Let's Talk About Horror Fiction and Film

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by Spaceman Spiff, Oct 10, 2007.

  1. Spaceman Spiff

    Spaceman Spiff Abuse of Power Administrator

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    I think they just grow up with some ideas always existing and that shapes their worldview. Eventually, the idea of comics being in newspapers at all is going to seem strange to people.

    Another horror example, I suppose, would be the slasher film. There are differing views on which one was first, but it's arguable that it was Psycho that really got that subgenre going into what we think of as a slasher film today.

    That's why some modern viewers watch something like Psycho or the original Halloween and have a hard time imagining these movies ever scaring anyone. But in the context of their times, they were deeply upsetting.
     
  2. Itisnotlogical

    Itisnotlogical Commodore Commodore

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    I don't really like slasher movies. They simply fail to scare me. Here's my abbreviated plot summary flow-chart of every slasher movie I've ever watched:

    Character introduction -> *slice slice slice slice slice slice* -> Brief character development -> *slice slice slice slice slice* -> Slasher defeated (unless enough money is generated for a sequel... then he retroactively gains immortality and/or leaves family behind)

    Seriously. Every slasher movie I've ever seen boils down some form of the above.

    Contrast with a non-slasher horror movie, say, Event Horizon. There's mystery! There's characters whom you actually care about if they get killed! A good horror story, in my opinion, is never about seeing how much you can shock and appall the mainstream with a meat cleaver and a bottle of fake blood; it's about writing a really suspenseful story that keeps you shaking and makes you check under your bedsheets.
     
  3. RJDiogenes

    RJDiogenes Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

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    Well, most slasher films rely on startling the audience or grossing them out, whereas films like Psycho rely on suspense and psychological fear.

    That's true. It's always possible to find new antecedents to contemporary trends and tropes as you read older fiction or watch old films. But I think a lot of young 'uns just automatically dismiss older works as being worthless or irrelevant-- like the people you mentioned who won't watch b&W movies. I knew a few people like that when I was a kid, and it seems worse now; of course, it may seem worse just because we have the Internet now.
     
  4. Goliath

    Goliath Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Nor was King the first to do so. There was Ira Levin, whose work I was extolling earlier. And Blatty, with The Exorcist. And many others, both literary and cinematic--even this novel I'm reading right now, The Witching Night by C. S. Cody, which was first published in 1952, and reads like the voice-over from a fim noir.

    But I think you're absolutely right to say that Stephen King popularized this type of story in a way that his predecessors never did. The immense popularity of King's work really seems to have shifted the paradigm, to the point where traditional crumbling-old-castle Gothic horror is now a minor subgenre. He really seems to have caught the wave, culturally speaking.
     
  5. RJDiogenes

    RJDiogenes Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

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    King really did popularize it-- or mainstream it, I suppose-- but it's been around for a while. There was Night Stalker in the early 70s, various Hammer films set in contemporary times, Creepy and Eerie in the 60s, EC in the 50s; all had stories of traditional horror in the (then) modern setting. I'm not especially familiar with Horror literature of those periods, but I'm sure there are examples there, too.
     
  6. RJDiogenes

    RJDiogenes Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

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    You guys may be interested in this. Time to get your '57 Chevys out of mothballs and buy some buttered popcorn. :mallory:
     
  7. Brendan Moody

    Brendan Moody Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Nice to see this thread is still going.

    These days I have a blog where I ramble about horror and related fiction. Some (largely obscure) writers mentioned there whose work I've enjoyed lately are Robert Aickman, Walter de la Mare, Mark Valentine, Quentin S. Crisp, Mark Samuels, Charles L. Grant, and Robert Westall; I also liked several of Ellen Datlow's recent/upcoming anthologies, including Supernatural Noir, Teeth: Vampire Tales, and The Best Horror of the Year 3.
     
  8. Itisnotlogical

    Itisnotlogical Commodore Commodore

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    This discussion already been pretty much ruined by Youtube trolls and similar, but it really makes me sad how vampires have changed with modern perspective. It's impossible to take a vampire seriously anymore. Go to Wal-Mart and pick out any vampire book at random. I dare you. Chances are that the book will utterly fail to scare you... or mildly startle you... or even interest you at all. Bonus failure points to the author if the main vampire character is a teenager.

