We all go a little mad for science sometimes. TCM is mad for evil scientists and doctors this Friday night, featuring adaptations from the works of Robert Louis Stevenson and Edgar Allan Poe, and a classic of Franco-Italian horror. In the early morning hours of Saturday, there are a set of movies so strange they received the Mystery Science Theater 3000 treatment. Saturday night features Jaws, and Sunday returns to the hammy horror of Hammer.
8 Eastern: Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1941). Victor Fleming adapts Robert Louis Stenson’s novella of alter egos with Spencer Tracy, Ingrid Bergman, and Lana Turner. The Hays Code being in full swing, this version doesn’t quite have the bite of 1932's version.
10 Eastern: Eyes Without a Face (1960). Director Georges Franju’s adaptation of Jean Redon’s novel starring Pierre Brasseur and Alida Valli. Originally released in the US as The Horror Chamber of Dr. Faustus, it was dubbed and edited down to tone down a level of gore that seems quaint by today’s standards. It inspired film makers ranging from Pedro Almodóvar, John Carpenter, and allegedly John Woo. Billy Idol even wrote a song about it.
11:45 Eastern: The Body Snatcher (1945). Producer Val Lewton’s adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson’s short story — he also wrote it under the name Carlos Keith — it’s also the first collaboration between Lewton and Boris Karloff, and the last to feature both Karloff and Bela Lugosi together.
1:15 AM Eastern: Phantom of the Rue Morgue (1952). Adapted from Edgar Allan Poe’s The Murders in the Rue Morgue.
2:45 AM Eastern: Macabre (1958). Director William Castle’s first foray into promotional gimmicks, certificates were given to ticket buyers — bonded by Lloyd’s of London for $1,000 each — should they drop dead from fright during the film. Based on The Marble Forest, itself the product of a dozen separate writers, it features a man searching through a cemetery (a marble forrest) for his daughter who has been buried alive.
4 AM Eastern: The Corpse Vanishes (1942). Bela Lugosi is a mad scientist who injects his wife with the bodily fluids of virginal brides in an attempt to preserve her youth, a la Elizabeth Báthory. It infamously triggered Joel to short circuit when it was featured in the fifth episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000.
5:15 AM Eastern: The Brain That Wouldn’t Die (1962). Originally titled The Black Door, it went unreleased for three years. Another recipient of the MST3K treatment, it tells the story of a young scientist who accidentally decapitates his scientist fiancée and must find her a new body.
6:45 AM Eastern: The Killer Shrews (1959). The morning’s third MST3K treated showing, this Texas production is all over the place and was also featured on This Movie Sucks!
8 AM Eastern: The Devil Bat (1940). Bela Lugosi stars as a cosmetic company chemist who breeds giant bats and sicks them on his wealthy employers and their families.
9:45 AM Eastern: The Seventh Victim (1943). Val Lewton’s fourth film for RKO Pictures, this film tells the story of a young woman who discovers devil worshippers in Greenwich Village while looking for her missing sister.
Saturday night features the creature features Jaws (1975), based on Peter Benchley’s novel and directed by Steven Spielberg, and its lesser sequels from 1978 and 1982.
Sunday night resumes October’s tribute to Frankenstein and his monster with more of Peter Cushing’s films with Hammer.
Midnight will feature 1921's The Phantom Carriage, Lars Von Trier’s Epidemic from 1987, and 1965's The Satan Bug.