Halloweens of the Past

Here are some of my other movie-themed Halloween costumes/ pumpkins. This year's pumpkins didn't come out right at all, I tried for a Barrymore Hyde pumpkin and a Nosferatu's shadow pumpkin, but they came out all wonky... I'll try for a picture soon.

2007: Charles Laughton as Quasimodo

2008: Vincent Price

2006: Jareth (David Bowie) from Labyrinth

2008: Bill "The Butcher" Cutting (Daniel Day-Lewis) from Gangs of New York

lol, I'm strange.


Hey folks, here's my Ursula costume... I won first prize in the TV/Movie category at a Halloween Parade.... once again, I defeated children in a Halloween costume contest.. it just seems wrong, lol. Yes, I am that jerk who is 23 and still enters Halloween costume contests, despite not having kids of my own or anything. I apologize.

The Tell-Tale Heart

Hi everybody, I just graduated college, so I've been super busy trying to get my portfolio in shape. So I'm really sorry I've been so long in writing this, I've just been so busy trying to get things done, in addition to trying to finish my Halloween costume (I'm being Ursula from Disney's The Little Mermaid).
Anyway. One day, a n
umber of years
ago, I was on the youtube (lol) and I typed in "James Mason." I came across the 1953 Columbia animated short The Tell-Tale Heart, and I just
freaked out. A brilliant combination of elements was presented to me: animation, Edgar Allan Poe, and
James Neville Mason. I have never seen animation quite like this as early as 1953, truth be told. It is creepy, haunting, disturbing, and absolutely beautiful. James Mason narrates the tale, and couldn't be more perfect at doing so. While the words vary slightly from the actual tale, nothing is really changed from the story. I found very little information on this film. It was apparently nominated for an Academy Award for best animated short, and was also supposedly the first cartoon to receive an X rating from the British Board of Film Censors. Wikipedia says that it was originally going to be 3-D, but it never actually happened. If so, it explains a lot of the animation, but I think it makes it that much more amazing that it's not. The surreal imagery is absolute magic to behold. You have to watch it to love it, so here's a link: The Tell-Tale Heart.

Also, here's a picture of the scarecrow I made for a local contest. It won 3rd place in its category! Edgar Allan Crow.

Related videos for ET

The Simpsons Parody of ET from Treehouse of Horror XVIII:

Clip from ET:

A clip from the documentary about the making of ET:

ET the Extra-Terrestrial (1982)

Steven Spielberg's ET the Extra-Terrestrial (1982) is a very cute movie, and there's nothing scary about it at all (especially the alien ET). In fact, it's a science-fiction movie rather than a horror movie, and it's actually very sad. (Well, the part that's close to the end is very sad, with ET becoming very sick and almost dying. If you haven't seen the movie yet, you have to find out the rest for yourself the next time you watch it. Sorry but nobody really likes spoilers.) I first saw the movie when I was a little kid (I thought it was scary then) and the most recently I've watched it was last year.
The film opens in a California forest as a group of alien botanists collect vegetation samples. U.S. government agents appear and the aliens flee in their spaceship, leaving one of their own behind in their haste. The scene shifts to a suburban California home, where a boy named Elliott (Henry Thomas) plays servant to his older brother, Michael (Robert MacNaughton), and his friends. As he fetches pizza, Elliott discovers the stranded alien, who promptly flees. However, his family doesn't believe him. Elliott waits outside for the alien later that night while leaving out Reese's Pieces candy to lure the creature. Of course, ET appears and Elliott leaves out more Reese's Pieces to lure it to his bedroom. Before he goes to bed, Elliott notices the alien imitating his movements.

Elliott feigns illness the next morning to avoid school so he can play with the alien. That afternoon, Michael and their younger sister, Gertie (played by a young Drew Barrymore, who is one of my few favorite actresses), meet the alien. Their mother, Mary (Dee Wallace), hears the noise and comes upstairs. Michael, Gertie and the alien hide in the closet while Elliott assures his mother that everything is all right. Michael and Gertie promise to keep the alien a secret from their mother. Deciding to keep the alien, the children begin to ask it about its origin. It answers by levitating balls to represent its solar system, and further demonstrates its powers by reviving a dead plant.

(In one scene while Elliott is at school, ET watches John Wayne kiss Maureen O'Hara in a scene from The Quiet Man on TV, which causes Elliott to kiss a girl in the same way as John Wayne does to Maureen O'Hara. If you've ever seen the movie, you'll notice that whatever ET does at home, Elliott's behavior is affected by it at school. That's because Elliott develops a psychic connection with ET while at school.)

The alien learns to speak English by repeating what Gertie says in response to her watching Sesame Street and, through Elliott's urging, dubs itself as "E.T." It enlists Elliott's help in building a device to "phone home" by using a Speak & Spell toy. Michael starts to notice that E.T.'s health is declining and that Elliott is referring to himself as "we." On Halloween—a good reason for why this movie is sometimes shown on TV around Halloween—Michael and Elliott dress E.T. as a ghost so they can sneak it out of the house. Elliott and E.T. ride a bicycle to the forest, where E.T. makes a successful call home. The next morning, Elliott wakes up to find E.T. gone, and returns home to his distressed family. Michael finds E.T. dying in the forest, and takes the alien to Elliott, who is also dying. Mary becomes frightened when she discovers her son's illness and the dying alien, before government agents invade the house.

