My mindset on vintage horror flicks goes a little something like this – they’re without a shadow of a doubt all classics. There will be always be films that are more popular and stand out more than other black and white labeled pioneers of earlier film-hood, but the question begs, have you’ve ever seen a horrible horror movie from the Lon Chaney Jr. or Boris Karloff days? Before tonight, I can honestly say no. Then, I had to go and watch Cheezy Flicks version of Face of the Screaming Werewolf starring Lon Chaney Jr. and was directed by three directors. Remember what I’ve always said about having multiple directors – the shit never works!
Dr. Redding and his team use hypnosis on a Cali girl named Ann Taylor in discovering ancient forms of life in the Yucatan pyramids. When him and his team go exploring through the deep dark tunnels of the ruins, a living-ish breathing-ish mummy attacks them, but falls when the team fights back. They also discover a more modern individual also mummified for unknown reasons. Dr. Redding takes both mummified subjects back to America, but is soon killed and the modern mummy is stolen when Redding attempts to showcase his finds. When the modern man is revived by a bolt of lightning (Frankenstein reference anyone?), his uncanny secret of being a werewolf is revealed when the full moon just happens to be out at the same time as his revival. The werewolf and the mummy are both reanimated and walk the city, stalking and killing innocent folk. Who will stop them? Hell if I know.
The Face of the Screaming Werewolf, also known as The House of Terror even though…there….was…no…house, main problem is the editing. There was a bit of splice happiness throughout the entire production and poor Lon Chaney Jr., a sub-par production like this nailed to his coffin is ghastly. He looked terrible too; his appearance resembled a drunken abusive step father who just woke up after a cold sweat from alcoholic night chills. Chaney is renowned for his many faces in the horror genre and doesn’t speak one word the entire feature and neither does the rest of the cast for that matter. A bunch of scenes included cast members looking at each other, standing and walking around and looming in shadows. Chaney would eventually pop out of a dark corner, scare some random chick into fainting and then carry her like King Kong up and down a building until he somehow winds back up in a laboratory from which he awoken.
Too much went wrong with this film and being a crappy DVD transfer from ultra-low, low-margin film distributor Cheezy Flicks; these guys just release stuff without defining all it’s image and audio qualities. MVD, the co-distributor, did garnish the DVD cover art very nicely giving us all false hope of a vintage classic. Luckily, one only has to sit through 60 minutes of this choppy, nearly silent, spotty-plotty of a mess to try and figure out what the hell is really going on. My brain started to really swell and I had to turn to Facebook for comfort; you know a film’s bad when you’re caught flipping through third-party friends photos. Ack!