Episode 339 – Terror in Monochrome 2


This week we return to the subject of Black and White presentations in film. We have long professed our appreciation for the “classics” of the genre and dedicated many episodes in the past to some of our favourite series including the Universal era, silent era, the films of Val Lewton, etc. This time out we are re-visiting the approach of monochrome presentation in a more general way.

Things begin with a simple statement of admiration for the unique aspects of monochrome, the ways and means by which mood and texture can be created through the use of light and shading. Black and white typically conveys the aspects of good and evil, however in the proper hands B&W cinematography can depict many textures in film and generate tension and suspense simply through the use of shifting shadows, reflections and focus. After expounding on our love of monochrome we proceed into specific discussions of several titles both from history and contemporary that we had not yet discussed to date, including Bava’s gothic masterpiece Black sunday (1960), the Charles Laughton directed Night of the Hunter (1955), The Curse of the Crying Woman (1963), Whatever Happened to Baby Jane (1962), A Field in England (2013), and Eraserhead (1977) – more to come following a promise to shine a spotlight on David Lynch.

Following a quick schlock corner paying tribute to the horror genre’s black and white history, we discuss the latest from director Vincenzo Natali, Haunter. There was a small amount of disagreement over the originality of the story however both came out recommending this well-crafted haunted house tale. Due to the nature of the plot, some spoilers had to be dropped to set up our discussion – fair warning is given in the episode. We hope you enjoyed this look deep into the well as much as we did, modern material coming soon.

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2 Responses to Episode 339 – Terror in Monochrome 2

  1. Talicia says:

    Great choices; I love the Terror in Monochrome series. But there is one fun one that I don’t think you’ve ever mentioned: Hush, Hush, Sweet Charlotte. Fun fact – Joan Crawford was originally supposed to star with Bette Davis in this Southern Gothic movie. The actresses’ famous rivalry eventually resulted in Crawford jumping ship and being replaced with Olivia de Havilland. What Ever Happened to Baby Jane was the final attempt for fans to see their these two actresses duking it out onscreen.

  2. Talicia says:

    My apologies. Whatever Happened to Baby Jane came out before Hush, Hush (I forgot to check the date). But though the campy craziness of their rivalry was popular, it apparently couldn’t survive another joint venture.