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Grand Guignol


CaveGirl
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Today saw two wonderful excursions into Grand Guignol territory with "The Unknown" and "Whatever Happened to Baby Jane" which is on TCM later tonight.

 

Interestingly both starring Joan Crawford, whose excesses seem perfectly suited for this field of entertainment and I'm sure she would have been welcomed by the writer DeLordes if she'd been around back at the inception of the theatre in gay Paris.

 

I'd be pleased if others could recommend other Grand Guignol styled favorites on film.

 

Thanks, or should I say merci beaucoup.

A bientot!

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OK:

 

"The Phantom of the Opera" (1925)--Lon Chaney--the creepiest version.

 

"Suddenly Last Summer" (1959)--Tennessee Wiliams Southern Grand Guignol.

 

"Hush...Hush, Sweet Charlotte" (1965)--TCM edited out the severed head bouncing down the stairs in the Aug. showing--or I slept through it.  Hopefully it will be back this Sept. or Oct.

 

"Theatre of Blood" (1973)--where Shakespearean actor Vincent Price eliminates all critics who gave him a bad review.

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Tallulah's (Bankhead, of course) big screen swan song, "Die! Die! My Darling!" (1965...original British title: "Frantic")

 

She chews the scenery with the best of 'em in this one.

 

(...and a very young Stefanie Powers surprisingly holds her own against the legendary grande dame)

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"The Climax"--(1944)--Boris Karloff and Susanna Foster (Universals' songbird savior for two years in the 1940's)--excellent horror film.

 

"The Murders in the Rue Morgue"--(1932 or 1954)--the 1932 version is creepier--there is a 1914 version also--may be a LOST film--if anyone knows for certain, please post--thank you in advance, :)

 

 

"The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari"--(1919)--Grand horror film--scheduled for a Sept. midnight showing.

 

"The Mask of Fu Manchu"--(1932)--Pre--Code silliness with Fine performances from Boris Karloff & Myrna Loy, both with certain tendencies.

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A few more:

 

"Who Slew Auntie Roo?"--(1971)--odd horror film--with Shelley Winters

 

"What's the Matter With Helen?"--(1972)--Shelley Winters & Debbie Reynolds are mothers of thrill-killers.

 

"The Fearless Vampire Killers: Or, Pardon Me. But Your Teeth Are in My Neck"--(1967)--from what little I've seen of it, features waltzing vampires?

 

Svengali (1931)--John Barrymore actually looks more like Rasputin--but Marian Marsh's Trilby can only trill under his spell.

 

"Masque of the Red Death--(1964)--Vincent Price in Corman's best Poe adaptation, IMHO.

 

 

 

 

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 Here are some horror movies with gruesome scenes that I'd recommend.  Sort of.     

 

     RE-ANIMATOR (1985) ► Un-rated version only!

 

     BEAST WITHIN, The (1982)  All manner of gory goings-on.  Great score by Les Baxter, too. 

 

     EVILSPEAK (1981)  Luv those satanically possessed killer boars.  This is like 'CARRIE' -- but with pigs and none of that irritating slow-motion stuff during the climactic scene.  I would have enjoyed 'CARRIE' much more without the slo-mo prom wastage scene.   

 

     INCUBUS (1981-Canadian)  There's some repulsive 'n' gory scenes in this one. 

 

     MORTUARY (1983)  Filmed in 1981.  Bill Paxton is more animated here than he is in the 1996 hit 'TWISTER'.   Also:  You just gotta love seeing those AMC cars on the road.  Too cool for school!  They were the 'mortuary' cars.  I think they were Ambassador's.  Music by JOHN CACAVAS -- who also scored the 1981 Tvm 'NO PLACE TO HIDE' starring Kathleen Beller.  The score for both films is very similar.  I saw 'MORTUARY' several times many years before I saw 'NO PLACE TO HIDE' and the first thing I thought of when I heard the music score for "No Place to Hide" was how similar it sounded to "MORTUARY".  Then I looked closely at the credits and saw why.  That said:  I like the music score(s) for those movies.    

 

     And finally, the 1975 opus BLOODSUCKING FREAKS surely must qualify as a 'Grand Guignol'-ish movie.          

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