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Friday, April 25, 2014

DNDF: Ancient Ruins

Dearly Beloved, we are gathered here today to celebrate the marriage of Ancient and Ruins.  Ancient, do you take Ruins as your noun; to love, honor and cherish for as long as this article runs?  Ruins, do you take Ancient as your adjective; to love, honor and cherish for as long as I can milk this introduction?  Then by the power invested in me by The Divine Search Engine™ I pronounce you completed phrase.  You may now…

S P I N   T H E   W H E E L!


Anthropophagus (adjective; feeding on human flesh), released in the United Kingdom as Anthropophagous: The Beast and in the United States as Anthropophagus: The Grim Reaper (also known as Zombie 7: Grim Reaper), is a 1980 Italian horror film directed by Joe D'Amato and co-written by D'Amato and George Eastman, who also starred in the film.  Anthropophagous: The Beast was released in the United Kingdom in 1980 uncut by VFP.  It soon became one of the infamous titles to feature on the government's Department of Public Prosecutions list (DPP), better known to the tabloid press as the "Video Nasty" list.  It was later successfully prosecuted under the Obscene Publications Act in 1984.

Anthropophagus (1980)

  • Alternative Titles:
    • Man Beast 
    • The Savage Island
  • Genre: Horror 
  • Directed: Joe D'Amato
  • Produced:
    • Joe D'Amato 
    • George Eastman 
    • Edward L. Montoro 
    • Oscar Santaniello
  • Written:
    • Joe D'Amato 
    • George Eastman
  • Starring: Tisa Farrow, Saverio Vallone, Serena Grandi, Margaret Mazzantini, Mark Bodin, Bob Larson, Rubina Rey, Simone Baker, Mark Logan, George Eastman, Zora Kerova
  • Music: Marcello Giombini
  • Cinematography: Enrico Biribicchi
  • Editing: Ornella Micheli
  • Studio:
    • Filmirage 
    • Produzioni Cinematografiche Massaccesi
  • Distributed:
    • Cinedaf  
    • Film Ventures International  
    • Monterey Home Video  
    • Fries Entertainment
  • Rated: NR
  • Release Date:
    • 9 August 1980 (Italy) 
    • 9 October 1981 (US)
  • Running Time: 90 minutes
  • Country: Italy
  • Language:
    • Italian 
    • German

A pair of Germans visiting a remote Greek island go to the beach, and are slaughtered by someone who emerges from the ocean.  On the mainland, five travelers are preparing to tour the islands, and are joined by Julie, who asks for a ride to an island that some friends of hers live on.  The only one who objects to this detour to the island (which Julie explains has only a few permanent residents, and only sees tourists a few months out of the year) is Carol, whose tarot cards convince her that something bad will happen if they go to the island.  The group sails to the island anyway, and while disembarking the pregnant Maggie hurts her ankle, so she stays behind on the boat with its owner.  A man attacks the boat, ripping the sailor's head off, and abducting Maggie.

The others explore the island's town, discovering it in disarray, and abandoned with the exception of an elusive woman in black, who writes "Go Away" on a dusty window.  In a house, a rotting corpse which appears to have been cannibalized is uncovered, prompting everyone to rush back to the boat, which is adrift.  With no other options, the group goes to the house owned by Julie's friends, where they find the family's blind daughter, Henriette.  After wounding Daniel in a panic, Henriette is calmed down, and rants about there being a madman who smells of blood prowling the island.

To stop Daniel's wound from becoming infected, Andy and Arnold go into the town to search for antibiotics.  Carol walks in on Daniel flirting with Julie, and goes into hysterics, running off into the night.  Julie goes after Carol, but loses her, and meets up with Andy and Arnold.  Back at the house, the disfigured killer breaks in and rips Daniel's throat out, but leaves Henriette alone and flees as the others return.  In the morning, everyone treks through the island, and find a mansion belonging to Nikos Karamanlis.  Julie mentions that she read that Nikos, his wife, and their child are assumed dead, having been shipwrecked, a tragedy which caused Nikos's sister Irina to become unhinged.  Irina (the woman in black from earlier) watches the group enter the building, comforts the sleeping Carol, and hangs herself.

After waking Carol, Andy and Arnold look out a window, and see that the boat has drifted close to shore.  The two men go to secure the vessel, and Julie finds a partially destroyed journal among the objects in the mansion, and it reveals that the killer is Irina's brother, Nikos, and that the bodies of all of Nikos's victims are in a hidden room.  Andy and Arnold split up, and the latter reaches an abandoned church, where he finds Maggie, and is confronted by Nikos.  Nikos has a flashback that reveals he and his family were stranded in a raft after being shipwrecked, and that Nikos accidentally stabbed his wife while trying to convince her that they should eat the body of their dead son to survive.  Nikos then ate his wife and son's corpses, driving him insane.

Nikos regains his composure, stabs Arnold, and rips out and eats Maggie's unborn child.  At the mansion, Julie uncovers the room where Nikos's victims are, and skims another diary she finds in it.  Carol stumbles into the chamber, and drops dead from a slit throat.  Nikos then attacks Julie, who locks herself and Henriette in the attic after a short chase.  Nikos breaks through the ceiling and kills Rita, and is then knocked off the roof and into a well by Julie.  Nikos attacks Julie when she peers down the well, but she is saved when Andy appears and stabs Nikos in the stomach with a pickaxe, causing the cannibal's intestines to spill out.  As a last dying act, Nikos gnaws on his own innards.

Anthropophagus (1980)


Bloodtide (1982)

  • Original Title: Blood Tide
  • Genre: Horror 
  • Directed: Richard Jefferies
  • Produced:
    • Luigi Cingolani 
    • Donald Langdon 
    • Nico Mastorakis 
    • John D. Schofield 
    • Brian Trenchard-Smith
  • Written:
    • Richard Jefferies 
    • Nico Mastorakis
  • Starring: James Earl Jones, José Ferrer, Lila Kedrova, Mary Louise Weller, Martin Kove, Lydia Cornell, Deborah Shelton, Sofia Seirli, Despina Tomazani, Rania Photiou, Spyros Papafrantzis, Irini Tripkou, Annabel Schofield
  • Music: Jerry Mosely
  • Cinematography: Aris Stavrou
  • Editing:
    • Michael Bloecher 
    • Alberto Valenzuela
  • Studio:
    • Connaught International 
    • Athon
  • Distributed:
    • 21st Century Film Corporation  
    • Cinema Group Home Video 
    • Continental Video 
    • Direct Source  
    • Planet Video
  • Rated:
  • Release Date: September 1982 (US)
  • Running Time: 82 minutes
  • Country:
    • United Kingdom 
    • Greece
  • Language: English

Originally released in 1982 and also known by the names Demon Island and Bloodtide, Blood Tide has some heavy casting, with both James Earl Jones and the venerable Jose Ferrer contributing performances to what amounts to a relatively bloodless and not too scary contribution to underwater horror.  Blood Tide is one of those films with some really good ideas but lackluster execution.

