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Ed Wood’s 1959 masterwork Plan 9 From Outer Space is nowhere near the worst movie ever made, as anyone who’s seen it might testify. What can be said about it? It defied any traditional movie-making conventions and does it without any shame whatsoever. Wood had to have the cast baptized in order to make this bizarre film, and that’s the least strange thing about it. The original title Grave Robbers from Outer Spacewas later ditched, but Criswell mentions it during the intro nevertheless.
Plan 9 was promoted as “almost starring Bela Lugosi” because he died before the film could even get finished, and the footage of Lugosi from this film was originally filmed by Wood to be included as a part of his movie The Ghoul On The Moon, which never got made, so Wood just shoehorned those scenes (which just involve Lugosi walking around with a cane »
- Tom Stockman
Article by Jim Batts, Dana Jung, and Tom Stockman
No other actor in the long history of horror has been so closely identified with the genre as Boris Karloff, yet he was as famous for his gentle heart and kindness as he was for his screen persona. William Henry Pratt was born on November 23, 1887, in Camberwell, London, England. He studied at London University in anticipation of a diplomatic career; however, he moved to Canada in 1909 and joined a theater company where he was bit by the acting bug. It was there that he adopted the stage name of “Boris Karloff.” He toured back and forth across the USA for over ten years in a variety of low-budget Theater shows and eventually ended up in Hollywood. Needing cash to support himself, Karloff landed roles in silent films making his on-screen debut in Chapter 2 of the 1919 serial The Masked Rider. His big »
- Movie Geeks
"Fantasia" wasn't a huge hit when it was first released 75 years ago (on November 13, 1940).
Since then, however, over the course of multiple re-releases, the Disney feature has earned a reputation as a masterpiece for its blend of lushly recorded classical music and dazzling Technicolor animation. It eventually became a huge success in both theaters and on home video and spawned several sequels and spinoffs, not to mention parodies by other studios.
Still, as many times as you've enjoyed the ballet-dancing hippos or Mickey Mouse's botched attempt at using magic to shirk drudgery, there's a lot you may not know about "Fantasia." Read on, and watch out for those magic mushrooms.
1. The germ of the film began when Walt Disney bumped into legendary Philadelphia Orchestra conductor Leopold Stokowski (pictured) outside Chasen's restaurant in Hollywood. Disney told Stokowski of his idea to make one of his trademark "Silly Symphony" shorts out »
- Gary Susman
“Gooble-gobble, gooble-gobble, we accept her, we accept her, one of us, one of us.”
Cinema St. Louis presents a Tribute to Tod Browning Friday November 13th at Webster University’s Moore Auditorium as part of this year’s St. Louis International Film Festival. The program includes a 35mm screening of Browning’s 1927 silent shocker The Unknown with live music by The Rats and People Motion Picture Orchestra followed by a screening of Browning’s 1932 masterpiece Freaks. The event begins at 7:30pm and will be hosted by We Are Movie Geeks own Tom Stockman. Ticket information can be found Here
Tod Browning (1880-1962) was a pioneering director who helped establish the horror film genre. Born in Louisville Kentucky, Browning ran away to join the circus at an early age which influenced his later career in Hollywood and echoes of those years can be found in many of his films. Though »
- Tom Stockman
With presales for Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens amounting in over $6.5 million dollars nearly a month and a half before the film is released in December, the latest entry in the Star Wars franchise is destined to be a massive commercial success.
The film will feature performances by the stars who helped make George Lucas‘ Star Wars a hit nearly 40 years ago, as original stars Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, and Harrison Ford all appear in the latest film. Of that trio only Ford has received an Oscar nomination, for best actor in his role as a cop aiding a young Amish boy in 1985’s Witness, and his reprisal of his iconic role as Han Solo may just earn him his second nom.
