As part of their series Tales from the Vault: Classic Horror from the ’30s and ’40s, the UCLA Film and Television Archive is screening not one, but TWO classic pre-code Bela Lugosi films at the Hammer’s Billy Wilder Theater.
Screening on October 31 (Halloween!), is the granddaddy of all zombie films White Zombie (1932), in which a wedding in Haiti goes terribly awry.
Then, screening on November 1 (Dia de los Angelitos!) is The Black Cat (1934), in which a honeymoon in Hungary goes terribly awry.
And no, it’s not the same couple.
Infamous for its scenes of gruesome torture and satanic rituals, The Black Cat is also notable for being the first on-screen pairing of Lugosi and his faux horror screen rival Boris Karloff.
Also screening as part of this three-day series: The Most Dangerous Game (1932), featuring Leslie Banks as a big-game hunter hunting house guests Fay Wray and Joel McRae; The Seventh Victim (1943), starring Jean Brooks as a woman whose search for her sister in New York leads to the discovery of a satanic cult; The Beast With Five Fingers (1946), a hallucinatory thriller starring perennial king-of-creep Peter Lorre whose trailer proclaimed it “the most terrifying adventure ever hurled from the screen;” and The Spiral Staircase (1946), in which Dorothy McGuire plays a mute servant girl who suspects a serial killer is stalking her. That film’s trailer describes McGuire’s role as “so unusual, so compelling, so fraught with emotional power, no other actress would dare play it.”
No pressure, Dorothy, m’kay?
Photo: Bela Lugosi in The Black Cat. Image courtesy of the UCLA Film & Television Archive.