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The Mysterious Mr. Wong & The Living Ghost (Double Feature)

Retromedia Entertainment Group

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Monogram Pictures treads once again into the trashy world of pulp fiction with THE MYSTERIOUS MR. WONG (1934). Like many films from the company, this one combines the eerie allure of Bela Lugosi's Chinatown with the comedic B story featuring Wallace Ford in one of his patented wise-cracking reporter roles. The mixing of horror and comedy became a trademark of Monogram, a studio that couldn't resist dipping into the pool of lurid pulp subjects. Here, in a role that would become a model for later Lugosi films, Bela delivers a delightful dual role, alternating between an evil Fu Manchu-style villain and a simple, friendly shopkeeper. It's silly. It's Monogram.

THE LIVING GHOST (1942) continues the familiar Monogram cookie-cutter production philosophy of combining pulp magazine horror thrillers with the snappy bantered stock detective love interest, here played by James Dunn, an actor who would later win the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor in 1945 for A TREE GROWS IN BROOKLYN.