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Thursday, July 24, 2008

Has London After Midnight Been Found??

I'm hesitant to report on this, but on the chance that it might be the real deal, I felt compelled to spread the word. Someone out there is claiming to have actually discovered an honest-to-goodness print of the 1927 Lon Chaney vampire film London After Midnight--perhaps the most notorious lost film of all time.

Believed lost in a 1967 warehouse fire, the movie was supposedly found in a massive MGM warehouse under its British release title of The Hypnotist. A gentleman calling himself Sid Terror has posted the entire exhaustive tale on The Horror Drunx message board, where he claims to have first come across it ten years ago.

According to Mr. Terror, his pleas that something be done about it fell on deaf ears amongst ignorant studio execs. Then, in 2004, he got in touch with someone else who had allegedly spotted the exact same print. He then goes on to say that the print has been lost again, since the warehouse he originally found it in has been sold, and the old nitrate prints were transferred to several different holding locations.

A lot of people are doubtful, and for a number of reasons. Firstly, this wouldn't be the first time a hoax was perpetrated in which someone claimed to have found this movie. Also, one would think that if this guy--who claims to be a rabid film buff--really did find the thing a full ten years ago, he wouldn't have waited until now to post the story on some message board.

Nevertheless, the story made its way to the "Head Geek" himself, Harry Knowles of Ain't It Cool News, who is now fully championing Terror's cause, and calling for someone within Time-Warner to do something about it. Thickening the plot further, Harry went on to post a correspondence today from a trusted source who corroborates the story.

Can it be? Is London After Midnight--the "holy grail" of horror films--close to seeing the light of day for the first time in 80 years? Time will tell, I suppose. In the meantime, judge for yourself.

6 comments:

norfok cottages said...

This topic always been a mystery.

CRwM said...

Curses! Scooped by another League member!

It would be great if the story were true. Fingers crossed.

Anonymous said...

The man calling himself "Sid Terror" is actually the lead singer of a punk-rock band called The Undead. Some of their music was recorded for the 1984 RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD but was dropped after they couldn't come to terms with rights issues. I do believe Sid Terror is credible.

B-Sol said...

So I've heard from other sources too. But I haven't run across any updates on this story since first covering it several weeks ago.

Anonymous said...

This is a hoax. Many of the details of this fraud are best summed up in the She Blogged By Night column, which can be found here:

http://www.shebloggedbynight.com/2008/08/follow-up-to-london-after-midnight-1927.html

B-Sol said...

What a shame...

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