A Trailer a Day Keeps the Boogeyman Away! Halloween A-Z


The Raven 1935

Dr. Vollin ‘Your monstrous ugliness breeds monstrous hatred. Good! I can use your hate.’

The Raven is a 1935 classical American horror film directed by Lew Landers, and it features two iconic horror actors, Bela Lugosi and Boris Karloff, in starring roles. This would be the second film that featured the pairing of both great horror stars after the success of The Black Cat. Along with its Gothic atmosphere and Poe-inspired storyline, it is a memorable entry in their respective filmographies. Read my feature on The Black Cat HERE:

Vollin ”Death is my talisman!

Dr. Richard Vollin (Bela Lugosi) is a brilliant but eccentric surgeon with a morbid fascination for Edgar Allan Poe’s works, particularly “The Raven.” Vollin is also known for his expertise in plastic surgery and a questionable reputation for performing radical procedures.

Judge Thatcher “I’ll pay you any amount of money, Dr. Vollin’’
Dr Vollin “Money means nothing to me.”
Judge Thatcher “But someone is dying! Your obligation as a member of the medical profession”
Vollin “I respect no such obligation. I am a law unto myself!’’
Thatcher “But you have no human feeling? My daughter is dying!’’
Vollin “Death hasn’t the same significance for me as it has for you.”

Lugosi as Dr. Richard Vollin is a complex character who is both brilliant and deeply disturbed. Lugosi’s portrayal captures the character’s descent into madness and obsession. Vollin’s fascination with Poe’s works is conveyed through Lugosi’s mesmerizing, sinister, and theatrical performance.

When a young woman named Jean Thatcher (Irene Ware) is critically injured in a car accident, her desperate father seeks out Dr. Vollin’s assistance to save her life. Vollin agrees to perform intricate neurosurgery, but his growing obsession with Jean veers off into a deadly obsession. As Vollin’s obsession with Jean Thatcher grows, Lugosi skillfully portrays the doctor’s psychological unraveling. His fixation on Jean is palpable, and Lugosi’s performance is marked by dramatic facial expressions and body language that highlight Vollin’s increasing mania. This doesn’t bode well for her father, Judge Thatcher {Samuel S. Hinds}, and her fiancé, Dr. Jerry Holden (Lester Matthews).

Meanwhile, Edmond Bateman (Boris Karloff), a criminal mastermind who seeks to change his appearance to evade the authorities, approaches Vollin for his surgical skills. Vollin agrees but insists that Bateman becomes his loyal servant in return. Edmond Bateman is a criminal mastermind who seeks to change his appearance through plastic surgery. Batman becomes a  victim of Dr. Vollin’s monstrous cruelty and becomes a sympathetic character despite his criminal past. Throughout the film, Bateman’s loyalty to Dr. Vollin is only through necessity, even as he undergoes a shocking transformation, horribly disfigured at the hands of Vollin’s knife, and depends on Vollin to restore his face.

A standout moment in the picture is when Lugosi peers through the door and watches Karloff with sadistic orgasmic glee as the poor man discovers the horrors that Vollin has inflicted on him,  as the image of his face in a myriad of mirrors stares back in fright. During the gallery of mirrors reveals, when Bateman yells “NO!” that is not Boris Karloff’s voice but a post-production dub-over.

Bateman ‘‘I’m saying, Doc, maybe because I look ugly… maybe if a man looks ugly, he does ugly things.’’
Vollin ‘‘You are saying something profound.”

As Vollin’s infatuation with Jean deepens and his madness takes a darker turn, he uses his surgical talents to transform Bateman into a grotesque visage resembling a raven, reminiscent of Poe’s poem. The doctor’s sinister plans culminate in a chilling and macabre climax, with Poe’s themes of obsession, madness, and revenge at the forefront as Lugosi employs his Poe recreations of the instruments of torture.

In the film’s denouement – it all gets wrapped up with Karloff’s twisted visage & sympathetic grotesqueness as he endeavors to end the deadly pendulum that comes a whisker away from Irene’s father getting sliced in half, as he shuts off the mechanism and saves his life. Lugosi shoots Karloff for rebelling and proceeds to trap his prisoners in a claustrophobic chamber with its walls triggered to close in and crush them. At this point, he is stark raving mad – as his maniacal amusement fills his gallery of torture. Yet Karloff takes his last breath and frees the prisoners, instead leaving Lugosi in the chamber to be milled instead.

Belu Lugosi and Boris Karloff’s performances in “The Raven” showcase their abilities to bring nuance and depth to their characters in the horror genre. Lugosi’s theatricality and intensity complement Karloff’s subtler and more sympathetic portrayal, resulting in a memorable and chilling cinematic experience. Their on-screen chemistry adds to the film’s enduring status as a classic of 1930s horror cinema.

For the B.B.F.C, The Raven was the final straw. The British film censors decided to withdraw any further horror movies from being shown in the U.K.

Return of the Vampire 1943

Return of the Vampire is a 1944 American horror film directed by Lew Landers. The movie features Bela Lugosi in a role reminiscent of his iconic portrayal of Dracula.

Set in London during World War II, the story revolves around the resurrection of a malevolent vampire named Armand Tesla (Bela Lugosi). Tesla had been destroyed by Professor Walter Saunders (Gilbert Emery) years earlier, but a bomb during an air raid accidentally uncovers his tomb, allowing him to return to life.

With the help of his loyal werewolf servant Andreas Obry (Matt Willis), Tesla resumes his reign of terror. He seeks revenge against those who thwarted him in the past and sets his sights on a young girl named Nicki Saunders (Nina Foch), the granddaughter of Professor Saunders.

Determined to stop Tesla once and for all, Professor Saunders enlists the assistance of a fellow scientist, Lady Jane Ainsley (Frieda Inescort), and a vampire expert, Sir Frederick Fleet (Miles Mander). Together, they confront the resurrected vampire and his supernatural powers in a battle between good and evil.

Rodan 1956

Rodan, also known as “Sora no Daikaijū Radon” in Japan, is a 1956 Japanese science fiction kaiju film directed by Ishirō Honda. The movie features one of Toho Studios’ iconic giant monsters and is a classic of the kaiju genre.

Synopsis: The story is set in the mining town of Kitamatsu, Japan, where a series of mysterious and deadly events begin to unfold. Miners are disappearing deep underground, and strange fossils are discovered in the depths of the mine.

As the investigation into these anomalies deepens, it becomes evident that a prehistoric creature, a monstrous pterosaur known as Rodan, has been awakened from its long slumber by underground nuclear testing. Rodan, with its supersonic flying ability and deadly strength, emerges as a catastrophic threat. As the military and scientists race to confront the colossal menace, Rodan’s destructive power becomes apparent. The creature’s rampage and aerial attacks on cities lead to widespread devastation and loss of life.

The Reptile 1966

The Reptile is a 1966 British horror film produced by Hammer Film Productions, with a folklorist and Gothic flair. The movie combines elements of Gothic horror and mystery directed by John Gilling and written by Anthony Hinds.

The story is set in the remote village of Clagmoor Heath in Cornwall, England. Newlyweds Harry Spalding (Ray Barrett) and his wife Valerie (Jennifer Daniel) move into a cottage previously owned by Harry’s late brother, Charles.

Strange and unsettling events begin to occur in the village, including a series of mysterious deaths. The local doctor, Dr. Franklyn (Noel Willman), is secretive about the cause of these deaths, and the villagers are filled with fear and suspicion.

As Harry and Valerie investigate the sinister occurrences, they discover that a deadly and supernatural secret haunts the village. A curse transforms one of the villagers into a reptilian creature, a half-human, half-snake entity, and this monstrous creature is responsible for the deaths.

The Spaldings must uncover the truth behind the curse and confront the malevolent force behind it before they too become victims of the reptilian terror that stalks Clagmoor Heath.

This is you EverLovin’ Joey Sayin’ Rrrrrrrgghhh!!! don’t look behind you, I think it’s the letter Ssssss!

It’s Saturday and the Anti-Damsel Blogathon 2015 is (HER)E!!!


It’s Saturday, day One of the Anti-Damsel Blogathon 2015! And Fritzi  of Movies Silently who will be taking over on Sunday… and I are SO knocked over by the amazing turn out! We’re glad to see you so raring to go just like those women who kicked down doors, crossed boundaries and forged a wholly unique path for themselves and other women who are empowered and inspiring and unrestrained to be gloriously-themselves.

