Category Archives: Edgar G. Ulmer

Blu-Ray News #214: The Boris Karloff/Bela Lugosi Collection.

The Titans Of Terror relax on the set of The Black Cat (1934)

Scream Factory has really done it this time. Their upcoming The Boris Karloff/Bela Lugosi Collection brings some of the weirdest, sickest and best-est horror films of the 30s to Blu-Ray. All four were Universal pictures.

The Black Cat (1934)
Directed by Edgar G. Ulmer
Starring Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi, David Manners, Lucille Lund, John Carradine

Edgar Ulmer’s The Black Cat (1934) might be the granddaddy of all Pre-Code Horror films. It spends so much time hinting around at all kinds of awful stuff, it hardly makes any sense. But it’s so creepy, so twisted, so wonderful, who cares?

The Raven (1935)
Directed by Lew Landers
Starring Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi, Irene Ware

How could you ever approach the supreme weirdness of The Black Cat? With The Raven (1935), Karloff, Lugosi and Lew Landers gave it the old college try.

The Invisible Ray (1936)
Directed by Lambert Hillyer
Starring Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi, Frances Drake

Lambert Hillyer turns Boris and Bela loose on leftover Flash Gordon sets. The results are every bit as cool as you’re imagining right now. This one will be a real treat in high definition.

Black Friday (1940)
Directed by Arthur Lubin
Starring Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi, Anne Nagle, Paul Fix

Lugosi’s role is pretty small in this one, and he and Karloff don’t have any scenes together. Curt Siodmak’s script plays around with ideas he’d use again in Donovan’s Brain — his 1943 novel and 1953 film.

This is essential stuff, folks. And it’s coming in April.

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Filed under Bela Lugosi, Boris Karloff, DVD/Blu-ray News, Edgar G. Ulmer, John Carradine, Lambert Hillyer, Lew Landers, Pre-Code, Shout/Scream Factory, Universal (-International)

DVD/Blu-Ray News #210: Detour (1945).

Directed by Edgar G. Ulmer
Starring Tom Neal, Ann Savage, Claudia Drake, Edmund MacDonald

Detour (1945) is a cheap little noir picture from Poverty Row. So why is Criterion bothering with it? Because it’s also one of the finest examples of film noir out there — and maybe Edgar G. Ulmer’s best film.

For decades, Detour‘s many devotees have suffered through horrible video transfers that make it look even more low-rent than it really is. In some ways, it’s the perfect picture to get Criterion’d.

There’s some controversy about just how quick, and cheap, Detour was actually made. But regardless, Ulmer did his usual very much with very little. Fatalism drips off the screen. Ann Savage is without doubt the worst femme fatale ever — and Tom Neal is the poor sap she squashes like a bug.

This is a terrific, crazy noir picture — and it’s as essential to human existence as oxygen. Coming in March.

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Filed under Criterion Collection, DVD/Blu-ray News, Edgar G. Ulmer, PRC

Screening: Detour (1945).

Directed by Edgar G. Ulmer
Starring Tom Neal, Ann Savage, Claudia Drake, Edmund MacDonald

Glenn Erickson’s CineSavant is one of my favorite movie blogs, and he recently pointed out that the restoration of Edgar Ulmer’s Detour (1945) will be shown next month at the Egyptian Theatre.

There’s some controversy about just how quick, and cheap, this picture was made. But regardless, Ulmer did his usual very much with very little. This is a terrific, crazy noir picture — and not to be missed.

Sunday, December 16, 7PM
Egyptian Theatre
6712 Hollywood Boulevard, Hollywood

A big fat thank you to the George Lucas Family Foundation for funding this restoration.

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Filed under Edgar G. Ulmer, PRC, Screenings

Blu-Ray News #109: The Man From Planet X (1951).

the-man-from-planet-x_1951

Directed by Edgar G. Ulmer
Starring Robert Clarke, Margaret Field, Raymond Bond, William Schallert

Another no-budget miracle from the incredible Edgar G. Ulmer. The Man From Planet X (1951) movie creeped me out so bad as a kid — and it still has an odd, unsettling quality to it unlike any other film I can think of.

1950-the-man-from-planet-x-015-pat-goldin

Filmed in just six days at Hal Roach Studios, on sets left over from Joan Of Arc (1948), it looks like most of the shoestring budget went to juice for the fog machine. It ended up being one of the first ( some say the first) alien-comes-to-earth movies. And I’d put it near the top of my Edgar Ulmer list.

fmc56-strange-vehicle

Shout Factory has this one touching down on Blu-Ray this summer. Highly, highly recommended. Let’s hope more Ulmer makes its way to Blu-Ray.

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Filed under 1951, DVD/Blu-ray News, Edgar G. Ulmer, Shout/Scream Factory, William Schallert