“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.IMDb
- Director: Arthur Crabtree
- Writers: Herman Cohen, Aben Kandel
- Selected Cast:
- Michael Gough as Edmond Bancroft
- June Cunningham as Joan Berkley
- Graham Curnow as Rick
- Shirley Anne Field as Angela Banks
- Geoffrey Keen as Superintendent Graham
- Gerald Andersen as Dr. Ballan
- John Warwick as Inspector Lodge
- Beatrice Varley as Aggie
- Austin Trevor as Commissioner Wayne
- Malou Pantera as Peggy
- Howard Greene as Tom Rivers
- Dorinda Stevens as Gail Dunlap
- Stuart Saunders as Strength-Test Barker
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 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LWgU1lJHB4k
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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