The Cryptoscatology Halloween Viewing List (Part 2): Lugosi’s Top 13
by Robert Guffey on October 20
In celebration of what would have been Bela Lugosi’s 135th birthday, I offer you a list of the essential entries in Lugosi’s five-decade-long filmography.
A few years ago a friend of mine saw Rowland V. Lee’s SON OF FRANKENSTEIN (1939) for the first time at The Egyptian Theatre in Los Angeles. At the end of the film his first comment was, “Why does everybody say Bela Lugosi was such a bad actor? He’s great in this! He steals the whole movie—and that’s not easy when you’re sparring with Lionel Atwill, Boris Rathbone, and Boris Karloff!” He then asked me to recommend other Lugosi films, so I took the opportunity to compile my personal “Top 13 Lugosi” list. Your forthcoming Halloween viewing experience can be vastly improved by the addition of any one of the following films from the Golden Age of Hollywood….
THE BLACK CAT (Edgar Ulmer, 1934)
SON OF FRANKENSTEIN (Rowland V. Lee, 1939)
DRACULA (Tod Browning, 1931)
WHITE ZOMBIE (Victor Halperin, 1932)
CHANDU THE MAGICIAN (William Cameron Menzies and Marcel Varnel, 1932)
MURDERS IN THE RUE MORGUE (Robert Florey, 1932)
Robert Guffey is a lecturer in the Department of English at California State University – Long Beach. His most recent book is UNTIL THE LAST DOG DIES (Night Shade/Skyhorse), a darkly satirical novel about a young stand-up comedian who must adapt as best he can to an apocalyptic virus that affects only the humor centers of the brain. His previous books include the journalistic memoir CHAMELEO: A STRANGE BUT TRUE STORY OF INVISIBLE SPIES, HEROIN ADDICTION, AND HOMELAND SECURITY (OR Books, 2015), a collection of novellas entitled SPIES & SAUCERS (PS Publishing, 2014), and CRYPTOSCATOLOGY: CONSPIRACY THEORY AS ART FORM (TrineDay, 2012).
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