HALLOWEEN BLOGATHON 2010, HOUR 14
The French comedy Au Secours! (Help!) was released on June 17, 1924, and deserves at least a brief mention. Writer-director Abel Gance sends talented but often overlooked silent era comedian Max Linder (who predated Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton by years) into a haunted house on a dare. Although it features yet another hoax ending, there are plenty of spooky effects and monster moments throughout that make it noteworthy. The scene in which Max is about to be beheaded is priceless. Linder only appeared in one more film, 1925's Chevalier Barkas, before he and his wife died in a suicide pact. (Watch online here)
here). The Hands of Orlac was remade in 1935 as Mad Love (starring Peter Lorre) and again under the original title in 1960 (featuring Donald Pleasance and Christopher Lee).
Dante's Inferno was released on September 7, 1924, the second film based (albeit loosely) on part of Dante Alighieri's poem The Divine Comedy (following 1911's L'inferno)--although this version also seems to contain elements of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol. Written by Edmund Goulding and directed by Henry Otto, this tale follows a greedy businessman whose unsavory tactics cause a man to commit suicide, leading to him being tried for murder. Upon his execution, he's dragged to Hell by demons, where he is destined to spend the rest of eternity. Prints of this film still exist in the archive of the Museum of Modern Art.