(Spoilers begin to follow!)

The link between E.T. and Elliott disappears as E.T. appears to die. Elliott is left alone with the motionless alien when he notices a dead flower, the plant E.T. had previously revived, coming back to life. E.T. reanimates and reveals that its people are returning. Elliott and Michael steal a van that E.T. had been loaded into and a chase ensues, with Michael's friends joining Elliott and E.T. as they attempt to evade the authorities by bicycle. Suddenly facing a dead-end, they escape as E.T. uses telekinesis to lift them into the air and toward the forest. Standing near the spaceship, E.T.'s heart glows as it prepares to return home. Mary, Gertie and "Keys" (Peter Coyote), a government agent, show up. E.T. says goodbye to Michael and Gertie, and before entering the spaceship, tells Elliott "I'll be right here," pointing its glowing finger to Elliott's heart. E.T. then picks up the flower pot Gertie gave him, walks into the spaceship, and takes off, leaving a rainbow in the sky.
This is one of Steven Spielberg's greatest movies. I have always admired his works, despite not having seen most of them. I consider him my model filmmaker--my idol, my filmmaking "mentor." This movie has been parodied many times, especially by my favorite TV shows, The Simpsons, Family Guy, etc. Family Guy has some references to the movie in many of its random cutaway gags. For example, in one of its cutaway gags, it has ET pretending to cure Tom Hanks' AIDS in Philadelphia, except he doesn't touch Hanks because he doesn't wanna get AIDS. Clip here

Despite being sad, the movie has some funny moments, like the scene where ET disguises himself as one of the stuffed animals to hide from Mom. And during the Halloween sequence, where during a little photoshoot, ET mistakes the prop costume knife on Michael's head for being real and tries to heal it using his healing finger light; however, Michael stops him, saying that it's fake.

P.S. John Williams's music score is absolutely fantastic!
Trivia: The entire film was entirely shot at a child's eye level; the movie was shot in chronological order to invoke real emotional responses from the young actors; ET was played by puppets and related animatronics; this film made Reese's Pieces very popular.

Lon Chaney Jr.

There are four classic movie monsters: Dracula, Frankenstein, The Mummy and The Wolfman. Only one person has played all four roles: Lon Chaney Jr.

Lon Chaney Jr. was born Creighton Chaney on February 10, 1906 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, the son of Lon Chaney Sr. and Frances Cleveland Creighton.

As a young boy, he traveled with his parents while they appeared in vaudeville. His father discouraged a career in motion pictures, wanting his son instead to pursue a more stable business.

In his early years, he worked as a butcher, ice man, clothing salesman, newsboy and plumbers helper.
In 1922, at the age of 14, he appeared as an uncredited extra in his father's film The Trap, he was merely the hands of the boy.

He attended business school and became successful working in a Los Angeles appliance corporation.
It was not until after his father's death, that he went to work in films.

His first film appearances were under his real name Creighton Chaney. However, in 1935, the studio insisted he change his name to Lon Chaney Jr. as a marketing ploy. He was uncomfortable with the ploy but also was aware that the famous name could help his career.

Lon Chaney's first credited role was the part of Tom Kirby in The Black Ghost (1932).

In 1941, Lon Chaney Jr. starred in the title role of The Wolfman, a role which would typecast him for the rest of his life.

Lon Chaney Jr. appeared in classic horror movies as The Ghost of Frankenstein (1942), The Mummy's Tomb (1942), Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man (1943), Son of Dracula (1943), The Mummy's Curse (1944), House of Frankenstein (1944), and The Mummy's Ghost (1944).

Lon Chaney Jr. also appeared in such classic films as The Three Musketeers (1933), Jesse James (1939), Union Pacific (1939), Of Mice and Men (1939), My Favorite Brunette (1947), High Noon (1952), and The Defiant Ones (1958).

Lon Chaney Jr. final film appearance was in 1971 in Dracula vs. Frankenstein.

In addition to his film career, Lon Chaney Jr. also appeared on classic television shows as The Pat Boone Show, The Monkees, Rawhide, Have Gun Will Travel, Wanted Dead or Alive, Route 66, The Rifleman, Lawman, Wagon Train and The Red Skelton Show.

Lon Chaney Jr. died at the age of 67 on July 12, 1973.

Lon Chaney Sr.

Lon Chaney Sr. was born April 1, 1883 in Colorado Springs, Colorado. His parents were Frank H. Chaney and Emma Alice Kennedy.

Both of Lon Chaney's parents were deaf and as a child of deaf parents, Chaney became skilled in pantomine.
As a young man, he worked as a tour guide at Pikes Peak, where he developed his love for the outdoor life. He next worked at the Colorado Springs Opera House as a property boy, scene painter and stagehand.

Lon Chaney began his stage career in 1902 and began traveling with Vaudeville and theater acts.
In 1910, Lon Chaney and his family would move to California. He found work as a stage manager, actor and choreographer working for Kolb and Dill.

