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HORRORS OF THE BLACK MUSEUM (1959) – Episode 134 – Decades of Horror: The Classic Era

“New sensation! Woman’s head cut off! Read all about it! New sensation!” And don’t forget… Hypno-Vista! Join this episode’s Grue-Crew – Chad Hunt, Daphne Monary-Ernsdorff, and Jeff Mohr, along with guest host Steven Turek – as they discuss the quirky Horrors of the Black Museum (1959).

Decades of Horror: The Classic Era
Episode 134 – Horrors of the Black Museum (1959)

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A frustrated crime columnist and thriller writer wants accurate crimes for his next book so he hypnotizes his assistant to make him commit the required crimes.


Steven Turek of the DieCast Movie Podcast joins the Decades of Horror Classic Era Grue Crew for this episode and, in fact, picked the topic of discussion, Horrors of the Black Museum, an American-British production distributed by American International Pictures and Anglo-Amalgamated Film Distributors. As Steven points out, even though the film is blatantly billed in the U.S. as containing Hypno-Vista, there is nary an example of hypnosis in the story. For Steven, this Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde mashup is all about inventive kills with a few gadgets thrown in for good measure.

Daphne points out that Horrors of the Black Museum is part of what has been called Anglo-Amalgamated’s Sadian trilogy along with Circus of Horrors (1960) and Peeping Tom (1960). From her point of view, it’s a fun film and she most enjoys Michael Gough’s arrogant character and the incredible kills.

Michael Gough’s scenery-chewing performance is what stands out for Chad in Horrors of the Black Museum. It’s an example of good acting coupled with a zany story with seemingly arbitrary twists and insane kills. Jeff agrees with Chad’s appraisal of Gough’s performance. For him, Horrors of the Black Museum is not a great movie, but it sure is fun watching Michael Gough chewing accompanied by the unique kills, the first of which takes place within the first three minutes of the movie.

Now, about that HypnoVista thing. A thirteen-minute prologue was added to the U.S. release by the folks at AIP as a Castle-esque gimmick. It featured hypnotist Emile Franchele and obliquely introduces the HypnoVista concept. Most streaming sources do not include this prologue, but it can be viewed here: Hypno-Vista intro of Horrors of the Black Museum 

At the time of this writing, Horrors of the Black Museum is available to stream from the Classic Horror Movie Channel, Wicked Horror TV, and Tubi.

Be sure to check out our very own Whitney Collazo and Daphne Monary-Ernsdorff as they join Steven and Alistair Hughes for a discussion of Hammer’s Vampire Lovers (1970) on Diecast Movie Podcast episode 125/Hammerama 7. Steve also conducts a very interesting interview of Whitney on episode 118.

Gruesome Magazine’s Decades of Horror: The Classic Era records a new episode every two weeks. Up next in their very flexible schedule is one chosen by guest host and special effects artist Dirk Rogers: Matango (Attack of the Mushroom People, 1963). Get ready for some body horror from Toho and Ishirô Honda!

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To each of you from each of them, “Thank you so much for listening!

Jeff Mohr
Jeff lives smack dab in the middle of the cornfields of Iowa and is a long-time horror fan. His first remembered encounters with the genre were The Wizard of Oz, Tarzan gorilla chases, and watching the first broadcast of The Twilight Zone episode, "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge." While he now qualifies as an old fart, he strives to be an Old Boy. Paraphrasing Robert Bloch, he has the heart of a small boy. He keeps it in a jar on his desk. Jeff has written for and SQ Horror Magazine. He currently writes for Gruesome Magazine and is a co-host of the Decades of Horror podcasts - The Classic Era, 1970s, and 1980s - and the Gruesome Magazine Podcast.