Murders in the Rue Morgue
I've been going through the newly released Bela Lugosi Collection lately and watched Murders in the Rue Morgue for the first time. Not a great movie, but satisfyingly atmospheric, with interesting camerawork. It's skillful enough not to overstay it's welcome with a 60 minute runtime, and not at all a bad choice to get you in the mood for the run-up to Halloween. Besides, there's a monkey in it (Closeups only. Actor in an ape-suit for wide shots.), so it has that going for it.
Here's an example of early-30's, backlot-fantasy environments that old-Hollywood did so well:
Paris, 1845. Hazy. Nostalgic. Soot-covered. You can really feel the bleed-over from silent-era filmmaking in shots like this.
The villain of our story is, as you could probably guess, Bela. A sideshow carny/mad scientist who abducts wayward young women for unsavory experiments utilizing ape plasma. Crazy bastard. Here's Dr. Mirakle (pronounced Meer-ackle) luring one of his unfortunate victims:
Known only as a "Woman of the Streets". It's no trick to guess what her line of work is...
or what her eventual fate will be.
The hero of our story works in the Rue Morgue, and lives in this craaaazy apartment with his tubby roommate.
Nice digs. I just wonder if it was a common practice in 19th Century France, for tenants to draw cartoons on the walls.
Is that the kind of thing that would bother a 19th century landlord? I mean, if you've managed to dodge high infant mortality rates, diptheria, bad dentistry, and all the other now forgotten woes, would you really be all that bothered by a little graffiti? Yeah, probably.
Anyway, back to our favorite "Woman of the Streets":
So, does she seem the least bit familiar?
C'mon, you already guessed her line of work. You might possibly recognize her name.
Okay, fine. Three clues. One. Two. Three.