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His name is Roger Clyne
9,403 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
They're scheduling two things this October, Horror Stars & the Monster of the Month.

First up, the Horror Stars, Wednesdays at 8PM in October:

The Horror Stars are Lon Chaney, Sr., Christopher Lee, Bela Lugosi, and Vincent Price. Of all of those I'm least excited by Lugosi & VERY excited by Lee & Lon Sr. If you haven't seen any of the movies they've listed for him I suggest you do so or DVR them. I think they're all silent film but he is amazing in them. Especially considering it was all in-camera, practical effects. He'd strap his legs under himself, strap his arm behind his back, he had to have been a pretty good contortionist & he created some amazing makeup FX.

With the approach of Halloween, TCM salutes five of the movies' greatest Horror Stars. Over the decades, many actors have tried their hand at the fright-film genre, but this handful of performers shared an uncanny ability to channel bone-chilling creepiness. Join TCM every Wednesday in October as we celebrate their terrifying films and unforgettable characters.

Lon Chaney (1883-1930) was born Leonidas Frank Chaney in Colorado Springs, CO, to deaf parents resulting in his development of early pantomime skills in order to communicate with them. He made his stage debut in 1902 and began working in films around 1912 or 1913. (Some of his earliest movies have been lost.) Chaney won fame as one of the most versatile and accomplished actors in film, becoming known as "The Man of a Thousand Faces" because of his skill with makeup and characterization that allowed him to create a gallery of memorable, often grotesque characters.

Our tribute to Lon Chaney is composed of six of his silent films. The Penalty (1920) has him as a criminal mastermind who has lost both his legs and seeks revenge on the entire city of San Francisco. In He Who Gets Slapped (1924), considered by some to be Chaney's masterpiece, he plays a scientist whose feelings of betrayal lead him to life as a clown in a circus, where he falls in love with a comely bareback rider (a young Norma Shearer).

The Phantom of the Opera (1925), one of his most famous vehicles, casts Chaney as the hideously disfigured Phantom who haunts the Paris Opera House and is obsessed with a beautiful young singer (Mary Philbin). The Monster (1925) marked an early blending of horror and comedy, with Chaney as a mad scientist who conducts ghastly experiments after taking over the asylum in which he has been confined.

The Unholy Three (1925) has Chaney as a ventriloquist who masquerades as an old woman and joins forces with two other carnival performers, a strong man (Victor McLaglen) and a little person (Harry Earles) disguised as a baby, to operate a thievery ring. This film was so popular that Chaney remade it as a talkie in 1930. In The Unknown (1927) Chaney plays an armless knife thrower who performs with his feet and legs, and Joan Crawford plays the carnival girl he hopes to marry.

Christopher Lee (1922-2015), born Christopher Frank Carandini Lee in the Belgravia district of London, was a versatile actor who was said to have regretted his typecasting as Count Dracula - a role he played to chilling perfection in a series of films from England's Hammer Films.

Lee began acting in school plays and made his film debut in 1947. He had played more than 50 roles, most of them "background parts," before his breakthrough at Hammer Films playing the creature in The Curse of Frankenstein (1957). This was his first film with Peter Cushing, who would become a close friend and costar in more than 20 movies.

TCM's tribute to Lee includes his debut as the world's most celebrated vampire in Hammer Films' Horror of Dracula (1958), a role he would repeat in six sequels including Dracula, Prince of Darkness (1966). Lee smashed the Bela Lugosi stereotype of Dracula, with overt violence and sexual overtones (not to mention color photography) that lifted the character to a new and more explicit level.

The City of the Dead (also titled Horror Hotel) (1960), released by British Lion Films, has emerged as a cult horror thriller. Venetia Stevenson plays a college student researching witchcraft in a New England village and Lee is a sinister professor who just happens to have connections to the town. The Face of Fu Manchu (1965) was the first of a five-part film series in which Lee played the evil Asian criminal mastermind.

Lee takes the title role in Hammer Films' Rasputin: The Mad Monk (1966), as the voracious mystic who held sway over the Tsars prior to the Russian Revolution. The Devil's Bride (1968) was Lee's favorite among his Hammer films, perhaps because for once he enjoys a heroic - almost saintly - role as a nobleman of 1920s England who suspects the son of a friend is involved in a satanic cult.

Boris Karloff (1887-1969), born William Henry Pratt in the Camberwell district of London, England, became a distinguished actor in many roles that capitalized on his rich and eloquent voice, but his specialty was horror. It was as the speechless Frankenstein's monster in a series of films during the 1930s that Karloff achieved movie immortality.

In a career that lasted a half century, Karloff distinguished himself on Broadway, in television and in the movies. In addition to his triumphs in the Frankenstein films, he is particularly remembered for playing the title role in The Mummy (1932) and for serving as the narrator and voice of the Grinch in the television special How The Grinch Stole Christmas. Four films in the TCM tribute are from Karloff's horror heyday of the 1930s-'40s, while three others are from the 1960s.

