MAD LOVE
1935, Warner Bros., 68 min, USA, Dir: Karl Freund

“Dead hands that live ... and love ... and kill!” It's macabre shenanigans involving amputated hands as Grand Guignol theater star Yvonne Orlac (Frances Drake) goes to brilliant - but crazy - surgeon Dr. Gogol (Peter Lorre) as a last resort when her concert pianist husband, Stephen (Colin Clive, of FRANKENSTEIN), has his hands mangled in a train accident. Gogol, insanely in love with Yvonne and willing to do anything to steal her away, transplants the hands of a guillotined murderer onto the comatose Stephen. Counting on the highly suggestive nature of the neurotic pianist, Gogol makes him believe he also possesses the dead killer’s personality. An intense, delirious adaptation of French writer Maurice Renard’s oft-filmed novel The Hands of Orlac.


THE BEAST WITH FIVE FINGERS
1946, Warner Bros., 88 min, USA, Dir: Robert Florey

Volatile (and dead) concert pianist Francis Ingram (Victor Francen) has left his Italian estate to his American nurse (Andrea King), much to the chagrin of an avaricious brother and nephew. Peter Lorre is the dead musician’s astrology-obsessed, mentally unbalanced librarian who becomes convinced that his late employer’s left hand - now missing from the corpse - is creeping about the villa, bent on murdering all those who oppose Ingram’s last testament. The rest of the household, including King’s paramour Robert Alda and police commissioner J. Carrol Naish, soon become convinced he may be right. The over-the-top Max Steiner score ably punctuates the deranged proceedings.


THE FOG
1980, Rialto Pictures, 91 min, USA, Dir: John Carpenter

There’s atmosphere to burn in this spooky saga of bloodthirsty ghost pirates vengefully returning to decimate a sleepy California coastal town on the 100th anniversary of their shipwreck. Adrienne Barbeau is the spunky DJ sounding the alarm from her lighthouse-based radio station while the undead use the title mist as cover in their gory siege. With Jamie Lee Curtis.


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