The HorrorDads’ 2011 Dusk-to-Dawn All-Nite/All Fright Halloween Screamboree!

RHS: Let’s pretend the HorrorDads have the run of a disused movie theater and permission to run a Halloween dusk to dawn horrorthon. We will all contribute a movie to the line-up but before we begin, let’s talk about the kinds of horror movies each of us think is right for this time of year. Go…

GREG FERRARA: One thing Laura and I look for this time of year is the horror anthology. They’re great because you can watch a tale or two without devoting your entire night to a movie, an important thing when you’ve got a full house. From DR TERROR’S HOUSE OF HORRORS (1965) and TWICE TOLD TALES (1963) to TALES OF TERROR (1962) and TALES FROM THE CRYPT (1972), the anthology is not only easily digestible but high on atmosphere. But this weekend we watched CITY OF THE DEAD (US: HORROR HOTEL, 1960) again. The sharp black and white cinematography, the relentless fog, the shadowy sets and the story are all indicative of exactly what we look for in horror around this time of year.

JEFF ALLARD: I lean almost exclusively towards the supernatural at this time of year. It’s the one month where staples like PSYCHO (1960) and THE TEXAS CHAIN SAW MASSACRE (1974) are kept out of my viewing rotation. I love slasher films but, save for HALLOWEEN (1978) and some of its sequels and the eerie DEMENTIA 13 (1963), I put them on hold during October. I agree that anthologies are perfect viewing now as they allow you to maximize your time. If not for the fact that TALES FROM THE CRYPT‘s first tale is the Christmas-set “All Through The House,” that movie would be my instant go-to choice for Halloween. Every segment of that film is executed perfectly, with every one hitting their ghoulish punchlines with precision. I’m also partial to ASYLUM (1972) and CREEPSHOW (1982).

NICHOLAS MCCARTHY: I think there are few Monster Kids who don’t have a soft spot for anthologies.

DENNIS COZZALIO: I saw TALES FROM THE CRYPT at my hometown theater. During the one-night-only Halloween show, which was packed with rowdy kids, the usher, a hoity-toity high school girl a few years older than most of us, could be heard throughout the movie making fun of the movie when she passed by with her flashlight. Finally, at the end, Sir Ralph Richardson’s Cryptkeeper has ushered the movie’s stars down the pit to hell. Not satisfied with the evening’s haul of souls, he says, “Who will be next?” and pauses. The usher, thinking herself to be the pinnacle of wit, replied for all the house to hear, “Me!” And before she could peel off a snarky laugh, Richardson turns to the camera (and the usher) and says with relish, “Perhaps you?!” The usher actually screamed and ran out to the lobby, providing the greatest non-rehearsed interactive ending to a horror movie I’ve ever been witness to. And for those of us who always lived under a cloud of constant condescension from people who thought horror movies were bad for you or otherwise stupid or beneath contempt, it was especially satisfying!

NICHOLAS MCCARTHY: Dennis, that is a great story!

JEFF ALLARD: ASYLUM has, for my money, the best wraparound story of any horror anthology. It’s just too bad the middle stories – “The Weird Tailor” (a Bloch tale better served years earlier on THRILLER) and “Lucy Came To Stay” – are a little slack. For TV anthologies, I give TALES FROM THE DARKSIDE the most attention in October – its opening sequence always puts me a fall/October mood and I can’t let the season pass by without rewatching holiday-themed favorites like “Trick or Treat” and “Halloween Candy.”

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UnE3-0X-174]

GREG FERRARA: The opening from TALES FROM THE DARKSIDE is so videotape-cheap and it’s synth music and narration so cheesy and yet, I’m with you, I love it! It always kind of stands my hair on end. Why is that?

RHS: Ultra-cheapness can sometimes connote the opening of a door into a room you’ll never get out of. You never get that feeling from a Universal or Hammer movie but DEMENTIA (aka DAUGHTER OF HORROR, 1955) or Dwain Esper’s MANIAC (1934) have that vibe in spades. The opening to TALES FROM THE DARKSIDE evokes the same sort of nervous anticipation we used to feel watching IN SEARCH OF…

GREG FERRARA: I loved IN SEARCH OF…! Watched it in its original run religiously. I love its theme music. But back to TALES FROM THE DARKSIDE opening. I also love that shot of the woods and think that contributes greatly to the whole feel. While some horror exploits it, too many ignore just how spine-tingling the woods can be, even during the bright light of day. There’s… things in there. Things we don’t know about.

JEFF ALLARD: The actual episodes of DARKSIDE were rarely scary – except maybe to very young audiences – but the opening set such an invitingly spooky mood that it was easy to forgive it when the stories disappointed. I love that no matter how lame an episode was, the show’s exiting line – “Until next time, try to enjoy the daylight!” – assumed that viewers had been properly chilled.

PAUL GAITA: The IN SEARCH OF theme was also a favorite mostly because it signaled that the lame “regular” programming would come to an end for at least a half hour, and the “real” stuff I was interested in would get a brief showcase. It was almost a shift in reality – not unlike the “other world, but not so brightly lit” as mentioned in DARKSIDE‘s memorably corny opening. I will admit that I am perilously obsessed with supernatural anthology series, which was probably kicked off by NIGHT GALLERY and Saturday afternoon showings of THE OUTER LIMITS. In watching stuff like TALES FROM THE UNEXPECTED and LIGHTS OUT and THE VEIL and other shows from the ’50s ’60s and ’70s, I am immediately transported to a childlike state of nervous excitement by a fade-in to a minor chord theme song – doesn’t matter what the show, I just am.

JEFF ALLARD: I have to mention another Halloween favorite – the made-for-TV movie DARK NIGHT OF THE SCARECROW. Seeing that on its network debut just before Halloween in ’81 permanently marked it for me as a part of the Halloween season.

RHS: I’m in a weird place horror-wise because I’ve seen so much and so often, it’s hard to surprise myself. My Halloween pick would most definitely be black-and-white and old, pre-1950, but I can’t see myself picking a Universal horror movie. And I love them – the atmosphere, the art direction, the music, Jack P. Pierce’s make-up. But they don’t always hold up. NIGHT MONSTER (1942) has great atmosphere – and like CITY OF THE DEAD, lots of fog – but I threw it on the other night and I was surprised at how stolid it was, not at all like I remembered it.

