Tuesday, March 18, 2014

MURDER AT DAWN (1932)

No screens.  A short but baffling old dark house flick in which a daughter travels to her mad scientist dad to get his approval for her marriage.  Tons of people end up running around the old dark house or leering through windows, a conceit that the film recycles over and over again.  MURDER AT DAWN also shows up scenes of lightning over and over, laying down artistic techniques that Ed Wood would later perfect.  The movie isn't as entertaining as the best of Wood, though, even though it clearly thinks it is.   It commonly resorts to comedy, some of it very discomforting almost one hundred years later.  I'm thinking specifically of the slow-witted black cabbie who gets spooked into running away by a pair of long underwear.  AW NAW DEYS GHOSTS!  We've also got a comedy drunk, who supplies the movie's only real laugh line ("He was hanging on a hook, and he yodeled at me!").  Otherwise, it's really standard fare, from the creepy housekeeper to the eccentric scientist who wants to use solar power to free "wage slaves" or something, IDK.  With so many characters, it's hard to keep up and keep from giving up on the film, and, by the conclusion and its giant collection of closeups of electricity, you're liable to not  even care.  

RATING: 4

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