The Academy, as is often forgotten, is made up of human beings and, just like the rest of us, they »
- Patrick Shanley
Constance Cummings in 'Night After Night.' Constance Cummings: Working with Frank Capra and Mae West (See previous post: “Constance Cummings: Actress Went from Harold Lloyd to Eugene O'Neill.”) Back at Columbia, Harry Cohn didn't do a very good job at making Constance Cummings feel important. By the end of 1932, Columbia and its sweet ingenue found themselves in court, fighting bitterly over stipulations in her contract. According to the actress and lawyer's daughter, Columbia had failed to notify her that they were picking up her option. Therefore, she was a free agent, able to offer her services wherever she pleased. Harry Cohn felt otherwise, claiming that his contract player had waived such a notice. The battle would spill over into 1933. On the positive side, in addition to Movie Crazy 1932 provided Cummings with three other notable Hollywood movies: Washington Merry-Go-Round, American Madness, and Night After Night. 'Washington Merry-Go-Round »
- Andre Soares
Hell's Kitchen: Soul stew image likely from the 1922 Benjamin Christensen horror classic 'Häxan / Witchcraft Through the Ages.' Day of the Dead post: Cinema's Top Five Scariest Living Dead We should all be eternally grateful to the pagans, who had the foresight to come up with many (most?) of the overworked Western world's religious holidays. Thanks to them, besides Easter, Christmas, New Year's, and possibly Mardi Gras (a holiday in some countries), we also have Halloween, All Saints' Day, and the Day of Dead. The latter two are public holidays in a number of countries with large Catholic populations. Since today marks the end of the annual Halloween / All Saints' Day / Day of the Dead celebrations, I'm posting my revised and expanded list of the movies' Top Five Scariest Living Dead. Of course, by that I don't mean the actors listed below were dead when the movies were made. »
- Andre Soares
It’s Halloween, the time of year for watching horror films with the lights out. You may be trying to decide which films you should watch for your Halloween scare-fest. There are many good films, depending on your taste. As a Halloween gift to you, Cinelinx lists 25 of the best horror films to watch, for your Halloween enjoyment. All these films are of excellent quality and convey the requisite eeriness and suspenseful mood to keep you in the creepy Halloween mood.
First…here’s a couple of Honorable Mentions:
Silence of the Lambs (1991) Hugely successful suspense thriller film that isn’t technically a horror movie but it’s close. This classy chiller became one of the few movies ever to capture the 'Big Five' awards at the Oscars. (Best picture; Best director for Jonathan Demme; Best actor for Anthony Hopkins; Best Actress for Jodie Foster; and best screenplay by Ted Tally. »
- email@example.com (Rob Young)
It's All Hallows' Eve, and we begin today's roundup with the New Yorker's Richard Brody declaring that Edgar G. Ulmer's The Black Cat with Bela Lugosi and Boris Karloff is his "favorite Halloween movie." We're also pointing to pieces on Werner Herzog's Nosferatu the Vampyre, Victor Halperin's White Zombie, Roman Polanski's Repulsion, Pavel Khvaleev's III, Nicolas Roeg's The Witches and Wim Wenders's Wings of Desire. Plus interviews with Agnès Varda, David Lynch, Charles Burnett and Jenni Olson. And Spike Lee's got a warning for you. » - David Hudson »
Almost every horror movie stops for a moment of exposition that sets up or explains the horrors that await or that have been endured. These are the scenes where directors can either conjure their inner cheeseball and pump up the spooky music or prepare the audience for more than what they bargained for. The legend of the monster, the backstory of the slasher, the warning to the meddling teenagers, these are all elements of atmosphere designed for one thing: to make you squirm before the real scares begin.
