13 Demon Street

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13 Demon Street
Genre Horror
Created by Curt Siodmak
Developed by Herts-Lion
Directed by Curt Siodmak
Starring Lon Chaney Jr.
Theme music composer Len Fors
Composer(s) Len Fors
Country of origin  Sweden
Original language(s) Swedish
No. of seasons 1
No. of episodes 13
Production
Producer(s) Gustaf Unger
Ken Herts
Leo Guild
Editor(s) C-O Skeppstedt
Location(s) Nordisk Tonefilm Studios, Stockholm
Cinematography Johnny Schwerin
Camera setup Max Wilen
Running time 30 minutes
Production company(s) Herts-Lion Productions
Distributor Crosby/Brown Productions
Broadcast
Picture format black and white
Audio format mono

13 Demon Street is a Swedish horror television series that aired between 1959 and 1960 in American syndication. Thirteen 25-minute episodes were produced.

Lon Chaney Jr. was the host, introducing each episode from his 'home' at 13 Demon Street. Condemned for some shockingly atrocious crime, Chaney's purpose in relating the series' stories was to convince viewers that the crimes presented in them were worse than his, thus freeing him from his purgatory. This was hard for audiences to judge, however, because Chaney's original crime was never specified.

The series was originated by Curt Siodmak, who also wrote some of the scripts and directed several episodes. He had previously written Chaney's 1941 film The Wolf Man.

Three episodes of the series were edited together to make a theatrical feature called The Devil's Messenger, in which Chaney's character was reconfigured as Satan himself. Chaney filmed new wraparound segments to link the chosen episodes, which were 'The Photograph', 'The Girl in the Glacier' and 'Condemned in Crystal'.

Several of the show's stories were derivative in nature. 'The Black Hand', for example, was modelled on The Hands of Orlac, while 'The Photograph' is an updated version of the M R James story The Mezzotint.

Availability on Home Video[edit]

The series is available on grey market home video. In addition, two episodes - 'The Vine of Death' and 'The Black Hand' - were included as bonus features on the Image DVD release of the Boris Karloff series The Veil. Odeon's UK release of the same series featured four - the Image episodes plus 'The Photograph' and 'Fever'.

Although numerous dealers offer the series on DVD or VHS, every existing set is missing most of the Lon Chaney footage, removed by some unknown individual for reasons unknown. Episodes were intended to open and close in Lon Chaney's character's dilapidated home, where he would act as host and comment on each individual story. However, most episodes have obvious jump cuts, almost completely eliminating Lon Chaney's presence.

Cast[edit]

List of episodes[edit]

  • The Black Hand
  • Fever
  • Condemned in Crystal
  • Green are the Leaves
  • The Girl in the Glacier
  • The Book of Ghouls
  • The Photograph
  • The Vine of Death
  • A Gift of Murder
  • The Secret of the Telescope
  • Never Steal a Warlock's Wife
  • Murder in the Mirror
  • Black Nemesis

Cultural references[edit]

The name of the Swedish hardcore punk band D.S.-13 is a play on that of the series.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]