Mad Love  (1935)

Octoblur 2015 - #09: Mad Love (1935)

 
By dorrk, October 9th 2015
Octoblur: If the quality doesn't scare you the quantity will.

Maurice Renard's 1920 novel Les Mains d'Orlac touched a very specific nerve during the first half of the 20th century, spawning no less than four adaptations from the silent era until the early 1960s. A kind of bargain-bin Frankenstein, it tells the story of a pianist who receives surgical transplants of both hands following an accident, with his new hands retaining the murderous impulses of their former host. For whatever reason, this story has not endured in popularity over the last 60 years, but its 1935 instance, Mad Love, provided, at the very least, one of the best platforms for Peter Lorre to play at his goony best.

Mad Love amusingly puts Colin Clive (best known as Victor Frankenstein in Universal's classic monster movies) in the role of the pianist Stephen Orlac — this time Clive is victim to the maniacal whims of a mad scientist — but the film is more focused on Dr. Gogol (Lorre), whose infatuation with Orlac's actress wife (Frances Drake) inspires him to act like a major creep while not inventing new surgeries at the spur of the moment. Following a train wreck, Gogol gives Orlac the hands of a freshly executed dagger-throwing murderer, and almost instantly Orlac is uncontrollably chucking every knife he comes across.

Mad Love is very silly, and that's compounded by extremely lazy writing and staging throughout. However, Lorre is so much fun to watch in his prime and doing what he does best, that he single-handedly rescues Karl Freund's final directorial outing. Freund gives Lorre a lot to work with — scenes opposite a wax mannequin he believes has come to life, a disguise with blackened goggles and metal hands, and a couple of desperate speeches about love — and it pays off to the degree that Clive's ineptly conceived section of the movie seems like a complete afterthought.

Freund, more notable as a cinematographer (Universal's Dracula), crafts some neat imagery with the help of D.P.s Greg Toland and Chester A. Lyons. the homage to Paris' Grand Guignol theatre adds some neat opportunities for eerie flair to the first third.

Great lesser-known horror movies

Fun, weird & dark corners worth exploring.
A Chinese Ghost Story (1987)

A Chinese Ghost Story (1987)

Demon Seed (1977)

Demon Seed (1977)

The Exorcism Of Emily Rose (2005)

The Exorcism Of Emily Rose (2005)

Friday The 13th Part 2 (1981)

Friday The 13th Part 2 (1981)

The Funhouse (1981)

The Funhouse (1981)

The Guest (2014)

The Guest (2014)

The House Of The Devil (2009)

The House Of The Devil (2009)

Housebound (2014)

Housebound (2014)

The Johnsons (1992)

The Johnsons (1992)

Kill List (2011)

Kill List (2011)

Little Otik (2001)

Little Otik (2001)

Motel Hell (1980)

Motel Hell (1980)

Orphan (2009)

Orphan (2009)

Seed Of Chucky (2004)

Seed Of Chucky (2004)

Silent Night Deadly Night (1984)

Silent Night Deadly Night (1984)

Spider Baby... (1968)

Spider Baby... (1968)

Starry Eyes (2014)

Starry Eyes (2014)

The Stepfather (1987)

The Stepfather (1987)

Suicide Club (2001)

Suicide Club (2001)

A Tale Of Two Sisters (2003)

A Tale Of Two Sisters (2003)

Dorrk's Top 20 horror movies

The boring list of horror essentials. If you haven't seen these yet, what are you doing?
The Exorcist (1973)

The Exorcist (1973)

The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974)

The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974)

The Shining (1980)

The Shining (1980)

Jaws (1975)

Jaws (1975)

The Thing (1982)

The Thing (1982)

The Fly (1986)

The Fly (1986)

An American Werewolf In London (1981)

An American Werewolf In London (1981)

Psycho (1960)

Psycho (1960)

Poltergeist (1982)

Poltergeist (1982)

Alien (1979)

Alien (1979)

The Omen (1976)

The Omen (1976)

Rosemarys Baby (1968)

Rosemarys Baby (1968)

Halloween (1978)

Halloween (1978)

Nosferatu (1922)

Nosferatu (1922)

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre Part 2 (1986)

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre Part 2 (1986)

Frankenstein (1931)

Frankenstein (1931)

The Return Of The Living Dead (1985)

The Return Of The Living Dead (1985)

Suicide Club (2001)

Suicide Club (2001)

Repulsion (1965)

Repulsion (1965)

Bride Of Frankenstein (1935)

Bride Of Frankenstein (1935)

Trailer for Mad Love (1935)

