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The Living Dead (1932)
"Unheimliche Geschichten" (original title)

6.3
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Ratings: 6.3/10 from 54 users  
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A crazed scientist murders his wife, walls her up, then flees. A reporter sets out to track him down.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Mörder
Maria Koppenhöfer ...
Hoheit
Blandine Ebinger ...
Junge Dame im Selbstmörderklub
Eugen Klöpfer ...
Chefarzt
Harald Paulsen ...
Frank Briggs, Journalist
Roma Bahn ...
Frau des Mörders
Mary Parker ...
Briggs' Fiancée
Paul Henckels ...
Arzt in der Unfallstation
Gerhard Bienert ...
Kriminalkommissar
John Gottowt ...
Beamter des Mechanischen Museums
Erwin Kalser ...
Redner in der Irrenanstalt
Franz Stein ...
Kreisel in der Irrenanstalt
Gretel Berndt ...
Junges Mädchen in der Irrenanstalt
Ilse Fürstenberg ...
Frau in der Irrenanstalt
Carl Heinz Charrell ...
Portier in der Irrenanstalt
Edit

Storyline

A crazed scientist murders his wife, walls her up, then flees. A reporter sets out to track him down. Written by frankfob2@yahoo.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

anthology

Genres:

Comedy | Sci-Fi | Horror

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

16 December 1940 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Ghastly Tales  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Tobis-Klangfilm)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Connections

Remake of Eerie Tales (1919) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A forgotten "spoof" worth seeking out
13 October 2012 | by (Nottingham, UK) – See all my reviews

Paul Wegener, in his first talkie film, plays an evil inventor who is pursued by investigative journalist (Harald Paulsen) through four famous horror tales. The first is based on Edgar Allen Poe's 'The Black Cat'. Wegener kills his wife and hides her behind a wall in his basement. The reporter, who hears the wife's screams as he is passing by, calls in the police days later after she is reported missing. The journalist and the police eventually find her body thanks to her meowing cat, which was also accidentally walled with the body.

The inventor escapes, only to hide in a wax museum (spoofing Paul Leni's 'Waxworks'), where a sinister game of cat and mouse develops. The chase soon moves to an asylum (taken from another Poe story, 'The System of Dr. Tarr and Prof. Fether') and later, to a strange gentlemen's club which runs a sinister suicide game (from Robert Lewis Stevenson's 'The Suicide Club').

This is a remake of the director's own 'Eerie Tales' (1919), which also included adaptations of 'The Black Cat' and 'The Suicide Club'. All three stories here have been filmed since as well - 'Tales of Terror' (1962), 'Curse of the Stone Hand' (1964) and 'Dr. Tarr's Torture Dungeon' (1973) stand out as examples – so this may all feel quite familiar. Despite this, it's still very entertaining.

The novel approach of linking the separate well-known short stories into one adds a new dimension to the horror anthology sub-genre. It's intended as a spoof of Germany Expressionism, but while it may not exactly have your sides splitting, it still works as a creepy, atmospheric melodrama.

It's always fun to see Wegener, whose three silent portrayals of the Golem have ensure his place in horror history. He's great here as the villain; his stony face and narrow eyes make him appear every bit the devious killer. The rest of the less well know cast do well too.

Austrian Director Oswald, who is accredited with directing the first vampire film in 1916 ('A Night of Horror' - now lost), does a fine job of creating a different atmosphere for each story. Of particular note is the 'Dr. Tarr' segment, in which a whole host of lunatics attempt to put our hero on trial.

This is a very difficult film to find which is a real shame. Highly recommended for fans of early horror.


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