Horrors of the Black Museum (1959)

Oh my…I am getting sleepy!!!

Horrors of the Black Museum (1959)
Directed By: Arthur Crabtree (Fiend Without a Face)

The Prologue
Well it would appear as if we are kicking it old school here today with 1959’s Horrors of the Black Museum. Of course we are dealing with the colorized version here that you can pick up over at Cheezy Flicks. They are good people, check them out. Anyway, I may not know first hand my history on movies from 1959, but I know where to find the info, and as it goes this film was what critic David Pirie dubbed Anglo-Amalgamated’s “Sadian trilogy” (the other two being Circus of Horrors and Peeping Tom), with an emphasis on sadism, cruelty and violence. Sounds good right?..Well, it WAS 1959, so we get what we get..

The Movie
So the movie tells the tail of a frustrated author who is hypnotizing his assistant into killing people so he himself can write about it in his books. Whats even better is the writer is sporting the Fantastic Four “Reed Richards” hair style that looks wonderful (kinda I guess) in the colorized version! Being this film was made in 1959, where I assume people still loved one another, cokes were just 25 cents, and everyone joined hands out in the middle of the streets to sing songs before bed, you don’t get a lot of blood and guts. You do however get pretty good stuff for it’s time, even if most is off camera.

My favorite part of this film had to be the first 13 minutes of it. And I know it lasts 13 minutes because before the segment starts they state that the following segment will take 13 minutes. So see there? I am a devil for the details! And what happens in the following 13 minutes you ask? Well, before the movie starts, a man comes on the screen to hypnotize us so that we can truly be sucked into the terror we are about to witness on the screen. Sadly, I wasn’t hypnotized and this segment becomes perhaps just the highlight of the film. As everything else goes from OK to boring as you have this unique opening that I did get a bit of a kick out of before the film really rolls…I again must state, I wish this worked.

So we got the actual main part of the film that has OK acting and OK violence for the time but it just really shows it’s age. I admire classics, I dig stuff that are older (Like Jennifer Grey from Dirty Dancing fame), but this just came across as bit boring a bit too much for most of the time it was on. It really came across as CSI episode that could have been settled within a much quicker time than it actually gets settled and it does drag with way too much uninteresting dialogue and a slow methodical pace…See that? I used the word “methodical”, I may start to finally sound like I know just what I am talking about. Anyway, there’s some cheesy 1959 effects here that are done with obvious props and clever cut aways. I guess that should go without saying but I do want you to keep in mind what you are dealing with.

So it’s kinda cheesy and it gets a lot more cheesy as it reaches it’s conclusion, which wraps up pretty easily and without much fuss sadly. I guess back in those days they just wanted to get in, get to the point, and get out..sorta like most married couples having sex after they’ve already been having sex for a very long time with just each other. So like that, there’s not much magic here, but it gets the job done for the most part, just with about as little excitement as the metaphoric couple I am talking about to describe it. But horror is like sex right? Even when it’s bad, it’s still kinda good..right? I ask you because I am a horror blogger, I haven’t touched a woman in years..or weeks I mean..ah, anyway..good times.

The Conclusion
Depending on if you like this stuff will depend on if you like old school stuff or not. I myself am not THAT into this old of material but I do appreciate it and I do feel the start of it wasn’t that bad and kinda cool. Damn shame it doesn’t actually hypnotize you, I guess that’s good however that it doesn’t. Either way, Cheezy Flicks has this for a very reasonable price at $3.99, so go check those folks out!

1_halfbrains