1 November 2012 6:23 PM, PDT | MUBI | See recent MUBI news »

Unheimliche Geschichten (Uncanny Tales) is a remake... except it isn't. And it's an anthology film... except it isn't. Richard Oswald, Austrian movie master, made a film of that title in 1919, a horror film which blended stories by Poe, Stevenson and others into a single overarching narrative with Conrad Veidt as central character.

In 1932, four years before the Jewish Oswald was forced to flee the country, he made another Unheimliche Geschichten, a comic compendium that used some of the same source stories, including Poe's The Black Cat and Stevenson's The Suicide Club, but added a new one and used a different overall story to tie it all together. The film was intended as a parody of the whole German expressionist horror school, and if it lacks somewhat in the laughter department, it is nonetheless a fascinating summation of German silent cinema in the early sound era.

Oswald alternated between comedy and sometimes horror-tinged melodrama, »

- David Cairns

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