Sunday, November 17, 2019

Tag: 1910s-1930s

King Kong (1933) horror movie poster
The prototypical "wilds of Africa" horror film (although Skull Island isn't supposed to be in Africa), King Kong features wild, black natives (led by chief Noble Johnson) jumping around and going "ooga booga," kidnapping white women, worshiping Kong and proceeding to get stepped on by the monster from aforementioned...
Boris Karloff in The Mummy (1932) horror movie poster
Typically ancillary early black roles pepper this horror classic. Black slaves bury Egyptian mummy dude Im-Ho-Tep (the distinctly non-Egyptian Boris Karloff) alive, then are speared to death so that they can’t reveal where he’s buried. Noble Johnson is “The Nubian,” the mummy’s obedient servant whose skull cap makes him...
Ouanga (AKA The Love Wanga AKA Drums of the Jungle) movie poster
Though little known, Ouanga is notable as supposedly only the second movie (after White Zombie) to feature zombies. It also deals with interracial love, the notion of "passing," and the supposedly inherent fiery lustfulness of black native women. As the poster proclaims: "Meet Clelie...naive...young and beautiful...lithe, yielding, and primitive,...
Son of Kong horror movie poster
A rushed, inferior (and pretty darn goofy) sequel in all respects, Son of Kong clocks in at barely 70 minutes, leaving little room for the menacing natives of the original. Although the movie posters show a rain of spears threatening our heroes, the Skull Islanders here are allotted all...
White Zombie is often acknowledged as the first zombie movie. Like Plague of the Zombies some three decades later, there are no major black roles (surprising, given the plot takes place in Haiti, although not so surprising given the title). Most of the black people appear in the opening...
Chloe, Love Is Calling You movie poster
Some movies are so racially offensive, you have to just laugh them off as outdated artifacts and enjoy them as the campy, fetid turd-fests they are. Enter Chloe. While it's been packaged as the "bonus" film on the DVD release of The Devil's Daughter, Chloe is actually much more...
The Devil's Daughter horror movie poster
The Devil's Daughter is an all-black melodramatic semi-remake of Ouanga with no devil and with daughters so bland the devil wouldn't want 'em anyway. The whispy-voiced Ida James stars as vapid heiress Sylvia Walton, who inherits a Jamaican plantation worked by "Jamaicans" without a hint of patois. Her half-sister...
Frankenstein horror movie poster
Like Freaks, both Frankenstein and Bride of Frankenstein have no overt racial messages, but one could conceivably read into them a deeper racial connotation (and indeed, some film scholars have done so). Certainly, the lynch mob scenes, particularly in Bride, are intense even to this day, and the scenes...
Freaks horror movie poster
Like Carrie four decades later, Freaks is one big -- or rather, small, given the size of the characters and its 60-minute length -- revenge flick that portrays the mistreatment of social outcasts for 90% of the film, only to have them rise up and tear the mutha down...
Black Moon horror movie poster
In the 1930s and 1940s, it seems like nothing scared white America like being outnumbered by Negroes. An endless stream of African jungle adventure films came out exploiting that fear, as did a number of voodoo tales -- Black Moon being one of the earliest. Unlike predecessor White Zombie...