Directed by: William Nigh / Albert S. Rogell
Starring: Patric Knowles, Anne Gwynne, Mantan Moreland / Preston Foster, Frank Jenks, Kay Linaker
The Thursday Horror Picture Show is having an old-style “Shock Theater” package this week. In other words, it’s exactly like one of the Friday late-show double features you would have seen on TV back in the 1960s. In fact, it’s programmed exactly after that fashion—one horror movie with The Strange Case of Dr. Rx (1942) and one plain mystery-comedy with The Last Warning (1938). It was apparently thought that the Universal logo on a mystery qualified it as part of the “Shock” package, which was useful for broadening youthful cinematic horizons if nothing else. Actually, these are both more mystery than horror, though Dr. Rx is a mystery with horror trappings (movies with hooded scientists with electrical gizmos and a pet gorilla aren’t quite your average mystery) and one horror star in Lionel Atwill (whose character name would give away his function) in what amounts to be a bit part. Both it and The Last Warning, however, are slick, fast and fun—not to mention sometimes funny. That’s especially true of Dr. Rx, with not only Mantan Moreland (he steals the show), but also Shemp Howard on hand. The Last Warning, however, boasts some pretty fine repartee between detectives Preston Foster and Frank Jenks, along with the Southern-fried ditsiness of comedienne Joyce Compton. It all makes for a fun evening of movies.
The Thursday Horror Picture Show will screen The Strange Case of Dr. Rx and The Last Warning on Thursday, August 4, at 8 p.m. in the Cinema Lounge of The Carolina Asheville and will be hosted by Xpress movie critics Ken Hanke and Justin Souther.