Hello, I am your kind host who does not plan to murder you or perform deranged experiments on you while you sleep. Animated GIF


No one could gnaw scenery like Lon Chaney, I think we can all agree on that little point. Even though he makes his entrance late in The Monster, he still manages some moments of exquisite hamminess.

You think my headline was exaggerating? No, this is exactly what he is trying to do. Our hapless heroes are staying the night in his asylum (!) and he is trying to assure them that all is well and normal and not at all dangerous. Mwahaha.

The Monster gets a fair amount of flak but I took it for what it was. It’s a little horror comedy meant to entertain for an hour or so. Nothing more, nothing less. Chaney clearly understands that he is working with pure hokum and he adjusts his performance accordingly. Is it a masterpiece? No. Is it a fun way to spend a rainy afternoon? You’d better believe it!

(You can read my full-length review here. And, yes, I do address the “stolen from Sherlock Jr.” rumors.)

Availability: Warner Archive released this film on DVD. Nice print, good score, good buy.

I really want to do this when people won’t even try to watch a silent movie. Animated GIF


Sometimes, I feel like a mother with a particularly picky child.

“Just try a few minutes of a silent movie.”

“No! I’ll hate it! It’s icky!”

“Just a little.”

“No, no, no!!!!”

If you have seen silent movies and don’t like them, well, that’s the way it crumbles, cookie-wise. But if you have seen nary a one and yet still have an opinion?  Oh, honey, no.

Lon Chaney knows exactly how to get what he wants in The Monster. The heroes don’t want to see the, heh heh heh, room he has prepared? He doesn’t rely on threats. He simply insists that they take a look. (You can read my review of the movie here.)

Don’t be surprised if a take up a silver cigarette holder (even though I do not smoke) and repeat this line at my next movie night.

Availability: Available on DVD from Warner Archive.

Your house guest won’t leave? Do what Lon Chaney does. Animated GIF


No could do creepy quite like Lon Chaney. I’m not sure anyone wanted to do creepy quite like Lon Chaney. Well, Mr. Chaney had some rather practical methods for creeping out his house guests in The Monster. (You can read my review here.)

Step 1: Put on a big grin. A bizarrely long cigarette holder is an excellent accessory.

Step 2: Wait until your guest says some variation of “see you in the morning.”

Step 3: Grin wider and say, “Who knows if one will EVER see the morning?”

Step 4: Slowly close the door behind you.

Voila! With any luck, your house guest will flee and you will be rid of him.

(The Monster got a very nice release from Warner Archive. Good print, good score.)