Inner Sanctum (1948) is More Film Noir Than Mystery


Inner Sanctum (1948)
Cast:        Charles Russell as Harold Dunlap
                Mary Beth Hughes as Jean Maxwell
                Billy House as McFee
                Dale Belding as Mike Bennett
                Fritz Lieber as Dr. Valonius

Written by Jerome Todd Gollard
Directed by Lew Landers

Plot: Harold Dunlap has murdered his wife and thinks he’s committed the perfect crime until he realizes that a young boy can place him at the scene of the crime. How long before the boy connects him to the murder? And how long before Dunlap decides the boy is a liability?

Richard’s Review: Inner Sanctum was released on October 15, 1948, just three years after the Universal Pictures films with Lon Chaney, Jr., based on the popular series of mystery novels. While those films were legitimate mysteries, this is definitely more of a poor man’s film noir as there is no mystery in regards to who committed the crime. This was the only movie ever released by M.R.S. Pictures and it’s no surprise as it’s ultimately a rather forgettable film. With a running time of just over an hour, the story is about 30 minutes too long. There’s enough material for a half-hour anthology series but even then, it lacks any real suspense. However, there is an interesting twist with the wraparound segment involving the mysterious Dr. Valonius. He plays a part in a cool twist at the end. Unfortunately, the rest of story plays out just as one would predict after watching the first ten minutes. It’s in the public domain, so it’s very easy to find but I recommend you watch it for free. It’s harmless and mildly entertaining, not bad enough to make you feel you were cheated out of an hour but there’s not enough substance to want to come back for a second helping.


  • Charles Russell only starred in 18 films before his on screen career ended in 1950. However, he transitioned to a new role behind the camera and was a successful producer on such television programs as The Untouchables, Naked City and The Alfred Hitchcock Hour. He was also the original Johnny Dollar on the popular radio program Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar in 1949 and 1950. He died in 1985 at the age of 66.  
  • Dale Bedding only had nine acting credits between 1947 and 1951. His debut was in a 1947 Hal Roach comedy called Curley. Roach no longer owned the rights to Our Gang aka Little Rascals, so he attempted to revive the concept with a new group of kids with actor Larry Olsen heading up the new gang as Curley. The series only lasted two films, with Who Killed Doc Robbin? (1948) being the second and last. Bedding played Curley’s friend Speck in both films. Bedding also starred in The Life of Riley (1949), based on the popular radio program, and as Danny in the first three Ma and Pa Kettle movies. He retired from acting in 1951 and died in 1997 in Las Vegas at the age of 62.
  • Billy House was a popular character actor with a short-lived career and memorable roles in The Stranger (1946) with Orson Welles and Bedlam (1946) with Boris Karloff.  He died in 1961 at the age of 72 of a heart attack.
  • Fritz Lieber is well-known to horror fans for his roles in The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1939), Phantom of the Opera (1943) and Cry of the Werewolf (1944). Inner Sanctum was one of his last films before his death in 1949 at the age of 67 of a heart attack.
  • Lew Landers had a long and successful directing career between 1934 and 1963. He’s well-remembered among horror fans for The Raven (1935) with Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi, The Boogie Man Will Get You (1942), starring Karloff and Peter Lorre, and The Return of the Vampire (1943) with Lugosi. He turned to television by the 50s but returned for one more horror film in 1963, Terrified. He died on December 16, 1962, at the age of 61, several months before the film’s release.
  • Jerome Todd Gollard has only two film writing credits, both in 1948, before his third and final credit in 1967 for an episode of The Fugitive.

Inner Sanctum Mysteries – The Tell-Tale Heart (1941)


This week on OTR Wednesday, we continue to celebrate Inner Sanctum Week with an episode of Inner Sanctum Mysteries. The program ran for a total of 527 episodes from January 7, 1941 through October 5, 1952. Unfortunately, many of the early episodes no longer exist but, thankfully, we still have many with guest star Boris Karloff.

On August 3, 1941, while Karloff was on stage with Arsenic and Old Lace, he appeared in an adaptation of Edgar Allan Poe’s classic, The Tell-Tale Heart. So, turn out the lights and come in won’t you. Boris and Edgar are waiting for you. I’m sure this tale will leave you with…pleasant dreams!

Don’t forget to check out all of the playlists on my YouTube channel for more great old time radio!

