Vampire Cinema: The First Hundred Years

Back in 2017, author and historian Christopher Frayling gave us Frankenstein: The First Two Hundred Years, giving us an amazing history lesson, filled with a ton of amazing photos and illustrations, on the story of Frankenstein. Now, Frayling is back to give us a look at the other classic monster, the vampire, in Vampire Cinema: The First Hundred Years, recently published by Reel Art Press back in October. Not sure how I missed this coming out, but better late than never, right?

With close to 300 pages, Frayling gives goes through the cinematic history of the vampire, starting with the one that started it all, F. W. Murnau’s Nosferatu, released in 1922. Filled with a ton of stills, posters, artworks, and pressbooks, this is another essential volume for fans of horror films, and especially fans of the vampire sub-genre. The price is $45, which may seem a little steep, but if this is anything like the Frankenstein volume, it is more than worth it since that is a beautiful coffee table book that will give you more than a few hours of fun paging through it, not to mention maybe even learning a thing or two about this popular sub-genre.

Terror Tuesdays at the Chicago Public Library

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!

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Nosferatu 100-Year Anniversary Screening in Chicago

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.

Halloween Favorites

Fright FavoritesHorror 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

Know Your Nosferatu History?

Nosferatu StoryThe German silent film Nosferatu (1922) remains one of the most famous of horror films. Yes, it was an illegal adaptation of Stoker’s novel, and was supposed to be destroyed by a court order, but lucky for us fans, prints remained and now we can still see and enjoy this amazing piece of early horror cinema today. But what is really known about this film and the people behind it? Now, thanks to author Rolf Giesen, we will be able to learn the history behind this infamous picture.

According to McFarland’s website, The Nosferatu Story: The Seminal Horror Film, Its Predecessors and Its Enduring Legacy gives us “the complete story drawing on rare sources. The trail leads to a group of occultists and their plan for establishing a leading film company that would produce a momentous series of horror movies. Along the way, the author touches upon other classic German fantasy silent, including The Golem, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, and Metropolis.

The book is set to be released by the fall of this year, and has a retail price of $45. For more information, head over to McFarland’s website HERE.