Monday, October 5, 2009

Inner Sanctum Mysteries (1943-1945) - DVD Set


Starring Lon Chaney, Jr.
Directed by Reginald LeBorg, Harold Young, John Hoffman and Wallace Fox
From Universal Studios

This is a terrific little box set I picked up a while back, and while these films probably fly under the radar of most horror fans, I cannot recommend them enough.

Based on a series of suspense books published by Simon & Schuster in the 1930s, the "Inner Sanctum Mysteries" was a radio series in the 1940s. Monster mad studio Universal obtained the film rights and made them projects for studio darling Lon Chaney Jr.

As noted by another commentator, all of the "Inner Sanctum" films except for one started with an eerie shot of a crystal ball which spoke to the audience:

"This is the Inner Sanctum. A strange fantastic world controlled by a mass of living, pulsating flesh, the mind. It destroys, distorts, creates monsters, commits murder! Yes, even you without knowing can commit murder!"

The 6 films in this collection are as follows:

CALLING DR. DEATH (1943): Chaney stars as a hypnotist who believes he can murder just by thinking about it.

DEAD MAN'S EYES (1944): When a painter (Chaney) accidentally washes out his eyes with acid (don't ask!),he and his assistant (Acquanetta - yup, The Jungle Woman) are embroiled in a murder mystery.

WEIRD WOMAN (1944): Chaney, voodoo, witchcraft and spooky goings-on. It doesn't get any better than this creepy flick, monster kids!

THE FROZEN GHOST (1945): In this one, we are treated to our hero, a wax museum and a crazed sculptor.

STRANGE CONFESSION (1945): What's that in your bag, Santa?

PILLOW OF DEATH (1945): A sleepwalking Chaney, a killer and bodies in the basement! Eeeek!

Often dismissed as "B" flicks, which they may be in terms of budget, they more than make up for in performances, atmosphere and good old fashioned spooky fun!

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