Writers Richard Jefferies (his debut film) and Nico Mastorakis (a Greek filmmaker and radio producer) tap into elements of Lovecraft, exploring the nature of how myth evolves from humanity’s most primitive fears, which are often based on the truth.  However, Jefferies as a director instead elects to focus on the lackluster, working the script much too slowly and delving into melodrama and long sequences that add up to little.  As a result, Blood Tide is difficult to sit through, but once experienced, the concepts are strong enough to leave most viewers satisfied.

The story centers on recently married couple Neil (Martin Kove, best known for his turn as the Cobra Kai karate instructor in the Karate Kid franchise) and Sherry Grice, who rent a yacht and travel to Greece as both a honeymoon and to search for Neil’s sister, Madeline.  The couple meets with some suspicious villagers, including the mayor, all of whom say that they have never seen Madeline and that perhaps the couple should search elsewhere.

However, it turns out the Madeline is on the island.  An artist, Madeline has found sanctuary in a monastery of nuns.  Inside, she has been working on an obscure painting, which she has discovered consists of several layers, each older than the previous.  These layers show a de-evolution from Christianity to Greek myth to perhaps something that is much, much older.

That something turns out to be a hideous creature that during ancient times was placated by sacrificing young virgins to it.  This creature apparently served to inspire various myths throughout the centuries, going so far as even serving as King George’s dragon.  Entombed for centuries in an underwater sepulcher, the creature has itself become a myth, although local children continue to reenact the ritual of sacrifice as a form of play.

Unfortunately, a local treasure hunter Frye discovers the underwater tomb.  With the help of explosives (while looking for more gold), Frye sets the creature free.  When the creature kills Frye’s love, Frye (who often recites lines from Othello) vows to destroy the monster once and for all.  But he cannot do it alone.

Blood Tide (1982)

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CC: The Continuing Adventures of Randolph Carter

Randolph Carter is a recurring protagonist in H. P. Lovecraft's fiction and—presumably—a disguised alter ego of Lovecraft himself.  He first appears in "The Statement of Randolph Carter" (1919), a short story based on one of Lovecraft's dreams.
Carter shares many of Lovecraft's personal traits: He is an uncelebrated author, whose writings are seldom noticed. A melancholy figure, Carter is a quiet contemplative dreamer with a sensitive disposition, prone to fainting during times of emotional stress.  But he can also be courageous, with enough strength of mind and character to face and foil the horrific creatures of the Dreamlands.
Lovecraft's character may have been based on a real-life Randolph Carter, who was a Scholar at Christ's College, in the University of Cambridge, from 1892-1895.  Carter took his Part I Tripos2 in Oriental Studies (Arabic), and his Part II in Egyptology.  While at Cambridge, he was an acquaintance of Sir James George Frazer, author of The Golden Bough.  Carter's whereabouts after Cambridge are unclear, but, like his fictional namesake, he may have used the French Foreign Legion as a route into exploring the North African deserts.  College records do not indicate whether Lovecraft was a US or British citizen.

The Dream Cycle:

The Dream Cycle refers to a series of stories by author H. P. Lovecraft.  These stories concern themselves with "The Dreamlands," a vast, alternate dimension that can be entered via dreams.

Geography

The Dreamlands are apparently divided into four regions:
  • The West contains the Steps of Deeper Slumber and Enchanted Wood by which many enter the Dreamlands. Other points of interest include the port of Dylath-Leen, the Dreamlands' largest city; the town of Ulthar "where no man may kill a cat," the coastal jungle city of Hlanith, and the desert trading capital Illarnek.  Here, too, lies the land of Mnar whose gray stones are etched with signs and where rise the ruins of the great Sarnath.
  • The South, home of the isle of Oriab and the areas known as the Fantastic Realms;
  • The East, home of Celephaïs, a city dreamt into being by its monarch Kuranes, greatest of all recorded dreamers, and the dangerous Forbidden Lands;
  • The North, location of the feared Plateau of Leng, home of man-eating spiders and the satyr-like "Men of Leng".
Other locales include the Underworld, a subterranean region underneath the Dreamlands inhabited by various monsters; the Moon, accessible via a ship and inhabited by toad-like "moon-beasts" allied with Nyarlathotep1; and Kadath, a huge castle atop a mountain and the domain of the "Great Ones".
The third novel in the Johannes Cabal series by Jonathan L. Howard, Johannes Cabal: The Fear Institute takes place primarily in The Dreamlands.  Cabal, a scientist and necromancer, is hired by a group, the Fear Institute, to go on an expedition into the Dreamlands to capture the Phobic Animus, the embodiment of fear.  The group travels to Arkham and using the Silver Key enter the Dreamlands where they travel through The Enchanted Forest, Hlanith, Oriab, etc., and encounter Nyarlathotep1.

The Statement of Randolph Carter

"The Statement of Randolph Carter" is a short story by H. P. Lovecraft.  Written in December 1919, it was first published in The Vagrant, May 1920.  It tells of a traumatic event in the life of Randolph Carter, a student of the occult loosely representing Lovecraft himself.  It is the first story in which Carter appears and is part of Lovecraft's Dream Cycle.  Lovecraft based the story on a dream that he transcribed, adding only a preamble to make it more fluid as a narrative, and wrote it in the form of a testimony given to the police.  An account of the actual dream Lovecraft had can be found in one of his letters to August Derleth.
"The Statement of Randolph Carter" is the first person, apparently verbatim, testimony of the titular character, who has been found wandering through swampland in an amnesiac shock.  In his statement, Carter attempts to explain the disappearance of his companion, the occultist Harley Warren.
Warren has come into the possession of a book written in an unknown language that he forbids Carter from seeing. Carter mentions that Warren has other "strange, rare books on forbidden subjects", several of which are in Arabic.
From his mysterious book, Warren apparently deduces that doors or stairways exist between the surface world and the underworld through which demons may travel.  He encourages Carter to travel with him to the location of one such portal, an ancient graveyard near Big Cypress Swamp.  Upon arriving, Warren locates a particular tomb and opens it to reveal a staircase that descends into the earth.  Taking a lantern, he leaves Carter on the surface and follows the stairs into the darkness, communicating with his companion by a telephone wire.
After several minutes of silence, Warren suddenly begins to make vague, panicked outbursts that culminate in a desperate plea for Carter to flee.  Finally, after Warren is silent for several minutes, Carter calls to him down the line, only to hear a voice telling him that Warren is dead.



