Category Archives: PRC

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.

2 Comments

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.

10 Comments

Filed under Edgar G. Ulmer, PRC, Screenings

Blu-Ray News #175: Retromedia Heads For Poverty Row.

Fred Olen Ray’s Retromedia Entertainment Group has been bringing some cool stuff to Blu-Ray — including a few great pictures scooped up from Poverty Row.

The Corpse Vanishes/Bowery At Midnight (both 1942)
A couple of Lugosi’s Monogram Nine — these were both produced by Sam Katzman and directed by Wallace Ford. In The Corpse Vanishes, he’s a mad scientist working to preserve his wife’s beauty. In Bowery At Midnight, Lugosi uses a soup kitchen to find guys for his gang of crooks. In the climax, all the guys who’ve been killed along the way come back to life. Great stuff.

The Mysterious Mr. Wong (1934)/The Living Ghost (1942)
Another of Lugosi’s nine, The Mysterious Mr. Wong has him playing a Fu Manchu type. The great Wallace Ford plays a wisecracking newspaper man. James Dunn plays a detective in The Living Ghost, directed by the infamous William “One Shot” Beaudine.

The Ape (1940)/The Black Raven (1943)
Boris Karloff had his own Monogram Nine, and The Ape was the last of them. He’s another mad scientist, this time trying to cure polio. At the same time, an ape escapes from the circus. The Black Raven is from PRC, directed by Sam Newfield and starring George Zucco, Robert Livingston and Glenn Strange.

You know, when cheap little movies like this become available in high definition, maybe the world ain’t so bad after all.

1 Comment

Filed under Bela Lugosi, Boris Karloff, DVD/Blu-ray News, George Zucco, Monogram 9, Monogram/Allied Artists, Poverty Row, PRC, Retromedia, Sam Katzman, William Beaudine