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Murder by Television

USA 1935
produced by
William M. Pizor, Clifford Sanforth (executive) for Cameo Productions, Imperial Distributing Corp.
directed by Clifford Sanforth
starring Bela Lugosi, June Collyer, Huntly Gordon, George Meeker, Hattie McDaniel, Henry Mowbray, Charles Hill Miles, Charles K.French, Claire McDowell, Larry Francis, Henry Hall, Allan Young, William 'Billy' Sullivan, William Tooker
written by Joseph O'Donnell, based on ideas by Clarence Hennecke, Carl Coolidge, song I had the Right Idea by Oliver Wallace

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Professor Houghland has made quite an astounding invention of the field of television (then itself a relatively new invention), but when he demonstrates it to the world (via television), he is killed during the transmission, live on air.

But who did it ?

His assistant Perry (Bela Lugosi) or Richard Grayson (George Meeker), who wants to get his hands on the invention, are the logical suspects, but somehow, brain surgeon Dr Scofield proves them both innocent ... and then Perry is even killed (now that excludes him from the circle of suspects), when all of a sudden ... a second Perry (also Bela Lugosi) enters the scene, who proves to be a cop and claims that the other Perry has taken his place to steal Houghland's secrets.

And then he proves Doctor Scofield to be guilty, as the brainsurgeon wanted to turn Houghland's invention into a death ray and sell it to foreign governments. And he killed Doctor Scofield by just that, a death ray triggered by his television signals.

Why Scofield was so eager though to prove Perry and Grayson innocent we will never know or understand.


A terribly scripted, acted and directed murder mystery full of plotholes and leaps of reason, littered with way too many red herrings to make any sense at all. Not even Bela Lugosi, in one of his lesser performances, can save the film. Only black actress Hattie McDaniel as housemaid gives the film a little colour (excuse the pun). A scene where she sings a jazz number though has not survived in all prints still in existence, due to the obvious racism of censors from the South of the USA, who would routinely edit out performances by black artists. With or without that segment though, the film is barely watchable.


review © by Mike Haberfelner


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In times of uncertainty of a possible zombie outbreak, a woman has to decide between two men - only one of them's one of the undead.


There's No Such Thing as Zombies
Luana Ribeira, Rudy Barrow and Rami Hilmi
special appearances by
Debra Lamb and Lynn Lowry


directed by
Eddie Bammeke

written by
Michael Haberfelner

produced by
Michael Haberfelner, Luana Ribeira and Eddie Bammeke


now streaming at


Amazon UK





Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from