So I’ll not wasted any further time with ‘cheap sentiment’ as Bette so effectively impresses upon us… and just get on with the show!

Saturday’s –Anti-Damsels

Movies Silently | Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Milton Sills: How Miss Lulu Bett Struck a Blow for the New Woman

Our host Fritzi chooses a ‘new’ kind of women Miss Lulu Bett who as she explains the wonderful Lulu and her story as “throwing off the gloomy shackles of Victorianism and making her own way in the modern world! And Lulu’s not so easy to bully!


The Last Drive In    Hedy Lamarr : from Ecstasy to Frequency- A Beautiful Life

A true legend, not just because she was considered the most beautiful woman in the world, but because of her enduring spirit to express her genius and the profound contributions she made to science!

Glamorous portrait of movie actress Hedy Lamarr wearing white fox fur short jacket.1938

The Motion Pictures | Ida Lupino: An Anti-Damsel On Screen and Off

Lindsey at The Motion Pictures pays tribute to one of the most versatile mavericks Ida Lupino. Actress, writer, director, producer. An Emmy-nominated actress and as Lindsey points out, the second woman ever to be admitted to Hollywood’s Director’s Guild. To look at her long impressive career & body of work is to behold a legend that took the reigns and made her life in the shape of Ida Lupino!


Mind of Levine | Profane Angel, Boss Bitch: The Madcap Badassery of Tragic Carole Lombard

The mind of Levine comes up with a title that makes me feel all warm inside because she conjures up a bold title that I can grab onto. As of late, I’ve been devouring every film I can on the incredible Carole Lombard, who tragically died in a plane crash. What would she have accomplished in a lifetime if she had survived?

She has a pantheon place here at The Last Drive In. Irreverent, hilarious, gorgeous, sublime, and one step ahead of her male leads. A comedic timing and genius that shook up a studio system that couldn’t handle her verve. Well just read this amazing contribution to the event in Stacy LeVine’s own words… Carole Lombard is forever a legend, and an Anti Damsel if there ever was one!


Nitrate Glow Hilda of Horus: Prince of the Sun (1968)

Nitrate Glow offers us a beautiful gem from 1968… directed by Isao Takahata. Hilda is the little songstress who was way before her time in terms of animation heroines. Nitrate Glow offers an incredibly eloquent and insightful look at a unique film!


Speakeasy | Cobra Woman (1944) Maria Montez as Tollea/Naja

Kristina’s offbeat & clever insight =Cobra Woman and it’s a hell of a choice. It’s got the good twin/bad twin paradigm and Maria Montez, a warrior woman in charge! Here’s just a tidbit of Kristina at Speakeasy’s perspicacity!

It is said that “no drug-soaked brain could dream up the horrors of Cobra Island,” ‘but this movie dreamed it up and brought it to vivid life. This is fantastic entertainment and pulpy comic book spectacle bursting at the seams with fantastic things:’

Fantastic things like Maria Montez and Anti Damsel for sure…I know what I’m watching later!


The Joy & Agony of Movies | Sue Ann (Tuesday Weld) in Pretty Poison (1968)

When you think of a woman who is less imperiled you think Jessica Walter as Evelyn Draper or as The Joy & Agony of Movies did, Tuesday Weld is spine-chilling as Sue Ann Stepanek, a pretty sociopath who lets nothing get in her way! She is the epitome of the ‘pretty bad girl’ It’s a great addition to the Anti Damsel Blogathon!


Tales of the Easily Distracted | Charade (1963) The tale of four men and the woman who loves him

Leave it to Dorian of Tales of the Easily Distracted to offer us a witty and apropos tribute to the Anti Damsel Audrey Hepburn as Regina Lampert in Charade (1963) Just because Hepburn exudes a delicate finery and elegance, she has always manifested a power that strikes out like a lioness! Charade is a wonderful romantic comedy that showcases why the versatile Audrey Hepburn is a legend!


Critica Retro | Tess Harding (Katharine Hepburn) in Woman of the Year

Crítica Retrô talks about one of the great Anti-Damsel legends Katherine Hepburn as Tess Harding the epitome of the strong & independent gal in Woman of the Year (1942).