JEFF ALLARD: You bring up a point that hits home, that a lot of movies that I would choose to watch I don’t because either they’re too familiar to me or they simply don’t hold up. I revisit the Universal classics a lot because Owen enjoys them but as much affection as I still have for them, they’re not films I’d choose to watch on my own anymore. And as big a part as Hammer films played in my childhood, I have to sadly report that I find it difficult to sit through them now. Some still-electric moments aside, they just aren’t the movies I remember them being.

NICHOLAS MCCARTHY: I find too many Hammer movies tiresome as I’ve gotten older, but that said, one of my fondest horror movie-related childhood memories was at circa age 9 asking my dad to wake me up at 11:30pm so I could watch one of the Hammer Dracula movies on a UHF channel. I promptly fell asleep on his shoulder after 20 minutes. You know what? I still feel that way when I watch them!

PAUL GAITA: My Halloween viewing is also somewhat determined by my wife, who doesn’t particularly care for horror movies, and my daughter, who is two and thinks of monsters as cute, fuzzy and from the Henson company. So nothing truly scary, though if I did go that route, I’d like to see something on the low-wattage side, but creepy - LET’S SCARE JESSICA TO DEATH (1971) leaps immediately to mind for that criteria, and I haven’t watched it in what must be decades. I’d also maybe go with THE LEGEND OF HELL HOUSE (1973), which I love unconditionally, no matter how lopsided and half-baked much of that film is; the score by Delia Derbyshire and shots of the empty rooms in the Belasco house are all I need to generate a good dose of the creeps. If my wife was watching, I’d probably go with something from which she could establish some distance – she hung in through a screening of DON’T BE AFRAID OF THE DARK, and appreciated the more dated elements as “it’s only a movie” resting posts. Something older and B&W-atmospheric might work too – I’ve been thinking a lot about THE SEVENTH VICTIM (1943) lately, and THE LEOPARD MAN (1943). Both made a big impression on me the first time I saw them on TV two decades ago, and I’ve been kicking around the possibility of watching them again.

RHS: I love THE LEGEND OF HELL HOUSE and I’ll court genre blasphemy by saying I love it more than I do THE HAUNTING (1963).

DENNIS COZZALIO: This year I’ve been finding my tummy grumbling for the classics. The other night I really enjoyed sinking into a world of rubber bats, tarantulas on strings and the occasional live possum peeking around the corners of an old dilapidated castle, where the mere sight of Bela Lugosi and Carol Borland slinking through the cobwebs was accepted at face value by audiences of the time as terrifying. I’m referring to Tod Browning’s MARK OF THE VAMPIRE (1935), a movie I was familiar with from the pages of Famous Monsters of Filmland but had never seen until 10 or so years ago. MARK OF THE VAMPIRE isn’t scary, exactly, but it has the atmosphere of horror, of Halloween, by the bucketful, and I loved it for that reason alone. Another recent encounter with Jacques Tourneur’s I WALKED WITH A ZOMBIE (1943)satisfied this same craving. Since I cannot imagine anything scarier than being buried alive, I would almost by default have to include Roger Corman’s undervalued THE PREMATURE BURIAL (1962).

JEFF ALLARD: I was just rewatching this one, Dennis, and was thinking that it doesn’t have the better reputation it deserves. I’m not sure why – maybe just because people feel that it should’ve been Vincent Price in the lead rather than Ray Milland. But if I had to pick just one of Corman’s Poe movies for Halloween, it’d be THE PREMATURE BURIAL (1962).

DENNIS COZZALIO: And, since this is a Halloween fantasy theater we’re program, I’d manage to unearth Jack Smight’s 1972 TV movie THE SCREAMING WOMAN (adapted from a Ray Bradbury story I’ve never read) to complete my taphephobic obsessions.

NICHOLAS MCCARTHY: I think it’s because I don’t write about movies like all of you do that I’m feeling like the conservative one here when it comes to my choice of Halloween viewing — this holiday is the only time I feel I must assign myself the task of watching a horror movie, so my classics radar kicks in. I just watched the 1931 FRANKENSTEIN and was blown away, all over again. The film is filled with so many iconic, breathtaking images and performances — there are few movies that feel more textbook than this one.

RHS: FRANKENSTEIN is a great Halloween choice. Just think of the impact this must have had in 1931. Even with DRACULA preceding it, this movie really has the funereal atmosphere that we associate with Halloween and Karloff’s performance as the monster hasn’t lost anything over the passage of time. It’s a neat, neat movie.

NICHOLAS MCCARTHY: The atmosphere of FRANKENSTEIN is so far removed from the stagey DRACULA – it really is the birth of what we understand of so many important strains of the genre. Besides Karloff, I love the performances by Colin Clive and Dwight Frye. I had forgotten about the dated comedy beat at the end of it — after all that overwhelming horror, we have a fuddy duddy joke right out of vaudeville. It just adds to the overall effect.

RHS: I have over the years raised many a glass of beer to “a son… a son to the House of Frankenstein!”

DENNIS COZZALIO: I love that what once read as lurid and overripe for most audiences and critics now looks like a kind of classical form; not necessarily rigid or musty, but pleasurably recognizable as well as plenty lusty and enthusiastic and willing to go for more than just surface thrills. And as far as being the films they once were to me, I’m not sure that’s the case exactly, but as with all movies I’m thrilled when I revisit something from my childhood that retains anything of the spark it had for me when I first saw it. I think most movies, not just horror films, are subject to fading in our estimation over time. Which is why I was so excited to find THE CREEPING UNKNOWN (THE QUATERMASS XPERIMENT, 1955) every bit as scary and moving as it was when I first saw it. Other Hammer horrors that I’ve caught up with or refreshed myself on recently include TWINS OF EVIL (1971), HANDS OF THE RIPPER (1971), FRANKENSTEIN AND THE MONSTER FROM HELL (1974) and DR. JEKYLL AND SISTER HYDE (1971) all of which retained their ability to shock and scare, but also to disturb by the power of their psychological, psychosexual undercurrents (stuff I wasn’t necessarily aware of at age 12). And of course any day of the week I would dive into any pre-1972 Hammer Dracula or Frankenstein film without hesitation, my all-time favorite being FRANKENSTEIN MUST BE DESTROYED (1969).

