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Base Camp’s World of Horror: The hands of Orlac

Could the hands of a murderer make you evil?

Base Camp

4th November 2021 - 7:00pm - 8:30pm

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Could the hands of a murderer make you evil? In Robert Weine’s silent classic The Hands of Orlac (1924), talented pianist Paul Orlac loses both of his hands in a horrific railway accident and then spirals into madness upon the discovery that his new hands are transplants from a vicious killer. Conrad Veidt shines as Orlac with a performance that is unusually naturalistic for the silent era – he’s physical and highly expressive for sure, but there’s genuine emotion here; Orlac’s turn to insanity will leave you more than a little heartbroken. Weine’s direction is top-notch, with a noticeably more natural presentation than his expressionist masterpiece The Cabinet of Dr Caligari. Here the crooked, painted sets are swapped out for something a bit more traditional, as if to foreshadow the movement towards the more realistic ‘talkies’ of the late twenties.

It’s a thrill to witness the history of horror take shape. But it’s not just an academic exercise. The film is really quite spooky, and destined to keep giving audiences nightmares for generations to come.

This is just one of 12 international horror films being screened as part of our World of Horror season.  Don’t miss a single screening with our mega value Season Ticket available below.

Base Camp’s World of Horror is supported by Film Hub North with National Lottery funding on behalf of the BFI Film Audience Network.

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