The Old Dark House (1932) is a horror comedy about travelers stranded in a creepy mansion in the Welsh countryside where the terrors include a mute, drunken butler played by Karloff. The imposing cast also includes Charles Laughton, Melvyn Douglas and Raymond Massey. The Walking Dead (1936) casts Karloff as a pianist who is falsely accused of murder, executed and then reanimated by a scientist (Edmund Gwenn), allowing him to confront those who framed him. This film features one of Karloff's most effective and sympathetic performances.

Isle of the Dead (1945) is set in 1912 during the First Balkan War, on a Greek island where visitors are trapped by a quarantine for the plague. Karloff plays a general who visits his late wife's mausoleum, only to find it despoiled amid rumors of vampires and witchcraft. This is one of three low-budget horror films from legendary producer Val Lewton that starred Karloff. Bedlam (1946), another of Karloff's vehicles for Lewton, is set in 1761 at a notorious English mental hospital where a young woman (Anna Lee) risks her freedom and sanity to expose the dreadful practices of the asylum's head general (Karloff).

The Terror (1963) is a low-budget item from producer-director Roger Corman, set in the Napoleonic era and featuring Karloff as an elderly baron whose castle may be haunted by the ghost of his first wife (Sandra Knight). The promising actor appearing as a French soldier involved in the mystery is none other than Jack Nicholson! Die, Monster, Die! (1965) is a British-American production starring Karloff as a mad scientist who uses a radioactive meteorite to mutate plant and animal life.

The Sorcerers (1967) is a British sci-fi/horror film with Karloff as a noted hypnotist who develops a technique that allows not only control of his subjects but sharing of their emotions. The hypnotist's wife (Catherine Lacey) creates problems when she begins to enjoy the process too much.

Bela Lugosi (1882-1956), born Béla Ferenc Dezső Blaskó in Lugos, Austria/Hungary (now Romania), won international fame for his chilling performance as the world's most celebrated vampire, Count Dracula. His thick East European accent and florid acting style seemed perfect for the exotic Dracula but led to typecasting that Lugosi was never able to overcome.

Lugosi played small roles on the Hungarian stage before making his first film in 1917. He then emigrated to the U.S. in 1920 and soon established himself as an actor in America. In 1927, he won the title role in a hit Broadway adaptation of Bram Stoker's Dracula, then was cast in Universal Pictures' film version in 1931. Lugosi then went on to star in Island of Lost Souls (1932), from Paramount, which was the first sound version of the H.G. Wells novel The Island of Dr. Moreau. Charles Laughton stars as the doctor whose experiments with animals turns them into human-like beings, and Lugosi plays a victim who has transformed from a wolf.

White Zombie (1932), an independent film originally released through United Artists, is considered the first full-length zombie movie. Lugosi stars as a voodoo master who commands a crew of the undead on his mysterious island. Mark of the Vampire (1935), directed by Tod Browning, is an unofficial remake of his 1927 silent classic London After Midnight. In this version, Lionel Barrymore stars as a scientist investigating a murder believed to the work of vampires, with Lugosi as a chief suspect called Count Mora. The Human Monster (1939) is a British film based on the 1927 novel by Edgar Wallace, with Lugosi as a scientist who commits a series of murders while disguised as a blind man.

The Devil Bat (1940), a low-budget feature from Producers Releasing Corporation, stars Lugosi as a cosmetics-company chemist who takes revenge on his unappreciative employers by breeding giant bats who will attack them. Night Monster (1942, TCM premiere), a success for Universal, awards Lugosi top billing even though he has a small role as a sinister butler in this tale of murders at a spooky old house.

The Corpse Vanishes (1942) is from Monogram Pictures, where Lugosi made several low-budget thrillers. In this film, he plays a mad scientist who kills young brides and extracts substances from their bodies to keep his elderly wife young.Bowery at Midnight (1942), another Monogram film, casts Lugosi as a psychologist who secretly heads a crime ring and keeps a gang of zombies in his basement!

Vincent Price (1911-1993), born Vincent Leonard Price, Jr. in St. Louis, MO, was a man of many talents. In addition to starring in many horror movies, he was an accomplished actor in several different film genres as well as on stage, radio, television and recordings. He also was an art collector, expert, lecturer and author, as well as a gourmet cook of note and a witty guest on TV game shows.

The child of well-to-do parents, Price earned a degree in art history from Yale University and planned to pursue a master's degree in fine arts at the University of London. However, he became distracted by the theater and began acting professionally onstage in England the mid-1930s. He made his movie debut in Service de Luxe (1938) and quickly established himself as an outstanding young character actor in such films as The Song of Bernadette (1943) and Laura (1944).

