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Welcome back everyone for the final day of Daily Dead’s 2014 Holiday Gift Guide! Because it’s been an exceptional year for genre fans, we’re focusing today on recapping more books and films that would make for great gifts this holiday season and are perfect for all fans. We’ve also got another great find from over on Etsy and we’re celebrating a new subscription service from the fine folks over at Waxworks Records.
And be sure to check out today’s final Holiday Horrors trivia question below for your shot at winning some awesome merchandise from our fine sponsors at HorrorDecor.net, Scream Factory and Anchor Bay Entertainment.
Thanks so much for following along with our 2014 Holiday Gift Guide and I hope you guys had as much fun reading the series as I had putting it together!
Vendor Spotlight: Waxwork Records
Waxwork Records specializes in releasing horror, »
- Heather Wixson
I did my best to make this one a bit tougher than they've been in the past and I think I succeeded. It wasn't until very late that all the right answers started swirling around the comments and one person managed to piece them all together in the end. I honestly don't know how anyone would have ever been able to get #4 unless you were watching the movie at the exact same time you were playing the game, or you have an absolutely perfect photographic memory. I was also a little surprised how long it took for people to get #12. However, overall I think you all did an impressive job working together to get numbers six and 19. That said, here are the answers to this latest graphic. If you want to browse the graphic before seeing the answers don't scroll below the image below or just click here to visit »
- Brad Brevet
Directed by Frank Capra
Written by Robert Riskin
When Frank Capra came upon the 1933 Samuel Hopkins Adams story “Night Bus,” he thought it would make a great film. He bought the property and took it to screenwriter Robert Riskin, with whom he had worked a few years prior on Platinum Blonde (1931). The script was set to be Capra’s next feature for Columbia, then a lower-rung studio where he was their preeminent director. The problem? Nobody wanted to make the film. Several top actors and actresses of the day turned down the picture, Robert Montgomery, Carole Lombard, and Myrna Loy among them. Clark Gable, not yet the caliber of star he would become, eventually accepted the male lead, and Claudette Colbert eventually (and reluctantly) took the female lead … under the condition that her $25,000 salary would be doubled, which it was. The film’s entire budget »
- Jeremy Carr
Written and directed by Jennifer Kent
The Babadook contains DNA from such disparate influences as Roman Polanski, Joe Dante, Georges Méliès, German expressionism, and Roald Dahl, but Australian writer-director Jennifer Kent’s very impressive feature debut is an intensely emotional horror film that feels completely unique in the current film landscape. It’s an allegory on grief, love, loss, and maternal trauma, and is as consistently unnerving as many a Polanski movie (and is the scariest thing with Roald Dahl blood since Tim Burton’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory).
Plagued by memories of a car crash that killed her husband six years prior, former writer and single mother Amelia struggles with an unrewarding new job and the disruptive, often insufferable behaviour of her six-year-old son, Samuel. (Husband Oskar was killed while driving Amelia to the hospital to give birth to Samuel.) One night, for the boy’s bedtime story, »
- Josh Slater-Williams
Kino Classics refurbishes Robert Weine’s 1920 landmark title The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, the film that marked the birth of German Expressionism as well as the flagship of the horror film genre. Tempered by bookends meant to diminish interpretations of parallelism between insanity and authority, its stark, jagged angles and ingenious uses of shadows predates the dark beauty of film noir, featuring fantastic set designs that still rival the ability of contemporary film. Eerie, carnivalesque, and as arresting as ever, it’s a title worthy of this remastered revisit.
The story of Caligari, developed by Carl Mayer (responsible for Murnau’s Sunrise and The Last Laugh) and Hans Janowitz, is incredibly simple. Basically, the eponymous doctor happens to have control of a sleepwalker that does nefarious deeds for his master, namely murdering inhabitants of the small hamlet late at night. There is a slight twist to the proceedings, though it »
- Nicholas Bell
Directed by Robert Wiene
In the period of Germany’s Weimar Republic, a unique and volatile pre- and post-war era within a window of less than 20 years, the German people were experiencing a torrent of new ideological, social, and political shifts. What was once traditional and normal was giving way to the modern and unusual. What was typically viewed as quintessentially German was now being inundated by outside influences, by strange and foreign people and their imported cultural baggage. Whether or not these elements were as directly and obviously portrayed in movies as some like Siegfreid Kracauer and Lotte Eisner would argue (quite convincingly in many ways), there can be little doubt that film was influenced to one degree or another by this state of the German populous. The times were surely changing, and in no film »
- Jeremy Carr
With the arrival of Robert Wiene‘s seminal horror classic The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari on Blu-ray this week, we’ve teamed with Kino Classics to give away one (1) Blu-ray to our readers. One (1) winner will receive one (1) copy of The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari on Blu-ray. See how to enter below and all entries must be received by 11:59 Pm Est on Sunday, November 23rd. […] »
- TFS Staff
A bunch of new releases are coming out this week including some very sought after titles. Here are the new releases for November 18th, 2014.
