But black sin hath betrayed to endless night My worlds both parts, and both parts must die. – John Donne, Holy Sonnet V (as quoted in Cat People) This year marks the 75th anniversary of Cat People (1942). It is hailed as one of the most influential horror movies made during the 1940s and thanks to its vaunted reputation among film historians it has been studied and written about extensively with … Continue reading ANIMAL PASSIONS: CAT PEOPLE (1942)

Noir-Horror: THE LEOPARD MAN (1943)

“The real horror is to show that we all live unconsciously in fear. Many people suffer today from a fear that they don’t begin to analyze and which is constant. When the audience is in the dark and recognizes its own insecurity in that of the characters of the film, then you can show unbelievable situations and be sure that the audience will follow.” – … Continue reading Noir-Horror: THE LEOPARD MAN (1943)


Director Robert Wise is widely regarded as a journeyman filmmaker with no defining traits or distinct talents. In The American Cinema: Directors And Directions 1929-1968 critic Andrew Sarris famously labeled Wise’s output as “strained seriousness” asserting that the director’s “stylistic signature . . . is indistinct to the point of invisibility.” David Thompson parroted these claims in his New Biographical Dictionary of Film when he stated that Wise’s “better … Continue reading BORIS KARLOFF IS THE BODY SNATCHER (1945)

Celebrating Val Lewton & Dario Argento

Attention horror aficionados! At The Evening Class Michael Guillen has organized a Blogathon to celebrate the work of Val Lewton in conjunction with the new Val Lewton documentary produced by Martin Scorsese called The Man in the Shadows, which premieres on Turner Movie Classics (TCM) tonight. Lewton produced and wrote some of my favorite horror films from the ’40s, including his under-appreciated classic The Seventh … Continue reading Celebrating Val Lewton & Dario Argento