caligari.jpg

Rating: **.5 (two and a half out of five)
Year: 1920

Plot: In super old movies, it can be tough to follow a plot, but here’s what I was able to follow: A turn of the century town in Germany has the typical goings-on. Guys are mack’n on ladies – carnival comes to town, etc. One of the acts at the carnival is this creepy looking old guy who has a sleepwalker in a coffin. When the sleepwalker wakes up briefly, he can tell the future. It also seems like his boss (Caligari) can make him run around at night and kill people. Not clear why Caligari wants to kill people, but having a zombie commando is a good way to get rid of people for investigating you for sending the zombie commando to kill people. The sleepwalker dies after trying to steal a lady, leaving his boss to go back to his day job as overseer of the local mental institution. The cops keep on his heels though and determine that he’s seeking come ancient knowledge about somnambulism. Eventually their investigation spoils the ending of Shutter Island.

Review: A lot of the same things can be said for this movie as could be said about many other horror movies from the era. It was groundbreaking – years ahead of its time – laying the foundation for most of the movies we watch today. And its kinda boring. While I wouldn’t want to turn off the lights and watch this by myself on Halloween night, its great to watch with friends as its silent nature makes for good MST3K fodder. What really stands out in the film is the set design (apparently the right angle wasn’t discovered in Germany until 1921). The visage of Dr. Caligari is also truly disturbing. The movie is weird enough to keep you guessing the whole time.

Notable scene: When the guy who was trying to marry the pretty girl couldn’t find his fiber pills so he called the guys with mustaches (i.e. the cops).
Gore:            Buckets
Sex/Nudity: Nipples
Scariness:     Screams
Campiness:  Donald Pleasances
Creepiness:  Cellar Doors

Munchy Suggestion: Beet chips.

For More: Information than you require about the flick, look here: Wiki or here: IMDB.
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