Horrors of the Black Museum

Herman Cohen, Aben Kandel (screenwriters)
Arthur Crabtree (director)
Michael Gough, June Cunningham, Graham Curnow (starring)

London: Merton Park Studios / Anglo-Amalgated, 1958. Draft script for the 1959 film, with annotations in manuscript pencil and marker regarding shots and edits on ten pages.

The first of British production company Anglo-Amalgated's "Sadian trilogy," as defined by film critic David Pirie, because of their emphasis on sadism, cruelty, and sexually-implied violence, as opposed to the supernatural horror common in Hammer films of the same period, followed by "Circus of Horrors" (1960), directed by Sidney Hayers, and "Peeping Tom" (1960), directed by Michael Powell.

A frustrated mystery writer and his assistant are caught up in a strange series of murders terrorizing the country, all of which utilize devious devices taken from Scotland Yard's "black museum." A precursor to the slasher horror films of the 1980s, which feature accumulatively shocking deaths to propel the plot, and featuring one of the most outrageous openings of a horror film of the era, in which a woman is murdered by a pair of booby-trapped, spike-laden binoculars. A thirteen minute prologue was added for the US release, featuring the gimmick of HypnoVista, in which hypnotist Emile Franchele hypnotizes the audience, which was removed when released on television, "because it does hypnotize some people," according to producer and co-screenwriter Herman Cohen.

Set in and shot on location in London.

Black untitled wrappers with a die-cut window in the British style. Title page present, dated 20th September 1958, with credits for screenwriters Aben Kandel and Herman Cohen. 72 leaves, with last page of text numbered 71. Xerographic duplication, rectos only. Pages Near Fine, wrapper Near Fine, bound internally with three flat metal brads.

Clover, Men, Women and Chainsaws.


[Book #159780]