GREG FERRARA: I think I’d pick BRIDES OF DRACULA (1960) for real for one of my picks.

RHS: BRIDES is a great choice, though. Very autumnal. Lots of swirling leaves.

DENNIS COZZALIO: Yesterday a friend of mine recommended another Hammer that I’ve never seen– SCREAM OF FEAR (1961) with Susan Strasberg. Anybody seen it?

NICHOLAS MCCARTHY:I have seen SCREAM OF FEAR. I remember it as a generally pleasurable but unremarkable post-PSYCHO Hammer movie. For guys like us, I guess that means… a must see!.

DENNIS COZZALIO:I have a soft spot for by-the-numbers PSYCHO knockoffs.

PAUL GAITA: SCREAM OF FEAR falls into the same category as MANIAC (1963), HYSTERIA (1965) and STRANGLERS OF BOMBAY (1959)- all fun movies, nothing special, but certainly worth a watch. I agree with Nick that sometimes Hammer titles can be a chore, especially as the studio’s efficacy wore down in the late ’60s and early ’70s. I don’t plan to ever watch SATANIC RITES OF DRACULA (1974) or DRACULA AD 1972 (1972), unless I get a jones for Stoneground.

GREG FERRARA: Hey, I like DRACULA AD 1972!

RHS: Me, too. I love both DRACULA AD 1972 and THE SATANIC RITES OF DRACULA. Are they any good? I’ve never run those numbers.

PAUL GAITA: I can return to some of the non-”canonical” movies frequently - THE REPTILE (1965) and PLAGUE OF THE ZOMBIES (1965), and for reasons I cannot fully understand, THE LOST CONTINENT (1968). BRIDES OF DRACULA and DRACULA, PRINCE OF DARKNESS (1965) are always a worthwhile revisit, and I still find THE MUMMY (1959) one of their best.

DENNIS COZZALIO: Thanks for reminding me of PLAGUE OF THE ZOMBIES, which should be on my list too.

GREG FERRARA: I don’t share Paul’s like for THE MUMMY. I feel it’s one of Hammer’s weakest early horror efforts. I still say Cushing’s Frankenstein movies are the absolute best Hammers ever.

PAUL GAITA: Agreed on most of the Cushing Frankensteins, though EVIL OF FRANKENSTEIN (1964) is pretty stiff. They certainly bear up better than the subsequent Mummy pics. I guess I like the first one because of Christopher Lee’s performance, which is pretty energetic and scary, and for that crazy tongue-removal scene, which I saw around the age of five, and still haven’t shaken the image.

DENNIS COZZALIO: I always kinda liked THE MUMMY too, though I once showed it to my nephew, who was at the time very interested in horror old and new, and he found it to be a crashing bore.

GREG FERRARA: I also like TWINS OF EVIL a lot.

RHS: One of the better latter Hammers with a really interesting performance by Peter Cushing as a bad good guy or a good bad guy, depending on how you look at it.

NICHOLAS MCCARTHY: Personally I’d take STRANGLERS OF BOMBAY off that list since it’s earlier than PSYCHO and not a horror movie. I found its violence to be pretty astounding, it’s a crazy movie in its own way.

PAUL GAITA: My inclusion of STRANGLERS OF BOMBAY in that list is as a non-Dracula/Frankenstein Hammer flick, like THE LOST CONTINENT. It is a lot nuttier and more violent than most others, but as you said, not a PSYCHO carbon.

NICHOLAS MCCARTHY: In many ways, LOST CONTINENT is as nuts a movie as STRANGLERSSTRANGLERS for its ideology, CONTINENT for its sense of having been written by people from outer space.

PAUL GAITA: I think I like CONTINENT primarily for the theme song.

DENNIS COZZALIO: I loved CONTINENT for its poster, which I spent my high school days trying to imitate with pen and pencil every chance I got! ‎”Helpless Beauties Attacked by Crazed Kelp-Monsters!”? Who wouldn’t love that?

RHS: I have that poster!

NICHOLAS MCCARTHY: That theme song is one of the funniest corners of horror cultdom. This sort of rat pack, ring-a-ding-ding vibe plastered on top of that crazy movie is one of the weirdest juxtapositions in the genre. Only the subsequent spate of AM-friendly soft rock songs over horror movies of the 70s rivals it for sheer WTF factor.

PAUL GAITA: That same group, the Peddlers, did an equally out-to-lunch theme for GOODBYE GEMINI (1970).

DENNIS COZZALIO: What was the name of that crazy band that made VILLAGE OF THE GIANTS (1965) so much musical fun?

PAUL GAITA: The Beau Brummels?

DENNIS COZZALIO: Yep, them’s the ones!

RHS: All right, Dads. Time to put together our line-up. We have a hypothetical spooky movie house for all of Halloween and from dusk until dawn to do whatever we want. One movie per Dad ought to fill the bill. What are your final answer choices? Mine is going to be WOMAN WHO CAME BACK (1945), a somewhat obscure horror movie from Republic starring Nancy Kelly as a woman who returns to her New England home town after years away. It’s got a CARNIVAL OF SOULS vibe, with her being the only survivor of a bus crash (into a lake!) and haunted/taunted throughout the rest of the film by the frightening specter… played by Elspeth Dudgeon, from BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN (1935), THE OLD DARK HOUSE (1932) and SH! THE OCTOPUS (1937). Plus, it’s set around Halloween, so you get some shots of little trick-or-treaters and all sorts of witchy bric-a-brac. It’s a neat little cheapie with some great visuals, perfect for the season and the earlier portion of our night of horrors.


DENNIS COZZALIO: I saw that on your recommendation several months ago, Richard. A terrific little picture, very akin to CARNIVAL OF SOULS, as you said. There’s a sincerity about the way it goes about its business that is charming while it’s being creepy– it almost feels like a homemade thing.