Kammaren (2007)

  • Genre: Drama – Horror
  • Directed: Robert P. Olsson
  • Produced:
    • Ulf Norström 
    • Robert P. Olsson 
    • Roland Olsson 
    • Ulla Olsson
  • Written:
    • H.P. Lovecraft (Inspiration) 
    • Björn-Erik Karlsson (Screenplay) 
    • Robert P. Olsson (Screenplay)
  • Starring: Robert P. Olsson, Johan Eriksson, Glenn Johansson, Kaj Stenberg, Sigvard Strömberg, Rolf Bylund, Margit Eklund, Olof S. Larsson, Joakim Bengtsson
  • Music: Jimi Vix
  • Cinematography: Kristoffer Andrén
  • Editing: Kristoffer Andrén
  • Studio: Big Belly Film
  • Distributed: Big Belly Film
  • Big Belly Film
  • Rated: NR
  • Release Date:
    • 4 May 2007 (Sweden) 
    • 6 October 2007 (US)
  • Running Time: Unknown
  • Country: Sweden
  • Language: Swedish
Tore Forsman is an old man, most people would call strange or even mad.  He lives in an old house on the country side.  All his life he has kept something locked and sealed under his house.  When he suddenly dies a relative, Adam, makes a trip to late Tore’s cabin.  Adam has two friends with him, Björn and Jens.  The spirit of Tore is somewhere to be found and that's a good thing, 'cause something is still waiting.

Kammaren (2007)




13:de mars 1941 (2004)

  • Genre: Drama – Horror
  • Directed: Robert P. Olsson
  • Produced: Robert P. Olsson
  • Written:
    • H.P. Lovecraft (Inspiration) 
    • Björn-Erik Karlsson (Screenplay) 
    • Robert P. Olsson (Screenplay)
  • Starring: Robert Johansson, Robert P. Olsson
  • Music: Johan Strende
  • Cinematography: Kristoffer Andrén
  • Editing:
    • Ulf Norström 
    • Robert P. Olsson
  • Studio: Big Belly Film
  • Distributed: Big Belly Film
  • Rated: NR
  • Release Date:
    • 12 September 2004 (Sweden)
    • 7 October 2005 (US)
  • Running Time: 5 minutes
  • Country: Sweden
  • Language: Swedish


The year is 1941.  Two Investigators are doing research on an old well.  One of the gentlemen climbs down the hole and then they communicate through a military phone.  But something is strange, the place, the hole, and then the phone...



Notes:

1.  Nyarlathotep is a name used for various characters in the works of H. P. Lovecraft and other writers.  The character is commonly known in association with its role as a malign deity in the Cthulhu Mythos fictional universe, where it is known as the Crawling Chaos.  First appearing in Lovecraft's 1920 prose poem of the same name, he was later mentioned in other works by Lovecraft and by other writers and in the tabletop roleplaying games making use of the Cthulhu Mythos.  Later writers describe him as one of the Outer Gods.  Although the deity's name is fictional, it bears the historical Egyptian suffix -hotep, meaning "peace" or "satisfaction."
2.  The University of Cambridge, England, divides the different kinds of honors bachelor's degree by Tripos.  The word has an obscure etymology, but may be traced to the three-legged stool candidates once used to sit on when taking oral examinations (confer tripod).  An apocryphal legend says that students used to receive one leg of a stool in each of their three years of exams, receiving the whole stool at graduation.  Another tradition holds that the name derives from the three brackets printed on the back of the voucher.

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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

WTFW: Werewolf (1996)

Werewolf (also known as Arizona Werewolf) is a 1996 direct-to-video horror film that was lampooned in a 1998 episode of movie-mocking television comedy series Mystery Science Theater 3000.  It is noteworthy for having been mocked on MST3K only two years after its release, and was also the most recent film to be featured on the series until Future War would be featured the following season.  Mike and the bots joked about the film's incredibly poor sound editing and special effects, with the titular monster appearing to be "simply a wolf, other times a kind of man-bear, other times a sort of fruit bat puppet, and at still other times, just a guy with the mumps overdue for a shave." - and the thick accents of its leading actors ("Paul! You is a waerwelf!").

Werewolf (1995)

  • Genre: Horror 
  • Directed: Tony Zarindast
  • Produced:
    • Mark Fitzgerald 
    • Nahid Heusser 
    • Mike Morgan 
    • Tony Zarindast 
  • Written:
    • Brad Hornbacher 
    • Tony Zarindast
  • Starring: Jorge Rivero, Richard Lynch, Federico Cavalli, Adrianna Miles, Joe Estevez, Jules Desjarlais, R.C. Bates, Tony Zarindast, Randall Oliver, Heidi Bjorn
  • Music: Keith Bilderbeck
  • Cinematography:
    • Dan Gilman 
    • Robert Hayes
  • Editing: Peter Taylor
  • Studio: Tozart Publishing Inc.
  • Distributed:
    • A-Pix Entertainment 
    • Ardustry Home Entertainment  
    • Simitar Entertainment 
    • Spentzos Film Home Video  
    • West Video
  • Rated:
  • Release Date: 21 January 1996 (US)
  • Running Time: 99 minutes
  • Country: United States
  • Language: English

Archaeologists working in Arizona find a werewolf skeleton.  The ill-tempered foreman, Yuri gets into a fight with his crew, Tommy, Joel, and Bill.  In the course of the fight, Tommy is scratched by the werewolf skeleton.  This greatly alarms his fellow diggers, especially Joel.  The head archaeologist, Noel, details what he knows of werewolf behavior, which he bases on American Indian mythology.  Here the werewolf, or yetiglanchi1 takes on strange behavior including "sleeping nose to anus."

Tommy is taken to the hospital, where he begins showing signs of lycanthropy, finally turning into a werewolf and attacking people.  Joel and Bill arm themselves with shotguns and silver bullets and succeed in subduing Tommy.

The scene now shifts to a house in suburban Flagstaff.  A writer named Paul Niles arrives.  At a party, he is introduced to one of the archaeologists, Natalie Burke and takes a romantic interest in her.  Yuri is jealous and behaves badly - he is expelled from the party by his boss Noel.  Yuri, (who is known for his drastically changing hairstyles) walks to the laboratory and conspires to create a new werewolf: he drugs a security guard (played by director Tony Zarindast) and injects him with blood drawn from Tommy.  A new werewolf is indeed created, but the werewolf makes the unfortunate choice of driving itself home, and it suddenly crashes into some oil drums (Inexplicably placed in the middle of the road) and dies in the ensuing fire.

