Friday, December 15, 2017

Tag: 1940s

Bela Lugosi in Invisible Ghost horror movie poster
Clarence Muse has a surprisingly significant role as the butler to the occasionally homicidal Charles Kessler (Bela Lugosi). Muse plays the part with rare class, self-respect, articulation, and balls. For instance, he schools the scheming white maid, Cecile (Terry Walker): "If you wanna stay here, I suggest you don't...
I Walked with a Zombie horror movie poster
One of the more high-minded zombie films you'll find, I Walked with a Zombie is as much (melo)drama as it is horror. There's not a hint of the humor that was to propel the spoof Zombies on Broadway two years later, nor the explicit brain-munching that was to propel,...
King of the Zombies horror movie poster
King of the Zombies features Mantan Moreland in his typical horror role, the simple-minded, jittery spook: "Not me, y'all go on in there! I’m ain't goin' in dere!" The manservant of -- oh no! -- "Mr. Bill" (John Archer), he crash lands on a Caribbean island with his boss and...
Mantan Moreland in Lucky Ghost movie poster
An all-black horror comedy starring Mantan Moreland and sometimes partner (and straight man) F.E. Miller, Lucky Ghost is amusing low-brow fare that exploits the more base, stereotypical elements of old-time black life (chicken thievin', gamblin', runnin' from ghosteses) for laughs -- sort of like the BET of its day....
Meeting at Midnight Charlie Chan movie poster
This Charlie Chan outing (Battle of the racial stereotypes!) isn't really horror, but Mantan Moreland's role is limited -- even in light of the time period -- to being spooked at the mere prospect of there being ghosts...which there weren't. Too bad, because the gag gets old quickly, with...
Midnight Menace horror movie poster
Midnight Menace is a 24-minute all-black musical showcase for Lollypop Jones, who apparently was a vaudeville singer and dancer back in the '40s. Unfortunately for us, he wasn't an actor. Jones stars as himself, a performer who shows up for a gig and goes to his dressing room (he...
Mighty Joe Young movie poster
Mighty Joe Young is basically "King Kong lite", from its tone (decidedly lighter) to the size of its gorilla (decidedly smaller) to the role of its black cast (decidedly less important). Like King Kong, the role of the black people in Mighty Joe Young is peripheral -- natives sharing...
Lon Chaney Jr. in The Mummy's Curse horror movie poster
This mummy film takes place not in Africa, but in Louisiana. Why? Gumbo perhaps? Napoleon Simpson plays (eesh) Goobie, who speaks in the exaggerated, stereotypical "massa" and "sho' 'nuff" style -- though not for comedic effect, which may be more offensive, depending on your point of view. He's not...
Revenge of the Zombies horror movie poster
A semi-sequel to King of the Zombies, Revenge of the Zombies is more like King of the Zombies Redux, with Mantan Moreland reprising his role as bug-eyed servant Jeff, albeit in a different location (Louisiana instead of the Caribbean) and with a different (albeit equally rigid) cast of characters....
The Scarlet Clue Charlie Chan movie poster
Like Meeting at Midnight, this is a Charlie Chan mystery that's marginally horrific, with its masked killer plot line (not to mention the Caucasian Asian speaking pidgin English and his bug-eyed, scaredy-cat black manservant). Somehow, I find Mantan's being scared of a tangible killer here more acceptable than his...
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