7 items from 2010
By James Morgart
“There is no pleasure. There is no pain. There is only skin.” - Pinhead, Hellraiser III
“Women tend to be more tolerant about visceral things because they have more direct personal experience with them. They cope with periods once a month, they go through childbirth and they are usually the ones who look after the bleeding and battered limbs when the kids take a tumble. They can put blood and gore in context and generally cope better than men.” - Bela Lugosi
Most scholarship on the horror film has assumed that males are the primary spectators of horror; however, there have been developments, both in scholarship as well as in mainstream media, to contradict this point. In 2009, journalist Michelle Orange pointed out, in an article written for the New York Times, “Recent box office receipts show that women have an even bigger appetite for these [horror] films than men. »
Over the last few weeks, we've been going "Back to Basics" by looking at the horror films produced by Universal Studios. After my previous post, I realized that before we dive into anymore of the horrors created for us by Universal, I really should set the stage and provide a little background information on the studio itself. We'll be looking at James Whale's 1935 masterwork, Bride of Frankenstein, next. But, until then, let's go back and take a look at where it all began.
Before there was Universal Studios, there was Carl Laemmle. Laemmle was born in 1867 and emigrated with his family from Germany to the United States in 1884. Soon after he arrived, Laemmle became entranced with a wondrous new technology and art form: moving pictures. At that time, nickelodeons were all the rage, and Laemmle was so mesmerized by motion pictures that he soon left behind his bookkeeping career »
Live anywhere close to the UCLA campus? If so, you might want to catch one or both of the events UCLA Live has planned over the next few weeks for horror/sci-fi lovers: a chance to see two classic genre silent films on a big screen in a beautiful theater (Royce Hall) with live music.
Here are the details:
This Saturday night (October 30) it’s the 1925 Lon Chaney-starring version of The Phantom Of the Opera performed with a live score on the stunning Skinner pipe organ by Steven Ball, one of the best theater organists around. Click here for more details.
Then, on Friday, November 12, is the 1925 stop-motion creature feature The Lost World with a live soundtrack performed by Dengue Fever, an La-based band with psychedelic grooves and a Cambodian-pop sound. The Lost World is based on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s novel, and Dengue Fever’s uniquely infectious »
- The Woman In Black
Andy Serkis is in flux. Again. In an industry thick with top-flight thespians known for a complete immersion with each new role, the 46 year-old stands apart because of his whole-hearted embrace of new technology. From his complex portrayals of Gollum in The Lord of The Rings trilogy and the title role in King Kong to his work as Captain Haddock in Peter Jackson and Steven Spielberg’s upcoming The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret Of The Unicorn and his return to Middle Earth on The Hobbit films, no other actor has consistently morphed from project to project, over the past decade, with the same combination of acting ability and performance capture innovation.
However, the biggest innovation in Andy Serkis’ latest project, Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll, is Serkis himself. He reportedly lost nearly 30 pounds, worked out the right side of his body while letting his left side go weak and wore »
- Ron Messer
This being Famous Monsters of Filmland, one assumes that you, dear reader, are a classic horror fan. If that is indeed the case, then certainly you’ve heard of The Drunken Severed Head. One of the most entertaining, dedicated and spirited blogs out there (and there’s more than a few!), Tdsh – as it’s affectionately known – provides daily thoughts (from random observations to wonderfully insightful analysis), original content and commentary about everything classic horror, and was honored this month with a coveted Rondo Hatton Award for Best Blog of 2009.
Famous Monsters was lucky enough to chat with the creator and writer of The Drunken Severed Head, Max Cheney, to gather some insight into the origins and workings of Tdsh, as well as what motivates a fan to contribute to the classic horror community at large.
FM: Obviously, you’re very affected and influenced by your love of horror films, »
The 16th annual Bradford International Film Festival, which will run March 18-28, is a total celebration of all forms of cinema, from classic films to modern world cinema to a tribute to Cinerama and more. But, most excitingly, is a bombastic collection of some of the best, most exciting underground films being made today.
From Bad Lit’s perspective, the most thrilling screening of the entire 10-day affair is the new film by British filmmaker Peter Whitehead, Terrorism Considered as One of the Fine Arts. In the U.S., Whitehead is a “lost” filmmaker from the underground’s heyday in the ’60s, being left out of most histories of the underground movement. Whitehead directed several influential films, including Wholly Communion and The Fall, before dropping out of filmmaking in the mid-’70s.
Film historian Jack Sargeant wrote extensively about and interviewed Whitehead for his wonderful book on Beat cinema, Naked Lens. »
- Mike Everleth
When, and in what dark place, was the horror film born? And why do we love being terrified? David Thomson explains how one Hollywood studio defined a genre
The studio system has gone, even if some of the old names remain in use. No one would dream of a sophisticated romance coming out of Paramount any more, or a musical from MGM. Yet one ghost lives. At Universal, there is still the memory that this is the studio that created Lon Chaney and the working models of Dracula and Frankenstein. Now the beast stirs again, with Universal reviving one of its original horror properties with The Wolfman.
It seems obvious now that one of the inherent functions or opportunities that always faced the movies was scaring the living daylights out of us. When the train came into the station in the Lumiere brothers' early film programme, some in the audience »
- David Thomson
7 items from 2010
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