The following day, Paul visits the lab at Natalie's invitation.  He gets into a fight with Yuri, who attacks him with the werewolf skull.  Paul is scratched by the skull, and now it is his turn to start showing symptoms of lycanthropy.  He starts attacking people at night, but remembers little of it.  Finally, Natalie and Yuri spy him changing.  Yuri plots to capture Paul and take him to the lab, Natalie tries to help him.  In a murky chase sequence, Paul, in werewolf form, kills Yuri.  He and Natalie (now a werewolf, herself, with no explanation as to how she became one although the trailer of the film hints at a sex scene not shown in the film) reunite at the end of the movie.

Several scenes from Werewolf were shot on the campus of Glendale Community College in Glendale, California. The lab scenes took place in the old Physical Science building before it was refurbished in the early 2000s.  The footbridge that crosses Verdugo Road, in front of the College, is seen in several nighttime shots.

Werewolf (DTV 1996)

 

Notes:

1.  In some Native American legends, a skin-walker is a person with the supernatural ability to turn into any animal he or she desires.  To be able to transform, legend sometimes requires that the skin-walker wears a pelt of the animal.  In most cases, this pelt is not used in modern times because it is an obvious sign of them being skin-walkers.  Similar lore can be found in cultures throughout the world and is often referred to as shapeshifting by anthropologists.

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Monday, April 21, 2014

ICFIFC: Timerider: The Adventure of Lyle Swann (1982)

Timerider: The Adventure of Lyle Swann is a 1982 time travel-influenced action film starring Fred Ward as Lyle Swann, a cross country dirt bike racer.  The movie was scored, produced and co-written (with director William Dear) by Michael Nesmith.

Robert Michael Nesmith (born December 30, 1942) is an American musician, songwriter, actor, producer, novelist, businessman, and philanthropist, best known as a member of the rock band The Monkees and co-star of The Monkees TV series (1966–1968).  Nesmith is a songwriter, including "Different Drum" (sung by Linda Ronstadt with the Stone Poneys), and executive producer of the cult film Repo Man (1984).  He also is credited with creating the genre of the music video.  In 1981, Nesmith won the first Grammy Award given for Video of the Year for his hour-long television show, Elephant Parts1.

Timerider: The Adventure of Lyle Swann (1982)

  • Genre: Action – Adventure – Sci -Fi
  • Directed: William Dear
  • Produced:
    • Harry Gittes 
    • Lester Berman 
    • Michael Nesmith
  • Written:
    • William Dear 
    • Michael Nesmith
  • Starring: Fred Ward, Belinda Bauer, Peter Coyote, Richard Masur, Tracey Walter, Ed Lauter, L.Q. Jones, Chris Mulkey, Macon McCalman, Jonathan Bahnks, Laurie O'Brien
  • Music: Michael Nesmith
  • Cinematography: Larry Pizer
  • Editing:
    • R.J. Kizer 
    • Suzanne Pettit 
    • Kim Secrist
  • Studio: Zoomo Productions
  • Distributed:
    • Jensen Farley Pictures  
    • Citadel Films  
    • Anchor Bay Entertainment  
    • Anchor Bay Entertainment  
    • H.R.S. Funai Co. Ltd.  
    • Shout! Factory
  • Rated:
  • Release Date: 11 December 1982 (US)
  • Running Time: 94 minutes
  • Country: United States
  • Language: English

Lyle Swann (Fred Ward) is a well-known dirt bike motorcycle racer who is in the desert competing in the Baja 1000, a multiclass vehicle cross-country race.  Swann has a reputation for being a great rider but is plagued by technical problems from the high-tech gadgetry he incorporates into his C and J framed XT500 Yamaha.  When Swann accidentally goes far off course, he stumbles across a time travel experiment that utilizes "maser velocity acceleration" to send objects (in this case, a simian subject by the name of Ester G) back in time.

Swann rides through the field and gets sent back to November 5, 1875.  The scientists in charge of the experiment soon realize what has happened, but Swann rides off, unaware of what has happened to him, before he can be returned to the present.  While taking a swim break in a local spring, he runs into a gang of outlaws led by Porter Reese.  Reese becomes obsessed with stealing Swann's motorcycle, and the outlaws pursue Swann into the small village of San Marcos, but his red suit and dirt bike scare the local Mexicans, who think he is the Devil. There, he meets a beautiful woman, Claire Cygne, who gives him a safe place to hide and severely wounds one of Reese's men.  The village priest compels them to withdraw, but Reese continues to plot the capture of Swann's dirt bike.  In the village, Swann is seduced by Claire and sleeps with her, but she is later kidnapped by Reese's gang as revenge for her shooting and wounding one of them.  They also manage to capture the dirt bike, leading to a series of hijinks, while Swann gets help from a posse trying to capture or kill the gang.  Swann manages to retrieve his dirt bike and rescue Claire, but the posse's leader is killed, and another is mortally wounded and dies later.

In a final showdown, Reese's band of outlaws faces Swann, the last survivor of the posse, and Claire atop a plateau.  When a helicopter shows up (sent by the builders of the time travel experiment) to take Swann home, Reese's men run away in fear, but Reese stays behind and fires at the helicopter, killing one of the pilots.  The helicopter begins spinning wildly as the surviving pilot tries to maintain control, knocking the dirt bike off the side of the plateau.  Reese is killed by the helicopter's tail rotor.  The helicopter manages to land on the plateau and extract Swann.  Just as the helicopter pulls away, Claire snatches a pendant from Swann's neck that was handed down from his great-great-grandmother, who had stolen it from his great-great grandfather as a reminder of "one incredible night they had together."  Swann realizes that he is his own great-great-grandfather2.

The off-screen dialogue heard over the opening credits explains the time travel experiment as having the goal of sending a Rhesus monkey to the year 1862 (according to the inscription on the canister containing the monkey which Swann reads aloud, the experiment begins on November 4, 1982).  After Swann stumbles into the experiment, the scientists in charge of the experiment determine that Swann and the monkey were sent to about "1875," then later pinpoint the date as being November 5, 1877.  The screenplay's "time travel arrival day" of November 5 had first appeared in 1979's Time After Time; and was also the "time travel arrival day" in a later film, 1985's Back to the Future.

In addition to the grandfather paradox3 and the predestination paradox4 presented in the film, the necklace that Claire takes from Lyle presents an ontological paradox (i.e., an object with no creation point and continually in the time-loop), similar to the pocket watch in the 1980 time-travel film Somewhere in Time.  These paradoxes were highlighted in the 2004 South Park episode "Goobacks," where various time-traveling techniques in movies are compared.

