Thursday, March 3, 2011

»The Black Cat«

»The phone is dead. Do you hear that, Vitus?
Even the phone is dead.«
Hjalmar Poelzig

»The Black Cat« was directed by Edgar G. Ulmer, an German/Czechoslowakian emigrant in Hollywood. Here are two busts of the main characters of this 1934 Universal release sculpted by Ray Santoleri. Boris Karloff is Hijalmar Poelzig, a shady Austrian architect with an questionable past and preferences. His former friend Dr. Vitus Werdegast, seeking for revenge, is played by Bela Lugosi. Instead of the usual gothic haunted houses of Classic Horror movies, former set designer Ulmer created an modern, elegant »Bauhaus« inspired fortress as a background for his story of Necrophilia, Satanismn and treason.

Ray really achieved a perfect likeness to both actors with these sculpts. Painted with acrylics, airbrush and pastels.

»You say your soul was killed, that you have been dead all these years. And what of me?
Did we not both die here in Marmorus 15 years ago? Are we any the less victims of the war than those whose bodies were torn asunder? Are we not both the living dead? And now you come to me, playing at being an avenging angel, childishly thirsting for my blood.
We understand each other too well. We know too much of life.«
Hjalmar Poelzig