Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Black Sleep (1954)

Genre: Horror, Mad Scientist

Source: Netflix (Instant View)

Grade: A

  For some reason this movie was really hard for me to find,It toke me until Netflix final released it on Instant Que to finally be able to watch it. And well to honest i`d have to say I actually enjoyed this movie.
   Alright THE BLACK SLEEP is to horror what THE EXPENDABLES is to action. Which is a ton of actors who specialize in that genre of film, and just cram them all into one movie. Seriously, this movie has an all star horror movie actor cast its got Basil Rathbone, Lon Chaney Jr, Bela Lugosi, John Carradine, and Tor Johnson all in one horror film,plus the story is really good. So I was happy camper about this movie.
But of course there were drawbacks to the movie, like Lon Chaney and Bela Lugosi`s character never say a word. Yeah there both mutes, though Lugosi makes some crazy facial expressions and Chaney has some scary grunts and snarls he makes so not all`s lost. Also I read Peter Lorre was supposed to be in this movie, he was to play the role of the sinister yet comical gypsy Udu. But they thought his price was far to high so they ended up replacing him with this other guy who wasn't bad, except if it had been Lorre it would have been absolutely perfect,so that was sorta a shame.
Now the films story is pretty cool basically its about this doctor who's to be hung in the moring, but then Basil Rathbones character comes in on the eve of his execution and gives him a drug that will only make him appear dead while leaving him in phase of suspended animation, in return for his rescue the doctor becomes the scientists assistant in his experiments. While he serves as the assistant he becomes suspicious of the doctors rather macabre experiments on living humans and begins to suspect things are not as they seem.
Yep so there you have it, the classic horror scenario except this time you have a group famous horror actors performing it. Which is what i`d have to say made this movie much,much better then if it had been made with a group of regular or obscure actors. The film was also well directed Reginald Le Borg who directed movies like THE MUMMY'S GHOST in 1944 and DIARY OF A MADMAN in 1963.
Basil Rathbone was the main bad guy so to say, in this movie. His performance was awesome he was different i this character then his Sherlock Holmes character that hes best known to play, he was much more sinister in this character. Bela Lugosi played his mute servant who like I said before was great and provided some cool facial expressions, but its also sad to say this was his last film he truly had a role in. Now Lon Chaney Jr was a crazy guy who was the product of an experiment gone wrong and just snarled and tried to choke people, so its cool but not his best role. And of course there was John Carradine who was this maniac who thought he was a Crusader in the holy land and was always yelling accusations of people being infidels, good role for him if you ask me.

So overall it was good movie, i`d recommend it to anyone. Especially if your fan of classic horror,yeah this is a must see for any Classic Horror fan its got a bunch of classic horror movie actors as well as a pretty tight story that's delivered very well through director Reginald Le Borg. Its just a shame they couldn't`t afford Peter Lorre.

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