Wednesday, May 6, 2009

London After Midnight: The Reconstruction (1927/2002) aka The Hypnotist

3 / 5
Tagline: LON CHANEY in a great Scotland Yard Mystery
Directed by: Tod Browning
Written by: Tod Browning, Waldemar Young
Actors include: Lon Chaney, Marceline Day, Henry B. Walthall
Genre: Mystery, Horror
Length: around 45 minutes
Banned: Nope
Country: USA

This is one of the most sought after "lost" films, the last known copy of "London After Midnight" was destroyed in the mid '60s in a fire. They do have the script and several pictures from the movie which make-up this reconstructed view of what the movie was. Also "London After Midnight" was remade as "Mark Of The Vampire" without Lon in the '30s so if you combine watching that movie with this reconstruction you get a pretty clear idea of what we are missing. The plot is extremely confusing and as Scooby Doo as I've seen. See between watching the remake, then the reconstruction and looking it up on the internet and discussing it with my Husband I think we've got it figured out...somewhat. It's about a guy who murders someone, then tries to hide his involvement by (with the drunken maid) dressing up as vampires and acting as the neighbours to confuse the police that they called. They also have stand-ins for then they talk to the neighbours apparently? It's poorly explained and seriously mystifying, there is something about reconstructing the crime after someone was hypnotized in there too...I can't even begin to explain this nonsense. Still, I would love to see the real "London After Midnight" if ever it became possible because Lon's make-up is the creepiest I've ever seen in a movie, and apparently his walk in the film is what inspired Groucho Marx's trademark walk...and that is something you simply can't experience through photos. At least it made me feel a little better about not being able to see it in the regard that it's a confusing mess of a plot!

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