GREG FERRARA: I’ll go with BRIDES OF DRACULA. It’s got Peter Cushing, for one. It’s got Marita Hunt, for two. And it’s got Yvonne Monlaur as one of the sweetest, most unthreatening vamps in history. Plus castles, bats, stakes and Van Helsing curing himself of vampirism MacGyver style! I mean, for that alone, Cushing is the beast!

RHS: Both THE WOMAN WHO CAME BACK and BRIDES OF DRACULA employ the visual trope of swirling leaves as a harbinger of supernatural goings on, which makes them good go-withs. I like the idea of an anthology movie in the rocking chair of our night of terror.

DENNIS COZZALIO: Okay, I’m going with TWINS OF EVIL because it’s got all the elements you want and need from a Hammer film– rich production values; plenty of gore; even more plentiful and heaving bosoms; the promise of lusty sex; the fulfillment of lusty sex as it is rechanneled into the ravenous desire of vampires; gorgeous ex-Playboy model twins (a friend once commented that the movie should really be titled TWO SETS OF TWINS OF EVIL); Peter Cushing in a role that really manhandles your sympathies; a top-notch script and direction to match; and the advantage of being far less frequently circulated than the average Hammer production, which may have something to do with the fact that its bounteous nudity made it a tough edit for TV. I proudly offer it to the Horror Dads as one of my favorite Hammer films, right up there alongside FRANKENSTEIN MUST BE DESTROYED and BRIDES OF DRACULA, as a worthy addition to our fantasy bill.

PAUL GAITA: I’m going to pick THE LEGEND OF HELL HOUSE, if only to try and understand my unnatural fascination with that movie. RHS, you mentioned that there might be room for short subjects between screenings?

RHS: As long as its all hypothetical, abso-freaking-lutely! I’d want to kick in an Ub Iwerks cartoon… maybe SKELETON FROLIC (1937), which was in Technicolor long before most features were. Or maybe the Disney cartoon THE MAD DOCTOR (1933) with Mickey Mouse, which takes place on a dark and stormy night.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K-JlevnccDk]

PAUL GAITA: I’m nominating “The Caterpillar” from NIGHT GALLERY and that ’40s-era TELL-TALE HEART which runs on TCM around this time every year.

RHS: The Jules Dassin adaptation?

PAUL GAITA: Yeah, that’s the one. Pretty effective, I think.

DENNIS COZZALIO: Wow, I haven’t seen that in a long time!

JEFF ALLARD: I’m going with my initial gut choice: CITY OF THE DEAD. Even though the movie’s action takes place over the course of January and February (with the pagan holiday of Candlemass Eve taking place on February 1st), it has October and Halloween written all over it. I briefly considered nominating HORROR EXPRESS (1972), which remains my favorite Cushing and Lee pairing, but CITY OF THE DEAD is too ripely evocative of the witching season to pass over in favor of a ghoul from beyond the stars. The heroic leads are a little stiff but other than that this movie is just about perfect – and a flawless fit for Halloween. Cursed towns don’t come any better than Whitewood, Massachusetts. With its crisp, black and white photography, every shot that takes place on those fog-blanketed sets is like a picture postcard from Ghoul Town, U.S.A., despite the fact that it was filmed in England! I love that the movie’s scares are pleasingly hokey — a plastic spider is dangled in front of an actor at one point — with a still-shocking cutthroat surprise tossed in. I love that the sets are so archly artificial that at one point a “house” in the background can be plainly seen as simply the front of a house painted on a backdrop. I love that every last gravestone in Whitewood’s cemetery is tilted at an angle. I love that the sign for The Raven’s Inn is draped in cobwebs. I love that when a wounded Tom Naylor (Bill Maitland) struggles to pull a stone cross up from the cemetery ground, it looks like a zombie rising from his own grave. CITY OF THE DEAD is so good, it’s the rare horror movie featuring Christopher Lee where his presence doesn’t overshadow the rest of the movie. And over fifty years later, its climax is still holds up as one of the most crackerjack finales in horror, with its coven of witches bursting into flames. Extra points go to director John Llewellyn Moxey and company for not adding an extraneous epilogue. They hit the perfect end note and go right to credits.

RHS: Any cartoons or short subjects with that?

DENNIS COZZALIO: How about AN OCCURRENCE AT OWL CREEK BRIDGE (1962)? Or is that too familiar?

GREG FERRARA: What, like any of our choices so far are unfamiliar? OCCURRENCE is a great choice.

PAUL GAITA: Speaking of short subjects, the three Warner Brothers cartoons featuring the monster Gossamer, or Rudolph, might be good additions.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DS0kFhrd4DI&feature=player_embedded]

JEFF ALLARD: I’d go with the NIGHT GALLERY episode “The Doll” from Season 1. Also, the “Night on Bald Mountain” segment from FANTASIA (1940).

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=29Mg1yS1VUI&feature=related]

RHS: Nick?

NICHOLAS MCCARTHY: FRANKENSTEIN! One of the qualities I love about FRANKENSTEIN is the editing. James Whale uses his cuts sparingly, and always in the horror set pieces to emphasize a shocking detail, like the monster’s hand twitching for the first time when it is revived. The film is so old that many of these cuts lack the continuity we take for granted in modern cinema. But the photography, production design and makeup are all so outstanding that 80 years on, the effect is like watching a catalog of classic horror images — perfect for Halloween. BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN‘s imagery is pitched at an even greater level of hysteria, but there’s a quality to the original that I love because it is such a bold original.

RHS: Guys, thanks for playing. This has been fun. It’s great to imagine doing something like this and seeing these great movies in what seems like an ideal setting, especially at this time of year. We’re all a bit too young to remember the glory days of the dusk til dawn drive-in film festivals or the spookshow circuit, where a horror movie or two would be combined with a live stage show, but even pretending like this puts me in that frame of mind. And it’s a sweet place to be. I hope anyone reading this has added another title or two to their must-see list for this Halloween season. There’s still time to stack some more movies by the TV or to find playing in your local rep house! From all of the HorrorDads, we wish you Beast Witches and Happy Haunting!

