to find the tomb of Ghengis Khan. They have to get there fast, as the evil genius Dr. Fu Manchu is also searching, and if he gets the mysteriously powerful relics, he and his diabolical daughter will enslave the world!
Adapted from Sax Rohmer’s stories, with Boris Karloff in ‘yellowface’ as the titular villain.
Island of Lost Souls
Erle C. Kenton | USA | 1932 | 77 minutes
Adapted from H. G. Wells’s The Island of Dr Moreau, this Paramount production stars Charles Laughton and Bela Lugosi and was controversial in its time on account of its basic theme of a mad doctor experimenting to create half-man, half-animal creations. Forget the 1977 and 1997 versions, this is still the best.
Mad Love AKA The Hands of Orlac
Karl Freund | USA | 1935 | 68 minutes
An insane surgeon’s obsession with an actress leads him to replace her wounded pianist’s hands with the hands of a knife murderer which still have the urge to throw knives.
The Devil Doll
Tod Browning | USA | 1936 | 78 minutes
Paul Lavond was a respected banker in Paris when he was framed for robbery and murder by crooked associates and sent to Devil’s Island. Years later, he escapes with a friend, a scientist who was working on a method to reduce humans to a height of mere inches (all for the good of humanity, of course). Lavond however is consumed with hatred for the men who betrayed him, and takes the scientist’s methods back to Paris to exact painful revenge…
Lambert Hillyer | USA | 1936 | 71 minutes
Hungarian countess Marya Zaleska seeks the aid of a noted psychiatrist, in hopes of freeing herself of a mysterious evil influence.
Classic early ‘lesbian vampire’ themed horror.