Thanks to Amazon Prime we can see a copy of Curse Of The Faceless Man on the Roku. There is a 2006 DVD but it's one of those print on demand ones and it's 20 bucks, so we aren't going to be bothering with that. Not when you can also see it on YouTube for free. It's a 1958 movie with a script by Jerome Bixby. Sadly it's not one of Jerome's better scripts. Edward L. Cahn directed, he also directed Creature With The Atomic Brain, Invasion of the Saucer Men and The Four Skulls Of Jonathan Drake. It was originally released on a double feature with another of Edward's films It! The Terror from Beyond Space.
Richard Anderson is a doctor who gets called in examine a petrified body that was discovered in Pompeii's Egyptian section. I didn't even know they had an Egyptian section. Some golden artifacts were discovered in a chest along with the body. In the chest is a bronze medallion with Etruscan writing on it. Luis Van Rooten plays Dr Carlo Fiorillo and Adele Mara plays his daughter Maria. They are both archaeologists who work for the same museum. The Griffith Observatory, filmed rather close up to disguise the familiar dome, subs for the outside of the museum. I wonder how many movies have been filmed there? The IMDb has 102 titles on it's page for the place, a lot of them are TV shows. I've seen quite a number of them.
The petrified body comes to life in the truck transporting it to the museum and the truck driver dies. At first no one believes that it could be the petrified body doing the killing. The police are baffled. Richard's girlfriend, played by Elaine Edwards, has weird dreams of the creature and the truck driver. She's produced a painting of the creature without ever seeing it. People are troubled by this, especially Elaine.
That's Richard and Elaine up above. She seems to attract the creature. He keeps dropping in. Like Universal's film The Mummy Elaine turns out to be the reincarnation of the creature's past love. At one point he walks off with her body and heads for the sea. They figure he's trying to pick up with what he was doing when the volcano erupted. He wants to get her to the sea so they can escape.
Sadly the creature doesn't find safety in the sea but Elaine is saved. It's a short movie, only 67 minutes, but it seems longer. It was nice to see it but I don't think I would need to see it some more.
The 1920 version of The Golem: How He Came Into The World was next. It's a German film released here by Kino Video. They've got a fairly good restored version with tinted film. It looks quite nice. It's written by Henrik Galeen and Paul Wegener who adapted the 1915 novel by Gustav Meyrink. Paul and Carl Boese were the directors and Paul plays the Golem on top of that. Paul had previously directed two versions of The Golem, one in 1915 and the second, a prequel, The Golem And The Dancing Girl, two years later. He wasn't as happy as he could be with those and he tried again in 1920.
In medieval Prague Rabbi Loew reads the stars and predicts terrible things will happen to the Jews in the Ghetto. Sure enough the Emperor wants all of them to leave. He sends a knight to tell the Rabbi to move his people. The knight falls for the Rabbi's daughter Miriam. The Rabbi's assistant has a thing for Miriam but she isn't as interested. The Rabbi talks the knight into taking a message to the Emperor to remind him of his help in the past predicting disasters and the like. The Emperor grants a visit and the Rabbi brings the Golem along to show him off. That turned out to be a good thing when the Golem saves the Emperor's life. The Jews can stay.
Back home later the Rabbi reads the stars which will cause the demon Astaroth to turn the Golem into a ruthless killing machine. He shuts down the Golem but the assistant, on discovering the canoodling going on between the knight and Miriam, starts the Golem up. The knight is killed and the Golem goes on a spree of destruction. Poor Miriam is dragged through the streets by her long pigtails.
It was entertaining though a bit slow going. The Kino version looks fairly good and there's some nice music. Worth a look for it's social significance if nothing else.