44 Responses The HorrorDads’ 2011 Dusk-to-Dawn All-Nite/All Fright Halloween Screamboree!
Posted By sinaphile : October 21, 2011 3:13 am

Thanks guys. I now have a huge list of things to watch! Love it! And I’m so glad Paul mentioned that Dassin “Tell-Tale Heart.” I really dig that quite a bit!

Posted By sinaphile : October 21, 2011 3:13 am

Thanks guys. I now have a huge list of things to watch! Love it! And I’m so glad Paul mentioned that Dassin “Tell-Tale Heart.” I really dig that quite a bit!

Posted By Bob Gutowski : October 21, 2011 12:26 pm

Being a Nancy Kelly fan (from watching her be overwrought in THE BAD SEED and THRILLER’s “The Storm”), I’ll have to look into WOMAN WHO CAME BACK. No hard sell for CURSE OF/NIGHT OF THE DEMON, a nearly perfect film, which actually takes place around the end of October and has a Halloween party IN it? As usual, great chat, guys!

Posted By Bob Gutowski : October 21, 2011 12:26 pm

Being a Nancy Kelly fan (from watching her be overwrought in THE BAD SEED and THRILLER’s “The Storm”), I’ll have to look into WOMAN WHO CAME BACK. No hard sell for CURSE OF/NIGHT OF THE DEMON, a nearly perfect film, which actually takes place around the end of October and has a Halloween party IN it? As usual, great chat, guys!

Posted By Greg Ferrara : October 21, 2011 12:36 pm

the anthology is not only easily digestible but high on atmosphere. This weekend we watched CITY OF THE DEAD

I can’t remember if there’s anything edited out in between there, but either way, I should make it clear that City of the Dead is not an anthology because that’s how my statement makes it sound.

A great editorial feat once again on your part. A part of me is tempted to start making this more of a challenge for you by jumping, helter-skelter from one random thought to the next and encouraging my fellow horror dads to follow suit. And even so, you’d still make it all work. Great job, Richard.

Posted By Greg Ferrara : October 21, 2011 12:36 pm

the anthology is not only easily digestible but high on atmosphere. This weekend we watched CITY OF THE DEAD

I can’t remember if there’s anything edited out in between there, but either way, I should make it clear that City of the Dead is not an anthology because that’s how my statement makes it sound.

A great editorial feat once again on your part. A part of me is tempted to start making this more of a challenge for you by jumping, helter-skelter from one random thought to the next and encouraging my fellow horror dads to follow suit. And even so, you’d still make it all work. Great job, Richard.

Posted By Greg Ferrara : October 21, 2011 12:36 pm

Until I looked at that Twins of Evil poster, I completely forgot that it starred Michael Jackson.

Posted By Greg Ferrara : October 21, 2011 12:36 pm

Until I looked at that Twins of Evil poster, I completely forgot that it starred Michael Jackson.

Posted By Tom S : October 21, 2011 12:59 pm

That Jules Dassin Telltale Heart really is fantastic- if anyone wants to check it out, it’s an extra on one of the movies in Warner’s Thin Man box set (which is completely intuitive, don’t even question it.)

Posted By Tom S : October 21, 2011 12:59 pm

That Jules Dassin Telltale Heart really is fantastic- if anyone wants to check it out, it’s an extra on one of the movies in Warner’s Thin Man box set (which is completely intuitive, don’t even question it.)

Posted By Dennis Cozzalio : October 21, 2011 1:07 pm

Okay, this automatically goes to the top of my favorite Horror Dads outings ever. What a great job, Richard, in editing this down to a readable form (and I know I didn’t make that any easier for you to do), and what fun to take part in! When I first moved to Los Angeles almost 24 years ago I thought of myself as somewhat of a movie expert. I soon met a woman (no longer with us) who far and away eclipsed my own knowledge, especially about classic Hollywood, and I learned a lot from her. The Horror Dads are the same way for me. I thought I knew plenty about the horror genre, but spending time with Richard, Nick, Paul, Greg and Jeff just proves to me I don’t know nearly as much as I’d like to think. These guys are steeped in knowledge and love of the genre– it seems like they’ve seen EVERYTHING! And yet they never make me feel like a dunce– their enthusiasm is so infectious and it really makes me want to dive in deeper. I’ll never approach their level of expertise and passion, but with their influence and companionship the process of trying is sure going to be a lot of fun. It already has been. Happy Halloween, gents!

Posted By Dennis Cozzalio : October 21, 2011 1:07 pm

Okay, this automatically goes to the top of my favorite Horror Dads outings ever. What a great job, Richard, in editing this down to a readable form (and I know I didn’t make that any easier for you to do), and what fun to take part in! When I first moved to Los Angeles almost 24 years ago I thought of myself as somewhat of a movie expert. I soon met a woman (no longer with us) who far and away eclipsed my own knowledge, especially about classic Hollywood, and I learned a lot from her. The Horror Dads are the same way for me. I thought I knew plenty about the horror genre, but spending time with Richard, Nick, Paul, Greg and Jeff just proves to me I don’t know nearly as much as I’d like to think. These guys are steeped in knowledge and love of the genre– it seems like they’ve seen EVERYTHING! And yet they never make me feel like a dunce– their enthusiasm is so infectious and it really makes me want to dive in deeper. I’ll never approach their level of expertise and passion, but with their influence and companionship the process of trying is sure going to be a lot of fun. It already has been. Happy Halloween, gents!

Posted By Richard Harland Smith : October 21, 2011 1:09 pm

Every time I read these things I’m always surprised at how little I say.

Posted By Richard Harland Smith : October 21, 2011 1:09 pm

Every time I read these things I’m always surprised at how little I say.

Posted By Bob Gutowski : October 21, 2011 2:27 pm

That’s because you’re a good host.

Posted By Bob Gutowski : October 21, 2011 2:27 pm

That’s because you’re a good host.

Posted By Paul Gaita : October 21, 2011 2:36 pm

I’m with Dennis – this is probably one of my favorites, too.

If this was a real dusk-to-dawn fest, I wonder how long I’d last before I passed out and began snoring loudly (as I often did at the Grindhouse Festival at the New Beverly)? If we’re saying that RHS’s THE WOMAN WHO CAME BACK is the opener and Nick’s pick, FRANKENSTEIN is the closer, I think I’d be sawing wood by the second reel of BRIDES OF DRACULA.

