The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1923) - News Poster


How to Save the Dark Universe

Harrison Abbott on how Universal can save the Dark Universe

Whilst its international take is admittedly surpassing its domestic performance by quite some way, it is still reasonable to suggest that The Mummy hasn’t been the mega-hit that Universal were hoping for. Weighed down by astonishingly clunky exposition, countless instances of tonal whiplash and a certain high profile ego to contend with (not to mention that embarrassing PR blunder with the trailer audio), the film has been the deserving subject of bad word of mouth and a relentless onslaught of critical maulings. Suffice it to say, it has been something of a rocky journey for the first instalment in the fledgling ”Dark Universe”.

In case you need catching up to speed, this Dark Universe is essentially the latest attempt to revive all of Universal’s classic movie monsters. Many efforts have been made in the past to reboot these characters,
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Competition: Win the complete Universal Monsters on Blu-ray!

Universal Pictures’ classic monsters are available now on Blu-ray in four bonus-packed box sets; The Mummy Legacy Collection, The Frankenstein Legacy Collection, The Dracula Legacy Collection and The Wolf Man Legacy Collection. And we have two complete sets on Blu-ray to giveaway… Yes, Two!!

The Mummy Legacy Collection

All 6 Films From The Legacy Of The Original Mummy Includes: The Mummy (1932), The Mummy’S Hand (1940), The Mummy’S Tomb (1942), The Mummy’S Ghost (1944), The Mummy’S Curse (1944), and Abbott And Costello Meet The Mummy (1955)

The original Mummy is one of the silver screen’s most unforgettable characters and, along with the other Universal Classic Monsters, defined the Hollywood horror genre. The Mummy: Complete Legacy Collection includes all 6 films from the original legacy including the terrifying classic starring Boris Karloff and the timeless films that followed. These landmark motion pictures defined the iconic look of the ancient Egyptian monster and continue
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Daily | TCM Classic Film Festival 2015

The TCM Classic Film Festival opens this evening in Los Angeles with a 50th anniversary screening of The Sound of Music and both Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer will be there. The festival features world premiere restorations of 1939's The Hunchback of Notre Dame, the 1928 Buster Keaton comedy Steamboat Bill, Jr. and The Grim Game, a newly rediscovered 1919 silent feature with Harry Houdini. Shirley MacLaine will talk about working with William Wyler and Audrey Hepburn on The Children's Hour, Sophia Loren will be there and on and on. A preview. » - David Hudson
See full article at Fandor: Keyframe »

Daily | TCM Classic Film Festival 2015

The TCM Classic Film Festival opens this evening in Los Angeles with a 50th anniversary screening of The Sound of Music and both Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer will be there. The festival features world premiere restorations of 1939's The Hunchback of Notre Dame, the 1928 Buster Keaton comedy Steamboat Bill, Jr. and The Grim Game, a newly rediscovered 1919 silent feature with Harry Houdini. Shirley MacLaine will talk about working with William Wyler and Audrey Hepburn on The Children's Hour, Sophia Loren will be there and on and on. A preview. » - David Hudson
See full article at Keyframe »

'Wolf of Wall Street', 'Persona', 'The Past', 'King of Comedy' and More on DVD & Blu-ray This Week

Persona (Criterion Collection) (Blu-ray/DVD) I have watched all of Criterion's new Blu-ray for Ingmar Bergman's absolute classic, Persona, and will have a more in-depth look at the film tomorrow, but for now let me just say I consider this an essential title for film fans interested in collecting the best cinema has had to offer over the course of its rich history. I only saw Persona for the first time a little over three years ago and was absolutely floored. It's one of those films you don't need to "get" to understand, which I know is confusing. Put, hopefully, more simply, this is a film that's meant to confuse and confound, but it does it in such a way that you never feel you're missing something. Yet, by the end you'll be left enthralled by the images you've witnessed, the story (or lack thereof) you've witnessed, the performances,
See full article at Rope Of Silicon »