Classic Horrors Club – Enter the Inner Sanctum


You, without knowing, can commit murder…

Bring a can of WD-40 to oil that squeaky door as Jeff and I examine the Inner Sanctum franchise from books to radio to movies to TV. In episode 55 of the Classic Horrors Club Podcast, we’ll take a look at all six films in the Universal Pictures film series of the mid-1940s starring Lon Chaney Jr., including Calling Dr. Death (1943), Weird Woman (1944), Dead Man’s Eyes (1944), The Frozen Ghost (1945), Strange Confession (1945) and Pillow of Death (1945).

There are some differences about how your hosts would rank them, but they agree they’re all worth watching. Afterwards, we’re sure you’ll have “pleasant dreams, hmmmmm?”

Be sure to watch a very special companion episode with all kinds of highlights and bonus features on our YouTube channel. If you like what you hear, you’re going to love what you see! Check it out and give us some feedback… both on the podcast and the video.

Call us at (616) 649-2582 (CLUB) or email at

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We’d also appreciate if you’d give us an honest rating on Apple Podcasts or SoundCloud. Thank you!

You can find Jeff at:

As always, thank you for your continued support!

OTR Wednesday – Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Blarney Stone (1946)


This week on OTR Wednesday and in honor of St. Patrick’s Day, let’s journey back to March 18, 1946, for a thrilling episode of The New Adventures of Sherlock Holmes.

By this time, Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce had played the great detective and Dr. Watson since 1939 on both radio and the silver screen. Rathbone had grown weary of Mr. Holmes and was soon to leave the role by May 1946. Nigel Bruce would go on to play Dr. Watson for one more year on the air opposite the new radio Sherlock, Tom Conway, before leaving the show himself.

In 1946 on the day after St. Patrick’s Day, Holmes and Watson would travel to Ireland for The Adventure of the Blarney Stone. You’ll also hear announcer Harry Bartell doing his best to promote sponsor Petri Wine. If you’ve ever listened to this era of Sherlock Holmes radio programs, you may have wondered if Petri Wine is still in existence. Louis Petri had founded the winery in 1886 and it remained a thriving business until Petri formed two new companies in the 1950s and Petri Wines ceased to exist. The vineyards were sold at one point and were most recently purchased by the Bronco Wine Company and still producing wine. So, you may have had a glass of wine from the very vineyards that Petri Wine once came from.

Now, on a chilly late spring night, pour yourself a pint and enjoy some corned beef and cabbage as you tune into this old time radio classic. And don’t forget to check out all of the playlists on my YouTube channel for more great old time radio!

Nightmare Junkhead – Into the Mouth of March Madness 2021


It’s been a long two years but the darkness of the universe and a pandemic could not keep Jeff Owens and I away from returning for our 4th visit to the Nightmare Junkhead Podcast! Yes, it’s time once again to journey Into the Mouth of March Madness!

This year, Jeff and I virtually sit down with Greg and Jenius to talk about the four films in our respective bracket to determine the definitive horror film of 1981. We’ll be talking about An American Werewolf in London, Halloween II, The Beyond and My Bloody Valentine

Tune into episode 275 to find out which which two films survive to the next round. And thank you Greg and Jenius for having us back once again!

19th Annual Rondo Hatton Classic Awards Nominees Announced


The 19th Annual Rondo Hatton Classic Awards nominees have been announced and, once again, several friends of the Kansas City Cinephile and Monster Movie Kid have been recognized. A special and heartfelt congratulations to all of the following:

Favorite Commentator

The following gentlemen have been recognized for their wealth of knowledge via commentaries on the following films:

  • Rod Barnett and Troy Guinn (of the Naschy Cast) for Mondo Macabro’s Panic Beats, the 1983 flick starring Paul Naschy
  • Troy Howarth for Fury of the Wolfman (1972) and Orgasmo aka Paranoia (1969)
  • Sam Irvin for Frankenstein: The True Story (1973)

You can also consider Joshua Kennedy as a write-in for his work on The Gorgon (1964) on Mill Creek’s Hammer Films: The Ultimate Collection Blu-ray set.

Best DVD Extras

  • Troy Howarth for the And Then There Were Werewolves feature on The Beast Must Die (1974) released by Severin
  • New interviews with Jane Seymour, Leonard Whiting and Don Bachardy on the Frankenstein: The True Story (1973) Shout! Factory Blu-ray (Sam Irvin worked very hard on this release, a true labor of love) 

Best Independent Film of 2020

Christopher R. Mihm didn’t get an official nomination for The Phantom Lake Kids in The Unseen Invasion but it’s certainly of a write-in vote!

Best Short Film

Ansel Faraj for The Thousand and One Lives of Dr. Mabuse, his third installment in the modern-day series.

Book of the Year

  • Assault on the System: The Nonconformist Cinema of John Carpenter by Troy Howarth
  • Fright Favorites: 31 Movies to Haunt Your Halloween and Beyond by David J. Skal
  • Spotlight on Horror, edited by Eric McNaughton and Darrel Buxton, featuring articles written by my podcasting partner-in-crime Jeff Owens

Just a quick thought on Spotlight on Horror. Only the editors are being recognized by the Rondo Awards but, while the book wouldn’t have been made without them, the same can also be said of all of the writers who contributed. So, while I understand it may not be possible to recognize them through the Rondo Awards, I want to make sure and recognize the hard work and impressive effort Jeff Owens and every other contributing writer put forth in all of the We Belong Dead publications.

Best Article

  • Assisting Brian DePalma: Working on Dressed to Kill by Sam Irvin in Boobs and Blood #4
  • When the Phantom Crashed My Life: A Universal Monsters Awakening by Ansel Faraj in We Belong Dead #24

Best Interview

Donnie Dunagan by Steven Turek, DieCast Movie Podcast episode 12

Best Magazine Cover

Little Shoppe of Horrors #44 by Mark Maddox

Best Website of 2020

Bloody Pit of Rod

May I also suggest writing in Jeff Owens for his work on Classic Horrors Club and DC Comics Guy

Best Multimedia Site

  • Bill Makes Podcasts with Bill Mize
  • B-Movie Cast with Mary Rotolo, Nic Brown and Juan Ortiz
  • Monster Kid Radio with Derek M. Koch
  • Naschycast with Rod Barnett and Troy Guinn

Best Artist of 2020

I recommend writing in Mark Maddox as his work is simply amazing. I have three of his art prints gracing our walls at home and they never cease to impress me.

Best Writer of 2020

I recommend writing in Stephen D. Sullivan as Dr. Cushing’s Chamber of Horrors was a standout of the year, made all the more impressive with an original cover by Mark Maddox!

OTR – The Shadow: The Death House Rescue (9-26-37)


This week, I’m stirring things up a little here at OTR Wednesday. While I love highlighting radio adaptations of classic films from decades past, I thought it might be fun to also highlight some of my favorite radio programs too. So, while shows like Lux Radio Theatre and Screen Guild Theatre will continue to pop up from time to time, other weeks will see a wide range of OTR shows featured as well. Everything from comedies to westerns to horror to crime drama are all fair game. Some of these programs will appear here while other non-horror related shows can be found on our sister site, the Kansas City Cinephile.

First up this week, my favorite radio show of all time…The Shadow. The Shadow was originally created to be the host of Detective Story Hour before becoming an actual character in Street & Smithpulp magazines in 1931 as written by Walter B. Gibson. While The Shadow soon earned his own magazine in 1931, he continued as only a host on radio until March 1935. As The Shadow magazine continued to be popular, Street & Smith desired to bring the character to life on the radio. 

Finally, courtesy of a new partnership between Street & Smith and Blue Coal, The Shadow radio program had its real debut in the fall of 1937. While the radio character differed in several ways from the literary version, this Shadow was no longer just a host but a real crime fighter. On radio, The Shadow was in reality Lamont Cranston, a wealthy man about town. In the first year, a young Orson Welles portrayed The Shadow with Agnes Moorehead as his companion, the lovely Margot Lane. 

Between 1937 and 1954, a total of 677 episodes were produced with five different actors in the lead role. Besides the originals stories and radio program, The Shadow had a successful newspaper strip run and comic books, not to mention six feature films, a chapter serial, six film shorts and a television pilot. The most recent film was in 1994 with Alec Baldwin as The Shadow in a story that was more inspired by the original stories than any previous effort.

Let’s journey back to that very first episode of The Shadow from September 26, 1937. Orson Welles and Agnes Moorehead head up the cast for an adventure entitled The Death House Rescue.

Don’t forget to check out the new Personal Old Time Radio Favorites playlist and all of my other playlists on my YouTube channel for more great old time radio! And remember…

Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men?

The Shadow knows!