A mad scientist "creates" a beautiful but demonic woman, the result of a forced sexual union between a woman and a mandrake root, a plant said to have magical powers due to its uncanny resemblance to the human body.
Allan has a hard time finding the Usher's house, which is known to be cursed... But he is a personal friend of Roderick Usher, who lives with his sick wife Madeline and a doctor. Roderick ... See full summary »
After the old-books shop closes, portraits of the Strumpet, Death, and the Devil come to life and amuse themselves by reading stories--about themselves, of course, in various guises and ... See full summary »
Insane doctor Ten Brinken, using the semen of a dead man, artificially inseminate a prostitute. The resultant child grows up to be a beautiful but evil woman who turns against the man who ... See full summary »
A traveller arrives at the Usher mansion to find that the sibling inhabitants, Roderick and Madeline Usher, are living under a mysterious family curse: Roderick's senses have become ... See full summary »
James Sibley Watson,
This 1930 version of the German fantasy classic "Alraune" is a more faithful adaptation of the book than its more famous 1928 silent film predecessor and follows very much the story line of its literary source. Brigitte Helm, one of Europe's most intriguing vamps of the 20s and early 30s this time gives a different interpretation of the same part she had in the silent version two years ago. She not only portrays Alraune, the artificially created girl who brings down men by the dozen but also her mother, a prostitute who agrees to take part in an experiment of artificial insemination and even performs as a singer in a bar reminiscent of "The blue angel" (which was produced around the same time). In this film, Alraune, when finding out about her true identity, feels remorse over her deeds and in the end commits suicide. The film, much more than the silent version, is a daring mix of sex and crime and must have been rather scandalous at its time. Oswald does an excellent job in recreating the atmosphere of Wilhelminian Germany in the beginning of the film and then creates sexual tension and suspense in the house of Professor ten Brinken, where Alraune plays around with men like the toys in her bedroom. Great performances by Albert Bassermann as her creator/ stepfather who falls for her and Harald Paulsen, who also starred in Oswalds horror classic "Unheimliche Geschichten". Another classic from the rich period of German cinema before 1933 and a film that could never have been made that way in Hollywood.
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