What I Watched, What You Watched #236

Last night I watched Zatoichi Challenged, which just so happened to be the 50th movie I've seen this year (find my full list on Letterboxd right here). As far as this week was concerned my Saturday delivered the only two movies I watched this past week. The first was Muppets Most Wanted on Saturday morning and then the 17th Zatoichi film last night. I think I've said this several times, but I absolutely love these Zatoichi films. Criterion's presentation of these 25 films is phenomenal and the movies are a lot of fun to continue to visit. I have eight more to watch and then I'll dive into the bonus features, which is to say there is a lot more to explore. What I'm most looking forward to is Zatoichi Meets Yojimbo, which is now only two movies away. I think I'll have to revisit Kurosawa's Yojimbo and Sanjuro before taking that one in though.
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Maureen O’Hara, Richard Dreyfuss, Mel Brooks and Margaret O’Brien Join Lineup for 2014 TCM Classic Film Festival

Turner Classic Movies (TCM) has added an exciting roster of screen legends and beloved titles to the 2014 TCM Classic Film Festival, including appearances by Maureen O’Hara, Mel Brooks and Margaret O’Brien, plus a two-film tribute to Academy Award®-winner Richard Dreyfuss. Marking its fifth year, the TCM Classic Film Festival will take place April 10-13, 2014, in Hollywood. The gathering will coincide with TCM’s 20th anniversary as a leading authority in classic film.

O’Hara will present the world premiere restoration of John Ford’s Oscar®-winning Best Picture How Green Was My Valley (1941), while Brooks will appear at a screening of his western comedy Blazing Saddles (1974). O’Brien will be on-hand for Vincente Minnelli’s perennial musical favorite Meet Me in St. Louis (1944), starring Judy Garland. The tribute to Dreyfuss will consist of a double feature of two of his most popular roles: his Oscar®-winning performance
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Why are the Oscars embracing 'Oz' but not 'Gone With the Wind'?

Why are the Oscars embracing 'Oz' but not 'Gone With the Wind'?
Yesterday’s announcement by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences that the The Wizard of Oz will be celebrated at this year’s Oscars was met with widespread enthusiasm. After all, it’s one of Hollywood’s most beloved films, multiple generations have grown up singing its tunes, and it’s celebrating its 75th anniversary.

But The Wizard of Oz wasn’t the only classic movie to come out in 1939. That prolific Hollywood year also boasted Frank Capra’s Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, John Ford’s Stagecoach, Goodbye, Mr. Chips, Ninotchka (“Garbo laughs!”), Gunga Din, William Wyler
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Rick Baker Scares Up Halloween Makeup Collection with Mac Cosmetics

Rick Baker Scares Up Halloween Makeup Collection with Mac Cosmetics
For a legendary monster makeup designer like Rick Baker, it’s no surprise that Halloween is his favorite holiday.

“Designing Halloween makeup looks for friends and family is one of my favorite things to do,” says Baker, who has taken home Oscars for designing the looks of the creatures in seven films, including “An American Werewolf in London,” “Harry and the Hendersons,” “Men In Black,” “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” and “The Wolfman.”

He’s long wanted to design his own makeup kit for Halloween after seeing what’s sold in stores during the season. “Most of the stuff you buy features a design on the package that’s impossible to re-create,” he says. “Even Rick Baker can’t do that makeup with that product.”

Mac Cosmetics gave Baker the chance to give consumers something better this year, by creating a collection that can be used to reproduce three looks – a zombie,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Ranked: Top Ten Scariest Actors

  • Cinelinx
Actors often get their accolades for doing drama, comedy, or even action, but it never seems like we properly recognize those actors which do a splendid job scaring us. This is a list of the top ten actors that are excellent at being scary.

Make-up, prosthetics, computer animation, and costumes can only go so far. What makes a movie character really scary is the actor or actress portraying that character. And it’s not enough just to yell “boo!” at the right moment. No, the best in the business know how to create a believable persona that is disturbing, creepy, disgusting, mysterious, or maybe all at once.