Lon Chaney would make his film debut in an uncredited role in The Honor of the Family (1912).

From 1912 to 1919, Lon Chaney appeared in more than 100 silent films such as Poor Jake's Demise (1913), Shon the Piper (1913), Almost an Actress (1913), Remember the Mary Magdalen (1914), The Embezzler (1914), The Old Cobbler (1914), Her Life's Story (1914), The Measure of Man (1915), All for Peggy (1915), Father and the Boys (1915), The Price of Silence (1916), The Rescue (1917), Broadway Love (1918) and The Talk of the Town (1918).

In 1919, Lon Chaney had a breakthrough performance as "The Frog" in The Miracle Man. This film displayed Chaney's acting ability and his talent as the master of makeup. Lon Chaney was now America's favorite character actor.

Roles would soon follow in Treasure Island (1920), Oliver Twist (1922), Flesh and Blood (1922) and The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1923).

In 1925, Lon Chaney would appear in his most famous role as The Phantom in The Phantom of the Opera.

Lon Chaney's other movie credits include The Blackbird (1926), The Road to Mandalay (1926), Mr. Wu (1927), The Big City (1928) and While the City Sleeps (1928).

Lon Chaney, like Charlie Chaplin, shunned the transition to talking films and was one of the last of the silent screen stars to holdout against speaking roles.

Lon Chaney would appear in only one talkie a remake of his 1925 film The Unholy Three, in 1930 he would appear in the talking version recreating the role of Echo, a crook ventriloquist. In the 1930 movie, Lon Chaney would use five different voices thus proving he could make the transition from silent to talkies.

Lon Chaney, was a quiet person by nature and valued his privacy. He granted few interviews and disliked Hollywood's social whirl. Lon Chaney perferred spending quiet time with his family and a few close friends.
During Lon Chaney's 27 year film career he would appear in more than 150 movies. He frequently played villanious and sometimes bizarre roles.

Lon Chaney also wrote the screenplay for several of his films: The Menance to Carlotta (1914), The Tragedy of Whispering Creek (1914), Her Escape (1914), The Oyster Dredger (1915), The Chimney's Secret (1915) and The Trap (1922).

Lon Chaney also directed The Chimney's Secret (1915), The Trust (1915), The Violin Maker (1915), The Oyster Dredger (1915), For Cash (1915) and The Stool Pigeon (1915). He is also an uncredited director for The Phantom of the Opera (1925).

Lon Chaney's ability to transform himself using self-invented makeup techniques earned him the nickname of "Man of a Thousand Faces." He served as a make up artist for The Unholy Three (1930), London after Midnight (1927), The Phantom of the Opera (1925), and The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1923).

In 1957, Lon Chaney was the subject of a biopic titled Man of a Thousand Faces and was portrayed by James Cagney.

Lon Chaney is the father of Lon Chaney Jr. Together they would appear in only one movie, The Trap (1922) when Lon Chaney Jr. played an uncredited role and only his hands where shown.
On August 26, 1930, Lon Chaney died from a throat hemorrhage at the age of 47.

Descending The Spiral Staircase

In my part of the country, October is a magical month. The coming of All Hallow’s Eve with its mix of the profane and the divine, October winds moaning and sighing through the trees in the dark of night, sudden storms of lightning and thunder and cold rain –- could there be a more perfect time for a movie of terror and suspense? If you don’t have such weather, you can experience it if you turn off the lights and watch The Spiral Staircase. Released in 1945, it is a story of a mad killer on the loose in turn of the century New England, raging storms and a house with plenty of shadows and fear at every turn. Imagine yourself on a stormy night with no electricity, moving through such a house with only a candle or dim lamp, and imagine making your way down a spiral staircase to a basement where horrors may lurk. Now you are in the mood.

The lovely Dorothy McGuire plays Helen, a lonely, vulnerable girl who was rendered mute by a mysterious traumatic experience in her childhood. She is companion to Mrs. Warren, played by Ethel Barrymore, a strong-willed, cranky invalid confined to her bed but sharp and domineering. George Brent and Gordon Oliver play Professor Warren and Steven Warren, brothers of the same father. Mrs. Warren is Professor Warren’s mother, and has good reason not to trust Stephen, the prodigal son who turns up periodically. Whenever Steven is around, bad things happen. The supporting case is perfection, with Kent Smith as the sensible Dr. Parry, whose visits to Mrs. Warren fit perfectly with his desire to see Helen, Elsa Lanchester as the amusingly drunken cook, Rhys Williams as her rather sullen caretaker husband, a young Rhonda Fleming as the Professor’s secretary, Blanch, and the redoubtable Sarah Allgood as Mrs. Warren’s long-suffering and often insulted nurse.

This household of complicated relationships, indeed the whole community, is shocked by the murders of young women, all with some kind of handicap. In a wonderful piece of film-making, we are allowed to see only the killer’s eye in extreme close-up as he hides in wait for his victim, and then see the victim through the killer’s eye as he stalks and kills. This perspective is chilling, and the music of composer Roy Webb heightens the chills.

As the mystery unfolds, it becomes apparent that the killer must be someone in the Warren household, with the mute Helen as his next possible victim. A great storm rages without, and fear rules within. The spiral staircase plays its part beautifully, shadowed, with each turn bringing unknown terrors.

Treat yourself during this month of ghosts and spirits to a suspenseful and frightening piece of film-making that stands the test of time. The Spiral Staircase will not disappoint.

Bela Lugosi

Bela Lugosi was born Béla Ferenc Dezsõ Blaskó on October 20, 1882 in Lugos, Austria-Hungary near the border of Transylvania and only miles from the legendary Count Dracula's home in the Carpathian Mountains. His parents were Paula de Vojnich and István Blasko, a banker.

By the early 1900s, Bela Lugosi was the number one star of the Hungarian Theater and toured with the National Theater of Budapest. He frequently appeared in Shakespeare's plays.

Although actors were expemt from military sevice, Bela Lugosi volunteered for service during World War I. He served as an infantry lieutenant in the Austro-Hungarian Army from 1914-1916. He was promoted to the rank of captain and served in the Ski Patrol. Wounded at the Russian front, he received the equivalent of the Purple Heart.

Bela Lugosi's first film appearance was in the 1917 movie Az ezredes (known in English as The Colonel). When appearing in Hungarian silent films he used the stage name of Arisztid Olt. Lugosi would make twelve films in Hungary between 1917 and 1918 before leaving for Germany.

The Hungarian Revolution followed World War I and Bela Lugosi was on the wrong side of the ruling party and was forced to flee the country. He first went to Vienna and then to Germany, where he continued his acting career.

In exile in Germany, he began appearing in a small number of well received films, including adaptations of the Auf den Trummen des Paradieses (On The Brink of Paradise)y and Die Todeskarawane (The Cavaran of Death).

Bela Lugosi left Germany in October 1920 and set sale for the United States serving as a crewman aboard a merchant ship and arrived in New Orleans in December, 1920. From New Orleans, he left for Ellis Island and officially immigrated to the United States.

Bela entered the theater in New York City's Hungarian immigrant colony. With fellow Hungarian actors he formed a small stock company that toured Eastern cities, playing for immigrant audiences.

Bela Lugosi's first Broadway play was The Red Poppy in 1922. Roles would follow in The Devil in the Cheese, Arbabesque, Open House and Murder at the Vanities.

Bela's big break came in 1927 when he landed the role of Dracula on the Broadway stage.

His first American film role came in the 1923 melodrama The Silent Command. Roles would follow in such movies as The Midnight Girl (1925), How to Handle Women (1928), The Thirteenth Chair (1929) and Renegades (1930).

In 1930, Universal Pictures obtained the rights to the Dracula play. Despite his critically acclaimed performance on stage, Lugosi was not the first choice for the role of Dracula. Lon Chaney was Universal's first choice but Lon Chaney passed away shortly before production began and the role of Dracula went to Bela Lugosi.

In 1931, Dracula opened in theaters and Bela Lugosi was now a household name. He also received a studio contract with Universal Pictures.

His performance in Dracula (1931) created such a sensation that he reportedly received more fan mail from females than even Clark Gable.

During the 1930s, Bela Lugosi appeared in such movies as Murders in the Rue Morgue (1932), The Whispering Shadow (1933), The Black Cat (1934), The Mysterious Mr. Wong (1934), The Raven (1935), and Son of Frankenstein (1939).

In 1939, Bela Lugosi would play Kommissar Razinin in Ninotchka starring Greta Garbo.

During the 1940s, Bela Lugosi appeared in such movies as Black Friday (1940), The Black Cat (1941), The Ghost of Frankenstein (1942), The Ape Man (1943), The Body Snatcher (1945) and Abbott and Costello meet Frankenstein (1948).

Bela Lugosi's final film was Plan 9 from Outer Space (1959) which was released following his death.

Bela Lugosi died of a heart attack on August 16, 1956 at the age of 73 and most fittingly was buried in one of his Dracula capes. He was in such poor financial straits that Frank Sinatara quietly paid for his funeral.

Bela Lugosi's film career spanned over 40 years and over 100 movies. He is recognized for his achievements with a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for motion pictures.

The Devil Doll (1936): The movie that puts the horrible in horror!

Just the description of it is enough to scare a person out of his wits! Here are some of the salient features: Devil’s Island Prison Camp in French Guyana, harrowing escape from said prison camp, central character played by an aging silent movie star who died before the film was released, wife of this character wears her hair in a modified Bride of Frankenstein do, an incredible shrinking St. Bernard dog, an incredible shrinking circus horse, an incredible shrinking woman, an incredible shrinking man, incredible shrunken people become the subjects of mind control by a wrongly convicted man bent on vengeance, and, saving the best for last, Lionel Barrymore in drag!

