The Thursday Horror Picture Show is having an old-style “Shock Theater” package this week. In other words, it’s exactly like one of the Friday late-show double features you would have seen on TV back in the 1960s. In fact, it’s programmed exactly after that fashion—one horror movie with The Strange Case of Dr. Rx (1942) and one plain mystery-comedy with The Last Warning (1938). It was apparently thought that the Universal logo on a mystery qualified it as part of the “Shock” package, which was useful for broadening youthful cinematic horizons if nothing else. Actually, these are both more mystery than horror, though Dr. Rx is a mystery with horror trappings (movies with hooded scientists with electrical gizmos and a pet gorilla aren’t quite your average mystery) and one horror star in Lionel Atwill (whose character name would give away his function) in what amounts to be a bit part. Both it and The Last Warning, however, are slick, fast and fun—not to mention sometimes funny. That’s especially true of Dr. Rx, with not only Mantan Moreland (he steals the show), but also Shemp Howard on hand. The Last Warning, however, boasts some pretty fine repartee between detectives Preston Foster and Frank Jenks, along with the Southern-fried ditsiness of comedienne Joyce Compton. It all makes for a fun evening of movies.
Before you comment
The comments section is here to provide a platform for civil dialogue on the issues we face together as a local community. Xpress is committed to offering this platform for all voices, but when the tone of the discussion gets nasty or strays off topic, we believe many people choose not to participate. Xpress editors are determined to moderate comments to ensure a constructive interchange is maintained. All comments judged not to be in keeping with the spirit of civil discourse will be removed and repeat violators will be banned. See here for our terms of service. Thank you for being part of this effort to promote respectful discussion.