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Posts Tagged ‘horror movie’

Horror Poll: Which actor’s portrayal of Dracula is the Best?

Posted by Harbinger451 on May 26, 2015

The Horror of it All CategoryBram Stoker’s famous villainous vampire, from his massively influential Gothic novel – Dracula (1897), is one of the most portrayed horror characters in Movie and TV history… but whose portrayal is the best? We’ve selected our top 21 most notable, memorable or worthy performances – from which you can choose your favourite three in our Poll HERE – helping us decide who’s Dracula is the greatest. I’d just like to make two points before starting the list – 1, Max Schreck’s Count Orlok IS Count Dracula (but that name couldn’t be used for copyright reasons), and – 2, Christopher Lee is listed twice on purpose (once for his role in the famous Hammer movie series and again for another entirely separate movie role in Jess Franco’s Count Dracula).

Max Shrek in Nosferatu: eine Symphonie des Grauens (Friedrich Wilhelm Mornau, Ger. 1922)

Max Schreck in Nosferatu: eine Symphonie des Grauens (Friedrich Wilhelm Mornau, Ger. 1922)

So… Which actor’s portrayal of Dracula is the Best?

Vote for your favourite three in our Poll HERE.

1. Max Schreck in Nosferatu: eine Symphonie des Grauens (Friedrich Wilhelm Mornau, Ger. 1922)

2. Bela Lugosi in Dracula (Tod Browning, USA. 1931) and in only one of Universal’s many sequels/spin-offs Abbot and Costello meet Frankenstein (Charles Barton, USA 1948)

3. Carlos Villarías in Drácula (George Melford & Enrique Tovar Ávalos, USA-Spanish language. 1931)

4. Lon Chaney, Jr. in Son of Dracula (Robert Siodmak, USA. 1943)

5. Christopher Lee in Dracula (Terence Fisher, UK. 1958) and in six of Hammer’s sequels Dracula: Prince of Darkness (Terence Fisher, UK. 1966), Dracula has Risen from the Grave (Freddie Francis, UK. 1968), Taste the Blood of Dracula (Peter Sasdy, UK. 1969), Scars of Dracula (Roy Ward Baker, UK. 1970), Dracula AD 1972 (Alan Gibson, UK. 1972) and The Satanic Rites of Dracula (Alan Gibson, UK. 1973)

6. Christopher Lee in Count Dracula (Jess Franco, Spa-Ita-Ger. 1970)

7. Paul Albert Krumm in Jonathan (Hans W. Geissendorfer, Ger. 1970)

8. Udo Kier in Blood for Dracula (Paul Morrissey, Fra/Ita. 1973)

9. Jack Palance in Bram Stoker’s Dracula (Dan Curtis, USA. 1974)

10. David Niven in Vampira (Clive Donner, UK. 1974)

11. Louis Jourdan in BBC TV’s Count Dracula (Philip Saville, UK. 1977)

12. Frank Langella in Dracula (John Badham, UK/USA. 1979)

13. Klaus Kinski in Nosferatu: Phantom Der Nacht (Werner Herzog, Ger/Fra. 1979) and in its sequel, Vampire in Venice (Augusto Caminito, Ita. 1988)

14. George Hamilton in Love at First Bite (Stan Dragoti, USA. 1979)

15. Duncan Regehr in The Monster Squad (Fred Dekker, USA. 1987)

16. Gary Oldman in Bram Stoker’s Dracula (Francis Ford Coppola, USA. 1992)

17. Leslie Nielsen in Dracula: Dead and Loving It (Mel Brooks, USA. 1995)

18. Gerard Butler in Dracula 2000 (Patrick Lussier, USA. 2000)

19. Richard Roxburgh in Van Helsing (Stephen Sommers, USA. 2004)

20. Thomas Kretschmann in Dracula 3D (Dario Argento, Ita/Fra/Spa. 2012)

21. Luke Evans in Dracula Untold (Gary Shore, USA. 2014)

Vote for your favourite three in our Poll HERE.

Luke Evans in Dracula Untold (Gary Shore, USA. 2014)

Luke Evans in Dracula Untold (Gary Shore, USA. 2014)

Discuss and debate this list or suggest other performances you think deserve to be listed here by replying to this post. Don’t forget to vote in our Poll HERE.

Check out more of our Horror Polls HERE.

The Horror of it All… enter HERE all those who delight in horror, death, the macabre, the occult, black humor, weird tales, dark fantasy – and all such nefarious pleasures.

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Copyright © 2015 Harbinger451 – All Rights Reserved


The Horror of it All

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What would be your Perfect Halloween Horror Movie Marathon?