American Werewolf in London (1981) – Beware the moon
The horror genre is at its most impactful when leaving exposition to a minimum. Prioritizing narrative clarity over effective scare-mongering may ensure a tight narrative that can’t be held up to scrutiny, but it also ensures that the audience knows what to expect, all but draining the movie of tension. In An American Werewolf in London, »
Over at my other haunt, Sergio Leone and the Infield Fly Rule, there is currently posted, in honor of Halloween week, what I think are two very special treats (and possibly tricks). The first is a very challenging frame grab quiz in which readers are asked to guess the titles of 31 movies based on eerie images that may or may not be so easy to identify. The other is a special edition of the traditional interview-type quiz I occasionally come up devoted entirely to the harrowing world of horror. It features the usual batch of questions for which there are no wrong answers, only your answers, which makes it much more fun to fill out and especially to read. As usual, it’s taking me a while to get around to submitting my own answers to the quiz, but in the creeping shadow of the approaching holiday I thought I »
- Dennis Cozzalio
Special Mention: The Most Dangerous Game
Written by James Creelman
Genre: Survival Horror
The first of many official and unofficial screen versions of Richard Connell’s short story of the same name, The Most Dangerous Game was made in 1932, in the era known as “Pre-Code Hollywood,” a time when filmmakers were able to get away with sexual innuendo, illegal drug use, adultery, abortion, intense violence, homosexuality, and much more. It was during this time that a film like The Most Dangerous Game was allowed to be made and shown to the general public without fear of censorship. The film was put together by producer Willis O’Brien while in pre-production on King Kong, and features several of the same cast and crew members, as well as props and sets from Kong. Despite these obvious cost-cutting measures, Dangerous Game never feels like a second-rate production, »
- Ricky Fernandes
Coming this Halloween is the new film Scouts Guide To The Zombie Apocalypse. Part comedy, part horror, director Christopher Landon’s latest movie has Scouts saving the world from the Undead. Landon says audiences will be “screaming and laughing their heads off. This movie is an amusement park ride.”
What’s better than the mashup of comedy and horror to get you shrieking in fear! Just like a Reese’s cup – peanut butter and chocolate – the two just go together. Making scary themes into funny romps, while doing it cleverly, is a hard act to pull off. The films that have done it well have become part of the zeitgeist with fans of both genres.
Before you catch Scouts vs Zombies, check out our list of the funniest horror films.
Tallahassee: My mama always told me someday I’d be good at something. Who’d a guessed that something’d be zombie-killing? »
- Movie Geeks
“My girlfriend still doesn’t know why her sweaters are always stretched out!”
Ed Wood tells the story of the world’s worst movie director. Ed Wood Jr. was the man behind a number of inept American b-pictures such as Glen Or Glenda, Bride Of The Monster and his bizarro world masterwork Plan 9 From Outer Space. Wood (played in the film by Johnny Depp) had an incompetent directorial style, which included casting a group of non-actors that included dope addicts, transvestites, a struggling TV horror queen and the fading Hollywood legend Bela Lugosi. He was content to botch scenes by allowing his actors to muff their lines and he also mixed day and night shots together with no disregard for continuity. Ed Wood also focuses on the way his erratic career and behavior affected »
- Tom Stockman
He's back and he's funnier than ever. The mischievous, cagey entertainer William Claude Dukenfield starred in some of the best comedies ever. This five-disc DVD set contains eighteen of his best, all the way from Million Dollar Legs in 1932 to Never Give a Sucker an Even Break in 1941. And we get to see all sides of W.C's talent -- he was a top-rank juggler, of just about anything. W.C. Fields Comedy Essentials Collection DVD Universal Studios Home Entertainment 1932-1941 / B&W / 1:37 Academy 1316 minutes (21 hours, 46 min) Street Date October 13, 2015 / 99.98 Starring Larson E. Whipsnade, T. Frothinghill Bellows, Egbert Sousé, Eustace P. McGargle, Harold Bissonette, Professor Quail, Augustus Winterbottom, Mr. Stubbins, Sam Bisbee, Ambrose Wolfinger, Cuthbert J. Twillie, Humpty-Dumpty. Written by Charles Bogle, Mahatma Kane Jeeves, Otis Criblecoblis
Reviewed by Glenn Erickson
In the late 1960s there were these things called Head Shops, see, where various hippie consumer goods were sold. »
- Glenn Erickson
Five stories of the macabre tend more toward monotony in the strikingly animated but rather wishfully titled “Extraordinary Tales.” Spanish writer-director Raul Garcia has brought considerable care and artistry to bear on this omnibus of the ominous inspired by the writings of Edgar Allan Poe, though not even the use of a different drawing style for each yarn can ward off a creeping sense of inertia; with a few exceptions, this death-obsessed affair never fully sparks to life. Released in Stateside theaters just in time for Halloween, the GKids pickup should appeal to young adults and toon buffs inclined toward non-mainstream animated fare, even if it only intermittently captures a sense of Poe’s telltale art.
