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Old June 10 2009, 12:24 AM   #301
NileQT87
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Re: Let's Talk About Horror Fiction and Film

If you want one of the most unique and touching (it's quite empathetic and puts you firmly on the side of the "freaks") "horror" films ever made (it's more accurately a drama), watch Tod Browning's 1932 film, Freaks.

It's one of my favorite films.

The wonderful performances by Olga Baclanova (Cleopatra), Wallace Ford (Phroso), Angelo Rossitto (Angeleno), Johnny Eck (himself, the Half-Boy), Daisy & Violet Hilton (themselves, the Siamese twins) and Harry & Daisy Earles (Hans & Frieda) stand out.

The film was banned in England for 30 years and pretty much destroyed Tod Browning's career (the director of several Lon Chaney, Sr. films and Dracula). The film is notable for having real people with deformities as the cast (and they're the heroes). 30 minutes of the film, including much of the fates of the "normal" villains, have been lost to history (it's now only an hour long). The film helped bring about the Hayes Code.



"You'll laugh at them, shudder at them; and yet, but for the accident of birth, you might be even as they are."



"We'll make her one of us! A loving cup! A loving cup!"
"We accept her. One of us. We accept her. One of us."
"Gooble, gobble. Gooble, gobble."

--The famous scenes--
The Wedding Feast: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_c43Sa4dztk
The End: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sALWUsvL4X4

Last edited by NileQT87; June 10 2009 at 12:40 AM.
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Old June 10 2009, 12:41 AM   #302
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Re: Let's Talk About Horror Fiction and Film

I love that movie. I wish somebody would stumble on that lost footage. The film historian in the DVD Extras is great, too; he seems to have such a genuine love for the Freaks.
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Old June 10 2009, 01:04 AM   #303
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Re: Let's Talk About Horror Fiction and Film

I actually wrote the Wikipedia article for Johnny Eck[hardt]. I adore him. He was very multi-talented (he had talents and abilities well-beyond being a sideshow act--orchestra conductor, artist, model-maker, illusionist, etc...) and a total sweetheart (you'll notice he smiles a lot all through the film). Tod Browning actually wanted to do a follow-up mad scientist picture with Johnny and his full-bodied, would-have-been-identical twin, Robert. He was also the Gooney Bird in the Tarzan films. It's a shame what happened to him at the end of his life. In his old age, he was robbed by two thugs, sat on and humiliated. He lost his faith in humanity despite having been known for being friendly and upbeat. He was fond of talking on his porch with visitors and he made a living off of his screen paintings. He became a hermit during his final years after the robbery. Leonardo DiCaprio has the rights to the Eckhardt brothers' story for a biopic and Caroline Thompson (screenwriter of Edward Scissorhands) has already written the script.

Angelo Rossitto is my second favorite. His performance during the Wedding Feast with the Loving Cup, getting the brunt of the humiliation (what a tough scene) with the wine splash and his peaking through the window at Cleopatra's treachery (amazing expressions)... He just gave a very moving performance. Another film I've spotted him in is the 1934 Babes in Toyland (March of the Wooden Soldiers). He's the 2nd Little Pig (black armband) and the lead dwarf with the Sandman during the "Go to Sleep, Slumber Deep" number. He sold newspapers outside of one of the studios for decades and the studios would just come get him when they needed him. He was in tons of films from 1927, when he was discovered by John Barrymore, up to 1987 (his last notable role was the villain in Mad Max 2: Beyond Thunderdome with Mel Gibson).

Of course, Harry Earles is quite famously the Lollipop Guild Munchkin wearing blue in The Wizard of Oz. His three sisters were also Munchkins in The Wizard of Oz. They were known as the famous "Doll Family". Harry Earles was the one who brought the short story that inspired Freaks to Tod Browning's attention, as it was one of the few chances he had for a meaty role.

One of Bob Hope's first acts was a tap-dancing routine by Daisy and Violet Hilton. They were born out of wedlock and given away to a couple, who, while gave them a top-notch education along with music and dance lessons, were abusive and used them as a meal ticket. They had a famous emancipation case and spent many years trying to get marriage licenses for sham marriages in various states (which they were allowed in 1936). When vaudeville and sideshows dried up, they opened up a boardwalk hot dog stand and were accused of drawing too much attention. After that, they ended up being stranded and got jobs bagging groceries. The grocer paid for new clothing for them because they only had show clothes. They died of the Hong Kong flu.

That cast was truly a fascinating group of people.

A few other horror films that I truly appreciate are Night of the Living Dead, House of Wax and The Bride of Frankenstein. I like the good old classics.

Last edited by NileQT87; June 10 2009 at 10:13 AM.
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Old June 10 2009, 09:53 AM   #304
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Re: Let's Talk About Horror Fiction and Film

^^ Those are all great films, especially Bride. I love all the old Universals and have the Legacy collections.

It's pretty depressing to hear what happened to Johnny Eckhardt. There are some pretty horrible people in this world.
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Old June 10 2009, 10:16 AM   #305
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Re: Let's Talk About Horror Fiction and Film

You'll find several like-minded fans in here, NileQT87. Welcome!

Speaking of the Universal Legacy series, I'm sure you guys have seen the newer ones for Dracula, Frankenstein and The Mummy. I just found out they'll be releasing one for The Wolf Man around the time of the remake's release.

Most of them probably aren't worth the double (or actually triple) dip, but it's worth it to have at least one, because they all have a decent Universal horror documentary narrated by Kenneth Branaugh. Depending on the film, some of them have a few more features, too. Some of the Amazon reviews specify which features aren't on previous editions.