    I just... miss something about old-style, "gentleman" type vampires. They had class. They could scare the holy bejeezus out of you, because they didn't fall in love with humans, or wish that they still were humans, or any of that. They had kinky sex with you and then they drank your frickin blood. They lived in a Big Damn Spooky Castle and you wouldn't even know you were in danger until you caught them in the middle of a Satanic festival.

    Modern vampires? No... just... utterly and completely no.
     
  9. RJDiogenes

    RJDiogenes Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

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    The seven movies on tonight's TCM Creature Double Feature (:vulcan:) are: Attack Of The 50 Foot Woman, Village Of The Giants, Queen Of Outer Space, Mars Needs Women, Cyclops, Manster and The Killer Shrews.

    Manster was always one of my favorite staples of Channel 56's Creature Double Feature back in the early 70s. It's got a groovy monster, scantily clad Japanese babes and it always ran a little short, so I knew there would be a Flash Gordon chapter afterwards.

    Mars Needs Women, though, despite the presence of Yvonne Craig, is nearly unwatchably bad, even for a B-Movie aficionado such as myself. :crazy:
     
  10. Spaceman Spiff

    Spaceman Spiff Abuse of Power Administrator

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    I have all of those set to record. :lol: I'm loving this drive-in Thursdays thing on TCM.
     
  11. RJDiogenes

    RJDiogenes Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

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    Me, too. :bolian: Maybe if the ratings are good enough, they'll keep doing it; once a month, anyway, if not every week.

    Last night I recorded Cyclops and Village Of The Giants. I've only watched about halfway through Cyclops, which is a movie I've wanted to see for a long time. I'm liking it, but the effects kind of bug me; as much as I like retro effects, I hate it when the monsters have transparency problems (which plagues 50 Foot Woman in spades).
     
  12. RJDiogenes

    RJDiogenes Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

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    The movies for this week's inaccurately named Creature Double Feature on TCM are as follows: It Came From Beneath the Sea, Monster that Challenged the World, Beast From 20,000 Fathoms, The Giant Behemoth (as opposed to the Itty Bitt Behemoth, I suppose), Phantom From 10,000 Leagues, and Creature From the Haunted Sea. I won't have time for them all, but it's going to be hard to decide what to record.
     
  13. Spaceman Spiff

    Spaceman Spiff Abuse of Power Administrator

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    I have some of them on DVD, like The Black Scorpion, It Came From Beneath the Sea, Monster that Challenged the World, and The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms. I just record those to watch Robert Osborne's commentary, then delete them.

    I'm saving the ones I don't have, like Phantom From 10,000 Leagues and Creature From the Haunted Sea. I'm looking forward to watching those.
     
  14. RJDiogenes

    RJDiogenes Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

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    I think the only one I have on DVD is Beast From 20,000 Fathoms. I taped Monster That Challenged The World and Giant Behemoth, but I've only had a chance to watch Monster so far. It was surprisingly good. It was intelligently written, aimed at adults and had a good cast; Hans Conried was fantastic.
     
  15. Galileo7

    Galileo7 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Yes, WLVI TV-56 Boston, every Saturday 12 noon to 4 p.m. Creature Double Feature.:bolian:
     
  16. RJDiogenes

    RJDiogenes Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

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    Well, originally Outer Limits was on at noon, but they may have moved the movies to noon at some point. I don't remember exactly. And they also had Creature Feature and Creature Double Feature on Saturday nights as well. This was in the very early 70s.
     
  17. Galileo7

    Galileo7 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Yes, for me as a boy I saw it from around 1973 to the late '70s on Saturday noon to 4 Creature Double Feature.
     
  18. RJDiogenes

    RJDiogenes Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

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    I started watching in 1970. I'm sure Outer Limits was gone by 1973.
     
  19. Galileo7

    Galileo7 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Thanks, you just answered where I had seen the Outer Limits during that period('70-'72).:bolian:
     
  20. RJDiogenes

    RJDiogenes Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

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    You're welcome.
     

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