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Halloween Horrors!


Guest son, jery

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Guest son, jery

An icy rain whips against your windows. Somewhere a door creaks open below. Footsteps slowly mount the stairs. But you don't care. Your doors are bolted, a fire crackles in the hearth, your table groans with snacks. And of course, you've got your all-time favorite horror flicks on hand. What are the ones you will definitely have on hand to help celebrate this one day and night devoted to scary stuff?

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Guest finnie12, moira

I'm an old 'fraidy cat when it comes to explicit horror, but these are enjoyable to me...file these under scary but not terrifying-- For a perspective on vampirism from two ends of the century: "Nosferatu, A Symphony of Horror" (1922) "Shadow of the Vampire" (2000) _______________________________________________________________ "The Invisible Man"(1933)--Mr.Claude Rains and the spookiest special effects I've ever seen; all done with yards of black velvet, lots of skill and imagination. "The Wolf Man"(1941)--Lon Chaney Jr. as the lycanthropic son of Claude Rains...ok, ok, I'll buy the part about the man changing into a wolf, but Claude Rains as the FATHER of Lon Chaney, Jr...hmmmmm. Bela Lugosi hangs out in a small part but Maria Ouspenskaya as his gypsy mom and Lon are very good here. Poor Wolfie...he's just misunderstood ________________________________________________________________ Perhaps not classic horrors to many people, but a bit different: "The Hunger"(1984)--Catherine Deneuve's unearthly allure blends well with Susan Sarandon as her rather willing prey in this stylish vampire tale. "The Picture of Dorian Gray" (1945)--Albert Lewin's adaptation of Oscar Wilde's story of good and evil horrified and seduced with its creamy black and white production design and one rip-snorting technicolor sequence, (which I'm so glad I didn't see in color as a kid, or I'd still be sleeping with the lights on!) "The Devil and Daniel Webster" (1941)--Edward Arnold and Walter Huston (as Mr. Scratch himself), shine in Stephen Vincent Benet's version of Faust with terrific b & w cinematography on a budget of about two hundred bucks. Great score by Bernard Herrmann once again adding beautifully to a story. Has anyone seen the Alec Baldwin directed modern version with Anthony Hopkins that's being shown at film festivals yet? ________________________________________________________________ And, please, just one more of my favorite ghost stories: "Return to Glennascaul" (1951)--Only 23 minutes long, Orson Welles made this with Irish friends from the theatre after he ran out of dough while filming "Othello". It's a slight story, but if you've ever felt the hair on the back of your neck stand up while hearing a ghost story, you might enjoy it and it does cast a lingering spell...

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Guest Lyndsey

NOSFERATU is my favorite, as well as THE CABINET OF DR CALIGARI (which probably is one of first true horror feature films). If you haven't seen this, you definately should. It's so weird and it gives you chills just thinking about that sonammbulist(spelling?) and the set designs. I mostly like the original version of Bram Stoker's Dracula, but the 1931 DRACULA with Bela Lugosi is nothing short of creepy. For overall eerie feeling, including the famous unmasking scene, there is THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA...but the 1925 one, not the others, which are not exciting enough. And I cannot forget the other essential monster film (before they got to be campy): FRANKENSTEIN. My grandmother used to tell me about her trip to the movies to see this film one night, and there were doctors in the aisles because people were screaming and fainting!!! The sequel to this is fabulous, too.

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Guest Cat, Maggie the

Aw-haw, y'all! Dracula is da sh*t! No really, y'all. When I was a kid and went to visit my dad, it was a ritual: Dracula would start; I would thrill to the first 20 minutes or so; I would check my eyelids for holes. And like the character actor whose name I can't remember (and countless others), it was my first turn-on. (And no, it had nothing to do with my dad.) And then there were those incredibly lurid circus paintings at the county fair, and Roger Corman films, and is it any wonder I'm so warped?

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The Universal Mummy series always gives me the creeps so I'll be watching: "The Mummy's Ghost" "The Mummy's Hand" "The Mummy's Curse" "The Mummy's Tomb" Then I'll be screaming for my mummy. For real goosebumps I'll sit through "Halloween" and the remake of "The Thing".

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Guest Lyndsey

The remake of "The Thing" is pretty creepy. I like the original version, also. I only found the first "Halloween" freaky, not the later sequels (I don't know, maybe they began to lose their fervent appeal). I saw "The Haunting" for the first time on TCM last night (the original, obviously, not the 1999 version, which was horrid), and it was quite frightening. Ghost stories are the one thing that never fail to scare me. After the film I was in the dark, looking nervously all around me [teeth chattering].

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Guest Lyndsey

Saw "Black Sunday" (1961) on Thursday night (on TCM). Did anyone else see it, or any of the other horror films that were on that night? The film was interesting, but not particularily scary (well, kind of). It was made in Italy, so it was dubbed (which I hate); I'd rather hear the actual language, and read subtitles. The female lead was good as the "vampire witch princess" (American actress Barbara Steele). Overall, it was a bit melodramatic, but dark/strange at the same time.

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Guest Sutton, Robert

BLACK SUNDAY -- did any long time fan of this picture catch it the other night? This was a version I'd never seen before -- new dubbing, I think, with a more acurate translation from the Italian than either the American or British version. It used the original Italian score, as well, instead of the Lex Baxter music. Although the dialogue was more complete, I thought it lacked the mood that the sound mix and performances gave the American International version. Does anyone know where this new version comes from?

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Guest son, jery

Oh, Goody-Woody! I've got my junk food all ready, my cocktails lined up and now, I'm ready to settle in to watch some of my faves, which are: * NIGHT MONSTER (1941) Hollywood's greatest supporting actors gather in creepy old Ingston Towers where they're knocked off by the hideous "night monster." Cult favorites, Fay Helm and Doris Lloyd have a field day. * THE THING (both versions). Watch the first version in glorious black and white and be thrilled. Then watch the second version, in glorious color, and be terrified. Both are terrific. * FRANKENSTEIN MEETS THE WOlFMAN. Universal Horror at its peak and dig that opening cemetery scene! Wooo, I'm scared already! * THE MUMMY'S GHOST/MUMMY'S CURSE (1944-45) Ravishing Ramsey Ames is Princess Ananka and turns from beauty to ancient crone as Kharis shuffles into a quicksand bog. Snappy Virginia Christine is Princess Ananka in CURSE and you've simply gotta see her rise up out of the quicksand. A shocker! * BRIDES OF DRACULA (1960) Hammer Studios finest hour with a knockout cast, stunning photography, costumes. David Peele is the gorgeous blonde vampire. Great Shakespearean actress, Martita Hunt, is his vampire Mommie. Freda Jackson is the over-the-top nurse. And oh, boy, what an ending! * THE BLACK CAT (1933)Karloff is the HIgh Priest of Devil Worshippers and Lugosi is a famous shrink. They battle over the souls of hunky David Manners and his insipid new wife. Fantastic musical scoring. * DEAD OF NIGHT (1947) Unforgettable British anthology of stories, each directed by a different director. The ghost child is the most haunting, the dummy that comes alive is the scariest--although it's been done a million times since this one started it all. * THE HAUNTING (1961)The house is the star in this thriller. Enjoy it but study it to see what gifted cast and crew can do on little money and no special effects. * KING KONG. We all love ya, little guy! * MYSTERY OF THE WAX MUSEUM 91932)Wray screams, Glenda Farrell wise-cracks, Lionel Atwill scares the bedbugs outta the beds. * DOCTOR X (1933)Almost the same cast and again, this one filmed in eerie yet beautiful two-strip Technicolor. Great climax of the monster trapping Fay Wray. Remember this: "Synthetic Flesh!" * TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE. You'll never wanna eat barbecue after seeing this classic--and there's no blood anywhere to be seen! * TOURIST TRAP (1978) Don't stop at this hell hole. Or you'll become a dummy--like the rest of this scarifying cast.

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Guest Lyndsey

Ooh, jery son, "The Mystery of the Wax Museum" is fabulous! I love the scene where Fay is hitting Lionel Atwill(?), and his wax mask cracks off, revealing his true self. I haven't seen "Doctor X", but since Fay Wray's in it, I will soon! I just cannot watch "Texas Chainsaw Massacre"--toooo freaky. I have gotten through 1/4 of it, though. "The Horror of Dracula" (sequel is "Brides of Dracula", which you mentioned), also with Christopher Lee, is great, too. I'm guessing you've seen that. I'd like to add "Dracula's Daughter" (1936) to my list of essential horror flicks. I just borrowed it the other night, and it isn't as bad as some people would say...Definitely check it out!

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I'll be watching WHITE ZOMBIE, DRACULA ("I never drink...wine), THE THING FROM ANOTHER PLANET, DEVIL DOLLS (I love Lionel Barrymore in drag!!). Pass me the popcorn and turn out the lights!

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Guest son, jery

And don't forget our fave, Rafael Ottianno, as the crazed wife of Lionel. What a change from her usual "maid" roles in GRAND HOTEL and MAYTIME and of course, TOPPER RETURNS.

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Guest son, jery

Lyndsey, you've simply gotta catch DOCTOR X! Fantastic Anton Grot sets, glorious use of two-strip Technicolor (just like MYSTERY OF THE WAX MUSEUM). Instead of Glenda Farrell as the reporter, though, you've got to struggle through with Lee Tracey. But Fay Wray is glorious looking and that monster! I nearly jumped off the Brooklyn Bridge!

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Guest son, jery

Lyndsey, you've simply gotta catch DOCTOR X! Fantastic Anton Grot sets, glorious use of two-strip Technicolor (just like MYSTERY OF THE WAX MUSEUM). Instead of Glenda Farrell as the reporter, though, you've got to struggle through with Lee Tracey. But Fay Wray is glorious looking and that horrible monster croaking "Synthetic Flesh!" I nearly jumped off the Brooklyn Bridge!

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Guest Duh, Joe

Maybe this wasn't as scary as I thought it was since I have not seen it posted here yet. But The Innocents (1961)with Deborah Kerr spooked the heck out of me. I have been told by some that it was not all that scary, but after the many sleepless hours from my first and only viewing I am a bit hesitant to watch it again. The photography and the score to this B&W classic still remain with me some 9 years since I saw it. What the heck, I think I will give it another go this Halloween....

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Guest Lyndsey

That's the film I was thinking of earlier today: THE INNOCENTS. I was trying to remember what it was, since I haven't seen it in awhile. It is pretty spooky. I saw it when I was eight or nine, and it absolutely scared me to death. I should try to watch it again for Halloween, too.

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Guest son, jery

A great double-feature is to watch THE INNOCENTS (1961) and THE HAUNTING (1960). Both are in beautiful black-and-white and both use lighting, editing, music, etc. to build up the scares. Thanks to PSYCHO and the great old Val Lewton movies. I love to watch these gems on rainy, cold days. It seems to enhance the ambiance of them. My only gripe about THE INNOCENTS--I couldn't decide whether Deborah Kerr (the governess) was really psycho or whether she really saw the ghosts! Of course, that's the attraction of the book it was based on THE TURN OF THE SCREW, another wintry night delight.

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Guest Duh, Joe

jery son, I like your double feature, though, may I suggest a viewing of Abbott and Costello's Hold That Ghost in between the two for some comedy relief. I know it's Halloween and all but THE INNOCENTS and THE HAUNTING back to back will ruin my sleep for days.

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Guest son, jery

Oh, mi-god, Joe, you just named one of my all time faves! HOLD THAT GHOST! I watch this one at least once a month, and have seen it hundreds of times! Everything about it is so darn delightful--starting with the Andrews Sisters crooning, Joan Davis and Lou doing that insane Swan Lake ballet routine. Here's another great double-feature idea: HOLD THAT GHOST and TOPPER RETURNS! The last one is another one of my faves--Rochester is hysterical and what a cast! Patsy Kelly and those hilarious double-takes, Billie Burke, Roland Young. Yum, yum, eat-em up for halloween. Say, nobody's mentioned another fabulous fave: ABBOTT AND COSTELLO MEET FRANKENSTEIN!

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Guest Lyndsey

YES!!! "Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein" is the best! I mean, Dracula, Wolfman, Frankenstein TOGETHER=wonderful fun. I haven't seen HOLD THAT GHOST, which is probably really weird, since I'm a huge horror fan. Isn't that the one where the Andrews Sisters make an appearance? Maybe it's another one. CAT PEOPLE is on tomorrow night, along with other horror flicks, so I think I'll see that. It seems kind of interesting. And, of course, there's the inevidible sequel to CAT PEOPLE--CURSE OF THE CAT PEOPLE.

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Guest Lyndsey

Well, I watched CAT PEOPLE and its sequel last night, and I can honestly say that it wasn't very inspiring. Not to say that it was entirely bogus, I just didn't take to it much. It was interesting to see Simone Simon in something, since someone suggested once that I see one of hers. I don't remember if they meant it in a sarcastic way. Hmm...

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Guest son, jery

Val Lewton has never been a great favorite of mine, either, Lyndsey. I have one movie of his in my video library: I WALKED WITH A ZOMBIE. This one actually had a few chills in it. All his other work was interesting--but it sure doesn't have the juice or the fun or the chills of a Universal horror classic. Lewton gave a very sarcastic interview in the early l940s where he swore he would never make a movie like Universal where you "actually see men made up to look like monsters and werewolves." He was referring to the huge success of THE WOLFMAN. Too bad, Val. You might have made movies that pleased the intellectuals but while yours are nearly forgotten, Universal's old creep shows are more popular than ever. Universal must've been doing something right.

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Guest Lyndsey

Yeah, I saw I WALKED WITH A ZOMBIE, too. I agree--it wasn't that great, either. I've also seen THE SEVENTH VICTIM, and I have the same reaction. That's funny about his sarcastic interview. It's one of those comments that people make when they are incredibly jealous of somebody/something, and they say it without really thinking. They just want to seem "better than that", I guess. I don't know, that's just my experience with the subject. It may not be the case with our pal Val, but it is pretty likely that it is.

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