Posted by Harbinger451 on October 30, 2014

The Horror of it All CategoryHalloween night is the perfect excuse for a horror movie marathon (like you need an excuse)… but what movies do you choose? Do you go for an eclectic selection of personal favorites or all-time classics… or have a themed night of related movies – say by following a famed franchise from start to finish or a selection of movies using the Halloween season as its backdrop? Difficult choices have to be made when embarking on the enterprise of choosing the perfect Halloween Horror Movie Marathon… so hopefully I’m here to help you out with a few suggestions and alternatives. I’d be really interested in hearing your own suggestions for the perfect horror movie marathon so please enter them in the comments section below.

1. Halloween

John Carpenter's Halloween (1978)

John Carpenter’s Halloween (1978)

First up on my list is easy, John Carpenter’s 1978 Halloween – a tale of an escaped lunatic returning to his home town to continue a killing spree he started 15 years earlier. This seminal slasher first introduced the unstoppable psycho-killer Michael Myers to the movie going public and, bonus, the action takes place during Halloween and features some cool clips and sound-bites from classic old horror/scifi movies just to set the creepy mood. It stars the excellent Jamie Lee Curtis and the indomitable Donald Pleasence who delivers some of horror movie history’s most memorable lines with petrifying aplomb. Of course this classic spawned a whole franchise – nine more films (plus numerous novels and comic books) – but they are all a rather hit and miss affair. Choosing carefully among them can give you a decent marathon run of Halloween flavoured movies for the big night’s viewing.

Following directly from the first, Halloween II (1981) is definitely worth a watch – Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1882) isn’t, it doesn’t feature Michael Myers at all and the ever-present “its (however many) days to Halloween” jingle is just horrifyingly annoying and makes the movie practically unwatchable. Halloween‘s IV to VI (1988, 1989 & 1995) are decent enough but its probably worth skipping to the seventh chapter – Halloween H20: 20 Years Later (1998) – which ignores numbers III to VI and continues the events from the first two movies… but 20 years later. You could follow that, if you’ve got time, with the eighth movie, Halloween: Resurrection (2002), which is set 2 years after the events in H20. In 2007 Rob Zombie’s bold, if pointless, remake was released – not a patch on the original though much more violent – and he released a follow-up in 2009 (which I have to admit I haven’t seen – and I’m not inclined to after his first effort).

As a foot note to this suggestion, and as an alternative Halloween Marathon, you could pair Carpenter’s brilliant original with  the classic movies playing on TV in the background of various scenes – Howard Hawk’s astounding scifi horror tale The Thing From Another World (1951) (which Carpenter himself would go on to remake in 1982 as the excellent The Thing) and the Fred M. Wilcox’s spooky scifi classic based on Shakespeare’s The Tempest – Forbidden Planet (1956).

Other Horror Movies set during Halloween

Numerous other horror movies have been set during or around the Halloween season – here are some of the better ones: The Crow (1994) is an excellent supernatural action movie – a young goth couple planning a Halloween marriage are murdered the night before and the male of the pair (Brandon Lee) returns as a reanimated corpse a year later to seek violent and bloody revenge. Idle Hands (1999) is a very bloody but extremely fun horror comedy about a lazy stoner teenager who’s right hand gets possessed on Halloween night and starts murdering everyone around him… even after it’s been amputated. Trick ‘r Treat (2007) is an extremely well made and suspenseful horror anthology of four stories centered around Halloween, its traditions and its legends… highly recommended.

2. The Exorcist

William Friedkin's The Exorcist (1973)

William Friedkin’s The Exorcist (1973)

William Friedkin’s famous (and infamous) 1973 possession movie The Exorcist is based on William Peter Blatty’s bestselling novel – which in turn is based on a (supposedly) true story – and is consistently voted one of the scariest movies ever made. I’d advise you to get the most un-cut version of this movie you can – the movie’s impact has been severely dulled by over-the-top censorship over the years. It’s a tour-de-force of shock story telling, directing and acting that tells the tale of Regan (Linda Blair), a young girl (apparently) possessed by the Devil, and her mother’s attempts to get an exorcism to free her daughter from the Devil’s thrall. Eventually the services of one of the Catholic Church’s few remaining Exorcists (Max von Sydow) are called upon and a devastating confrontation ensues. The massive success of this movie ensured that it, like Halloween, would have a number of sequels, prequels and parodies – as well as many many, much poorer, imitations. A very good Exorcist Movie Marathon can definitely be had for Halloween Night should you choose to go that way.