Francis recalls in his memory the horrible experiences he and his fiancée Jane recently went through. Francis and his friend Alan visit The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, an exhibit where the mysterious doctor shows the somnambulist Cesare, and awakens him for some moments from his death-like sleep. When Alan asks Cesare about his future, Cesare answers that he will die before dawn. The next morning Alan is found dead. Francis suspects Cesare of being the murderer, and starts spying on him and Dr. Caligari. The following night Cesare is going to stab Jane in her bed, but softens when he sees the beautiful woman, and instead of committing another murder, he abducts her. Francis pursues the fleeing Dr. Caligari, »
- Sarah Skidmore
It Happened One Night (Criterion Collection) Blu-ray It's a busy week for new releases of 2014 movies, but I have to start with the one new release this week I hope all of you at least give a brief moment of your time. I've watched Criterion's new Blu-ray release of It Happened One Night and gone through half of the special features and it's a great release, well worth your money and with Barnes & Noble having their half-price event right now you can save $8 compared to the Amazon price, just click here.
22 Jump Street For whatever reason I thought this had already been released, but I guess not. Nevertheless, here's the sequel to 21 Jump Street, a movie that's filled with jokes about how it's a sequel to 21 Jump Street. Go ahead, buy it, I'm sure those jokes will never get old.
The Dark Half I already reviewed this Blu-ray (read that »
- Brad Brevet
This Tuesday, genre fans have a Lot to look forward to, as we have a trifecta of horror classics coming from Scream Factory, as well as the new 4K restoration of the 1920 German classic, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari from Kino Lorber.
As if that’s not enough, Image Entertainment is releasing the Limited Edition Fifth Dimension box set for The Twilight Zone this week, the cult classics Moontrap, Christmas Evil and Trancers are all making their HD debuts and we’ve got a few indie films being released on November 18th too, including Automata, Housebound and Ragnarok.
In 1920, one brilliant movie jolted the postwar masses and catapulted the movement known as German Expressionism into film history. That movie was The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, a plunge into the mind of insanity that severs all ties with the rational world. »
- Heather Wixson
Kino Lorber has been in the specialty DVD/Blu-ray business for years now, but while some labels make their home in niches based on genre (Scream Factory, Synapse Films) or ” important” films (Criterion Collection) Kino’s focus has been on quality world cinema both contemporary and classic. Their various imprints release films as diverse as The Long Goodbye, Elmer Gantry and Burt Reynolds’ Gator. They don’t dabble in horror a lot, but they don’t exactly shy away from the genre either as evident by titles like To All a Goodnight, Jennifer and Nosferatu. Their two latest horror releases — The Bubble and The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari — fall heavy on the classic side as they’re 48 and 94 years old, respectively. The Bubble is the lesser known of the two and features a plot device that will feel familiar to fans of Under the Dome or The Simpsons Movie, while The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari is still »
- Rob Hunter
Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans (1927), as in other works of F.W. Murnau and the German Expressionist movement, is a style of emotions triggered in service of light where the relationship between Movement-Image is also the same between Image-Light. The intensity of light and its relationship to form thrust Expressionistic ideas into a new era and few films exemplified this more beautifully than Sunrise. The intensity of light is measured in proportions of black versus white and brightness versus darkness. Each frame of the film becomes a physical object, an exploration of this gradation. Each frame explores the full spectrum of the gray scale, passing from the darkest shadows to a white light, evoking a true sense of the chiaroscuro. In each frame, light, framing and blocking leans towards a tendency to split the visual image along a diagonal or dentale line (See Picture 1 and 2). This visual idea communicates an idea of a rift, »
- Francisco Peres
To Siegfried Kracauer, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari'stotal reliance on interior sets with little concern for matching external reality reflected his countrymen's "general retreat into a shell" in seeking an escape from the horrors of World War I. "Once the Germans had determined to seek shelter within the soul, they could not well allow the screen to explore that very reality which they abandoned." This rejection of reality and withdrawal into the dark solace of fantasy would eventually lead to a collective embrace of the fantasies of social superiority promoted by Hitler and Nazism, eventually plummeting the world into an even more horrific war.>> - Kevin B. Lee »