House of Wax (1953), originally released in 3D, established Price as a leading horror star. In this Warner Bros. production, he plays Henry Jarrod, a murderous sculptor who coats his victims in wax and uses them as displays in his museum. House on Haunted Hill (1959), produced and directed by William Castle, stars Price as an eccentric millionaire who rents a supposedly haunted house and promises five people a sum of money if they will stay in it through the night.

The Pit and the Pendulum (1961), produced and directed by Roger Corman, was one of 10 films starring Price that were based (sometimes loosely) on Edgar Allan Poe stories. In this highly successful version of the famous tale, Price plays the son of a noted torturer from the Spanish Inquisition and the husband of a woman who may have been buried alive. The Masque of the Red Death (1964) is another Corman production based on a Poe story and starring Price as a prince who terrorizes a plague-ridden community while living the high life with his consorts at a remote castle.

Last Man on Earth (1964) is an American-Italian sci-fi horror film in which Price gives an excellent performance as the last healthy survivor on Earth after a plague has destroyed everyone else and turned some into zombies. Theater of Blood (1973) tells the outrageous story of a Shakespearean actor (Price) who is inspired by plays of the Bard to wreak gory revenge on the critics who have panned his performances.

His name is Roger Clyne
9,403 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
Next the Monster of the Month: The Mummy, Sundays in October:


Beginning with silent films of the early 20th century and continuing through contemporary franchises, mummies have captured the imaginations of horror-movie fans everywhere. These bandage-wrapped relics of Egypt's past are not only terrifying, but often touching in their own way as lumbering symbols of destroyed civilizations and lost loves.

The earliest known film to focus on a mummy was La momie du roi, a French silent released in 1909. At least three shorts sharing the title The Mummy were released in the U.S. in 1911, with other silents on the same theme following in succeeding years. In 1932, Universal Studios launched its franchise of six horror films on the topic with The Mummy, which was said to have starred "Boris Karloff and 150 yards of gauze." Other mummy films included a popular series of four pictures by England's Hammer Films, running from 1959 to 1971, and since 1999 mummies have endured a lasting presence in film. Below are the mummy films in TCM's tribute this month.

Mummy's Boys (1936) stars the comedy team of Bert Wheeler and Robert Woolsey as ditch-diggers who join an Egyptian expedition, headed by a man (Frank M. Thomas) who wants to restore stolen treasures to an ancient king's tomb in order to avoid a "mummy's curse."

The Mummy's Hand (1940) was the second installment in Universal's "Mummy" series, with Tom Tyler replacing Boris Karloff in the role of the marauding mummy, Kharis. Dick Foran and Peggy Moran are among the adventurers threatened by the creature, who wants to destroy the invaders of the 3,000-year-old tomb of an Egyptian princess.

The Mummy's Ghost (1944, TCM premiere), the fourth installment in the Universal series, stars Lon Chaney Jr. as Kharis. This entry has John Carradine as a high priest who travels from Egypt to America to retrieve the mummies of Kharis and his princess, Ananka. The princess is played by the beautiful Ramsey Ames, who also appears as a contemporary character who may be the reincarnation of Ananka.

The Mummy's Curse (1944, TCM premiere), the fifth of the Universal series, marked Chaney's third and final appearance as Kharis. The action is again set in America, with mysterious goings on in a swamp where the mummy and his bride (now played by Virginia Christine) were buried. Peter Coe also stars.

Abbott and Costello Meet the Mummy (1955) is the sixth and final "Mummy" movie in the Universal series as well as the 28th and final Abbott/Costello film produced by the studio. As part of their popular comedy/horror series, Bud and Lou play Americans in Cairo who stumble onto a plot to steal ancient treasures. Eddie Parker plays the mummy Kharis in a cast that also includes Marie Windsor, Michael Ansara and Peggy King.

Pharaoh's Curse (1957) was released through United Artists and concerns a group of archeologists in Egypt who discover one of their own has been turned into a blood-sucking mummy. The Robot vs. The Aztec Mummy (1958), a Mexican horror film that incorporates elements of science fiction, focuses on a mad scientist with plans to steal Aztec treasurers from a mummy's tomb.

Rounding out our "Mummy" showcase are four productions from Hammer Films, some borrowing elements from the Universal series: The Mummy (1959), starring Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee; The Curse of the Mummy's Tomb (1964), starring Terence Howard; The Mummy's Shroud (1967), starring John Phillips and Elizabeth Sellars; andBlood From the Mummy's Tomb (1971), starring Andrew Keir and Mark Edwards.

His name is Roger Clyne
9,403 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
OK kids, FIRST UP, tonite is Lon Chaney, Sr. so SET YOUR DVRS!! All are silent films but all are stunning to look at when you realize he did it all by himself. He did his own makeup, stunts, etc. I'm such a huge fan of his plus he was an innovator in the FX makeup industry.

8PM The Unknown
9PM The Phantom of the Opera
10:30PM The Monster
12:30AM The Penalty
2:15AM The Unholy Three
4AM He Who Gets Slapped
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