Paul Muni is ‘Scarface’ in the original gangster masterpiece on Criterion Channel

The original Scarface (1932), loosely but boldly based on the notorious life and legend of Al Capone, didn’t invent the modern American gangster film. It blew it up. Films like The Public Enemy and Little Caesar had whetted the American moviegoing appetite for crime movies that reveled in vicarious thrills before delivering a sentence of […]

‘The Bride of Frankenstein’ – a delirious sequel on Peacock and Criterion Channel

Boris Karloff wrings even more pathos from his plight as the misunderstood monster and Elsa Lanchester’s hissing, birdlike performance as the bride made her an instant icon.

The original ‘Frankenstein’ on Peacock

“It’s alive! Alive! In the name of God now I know what it’s like to be God!” James Whale’s Frankenstein (1931) is the granddaddy of modern monster movies. Universal was looking to a follow up to the tremendous success of Dracula when it assigned sophomore director Whale to helm an adaptation of Mary Shelley’s famous novel […]

Gloria Stuart stars with Boris Karloff, Melvyn Douglas, Charles Laughton, Raymond Massey, and Ernest Thesiger in James Whale's classic horror comedy

James Whale’s ‘The Old Dark House’ on Criterion Channel and Kanopy

James Whale followed up his iconic horror classic Frankenstein (1931) with the strange, sly, and sardonic The Old Dark House (1932), part haunted house terror and part spoof executed with baroque style. Boris Karloff (fresh from his star-making turn in Frankenstein) takes top billing in the supporting role of Morgan, the scarred, mute butler with […]

Blu-ray: Universal Classic Monsters: Complete 30-Film Collection

Universal Classic Monsters: Complete 30-Film Collection (Universal, Blu-ray) Dracula, Frankenstein’s monster, the Wolf Man, and the Mummy have traversed the trail from horror icon to camp figure and back again and sparked the imaginations of readers and moviegoers for decades. Yet call forth the images nestled in the public consciousness and you’ll find that the […]

'Mad Monster Party?' from Arthur Rankin and Jules Bass is an animated monster movie spoof. With songs!

‘Mad Monster Party?’ on SVOD and Blu-ray/DVD

Everyone is familiar with the landmark horror classics. This is one in a series of suggestions for Halloween viewing that may not be so familiar, including titles that teens and tweens (and in some cases adolescents) can watch without breaking the R-rating. In the midst of making their classic Christmas specials (like Rudolph the Red […]

Mario Bava's classic 'Black Sunday' with Barbara Steele

Halloween Picks: The best of Mario Bava on Amazon Prime and Fandor

Mario Bava essentially created the genre of baroque horror known as “giallo,” a distinctly Italian twist on stalk and kill horror film. Under his direction, Grand Guignol gore is transformed into lush, visually elegant cinematic spectacle, a waking nightmare with the poetic grace of a musical and a demented edge of sexual perversity. After rising […]