Timerider (1982)

 

Notes:

1.  Elephant Parts is a collection of comedy and music videos made in 1981 by Michael Nesmith, former member of the Monkees.  Nesmith produced the video through his company Pacific Arts, using money he inherited from his mother, the inventor of Liquid Paper.  Elephant Parts is one hour long and features five full length music videos, including the popular songs "Rio", and "Cruisin'", which featured wrestler Steve Strong and Monterey-based comic "Chicago" Steve Barkley.

2.  The bootstrap paradox, or ontological paradox, is a paradox of time travel in which information or objects can exist without having been created.  After information or an object is sent back in time, it is recovered in the present and becomes the very object or information that was initially brought back in time in the first place.  Numerous science fiction stories are based on this paradox, which has also been the subject of serious physics articles.  The term "bootstrap paradox" refers to the expression "pulling yourself up by your bootstraps"; the use of the term for the time-travel paradox was popularized by Robert A. Heinlein's story By His Bootstraps.

3.  The grandfather paradox is a proposed paradox of time travel first described by the science fiction writer René Barjavel in his 1943 book Le Voyageur Imprudent (Future Times Three).  The paradox is described as follows: the time traveller went back in time to the time when his grandfather had not married yet and killed him.  As a result, the time traveller was never born when he was meant to be.  If he was never born, then he is unable to travel through time and kill his grandfather, which means the traveller would be born after all, and so on.

4.  A predestination paradox (also called causal loop, causality loop, and, less frequently, closed loop or closed time loop) is a paradox of time travel that is often used as a convention in science fiction.  It exists when a time traveler is caught in a loop of events that "predestines" or "predates" him or her to travel back in time.  Because of the possibility of influencing the past while time traveling, one way of explaining why history does not change is by saying that whatever has happened must happen.  This means either that time travelers attempts to alter the past in this model, intentionally or not, would only fulfill their role in creating history as we know it and not change it or that time-travelers' personal knowledge of history already includes their future travels in their own experience of the past (for the Novikov self-consistency principle).

 

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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

YDK: Rondo Hatton

Rondo Hatton (April 22, 1894 – February 2, 1946) was an American actor who had a brief but prolific career playing thuggish bit parts in many Hollywood B-movies.  He was known for his brutish facial features which were the result of acromegaly1, a disorder of the pituitary gland.

Hatton was born Rondo K. Hatton in Hagerstown, Maryland to Stewart Price and Emily Zarring Hatton, a pair of Missouri-born teachers.  The Hatton family moved several times during Rondo's youth, to Hickory, North Carolina, and to Charles Town, West Virginia, and at last to Tampa, Florida, where family members owned a business. Following his father's death, Hatton, his mother, and his younger brother Stewart moved in with his maternal grandmother in Tampa.  There he obtained work as a sportswriter for the local newspaper.  He worked as a journalist until after World War I when the symptoms of acromegaly developed.

Acromegaly distorted the shape of Hatton's head, face, and extremities in a gradual but consistent process. Hatton, who reportedly had been voted the handsomest boy in his class at Hillsborough High School, eventually became severely disfigured by the disease.  Because the symptoms developed in adulthood (as is common with the disorder), the disfigurement was incorrectly attributed later by film studio publicity departments to his exposure to a German mustard gas attack during service in World War I.  Hatton served in combat and served on the Mexican border and in France with the United States Army.

Director Henry King noticed Hatton when he was working as a reporter with The Tampa Tribune covering the filming of Hell Harbor (1930) and hired him for a small role.  After some hesitation, Hatton moved to Hollywood in 1936 to pursue a career playing similar, often uncredited, bit roles.  His most notable of these were as a contestant in the "ugly man competition" (which he loses to a heavily made up Charles Laughton) in the 1939 RKO production of “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” and as Gabe Hart, a member of the lynch mob in the 1943 film of “The Ox-Bow Incident”.

Universal Studios attempted to exploit Hatton's unusual features to promote him as a horror star after he played the part of The Hoxton Creeper (aka The Hoxton Horror) in its sixth Sherlock Holmes film, “The Pearl of Death” (1944). He made a half dozen minor films playing variations of the Creeper character, including “The Brute Man” (1946). Hatton died of a heart attack (a direct result of his acromegalic condition) in 1946.

Hatton's name - and simple but brutish face - have become recurring motifs in popular culture.  In season 6, episode 4 of the 1970s television series, The Rockford Files ("Only Rock-n-Roll Will Never Die, part 1"), Jim Rockford, exasperated at a friend who dismisses himself as unattractive, exclaims "You're no Rondo Hatton!" Hatton's physical likeness appears as the Lothar character in Dave Stevens' 1980s Rocketeer Adventure Magazine stories, as well as Disney's 1991 film version, The Rocketeer, where the character is played by actor Tiny Ron in prosthetic make-up.

The 2000 AD comic book character Judge Dredd, who is rarely seen without his helmet on, used "face-changing technology" to make himself look like Rondo Hatton in a 1977 issue - the first time the character's face was shown.  As the artist Brian Bolland revealed in an interview with David Bishop: "The picture of Dredd’s face – that was a 1940s actor called Rondo Hatton.  I've only seen him in one film."  Additionally, the character "The Creep" in the Dark Horse Presents comic-book series strongly resembled Hatton.

Hatton is regularly name-checked in the novels of Robert Rankin, (often referred to as "the now-legendary Rondo Hatton") and credited as appearing in films which are either fictional, or which he clearly had no part in, such as the “Carry On”2 films.  Rankin's references to Hatton routinely occur in the form of "he had a Rondo Hatton" (hat on).  Another namecheck occurs in Rafi Zabor's PEN/Faulkner-award winning 1998 novel The Bear Comes Home, where the name is used as a nickname for good-natured but unrefined minor character Tommy Talmo.  In the 2004 Stephen King novel, The Dark Tower VII, a character is described as looking "like Rondo Hatton, a film actor from the 30's, who suffered from acromegaly and got work playing monsters and psychopaths..."  The episode of Doctor Who entitled "The Wedding of River Song" features Mark Gatiss as a character whose appearance (achieved through prosthetics) is based on Hatton's, credited under the pseudonym "Rondo Haxton" for his performance.

The play with music entitled The Return of Dr. X written by Welsh playwright Chris Amos contains a dedication to Rondo Hatton and the story (of a horror star named Gabriel Haydon) is loosely based on the life of Rondo Hatton. The show has been produced in several UK regional theatres and was nominated for the Cameron MackIntosh Award in 2000.

