A Fun "B" Mystery Within a "B" Mystery
Bobby Underwood | Manly NSW, Australia | 05/14/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This nifty little "B" mystery from the early 1930's has an attractive cast and an appealing story fans will enjoy. Its premise of an actor acually killed during the filming of a murder scene in a film titled "The Death Kiss" isn't the only cool thing about this film. It starts off with a bang with a movie within a movie scene that ends in a very real crime.
Based on a novel by Madelon St. Denis, the screenplay by Gordon Kahn and Barry Barringer has a twist to the mystery you didn't see coming and some fun cynicism about the movie business and the press. Upon hearing of the murder of Myles Brent on the set, a studio executive's initial response is: "Oh, that's gonna cost me a fortune. What a calamity!" And when a reporter is trying to get a handle on the fast-breaking story, a phone call to his editor ends with: "Can I help it if he was shot in the morning? You gotta take these things as they come!" That's pretty good stuff for a little "B" mystery from the 30's and the rest of the film doesn't disappoint either.
Lugosi portrays Joseph Steiner, the head of Tonart Studios, in a rare "normal" role for the actor most famous for "Dracula." David Manners is the real star of this mystery. He is a scenario writer of detective stories named Franklyn Drew who is in love with pretty film star Marcia Lane (Adrienne Ames), the main suspect in the eyes of the cops. The cops aren't dopes in this one, as often portrayed in the "B" mysteries of the era, but Manners still stays a step ahead while he tries to find the real killer. Unfortunately, everything he uncovers also points to his sweetheart!
Hidden guns, film jargon, and a hidden motive discovered at the Cliffside Inn, where Brent was having a secret affair make for an enjoyable ride for the viewer. The film is puctuated by a chase on the set where flashlghts suddenly shine green, and guns flash red flames; a pretty neat conclusion for a black and white film!
Edwin L. Marin's direction moves the story along nicely and Vince Barnett has a humorous role as the studio cop "helping" Manners in his quest to clear lovely Marcia. Fans of "B" mysteries will love this one. It is also a nice curio for Lugosi fans, who proves surprisingly good in a regular part. A good one for late at night with some popcorn. You won't guess who the killer is!"
The Death Kiss TINTED on Alpha release
Marcelo H. Ferreyra | Buenos Aires, B.A. Argentina | 11/19/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I already had The Death Kiss on the 50 movie pack Mystery Classics(Black and white only version), but I took a chance on the Alpha release, just to see the "Tinted" effects.
I must say that it changed my life...Is was like to see a different movie in a kind of celuloid-limbo-magic-heaven.
The tinted effects are not appearing all the time as on the recent movies where the effects are more important than the history.
Here are on calculated spots to thrill You forever and ever.
At one point the film on the projection boot catches fire.The fire was tinted BY HAND FRAME BY FRAME by Gustav Brock.
Another spot is nearly at the end where there is a gun fight and a chase on the darkened sound stage with flashlights.
Well, the flashlights are a kind of yellow and the gunfire is amber.Just to name a few of the effects.
But the tinted screen is not the only attraction here.
This flick reunited the three stars from Dracula.
Bela Lugosi, playing an impresario departing here from the usual boogieman type, David Manners again as the romantic lead..(Does he use Grease on the hair?)Mr Manners was also the romantic lead on The Black Cat and The Mummy, and Edward Van Sloan (Van Helsing on Dracula)The beautiful Marcia Lane provides the female romantic interest.(Not only to David Manners but to the Lugosi character as well near the end, or it seems)
The Alpha video cover states that the release date was 1933 but Price and Turner on their book Forgotten Horrors place the release date on Dec 24, 1932.
So grab Your Cigar,have a zip of Your preferred brandy and enjoy this beautiful movie with the master Bela Lugosi!