John Boorman’s sequel Exorcist II: The Heretic (1977) takes up Regan’s story four years later and deals with the Catholic Church’s investigation into the events of the first film. Personally I’d skip that one and go straight to The Exorcist III (1990) written and directed by Blatty himself and based on his follow-up novel Legion which is a direct sequel to his The Exorcist novel. Centered on Lieutenant Kinderman’s (George C. Scott) investigation into a series of apparently demonic murders fifteen years after those in the first movie and apparently having the hallmarks of a (known to be deceased) serial killer. This movie has some very effective suspense and tension building scenes that lead to truly outstanding shock moments. After faltering attempts to produce a prequel to The Exorcist two were eventually released in 2004. The first to be made was Dominion: Prequel to The Exorcist but it was thought (by the studio) to be too slow and a second was re-edited with new footage to make a more conventional horror movie and Exorcist: The Beginning was released. “The Beginning” received a pretty poor reception by critics and audiences though so “Dominion” was also released – to an only slightly better reception. It is my opinion that “Dominion is by far the better of the two but for the purposes of an Exorcist Movie Marathon perhaps Bob Logan’s spoof Repossessed (1990) starring the brilliant Leslie Nielson (along with Linda Blair) would be a better (and certainly more fun) option.

3. Alien

Ridley Scott's Alien (1979)

Ridley Scott’s Alien (1979)

Ridley Scott’s science-fiction horror masterpiece Alien (1979) is, in my opinion, even scarier than The Exorcist. It is a claustrophobic terror ride of building suspense and shocking frights as a deadly alien picks off the crew of a spaceship one by one after they answer an apparent distress call from a distant hostile planet. With a stellar cast (headed by the inimitable Sigourney Weaver), amazing special effects that hold there own (even against the best of today’s CGI) and probably the best and most memorable movie monster (or monsters if you consider the face-hugger and chest-burster phases) in horror history. The movie spawned sequels, prequels and loads of lesser imitations – the best of which has to be James Cameron’s Aliens (1986), the direct sequel, picking up the story 57 years later and changing the mood somewhat into a scifi horror action adventure movie with a bunch of (space) marines trying to take on a whole colony’s worth of the alien bad-guys… great stuff.

If you want to put together an Alien movie marathon I would also recommend a movie that inspired screen-writer Dan O’Bannon when drafting his Alien concept – Edward L. Cahn’s It! The Terror from Beyond Space (1958) about a rescue mission to Mars that leads to an alien presence hunting down the space-rocket’s crew up through the confined decks till the remaining members are holed up in the control room at its apex. He also cited the previously mentioned The Thing From Another World and Forbidden Planet as influences. Also, there’s Mario Bava’s cult classic Planet of the Vampires (1965) which has some striking design and narrative similarities with Alien – though both Ridley Scott and Dan O’Bannon have said that neither of them had seen Planet of the Vampires at the time.

Alien was criticized by some as being just a haunted house movie set in space… but WHAT a haunted house movie! And anyway, what’s wrong with haunted house movies? In fact, I think one the best (and scariest) haunted house movies ever would make a good complement to Alien in a Halloween Horror Movie Marathon – and that would be Robert Wise’s The Haunting (1963) which is based on Shirley Jackson’s excellent 1959 novel The Haunting of Hill House. A small group of people endeavor to stay at an infamously haunted house under the guidance of a paranormal investigator to try and get to the bottom of the house’s murderous reputation… BIG mistake!

4. The Return of the Living Dead

Dan O'Bannon's The Return of the Living Dead (1985)

Dan O’Bannon’s The Return of the Living Dead (1985)

Written and directed by Dan O’Bannon The Return of the Living Dead (1985) is an extremely black comedy horror about a brain-eating zombie outbreak originating from a small town medical supply warehouse where inept duo – old-hand foreman Frank (James Karen) and young new employee Freddy (Thom Mathews) – stupidly break open a canister (left in the warehouse by mistake) containing one of the living-dead left over from a military experiment (involving a gas called Trioxin) that went horrendously wrong. When a bunch of Freddy’s friends turn up – hilarity and mayhem literally ensue in equal measure.

Ken Wiederhorn’s follow up, Return of the Living Dead Part II (1988), reunites James Karen and Thom Mathews – this time playing a duo of hapless grave robbers named Ed and Joey – in an entirely different small town about to be over run with brain-eating zombies after another stray military canister is mistakenly opened. Not quite as good as the first but still a very entertaining romp into horror comedy territory. Brian Yuzna’s third installment Return of the Living Dead 3 (1993) ditches most of the comedy elements from the previous two and replaces them with a darkly romantic storyline. When Curt’s girlfriend, Julie, is killed in a motorcycle crash he knows what he must do to “fix” her – go to his colonel father’s military base where they’ve been experimenting with Trioxin to create living dead super-soldiers and turn her into one of the living dead… which just causes a heap load of new problems for the pair – not least the army chasing them in the hopes of making her a super-soldier. There are two more movies in the franchise – Return of the Living Dead: Necropolis (2005) and Return of the Living Dead: Rave to the Grave (also 2005) – but these have little to do with the original movies.

