Following last week's successful presentation of a silent horror movie double-feature at the Rialto, The Film Society is back with another equally amazing event this Sunday night, October 24th, again at the classic Rialto theater. Another horror double-feature, this time feature classic Universal Studios horror from the 1930s, starring the kings of horror: Bela Lugosi and Boris Karloff. Having become famous for embodying the classic and definitive characters of Dracula and Frankenstein's Monster in the early 30s, they continued to play monsters, madmen and murderers up until the 1950s.
They were the Robert deNiro and Al Pacino of their time: men in the same caliber who were rarely seen together on screen, but it was a grand event when it happened. (I`m not saying Righteous Kill was a grand event).
You can come to the Rialto to witness the pairing of The Black Cat and White Zombie, two of the better schlock-tastic horrorfests to come out of the early period. I must remind you that the 80 year old Rialto was catering to movies like this way back when, and cheapo cheesy horror flicks were presented in this way, as a double bill, usually with short films, serials, news reels in between. This also accounts for the short running time of these films.
The Black Cat (1934) was part of a string of Edgar Allen Poe adaptations that had virtually nothing to do with the Edgar Allen Poe stories. It`s like saying this remake of The Exorcist is about a young man who falls in love with a young girl, and they rob a bank on New Year`s Day; and maybe the young man is a priest. The Black Cat was one of those rare occasions where Lugosi and Karloff were in a movie together, so the studio decided to make it as bizarre and over the top as hell. No point in giving you a summary. A car breaks down, a creepy man lives in a creepy house, he may have a dead wife or may not have a dead wife, there is a black cat somewhere, and there is some bondage and torture. Too postmodern for the easy-plot-monster movies of its time, and too extreme for the audience back then, but you could probably bring your kids (if you are demented).
White Zombie (1932) is not a zombie movie. Zombies as we know them today have been quite popular for the last 40 years, but these zombies refer to somnobulists or partially dead people who may or may not be hypnotized/controlled by a voodoo priest/madman. There is a love triangle, a bunch of rich white kids who go to Haiti to get married, Lugosi as a voodoo priest, and people become passive zombies who do your bidding.
These movies are classics in any format, but on the big screen, with Halloween around the corner, and two for the price of one, you have NO excuse. Tickets can be purchased at the door, snacks and drinks shall be available, party starts at 7pm and the price is super cheap. Come one come all, keep the classics alive and keep those cameras rolling.