Public Domain Theater: Horror Express (& “The Mummy Strikes”)

Welcome to Public Domain Theater, your home for the wonderful world of films that have (in the United States, at least) fallen into the public domain, and are free for everyone to see!

Happy Halloween, everyone!

Well, okay, we’ve still got four more weeks until Halloween. But it’s October now, leaves have started to change colors, stores have got their cobwebs and pumpkins up, and all good cinephiles must now turn their eye to films about vampires and haunted houses and silent serial killers with distinctive masks.

In that spirit, I’m delighted to present you with the cult classic fright flick, Horror Express!

There’s a lot I could say to recommend this film. There’s its atmospheric setting, aboard the Trans-Siberian Railway in the early 20th Century. There’s its cast of characters, which includes thieves, aristocrats, religious zealots, international spies, feuding scientists, and a Russian soldier who steals the show in the third act. There’s the unique nature of the monster, which adds some genuine sense of wonder to an already interesting gimmick. There’s the superbly creepy makeup work that conveys the creature’s rampage beautifully.

But, really, for any horror connoisseur, I should be able to sell you on this picture with just six words:

“Starring Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing”

And in case one creature feature wasn’t enough, we also have for you an animated short that dives into the realm of monsterriffic. From the classic series of Superman theatrical cartoons, it’s “The Mummy Strikes”, where the Man of Steel battles … well, I don’t want to give everything away!

So whether you’re getting into the Halloween spirit, or are up for a good horror picture any day of the year, Public Domain Theater has just the array of ghouls and goblins to keep your spines their tingliest!

Opening Cartoon:

Feature Presentation: