Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Great Horror Movie Scenes

Believe it or not some of the other scariest movies I saw were the Abbott and Costello series of movies where they meet several Universal Studios monsters. Funny thing, I knew these were comedies but they still scared the bejesus out of me.




This is what an impressionable 10 year old I was. I loved Abbot and Costello. I knew they were comedians. I knew this was a movie, but still.




I look at these movie clips now and a broad smile breaks out across my face. I see the humor now but man oh man, I didn't when I was that scared 10 year old in that darkened Roosevelt movie theater in Downingtown back in 1951.





Now here is one movie that didn't scare me a whit, "The Creature From the Black Lagoon." Are you kidding?  Nice musical score but I did enjoy the movie if for nothing else that its camp effect.  Doesn't this movie clip sort of remind you of a precursor to "Jaws?"





Ah yes, "Chrissie's Last Swim." Who can ever forget this scene?

Now that I'm dusting the cobwebs from my brain I remember another horror movie that scared the bejesus out of me, "The Thing."  





 What was good about "The Thing" was that you never really got a good look at the monster, who was played by the young James Arness, the future Matt Dillon of "Gunsmoke." Which reminds me now of probably the second scariest movie that I ever saw, "The Haunting" by Shirley Jackson. This was the tried and true formula of a group of people spending a night in a haunted house. I remember when this movie was over I was exhausted and I remembered something else, I never actually saw a monster which in the end is the true horror, it is our fear of the unknown.


12 comments:

  1. Ron

    Thanks for the clips. The very first feature I saw at a theatre that scared me was the 7th Voyage of Sinbad in which, near the start of the film, the crew end up on an island by a large cave. They begin to investigate when suddenly there are loud thumps and out comes this hideous one eyed cyclop with a gigantic club in hand. The film wasn't a horror flick - but that scared me for sure. The first actual horror movie I went to was a double bill of 2 B movies. The Killer Shrews (which was quite good - low budget) and The Giant Gila Monster - which was a bit of a yawn.

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    1. Pat,

      "The Killer Shrews", first thing I thought when I heard "Killer Shrews" was wives that found out they were cheated on. Then I had to smile when I thought of those little shrews that my Mom's cat Miss Martha used to bring in as tokens for my Mom, usually missing a head. Sounds positively horrifying. Do you remember the giant Ant movie, insects that grew to monster proportions in the New Mexico desert as a result of atomic bomb testing? The best part about that movie was Marshall Thompson. I thought he was a cutie.

      Ron

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  2. I LOVE that Abbot and Costello film with all the monsters! So funny! I love when he goes, "ChiiiiiiicccccckkkkkKK!

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    1. Tony,

      A BIG smile crosses my face every time I hear Lou Costello yell "ChiiiiiiiiiiiiiiCK! I'm even smiling now when I think of it. In fact I'll play the clip again. Funny stuff!

      Ron

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  3. When I was a kid I used to sneak out of bed at night and watch horror movies on the TV late show. They used to play lots of them in L.A. Unfortunately, they lost most of their potency because they were sandwiched between endless commercials. It was much better to watch them in a darkened theater with no interruptions.
    The power of suggestion is the most successful form of horror. That's certainly why "The Haunting" was so good. I enjoyed this trip down Memory Lane.

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    1. Jon,

      I had the same problem when I watched the horror movies on TV, usually late at night. The commercial interruptions ruined the tenseness. With horror films the viewer has to have a chance to build on his or her terror. I agree with you, watching "Frankenstein" in that darkened movie theater added to my fear.

      Ron

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  4. Back to Psycho . . . there were several chilling scenes and everyone remembers the shower scene. When I saw it in the theater, there was the scene going down the stairs into the basement, reaching out to touch "Mother" from behind, and she swings around showing her skeletal corpse. A lady in the row in front of me then let out this blood-curdling scream, and I jumped out of my seat -- my head may have hit the ceiling of the theater!

    Another very disturbing scene for me was in Excalibur in which the birds are plucking the eyeballs from the corpses hanging from the trees!

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    1. David,
      I would have went through the roof too if a lady in front of me let out a blood-curdling scream. God, I can just imagine.

      Ron

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  5. Why oh why don't Abbott & C films get shown on TV? (at least here). I too remember them at the Saturday Morning Club, where, if it was your birthday, you and your pals got to sit upstairs in the circle - a singular honour! A & C films were regularly shown but I've never seen a single one since those days, nearly 60 years ago. One in particular that scared the pants off me featured 'The Headless Horseman'. Do you recall it? It's haunted my mind ever since that one viewing - literally.

    You mention 'The Thing' of 1951. 'Informed' opinion says that it is superior to the John Carpenter re-make of the 1980s. I don't find it so, the newer version being one of the creepiest and most nail-biting films I've ever seen. Having viewed it several times since, even now I can hardly look at the screen in the blood-testing scene when the group are trying to find out if any of them is a replicant. Oooooh, shudder, shudder!

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    1. Ray,

      That's a good question! Abbott and Costello films don't get shown here either on TV. Must have something to do with the heirs of one or both of Abbott and Costello. It's a shame because their movies still hold up even today.

      I didn't see the remake of "The Thing" by John Carpenter but I will now that you have given it such a good review. Thanks!

      Ron

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  6. Lovely movies all. I agree The Haunting is superb as there is never any real 'ghost', but only the uncanny sense one is about. This is far more scary than an actual monster.

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    1. Dr. Spo,

      I've seen "The Haunting" several times. You're right, the fear in our minds of the unknown is always much scarier than the actual "monster."

      Ron

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