"Number 13 Demon Street. I am condemned to live here. To suffer on this earth eternally as a punishment for my sin. It is said that no greater outrage was ever committed by any mortal. But should I find a crime more heinous, my terrible punishment will end." -- LON CHANEY JR.
Somewhere between One Step Beyond
lies 13 Demon Street
, a thirteen episode shot-in-Sweden television show created and directed by CURT SIODMAK (the Hollywood horror vet who scripted The Wolfman
and wrote Donovan’s Brain
). After directing the pilot for Hammer’s unsold Tales of Frankenstein
(’58), Siodmak made a deal with LEO GUILD and KENNETH HERTS to shoot a supernatural horror anthology, 13 Demon Street
, in Stockholm’s Nordisk Tonefilm studio in 1960. As host -- and caretaker of the titular address -- a disheveled Lon Chaney Jr. briefly intros each episode, often looking like he wants to punch the camera and start a brawl instead. Moody, atmospheric, and hilariously hokey, the series was nevertheless unable to find a buyer. Though the shows were never aired anywhere in the world, we’ve nevertheless found them. Yup, direct from the Land of the Midnight Sun (complete with Swedish subtitles) and transferred from 35mm prints, comes this incredibly rare Something Weird exclusive, three episodes of the unseen 13 Demon Street. Boo!
THE BLACK HAND
With Pat Clavin, Sheldon Lawrence, Louise Grant.
When his car is hit by a speeding driver, Dr. Heinz Schloss, a brilliant surgeon, removes his pinned hand by severing it with a scalpel. Since the driver of the other car, Erich Münster, was killed in the crash, Schloss replaces his missing hand with one of Erich’s: "He’s dead and does not need both of his hands!" Oops! Turns out that Mr. Münster was a psychopathic strangler of five, and before you can say, "The Hands of Orlac," the new hand of Heinz is taking on a homicidal life all its own: "It wasn’t me! It was it!" (Hilariously, Chaney shows up at the end of this episode to be spooked by a hand-shaped fire poker which abruptly comes to life!)
With Alf Kjellin, Karen Stefanee, Jill Donohue.
During a flu epidemic, Dr. Franz makes a housecall to crazed artist Otto Szegety, whose dingy flat is covered with paintings of the same beautiful woman. Asked who the model is, Szegety hisses, "She’s mine!" But when the doctor looks out Szegety’s window, he’s startled to see the woman from the paintings smiling seductively at him from her house across the courtyard. A house which, apparently, doesn’t really exist...
CONDEMNED IN THE CRYSTAL-- Watson Pritchard
With Michael Hinn, Gunnel Brostrom, Chalmers Goodlin
"It would be awful to learn one’s future," says John Radian, a man with a "fear of the future," who’s suffering from a recurring nightmare in which he’s drawn to a dilapidated building in a fog-shrouded alley and wakes up screaming. On the advice of his shrink, he locates the building while awake and discovers it’s occupied by Madame Germaine, a fortune teller who looks into her crystal ball and tells him that he will die at midnight. How? She will be his killer...
Sheldon LawrenceOther cast:
Louise Grant, Alf Kjellin, Karen Stefanee, Jill Donohue, Michael Hinn, Gunnel Brostrom, Chalmers GoodinDirected by: