Also known as <I>Unholy Tales</I>, the German-made Tales of the Uncanny is a talking-picture homage to the impressionistic "nightmare" films of the German silent cinema. In the manner of the later British Dead of Night, several horror stories are linked together with a central set of characters. Paul Wegener stars as a mad doctor who murders his wife and walls her up in the basement, a la Poe's The Black Cat. He runs from the authorities with a reporter in pursuit; their flight leads them to a brace of additional gory episodes. A brief sojourn in a mental institution develops into an update of Poe's The System of Dr. Tarr and Professor Feather, as Wegener locks up the real doctors and permits the lunatics to run wild. After this escapade, the reporter catches up with Wegener at a curious club where the members murder one another--a variation on Robert Louis Stevenson's The Suicide Club. Tales of the Uncanny was released in the US eight years after its completion, then sliced and diced into an inferior version titled The Living Dead (what living dead?).
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