The Black Cat

Two old enemies meet face-to-face.

The Black Cat

(1934)

Directed by Edgar G. Ulmer

Starring Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi, David Manners, Julie Bishop

Rating: ******
              5/6

We meet the only two normal people in the movie.

This pre-code Thriller,
I’ll be clear,
Is drenched in a
Chilling atmosphere.

The more we discover
About those involved,
The more our skin
Begins to crawl,

And yet in this film,
Uncertainty reigns.
We’re uneasy, uncomfortable,
With all that pertains.

At the start of our tale,
A car drives alone
In unfamiliar country,
And leaves from a phone.

Bela Lugosi, looking dapper and menacing.

A newlywed couple,
Their honeymoon just begun,
Is lost on the way to
A hotel for some fun.

They pick up a man,
All alone and on foot,
On his way to a castle,
Where there’s trouble afoot.

They go to the castle,
For it’s getting quite late,
And the couple is weary,
From travel that date.

There’s an accident.

The man who lives there
Meets them at the door.
He approves of their nightcap
And keeps them waiting no more.

Lugosi, however,
Did not come for a bed.
His motives are rather
Quite darker instead.

His host senses this,
For he knows the man well.
Bela Lugosi has come
From a place worse than Hell.

The man in the castle
Seems a bit off.
He’s played by the master
Boris Karloff.

Frowning, unpleasant,
He looks at his foe,
And no look of warmth
Escapes from his soul.

Boris Karloff, the villan.

He bides them to sit
And they both sit and stare
Till Lugosi tells him
What brought him there.

Karloff already knows
Why Lugosi has come.
He has come here to kill him.
Karloff isn’t dumb.

There was a war and Boris,
An architect man,
Betrayed 10,000
Of his countrymen.

He got rich in the process,
Well they suffered like vermin,
But Lugosi was different.
He was determined.

He broke out of a prison
That no one has ever left alive.
He pushed himself so that
One day Karlov would die.

The years had turned him
Cold like a carp,
Bitter and vengeful,
His mind razor sharp.

He glares at his foe,
Who is as remorseless as ever.
His hatred for this man
He would carry forever.

They meet face-to-face once again.

Karloff has a secret.
He worships the Devil.
He enacts strange rituals
In his pact with the Devil.

The young couple
Feel as if they’re besieged.
They’re jumpy, uncomfortable,
And do not feel at ease.

The ending will put
Your jaw to the floor
It is definitely
Worth waiting for.

The slow pace of this film
Adds to its tembre,
Keeping the mood
Frightening and sombre.

Lugosi and Karlov
Make a wonderful mix.
This horror film gets
A five out of six.

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