This is a list of my pick for the top ten scariest actors of all time. These actors are veterans and legends in the film industry because of the ingenious ways they were able to spook the audience consistently throughout their career. Their
See full article at Cinelinx »

The Penalty (1920) | Blu-ray Review

Lon Chaney fans can revel in Kino’s Blu-ray transfer of The Penalty, featuring one of the thousand faces that first catapulted the extremely talented performer into one of the most celebrated careers in film history. As a double amputee, Chaney is in top form, the motif of the disenfranchised, the butchered, the mutated, the unloved outstretched in full glory here, once again, to the detriment of his own health.

The film opens with a title card announcing that there’s been “A victim of the city traffic,” and we see a young boy has been seriously wounded. A young Dr. Ferris (Charles Clary), however, has mistakenly amputated the boy’s legs, a fact indiscreetly announced by the physician’s older colleague, Dr. Allen (Kenneth Harlan). The young boy overhears their discussion and Dr. Allen’s plan to lie to the boy’s parents by saying that the amputation saved the boy’s life.
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Blu-ray Release: The Penalty

Blu-ray Release Date: Oct. 23, 2012

Price: Blu-ray $34.95

Studio: Kino Lorber

Lon Chaney stumps for revenge in 1920's The Penalty.

In a role that established him as one of the most dynamically terrifying performers of the silent screen, Lon Chaney stars in the fiendish 1920 silent film The Penalty, a grotesque thriller from director Wallace Worsley (The Hunchback of Notre Dame).

When an incompetent doctor amputates the legs of a young boy, he has no idea that the youth will grow up to be the immoral and embittered Blizzard, a criminal mastermind who orchestrates a bizarre and heinous plot to avenge himself upon his malefactor. His plan involves befriending the surgeon’s daughter (Ethel Grey Terry) and serves as an artist’s model for her sculptural rendition of Satan, waiting for just the right moment to unleash his demonic desires.

In playing the devious Blizzard, Chaney tightly harnessed his legs within a pair of leather stumps,
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Ray Bradbury, Author of Fahrenheit 451, Has Died

Highly esteemed science fiction writer, Ray Bradbury, passed away on Tuesday, June 5, 2012.

He was 91 years old.

His most celebrated works were “The Illustrated Man”, “Fahrenheit 451″ and “Something Wicked This Way Comes”.

I first read Bradbury because Fahrenheit 451 was a requisite in high school. This was one of the first books that I read where I remember thinking, “Why are we reading this? This is really good.” I think I even started using the school library, but don’t tell anyone. I will loose my street cred.

As if his literary career was not impressive enough, I was blown away when I looked into his film and television career. Check out his IMDb page. Amazing. When did he sleep? How did he make it to 91 under such a workload?

Looking at his over his life it’s easy to see how he lived such a remarkable life.

Bradbury wrote every day.
See full article at Obsessed with Film »

R.I.P. Ray Bradbury (1920-2012)

Today, one of the greatest contributors to science fiction was lost to the stars. Legendary author Ray Bradbury has passed away at the age of 91.

It's impossible to imagine what the landscape of science fiction would be without the contributions of Bradbury, whose short stories and novels inspired a generation or two of authors, filmmakers and more. Born in 1920 in Illinois, Bradbury was a voracious reader, and the works of Edgar Allan Poe, H.G. Wells, Jules Verne and Edgar Rice Burroughs had a tremendous influence on him. After two life changing incidents -- seeing Lon Chaney in "The Hunchback Of Notre Dame" and being told by carnival entertainer Mr. Electrico to "Live forever!" -- Bradbury decided to become an author, and wrote every day.

Bradbury initially started writing short stories for science fiction fanzines, but it would be the work that he banged out on a rented typewriter in UCLA's
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100 Facts on Universal Pictures' 100th Birthday

Today marks the 100th birthday of Universal Pictures and to celebrate the studio has released a list of 100 facts based on its first 100 years in existence. I have placed in bold some of the ones I found interesting as well as offered a selection of photo and video accompaniments here and there. 1. Universal Film Manufacturing Company was officially incorporated in New York on April 30, 1912. Company legend says Carl Laemmle was inspired to name his company Universal after seeing "Universal Pipe Fittings" written on a passing delivery wagon. 2. The only physical damage made during the filming of National Lampoon's Animal House was when John Belushi made a hole in the wall with a guitar. The actual Sigma Nu fraternity house (which subbed for the fictitious Delta House) never repaired it, and instead framed the hole in honor of the film. 3. The working title for Et: The Extra Terrestrial was "A Boy's Life.
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Movie Experts Pick Top 10 Silent Films

  • WENN
Movie Experts Pick Top 10 Silent Films
Film buffs at America's TCM classic movies TV network have listed Hollywood's 10 best silent classics as a salute to this year's black and white Oscars favourite The Artist.