The Rondo Hatton Classic Horror Awards were created by David Colton and Kerry Gammill at the Classic Horror Film Boards in 2002.  The awards are fan-based, and have no connection to any commercial sponsor.  Anyone in fandom can vote or propose nominees.  The 'Rondo' award itself features a bust sculpted by illustrator Kerry Gammill, and cast by modelers Tim Lindsey and Byron Salisbury.  The statuette is a miniature version of the bust of Hatton seen in the Universal film, HOUSE OF HORRORS (1946).  The Rondos have been praised by recipients for their quiet beauty and evocation of classic horror.

Nominees for the Rondo are selected from suggestions by horror fans, pros and enthusiasts offered all year at the CHFB. Each year's nominees are finalized by classic horror fan David Colton, with the help of more than 20 classic horror fans from around the world, and with expertise in all parts of fandom.

 

The Films You Might Know Him From:

The Captive Wild Woman trilogy ("Captive Wild Woman", "Jungle Woman" and "The Jungle Captive") is the story of what happens when scientists try to transform Cheela the ape into a beautiful woman, named Paula Dupree.  The story of converting animals to humans is not new. H.G. Wells wrote "The Island of Dr. Moreau" which was first filmed as "The Island of Lost Souls" in 1933.  Apes and gorillas have often been used as killers, under the spell of evil men and mad doctors in many movies.  In 1943, Bela Lugosi starred as "The Ape Man" for Monogram Pictures, a half man-half ape creature.  In 1942 Paramount released "Dr. Renault's Secret" starring J. Carrol Naish as an ape turned into a man.

But it was Universal, looking to add a new monster to it's already crowded roster of classic monsters, that came up with the idea of a female ape woman; one transformed from a female ape into a beautiful woman who would revert to a creature with makeup similar to that of Lon Chaney's Wolf Man.  Jack Pierce created both makeups. Acquanetta (born Mildred Davenport) won the role of the exotic looking Paula Dupree and portrayed the character in the first two films.  She left Universal before the third film was made so Vicky Lane was chosen as her replacement.

The three Ape Woman films were grade "B" chillers with the first one being the best.  Stock footage of Clyde Beatty from a previous film, "The Big Cage" was used.  Milburn Stone was chosen as the star, a lion tamer named Fred Mason, because of his resemblance to Clyde Beatty.  The second film, "Jungle Woman" used flashbacks from the first film to continue the story with Dr. Fletcher (played by J. Carrol Naish), accused of murdering Paula Dupree, who was not quite dead after being shot in the first film, and he revived her.  When Paula attempts to kill his daughter, Fletcher must put an end to the ape woman's life.  One interesting aspect of "Jungle Woman" is when Fred Mason reveals to Dr. Fletcher that the natives believed that there was a doctor who experimented with turning humans into animals and Cheela was a result of such an experiment.  That would make Paula Dupree a human who was turned into an ape and then back to a human again, who when she became upset or jealous, turned into an "ape woman" (or "gorilla girl" as she was called on the posters to "Captive Wild Woman."

The third film finds another scientist trying to bring the ape woman back to life with the help of Moloch the brute (played by Rondo Hatton).  All three films only last about an hour and so are fast paced and are guilty pleasures among many horror film fans.

The Jungle Captive (1945)

  • Genre: Horror 
  • Directed: Harold Young
  • Produced: Morgan Cox
  • Written:
    • Dwight V. Babcock 
    • M. Coates Webster
  • Starring: Otto Kruger, Vicky Lane, Amelita Ward, Phil Brown, Jerome Cowan, Rondo Hatton, Eddie Acuff, Ernie Adams, Charles Wagenheim
  • Music: Paul Sawtell
  • Cinematography: Maury Gertsman
  • Editing: Fred R. Feitshans Jr.
  • Studio: Universal Pictures
  • Distributed:
    • Universal Pictures 
    • Realart Pictures Inc.  
    • Screen Gems 
    • MCA/Universal Home Video
  • Rated: NR
  • Release Date: 29 June 1945 (US)
  • Running Time: 63 minutes
  • Country: United States
  • Language: English

Dr. Stendahl, a biochemist, performs a series of reanimation experiments on rabbits using electronic charges and blood transfusions.  Much to the amazement of his secretary, Ann Forrester, and medical student, Don Young, Stendahl is finally able to restore life to a once-deceased animal.  That night, Moloch, a deformed brute, arrives at the city morgue with a note requesting the release of Paula Dupree's body, a hybrid creature better known as The Ape Woman.  When Fred, the attendant, states that he must call the police first, Moloch strangles him, then steals the body and a morgue ambulance.  After placing Paula's body in his wagon, Moloch drives the stolen vehicle off a cliff and heads off to an isolated country house. 

The next day, police inspector W. L. Harrigan of the homicide squad visits Stendahl's medical office, as a surgical smock was found near the crash scene and laundry marks indicate that it belonged to Don.  Harrigan questions the medical student about his whereabouts that evening, but the newly engaged Don and Ann state that they were together all night.  Later, Stendahl asks Ann to run an errand with him, and the two soon arrive at the country house.  The mad scientist then exposes himself as the mastermind behind the theft of Paula's body and pronounces his intention to use a blood transfusion from Ann to bring the Ape Woman back to life.  As a concerned Moloch watches, Stendahl nearly kills Ann during the medical procedure, but is successful in reanimating Paula.  Still unaware of how to return Paula to her human form, Stendahl sends Moloch to steal the medical records of Dr. Sigmund Walters and Dr. Carl Fletcher, the physicians who had previously brought Paula back from the dead. 

The next morning, a concerned Don questions Stendahl about Ann's disappearance, only to have Harrigan arrive at the medical office and accuse him of murder.  Later, with Walters and Fletcher's research in hand, Stendahl uses some of Ann's glandular secretions to change Paula back into her beautiful human form.  Unfortunately, the Ape Woman's brain has been damaged, so the mad scientist decides to transplant Ann's brain into Paula's head. 

Meanwhile, Harrigan questions Dan about Stendahl's research, leading the police inspector to suspect the biochemist of the murders.  With Stendahl in town doing research for the upcoming operation, Paula manages to escape her imprisonment and wanders into the nearby woods.  Moloch then goes to Stendahl's medical office to inform the scientist of her escape, at which time Don recognizes his fraternity pin, which he had given Ann in lieu of an engagement ring, on Moloch's lapel.  Don follows the disfigured man to the country home, but is soon captured by Stendahl.  After a brief escape, Don is tied up and forced to watch as Stendahl prepares to begin the brain surgery.  When Don informs Moloch that the operation will mean Ann's death, the brute becomes enraged and attacks Stendahl.  The mad scientist is then forced to shoot and kill Moloch.  Stendahl is soon killed himself, however, as Paula, having transformed back into the Ape Woman, rises from the operating table and strangles him.  The Ape Woman then heads for Ann with the same intent, but Harrigan arrives in time and shoots her.  With the case solved, Harrigan releases Ann and Don from their bonds, and the couple looks forward to a happy future together.

The Spider Woman Strikes Back (1946)

  • Genre: Horror
  • Directed: Arthur Lubin
  • Produced: Howard Welsch
  • Written: Eric Taylor
  • Starring: Gale Sondergaard, Brenda Joyce, Kirby Grant, Milburn Stone, Rondo Hatton, Hobart Cavanaugh
  • Music: Milton Rosen
  • Cinematography: Paul Ivano
  • Editing: Ray Snyder
  • Studio: Universal Pictures
  • Distributed:
    • Universal Pictures 
    • Screen Gems
  • Rated: NR
  • Release Date: 22 March 1946 (US)
  • Running Time: 59 minutes
  • Country: United States
  • Language: English

Jean Kingsley arrives in the rural town of Domingo, Nevada, to take up a new job as companion to blind scientific researcher Zenobia Dollard.  At the train station Jean is surprised to run into Hal Wentley, a college beau, who still cherishes hopes about a relationship with her.  Hal drives Jean out to Zenobia's isolated house, and once there introduces Jean to Mario, Zenobia's disfigured, mute servant.  Although Zenobia graciously welcomes Jean, the younger woman finds herself inexplicably uneasy about her new post.  Unknown to Jean, a sleeping draught has been placed in the glass of milk Zenobia insists that she drink before retiring, causing her to sleep heavily.  The next night Jean is again unknowingly dosed with the sleeping draught and is oblivious when Zenobia, who has feigned her blindness, comes to her room and draws blood from her.

Afterward, Zenobia and Mario go to the greenhouse, where they feed spiders to several varieties of carnivorous plants and Jean's blood to Zenobia's prize drochenema (Made up word BTW) plant.  Zenobia then takes some of the drochenema's petals and makes a mysterious paste from them.  The following morning Jean awakens exhausted and achy, but is nevertheless curious about the abrupt departure of her predecessor, Betty Sanders, and writes her a letter. 

While running errands for Zenobia in town, she learns from the general store owner, Bill Stapleton, that several of Domingo's cattlemen are upset because their cattle have been inexplicably stricken.  Speculation abounds that some form of weed poison is causing the cattle to die and the townspeople are also concerned about a child who became ill and died after drinking milk from the local cows.  Some days later at the general store, Mr. Stapleton tells Jean that her letter to Betty has been returned as undeliverable and that the town remains in an uproar over the strange cattle deaths.  He adds that several disgruntled cattlemen are leaving Domingo as their cattle continue to die without apparent cause and land prices have plummeted sharply since their deaths.  On her way out of the store, Jean runs into Hal, who introduces her to Mr. Moore of the Department of Agriculture, who is investigating the cattle deaths.

Later at the Dollard house, Jean comes into a room unexpectedly and finds her employer feeding a bug to a spider and, realizing she is not blind, faints in terror.  Upon reviving, however, Jean is careful not to let Zenobia know she is aware she can see.  Meanwhile in town, the cattlemen gather to angrily demand that Moore solve the mysterious cattle deaths.  When Moore finds out from Hal that Zenobia's family used to own all the land surrounding Domingo, the two go to the Dollard house.  Just before their arrival, Zenobia, realizing Jean is aware of her deception, reveals to her that she has created a poison from her drochenema flowers to drive everyone off the land she considers her inheritance, but which her father had gambled away.  She admits to murdering Betty when she grew too weak to supply her venomous plant and tells Jean that she, too, will soon die.

Just then Hal and Moore arrive and Zenobia greets them alone.  She tells them that she knows of no indigenous poison weeds in the area and adds that Mario has just driven Jean to the train station.  After taking their leave, Hal remains suspicious and, looking about the property, discovers the car still in the garage.  Zenobia, watching from the window, realizes both men will return shortly and hastily orders Mario to help her burn all the evidence of the poison.  The fire quickly burns out of control, attracting Hal, who bursts in and saves Jean, while Zenobia and Mario perish.

 

House of Horrors (1946)

  • Genre: Horror – Thriller
  • Directed: Jean Yarbrough
  • Produced: Ben Pivar
  • Written:
    • George Bricker 
    • Dwight V. Babcock
  • Starring: Rondo Hatton, Robert Lowery, Virginia Grey, Bill Goodwin, Martin Kosleck, Alan Napier, Howard Freeman, Virginia Christine, Joan Shawlee
  • Music:
    • William Lava 
    • Paul Sawtell 
    • Frank Skinner 
    • Dimitri Tiomkin
  • Cinematography: Maury Gertsman
  • Editing: Philip Cahn
  • Studio: Universal Pictures
  • Distributed:
    • Universal Pictures  
    • Realart Pictures Inc.  
    • Screen Gems  
    • MCA/Universal Home Video
  • Rated: NR
  • Release Date: 29 March 1946 (US)
  • Running Time: 65 minutes
  • Country: United States
  • Language: English

As impoverished Greenwich Village artist Marcel de Lange is about to sell one of his sculptures to a wealthy man named Samuels, vitriolic art critic F. Holmes Harmon denounces the piece as "tripe," scaring off Samuels. Despondent and broke, Marcel walks to a bridge, intent on suicide.  When he notices a man struggling at the river's edge, however, he rushes to the rescue.  Marcel drags the man from the water and, awestruck by his hulking, hideous appearance, takes him home.

The next morning, the newly inspired Marcel asks his grateful guest if he will pose for a bust, and the surprised man agrees.  Soon after Marcel begins work on the bust, the man slips out and brutally kills a prostitute.  When the coroner reveals that the woman's spine was broken, homicide detective Lt. Larry Brooks comments that the murderer's methods resemble those of The Creeper, a notorious serial killer who escaped a dragnet by diving into the river and was presumed drowned.  Later, Marcel reads a newspaper account of the woman's murder and, realizing that his guest is The Creeper, declares that Harmon deserves to die for the terrible things he has written about him.  At Harmon's newspaper office, meanwhile, fellow art critic Joan Medford tries unsuccessfully to convince Harmon not to print a scathing review of her boyfriend Steven Morrow's new art show.  As soon as Joan leaves Harmon's office, The Creeper appears and murders the critic.

