Rupert Pupkin Speaks: Scream Factorized - DIE, MONSTER, DIE! on Blu-ray ""

Monday, December 30, 2013

Scream Factorized - DIE, MONSTER, DIE! on Blu-ray

Boris Karloff is one of the greatest things in all of moviedom. He, like his contemporary Vincent Price, was so perfectly suited to a certain type of gothic cinema that he truly embodies the word 'icon'. In Peter Bogdanovich's debut film TARGETS, Karloff started as a horror actor character very much like himself in a lot of ways. An iconic boogeyman of sorts. That's really how I feel about him, but even more than that he's a great actor. His prescence alone elevates most any film he's a part of. Like his and Vincent Price's  effective work in the film adaptations of Edgar Allen Poe's writings, Karloff is a perfect fit to an H.P. Lovecraft story. Wheelchair bound with a blanket on his lap, he is nonetheless creepy and menacing. Karloff was an actor that filmmakers could use as a tool to add mood and atmosphere much like a great set designer of cinematographer could. The subtleties of his vocal inflections, his movements and facial expressions were powerful enough to carry pathos, horror and dread.
What we've got here in DIE, MONSTER, DIE! is a good old fashioned haunted house type mystery story with something not quite human at the center. As I mentioned, the film is an adaptation of Lovecraft, in this case his short story 'The Colour out of Space'. The movie has a bit of a Twilight Zone-y kind of feel to it, which makes sense as the adaptation was done by TWZ and Outer Limits scribe Jerry Sohl. The story is slightly reminiscent of FALL OF THE HOUSE OF USHER, but the setting is more contemporary and there is more science fiction than supernatural elements. This all makes it feel more like a Hammer film than anything in the Corman/Poe cycle. Being a big fan of sci-fi, all this appeals to me. My favorite Hammer films (QUATERMASS & THE PIT etc) all involve sci-fi elements so it's no surprise that I dug this movie. As we've seen from Scream Factory before, this is a nice widescreen (2.35:1) transfer that does the film plenty of kindness.

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