"West of Zanzibar" (Browning, 1928) and "Kongo" (Cowan, 1932) Two films, one silent, one sound, from one source: the successful Broadway play (!) "Kongo" starring Walter Huston. The material is about as dark and twisted as anything ever made in Hollywood, and both films were censored, so god knows what the play was like.... Lon Chaney plays the lead in "Zanzibar", Huston in "Kongo", the main character being a performer who is crippled, becomes consumed with the idea of revenge, and who relocates to Africa to carry it out (don't want to give more of the plot away.) Chaney gives one of his best, most subtle performances in "Zanzibar", loathsome, yet somehow pitiable, with cunning looks and manipulation of everyone in sight. Huston goes bigger, with a vile laugh and exuberant delight at the suffering of his victims. Both men, their characters being confined to wheelchairs, deliver amazing work. The mood of the films, abetted by the rough image and sound quality, is one of rot and darkness in the middle of the African jungle, reflecting the soul of the main character. The land is damp and lethal, with natives and their superstition, crocodiles and pestilence, the classic "No place for a White Man" universe of the period. Add to this a blond girl who is methodically being destroyed for the main character's scheme and you have a mix of ingredients that most any censor would go nuts over (and they did.) With all their rawness, their (sometimes) overacting, the poor continuity from edits, the films still pack a unique punch. They have a sense of sweaty depravity about them, like they escaped from MGM's edit suites late at night and were shown undercover, something not too much Hollywood product can claim. While for my money, "Kongo" runs better as a narrative film, Browning's "Zanzibar" has a fevered quality all its own. See them both, and dig into the dark corners of studio output in that wonderful period of "late silent/early sound" before the censorship doors really slammed shut. Warner Brothers Archive has both of these on individual DVDs, no extras, no remastering. One is thankful for WB doing what they can to get their older titles out, even as one rues the relative lack of BRs of Chaney's material in particular.