November 5th, 2009

Gwynplaine

Maybe it was the world’s first three-word DVD commentary track: “What the f—?!?”

I was just looking at my Hollywood Legends of Horror Collection DVD boxset (which I brought to work last week so I could grab screencaps for Halloween-themed desktops and screensavers), and saw, to my utmost delight, that it includes The Devil Doll (1936), easily the most deranged mainstream movie I have seen. Then I was disappointed to realize that it was the only title in the six-film set without a commentary track, because I would love to know what the deal was with this movie; a recap of the plot sounds like the jumbled retelling of two or more half-remembered dreams, and one of the credited writers is Erich von Stroheim. Yes, that guy.