Speaking of The Wolf Man (2009), I recently caught this reveal of an action figure design. I have to say, if that's how he looks in the movie, Rick Baker did a phenomenal design. Even if everything else about the remake ends up sucking, it'll be a pleasure to see that make-up onscreen.
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Old June 10 2009, 10:48 AM   #306
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Re: Let's Talk About Horror Fiction and Film

^^ Rick Baker always does great work, and I'm glad they're sticking with a classic Wolf Man design. I'll probably end up getting that new Wolf Man Legacy DVD, since that's my favorite of all the Universals.
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Old June 10 2009, 07:40 PM   #307
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Re: Let's Talk About Horror Fiction and Film

It looks like Trick 'r Treat, which was mentioned upthread, is finally getting a DVD release, probably around October, as well as playings around the festival circuit. Ever horror site I've seen reviewing it seems to love it, and it definitely looks like fun Hallowe'en viewing.
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Old June 10 2009, 11:46 PM   #308
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Re: Let's Talk About Horror Fiction and Film

Let's see... a horror anthology movie that's compared glowingly to EC and Creepshow. Yeah, blind buy.
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Old June 13 2009, 10:52 PM   #309
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Re: Let's Talk About Horror Fiction and Film

Here's another potential market for you that I heard about on a horror writers' site: Shroud Magazine.

Due to the economic problems right now, they don't pay very well ($25 or so), but it's yet another way to get your name out there. They're only open for submissions until June 30th, though, so send it to them as soon as possible.

Here are their submission guidelines.

The magazine looks pretty good. I've ordered a copy, and I'll judge from there whether I want to subscribe.
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Old June 14 2009, 10:39 AM   #310
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Re: Let's Talk About Horror Fiction and Film

Spaceman Spiff wrote: View Post
Here's another potential market for you that I heard about on a horror writers' site: Shroud Magazine.
Excellent, thank you. I'm going to look into both of these links today. My problem, of course, is that I seem to have very few stories where I can say, "This belongs in Analog" or "This belongs in Weird Tales." Most don't seem to fit any specific markets. But I'd love to find a home for my "Last Talbot" poem; everybody seems to love that one. You've read that, right?

Due to the economic problems right now, they don't pay very well ($25 or so), but it's yet another way to get your name out there.
Heh, that's all right. I'm used to being a Starving Artist.

And they take electronic submissions. That's a plus.

I've already ordered Monstrous; it jumped right to the top of my Shopping Cart list.
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Old June 14 2009, 11:01 AM   #311
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Re: Let's Talk About Horror Fiction and Film

RJDiogenes wrote: View Post
^^ Rick Baker always does great work, and I'm glad they're sticking with a classic Wolf Man design. I'll probably end up getting that new Wolf Man Legacy DVD, since that's my favorite of all the Universals.
wolfman is also my favorite of the univeral creatures.

the book i may read for halloween..
robert mccammon's The Queen of Bedlam .
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Old June 14 2009, 12:05 PM   #312
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Re: Let's Talk About Horror Fiction and Film

RJDiogenes wrote: View Post
But I'd love to find a home for my "Last Talbot" poem; everybody seems to love that one. You've read that, right?
No, I don't think so.

I've already ordered Monstrous; it jumped right to the top of my Shopping Cart list.
I thought you might like that one. I haven't cracked it open yet, so I hope it's good. It has pretty good reviews, at least.

pookha wrote: View Post
the book i may read for halloween..
robert mccammon's The Queen of Bedlam .
Did you read the first one, Speaks the Nightbird? What'd you think?

I have it, but I'm holding onto it for when I feel like something historical. Same with Dan Simmons's The Terror.
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Old June 14 2009, 05:42 PM   #313
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Re: Let's Talk About Horror Fiction and Film

pookha wrote: View Post
RJDiogenes wrote: View Post
^^ Rick Baker always does great work, and I'm glad they're sticking with a classic Wolf Man design. I'll probably end up getting that new Wolf Man Legacy DVD, since that's my favorite of all the Universals.
wolfman is also my favorite of the univeral creatures.
You have good taste.

Spaceman Spiff wrote: View Post
RJDiogenes wrote: View Post
But I'd love to find a home for my "Last Talbot" poem; everybody seems to love that one. You've read that, right?
No, I don't think so.
Sorry, sometimes I forget who's read what. I'll send you a PM.
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Old July 7 2009, 03:08 AM   #314
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Re: Let's Talk About Horror Fiction and Film

I just watched a terrific old B & W horror film, Night of the Demon (1957), directed by Jacques Tourneur.

This film was intriguing in all sorts of ways. For starters, the DVD includes two versions: the original British film, and a shortened American version, Curse of the Demon. It was interesting to see what changes the distributor thought were necessary for an American audience.

Once you see it, too, you can see its influence in all sorts of unexpected places. It was obviously an important inspiration for Sam Raimi's recent Drag Me to Hell, but its central concept was also strongly reminiscent of the cursed videotape in Ringu. One of its optical effects was even copied in an episode of DS9, "The Storyteller."

Highly recommended for fans of classic horror films.
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Old July 7 2009, 03:15 AM   #315
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Re: Let's Talk About Horror Fiction and Film

I've been meaning to check out Night of the Demon, which is a (very loose) adaptation of M.R. James' classic ghost story "Casting the Runes."

Speaking of which, I've been reading James Hynes' Publish and Perish, a set of three satirical horror stories set in the academic world. The third is a modern take-off on "Casting the Runes." I'm looking forward to it.

I've also been reading The Ghost Stories of Edith Wharton. They're pretty good ghost stories in the classical mode.
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