It's a Feline Face-Off- as Lugosi and Karloff Battle in the Bizarre "Black Cat" -Tonight!

Posted on by

Tonight on MeTV- it's an eerie Universal offering that has Bela Lugosi facing off against Boris Karloff in a complicated story of post-war pain, lost love, and even devil worship- with an innocent young couple caught as victims- in 1934's “The Black Cat”!

I should mention- this is NOT the Basil Rathbone/Broderick Crawford horror comedy from 1941 we have shown before, which also included Bela in a more minor role. This one has a far more sinister edge...and no comedy.

We board a train with a happy young couple, Peter and Joan, heading out on their honeymoon to visit Hungary. They are put in the awkward position of having to share their train compartment with a stranger- psychiatrist Dr. Vitus Werdegast- who is finally returning home after 15 horrible years in a Siberian prison camp. He had left his wife to go to war- and, sadly, has never seen her again. He is on his way to see an old “friend”, Hjalmar Poelzig, an eccentric architect with whom he claims he has to settle "some old business". Poelzig lives in an old fortress, still standing amidst the rubble left after the war. By an awful coincidence, that becomes the destination for all the compartment passengers, who, after leaving the train, end up involved in a bus crash, injuring the young bride- and making the stop at Poelzig's necessary for emergency medical attention.

In the odd Expressionistic interior of the former fort, Werdegast treats the newlywed woman, in whom Poelzig shows an unhealthy and disturbing interest. The psychiatrist Vitus, supposedly due to his fear of animals, is unnerved by a black cat roaming the house, and takes action against it- but discovers there is so much more to fear in these confines! Undaunted, Werdegast gets down to his "business"-confronting Poelzig about his betrayal during the war, causing the loss of many lives- and, even more personal - accusing him of stealing his wife while he was imprisoned!

We get a look at a bizarre "collection" Poelzig maintains- as well as his young female “companion” who has a sickening connection to the whole situation. We soon learn that Poelzig has sinister plans for the recovering young bride- and that the forthcoming dark of the moon is the time planned for satanic rituals – with part of the plan being that certain visitors will never leave the premises!

The look of this film is fascinating, especially the interior sets. Boris Karloff, as Poelzig, appears to have a “New Wave” look crossed with “Lost in Space”s Dr. Smith! But-no comedic cries for help or false bravado here-Karloff brilliantly plays a man - who is indeed a monster; and Bela, as Werdegast, gives a moving performance, showing passion, heart-break and fury. The ending has shock after shock- going in a direction  or two that it might not have been able to go, after the Motion Picture Code governing content was established. And, like the other “Black Cat” film- any connection to Edgar Allan Poe is strictly in name only!

We'll go over the cast, and give some notes on the production, present a commercial for a product suitable for use in any home with a black cat, and add  a bonus chunk of Sven segments to round out our airtime!

"The Black Cat" prowls onto MeTV at 8 pm eastern/pacific, 7 central, and, if unsure where and when to find us in your area, check your local listings or at . Once again last week, we were found among the most commented-on topics nationally on Twitter- and you can join the thousands of fans who live-Tweet along during the show- just make sure to use the hashtag #svengoolie. This morning, Chicago area viewers can get wrapped up in the encore of Hammer’s "The Mummy" on our main local station, CW26, at 11 am.

We are just one week away from me emerging from social distancing at home to make the first post-pandemic public appearance of the year! Next Saturday, I’ll be at the Flashback Weekend horror convention at the beautiful Hyatt Regency O’Hare hotel in Rosemont, IL. Look for info under the “appearances” tab here on our website. Certain precautions will be in effect for your safety and mine.

We are restocking the Sven baseball caps, which have been selling briskly- make sure to check them out in our store!

Meanwhile, stop by MeTV tonight- for horror's two titans and one terrifying tabby  ( well, terrifying to Bela, anyway...)

Are you sure you want to delete this comment?


Post a comment
Shayla 2 months ago
Bela Lugosi and Boris Karloff are the best Hollywood pair ever!
DrClayton 5 months ago
Feeling less than humanoid this a.m. ... and not too creative... This needs a klink!
Kergooliewyn 5 months ago
Aceman2, are you home free yet?
1MikeM 5 months ago
......and dat was da Black Cat...and dat's da name a dat tune.
daleuhlmann 5 months ago
Richard Carlson is on tonight's PERRY MASON.
KeithJ 5 months ago
Won't be participating in the race tonight (again), but felt the need to post this reminder: 40 years ago tonight at midnight a small (and it was, at the time) TV channel launched with the wild idea of showing nothing but music videos. Happy birthday, MTV!
Load previous comments
Klaatu KeithJ 5 months ago
All they need to do today is change the words to: I Want My MeTV.
Drang Klaatu 5 months ago
And I can see Sven and Doug doing it!
Jack Klaatu 5 months ago
I seem to recall that I wrote a version of "I Want My MeTV," I think it was in the past year.
Lucyc 5 months ago
As a little kid in the late fifties/early sixties, and a definite space cadet-except for cartoons, my first fave tv series was My Favorite Martian, I remember the idea that efficient and convenient was the wave of the future, and that translated, food-wise, to the frozen food con cept. So, how about chowing down on whatever one's fave frozen food is for your Svengoolie evening meal?
Load previous comments
Jack Tygercat 5 months ago
Yep, "Astronaut Ice Cream" rates a definite *meh*.

