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M (1931) – Episode 113 – Decades of Horror: The Classic Era

“That is a nice ball you have.” Creepy? Yes! Very creepy. Join this episode’s Grue-Crew – Whitney Collazo, Chad Hunt, Daphne Monary-Ernsdorff, and Jeff Mohr – as they take in what might well be the prototype serial killer film, Fritz Lang’s M (1931), starring Peter Lorre.

Decades of Horror: The Classic Era
Episode 113 – M (1931)

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When the police in a German city are unable to catch a child murderer, other criminals join in the manhunt.


Daphne is taken in by Fritz Arno Wagner’s beautiful cinematography and Peter Lorre’s mind-blowing performance. She is also intrigued with how Lang uses sound, emphasizing silence as much as sound. Certain elements of M, for instance, the pacing, make it hard for Whitney to get into the film. On the other hand, she enjoys Peter Lorre’s performance and is definitely creeped out by some scenes. M seems almost like two different movies to Chad. The pacing during the first half is not to his liking, but once everyone is on the trail of Peter Lorre’s character, he really got into it. And, of course, Peter Lorre for the win! Jeff loves M and could watch it just for the cinematography and Peter Lorre’s acting.

You know you want to check out or revisit M, right? At the time of this writing, it is available to stream from HBO max, the Criterion Channel, and Kanopy. M is also available on physical media as a Criterion Collection Blu-ray.

Gruesome Magazine’s Decades of Horror: The Classic Era records a new episode every two weeks. Up next on their very flexible schedule is one chosen by Daphne: Charles Laughton’s The Night of the Hunter (1955), starring Robert Mitchum, Lillian Gish, and Shelley Winters. You will not want to miss that one!

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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.