God Rock Radio #271- European Horror Films of the 1930’s

Feeling that the story of the Silent European Horror film was left incomplete, Jack “The Agnostic” Garcia chronicles the arrival of talking pictures or sound on film. An event that would unleash unforeseen forces that would rock the foundations of the international film industry with a period of chaos and instability. When sound horror films arrive in Europe nobody was more horrified than the film censors who cut and butchered them to pieces. Major film studios were put off by the limitation of patrons and distribution , the result being that with the exception of Britain, the horror film in Europe all but died.  Jack examines the birth of the British horror film , an art form ignited by the Victorian taste for theatrical blood and melodrama and linked to a famous murder case with a supernatural ending that caught the imagination of the public and was filmed again and again. Then its the work of Boris Karloff in his native England, movies that would try and capture the look, manner and feel of his Universal films. And where goes Karloff, so goes Bela Lugosi but to lesser studios and budgets of course. Up next, the little known British fright film star , Todd Slaughter – who was the last in the line of Old School Victorian villains , Slaughter was an extraordinary cinematic presence – totally stylized in word and gesture and gleefully contemplated his evil deeds with sheer utter delight. With bigger studio support and larger budgets he could have been an international rival to Karloff and Lugosi. And last but not least , its some of the few European horror films produced during the 1930’s – including such classics as Carl Theodore Dreyer’s – moody atmospheric , disturbing and dream like Vampyr (1931) & Frank Wisbar’s – little known gem – Death & The Maiden – an enchanting and haunting story based on an ancient Nordic folk-tale. 

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