CineSavant Column

Tuesday October 31, 2023



Our Happy memory of Day of the Dead presides over the CineSavant Halloween review special, with a quadruple dose of Tod Browning spread across two reviews, plus the best kind of matinee monster fun: dumb but nostalgic. All in all, review-essays of six separate movies.

We didn’t shortchange on the Column entries, either . . .


Since we were writing up the 1936 The Devil-Doll, reviewing cohort Charlie Largent was inspired to dig up some graphics he’d kept for the other Devil Doll, the 1963 English movie about a killer ventriloquist’s dummy. As Charlie wrote:

“Every time you say ‘Devil Doll’ I think of the ‘sixties version. It arrived in my town with one of the more memorable bits of ballyhoo, a phone number you could call to listen to ‘Hugo.’  I dialed it more than once — as did every other kid in class.” 

Do I recall the same baloney brilliant promotional idea being used when Devil Doll came to San Bernardino in 1963?  I think I just remember hearing the Dummy talk in some radio spots.

If it played with Playgirls and the Vampire, the local venue would have likely been the adult theater we kids weren’t supposed to know about, the one ‘around the corner and down that street.’  The movie itself is not bad. I reviewed it way back at the dawn of DVD Savant and noted that it starred Yvonne Romain.



And finally, here’s something I would not have guessed existed.

It needs no introduction but to say that it is an appearance by Judy Garland on a Never-Aired Soupy Sales Pilot, actually an unaired ABC special.

The corny gag is that Ernest Borgnine sings in Judy Garland’s place.

Thanks for reading! — Glenn Erickson