Saturday, October 2, 2010

Movie Monster Fest

Well, they're saying rain all next week. Wouldn't mind it so much if it weren't so gloomy. Ugh. Sounds like the mood will be perfect for reading (well, when is it not a good time for reading?)
and the beginning of my yearly Movie Monster Fest.

I don't know about you, but I prefer my Halloween Horror without a dose of technicolor blood splatter. I'm very old school when it comes to my monster preferences. I don't like 'slasher' movies, so there aren't any on my list. I still like all the stuff that scared me when I was a kid. Some I can laugh at now, others still make me uneasy. All are filmed in black and white and I love watching them during Halloween season. Popcorn, of course, is optional. Plain or cheddar? (It's funny, despite the gorgeous color of the Autumn season, when I think of this time of year, I mostly think of it in black and white precisely because of all the monster movie marathons I used to watch as a kid. Yes, those were the days of b/w television. No laughing, please. I confess I even saw some of these movies in theater. Obviously, I am ancient.)

I've thrown four comedies into the mix because how can you NOT watch the preposterous Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein which, by the way, also has appearances by Lon Chaney as The Wolf Man and Bela Lugosi as Dracula? Arsenic and Old Lace has Cary Grant, murder, loony mayhem, Raymond Massey as a Boris Karloff look-alike and Peter Lorre at his sniveling homicidal best. Young Frankenstein is Mel Brook's classic, the only 'modern' film in the list but filmed in b/w because Brooks knew color would not work. The late Peter Boyle is wonderful as the Frankenstein monster, but in my opinion Cloris Leachman as Frau Blucher, steals the show. The Ghostbreakers is my favorite Bob Hope movie. Half the film is set in a Cuba that probably never was (who knew there were zombies and voodoo in Cuba?), but it's sure fun to watch.

Highest Creep Quotient: Dracula, Dracula's Daughter, Cat People, The Mummy.
Four films that prove less is more when it comes to scary.
The one film that scared me practically into hiding under my theater seat when I was a kid: The Leopard Man. I had nightmares forever after about a certain scene. To this day I can't watch it without cringing. (For many years I refused to see this movie again, that's how much of an impression it made on me.) The second film that had a similar effect, though not as long-lasting, was Cat People. The swimming pool scene and the night scene in the park - frightening without really showing anything. Amazing.

And I admit the first time I saw the original Frankenstein, I was impressed.

The other titles listed are moody, atmospheric and scary, but purely - for me anyway - in a nostalgic sort of way. The Uninvited (does a ghost count as a monster?), The Thing and Creature From the Black Lagoon are films I could watch anytime. They are not comedies by any means, they are just plain fun.

(The wonderful bat is an Edward Gorey illustration. The illustration at the top of my post is by the inimitable Charles Addams, of course.)


  1. What about Ghostbreakers!? Even I like that movie! I also want to add one more to your list that is not a classic, it's a newer one - but in my book, one of the scariest movies I ever saw - made me jump out of my seat in the theater! "The sixth Sense" -
    Oh and I Have to add "Poltergeist" - that movie scared the life out of me as a kid and I was terrified of clowns & my closet for years!

  2. ooooh, yeah, I definitely forgot Ghostbreakers. I'll add it in a moment. The other two are color films and too 'modern' to add to my list.
    But yeah, they are scary too. I was going for more 'nostalgic' films in black and white. ;)

  3. Oh, Yvette, what a great list...and I love the posters. I haven't seen all of them, but several are favorites: Frankenstein, Dracula (possibly my fave horror film, so dark and mysterious with all those um, sexy overtones, or would it be undertones?). I'll have to watch Cat People again, I don't remember that scene you mentioned, but it is a good movie. Love Young Frankenstein - I mean Frankensteen.

    I hate slasher films, too, no imagination whatsoever and just gross.

    I continue to admire your blog and the fact that you post daily - a committment I'm sorry to say I wouldn't be able to live up to, but I'm glad that you can! And the pictures of your sweet granddaughter and little Rocky...they make me smile every time.


  4. Hi Nancy, yes, those old movie posters are the best. I just love looking at them. If you like Dracula, you have to see Dracula's Daughter - talk about creepy! Thanks for the kind words about my blog. I'm so new at it, half the time I'm just feeling my way.

  5. I adore Dracula and if you haven't yet, I would suggest watching the Spanish language version they filmed at the same time. It was filmed on the same set with some of the same costumes but it's a little longer and in my opinion it's filmed a bit better.

    I'm so glad you included The Uninvited. That is one of my favorite ghost movies of all time. Of course it has Ray Miland in it so what's not to like.

  6. I've never seen the Spanish version of DRACULA, Ryan, but I've heard of it. I wonder if Netflix has it?? Probably not. I'll look around for it.
    Talking about Ray Milland, have you ever seen MINISTRY OF FEAR? Based on Graham Greene's novel. It's my second favorite Ray Milland movie.

  7. I love monster movies - I have about 20 Hammer films in my DVD collection; some are schlock, some genuinely creepy, but all pure entertainment. And I LOVE these posters - superb.


  8. Hi Lulu, thanks for dropping by. Yeah, I love the old movie posters too. I wish these were mine. Love the old black and white movies too.


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