As part of their Friday night Halloween horror movie offerings the Turner Classic Movies channel this week will be running a block made up of mad doctors, killer body parts, and quite a lot of obsessive love (plus a surprising number of pianists).
Starting at 8:00 PM are Peter Lorre and Colin Clive in Mad Love from 1935. In it a genius doctor (the great Peter Lorre) grafts the hands of a murderer on to a concert pianist’s wrists.
At 9:30 is The Beast With Five Fingers with Robert Alda and Peter Lorre in a storyline about a pianist, murder, but only one killer hand.
11:15 PM brings 1962’s Hands of a Stranger involving - wait for it - a pianist, murder, but back to two transplanted killer hands (in fairness both Mad Love and Hands of a Stranger are, to various degrees, based on Maurice Renard’s
“Les Mains d’Orlac” or “The Hands of Orlac”).
At 1:00 AM is 1962’s well known (or infamous) The Brain That Wouldn’t Die.
At 2:30 AM Peter Cushing stars in Corruption as a surgeon who becomes obsessed with restoring the damage he inflicted to his girlfriend’s face.
Rounding out the night at 4:15 AM is the cult favourite Les Yeux Sans Visage, or
Eyes Without a Face, from 1959. It also revolves around a surgeon attempting to restore the disfigured features of a loved one.
On Saturday morning at 11:45 is Hammer’s X The Unknown from 1956. Written by Jimmy Sangster, music by James Bernard, the movie stars Dean Jagger as Professor Royston in a very Nigel Kneale or Quatermass-like story concerning mysterious radioactive occurrences around a nuclear research station. The movie also features many familiar faces, such as Leo McKern, Edward Chapman, Anthony Newley, and Fraser Hines.
Finally late night Sunday (really early morning Monday) at 12:30 AM is Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1920) with John Barrymore in this early silent adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson’s tale.
Also, not related to TCM but if you receive the MGM movie channel, every night this month at midnight they are running a “classic” horror film. This week the are showing The Abominable Dr. Phibes (on now), The Vampire Lovers, The Masque of Red Death, The Tomb of Ligeia, The Raven, Dr. Phibes Rises Again, The Pit and the Pendulum, and Sugar Hill. Next week’s movies include The Terror, Tower of Evil (which I swear I have never seen listed on TV before), The Premature Burial, The Haunted Palace, and Tales of Terror.