Are you scared yet? 
Lionel Barrymore ... Paul Lavond
Maureen O'Sullivan ... Lorraine Lavond
Frank Lawton ... Toto
Rafaela Ottiano ... Malita
Robert Greig ... Emil Coulvet
Lucy Beaumont ... Madame Lavond
Henry B. Walthall ... Marcel
Grace Ford ... Lachna
Pedro de Cordoba ... Charles Matin
Arthur Hohl ... Victor Radin
Juanita Quigley ... Marguerite Coulvet
Claire Du Brey ... Madame Coulvet (as Claire du Brey)
Rollo Lloyd ... Detective Maurice
E. Alyn Warren ... Commissioner of Police

Directed by
Tod Browning (uncredited)

Writing credits
Garrett Fort (screenplay) &
Guy Endore (screenplay) and
Erich von Stroheim (screenplay) (as Eric Von Stroheim)
Tod Browning (story)
Abraham Merritt (novel "Burn Witch Burn")
Richard Schayer contributor to dialogue (uncredited)

Produced by
Tod Browning .... producer
E.J. Mannix .... producer (uncredited)

Original Music by
Franz Waxman (musical score)
Edward Ward (uncredited)

Cinematography by
Leonard Smith (photographed by)

Film Editing by
Fredrick Y. Smith

Art Direction by
Cedric Gibbons

Paul Lavond (Lionel Barrymore) has been wrongly convicted of embezzlement from his bank, on the false testimony of his former partners, the true guilty parties. Lavond is sentenced to life imprisonment on Devil’s Island, while his wife and daughter languish in poverty, ostracized as the result of the scandal. After seventeen years, he engineers an escape, in the company of his friend, Emil Coulvet. They make their way to Coulvet’s old home, where they find his wife, Malita, of the BoF do, waiting to continue Emil’s research into the miniaturization of living things.

The experiments are progressing nicely when Emil dies of an apparent heart attack. Paul agrees to join Malita in carrying on Emil’s work; however, Paul has his own agenda, to put it mildly. Paul re-invents himself as a little old lady who owns a toy shop, where real toys are marketed, as a cover to place some of the “living” toys, controlled by Paul’s mind, into the homes of his former partners.

Up to this time, we see Paul as motivated purely by the burning hatred he feels toward is former partners, and his desire to avenge himself. However, we learn that Paul has hopes of re-uniting with his now grown daughter, who hates his memory, and is an orphan, because Paul’s wife passed away while he was in prison. The outlook for a reunion is unfavorable, especially after Paul’s “dolls” engage in a few assassinations, but a man who escaped Devil’s Island does not give up easily.

One would think that this incredible and convoluted plot would not hold the viewer’s interest, but the quality of the screenplay, the performances, the cinematography (excellent special effects for the time), all set in Franz Waxman’s wonderful score, make for an engaging and eerie viewing experience.

Boris Karloff

Boris Karloff is recognized as one of the true icons of horror cinema.

Boris Karloff was born William Henry Pratt on November 23, 1887 in London, England. His father was Edward John Pratt, Jr. and his mother was Eliza Sarah Millard.

His paternal great aunt was Anna Leonowens, whose tales about life in the royal court of Siam (now Thailand) were the basis of the musical The King and I.

Karloff's first goal in life was to join the foreign service. However, he turned to acting upon immigrating to Canada in 1909 where he changed his name to "Boris Karloff".

In 1912, while appearing in a play in Regina, Saskatchewan, a devasting tornado hit killing 28 people. He volunteered as a rescue worker and also organized a concert that raised funds for the city.

Once Karloff arrived in Hollywood, he made dozens of silent films but work was sporadic, and he often had to take up manual labor, such as digging ditches and driving a cement truck, to pay the bills.

Karloff's first film was The Dumb Girl of Portici (1916). Some of his silent films include The Lightning Raider (1919), The Prisoner (1923), Cheated Hearts (1921), The Woman Conquers (1922), The Prairie Wife (1925) and Two Arabian Knights (1927).

He even had an uncredited role as a Union General in Buster Keaton's classic film The General (1926).

In 1928, Boris Karloff appeared in his first talkie, Behind that Curtain.

From 1928 to 1931, he appeared in such films as The Utah Kid (1930), Cracked Nuts (1931) and Young Donovan's Kid (1931).

In 1931, at the age of 44, Boris Karloff got his big break in a role that would forever be associated with his name, Frankenstein. He would resume his role in Bride of Frankenstein (1935) and Son of Frankenstein (1939). In 1958, in Frankenstein 1970, he would play Dr. Baron Victor von Frankenstien II, the grandson of the original inventor.

In Son of Frankenstein (1939), he also was the demented Igor.

Boris Karloff also appeared in such films as The Mummy (1932), Scarface (1932), The Black Cat (1934), The Walking Dead (1936), Devil's Island (1939), Black Friday (1940), The Body Snatcher (1945), The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (1947), Abbot and Costello Meet the Killer, Boris Karloff (1949), and Abbot and Costelle Meet Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde (1953).

Boris Karloff's final film was The Incredible Invasion (1971) which was released after his death.

In addition to Karloff's sucessful film career, he also had a successful career on Broadway. He appeared in the Broadway productions of Peter Pan, Arsenic and Old Lace, The Shop at Sly Corner and The Lark. He was nominated for a Tony award for The Lark.

Boris Karloff also appeared on such classic television shows as The Red Skelton Show, Playhouse 90, General Electric Theatre, Route 66, The Wild Wild West, and I Spy.

