Thursday, December 2, 2021

Tag: classics

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...
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...
Blacula horror movie poster
Blacula has become synonymous with black horror -- and rightly so -- but beyond being a seminal film that kickstarted the modern concept of black horror, it was also one of the earliest and most successful movies in the influential "Blaxploitation" era of cinema, propelling a movement that satiated...
Demons horror movie poster
One of the most energetic, entertaining and Hollywood-friendly films of the '70s/'80s Italian horror Renaissance, Demons is also one of the few to feature major black roles, in this case a pimp (Bobby Rhodes) and a hooker (the redundantly named Geretta Geretta). How refreshing! It's good to know that...
Eyes of the Mummy horror movie poster
This early silent film from famed German director Ernst Lubitsch shows that, while he would become vehemently anti-Natzi (being Jewish and all), Lubitsch may have had his own racial hang-ups. The film follows Albert Wendland (Henry Liedtke), a British painter, as he "takes a sejour to study in Egypt"....
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...