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The Haunted Curiosity Shop (1901)

An old proprietor is startled by the sudden appearance of a skull. Just as he draws back from the uncanny object, the doors of a mediaeval wardrobe fly back and a hand prods him with a ... See full summary »

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An old proprietor is startled by the sudden appearance of a skull. Just as he draws back from the uncanny object, the doors of a mediaeval wardrobe fly back and a hand prods him with a sword. He turns to confront his assailant when it vanishes, and at the same instant the skull flies to the other end of the room. He clutches at the skull, when it turns into the half form of a girl from the waist up, suspended in mid-air. As he gazes in amusement, the other half of the girl, fully dressed from her waist down, walks across the room, and the two halves of the figure join, making a girl complete. In an amorous fashion the old man folds his arms around the girl's waist with the intention of stealing a kiss, but the girl immediately changes into an old woman, who grins in evident delight at the old man's discomfort. In great anger he throws her into the wardrobe and locks the door. Unseen by him, the woman has again become a girl. A great effect is here produced. Through the doors, which ... Written by Edison Catalog

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Short | Comedy | Fantasy

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May 1902 (USA)  »

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Bland Melies Rip Saved by One Scene
3 January 2011 | by (Louisville, KY) – See all my reviews

Haunted Curiosity Shop, The (1901)

** (out of 4)

Director Walter R. Booth and producer Robert W. Paul made several films together but the majority of them are forgotten today. Those that are remembered are mostly rip-offs of Georges Melies work and that's the case for this 1901 film. A man walks into a shop where various objects start to come alive and he must fight off the ghosts and other creatures. There are some minor horror elements here but for the most part the two-minute running time is dedicated to the trick film. I found the movie to be rather disappointing because the effects are actually poorly done. Many times when the "trick" goes to take place the scene is so blurry that you can't help but remain rather emotionless to the effect. Another problem is that the actor playing the man simply isn't charismatic enough to make you laugh at anything going on. The one good scene is when we get to see a woman divided in half. The effect here is done very well and this brief sequence makes the film worth sitting through.


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