Karloff was bow-legged had a lisp, and stuttered as a young boy. He conquered his stutter, but not his lisp, which was noticeable all through his career.

In contrast to the sinister characters he played on screen, Karloff was known in real life as a very kind gentleman who gave generously, especially to children's charities. Every year beginning in 1940, Boris dressed up as Santa Claus and handed out presents to physically disabled children at a Baltimore hospital.

Boris Karloff was also a charter member of the Screen Actors Guild and was outspoked regarding hazardous working conditions on the sets.

Boris Karloff was married six times and had one daughter by his fifth wife.

Boris Karloff has two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, one for television and one for motion pictures.

Boris Karloff died on February 2, 1969 at the age of 81 due to complications of emphysema.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007)

This is not exactly a scary movie (it's subjectively scary), but I picked it anyway because I'm not a big fan of horror films. But then again, it has witches in it, which are among the symbols of Halloween.

Next to Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004) and the very recent Harry Potter film Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, this is one of my favorite Harry Potter movies. The movie continues with the story of Harry Potter as he and his cousin Dudley Dursley are attacked by Dementors, but Harry drives them off with a Patronus charm. The Ministry of Magic detects the underage wizardry and expels Harry from Hogwarts, but this is modified to a trial later in the summer. Harry is later awoken by the arrival of a number of wizards who escort him to the headquarters of the Order of the Phoenix, a secret organization founded by Dumbledore. Harry learns that under the Ministry's influence The Daily Prophet has launched a campaign against anyone who claims that Lord Voldemort has returned. Harry and his friend's father Arthur Weasley, who works for the Ministry, head to the court through a structure that is supposed to resemble a London Underground station for Harry's trial. With the help of Dumbledore and Harry's neighbor, Mrs. Figg, Harry is cleared of all charges and returns to school. Upon arrival, Harry sees creatures pulling the carriages to Hogwarts. Harry, Ron, Hermione, and Neville share a carriage with Luna Lovegood, an odd but kind girl who claims she can also see the creatures. The Minister of Magic Cornelius Fudge appoints a new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher, Dolores Umbridge, a senior Ministry official and a bitch (excuse my language) who refuses to teach practical magic, as the Ministry fears Dumbledore will organize his own wizard army. For claiming Voldemort has returned, Harry is forced to write, "I must not tell lies," repeatedly in his own blood, creating a scar on his hand. As the "bitch" Umbridge begins to exert her dictatorial powers over the school, Ron and Hermione aid Harry in forming a secret group to train students in defensive spells, calling themselves "Dumbledore's Army". The Slytherin students are recruited by Umbridge to uncover the group. Meanwhile, Harry and Cho develop romantic feelings for each other.

Skip ahead a few scenes: During an exam the Weasley twins revolt and set off fireworks in the Great Hall, causing chaos for Umbridge. Harry has a vision of Sirius being tortured by Voldemort within the Department of Mysteries. Harry, Ron, and Hermione rush to search for Sirius, but Umbridge catches them and begins interrogating Harry, where she slaps him across the face when he claims that he was not trying to reach Dumbledore. Hermione deceives Umbridge into entering the Forbidden Forest along with Harry and her in search of a weapon, leading her to the hiding place of Grawp only to find him missing. Centaurs, who have their own issues with the Ministry, emerge and carry the Headmistress into the darkness after she attacks them. Harry, Hermione, Ron, Luna, Neville and Ginny fly to the Ministry of Magic on the Thestrals' backs to save Sirius. The six enter the Department of Mysteries, where they uncover a prophecy involving Harry and Voldemort, but are ambushed by Death Eaters including Lucius Malfoy and Bellatrix Lestrange. Lucius reveals that Sirius isn't in any danger and that Harry only saw what Voldemort wanted him to see. Lucius attempts to persuade Harry to give him the prophecy, telling him it will reveal why Voldemort tried to kill him when he was an infant. Harry refuses and a fight between Dumbledore's Army and the Death Eaters ensues. The Death Eaters take everyone except Harry as hostages, threatening to kill them if he does not surrender the prophecy. The Order of the Phoenix appears and attacks the Death Eaters. Lucius drops the prophecy, destroying it. A battle erupts and Bellatrix kills Sirius. Harry corners Bellatrix in the Atrium and attempts to torture her with the Cruciatus Curse, but to no avail. Voldemort appears, tempting Harry to give in to his hatred for Bellatrix. Harry turns his wand on Voldemort who disarms him. Before Voldemort can kill Harry, Dumbledore emerges.
A duel between Voldemort and Dumbledore ensues. After it ends in a stalemate, Voldemort attempts to possess Harry but is repelled by the love Harry has for his friends and Sirius. Ministry officials arrive via the Floo Network moments before Voldemort disapparates. Fudge is forced to admit that Voldemort has returned. Harry is vindicated, Umbridge is suspended, and Dumbledore returns as headmaster. The cast of this movie includes Daniel Radcliffe as Harry Potter; Rupert Grint as Ron Weasley; Emma Watson as Hermione Granger; Tom Felton as Draco Malfoy; Gary Oldman as Sirius Black; Maggie Smith as Professor McGonagall; Michael Gambon as Professor Dumbledore; Alan Rickman as Professor Snape, etc.

