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Wednesday, September 2, 2015


Alas, no cauldron of blood in sight. Would a cauldron of flesh-melting acid do? This very cheap, very late Boris Karloff chiller (he died before it came out) has the feel of an Italian giallo horror pic . . . minus blood, female nudity, scares or perversity. So, what’s left? A variation on one of those Wax Museum tales, Karloff’s blinded sculptor uses the bones of real cadavers to build his statues from the inside out. What he doesn’t know is that Viveca Lindfors, the wife who blinded him (don’t ask) finds it’s easier to kill than collect; murdering likely candidates, then boiling their flesh off and setting up the skeletons so blind Boris can get down to work. If only photo-journalist Jean-Pierre Aumont didn’t get in the way with a magazine assignment on the famous artist. Ugh. Pretty tepid doings. And while Karloff had gotten used to this sort of claptrap, Aumont at least had Truffaut’s DAY FOR NIGHT/’73 to look forward to.

WATCH THIS, NOT THAT: Karloff’s last decent film was probably TARGETS/’68, Peter Bogdanovich’s debut pic. Not a total success, but Karloff gets off a memorable monologue that serves as a proper personal eulogy.

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