October 21, 2020

Heinous Henchmen of Classic Horror #6

Struggling avantgarde sculptor Marcel De Lange (Martin Kosleck) is so poor, he can't even afford food for his cat. However, he is cheered by the prospect of selling a major sculpture to a wealthy collector. 

When a pompous art critic (Alan Napier) sabotages the sale by trashing the piece and the artist in front of the prospective buyer, De Lange succumbs to despair. He wanders over to the waterfront with the intent of throwing himself in the river, but stops when he sees a figure trying to pull himself out of the water.

De Lange helps the water-logged man onto dry land and takes him back to his studio. The man has a face that even a mother would be hard-pressed to love, but to the sculptor, he is the perfect embodiment of a Neanderthal living in the present. 

It turns out his new friend is the Creeper (Rondo Hatton), a serial killer who specializes in snapping the spines of his victims. Conveniently, the police think the Creeper is dead. De Lange now has inspiration for a sculpture that he is sure will be his masterpiece, as well as an amigo who is so grateful, he will do anything for De Lange -- including eliminating the artist's harshest critics. Soon, the creepy studio will turn into a House of Horrors.

Rondo Hatton and Martin Kosleck in House of Horrors (1946)
"Ours is a very fortunate alliance, my friend."


Name:  The Creeper           Date:   1946       

Supervisor:  Marcel De Lange              

Category Unsatisfactory Satisfactory Excellent Comment
Work Productivity
X As a modern Neanderthal, the Creeper is the inspiration for my greatest sculpture, and is also very handy in dealing with my critics.
Work Quality X The employee has the utmost patience sitting for me for hours at a time. As a handyman, he has spine-snapping down to a science -- one quick snap and he's out of there.
Work Relationships
X The Creeper is a man of few words, but a very good listener -- almost as good as my cat.
Initiative X The employee makes good use of shadows and dark alleyways, and gets the job done cleanly and quietly.
Dependability XThe Creeper will do anything for me. He has already dispatched two of my worst critics, and I expect him to be just as efficient with that meddlesome reporter Joan Medford.

Summary: Before the Creeper came into my life, I felt put upon. I was haunted constantly by the feeling that I was persecuted, helpless to fight back. But now I have a feeling of power... limitless power. No one shall stand in my way. Soon every critic will recognize my greatness.

Menacing shadow (Nosferatu)
Don't miss these other great henchmen!
Fritz (Frankenstein, 1931) | Morgan (The Old Dark House, 1932) | Sandor (Dracula's Daughter, 1936) | Jake (The Human Monster, 1939) | Ygor (Son of Frankenstein, 1939)

October 17, 2020

Heinous Henchmen of Classic Horror #5

When Wolf Frankenstein (Basil Rathbone), son of the original monster-maker, moves himself and his family back to his father's old stomping grounds, he finds that he has inherited more than a creepy castle.

A demented old villager, Ygor (Bela Lugosi), has been hanging around the ruins of Frankenstein's laboratory, scaring away the other locals. Ygor was condemned to hang for grave robbing, but miraculously survived with a broken neck as a souvenir of his date with the hangman.

Ygor shows Wolf the still living body of the monster -- comatose after being struck by lightning. It soon becomes apparent that, like his father, the Son of Frankenstein can't resist dabbling with things better left alone.

Bela Lugosi, Basil Rathbone and Boris Karloff in Son of Frankenstein (1939)
"This is a place of the dead. We're all dead here."

Bela Lugosi as Ygor in Son of Frankenstein, 1939


Name:  Ygor           Date:   1939       

Supervisor:  Dr. Wolf Frankenstein              

Category Unsatisfactory Satisfactory Excellent Comment
Work Productivity
X I am very grateful to Ygor for looking after the slumbering monster and keeping nosy villagers away from the laboratory.
Work Quality X

The employee is not much help in the laboratory. He mostly just stands around and watches me work.
Work Relationships

Ygor does a lot of skulking about, and I get the feeling there's a lot he's not telling me.
Initiative X

Ygor apparently has plans for the monster once he's revived, but I believe they are for a personal vendetta and not for the advancement of science.
Dependability X

Ygor tried to kill me when we first met. Since then his attitude has improved, but he comes and goes as he pleases, and I feel that I can't trust him.

Summary: Ygor is very solicitous of his friend the monster. He is also very effective at scaring away nosy villagers. However, I question his motives and work ethic, and he does not appear to be very interested in advancing the cause of science.

Menacing shadow (Nosferatu)
Don't miss these other great henchmen!
Fritz (Frankenstein, 1931) | Morgan (The Old Dark House, 1932) | Sandor (Dracula's Daughter, 1936) | Jake (The Human Monster, 1939)

October 13, 2020

Heinous Henchmen of Classic Horror #4

Our next henchman, Jake (Wilfred Walter), is an insurance adjuster of sorts. Jake works for Dr. Feodor Orloff (Bela Lugosi), who is a psychopath and a Human Monster. Orloff, a disgraced physician, has opened up his own insurance agency, where he specializes in taking out life insurance policies as collateral on loans to men with no close relatives.

Orloff is also the staff doctor for the Dearborn Home for the Blind, where he found Jake and enlisted his help. Jake is not exactly gifted in the looks department, but he's as strong as an ox. Once one of Orloff's clients/victims has signed off on the insurance policy, Jake's job is to "adjust" the man's status from living to dead. Orloff then collects on the policy using the Dearborn home as a front.

Bela Lugosi, Wilfred Walter and Greta Gynt in The Human Monster (1939)
"We have an especially nice view of the river from here Miss Stuart.
Jake, would you care to show her?"

Wilfred Walter as Jake in The Human Monster, 1939


Name:  Jake           Date:   1939       

Supervisor:  Dr. Feodor Orloff              

Category Unsatisfactory Satisfactory Excellent Comment
Work Productivity

X Jake keeps very busy "interviewing" various clients. As a result of those visits, the company has been making a killing, so to speak.
Work Quality
The employee needs to work on attention to detail and follow-through. Recently, the daughter of one of our deceased clients, Miss Diana Stuart, has been asking inconvenient questions. Jake has not satisfactorily concluded his interveiw with her.
Work Relationships

X Jake and I have a very simple work relationship. I slip him messages in Braille, and off he goes.

X In spite of his disability, the employee always manages to find his man.
Lately Jake has been tending to a sick friend at the home. This is all well and good, but he also needs to keep in mind his responsibilities to me.

Summary: Jake is a great help in dealing with our policyholders. However, he needs to be careful that his personal life and infatuation with Miss Stuart don't get in the way of his duties.

Menacing shadow (Nosferatu)
Don't miss these other great henchmen!
Fritz (Frankenstein, 1931) | Morgan (The Old Dark House, 1932) | Sandor (Dracula's Daughter, 1936)