Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Repertory watch: The Devil Doll


This is a must-see cult classic from Tod Browing, who also gave the world the truly wonderful Freaks (quoted by Robert Altman in The Player). Made in 1936 and starring Lionel Barrymore, Frank Lawton and Maureen O’Sullivan, The Devil Doll is a camp cacophony of mad scientists, mind control, shrinking people and Lionel Barrymore in drag. Paul Lavond (Barrymore) decides to take revenge on his three business partners after being framed and imprisoned on Devil’s Island for 17 years. He hooks up with Marcel, an elderly deranged scientist, whose master plan is to save the planet by shrinking all men and beasts. Lavond simply wants retribution on his crooked bankers and when Marcel unexpectedly dies of a heart attack, he becomes the proprietress of a doll shop, the murderous Madame Mandelip – ready to take on her victims. Delicious!
Curzon Soho Sunday 11 9pm

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