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C Entries
Edward L. Cahn
James Cameron
Lewis John Carlino
Richard Carlson
John Carradine
Helena Bonham Carter
Leo G. Carroll
Maurice Cass
Lon Chaney
Lon Chaney, Jr.
John Cho
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CARRADINE, JOHN
(Richmond Reed Carradine 1906–1988). American actor.

SCIENCE FICTION, FANTASY, AND HORROR FILM CREDITS
Acted in as John Peter Richmond: The Invisible Man (James WHALE 1933); The Black Cat (Edgar G. ULMER 1934).

Acted in: Bride of Frankenstein (Whale 1935); Ali Baba Goes to Town (David BUTLER 1937); The Hound of the Baskervilles (Sidney Lanfield 1939); Whispering Ghosts (Alfred Werker 1942); Captive Wild Woman (Edward Dmytryk 1943); Revenge of the Zombies (Steve Sekely 1944); Bluebeard (Ulmer 1944); Voodoo Man (William BEAUDINE 1944); The Invisible Man's Revenge (Ford BEEBE 1944); Return of the Ape Man (Phil Rosen 1944); The Mummy's Ghost (Reginald LE BORG 1944); House of Frankenstein (Erle C. KENTON 1945); House of Dracula (Kenton 1945); Face of Marble (Beaudine 1946); Casanova's Big Night (Norman Z. McLeod 1954); Half Human (Inoshiro HONDA 1955); The Ten Commandments (Cecil B. De Mille 1956); Dark Venture (John Calvert 1956); The Black Sleep (Le Borg 1956); Around the World in Eighty Days (Michael ANDERSON 1956); The Unearthly (Brooke L. Peters 1957); The Story of Mankind (Irwin ALLEN 1957); The Cosmic Man (Herman Green 1959); The Invisible Invaders (Edward L. CAHN 1959); The Incredible Petrified World (Jerry Warren 1959); Invasion of the Animal People (Virgil Vogel and Warren 1960); Curse of the Stone Hand (Warren 1965); House of the Black Death (Le Borg and Harold Daniels 1965); The Wizard of Mars (David Hewitt 1965); Man with the Synthetic Brain [Fiend with the Synthetic Brain] (Al ADAMSON 1965); Munster, Go Home! (Earl Bellamy 1966); Billy the Kid vs. Dracula (Beaudine 1966); Psycho Circus (introducer of video version entitled Circus of Fear) (John Moxey 1966); Hillbillys in a Haunted House (Jean Yarbrough 1967); Dr. Terror's Gallery of Horror [Return to the Past] (Hewitt 1967); Mummy and the Curse of the Jackals (Oliver Drake 1967); The Death Woman (Jaime Salvador 1967); Autopsy of a Ghost (Ismael Rodriguez 1967); Blood of Dracula's Castle (Adamson and Jean Hewitt 1967); Diabolical Pact (Jaime Salvador 1968); Madame Death (Salvador 1968); The Astro-Zombies (Ted V. Mikels 1968); Bigfoot (Robert F. Slatzer 1969); Five Bloody Graves (Adamson 1969); The Vampires (Frederico Curiel 1969); Is This Trip Really Necessary? (Ben Dendit 1970); Hell's Bloody Devils (1970); Horror of the Blood Monsters (Adamson 1970); Myra Breckinridge (Michael Sarne 1970); Vampire Men of the Lost Planet (Adamson 1970); Shock Waves (Ken Wiederhorn 1970); Shinbone Alley (animated; voice) (1971); Portnoy's Complaint (voice) (Ernest Lehman 1972); Legend of Sleepy Hollow (short; narrator) (1972); Moon Child (1972); Everything You Always Wanted to Know about Sex (Woody ALLEN 1972); Richard (Lorees Yerby and Harry Hurwitz 1972); Silent Night, Bloody Night (Theodore Gershuny 1973); Hex (Leo Garen 1972); Blood of Ghastly Horror (1972); Moonchild (Alan Gadney 1972); Blood of the Iron Maiden (1973); Terror in the Wax Museum (George Fenady 1973); Mary, Mary, Bloody Mary (Juan Lopez Moctezuma 1973); Legacy of Blood (Carl Monson 1973); Journey into the Beyond (documentary; narrator) (Rolf Olsen 1973); The House of the Seven Corpses (Paul Harrison 1974); The Killer inside Me (Burt Kennedy 1976); Crash! (Charles BAND 1977); The Sentinel (Michael Winner 1977); Doctor Dracula (Adamson 1977); Satan's Cheerleaders (Greydon Clark 1977); Missile-X (1978); The Bees (Alfredo Zacharias 1978); Monstroid (Kenneth Hartford 1979); Nocturna, Granddaughter of Dracula (Harry Tampa 1979); The Vampire Hookers (Cirio H. Santiago 1979); The Boogey Man (Ulli LOMMEL 1980); The Monster Club (Roy Ward BAKER 1981); The Howling (Joe DANTE 1981); The Nesting (Armand Weston 1981); The Best of Sex and Violence (host) (Band 1981); The Secret of NIMH (animated; voice) (Don Bluth 1981); Dark Eyes [Satan's Mistress; Demon Rage] (James Polakof 1981); Frankenstein's Island (Jerry Warren 1981); The Scarecrow (Sam Pillsbury 1981); House of the Long Shadows (Pete Walker 1983); Evils of the Night (Mardi Rustam 1983); Boogeyman II (1983); Monster in the Closet (1983); The Ice Pirates (Stewart Raffill 1984); The Tomb (Fred Olen Ray 1984); The Vals (1985); Reel Horror (Ross and Claire Hagen 1985); Revenge (video) (Christopher Lewis 1986); Demented Death Farm Massacre ... The Movie (voice) (1986); Hollywood Ghost Stories (narrator) (James Forscher 1986); Bigfoot (documentary; narrator) (1986); The Secrets of Dr. Taverner (1986); Monster in the Closet (Bob Dahlin 1986); Revenge (Christopher Lewis 1986); The Ice King (1986); Evil Spawn [The Alien Within] (Kenneth J. Hall 1987); Star Slammer—The Escape (Ray 1987); Buried Alive (Gerard Kikoine 1990); Teenage Exorcist (1990).

Acted in tv movies: Haunted Hollywood (documentary; narrator) (1966); Daughter of the Mind (Walter Grauman 1969); Crowhaven Farm (Walter Grauman 1970); The Night Strangler (Dan CURTIS 1973); The Cat Creature (Curtis HARRINGTON 1973); Stowaway to the Moon (Andrew V. McLaglen 1975); Death at Love House (E. W. Swackhamer 1976); Christmas Miracle in Caulfield, U.S.A. (1977); The Seekers (1979); Goliath Awaits (Kevin CONNOR 1981); The Horror of It All (documentary; guest) (Gene Feldman 1983).

Acted in tv episodes: The Adventures of Dr. Fu Manchu (pilot) (1950); "The Half-Pint Flask" (1950), "Meddlers" (1951), "The Lonely Albatross" (1952), Lights Out; Trapped (tv series; host) (1951); "Stone Cold Dead" (1950), The Web; "Come into My Parlor" (1953), Suspense; "A Touch of Evil" (1958), Suspicion; "The Howling Man" (1960), The Twilight Zone; "Masquerade," "The Remarkable Mrs. Hawks" (1961), Thriller; "Herman's Raise" (1965), The Munsters; "The Montori Device Affair" (1966), The Girl from U.N.C.L.E.; "The Galaxy Gift," Lost in Space (1967); "Alias 'The Scarf'" (1967), The Green Hornet; "The Prince of Darkness Affair" (1967), The Man from U.N.C.L.E.; "Comeback" (1970), Land of the Giants; "The Big Surprise" (1971), Night Gallery; episode of Far Out Space Nuts (1975); "Gault's Brain" (1978), The New Adventures of Wonder Woman; "The Reluctant Dragon," segment of "Misunderstood Monsters" (animated; narrator) (1981), CBS Library; "The Whistle" (1982), Fantasy Island; Haunted House (tv series; narrator) (1986); "Still Life" (1986), Twilight Zone; "Shadow House" (1988), Short Stories.

