The Appeal of Horror Films

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dulcinea
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The Appeal of Horror Films

Post by dulcinea » Sat Oct 07, 2006 6:12 pm

AMC presented yesterday THEM!, one of my first favorite movies. Just as giant mutated ants fascinated my generation of youngsters in the 50s, so monsters such as serial killers and vampires who are in no way as elegant as Lugosi or Lee fascinate the youngsters of this decade. What do you think accounts for this youthful fascination with the grotesque and the dangerous? And don't talk jive about catharsis; when I watch a horror movie, catharsis is the farthest thing from my mind.
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Post by Ralph » Sat Oct 07, 2006 7:09 pm

I've never gotten into that genre. I do like some of the classic silent horror films and will be seeing "Phantom of the Opera" with live music later this month.

I have friends who love these films but they do nothing for me.
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Post by jbuck919 » Sun Oct 08, 2006 1:08 am

Those classic B horror films filled the B&W screen in the New York tv market when I was a kid. (Ralph must know this, though I can hardly criticize him for paying no attention to them.) I lost many a night's sleep from being upset by movies as awful as The Angry Red Planet. I still loved them.

My favorite horror movie is one that Corlyss, a long time ago, posted she did not like: Rosemary's Baby, which is not a B movie at all.

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Post by Ralph » Sun Oct 08, 2006 8:39 am

I do like Hitchcock's "Psycho" which I think qualifies as a horror flick.
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Post by RebLem » Sun Oct 08, 2006 9:37 am

I grew up in a world where TV was just coming in and drama and comedy on the radio was still a fact of everyday life.

I remember when my mother refused to let me listen to a radio horror series called Inner Sanctum because I had had nightmares after hearing the previous two episodes.

The appeal of horror films and gory movies, too, to teens is transparent. On double dates, they are guaranteed to keep the girls from incessantly chattering with one another. It rivets their attention to the screen. And, if they like you, it gives them an excuse to throw their arms around your neck and jump in your lap during the especially scary or gory parts. 'Twas ever thus.
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Post by jbuck919 » Sun Oct 08, 2006 9:56 am

Ralph wrote:I do like Hitchcock's "Psycho" which I think qualifies as a horror flick.
I would call that a thriller (as is everything by Hitchcock) rather than a horror movie. All true horror movies imply an element of the preternatural. If Hitchcock ever made one, it is The Birds. That is a true horror movie. A great more close to modern horror movie was the original Alien, the last movie to actually scare me while I was sitting in the theater. (The sequels are greatly inferior.)

Then there are monster movies, and they and SF and horror do overlap, but let's go there another time.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

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Post by Lark Ascending » Sun Oct 08, 2006 1:53 pm

In the 1970's I used to watch the Dracula films featuring Christopher Lee that were often shown on British television, on reflection perhaps not ideal viewing for a child just before bedtime. I wouldn't want to watch them now, or any modern horror film either.
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Brendan

Post by Brendan » Sun Oct 08, 2006 6:25 pm

I, for one, lament the loss of the "Troma" film from recent releases. Nothing quite like the sick hilarity of The Toxic Avenger, Surf Nazis Must Die, Reanimator, Brain Damage, Basket Case and a dozen or so other titles for the warped of mind. Peter Jackson's best movie was not one of the Lord of the Rings flicks, but Bad Taste, his early low-budget Troma effort, IMHO.

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Post by Madame » Sun Oct 08, 2006 7:20 pm

jbuck919 wrote:Those classic B horror films filled the B&W screen in the New York tv market when I was a kid. (Ralph must know this, though I can hardly criticize him for paying no attention to them.) I lost many a night's sleep from being upset by movies as awful as The Angry Red Planet. I still loved them.

My favorite horror movie is one that Corlyss, a long time ago, posted she did not like: Rosemary's Baby, which is not a B movie at all.
I also hated Rosemary's Baby, it crossed the line by involving a baby, same as the book Pet Sematary with the brutality involving animals and the heart-wrenching death of Gage. It might not officially qualify as a horror picture as defined here, but my grandma took me to see 'The Snake Pit' when I was 6 (I'll never know why) and that was as ghastly to me at that age as any I've seen since. I think "Carrie" was the best horror movie I ever saw, maybe because my daughter lured me in and waited to watch me jump out of my skin at the final scene and gave us a memory to laugh over again and again.

I like thrillers, too, if they are well done -- the old 'I Saw What You Did and I Know Who You Are' with Joan Crawford and John Ireland, I don't think I even breathed during the last half of the film. Another one from years ago, 'Don't Look Now' was a psychic thriller that I'll never forget.

And I love spoofs -- 'Attack of the Killer Tomatoes' had me in hysterics. And of course, with two teenagers, it was a given that 'Rocky Horror Picture Show' would become a staple, quite honestly, I loved it, seeing it in the theatre was an unbelievable experience. First time I ever saw Susan Sarandon or Barry Bostwick. My sister had dinner with the latter years ago and mentioned how much my daughter was ga ga over him -- he took a cocktail napkin and wrote 'Don't dream it ... be it ... love Brad (arsehole) Majors' , it's tucked away in her box of treasures.

Anyone remember Bill Cosby's record about 'The Chicken Heart' from years ago? We listened to it so often that it's hard-wired in our brains, all someone has to do is say a line or two and we're off and running, laughing ourselves sick once again.

Brendan

Post by Brendan » Sun Oct 08, 2006 8:12 pm

I've been trying to get a recording of The Giant Chicken-Heart That Ate New York for years! I've no idea if that is the title of the piece, as no results show up on search. That and 200 Miles-per-hour remain my favs from memory.

Edit: Found Chicken Heart on a CD called Wonderfulness.

Madame
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Post by Madame » Sun Oct 08, 2006 10:00 pm

Brendan wrote:I've been trying to get a recording of The Giant Chicken-Heart That Ate New York for years! I've no idea if that is the title of the piece, as no results show up on search. That and 200 Miles-per-hour remain my favs from memory.

Edit: Found Chicken Heart on a CD called Wonderfulness.
YES! That's the album we listened to (LP then of course) -- I had no idea it was still available, thanks, yet another Christmas gift idea!!!

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