This is just a heads-up for anyone who's interested: I wrote a liner-notes essay for the upcoming Criterion Collection two-DVD boxed set " Monsters and Madmen," which features the Karloff features The Haunted Strangler (1958) and Corridors of Blood (1962), as well as The Atomic Submarine (1960) and First Man into Space (1959).

I included in the essay praise of Karloff and of these two underappreciated pictures he made in his native England in the late 1950s.

This is how my essay starts:

"Forget the Beatles vs Elvis: For me the world is divided into Karloff people and Lugosi people, and I'm in the Karloff clique. Bela Lugosi's oversized mannerisms and thickly accented drawl have always seemed camp to me, while Boris Karloff's reserve and faint lisp carry an irresistible air of melancholy mystery, an English gentleman with a touch of the exotic.

Born in 1887, Karloff was nearing 70 when he made The Haunted Strangler and Corridors of Blood, a matched pair of black-and-white historical thrillers set in late-19th-century England. Tiny triumphs of imagination and ingenuity over low budgets and stage-bound productions, these variations on the theme of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, in which decent, upstanding men run afoul of the beast within, offered the horror icon a rare opportunity to remind fright fans that he could do much, much more than most filmmakers bothered to ask of him.... "

As you can see, I'm a fan of the actor and a fan of the films - if I've piqued your curiosity, check them out at the end of this month.