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Horror and B Movies


flickerknickers

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This is my fifth attempt to launch this subject but this new fangled system keeps kicking it out into cyber-limbo. So, is anyone interested in re-igniting this popular topic? How about a discussion comparing the old horror classics to the new ones? Let's go!

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"The Exorcist" is the only movie that truly frightens me. I have yet to see the re-released version. I used to find "The Omen" a scary film, but now it seems silly. By the way, my mother saw "The Exorcist" with my baby sister, as she could not find a baby-sitter. She said my sister slept through the whole movie!

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Me and my old-time horror buffs have made up this term: "Was that a 'jump' movie?" Meaning--was there a scene in the latest horrror film we saw that made us actually "jump" or "gasp" at? The last time I actually jumped--or gasped--was the chest-bursting monster in "Alien." That was wayyyyy back in the 80s. Another Jump movie was John Carpenter's "The Thing." The atmosphere of the great Universal classics was more menacing than horrific. I just watched again last night, "House of Dracula," 1945, and also "Frankenstein Meets the Wolfman." Wow. The lighting, music, camerawork and performances were marvelous. Right now, I'm into the Italian slasher flicks, especially Dario Argento and Lucio Fulci. You've got to see Argento's "Deep Red" and Fulci's "Zombie" to know what I'm talking about.

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  • 2 months later...

I think time errodes the horror film more than any other genre. Such truly frightening films as "PSycho" and "The Exorcist",which terrified their original audiences, have today lost most of their bite. Because they were so good they were copied to the point that their "scares" are no longer fresh or shocking to the viewer who has seen a dozen of their imitators. However the QUALITY remains and they are still much more enjoyable than their clones.

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You said it, Slappy. I remember watching "Psycho" when it first came out in the early 60s and the theater was packed. It was such fun when everyone--men and women--all screamed at the shower scene and of Abrogast being attacked on the stairsteps. But nowadays, I've heard no one scream like that--and I see nearly any "horror" flick that comes out. I remember there were some screams at the end of "The Ring"--which really was startling. I would love to have been in the audiences of the 30s and 40s when movie fans began to see the "new" horror masterpieces like "Dracula" and "Mummy" and of course "Freaks." I've read where some people really did faint, become hysterical and ran out of the theater.

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  • 2 years later...

I never tire of the Universal horror cycle of the 30s especially those with Una O'Connor screaming in them. (lol ) For me, a "horror" film has to transport me out of my world and into another. I love the truly great modern classics like The Exorcist, The Omen, and Psycho, but our world has become so scary that I find the nightly news much more frightening than most contemporary horror films. The one subject that never fails to entertain me in the genre is the mummy. These last two (The Mummy and The Mummy Returns) were great action/adventure films and I enjoyed them but if I had my way, I'd make a real period piece set in the 20s when the world was facinated with Egyptology and the rumor of a mummy's curse.

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I would love to see Argento and Fulci films played on TCM, but I don' t think they would fit the format of the station. There are a lot of Fulci films I haven't seen yet like "A Lizard In a Woman's Skin."

 

I believe The Exorcist lost a lot of it's punch over the years. I saw it in the theater several years back during it's re-release and the obnoxious kids were laughing and talking all the way through. The movie was a comedy to them.

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I have to say, IMHO. that only the Carpenter/Hill's Halloween is a very good Horror film, along w/ of course, The Excorist. Outside of these 2, I can't really say there is a great Horror film since, that can compare to so very many of the SIlent Era up into the mid 60's. Well, okay, I think the Japanese film Audtion was pretty good & I would have liked it far better had it not been for all the gore. To me, blood & guts is not scary.

 

I feel that in the last 30 years plus, it's all about big money & special effects & if they didn't try so hard to out-do other films & go back to what makes a film a Horror film good, thenh there will not be anymore like those greats of the past; things such as shadows, setting, atmosphere, characters, music, the mind/imagination.

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That is a great point about Halloween and the Exorcist being the last great horror movies before the onset of splatter. That's why I prefer the films of the 1930s, 40s, 50s and even 60s - from White Zombie with Bela Lugosi to Night of the Living Dead. But I till say that John Carpenter's has three other movies - Prince of Darkness, The Fog, and In The Mouth Of Madness (this one especially) were pretty darned creepy. If we can at least examine splatter and gore, Dawn of the Dead and The Evil Dead were exceptionally frightening and probably would be even without all the blood.

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I have to agree with everyone that "The Exorcist" is a fantastic horror movie. I saw it for the first time when I was 13 and it terrified me.

 

I wouldn't say Silence of the Lambs is a horror movie, but more a thriller. It is a fantastic movie though and I must say, Hannibal Lector is one of the best characters to come out of 90's cinema.

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  • 1 month later...

Two movies that I remember as being really, really scary were a couple of Roger Corman ?B? movies that were shown as a double bill (remember those?) in 1957. I was 10 years old and my brother 9. We went to see ?Attack of the Crab Monsters? and ?Not of This Earth? (not to confused with the cheesy remake starring Tracy Lords). After watching them, neither my brother nor I could sleep that night?we stayed up all night with our light on. I realized many years later that what was so scary about those movies was that they got inside your head. I believe that is what makes a horror movie work. That?s why black and white movies were so good. They made you rely on your imagination.

Today?s horror movies are mostly too commercial and rely on visuals to ?scare?.

Oh to recapture those old days of the ?B? horrors: Hammer Studios, American International, etc.

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