Good morning everyone! It seems I have gotten back my evil will to live — others call it their “groove.” And just in time because it is the best holiday of the year: Halloween! And I thought I would share with you a few wonderful clips from my favorite Halloween movies.
The Bride of Frankenstein
Okay: I have to make a disclosure. My favorite Halloween movies really aren’t scary. When I was eight years old, I stayed up late with my older sister to watch Creature Features. They were showing The Bride of Frankenstein. And I was so afraid, that I vomited. Now, of course, I find it one of the most charming films ever made. The monster is not frightening. If you treat him well, he’ll be nice to you. He just wants to be loved!
There is so much to love in the film. But the ending really does sum everything up, “Friend? Friend?” Not that he can’t be riled, as he is soon enough.
The House on Haunted Hill
This one is pure fun. But again, when I was kid, I was very frightened by it. The following video is of the entire The House on Haunted Hill. But I have it set at the very ending because it is so ridiculous. When Vincent Price appears out of the shadows with his preposterous contraption for controlling the skeleton, lesser minds think, “That’s stupid!” But the evolved know that it makes perfect sense that a man would have a small pool of acid and a skeleton marionette. Right?!
The Last Man on Earth
Before Night of the Living Dead there was The Last Man on Earth. In fact, George Romero has said that he was inspired by the film (and the book by Richard Matheson). When I was very young (six or seven), it seemed that The Last Man on Earth was always being played on Creature Features. Now I’ll admit: it isn’t as good a film in terms of narrative. But it terrified me as a child. “Morgan, come out!”
What’s remarkable is just how beautifully the film is shot. I recommend watching it just as an exercise in the craft of filmmaking. The whole film is there.
Bride of the Monster
Okay, Bride of the Monster is a hard film to watch all the way through. People say that Ed Wood was a terrible director. He wasn’t. But he didn’t worry too much about the scripts that he wrote. Most people don’t know this, but Wood published over 80 novels in his life. He was a writing machine — apparently because quality wasn’t that important to him. But he was capable of great work. And that is well on display in this star scene with Bela Lugosi.
Best of the Halloween Movies: A Comedy of Terrors
Of course, I’ve never been a big Lugosi fan. I love Boris Karloff. And we’ve already had one of his films. Also: two with Vincent Price. And one film written by one of the greats, Richard Matheson. So why don’t we throw in Peter Lorre and Basil Rathbone and enjoy a whole film, A Comedy of Terrors. It is not at all frightening. It probably wouldn’t even have been to 8-year-old Frank. But it’s wonderful:
Have a wonderful holiday all of you! Use it as an excuse to enjoy some great old Halloween movies. Let’s finish with a song: