Monday, October 22, 2007

For Hallowe'en: A Forgotten Horror Star, Part Two

Most horror film stars in the past have generally been good people, and unlike their screen personas. Boris Karloff was a thoughtful, kind and gracious guy; Bela Lugosi was generous to friends and strangers alike; Lon Chaney, Jr. was good to children, and Vincent Price was sophisticated, good-humored, and friendly.

An exception seems to have been Laszlo Revik. But more on that later.

Anyway, to continue with Ted Newsom's messages to me about "Sam Lee's" acquisition of these "lost" films. Here are some more excerpts:

There’s just something creepy about this whole thing. I’m not sure I want to know what Sam’s doing, or how this all got started, or even know any more than I do about Laszlo Revik…

Ted had read a news item that disturbed him, after remembering that the lost Revik films "Sam Lee" was getting were on nitrate stock (apparently not decomposed completely, I gathered). Here's how Ted described it:

Okay, so, weirdly enough, last night a Lugosi fan I know in Germany (who screwed me on that stock-footage deal, reneged after I’d assembled all the footage for him, the creep. Anyway--.) sent a link to Gary over in Ireland, who forwarded it [a news item] by email it to me. In German, here it is:

(Here, Ted sent the original German account of a news item, but I'll spare my loyal readers a lot of Deutsche. After the German, he continued.)

I used Babelfish to translate this—my German is 30-years-rusty. Pardon the occasional wacky syntax:

"Prague police researches the mysterious death of a German University class participant [student] after. Researchers said that the young woman for at least one week had been dead. Gisele Hoffman was a cinema class participant [student] at the university of Prague. An attendant [janitor] found the body near a film vault housing the original Negative of films contained. Ms Hoffman specialized up retaining [preserving] the historical films. Authorities suggested that a cause of the death of the [inhaling of] by poisonous gas was [toxic fumes]. Older Nitratfilm can divide [decompose] and cause such gas. Ms Hoffman had not permission for entering archives. However discovered Police researchers no missing films or material. Ms Hoffman was twenty-three years old."

And when I read that, I thought of Sam’s big deal, the “European agent” business. Maybe that’s true, and maybe it’s absolutely unrelated to the thing in Prague. I don’t know.

Given the unusual explanation "Sam Lee" gave as to how he came by the films, and the ridiculous price he was paying for them, Ted was wondering about a possible connection between the two events.

Sam says he’s expecting delivery of the films in a couple days. He won’t tell me what he paid for the rights—and considering Sam Lee is broke almost all the time, that part makes me suspicious, too. Considering the film history involved and the other people in the movies, of course I want to see them. I’ll let you know more as it develops. In any case, it seems to have the makings of a good script. But there’s something about this I don’t like. My spider-sense is tingling.

More to come, drunken severed headites!

For Halloween: A Forgotten Horror Star, Part One


Sparkle Plenty said...

Cool! Part Three! Part Three, please!

John Rozum said...

Fascinating bit of intrigue, Max. I've seen the name Laszlo Revik before but couldn't tell you where. I only remember it because it seems like such a made up horror actor name, like a character Vincent Price would play in something like "Madhouse." It may have been in the same book, but now, I feel compelled to dig around myself.

Max the drunken severed head said...

Ted Newsom sent me by e-mail a comment on YOUR comment, John Rozum. He felt the same way you did! He asked me to post this:

"When I first heard the name-- read it, actually-- I thought it was some bllshtt anagram, like Alucard or Miracala something. I think the heavy in SCANNERS was named Revek, but that was 5 yrs or more after the old guy dropped dead in Paris. For what it's worth."

-- Ted Newsom


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