Tag Archives: horror films

Around the Common Room: October 26, 2012

We’re just days away from Halloween, and have a few good links well suited to the holiday. First, Fantasy Faction has quite the aggregation of SFF links and v

ideos, including information on how to zombie-proof your house and dress as a famous work of art for your Halloween party. Kirkus Reviews has a piece up on H.P. Lovecraft, Off the Mark imagines out a soft drink for werewolves, and all the Top [n.] lists of the week seem to be horror-related: 10 massively awesome giant movie monsters, 10 stereotypical horror movie victims, 8 things Hollywood can no longer make creepy, the 15 greatest mad doctors of nerddom, and–in a nicely meta twist–the top 10 lists about horror movies.

Excellent non-Halloween news for Tolkien fans: Mythgard Institute has announced Mythmoot, a Tolkien/The Hobbit conference in Maryland, running December 15 and 16 with a private screening of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. From the site:

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The Laughs are MONSTERous!

(No, really–that’s what the poster says!)

What do you get when the legends of silver screen comedy run into the legends of silver screen horror (literally)? You get the 1948 classic, Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein. Hailed as one of the greatest comic horror movies ever made, it showcases the comedy duo at the height of their powers and the classic Universal Studio monsters in all their campy terror.

Glenn Strange is the monster in question, the immortal Lon Chaney continues his role as the Wolfman, and, most memorably, Bela Lugosi assumed the role of Count Dracula for the second and final time. Vincent Price even features in an uncredited cameo as the Invisible Man–and gets enough time to laugh evilly.

Abbott and Costello are Chick and Wilbur, two hapless freight handlers who receive a remarkable shipment–Count Dracula in a coffin, Frankenstein’s monster in a crate. Nor did the shipment arrive by accident. Dracula has designed a sinister plot to empower the monster, and lacks one vital ingredient to bring terror to the world: Wilbur’s brain.

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Nosferatu: The Symphony of Horror

NosferatuShadowNosferatu, The Symphony of Horror (How’s that for a catchy name?) was an unauthorized adaptation of Bram Stoker’s Dracula.  It is, as far as I can tell from a brief research, one of the earliest adaptations of Dracula.  Directed by F.W. Murnau and released in 1922, the film attempted to get around the problem of not having the rights to the Stoker story by changing the setting from London to the fictional German city of Wisborg and also changing all the names of the characters.  Count Dracula becomes Count Orlok, Harker becomes Thomas Hutter, Renfield becomes Knock, and so on.  Minus the ending, though, the story is essentially the same as Dracula. Continue reading

Books, Films, and You – Boo!

In keeping with our October Halloween theme, what books or films have literally made your hair stand on end, or made you jump, scream or have nightmares for weeks?

I’m around eighteen. I’m reading The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson. It’s late at night and I’m alone; the house is silent. All lights are off, except for the lamp beside me. I’m completely absorbed in the scene where the two women are in the bedroom; the house has come alive, and is breathing and making horrific sounds; I’m totally in that room with them, scared out of my wits. The doorknob to the room is turning.

Suddenly, our front door doorknob, several feet away, begins to turn.

I stare at it in disbelief, hair standing on end. It mysteriously continues to slowly turn back and forth. I get up and creep fearfully to the door, my heart practically jumping out of my chest. I feel a complete unreality. I’m get to the door and (stupid!) open it, and find myself two inches from a face between the opened screen door and me. Before I realize it’s my brother returning from an evening out, I jump and shriek loud enough to wake the neighborhood.

I haven’t read any horror since.

So, what’s your story?