The premise of these movies is that a form of the events depicted in George A. Romero’s iconic Night of the Living Dead (1968) actually happened – but that that movie was a spin on the truth to hide the military’s cock-up… to quote Freddy – “You mean the movie lied?!” Needless to say Romero’s first living dead movie would make a great first feature to play before a selection of the The Return of the Living Dead movies and – it has to be said – it also has its own franchise that would make for a good (though not AS good) alternative living dead marathon.

 
Enter HERE all those who delight in horror, death, the macabre, the occult, black humor, weird tales, dark fantasy – and all such nefarious pleasures.

Harbinger451.co.uk

Copyright © 2014 Harbinger451 – All Rights Reserved


The Horror of it All

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The Horror of it All: Quote Queries!

Posted by Harbinger451 on March 8, 2012

The Horror of it All CategoryWelcome to the first set of 13 Horror of it All Quote Queries… these may prove to be a bit harder than the tag-line teasers we presented a few days ago… with these you have to guess the Actor’s Name, the Character’s Name and the Film in which the quote was made. If you are feeling particularly clever maybe you can name the Director and the year it was made as well… if you can – you certainly know your Horror Movie Trivia… we’d give you a trophy or something but there are no prizes – this is strictly for fun!

Here are the classic horror film quotes… enjoy:

1. “One thing about living in Santa Carla I never could stomach… all the damn vampires.”

2. “We’d better get back, ’cause it’ll be dark soon, and they mostly come at night… mostly.”

3. “They’re coming to get you, Barbara.”

4. “It was an evil house from the beginning — a house that was born bad.”

5. “The children of the night… what a mess they make.”

6. “Fine! Kill me! I’ll be back! I’m always back! Just dying is such a bitch!”

7. “I spent eight years trying to reach him, and then another seven trying to keep him locked up for I realized what was living behind that boy’s eyes was purely and simply… EVIL!”

8. “Who’s going to believe a talking head? Get a job in a side-show.”

9. “I was murdered, an unnatural death, and now I walk the earth in limbo until the werewolf’s curse is lifted.”

10. “My own brother – a god-damn shit-sucking vampire!”

11. “OK, Vampire Anatomy 101. Crosses and running water don’t do dick, so forget about what you see in the movies. You use a stake, silver, or sunlight.”

12. “Hearts and kidneys are tinker-toys! I’m talking about the central nervous system!”

13. “We can’t bury Shelly… S-She’s a friend of ours.”

——————–

Go HERE and scroll down for the answers!

Enter HERE all those who delight in horror, death, the macabre, the occult, black humor, weird tales, dark fantasy – and all such nefarious pleasures.

Harbinger451.co.uk

Copyright © 2012 Harbinger451 – All Rights Reserved

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The Horror of it All: Tagline Teasers!

Posted by Harbinger451 on March 1, 2012

The Horror of it All CategoryIntroducing the Horror of it All‘s first set of 13 tag-line teasers… can you guess which horror movie classics (though some are not so classic if you get my drift) these tag lines came from? Most should be easy for true horror aficionados to get… but not all I hope!

Here are the taglines… enjoy:

1. “In Space no one can hear you scream!”

2. “On ancient ground, at the edge of the world, an evil born in Heaven is about to be unleashed on Earth.”

3. “The picture with the Fear Flasher and the Horror Horn.”

4. “Don’t give away the ending, it’s the only one we have.”

5. “They’re back… they’re hungry… and they’re NOT vegetarian.”

6. “Eight legs, two fangs and an attitude…”

7. “Silent, Invisible, Invincible. He’s coming to town with a few days to kill.”

8. “Keep the children home! And if you’re squeamish, stay with them!”

9. “Conjure up your deepest, darkest fear, then call that fear to life.”

10. “Sleep Kills.”

11. “Beware the beat of the cloth wrapped feet.”

12. “Reality isn’t what it used to be.”

13. “Trapped in time… surrounded by evil… and low on gas.”

——————–

Go HERE and scroll down for the answers!

Enter HERE all those who delight in horror, death, the macabre, the occult, black humor, weird tales, dark fantasy – and all such nefarious pleasures.

Harbinger451.co.uk

Copyright © 2012 Harbinger451 – All Rights Reserved

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