Aware that Steven had fought with Harmon, Larry questions him at his studio, but Joan provides Steven with a false alibi.  Looking for a story, Joan then visits Marcel, but he refuses to show her his half-finished bust of The Creeper. While Marcel is in another room, however, Joan peeks at the bust, unaware that The Creeper is watching her from a hiding place.  Later, Larry, who now knows that Joan lied about Steven's alibi, asks Harmon's rival critic, Hal Ormiston, to help bait Steven by writing a searing review of his show.  When Steven reads the review, in which Ormiston snidely compares his work to Marcel's, he goes to confront Ormiston at his apartment.  Steven rails against Ormiston and grabs him when he starts to call the police.  At that moment, Larry bursts in the room and stops Steven.  Larry believes he has caught the killer until, a few moments later, he discovers Ormiston dead in the kitchen, his spine broken.  Unknown to Larry, The Creeper snuck into Ormiston's apartment and killed the critic because Marcel, having also read the review, was upset.  With Ormiston's murder, the newspapers announce that The Creeper is alive and print a sketch of his distinctive face.  Determined to get her story, Joan returns to Marcel's and steals his sketch of the bust, which he has signed.  Then, not having seen the drawing of The Creeper in the newspaper, she instructs her printer to publish a copy of it.

After completing her article, Joan telephones Steven and tells him that she is sneaking the original back to Marcel's.  The Creeper, meanwhile, informs Marcel that he saw Joan take the sketch, and Marcel, worried that she now knows the identity of the bust's model, sends The Creeper to kill her at Steven's, where he believes she has gone.  Instead, The Creeper murders Stella, one of Steven's models, who was alone in the studio.  Joan, meanwhile, startles Marcel when she appears at his door and marvels at the now completed bust.  Sure that she is feigning ignorance about the model's identity, Marcel informs her about The Creeper and tells her she is about to die.  At the same time, Steven goes to Joan's office and discovers the printer's copy of Marcel's sketch on her desk.  Back at Marcel's, The Creeper overhears the artist inform Joan that he will turn The Creeper over to the police if they should connect him to the killer.  Enraged by the artist's easy betrayal, The Creeper kills Marcel, then goes after Joan.  Just as The Creeper is about to grab Joan, Steven pounds at the door, and Larry, who also saw the sketch on Joan's desk, arrives in time to shoot the murderer.  Later, a relieved Joan tells Steven that she is finally ready to quit her job and marry him.

The Brute Man (1946)

  • Genre: Drama – Horror – Thriller
  • Directed: Jean Yarbrough
  • Produced: Ben Pivar
  • Written:
    • Dwight V. Babcock 
    • George Bricker 
    • M. Coates Webster
  • Starring: Rondo Hatton, Tom Neal, Jan Wiley, Jane Adams, Donald MacBride, Peter Whitney, Fred Coby, Janelle Johnson Dolenz
  • Music: Hans J. Salter
  • Cinematography: Maury Gertsman
  • Editing: Philip Cahn
  • Studio: Universal Pictures
  • Distributed:
    • Producers Releasing Corporation  
    • NTA  
    • Image Entertainment  
    • Cheezy Flicks Entertainment  
    • Admit One Video  
    • Columbia TriStar Home Video  
    • Fox Lorber Classics Associates 
    • Republic Pictures Home Video  
    • Sony Corporation of America
  • Rated: NR
  • Release Date: 1 October 1946 (US)
  • Running Time: 58 minutes
  • Country: United States
  • Language: English

A mysterious murderer known as "The Creeper" stalks a college town, killing first Professor Cushman and then socialite Joan Bemis.  Hiding from the police, The Creeper, a frighteningly deformed man, takes temporary refuge in the apartment of Helen Day, a blind piano teacher.  Because Helen shows no fear of The Creeper and treats him kindly, he spares her life.  Later, Jimmy, a grocer's clerk, delivers groceries to the dockside room where The Creeper lives.  Hoping to earn the reward for the killer's capture, Jimmy spies on him and is killed when The Creeper discovers him.  When Jimmy fails to return, the police investigate and find a photograph of three college friends. 

The police then visit Clifford Scott, one of the two men in the photograph, and his wife Virginia, the third person in the snapshot.  Clifford identifies the other man as Hal Moffat and tells his story: In college, Clifford and Hal are both in love with Virginia Rogers.  Clifford tutors Hal, a football star, and one day, gives Hal a series of incorrect test answers so that he will not be able to keep a date with Virginia.  In order to further torment Hal, Clifford walks Virginia by the laboratory, where Professor Cushman has given Hal an extra assignment, and the furious Hal drops a test tube and is badly burned in the ensuing explosion.  Afterward, Hal disappears from the hospital.

Convinced that Hal is The Creeper, the police warn Clifford and Virginia that they may be in danger and post a guard outside their house.  When The Creeper again visits Helen, he learns that an expensive operation might restore her sight.  He then evades the police guard outside the Scott's house and demands that Virginia give him her jewels.  After Clifford pulls a gun on The Creeper, the two men struggle.  Although he is slightly wounded, The Creeper strangles Clifford to death.  The Creeper then returns to Helen's apartment and gives her the jewels to finance her operation.  When Helen tries to sell the jewels, however, the police are notified, and horrified to learn that her friend is a murderer, she helps the police capture him.  Later, the police arrange for Helen to have the operation.

Notes:

1.  Acromegaly is a syndrome that results when the anterior pituitary gland produces excess growth hormone (GH) after epiphyseal plate closure at puberty.  A number of disorders may increase the pituitary's GH output, although most commonly it involves a GH-producing tumor called pituitary adenoma, derived from a distinct type of cell (somatotrophs).  Acromegaly most commonly affects adults in middle age, and can result in severe disfigurement, complicating conditions, and premature death if unchecked.  Because of its pathogenesis and slow progression, the disease is hard to diagnose in the early stages and is frequently missed for years until changes in external features, especially of the face, become noticeable.  Acromegaly is often associated with gigantism.

2.  The Carry On franchise primarily consists of a sequence of 31 low-budget British comedy motion pictures produced between 1958 and 1992, but also includes three Christmas specials, one television series of thirteen episodes, and three West End and provincial stage plays.  The films' humor was in the British comic tradition of the music hall and seaside postcards.  Producer Peter Rogers and director Gerald Thomas drew on a regular group of actors, the Carry On team, that included Sidney James, Kenneth Williams, Charles Hawtrey, Joan Sims, Kenneth Connor, Peter Butterworth, Hattie Jacques, Terry Scott, Bernard Bresslaw, Barbara Windsor, Jack Douglas and Jim Dale.  The “Carry On” series contains the largest number of films of any British series, and next to the James Bond films, it is the second longest continually running UK film series (with a fourteen-year break between 1978 and 1992). From 1958 to 1966 Anglo Amalgamated Film Distributors Ltd produced 12 films, with Rank Organization making the remaining 19 between 1967 and 1992.  All the films were made at Pinewood Studios.

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