 
As I compiled the data for this volume, it was with a peculiar fascination that I watched the entry on John Carradine expand, like a cancerous growth, until it filled two manuscript pages. And ponder some of the titles of the later films he was adding to his résumé: Horror of the Blood Monsters, The House of the Seven Corpses, Satan's Cheerleaders, Vampire Hookers, The Best of Sex and Violence, Demented Death Farm Massacre, Evil Spawn, Teenage Exorcist .... Clearly, this is a career that needs to be examined by psychologists, not film critics.

When I first published that comment, an indignant reader wrote in to complain that, according to Carradine's comments in an interview, it was pure economic necessity that drove Carradine to accept all those roles, making it uncharitable to criticize him. But this claim cannot be taken at face value: surely, no matter how alienated Carradine was from his successful sons, David or Keith would have been willing to give the old man room and board. Further, venerable performers in their declining years have many options in seeking continued income, ranging from dinner theater to tell-all autobiographies, that Carradine seemingly never considered. We are forced to conclude that Carradine participated in all of these execrable films because he wanted to; for him, perhaps, the inhabitants of the Z-movie underworld functioned as a kind of surrogate family, where he was always welcomed like an eccentric old grandfather. In fact, Carradine is one of the rare performers who came to serve as a generic marker; if you saw Carradine in a movie, you knew that it was a horror, science fiction, or exploitation movie. Yet other actors in this category, ranging in distinction from Boris KARLOFF to Whit BISSELL, played that role with much more prominence and dignity; and while he somehow managed to maintain his good cheer as he labored on, examining the sorry chaos of his later career does offer an image of the punishment that a vengeful God might devise for the afterlife of bad actors: being forced to act in a series of movies, each one worse than the last, each venue less prestigious, each part smaller and more absurd, on to infinity.

That same vengeful God seeking to punish bad film critics might assign them to compile and research a complete John Carradine filmography; I cannot be sure that my list is complete (every book I consult adds some new horror—in every sense of the word—to the roster), and I cannot claim that I have seen every film on the list—because, based on capsule descriptions, it would require a dementia parallel to Carradine's to seek out and watch every one of them. One must first recall, implausible at it seems, that Carradine at one point made a bid for a career as a respectable character actor in major films, with reasonably good performances in John Ford's Stagecoach (1939) and The Grapes of Wrath (1940). But whether due to necessity or to choice, he soon succumbed to the siren call of bad movies. Cast as Dracula in House of Frankenstein and House of Dracula, he was dressed up to look exactly like the villain in a stage melodrama and played the part with bulging eyes and stagey flourishes in a manner that might be frightening to a small child; returning to the role two decades later, he was more subdued and, surprisingly, a little better in Billy the Kid vs. Dracula, but no performance could salvage that ill-conceived project. As Carradine aged, he settled into a succession of roles as mad scientists or traffickers in occult forces: his acting was usually routine, but when given slightly better material, like the sympathetic alien of The Cosmic Man, he might haltingly rise to the occasion.

In the 1950s and 1960s, Carradine often worked in television, where, aside for an unsuccessful pilot where he starred as Dr. Fu Manchu, his most noteworthy parts were a role in The Munsters as Mr. Gateman and an almost evocative performance as a monk who has captured the Devil in the Twilight Zone episode, "The Howling Man." In his declining years, he drifted primarily into low-budget films, where the quality of Carradine's performances tended to be directly proportional to the quality of his directors: for better directors—probably due more to their willingness to rehearse and shoot retakes than to their greater ability to inspire the actor—Carradine performed passably well; for inept directors—probably due to their haste and lack of concern for quality—Carradine was a joke (as in Monstroid, where his purposeless, perfunctory priest character is basically ignored by everyone involved). It is not surprising, then, that his most noteworthy later performance came for his most noteworthy later director: in the segment of Woody ALLEN's Everything You Always Wanted to Know about Sex that spoofed monster movies, he played a mad scientist with zestful energy, cackling with glee about his creation of a huge ambulatory breast to terrorize the countryside.

The odd thing about Carradine's career is that he displayed no real appreciation for the genuinely unknown or genuinely unearthly; rather, he tried to convey the strange and terrifying only with a tired repertoire of acting tricks. The fact that such an actor could rise to the status of daft elder statesman again suggests that horror and science fiction films, despite a professed desire to shock and surprise, remain curiously domestic genres, devoted more to reassuring audiences with familiar faces than to upsetting their smug assumptions about the world.

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