Top 100 horror movies of all time: Chicago Film Critics' choices (photo: Sigourney Weaver and Alien creature show us that life is less horrific if you don't hold grudges) See previous post: A look at the Chicago Film Critics Association's Scariest Movies Ever Made. Below is the list of the Chicago Film Critics's Top 100 Horror Movies of All Time, including their directors and key cast members. Note: this list was first published in October 2006. (See also: Fay Wray, Lee Patrick, and Mary Philbin among the "Top Ten Scream Queens.") 1. Psycho (1960) Alfred Hitchcock; with Anthony Perkins, Janet Leigh, Vera Miles, John Gavin, Martin Balsam. 2. The Exorcist (1973) William Friedkin; with Ellen Burstyn, Linda Blair, Jason Miller, Max von Sydow (and the voice of Mercedes McCambridge). 3. Halloween (1978) John Carpenter; with Jamie Lee Curtis, Donald Pleasence, Tony Moran. 4. Alien (1979) Ridley Scott; with Sigourney Weaver, Tom Skerritt, John Hurt. 5. Night of the Living Dead (1968) George A. Romero; with Marilyn Eastman, »
- Andre Soares
How can The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari still be so frightening after all this time? Blame your weak brain. “It is certain that the illusion is complete,” writes a layman about a 1799 Fantasmagoria show. “The total darkness of the place, the choice of images, the astonishing magic of their truly terrifying growth, the conjuring which accompanies them, everything combines to strike your imagination, and to seize exclusively all your observational sense. Reason has told you well that these are mere phantoms, catoptric tricks devised with artistry, carried out with skill, presented with intelligence, your weakened brain can only believe what it is made to see, and we believe ourselves to be transported into another world and into other centuries.”>> - Shari Kizirian »
Back in April, for twelve weeks straight, I reviewed a different Werner Herzog movie as they came available on the streaming service Fandor.com . Now the site is preparing for Halloween with a very special release of Kino Lorber's new 4K restoration of Robert Wiene's classic horror thriller The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari exclusively on the site beginning Halloween. And on that day (October 31st), and for one day only, the film will be available to everyone, even if you do not have a Fandor subscription! However, I have a special gift for one (1) lucky reader, a one (1) year subscription to Fandor.com and beyond the Herzog titles and the release of Caligari there is a lot more to explore. For example, also in celebration of Halloween, the site has George A. Romero's 1698 zombie classic Night of the Living Dead as well as Romero's original 1973 feature The Crazies. »
- Brad Brevet
Above: continuing their series of digital anthologies, Film Comment has a new one on Jean-Luc Godard that collects everything the magazine has published on him since 1962 (!). These Goodbye to Language GIFs are just for fun: For Cinema Scope Online, Angelo Muredda takes down Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Birdman:"While the film is ostensibly an angry manifesto stumping for artistic integrity in the face of a pablum-peddling culture industry that’s traded Raymond Carver for Stan Lee—as well as an illiterate critical class unwilling or unable to cultivate its technical competency—Birdman’s squawk is all but neutralized by its tepid bite. Though it is self-righteously mean in its broad strokes (as all polemics inevitably are), Birdman is also—this being an Iñárritu joint—an overeager, conspicuously crafted art object whose virtuosity is matched only by its digestibility. Snottily sniping at everyone but the exact sort of people who will »
In today's roundup of news and views: James Quandt on Jacques Tati; Jonathan Rosenbaum on sexism in the French New Wave, plus an exchange with Bill Krohn regarding Orson Welles; Girish Shambu on Sergei Loznitsa's Maidan and Lisandro Alonso's Jauja; an excerpt from a new book on Woody Allen; D.A. Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus are looking to archive their work; Clayton Dillard on Robert Wiene's The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari; Ilsa Leaver-Yap on Derek Jarman's Blue; an hour with Paul Thomas Anderson; plus lists of top horror movies and more. » - David Hudson »
Our friends at Filmmaker Iq have published a fun and informative lesson that’s perfect for the spooky season. "The History of Horror" takes us from the roots of the genre dating back to the earliest days of cinema right on up to current trends. The video starts with gothic horror inspired by the “old castle on a dark and stormy night” tales made popular by Bram Stoker, Edgar Allan Poe and Mary Shelley. Horror’s silent era was a time of firsts, largely due to filmmaking still being a new medium. Expressionist horror stories prized stylized sets over realism — a reflection of a character's psychological interior (Nosferatu, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari). The Universal horror cycle of the 1930s and beyond introduced us to a menagerie of...
- Alison Nastasi
The most popular poster I’ve posted on Tumblr in the past three months—and actually the second most “liked” poster I’ve posted in the three years I’ve been doing this—was this Italian design by the great Luigi Martinati for a lesser known Lauren Bacall vehicle, but one in which the late star was unusually front and center. (You can see more of Bacall’s posters here.)
The rest of the top twenty are a wild variety of old (three for films from the 1920s, no less) and new (two 2014 releases). I was especially pleased to see Dorothea Fischer-Nosbisch’s superb 1967 design for a Festival of Young German Film get such attention. A lot of other design greats are featured: Saul Bass, the Stenberg brothers, Macario Gomez, Karl Oskar Blase and Josef Fenneker. And »
- Adrian Curry
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