Freaks/The Black Cat

Movie Information

In Brief: The Asheville Film Society's October reign of terror marches on with our second double feature of the month. First up, we have Tod Browning's 1932 classic Freaks. Browning's most well-known work outside of Dracula and arguably his best (I might make the case for some of his work with Lon Chaney, though few others do), Freaks was derided by censors on release for its use of actual "freaks." Criticism of the film as exploitation is still voiced in some corners today, I would say unjustly, but whatever your opinion may be the film is an undeniably unsettling must-see for genre enthusiasts. Next up, we have Edgar G. Ulmer's 1934 The Black Cat, the first onscreen pairing of Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi. I programmed this one because it was a perennial favorite of the late Ken Hanke, who described part of its appeal thusly: "At a brisk 65 minutes, it manages to include mass murder, Satanism, necrophilia, a human skinning and a chess game of death that beat Bergman by 23 years." I can't think of a better synopsis or a stronger recommendation, this one is not to be missed! The order of these films may be subject to change, so you're strongly encouraged to show up for both.
Genre: Horror
Director: Tod Browning/Edgar G. Ulmer
Starring: Wallace Ford, Harry Earles/Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi
Rated: NR

The Thursday Horror Picture Show will screen Freaks and The Black Cat on Thursday, Oct. 13, at 9:15 p.m. at The Grail Moviehouse, hosted by Xpress movie critic Scott Douglas.


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