In this week’s episode, Andrew and Matt watch the 1935 horror film Mad Love starring Peter Lorre and directed by Karl Freund. A true horror classic, Mad Love mixes expressionism with Grand Guignol scares.

Show Notes Mad Love

Les Mains d’Orlac
Peter Lorre
Karl Freund (he did photograph Metropolis)
Colin Clive
Fritz Lang
The Mummy (1932)
The Mummy (1999)
Boris Karloff was 5′ 11″

Anne Rice on Dracula’s Daughter

“Dracula’s Daughter.” One fateful night in my childhood, I went to the Grenada Theater two blocks from my house and paid the admission of 12 cents to see this 1936 film. It must have been the early 40’s. It was old then. I never forgot it. The elegant and beautiful Gloria Holden as Dracula’s daughter swept me away. Decades later, remembering that tragedy, that romance, that elegance, I sat down to write a book called “Interview with the Vampire” and capture the same ambience. Ah…what a strange and random thing is life.”

Peter Lorre in gimp suit and neck corset

Pygmalion and Galatea

Mad Love was made for $403,000 according to Wikipedia

Citizen Kane and Mad Love

When Pauline Kael annotated the similarities between Citizen Kane andMad Love (1935) in a 1971 New Yorker article on the Welles classic, curious moviegoers made a point to seek out the Peter Lorre horror film. Welles’ deployment of certain visual elements (whether intended or not) from Mad Love cannot be denied, from the makeup to the use of a white cockatoo. It’s also more than a coincidence that cinematographer Gregg Toland worked on both films.

What set Mad Love apart from other Hollywood horror films of the thirties was the disturbing Expressionist style of director Karl W. Freund. A key German Expressionist cinematographer who had shot The Last Laugh (1924),Metropolis (1927), and Dracula (1931), Freund made his directorial debut with the classic chiller, The Mummy(1932).