D.W. Griffith's 1915 Civil War movie The Birth of a Nation makes the list, as does Fritz Lang's Metropolis, Cecil B. DeMille's The Ten Commandments and Lon Chaney's The Hunchback of Notre Dame.

The most recent film on the list is 1928's The Passion of Joan of Arc, starring Renee Maria Falconetti.

Now Available! The Man of a Thousand Faces...

  • shocktillyoudrop
We just received word that The Man of a Thousand Faces: The Art of Bill Nelson has hit print and is only available at Creature Features. Here's the lowdown for you lovers of classic horror out there:

In 1970, internationally renowned artist Nelson created "The Lon Chaney Portfolio," an exquisitely rendered series of black and white illustrations devoted to Hollywood’s beloved “Man of a Thousand Faces.” The collection showcased portraits from many of Chaney’s most memorable films, including The Phantom of the Opera, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, London After Midnight, The Penalty and Laugh, Clown, Laugh.

See full article at shocktillyoudrop »

Stl Horror: ‘The Phantom of the Opera’ Invades Powell Hall

In honor of Halloween and the many fantastic events that are happening around St. Louis this week, we here at Destroy the Brain will be spotlighting a different Halloween themed event every day this week. St. Louis is a city that loves the haunting holiday, and what is better than joining in in the fun by partaking in one of these horror themed happenings. Today, we are taking a look at an event that is happening this Friday and Saturday at Powell Hall. Following last year’s hugely successful evening where the St. Louis Symphony played live accompanying music to Alfred Hitchcocks’s ‘Psycho‘, the symphony will be returning to perform along with the Lon Chaney classic ‘The Phantom of the Opera.’

Lon Chaney is known as the “man of a thousand faces.” This reputation and talent started early on in his life as he was forced to utilize his
See full article at Destroy the Brain »

Barbican Film: Mark Gatiss and Jonathan Rigby ScreenTalk

  • CineVue
On 11 October, Halloween began early at the Barbican Centre with a screen talk by Mark Gatiss and film critic Jonathan Rigby, followed by a screening of Harry Kümel's Belgian vampire film Daughters of Darkness (1971). The hour-long discussion covered much the same ground as Gatiss' BBC4 series A History of Horror - on which Rigby was show consultant - but for fans it was a great opportunity to see in person these two engaging, funny, and impressively knowledgeable horror enthusiasts.

The pair chatted about German Expressionism and the striking black and white images from Robert Wiene's The Cabinet of Dr Caligari (1920) and F.W. Murnau's Nosferatu (1922) that stayed with them long before they were able to view the actual films. A large part of the talk was given to Universal's classic monster movies, which started with Lon Chaney in The Phantom of the Opera (1925) and The Hunchback of Notre Dame
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A Brief History Of Horror – Nosferatu And The 1920s

In the 1920s those seeds planted the decade before took hold, and there are notable examples of early horror on both sides of the Atlantic. The most significant of these, and perhaps the most famous, is F.W. Murnau’s masterpiece, Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horror. It is the first of countless adaptations of Bram Stoker’s Dracula, though famously made without the permission of the Bram Stoker estate. Although included amongst the Expressionist movement, what’s startling today is the movie’s lyrical use of natural light and exterior shots (of running water, animals etc.); visually it is in stark contrast to Caligari’s jagged mindscapes. They both create otherworldliness in different ways, one by giving us distorted images we can relate to, and the other by alienating us with carefully employed images of nature.

The best vampire movies from this to Let the Right One In (2008) take the myth seriously,
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