The Hitless Wonder | Lady Jane Ainsley (Frieda Inescort) in The Return of the Vampire (1943)

Frieda Inescort plays Lady Jane Ainsely in The Return of the Vampire in 1943. Now it’s no small task to play it empowered alongside Bela Lugosi! Lady Jane Ainsley: “Your eyes look like burning coals. Don’t come any nearer. Don’t touch me.”

Serendipitous Anachronisms | Zira (Kim Hunter) in Planet of the Apes 1968


Serendipitous Anachronisms pays tribute to the great Kim Hunter and her memorable character as Dr. Zira in Planet of the Apes 1968. It’s a passionate piece about brave and brilliant women who command an entire civilization of men, oops I mean apes with her strong leadership style and wisdom… Couldn’t have an Anti-Damsel Blogathon without her!

shadowsandsatin | Blondie Johnson (1933) Joan Blondell

The prolific Karen has to say about our lovable Joan “downtrodden Depression-era woman who transforms her existence from bleak oppression to indisputable triumph. Using her wits, her nerve, and her determination” We couldn’t have an Anti Damsel party without inviting one of the most effervescent gals Joan Blondell!


Once Upon a Screen | Attack of the 50 Foot Woman  Allison Hayes

Who better than to pay tribute to an immensely empowered, and I do mean immense! 50 feet worth of empowered woman, than Aurora from Once Upon a Screen. Nancy Fowler Archer will remain indelibly in our secret voyeuristic yearnings to grow tall enough to kick the crap out of the finks who dare betray us!


Old Hollywood Films | Rachel Cooper (Lillian Gish) in Night of the Hunter

Old Hollywood Films does this Anti Damsel Blogathon proud to showcase one of the greatest legends, Lillian Gish brings to life one of the strongest, pure hearted gun totin’ characters Rachel Cooper in Charles Laughton’s Masterpiece Night of the Hunter (1955) And says… this is a gif that just keeps giving!!! Thanks, Old Hollywood Films for sharing this fabulist heroine!


Moon in Gemini | Vance Jeffords (Barbara Stanwyck) in The Furies

Moon in Gemini has also honored this grand bash with yet another legendary figure of empowered women-ness! We can’t neglect Barbara Stanwyck and this post will make all you Stanny fans happy with…

The Furies: The Anti-Damsel with a Daddy Fixation! I would have liked to take one of those Dr. Taylor classes. And as Debbie so aptly puts it- “Is there any character that Barbara Stanwyck played that COULDN’T be classified as an anti-damsel?”

I’d say no! it wasn’t possible for her to be non-empowered or in peril. She didn’t have those strong shoulders and that gritty voice for nothing. Even if Bogie was poisoning her milk, or she was bedridden or stalked by a dream lover or even a witness to a murder, she never quite seemed like a weak woman. Just a strong one in the wrong place at the right time. So dive in now to Moon in Gemini’s brilliant perspective on quite an interesting Stanwyck film!


bnoirdetour | Edie Johnson (Linda Darnell) in No Way Out 1950

BNoirDetour showcases the talent of Linda Darnell in this highly charged film of social criticism that explodes on the screen in No Way Out (1950)! As Edie Johnson is caught in the crossfire of racism, she’s got a lot of guts to rise above the chaos and come out kicking!


CineMaven’s Essays from the Couch | Carol Richman (Ella Raines) in Phantom Lady

When CineMaven’s Essays from the Couch writes that her heart skips a beat because of our Anti Damsel-themed Blogathon, I want to return the compliment and say how grateful both Fritzi and I are for the overwhelming response to this tribute to empowered women! And CineMaven, you couldn’t have picked someone better to cause pangs in my heart than the underrated Ella Raines in what I think is one of THE most incredibly intricate psychological film noirs Phantom Lady, with gutsy Carol (Ella) as our heroine!


