Best Youtube Channel of the Day courtesy of Roku/Amazon Fire!

If you are not watching CEREAL AT MIDNIGHT you are missing out on one of the essential resources for movies on DVD and Bluray, especially of the classic B movie and cult status variety. CEREAL AT MIDNIGHT celebrates those works of yesteryear that are worth picking up, even in this age of streaming.

His latest episode, and he sold me on purchasing the UNIVERSAL HORROR COLLECTION VOL 1 on Bluray.

Mostly because I am a huge fan of THE BLACK CAT. What is the BLACK CAT you ask? Well beyond being the name of the famous Edgar Allen Poe Short Story, it was also the impetus for many films of that name.

This 1934 Edgar G. Ulmer directed BLACK CAT (which only uses Poe’s story as a aesthetic, to  go places even Poe dared not) is the best of the half dozen or so feature films to use that title.

Powered by a lurid, and haunting, and maniacal story by Edgar G. Ulmer and Peter Ruric, the film grabs and does not let go. Ruric would never write anything as memorable or deranged or sublime again. Which leads me to believe even though the script is credited to Ruric, that it was Ulmer’s hand you see in it. 

 

Ulmer, an unfortunately little remembered director, was one of the best directors of the strange and the avant-garde (experimental, forward looking), and the disturbed. This film fits perfectly in his mold. And with the best combination of big time studio, large budget, iconic stars, talented craftsmen, that he would ever get, he produced his best movie.

BLACK CAT beyond being Ulmer’s best movie, is without argument the best of the Karloff and Lugosi collaborations, and is arguably the best UNIVERSAL movie, right up there with masterpieces such as BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN and THE INVISIBLE MAN.

 

Ulmer’s BLACK CAT is so stylized, and so paired to the bone, that like the short story it derives its impetus for, it is entirely possessive of your attention and your awe. And even though I consider BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN a masterpiece, there is something even more heightened and hypnotic in Ulmer’s BLACK CAT.

The only real cinematic comparative to it, would be the feel you get from watching Erle C. Kenton’s ISLAND OF LOST SOULS, which predates BLACK CAT by two years. ISLAND OF LOST SOULS, like BLACK CAT, was both acclaimed and vilified for its horror and its sexuality.

 

Both are films I consider seminal films, masterpieces of mood, and must own films. And i have owned both films for years in DVD, as generally speaking I do not see the need to upgrade to Blu-ray with these earlier 4:3 Black and White films. However with this new Blu ray also sporting multiple new commentaries, it is worth the double dipping for me.

If you are still deciding check out the video below, and subscribe to the CEREAL AT MIDNIGHT youtube channel… and tell them HT sent ya!

 

 

Today’s recommended Books, Movies, OTR

What I’m reading:

I’m making my way through the last few issus of Don Lomax’s VIETNAM JOURNAL series. A really strong series, with expressive, detailed art by Lomax, that completely complements his passionate, and seemingly authentic tales of men at war.

I just finished rereading WATCHMEN in preparation for the movie. Avoid the horrible motion comic, the voice actor ruins it. Making trite sounding what should be momentous. Stick to the graphic novel, if you want to prep yourself for the movie. I’ve been a fan of Snyder’s previous two movies so looking forward to his take on WATCHMEN.

I’m reading the massive SCUD THE DISPOSABLE ASSASSIN THE WHOLE SHEBANG. True to the title it collects and completes the whole 14 years in the making series. I was there when the first issue hit the stands, was impressed then, am impressed now. It’s an impressive trade (something like 700 pages I believe) and IMAGE COMICS should be complimented on its quality. I’m on issue #4 so have a long way to go.

I’m really enjoying the heck out of Sam Stall’s DRACULA’S HEIR, an interactive book by the fun folks of Quirk Books. I like the detailed art in this one much better than Lapham’s art for WAYNE MANOR, but both books sport fine writing.

I’m on the third book of the eight book BLACK SAMURAI series by Marc Olden. Love this series, but have been stalled on this particular book a while. Keep letting it get bumped for other reads. Which is funny, because all my Lawrence Block and Warren Murphy books, got bumped so I could finish this series. I’ll buckle down and finish book 3 this weekend, as I want to get to book 4 in the series.

What am I watching:

Archive.org. Thanks to this fine resource have watched some fun cinema, that I otherwise may not have made time to see. Among the highlights are:

TALES OF TOMORROW- early 50s live sci-fi tv show. Creaky but fun

WAY OUT- Another early TV show. Late 50s probably, only two or so episodes are available, and the quality is what it is, but I was quite impressed by both of the episodes I saw.

DAUGHTER OF HORROR- Fun experimental flick, early 60s I’d guess, also called Dementia. Some people don’t care for the voice-over version, I quite liked it. It gives it a fun radio drama feel.

What am I listening to:

Speaking of Radio Dramas, that’s primarily what I’ve been listening to these days. Currently listening to episodes of BOX 13 starring Alan Ladd. Also a short lived series called CREEPS BY NIGHT starring Boris Karloff.

That’s it for this update.