Beware: Galleries may contain spoilers.
Mad-Love-1935-00-01-12
Mad-Love-1935-00-01-18
Mad-Love-1935-00-02-11
Mad-Love-1935-00-02-33
Mad-Love-1935-00-02-43
Mad-Love-1935-00-02-49
Mad-Love-1935-00-03-01
Mad-Love-1935-00-03-46
Mad-Love-1935-00-04-13
Mad-Love-1935-00-05-36
Mad-Love-1935-00-06-18
Mad-Love-1935-00-07-28
Mad-Love-1935-00-07-39
Mad-Love-1935-00-08-34
Mad-Love-1935-00-09-09
Mad-Love-1935-00-09-40
Mad-Love-1935-00-10-17
Mad-Love-1935-00-10-50
Mad-Love-1935-00-16-21
Mad-Love-1935-00-18-05
Mad-Love-1935-00-18-32
Mad-Love-1935-00-19-13
Mad-Love-1935-00-19-33
Mad-Love-1935-00-20-49
Mad-Love-1935-00-21-34
Mad-Love-1935-00-23-04
Mad-Love-1935-00-24-33
Mad-Love-1935-00-25-55
Mad-Love-1935-00-26-10
Mad-Love-1935-00-26-58
Mad-Love-1935-00-27-05
Mad-Love-1935-00-27-56
Mad-Love-1935-00-28-54
Mad-Love-1935-00-29-52
Mad-Love-1935-00-30-36
Mad-Love-1935-00-32-03
Mad-Love-1935-00-32-13
Mad-Love-1935-00-32-32
Mad-Love-1935-00-35-08
Mad-Love-1935-00-35-17
Mad-Love-1935-00-36-59
Mad-Love-1935-00-37-06
Mad-Love-1935-00-38-38
Mad-Love-1935-00-41-14
Mad-Love-1935-00-41-23
Mad-Love-1935-00-41-39
Mad-Love-1935-00-43-09
Mad-Love-1935-00-46-12
Mad-Love-1935-00-46-23
Mad-Love-1935-00-46-55
Mad-Love-1935-00-47-58
Mad-Love-1935-00-49-54
Mad-Love-1935-00-50-07
Mad-Love-1935-00-50-56
Mad-Love-1935-00-51-51
Mad-Love-1935-00-53-01
Mad-Love-1935-00-54-03
Mad-Love-1935-00-54-38
Mad-Love-1935-00-56-06
Mad-Love-1935-00-56-54
Mad-Love-1935-00-57-19
Mad-Love-1935-00-58-09
Mad-Love-1935-00-58-21
Mad-Love-1935-00-58-40
Mad-Love-1935-00-59-09
Mad-Love-1935-00-59-27
Mad-Love-1935-00-59-30
Mad-Love-1935-00-59-58
Mad-Love-1935-01-01-01
Mad-Love-1935-01-01-27
Mad-Love-1935-01-01-31
Mad-Love-1935-01-03-36
Mad-Love-1935-01-04-12
Mad-Love-1935-01-04-38
Mad-Love-1935-01-05-33
Mad-Love-1935-01-05-57
Mad-Love-1935-01-06-46


The Top 20 Movies of All-Time

#1: The Godfather Part II (1974)

#1: The Godfather Part II (1974)

Dir: Francis Ford Coppola
#2: The Godfather (1972)

#2: The Godfather (1972)

Dir: Francis Ford Coppola
#3: West Side Story (1961)

#3: West Side Story (1961)

Dir: Jerome Robbins, Robert Wise
#4: Manhattan (1979)

#4: Manhattan (1979)

Dir: Woody Allen
#5: The Graduate (1967)

#5: The Graduate (1967)

Dir: Mike Nichols
#6: Tootsie (1982)

#6: Tootsie (1982)

Dir: Sydney Pollack
#7: Apocalypse Now (1979)

#7: Apocalypse Now (1979)

Dir: Francis Ford Coppola
#8: The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

#8: The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

Dir: Irvin Kershner
#9: Star Wars (1977)

#9: Star Wars (1977)

Dir: George Lucas
#10: The Exorcist (1973)

#10: The Exorcist (1973)

Dir: William Friedkin
#11: The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)

#11: The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)

Dir: Peter Jackson
#12: Taxi Driver (1976)

#12: Taxi Driver (1976)

Dir: Martin Scorsese
#13: Annie Hall (1977)

#13: Annie Hall (1977)

Dir: Woody Allen
#14: Vertigo (1958)

#14: Vertigo (1958)

Dir: Alfred Hitchcock
#15: Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)

#15: Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)

Dir: Steven Spielberg
#16: Boogie Nights (1997)

#16: Boogie Nights (1997)

Dir: Paul Thomas Anderson
#17: The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974)

#17: The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974)

Dir: Tobe Hooper
#18: It's a Wonderful Life (1944)

#18: It's a Wonderful Life (1944)

Dir: Frank Capra
#19: Singin' in the Rain (1952)

#19: Singin' in the Rain (1952)

Dir: Stanley Donen, Gene Kelly
#20: Zodiac (2007)

#20: Zodiac (2007)

Dir: David Fincher