In the past, my partner-in-horror Aaron Christensen (aka Horror 101 with Dr. AC) and I have given some little seminars at the Sulzer branch of the Chicago Public Library, giving an overview of the horror genre. This year, however, not only did they ask us back, but they wanted MORE! So now, we’re taking over every Tuesday in October with TERROR TUESDAYS!
The Nosferatu Story: The Seminal Horror Film, Its Predecessors and Its Enduring Legacy
Published by McFarland, 2019. 225 pages
By Rolf Giesen
As a horror fan, I am forever grateful to all the authors out there that decided that they were going to do all this research and study on a particular film, or a sub-genre as a whole, and then put all of that work into a book so that other film fans can learn so much more about them. Whether it is on a specific sub-genre or a certain film in particular, I know that after reading it, I will have a little bit better understanding of the subject matter upon visiting it once again. Giesen’s book on Nosferatu, as well as early German horror cinema, is just that book. You’ll read about a lot of important names that would have a huge impact on the horror genre.Continue reading
If you are a fan of Bela Lugosi and anywhere near Canton, Ohio, then come August, you’ll have the chance to see 8 of Lugosi’s films on the big screen at The Palace Theatre. Taking place on August 12th & 13th, they will be screening 4 features each day, with a bonus feature Saturday night. There will be some dealers set up in the lobby as well, giving you time to wander around and do some monster shopping in between screenings! It’s not too often that you have the chance to see titles like this on a huge screen, like the original Dracula (1931) or Island of Lost Souls (1932), so if you are able to take advantage of it, I would highly recommend it. Such a better way to see and enjoy these films than on your TV.Continue reading
This year marks the 100 Year Anniversaries of F.W. Murnau’s Nosferatu, originally released back in 1922. That’s right, folks. A whole century ago. There is a reason this film is still being screened in theaters all these years later, as well as why it is a very important step in our horror history. Sure, it was made without permission from Bram Stoker’s widow, and was ordered by the courts to be destroyed. But lucky for us, prints of it survived and all these years later, we are able to look at this amazing piece of cinema and still be in awe of what they created ten decades ago.
And to be able to see it on the big screen! With a live organ accompaniment? What more could you ask for! On Saturday, March 5th, at the Patio Theatre in Chicago, they will be screening Nosferatu, with Jay Warren playing the organ during the film. Tickets are only $7 each, with a special introduction by TCM personality and film historian Dr. Annette Bochenek.
If you have never had the chance to see this on the big screen, what better time than its 100-year anniversary? As a horror fan, both young or old, novice or well-seasoned, this is an opportunity not to be missed. For all the information, head over to the Patio Theatre’s website HERE.
I have quite a few famous horror figures in my collection that I’ve picked up over the years. Some are model kits, many of which I actually painted myself. Others are statues I’ve purchased that came painted already. Granted some of these were a bit pricy, but never more than a 2-3 hundred at the most. Granted, the full size bust of the poster zombie from Zombie or Dr. Hill’s decapitated head in a pan were a bit higher than that, but for a figure, I try to shy away from the real expensive stuff, mainly because I personally just can’t invest that much money into something like that.
But now Sideshow Toys has announced a couple figures that are $530 EACH and I’m trying to convince my brain that I DO need to invest in these!Continue reading
Directed by Chris Baugh
Starring Jack Rowan, Nigel O’Neill, Louisa Harland, Michael Hough, John Lynch, Fra Fee, Morgan C. Jones, Robert Nairne, Lalor Roddy
Creating a vampire movie these days is extremely difficult without treading on the footsteps of the countless titles already in this done-to-death sub-genre. When a filmmaker not only does that, but creates a very entertaining, humorous and still an effective picture, he, along with the cast and crew, need to be applauded. Because of that, I felt I needed to post a review, hoping to draw more people to it.Continue reading
Dracula A.D. 1972
Released by BSX Records
15 Tracks with a Total Running Time of 53 min.
Music Composed by Mike Vickers
Growing up watching a lot of television in the early ’70s, you became pretty accustomed to theme shows from shows. So the first time I remember hearing the score for Dracula A.D. 1972, in my head, I heard “A Quinn Martin Production”. While most of you out there have no clue what I’m referring to, they were a production company that made more than a few shows back then.
Anyhoo… That is the big difference with this score, coming from Hammer that was known for their bold and gothic musical scores, hitting your ears as hard as the bright red blood hit your eyes. Vickers came up with a very modern, almost jazz sounding Main Theme, that while dramatically different from Hammer’s past, it actually works quite well here. The music, as well as the film, are quite dated in their look and feel. But Vickers does a pretty good job blending in the new with the old. Track # 5, Devil’s Circle Music: Excerpt from White Noise, is a wild mixture of percussions, distorted screaming, and other disturbing sounds, blended together like a bad acid trip. But when viewed in the film, it works just right. Continue reading
What better way to spend your Halloween than at the drive-in, watching 3 of the classic Universal Monsters! The McHenry Drive-In will be screening Frankenstein, Dracula, and The Wolf Man this Friday and Saturday, Oct. 30th and 31st. Continue reading
Horror scholar David J. Skal has a new book coming out this fall, just in time for Halloween, entitled Fright Favorites: 31 Movies to Haunt Your Halloween and Beyond. Presented by Turner Classic Movies, Skal takes on 31 films ranging from the silent era, hitting a few titles from each decade through the ’80s, and a few beyond that. Most of these everyone will agree are classics, with a few comedies listed in the later day titles. The description in Amazon says they are “family-friendly” but not sure The Exorcist (1973) and The Thing (1982) are ones I would be screening for 8-year old Timmy! Continue reading
Born Jan. 16th, 1890 – Died May 3rd, 1969
Karl Freund was a German cinematographer that worked with some other top names in the business: Robert Wiene, F.W. Murnau, and Fritz Lang. When he finally made his way over to the states, Universal quickly put him under contract, where he would photograph several of their films, including a few horror films like Dracula (1931) and Murders in the Rue Morgue (1932). He would eventually direct a few films, two of them being horror, and both of which have become classics. The first one was The Mummy (1932) starring Boris Karloff, the second one was Mad Love (1935), starring Peter Lorre. This would be his last film as a director.
Freund went back to being a cameraman, because that is what he knew best. He won an Oscar for Best Cinematography for The Good Earth (1937), nominated again for Blossoms in the Dust (1941), and was given an Oscar in 1955 in the Technical Achievement department for the design and development of a direct reading brightness meter. He eventually went to work in television, specifically on the I Love Lucy show, and helped developed the 3-camera system for filming TV shows, which is still being used today. He also developed a new way of lighting the sitcoms, making them look a lot better than what they had been.
So while he was obviously a very talented cameraman, and gave the industry some amazing technical advances, he also gave us horror fans some great movies to watch, which we still continue to do today!