Potter Puppet Pals (which have nothing to do w/ this movie but w/ the Harry Potter series in general):


"I Walked with a Zombie" (1943) Now one of my favorite films. i thought this movie was easily one of the most stylish horror films i have ever seen. In this film they took the Gothic romance of Jane Eyre and moved it to the tropics and added a touch of Voodoo and came out with a very atmospheric film. A young Canadian nurse (Betsy) is hired to care for Jessica, the wife of a plantation manager (Paul Holland). Jessica seems to be suffering from a kind of mental paralysis as a result of fever. Betsy falls in love with Paul and becomes determined to cure Jessica even if she needs to use voodoo.
cast: James Ellison, Frances Dee, Tom Conway, Edith Barrett.

Boiling Wax, Creepy Museum and Vincent Price -- It's a Winner

I have always loved wax museums. They are out of style now, few and far between, but when I find one I revel in the quiet, creepy atmosphere created by the still wax figures with life-like eyes that seem to follow you as you move. It may be hard to find a real wax museum, but I can always visit the best one ever put on film by watching The House of Wax. Vincent Price, creepy wax figures, wonderfully scary music – what more could you ask during the month of Halloween?

The House of Wax, released in 1953, is actually a remake of a 1933 movie called Mystery of the Wax Museum with Lionel Atwill and Fay Wray. The1933 original was shot in a 2-strip Technicolor process that created a blue-green color denoting dark and sinister atmosphere. It is a wonderful movie and any classic film buff would love it. That story of a genius sculptor who is driven mad was remade with Vincent Price originally in 3D process. It is easy to spot the 3D technique even when seen without it. Hands thrusting at the screen and objects flying toward you during a fight scene, a street barker expertly using a paddleball to shoot the ball right at the audience, Can-Can dancers, all very clever. But this movie does not require gimmicks to thrill and frighten you.

Price plays Henry Jarrod, a sculptor of wax figures who loves beauty and despises exploitative museums that feature famous criminals in the act of murder and mayhem. Jarrod’s partner, played by staple character actor Roy Roberts, is unhappy with Jarrod’s refusal to add such figures to their museum, is greedy for profit, and decides to burn it down for insurance money. Jarrod, horrified at the grisly melting and burning of his beloved figures, tries desperately to put out the fire, but is caught in the building and presumed dead. This scene is wonderfully horrifying and not soon forgotten! Interestingly, Vincent Price in real life was scared of fire, yet most of his movies feature him battling fire in one way or another!

A few years later, we find Jarrod again, not dead as presumed, but left a wheelchair-bound cripple with burned, useless hands. He opens a museum with figures sculpted by students, very odd students indeed, including a young Charles Bronson as a very scary-looking deaf-mute. Jarrod has given in to popular demand and created a chamber of horrors in his new wax museum. The scenes of the public being led through the museum are done with lots of humor and Price’s signature sarcasm.

Jarrod meets young sculptor Scott Andrews, played by Paul Picerni, and is interested not only in his talent, but also in his female companion, Sue Allen, played by the lovely Phyllis Kirk. Jarrod is fascinated by Sue because she looks exactly like his favorite creation, Marie Antoinette, who was destroyed in the fire. Sue has witnessed the murder of her friend, played by Carolyn Jones, who, as an aside, had the smallest wasp-waist I’ve ever seen. Sue was chased through the streets by the murderer, a hideous looking man in a hat and cape. It is with Sue’s suspicions about the figures in Jarrod’s museum that the story gets really ghoulish.

This movie is Price at his best, sinister with a dark humor that makes one wonder what he is really thinking, acting up a storm as the mad genius. The music by David Buttolph is extremely scary by itself, and the spooky scenes of fog, fire, night-time in the dark museum, up to the final shocking climax, will give you real chills. But, as Henry Jarrod says while leading his public through the chamber of horrors – “It’s wonderful to be scared to death.”

The Old Dark House

Greetings All ,
I would like to talk a few moments if I could to talk about the movie "The Old Dark House". This is a film directed in 1932 by James Whale . I really love this film for Halloween because I believe it is one of the quintessential films that should be seen around that time. It starts off with three travellers going through the Welsh countryside only to have their automobile overcome by mother nature and ending up at, you guessed it, "The Old Dark House". What they find when they are finally let in is a butler named Morgan (played by Boris Karloff), who has some mental issues to say the least. As their visit continues they are introduced to the family Femm, those being Horace Femm, his sister Rebecca and their somewhat incarcerated brother Saul not to mention Sir Roderick Femm (played by Elspeth Dudgeon playing a role you will have to figure out for yourself) the rest played very nicely by (Ernest Thesiger, Eva Moore and Brember Wills). As our night continues we find the level of disfunctionality among the family Femm to be a bit more then our guests are willing to deal with.