Posted By Paul Gaita : October 21, 2011 2:36 pm

I’m with Dennis – this is probably one of my favorites, too.

If this was a real dusk-to-dawn fest, I wonder how long I’d last before I passed out and began snoring loudly (as I often did at the Grindhouse Festival at the New Beverly)? If we’re saying that RHS’s THE WOMAN WHO CAME BACK is the opener and Nick’s pick, FRANKENSTEIN is the closer, I think I’d be sawing wood by the second reel of BRIDES OF DRACULA.

Posted By John Maddox Roberts : October 21, 2011 10:18 pm

For October, night-fog, swirly-leaf atmosphere, you can’t leave out NIGHT/CURSE OF THE DEMON. It even has a pretty cool demon, even if the director never wanted to show it. I saw it in Pasadena when I was ten and it still creeps me out. It’s even got Stonehenge, for God’s sake!

Posted By John Maddox Roberts : October 21, 2011 10:18 pm

For October, night-fog, swirly-leaf atmosphere, you can’t leave out NIGHT/CURSE OF THE DEMON. It even has a pretty cool demon, even if the director never wanted to show it. I saw it in Pasadena when I was ten and it still creeps me out. It’s even got Stonehenge, for God’s sake!

Posted By Bob Meyer : October 21, 2011 11:14 pm

Great line-up.

Correction and potential “Spoiler Alert”: Scream of Fear/Taste of Fear rips off Les Diabolique, not Psycho!

Caught Woman Who Came Back on TCM last year, and that one’s really good. Thnaks for reminding me of it.

Posted By Bob Meyer : October 21, 2011 11:14 pm

Great line-up.

Correction and potential “Spoiler Alert”: Scream of Fear/Taste of Fear rips off Les Diabolique, not Psycho!

Caught Woman Who Came Back on TCM last year, and that one’s really good. Thnaks for reminding me of it.

Posted By Nicholas McCarthy : October 21, 2011 11:49 pm

Nice job, RHS.

I hope I’m not the only one staying up for FRANKENSTEIN! C’mon you guys, have a cup of coffee!

Posted By Nicholas McCarthy : October 21, 2011 11:49 pm

Nice job, RHS.

I hope I’m not the only one staying up for FRANKENSTEIN! C’mon you guys, have a cup of coffee!

Posted By Suzi : October 22, 2011 12:16 am

Don’t get the fascination with LEGEND OF HELL HOUSE. I tried to watch it the other night, and it seemed slow, too dated, and filled with too many close-ups.

Anyway, it’s fun to program horror series. I have a great time with Fright School at Facets, though I don’t select the films. My presenters who introduce each one get to select. Too bad you all don’t live in Chicago, each one of you would be welcome to present a film. Up tonight: a Selection of horror-like shorts from four auteurs–Tim Burton (Vincent); David Lynch (The Alphabet); Fellini (Toby Dammit); and Monte Hellman (Stanley’s Girlfriend).

Tomorrow night it’s The Old Dark House.

Posted By Suzi : October 22, 2011 12:16 am

Don’t get the fascination with LEGEND OF HELL HOUSE. I tried to watch it the other night, and it seemed slow, too dated, and filled with too many close-ups.

Anyway, it’s fun to program horror series. I have a great time with Fright School at Facets, though I don’t select the films. My presenters who introduce each one get to select. Too bad you all don’t live in Chicago, each one of you would be welcome to present a film. Up tonight: a Selection of horror-like shorts from four auteurs–Tim Burton (Vincent); David Lynch (The Alphabet); Fellini (Toby Dammit); and Monte Hellman (Stanley’s Girlfriend).

Tomorrow night it’s The Old Dark House.

Posted By Richard Harland Smith : October 22, 2011 1:20 am

Correction and potential “Spoiler Alert”: Scream of Fear/Taste of Fear rips off Les Diabolique, not Psycho!

Bob, I don’t think the boys were suggesting that Scream of Fear is a literal ripoff of Psycho, just that it was one of many movies made in Psycho‘s wake.

Don’t get the fascination with LEGEND OF HELL HOUSE. I tried to watch it the other night, and it seemed slow, too dated, and filled with too many close-ups.

Suzi, the thing I prize most about Legend is that it’s a story of group dynamics and very much concerned with how we treat – but more importantly speak – to one another. I think it’s very timely for these days, when every jackass with a digital recorder and a neck tattoo thinks of himself as a paranormal investigator. We are fascinated with the dead at a time when the most essential forms of communication between the living have broken down, have been subsumed by technology. This is reflected in the characters of Barrett and Florence Tanner, both of whom seem to have a line to the next world but they really don’t want to know anything more than they already do. Ben, on the other hand, closes himself off willfully, doing openly what the others are doing tacitly. Ann is the only truly open character, desperate as she is for attention and love and that’s what makes her vulnerable to the perversity of the Belasco House. It’s crucial, I think, that the crux of the problem in “the Mount Everest of haunted houses” isn’t some form of ultimate evil but of love squandered, exploited, twisted, wasted… and ultimately the haunting is put right by the awesome power of shame. I think it’s a very evocative and knowing story (no surprise, coming from Richard Matheson) wrapped in a corker of a spookshow.

I hope I’m not the only one staying up for FRANKENSTEIN! C’mon you guys, have a cup of coffee!

Nick, make it black.

Posted By Richard Harland Smith : October 22, 2011 1:20 am

Correction and potential “Spoiler Alert”: Scream of Fear/Taste of Fear rips off Les Diabolique, not Psycho!

Bob, I don’t think the boys were suggesting that Scream of Fear is a literal ripoff of Psycho, just that it was one of many movies made in Psycho‘s wake.

Don’t get the fascination with LEGEND OF HELL HOUSE. I tried to watch it the other night, and it seemed slow, too dated, and filled with too many close-ups.

