Posts Tagged ‘Boris Karloff’

I Don’t Like Horror Films

September 1, 2011

This past weekend, while Hurricane Irene was creating havoc up and down the east coast of the United States, a remake of the made-for-television horror film Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark was released. The film starred Katie Holmes and was directed by none other than Guillermo del Toro. Yet, no matter who’s directing or starring in the film, I must admit that I was never a fan of horror films. Yes, that’s right, while the people I grew up with saw Friday the 13th Part Whatever, I either saw E.T., the latest Star Wars re-release or was working on my book that was destined to become the Great American Novel. Now that Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark is in movie theaters, I thought take the opportunity to highlight the reasons why I don’t like horror films.

All that Blood and Gore
The old time horror films such as Dracula with Bela Lugosi and Frankenstein with Boris Karloff were built upon good acting and suspense. The violence happened off screen. Since the 1970’s, the unofficial motto of horror films is “We give you BLOOD!” All that slicing and dicing does nothing for me. I don’t think it is thrilling or even funny. It just seems like a big waste of acting, special effects and film. A car chase, as implausible as it is in a horror film, would be a much better use of all those things.

Too Many Damsels in Distress
Why is it that the chicks in the film are always the ones who are being chased and killed by the villain? If you are going to portray someone who kills indiscriminately, why discriminate against guys? Don’t guys get in the villain’s way?  So how about having a few guys sliced and diced, just to even out the body count? After all, it’s only fair.

Eddie Murphy Was Right
If you are of a certain age, you will remember when Eddie Murphy hosted Saturday Night Live in December 1982. He did a stand up routine in place of a monologue and during the routine he talked about the horror film plot device of the haunted/possessed house. The routine goes like this:

“Wow, baby, this is beautiful. We got chandelier hangin’ up here, kids outside playin’, it’s a beautiful neighborhood, I really love – this is beaut–”

[demonic whisper] “Get out!”

“Too bad we can’t stay.”

Exactly. Horror movies that utilize the haunted/possessed house plot device beg the question of “Why don’t the characters just leave?” The obvious answer is that it would end the movie without much of a dénouement. Still, lots of times in these films the characters heard the stories about said house or place, so it shouldn’t be much of a surprise when things start go wrong. Dudes, they put a “Keep Out” sign for a reason. Don’t you think it would have been a good idea to stay away.

Of course, even with these “corrections” I still won’t like horror films. So, if you are in the mood for Friday the 13th or Nightmare on Elm Street don’t bother inviting me because I’ll either be working on another blog entry or watching Star Wars on DVD.

Sources:
http://movies.yahoo.com/blogs/movie-talk/don-t-afraid-katie-holmes-182915204.html

http://snltranscripts.jt.org/82/82imono.phtml

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Most Expensive Movie Posters

December 10, 2010

Have you ever wondered what the most expensive movie posters are? Well, here’s a list. Study it and mention it at cocktail parties where you can amaze your friends and confound your enemies with your superior knowledge of pop culture. (ha-ha)

The Bride of Frankenstein (1935)
Heritage Galleries in Beverly Hills recently held an auction and the poster from this film was expected to sell for over $700,000. The bids failed to make minimum, so it didn’t sell. The poster is known as Style E. It is all red with Frankenstein’s monster sitting in a chair and bound by chains. The headline of the poster states, “I demand a mate.” The tagline of the poster is “Who Will Be the Bride of Frankenstein? Who Will Dare?” Of course, in the movie, the bride took one look at the monster and screamed. The monster then imploded the castle, killing the bride, him, Dr. Frankenstein and the good doctor’s assistant. Talk about a bad first date. FYI: A movie poster of Frankenstein sold at auction in 1993 for $198,000.

Dracula (1931)
It is not surprising that a poster Dracula, starring none other than Bela Lugosi is not far behind. An original poster sold in 2009 for $310,700. Remember, these two things when it comes to Dracula:
1) Dracula doesn’t drink—wine.

2) As far as I’m concerned, vampires aren’t sexy.

Metropolis (1927)
This silent film was directed by Fritz Lang and is a science fiction classic. It was the most expensive film made of the silent era and there are only four posters from this movie known to exist. One of these posters was auctioned off in 2005 for $690,000. (Psst, I really like this poster. Does anyone know where I can get a reasonably priced version?)

King Kong (1933)
This film’s claim to fame, other than it featured a big ape that fell from the Empire State Building, was its special effects, which were advanced for its time. Well, a poster from this film was sold at auction in 1999 for $244,500. I wonder how many bananas the person who won the auction had to sell to get the poster?

The Mummy (1932)
This film, starring Boris Karloff as the title character, (the poor guy, he was often typecast as the monster) sold in 1997 for $535,000.

Flying Down to Rio (1933)
This is one of the few non-horror movie posters to command big bucks. How big? It was sold in 2008 for $239,000. Yet another FYI: This movie featured the first on screen pairing of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rodgers.

The Black Cat (1934)
This movie’s claim to fame was that it starred both Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi. Two posters from this film were sold recently. The Style B poster sold in 2009 for $334,600. The Style D poster sold in 2007 for $288,800.

So, there you have it, a nice list of movie posters that brought in big bucks. Still, despite the high prices that these posters commanded, I will continue recommending that people not purchase movie posters as investment vehicles. I do recommend that people purchase movie posters because they like the poster for whatever reason, be it the design, the genre or the actor/actress featured. You rarely go wrong when you buy something that you like.

To see pictures of the posters mentioned are featured in this article, click here:

http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/art/news/coming-soon-a-film-poster-to-break-all-records-2127352.html?action=Gallery.

Sources:

http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/art/news/coming-soon-a-film-poster-to-break-all-records-2127352.html

http://mubi.com/notebook/posts/2576