Boris and Bela and THE BODY SNATCHER
Anytime a classic film is getting a souped-up Blu-ray release, it’s a good thing, a thing to celebrate. Even so, it’s hardly earthshaking news. It happens all the time. I don’t always cover it when it happens, not unless the movie in question is of particular brilliance, or it’s a slow news week. One or the other. 1945s THE BODY SNATCHER *is* a film of particular brilliance, featuring as it does what may well be Boris Karloff’s finest onscreen performance. Bela Lugosi has a smaller role in the film, but he also is superb. (He’s always superb.) And THE BODY SNATCHER *is* getting the spiffy Blu-ray treatment. But that’s not why I’m mentioning it, not explicitly.
I would like to focus on a sentence taken from the article announcing the release of the film onto Blu-ray. Let me quote it: “Horror legends Bela Lugosi and Boris Karloff had a pretty legendary feud that spanned many years, but that didn’t mean they didn’t come together for a handful of horror projects.” That’s the statement, mentioning the “legendary” feud between Boris and Bela.
Yes, the feud was “legendary”–because IT NEVER HAPPENED! There WAS no feud between Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi! That’s a falsehood that gets repeated so often, and it’s unfortunate. One could make a game attempt at arguing for a *professional* rivalry, but even that is, I think, an exaggeration. They might have been in competition for roles on occasion, but there was no bad blood between the two. Blame Tim Burton’s largely fictitious ED WOOD for helping to spread this bogus information.
Say it with me, amigos: THERE *WAS* NO FEUD!
WAYNE MILLER is the owner and creative director of EVIL CHEEZ PRODUCTIONS, specializing in theatrical performances and haunted attractions. He has written, produced, and directed (and occasionally acted in) over two dozen plays, most of them in the Horror and True Crime genres. He obtained a doctorate in Occult Studies from Miskatonic University and is an active paranormal investigator. Is frequently told he resembles Anton Lavey. And Ming the Merciless.
Denn die totden reiten schnell!