Mark of the Vampire (1935).
|Posted: 20 March 2018 at 12:05pm | IP Logged | 4
This horror film from MGM has a few things going for it, but also so much that is messed up.
Let's start with what's good. It is, at times, visually arresting. A shot of Carroll Borland as she stands before a misty cemetery, garbed in her burial gown, is creep and iconic, and the look of her character has echoed on down through the ages.
I think it's rare for a gothic horror image to be scary in itself in isolation, but this film manages it. White faces peering through windows, pale corpses walking silently in unison through corridors. It delivers really well in this aspect of the film and Bela Lugosi does some nice acting without uttering a word (bar the ridiculous ending).
The film even boasts a decent special effect, with Borland sporting a pair of giant bat wings mid-transformation.
Finally, Lionel Barrymore nails his Van Helsing-like role.
Now, on to what is bad.
First, the editing. The editing is basically all over the place, to the extent that it feels like segments have been chopped out and sequences are consequently quite confusing.
Second, Lugosi's character walks around with an unexplained blob of blood on his temple, suggesting sequences really were left out.
Third, the film veers into an utterly dumb twist that doesn't add up in any way.
Edited by Peter Martin on 20 March 2018 at 12:16pm