In other news: Thursday, a week ago, there was an explosion at the Dippin' Dots factory in Paducah, KY.
abc123 Lucyc 5 months ago
the only thing I want to mention about MREs, during boot camp, I had the same meal 6 meals in a row - Spicy Beef something. Okay for lunch and dinner, but gross as breakfast.
Drang Jack 5 months ago
McIlheny's said MREs saved the Tabasco brand.
Drang abc123 5 months ago
Senior drill sergeant threatened to see to it I got C Ration scrambled eggs for every meal, I made the mistake of telling him I liked them...
Mikeyyy 5 months ago
Looking forward to seeing what kind of snacks and meals people come up with. I’m just a chips or popcorn kind of guy.... kind of funny seeing as 39 of my 42 years work have been in kitchens.
Bugs_Bunny4_Life Mikeyyy 5 months ago
How does caviar cucumber boats, champagne, crépès and chocolate éclairs sound to you? (With chips and popcorn as well)
Klaatu Mikeyyy 5 months ago
For a liquid refreshment, I can send the recipe for my favorite: French 75. After one or two, you may not care what you eat👍🍸
Drang Klaatu 5 months ago
Well? We're waiting!
Klaatu 5 months ago
If the Humanoids were giant sized, would they be Hugemanaoids?
Mikeyyy Klaatu 5 months ago
Klaatu Mikeyyy 5 months ago
There’s a movie here somewhere 🤔
Lucyc Klaatu 5 months ago
Well, there's Giganta, a DC comic supervillainess, and Giganoid, a Power Ranger baddie. So, there's at least two movies.😆
Drang Lucyc 5 months ago
Mikeyyy 5 months ago
Oh oh who made Wednesday cry??
MrsG Mikeyyy 5 months ago
Ooooo Mikeyyy Mikeyyy Mikeyyy ! Looks like you spiked us up to 4K ! How do ya like those HUMANOIDS ? ! ? !
MrsG MrsG 5 months ago
Ooops , almost forgot ~
MADave said you get a trophy ~ and well-deserved it is ~
MADave Mikeyyy 5 months ago
Yaaaay Mikeyyy!
Kergooliewyn Mikeyyy 5 months ago
Congrats on your trophy Mikeyyy
Mikeyyy Mikeyyy 5 months ago
Wow thnx everyone! Not a fan of robots/humanoids so I’ll just have to see what this one has in store for us. Looking froward to the blog and see what those that have seen it can tell us newbies. Dave: I get a trophy?? I’m honored!!
MADave Mikeyyy 5 months ago
Now if we can only get another thousand before midnight i know it’s unlikely!
Mikeyyy 5 months ago
Oh myyy morticia let her hair down!!
Mikeyyy 5 months ago
Madge Blake on Adams family.
JohnBlair 5 months ago
MrsG JohnBlair 5 months ago
Oooo nice face fire JB !
Happy Fireday Mister !
Kergooliewyn 5 months ago
I am really looking forward to this movie, as I do with all the movies. This one especially. Syfy being my favorite movie genre. However, I have found there is a very thin line between really good Sci-Fi and really horrible Syfy.
Kergooliewyn 5 months ago
Happy birthday Arnold! My second favorite Terminator. I'm sorry, but the T-1000 won my heart.
Kergooliewyn 1MikeM 5 months ago
The T-X was pretty awesome as well.
Kergooliewyn 5 months ago
Seeing that most of the humanoids in the movie appear to have no hair, I was thinking maybe my dinner could be meatbalds and spaghetti. Though I'm not too keen on the clean up.
Katink Kergooliewyn 5 months ago
That's a good one, Miss K! (And hairy meat balls would be wrong, just wrong 😨)
Kergooliewyn Katink 5 months ago
Oh gosh sooo wrong.😄
MrsG Kergooliewyn 5 months ago
But they actually do exist Ladies ~ Satan’s Hairy Meatballs ~

Now THAT is scary !
Katink MrsG 5 months ago
Yikes! Those are something, MrsG! (Is there a movie about them?)
MrsG Katink 5 months ago
? ? ?
You’d think huh ? Truly is a horror story there !
Kergooliewyn MrsG 5 months ago
That is scary
Kergooliewyn 5 months ago
Yes, for this week's food, I suppose we could all just create something, that hopefully won't turn on us later.
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?