Tuesday, October 1, 2013

CLASSIC TRAILER ROUND-UP: THE CABINET OF DR. CALIGARI

Curator's Note: As part of my job for MOVIECLIPS I help curate the Old Hollywood Trailers channel on YouTube. It's meant to be a source for trailers before the online HD video revolution of recent years. While there's still a load of 21st Century offerings there's a rich archive of earlier films which we only hope to further expand. Throughout the month of October I'm exclusively looking to upload trailers for horror movies new and old. 


The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari is a film it's nigh near impossible to go through film school without watching or at least studying. As part of the German Expressionist movement it's an important step for both its land and the budding horror genre itself, planting the seeds for the likes of today's Terry Gilliam and Tim Burton. This trailer leaves a lot to be desired. It's merely an assembly of scenes and to be honest I do not know when or where it was put together. You can start to fit together the pieces of a story about a doctor and his somnambulist doomed to perform his evil bidding. Furthermore, this is all black-and-white when many of the versions I've seen of Caligari are distinguishable by the color tinting on display (i.e. orange for daytime and blue for nighttime). Skip this trailer (it's only use in my mind would be a quick refresher for those who have seen it and a brief sample for those who have not) and just go watch the film which you can find a full version of on YouTube easily enough. See?

Oh, I stumbled upon a 2005 remake of this film in my research today. It has the same iconic mountain set-piece from the original on its cover. I wonder if they attempted a "Gus Van Sant's Psycho endeavor" (that is to say a shot-for-shot remake), though it runs about 9 minutes longer. Speaking of, Hitchcock's and Van Sant's Psycho are both scheduled in this week's line-up for 31 Days of Horror!

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