Monday, June 22, 2009

The Cat and the Canary 1927

Just finished watching Universal's "long run" special- "The Cat and the Canary" from swinging 1927. I can't remember why I wanted to see this, but it had been on the netflix que for a long time. I think I was watching the Abbott and Costello "Horror-comedies" and they brought me around to this. No, it was Whale's "This Old Dark House."
Sorry, I am still in vacation mode. I am also sorry but I thought this film was BORING. I really wanted to be watching "True Blood" and I thought I had time to fit this in before it started. Despite a running time of 1hr 27 minutes, this film actually runs for about 5 hours. That's what it feels like. I appreciate how this film was influential, especially on the "old dark house" genre popular in the 30s and 40s. And, it was it was the first "Expressionist horror/comedy," being directed by Paul Leni and all. And, it jump-started Universal's dive into horror films. Plus, "Scooby Doo" would not exist without it. (See the film and you will know what I mean. If you dare.)

While the Expressionist elements are visually interesting, German Expressionism and Comedy just don't mix in my book, and "The Cat and the Canary" is more of a comedy than a horror film. The whole thing just felt very weird and not in a good way. This will not stop me from seeing the Bob Hope remake from the late 30s. I have a feeling that version will be much better.
In a non-horror note, we saw "Up" yesterday and it was wonderful. I bawled like a baby throughout most of it. Loved the shout outs to "The Lost World" and "Fentons." Ed Asner has officially become my favorite actor of the moment.


Shoshanah Marohn said...

"Despite a running time of 1hr 27 minutes, this film actually runs for about 5 hours."

That's great writing!

Dwido said...

Best line ever: "German expressionism and comedy just don't
mix in my book." Take that Ebert!
And, yes, Ms. ZAM, you were missed
mightily by your minions; indeed, now, probably your groupies!