Suzi, the thing I prize most about Legend is that it’s a story of group dynamics and very much concerned with how we treat – but more importantly speak – to one another. I think it’s very timely for these days, when every jackass with a digital recorder and a neck tattoo thinks of himself as a paranormal investigator. We are fascinated with the dead at a time when the most essential forms of communication between the living have broken down, have been subsumed by technology. This is reflected in the characters of Barrett and Florence Tanner, both of whom seem to have a line to the next world but they really don’t want to know anything more than they already do. Ben, on the other hand, closes himself off willfully, doing openly what the others are doing tacitly. Ann is the only truly open character, desperate as she is for attention and love and that’s what makes her vulnerable to the perversity of the Belasco House. It’s crucial, I think, that the crux of the problem in “the Mount Everest of haunted houses” isn’t some form of ultimate evil but of love squandered, exploited, twisted, wasted… and ultimately the haunting is put right by the awesome power of shame. I think it’s a very evocative and knowing story (no surprise, coming from Richard Matheson) wrapped in a corker of a spookshow.

I hope I’m not the only one staying up for FRANKENSTEIN! C’mon you guys, have a cup of coffee!

Nick, make it black.

Posted By Paul Gaita : October 22, 2011 9:06 am

An elegant defense of Legend, RHS, and much stronger than I would have written (“I don’t get my fascination for the film either, but it’s there all the same”).

Posted By Paul Gaita : October 22, 2011 9:06 am

An elegant defense of Legend, RHS, and much stronger than I would have written (“I don’t get my fascination for the film either, but it’s there all the same”).

Posted By Fred : October 22, 2011 12:25 pm

All great pics. Thanks for a very fun read. And regarding anthologies, any love for The House that Dripped Blood, the first Amicus anthology I ever saw? I watched it again recently and really enjoyed it, even if it didn’t scare me like it did when I was 7.

By the way, nice shout-out to the Beau Brummels. In addition to appearing in and providing the soundtrack to Village of the Giants, the band also appeared on The Flintstones, and were produced by the legendary Sly Stone.

Posted By Fred : October 22, 2011 12:25 pm

All great pics. Thanks for a very fun read. And regarding anthologies, any love for The House that Dripped Blood, the first Amicus anthology I ever saw? I watched it again recently and really enjoyed it, even if it didn’t scare me like it did when I was 7.

By the way, nice shout-out to the Beau Brummels. In addition to appearing in and providing the soundtrack to Village of the Giants, the band also appeared on The Flintstones, and were produced by the legendary Sly Stone.

Posted By dukeroberts : October 22, 2011 3:29 pm

I had a child friendly Halloween fest just today. I started with Something Wicked This Way Comes, followed by Disney’s Ichabod Crane from The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad, then the “Night on Bald Mountain” sequence from Fantasia and ended it with It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown! I have a three day weekend so more favorites will crop up in the next few days like The Changeling, The Omen, Dracula, The Wolf Man, possibly The Exorcist, even Arsenic and Old Lace, which I must watch every October. I’m about to watch Frankenstein (Karloff) and Woman Who Came Back should get here from Netflix on Tuesday.

You all threw in some great suggestions as well. I must find a couple of those anthology movies. I love anthologies as well and absolutely love the opening to Tales from the Darkside. The woods are pretty damn creepy. What did ya’ll think of the movie Trick ‘r Treat that came out a couple of years ago with Dylan Baker?

Posted By dukeroberts : October 22, 2011 3:29 pm

I had a child friendly Halloween fest just today. I started with Something Wicked This Way Comes, followed by Disney’s Ichabod Crane from The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad, then the “Night on Bald Mountain” sequence from Fantasia and ended it with It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown! I have a three day weekend so more favorites will crop up in the next few days like The Changeling, The Omen, Dracula, The Wolf Man, possibly The Exorcist, even Arsenic and Old Lace, which I must watch every October. I’m about to watch Frankenstein (Karloff) and Woman Who Came Back should get here from Netflix on Tuesday.

You all threw in some great suggestions as well. I must find a couple of those anthology movies. I love anthologies as well and absolutely love the opening to Tales from the Darkside. The woods are pretty damn creepy. What did ya’ll think of the movie Trick ‘r Treat that came out a couple of years ago with Dylan Baker?

Posted By swac : October 23, 2011 8:28 am

Great discussion, although I really liked Scream of Fear (I seem to recall that the copy in that Columbia Hammer set looks gorgeous), mostly for its strong Susan Strasberg performance. Worth checking out.

Also, scanning down the page, I was trying to figure out what would be so scary about “The Mattresses of Dracula”. Oh yeah, French title. (And my girlfriend runs a mattress store, so she’s going to photoshop that poster for a Halloween decoration, thanks guys.)

Mostly I was reminded of being a kid and looking through the newspaper at the ads for midnight movies, thinking how I couldn’t wait to go to them when I was old enough, and of course by the time I was over 18 and could drive, the midnight movies were gone, as were all the local drive-ins (from four to none in the blink of an eye). My favourite ad was for the blood trilogy that included a retitled version of Mario Bava’s Kill Baby Kill. To this day I have a hard time believing anything by Bava played in my hometown, but it certainly did, and I missed my chance to see his work on the big screen. But it isn’t Halloween without a screening of something by Il Maestro.

Posted By swac : October 23, 2011 8:28 am

Great discussion, although I really liked Scream of Fear (I seem to recall that the copy in that Columbia Hammer set looks gorgeous), mostly for its strong Susan Strasberg performance. Worth checking out.

Also, scanning down the page, I was trying to figure out what would be so scary about “The Mattresses of Dracula”. Oh yeah, French title. (And my girlfriend runs a mattress store, so she’s going to photoshop that poster for a Halloween decoration, thanks guys.)

Mostly I was reminded of being a kid and looking through the newspaper at the ads for midnight movies, thinking how I couldn’t wait to go to them when I was old enough, and of course by the time I was over 18 and could drive, the midnight movies were gone, as were all the local drive-ins (from four to none in the blink of an eye). My favourite ad was for the blood trilogy that included a retitled version of Mario Bava’s Kill Baby Kill. To this day I have a hard time believing anything by Bava played in my hometown, but it certainly did, and I missed my chance to see his work on the big screen. But it isn’t Halloween without a screening of something by Il Maestro.

