Boris Karloff

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The Guide to Monday TV: The Closer, The Grinch, Terra Nova and More!

Kyra Sedgwick

Taking advantage of the networks' post-sweeps lull, TNT roars back in a big way this week, with tonight's winter return (for five episodes) of its two biggest hits, The Closer and Rizzoli & Isles, and starting Tuesday for the next month, a weekly series of first-run mystery movies on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. (More on that later this week.)

The Closer (8/7c) and Rizzoli (9/8c) each have similar starting points for this ...
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NBC to Revive Frankenstein

Frankenstein

It's aliiive! Well, it could be.

NBC is developing a modern-day remake of Frankenstein, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

The project comes from House executive producers Garrett Lerner and Russel Friend for Universal Media Studios and BermanBraun. Universal Studios owns the property rights to Frankenstein, among other ...
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In Praise of Karloff the Uncanny

This is just a heads-up for anyone whos interested I wrote a liner-notes essay for the upcoming Criterion Collection two-DVD boxed set Monsters and Madmen which features the Karloff features The Haunted Strangler 1958 and Corridors of Blood 1962 as well as The Atomic Submarine 1960 and First Man into Space 1959 I included in the essay praise of Karloff and of these two underappreciated pictures he made in his native England in the late 1950s This is how my essay starts Forget the Beatles vs Elvis For me the world is divided into Karloff people and Lugosi people and Im in the Karloff clique Bela Lugosis oversized mannerisms and thickly accented drawl have always seemed camp to me while Boris Karloffs reserve and faint lisp carry an irresistible air of melancholy mystery an English gentleman with a touch of the exoticBorn in 1887 Karloff was nearing 70 when he made The Haunted Strangler and Corridors of Blood a matched pair of black-and-white historical th read more

'Tis the Season

It took a while to adjust to holiday specials airing in November. I remember having only one chance to catch these programs as a kid, and that made them a little more special.As the flood of seasonal mirth begins, it's tricky to sift through all the different programs now available 24/7.When choosing what to watch, avoid any sequels or live-action remakes. They simply don't work.Also look for the four fundamental elements of any killer holiday special:1) Unique characters2) Memorable music 3) A lesson learned and4) A Santa appearance.Here are my top-five television holiday specials of all time.This list does not include any feature films. Miracle on 34th Street and It's a Wonderful Life do not qualify for this list.Honorable mention: Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town (1970).Major points for Fred Astaire, the Winter Warlock, Burgermeister MeisterBurger and "Put One Foot in Front of the Other," which almost made the list. Almost.5) Frosty the Snowman (1969)Happy birthday! Yes, it's fu... read more

When I was a kid, back in the ...

Question: When I was a kid, back in the 1960s, I tuned in to a black-and-white movie on the late, late show. The title was something like the "Seven Faces (or something) of Jonathan Drake"; I remember the "Jonathan Drake" part pretty clearly, but not the rest of the title. I've never been able to locate it, nor have I seen it since. Do you know the name of the movie or anything about it?


Answer: The problem is that your memory has conflated two titles: 7 Faces of Dr. Lao (1964), an offbeat horror-fantasy set in the Old West and starring Tony Randall as a mysterious Asian magician, and The Four Skulls of Jonathan Drake (1959), which is set in the Amazon and involves shrunken heads and black magic. Although you say it's the latter part of the title you're sure o read more

I think I can finally stump ...

Question: I think I can finally stump you: I remember an old horror movie where an older couple takes control of a younger couple. They make them do as they please and experience what the young people do. One scene I remember in particular is when they do a "test" and make one of them crush an egg in his/her hand. Naturally, these things end badly. Does this sound familiar?


Answer: Very. You saw The Sorcerers (1967), with Boris Karloff as a scientist who develops a device that lets people control others and vicariously enjoy their experiences, and veteran British actress Catherine Lacey as his wife. Karloff tests the device on a young man, but his wife gets hooked on the process and forces him to commit increasingly sadistic acts for read more

Many years ago, I saw a ...

Question: Many years ago, I saw a short, black-and-white horror film on TV; I believe it was part of a trilogy. The setting was a mortuary; an ugly old witch lady had died and the attendant stole a ring from her finger. The dead lady eventually came to life, making faucets drip water and eventually forcing the attendant to choke herself to death; the witch's spell was then apparently passed on to the newly deceased woman. It was very creepy and well filmed. Do you have any idea what it was or how I might get a copy? Answer: You saw part of Italian director Mario Bava's horror anthology I tre volti della paura (1963); the title literally translates as "Three Faces of Fear," but it was released in the U.S. as Black Sabbath. The segment you remember is "The Drop of Water"; the other two are a gia read more

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