CineSavant Column

Saturday September 26, 2020



A friendly neighbor reported that his creative team — I think he works in advertising or trailers of some kind or another — just got an Emmy for this humorous promotional piece. It’s months old but I hadn’t seen it and thought it quite good — especially the image quality: So Good You’ll Scream! And I promise CineSavant will never link to videos of cute puppies and kittens.



CineSavant has got a stack of horror, fantasy & sci-fi winners that it hopes to cover in the next few posts, beyond today’s Universal Volume 5 and the great The Elephant Man. A couple of these are real discoveries. Coming up from Kino is the oddball Universal horror entry from Edward Dein, starring Sierra Charriba Michael Pate, Curse of the Undead. It features a Tom Weaver commentary. A big surprise is The Face at the Window, my first Tod Slaughter film, also from Kino. You have to see it to believe it — it’s an incredibly old fashioned stage drama from the Victorian period, with utterly earnest performances. The writing is stylized, almost like a Monty Python sketch, and Tod Slaughter works up a terrific sneering villain performance as the dastardly bad guy. It’s really different, with a charm similar to Feuillade’s silent Fantomas serials.

Then, I was knocked over by Arrow Video’s Warning from Space, which nobody seems to appreciate enough, not even friend Stuart Galbraith IV in his commentary. The first Japanese Sci-fi film in color may seem to imitate American models, but its attitude and approach are refreshingly different. The color is really something. I may be trying to review this first. There’s also the Amicus film I, Monster to consider — it’s one of the last Peter Cushing / Christopher Lee films that I haven’t seen.

On Charlie Largent’s review plate are the new restoration and remastering of Roger Corman’s The Masque of the Red Death plus one of his Hammer favorites, the 1962 Herbert Lom The Phantom of the Opera. It looks like we’re being shortchanged for good Halloween disc offerings this year, but these Blu-ray offerings more than make up for it.

Oh, and in the coming weeks most of the best of what’s out there will be coming our way … including more Viavision, Criterion and Powerhouse Indicator.

Thanks for reading! — Glenn Erickson