FRIDAY NIGHT FILMS for APRIL 2021
Fantasy, horror, and just plain weirdness rule the screen in April, starting with our 4/2 double feature of recent Blu-rays we hadn’t gotten around to seeing before, Chandu the Magician (1932) with Bela Lugosi, and The Ape (1940) with Boris Karloff. Lugosi plays the villainous Roxor in the Chandu picture, but he graduated to the hero for the sequel, Return of Chandu two years later. As for Karloff, he plays a mad scientist who pretends to be a monkey so he can kill people for the serum he needs in what is, if not his worst movie, definitely his stupidest. From Monogram, who else?
Other features this month: Allison “50-ft. Woman” Hayes in the 1957 Shock Theatre classic The Disembodied (April 9); our Uncanny Camera retrospective of 1962 horror, science-fiction, and fantasy films continues with Slaughter of the Vampires with Graziella Grantata (great name, sounds like a heavyweight boxer) on April 14 and Roger Corman’s The Premature Burial, the third of eight Edgar Allan Poe films he directed and the only one without Vincent Price, substituting Ray Milland instead (there’s a reason, but it’s complicated—drop us a line, we’ll pontificate about it). Anyway, that’s April 23. Back to Boris on April 30 with The Mummy (1932), just to show after giving you The Ape that he made great movies, too. Zita Johann co-stars.
A veritable cornucopia of cinematic treasures!
Also on the Program
Well, Betty Boop is our cartoon of choice; look for her in such classics as Admission Free and Stopping the Show. We continue to rotate through such entertaining educational shorts as Keep off the Grass, The Self Image Film, and Atomic Energy can be a Blessing. Our comedy featurettes come from the Hal Roach studio, 1931; this month we’ve got Thelma Todd & Zasu Pitts in War Mamas and On the Loose, Charley Chase in The Hasty Marriage, and Laurel & Hardy in Beau Hunks.
The BIG news is that we’re kicking off a new serial this month, Jungle Queen (1945), as Nazis search for a mystical artifact in Africa (that’s right, this is one of the serials that inspired Indiana Jones). Ruth Roman (she of Strangers on a Train) is the mysterious Jungle Goddess. Edward Norris and Eddie Quillan are the good guys in this 13 episode serial; chapter one, Invitation to Danger, will be presented on April 9.
To complement our serial, we’ve got some jungle movies coming up, including the return of Tarzan; a sword and sorcery epic from the early 1960s; Sherlock Holmes facing death yet again; and all kinds of good stuff.