Luckily we still have two more guests to arrive because of the storm still hammering the Welsh country roads, we welcome Sir William Porterhouse and the lovely Glayds DuCane Perkins (played by Charles Laughton and Lilian Bond). With the addition of our other two players and the release of Saul we find ouselves in a bit of mayhem that will induce anyone who loves Halloween or romance to totally enjoy this film. Just to reiterate, we haved a brother who is a coward, a sister full of religious piety, a criminally insane brother, a matriarch who tries to micromanage the entire family and a butler consumed by carnal desire and five guests trying to stay in this wacky hotel. So all I can I can say is relax have some gin and enjoy one of the true classics of horror interspersed with a bit of humor and take a drive to "The Old Dark House".
Just For Fun:
This was Charles Laughton's first American film.

The father is played by Elspeth Dudgeon, a female.

Originally, Russel Hopton was set to play the part of Rodger Penderal and Walter Byron was to play the part of Phillip Waverton.

Frankenstein (1931)

Above is a picture of me with the child-like Frankenstein Monster in Madame Tussauds Museum of Wax in New York City.

I truly considered "Frankenstein" to be an amazingly scary and heartbreaking film when I first viewed it on television as a child in the early 1970's. Today, I feel that it is a cinematic masterpiece that has never been surpassed by its countless sequels and remakes. Although the film may look a little primitive by today's standards, I consider it to be quite sophisticated. In comparison to many of the early talkies I have seen, "Frankenstein" is still very enjoyable to watch today for those who are not used to the films of that era. James Whale's direction is particularly impressive because of his great camera angles, close-ups of the monster, and creepy atmosphere at a time when most early talkies were rather stagey and the camera hardly moved at all. The film's eerie background and wonderful camerawork, however, is not its greatest strengths; the real power of "Frankenstein" is in its underlying themes or messages.

The black and white photography used in the film gives it a slight element of surrealism. It definitely sets the mood for its dark aspects. Blackened skies, thunder, lightning, and foggy graveyards appropriately gives it an uncomfortably cold ambience. The grainy texture of the film also adds to its gloominess.

Unlike the horror films of today, James Whale gives the monster a good deal of humanity. Frankenstein's monster is portrayed as a grotesque-looking, frightened creature who does not understand his surroundings. I love how Whale makes the viewer empathize for the monster who is forced into a new environment by his creator, Dr. Frankenstein, where he is rejected because of his appearance. I could not help but feel pity for the monster because he had to endure so much cruelty; he was not only abandoned by his creator, but also tortured by his assistant, Fritz. The monster is like an innocent child living in a world of hatred and fear. I felt sorry for the monster even when he killed the little girl because he did not understand the consequences of his action. It seems that the message Whale is trying to communicate to the viewer is that the real monster is not the creature but the fear and hatred society has for those who are different. In my opinion, the true monster in the film is Dr. Frankenstein because he brought the creature to life and then was unwilling to take the responsibilities that go with it. "Frankenstein" is a powerful and moving film even after seventy-eight years because all the modern computer generated images can never give the same effect as Boris Karloff's terrifying and sympathetic monster. His physical performance speaks more than words ever could.

Nightmare Before Christmas

Nightmare Before Christmas
Jack Skellington Gif Pictures, Images and Photos

It''s the best halloween movie! It also can be used as a Christmas movie. It is like one of those reversible jackets. Like most reversible jacket it really looks the best on one side. So I make it a Halloween movie. I got that chance to see this in 3D like 2 years ago and it was just ridiculous! It was one of the trippiest things I have ever seen. Alright so I really bad at describing movies cause I tend to rant away the whole story. So here is the trailer.

Jack Skellington Pictures, Images and Photos


Nosferatu, a Symphony of Terror (1922)

Suave, sophisticated, and outright sexy is what you think of Max Schreck's Nosferatu, right? Don't be ashamed to admit it... What? You don't like pasty skin, pointed ears, sickening-long and pointed nails, and the gait of a floating corpse? Aren't you a fan of German Expressionism?

This 1922 silent by F.W. Murnau is a classic retelling of the Dracula myth that has often been imitated, but never surpassed. For those not in the know, Murnau had some problems with Bram Stoker's people, so he changed the setting and the names of the characters from the original novel. Instead of Count Dracula wreaking havoc in London we have Count Orlock, played by Shreck, decimating Bremen, Germany. However, the core plot is the same as the book. I'm sure you know the crux of the story, so I'll move on to what is great about this picture.

The interplay between shadow and light in some scenes is just fantastic. (See above picture.) Photographers Gunther Krampf and Fritz Wagner do an amazing job of capturing just the right amount of light to capture the creepiness that is Orlock's shadow.

Max Schreck is unforgettable as Count Orlock. To allow yourself to become so embedded in the skin of your character takes talent. Hand movements, facial expressions, the tautness of his frame--all of these were perfectly orchestrated in such a way as to make Count Orlock a timeless movie monster. Those of you who have seen Willem Dafoe's portrayal of Schreck in Shadow of the Vampire might have a deeper appreciation of Schreck's work.

My favorite scene is when Count Orlock arrives by boat in Bremen and eerily glides off the boat and through the darkened and deserted streets. This scene gave me nightmares when I first saw it as a child. Do you have a favorite scene?

This film is a classic and should be watched--even if you don't think Max Schreck is the Sexiest Man Alive. A great Halloween movie!