Goregirl’s Dungeon | Anna Karina in the films of Jean-Luc Godard

You’ll never get anything but unique and mind-expanding insight from Goregirl’s Dungeon. I was sooo thrilled to have her join in and offer her take on an Anti Damsel. Read her fascinating overview of Anna Karina in the films of Jean -Luc Godard…


Sacred Celluloid | The Vampire Lovers (1970)

Nick Cardillo of Sacred Celluloid gives us a glimpse into Hammer’s heyday and the birth of the Gothic Anti Damsel female vampire archetype, as he covers Ingrid Pitt in The Vampire Lovers (1970)


Defiant Success | Deborah Kerr in From Here to Eternity 1953

Defiant Success has made this Anti Damsel Blogathon that much better for having covered Deborah Kerr as Karen Holmes a woman who speaks her mind in From Here To Eternity (1953) Kerr is the consummate anti damsel and she always wields that classy composure!


The Wonderful World of Cinema | Lola Delaney (Shirley Booth) in Come Back Little Sheba 1952

As Virginie from The Wonderful World of Cinema says- “Movie heroines are not always princesses waiting for a prince to rescue them, they are not always victims or damsels in distress. Female movie characters can be strong, they can have guts, determination, and many other wonderful qualities” Shirley Booth had a powerful stamina and warmth that couldn’t be extinguished. We’re so happy to have her as a part of our Anti-Damsel Blogathon!


Carole & Co. | Carole Lombard as producer and feminist

Carole & Co. devotes a journal to the groundbreaking versatility, beauty, and comedic genius of Carole Lombard. We’re so glad to have her join us for the Anti-Damsel Blogathon! Taken away from us too soon, journey through this insightful post and read about Lombard as a producer!


Karavansara | Emma Peel in The Avengers

Karavansara has done the honor of taking up my wish list and paying tribute to one of THE most iconic sexy and strong female role models of the 60s. I am with them. Diana Rigg & Emma Peel both left a huge impression on me growing up. And yes I couldn’t resist having one of my first crushes either… Read this well-written tribute to one of the finest examples of empowerment…! 

“Emma Peel, as portrayed by Dame Diana Rigg, is one of the icons of the 1960s, a sex symbol, and one of the earliest strong, empowered female leads in television entertainment.”


Mondo Heather | Marni Castle as Big Shim in She Mob 1968

Heather Drain of Mondo Heather explores the Uber mod & deviant world of the Cult & Exploitation 60s paying tribute to a pretty formidable Anti-Damsel Big Shim (Marni Castle) sporting a steel bra that could be registered as a lethal weapon. The film includes other divinely demented Anti Damsels’ as Heather writes- “Sweety East (Monique Duval), who is a Texan-fried, butt-crack rocking version of Honey West, things go from nutzoid to putting out fire with gasoline”

PS: You gotta love a reference to Honey West (Anne Francis) that sexy private eye with her groovy house ocelot Bruce!


wolffian classic movies digest | Joan Crawford as Mildred Pierce 1945

Naturally, we couldn’t do this empowering bash without spotlighting the great Joan Crawford. And Wolffian Classic Movies Digest does a wonderful job of reminding us why Crawford the Legend and Mildred Pierce the Anti Damsel are so timeless… Here’s a quote from their fabulous piece –“Joan Crawford starting out as the happy housewife breaks free of that mold becoming her own woman as She carries the movie on her Broad shoulders”

Yeah, Joan Crawford just spewed Anti Damsel!


Smitten Kitten Vintage | Bette Davis as Margo in All About Eve 1950

Smitten Kitten Vintage did one hell of a bang up job covering not only the incomparable Bette Davis but her iconic portrayal of Margo Channing in All About Eve 1950. The film that put her back on track in Hollywood! Read this insightful piece here. Because no Anti Damsel Blogathon would be complete without the legendary Bette ‘hold onto your seatbelts it’s gonna be a bumpy night’ Davis


Superfluous Film Commentary | Gene Tierney in The Ghost and Mrs. Muir

Superfluous Film Commentary shares the sublimely bold Gene Tierney as Lucy Muir, a steadfast widow who is fiercely independent and isn’t afraid of ghosts either! A beautiful film and a wonderful contribution to our Anti-Damsel bash! As they so eloquently put it Tierney is “positively radiant Gene Tierney, likewise fits the definition of empowered.”



I’ll think I’ll go get a banana split until we’re back with Fritzi on Sunday for more Empowered Lady Love!- Your everlovin’ MonsterGirl