A veteran animator who has worked on any number of Disney features (“Aladdin,” “The Lion King,” “The Hunchback of Notre Dame”) and co-directed 2008’s “The Missing Lynx,” Garcia has adapted Poe’s fiction in admirably straightforward fashion, »
- Justin Chang
Special Mention: Dressed To Kill
Directed by Brian De Palma
Written by Brian De Palma
Brian De Palma’s films, like Tarantino’s, are a cinematic mash-up of influences from the past, and in De Palma case he borrows heavily from Alfred Hitchcock. Obsession is De Palma’s Vertigo, Blow Out his Rear Window, and with Dressed to Kill the director set its sights on Psycho. Dressed To Kill is more thriller than horror but what a stylish and twisted thriller it is! The highlight here is an amazing ten-minute chase sequence set in an art gallery and conducted entirely without dialogue. There are a number of other well-sustained set pieces including a race in the subway system and even, yes, a gratuitous shower murder sequence. Dressed To Kill features an excellent cast (Michael Caine, Nancy Allen, Angie Dickinson), a superb score (courtesy of Pino Donaggio) and »
- Ricky Fernandes
Out now in select theaters and on iTunes is Extraordinary Tales, an animated film anthology adapting five Edgar Allan Poe stories and boasting a voice cast that includes late legends Sir Christopher Lee and Bela Lugosi, as well as Julian Sands, Roger Corman, and Guillermo del Toro. For our latest Q&A feature, we caught up with director Raul Garcia to discuss his film's amazing vocal lineup and much more.
Thanks for taking the time to converse with us today, Raul. Based on the trailer for Extraordinary Tales, you obviously have a real passion for the works of Edgar Allan Poe. When did you first become a fan of his fiction?
Raul Garcia: Since a very early age, I was addicted to reading comic books and I especially loved horror comics. When I was 12 or so, I read Extraordinary Tales by Edgar Allan Poe, my first "grown up" book I ever read, »
- Derek Anderson
Starting off this morning's round-up is Frankenstein Day of the Beast release details for the U.S. and Canada. Also: a new variant for The Walking Dead #1, Kids of Horror photo gallery, Son of Frankenstein screening details, and photos from the 8 Films to Die For premiere.
Frankenstein Day of the Beast: Press Release: "Sgl Entertainment is pleased to announce that they just have signed a 6 picture movie deal with the Legendary Horror Filmmaker Ricardo Islas. As part of the Deal, the first release of many will be Frankenstein Day Of The Beast to be Unleashed on Blu-ray, DVD and VOD in the U.S. and Canada. The award-winning film had previously been released in Germany and Japan but will now be Available in North America via Sgl Entertainment along with their partners Mvd and Indie Rights.
In a foggy winter morning, a raft brings a priest to an isolated island. »
- Tamika Jones
Legendary horror film alumni lend their voices to animated Poe tribute Extraordinary Tales. Although he stalked off this mortal coil back in 1956, the essence of the immortal Bela Lugosi is alive and well in director Raul Garcia’s upcoming animated feature film Extraordinary Tales, a diverse anthology picture that translates the words of Edgar Allen…
- Chris Alexander
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