"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 and Thriller 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 Donovanís Brain). After directing the pilot for Hammerís unsold Tales of Frankenstein (í58), Siodmak made a deal with LEO GUILD and KENNETH HERTS to shoot a supernatural horror anthology, 13 Demon Street, in Stockholmís 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, weíve 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!
With John Crawford, Ralph Browne, Inga Botorp
After hot shot photographer Donald Powell takes a photo of a farmhouse in snowy Maine, a beautiful woman emerges from it. He tries to embrace her but ends up strangling the woman instead. Back in New York, the photo holds a macabre surprise for him: every time he looks at it, he sees the murdered woman coming closer and closer... And watch for director Curt Siodmak in a cameo ("I came for my dog!") that was cut when this episode was included in The Devilís Messenger.
THE VINE OF DEATH
With Pat Clavin, Larry Falk, Don Molin
Museum curator Frank Dylan is thrilled to acquire the bulbs of the ancient Mirada "death vine," puts a bulb in his pocket, and rushes home to plant it. Instead, he stumbles in on Wally, his slimy neighbor, putting the moves on his wife. After a struggle ends up in Frank being killed, his body is buried in the hot house and the death vine quickly sprouts. But as Wally soon learns, the vine is "attracted by the heat of a human body" which it wraps around and strangles... As Chaney neatly explains, "I want you to see a man who wanted to plant a flower, instead of which he dug his own grave..."
A GIFT OF MURDER -- Watson Pritchard
With Charles Nolte, Doreen Denning, Gita Ander
At an anniversary party, Jim and Betty Duncan receive a Haitian voodoo doll as an anonymous present, complete with instructions on how to kill oneís enemies. After using the doll to eliminate two rivals at work, Jim falls in love with a secretary and decides to get rid of his wife. But as he sticks the pin in the dollís face, he doesnít notice that itís been tampered with...
Ralph BrowneOther cast:
Inga Botrop, Pat Clavin, Larry Falk, Don Molin, Charles Nolte, Doreen Denning, Gita AnderDirected by: