|The Phantom Unmasked – Lon Chaney, Sr as the Phantom|
Another novel that I’m particularly fond of from Leroux is Balaoo. This is a science fiction/mad scientist novel about a doctor who takes a wild gorilla, and through a series of experiments creates the likeness of a man. There have a couple of film adaptations that I have run across. The best of which is “Dr. Renault’s Secret”, released in 1942. J. Carrol Naish plays Noel, Dr. Renault’s ape-man/hunchback. George Zucco does his typical mad scientist thing very well.
Since we are on the topic of french fiction, I’ve recently recorded a short story by Guy de Maupassant for the horror podcast: Pseudopod. It’s called A Mother of Monsters. It really strikes me how de Maupassant can so incisively pinpoint the modern attitude toward physical appearance. It’s really quite nice. You can listen and download it here:
So take a whirl with The Phantom of the Opera. If you order before March 31, enter the coupon code HUCKLEBERRY and you can get Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain for only $.99.