Posted By swac : October 23, 2011 8:30 am

Now if only TCM would do for horror in October what they do with Oscar every March…

Posted By swac : October 23, 2011 8:30 am

Now if only TCM would do for horror in October what they do with Oscar every March…

Posted By Mike Perry : October 23, 2011 8:48 am

I wanted to mention that growing up I Loved the work that Dan Curtis was doing and that has always stayed with me. Kolchak movies and series used to get me balled up on the couch with no chance of me putting my feet on the floor for fear of what might grab my ankles from below.
His Dracula with Palance I still occasionally watch. Trilogy of Terror and the big screen version of Dark Shadows.
As for the rest of the titles discussed, Hammer Universal, Val Lewton, anthologies, it’s all good viewing. Even a guilty pleasure or two like Poor Bela’s slumming or Carradine’s Shakespearian villians can bring a mischievious smile.
Price, Cushing, Karloff Chaney,Lee bring wonderful memories.

Posted By Mike Perry : October 23, 2011 8:48 am

I wanted to mention that growing up I Loved the work that Dan Curtis was doing and that has always stayed with me. Kolchak movies and series used to get me balled up on the couch with no chance of me putting my feet on the floor for fear of what might grab my ankles from below.
His Dracula with Palance I still occasionally watch. Trilogy of Terror and the big screen version of Dark Shadows.
As for the rest of the titles discussed, Hammer Universal, Val Lewton, anthologies, it’s all good viewing. Even a guilty pleasure or two like Poor Bela’s slumming or Carradine’s Shakespearian villians can bring a mischievious smile.
Price, Cushing, Karloff Chaney,Lee bring wonderful memories.

Posted By Dennis Cozzalio : October 23, 2011 3:09 pm

I have to concur with Paul, Richard, re your comments on THE LEGEND OF HELL HOUSE, which have really reignited my desire to see that movie again. “Elegant” really says it. You know, for some guy who likes the spook shows (as the folks in my hometown who always wanted to put me in my place called ‘em), you’re a hell of a writer.

Fred: I knew there was an Amicus anthology I was forgetting about. I agree that THE HOUSE THAT DRIPPED BLOOD is a good one– it even has Ingrid Pitt! I thought it was a strange choice to end the movie with the story most comic in tone– that very influential vampire’s cape– and I don’t think it approaches TALES FROM THE CRYPT, but even so I think it’s a lot of fun. Thanks for the reminder.

Posted By Dennis Cozzalio : October 23, 2011 3:09 pm

I have to concur with Paul, Richard, re your comments on THE LEGEND OF HELL HOUSE, which have really reignited my desire to see that movie again. “Elegant” really says it. You know, for some guy who likes the spook shows (as the folks in my hometown who always wanted to put me in my place called ‘em), you’re a hell of a writer.

Fred: I knew there was an Amicus anthology I was forgetting about. I agree that THE HOUSE THAT DRIPPED BLOOD is a good one– it even has Ingrid Pitt! I thought it was a strange choice to end the movie with the story most comic in tone– that very influential vampire’s cape– and I don’t think it approaches TALES FROM THE CRYPT, but even so I think it’s a lot of fun. Thanks for the reminder.

Posted By CollinwoodResident : October 27, 2011 6:45 pm

Halloween is my favorite holiday and a couple of people have mentioned him ~ but I would have to say that besides the obvious, John Carpenters’s HALLOWEEN, I would have to say I’m going with Dan Curtis this year. Some friends of mine plan on getting together and filling the whole evening with our favorite, DARK SHADOWS! Mr. Curtis was the creator of this ABC soap opera that was unlike any soap before or since! Vampires, werewolves, witches, parallel time, you name it DARK SHADOWS had it! Of course it’s a little bit dated, was virtually live, but it is definately a “Soap With Scope.” And there were also 2 theatrical films that Curis directed “HOUSE OF DARK SHADOWS” AND “NIGHT OF DATK SHADOWS” that are wonderfully creepy, very well done and shown pretty often here on TCM! Jonathan Frid as vampire Barnabas Collins, David Selby as werewolf Quention Collins, Oscar nominee (NIGHT OF THE IGUANA) Grayson Hall as Dr. Julia Hoffman and Hollywood Legend Joan Bennett as Elizabeth Collins Stoddard! You cannot go wrong with this series or the two movies! And Tim Burton is finishing his take on DARK Shadows right now for release next year. Johnny Depp with play vampire Barnabas! This is my very first posting so I hope everything is OK! My own personal favorite classic horror film is THE BLOB with ‘Steven’ McQueen in the lead! Most people look at me like I’m nuts when I say THE BLOB but to me it’s a classic and I never tire of watching it! Have a great Halloween all!!!

Posted By CollinwoodResident : October 27, 2011 6:45 pm

Halloween is my favorite holiday and a couple of people have mentioned him ~ but I would have to say that besides the obvious, John Carpenters’s HALLOWEEN, I would have to say I’m going with Dan Curtis this year. Some friends of mine plan on getting together and filling the whole evening with our favorite, DARK SHADOWS! Mr. Curtis was the creator of this ABC soap opera that was unlike any soap before or since! Vampires, werewolves, witches, parallel time, you name it DARK SHADOWS had it! Of course it’s a little bit dated, was virtually live, but it is definately a “Soap With Scope.” And there were also 2 theatrical films that Curis directed “HOUSE OF DARK SHADOWS” AND “NIGHT OF DATK SHADOWS” that are wonderfully creepy, very well done and shown pretty often here on TCM! Jonathan Frid as vampire Barnabas Collins, David Selby as werewolf Quention Collins, Oscar nominee (NIGHT OF THE IGUANA) Grayson Hall as Dr. Julia Hoffman and Hollywood Legend Joan Bennett as Elizabeth Collins Stoddard! You cannot go wrong with this series or the two movies! And Tim Burton is finishing his take on DARK Shadows right now for release next year. Johnny Depp with play vampire Barnabas! This is my very first posting so I hope everything is OK! My own personal favorite classic horror film is THE BLOB with ‘Steven’ McQueen in the lead! Most people look at me like I’m nuts when I say THE BLOB but to me it’s a classic and I never tire of watching it! Have a great Halloween all!!!

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