Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Mr. Moto...Pulp Enigma

The brilliant Francesco Francavilla has struck again, creating this sweet incarnation of one of the first and best of the Peter Lorre "Mr. Moto" films of the late 1930s.

This was the first Mr. Moto I saw, mere weeks ago, and it is a fabulous Pulp film with a mysterious Asian named Moto (no first name) who is out to destroy a British assasssination ring. Trust me, it's even better than it sounds, as Moto is a seemingly amiable man of the Orient, self-effacing and humble, but turns into a vicious judo master and assassin himself at the drop of a hat! Not only that, but he's a master of disguise, Sherlock Holmes style.

Peter Lorre, it should be said, is brilliant in the role. Suffering from illness in his personal life and addicted to morphine, Lorre's sleepy menace emerges from this dependancy and hallucinagenic calm. Also, Harvey Parry as the stunt man behind some of Moto's more violent judo-refic escapades positively makes today's quick-cut crappy fists fights seem tame by comparison.

Thanks to Francesco Francavilla and Pulp Sunday

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