Tuesday, January 14, 2014

The Geek’s Top 10 Favorite CLASSIC Horror films.

Okay I admit it, maybe I am a bit old-fashion, but I love the old classic black and white horror films. They take me back to my childhood with fond memories of monster magazines, monster models and the Friday night fright flicks. There are other films I love, like The Exorcist, The Shining, Blair Witch Project, and Paranormal Activity, just to name a few but these old films have a special place in my heart. 

  1. The Cabinet of Dr Caligira (1920) is perhaps the one of most influential films of the horror genre. This film’s style is still impacting films in the 21st century. I love its simple yet eerie images.  The Cabinet of Dr Caligira (1920)  is the epitome of German Expressionism, not only is this film historically significant it is a blast to watch.
  2. The Phantom of the Opera (1925) is more melodrama than horror, but who cares. This film is considered a horror classic because of Lon Chaney’s macabre make up. I remember my older cousin showing me a picture of Chaney as the Phantom, he told me that the Phantom’s face was the most horrific in history and that The Phantom of the Opera (1925) was considered to be the greatest horror of all time. From that moment The Phantom of the Opera (1925) became the Holy Grail of my “Had To See” list. I have seen several film adaptations of the story, read the novel and have seen the musical,  and still The Phantom of the Opera (1925)  is my favorite version.
  3. Dracula (1931) I hate to admit it but I do like Dracula (1931) or at least the Transylvania scenes. Once the story moves to England it’s downhill from there.  Truth, be told I am a bigger fan of Bela Lugosi than I am of the film.  This is a movie, I  believe fell short of its true potential. Browning was ordered to follow the stage play as closely as possible and that I think is what hurts this film. Despite its short comings, one cannot ignore this film’s  historical significance, being the first American talkie horror film.  
  4. Frankenstein (1931) this is a Halloween must see for me. Released the same year as Dracula, this film is far superior in camera technique, visual effects, and storyline. The graveyard scene and the creation sequence, two my favorite parts of the film, have become two of the most iconic images of the horror genre.
  5. The Invisible Man (1933) I have read the novel several times and have seen the movie dozens of times, usually in winter. Una O'Connor steals the show with her comic performance as the bubbling innkeeper’s wife. Once again as with the Frankenstein, James Whale delivers an entertaining film with superior special-effects for its time.
  6. The Bride of Frankenstein (1935) is another Halloween must see for me. The Bride of Frankenstein (1935)  is yet another James Whale horror masterpiece that makes my list.  Some consider this film to be superior to its predecessor Frankenstein (1931) and I am inclined to agree. The film is superior in production technique to Frankenstein (1931), and Boris Karloff’s performance gives the creature even more depth and emotion. Once again Una O'Connor steals the show.
  7. The Wolf Man (1941) it hard to go wrong with a cast that includes, Claude Rains, Evelyn Ankers, Béla Lugosi,  Maria Ouspenskaya and of course in the role that would make him famous Lon Chaney Jr. The Wolf Man (1941) is a bit slow in places but it still delivers a punch on the late night TV screen making it a fun film to share around a bowl of gourmet popcorn.
  8. The Body Snatcher (1945) is my favorite Boris Karloff film; he is at his best in this one as John Gray, a sinister grave robber. Bela Lugosi, although he has a relatively small part, he holds his own.  The production value of this film is superior for its time and has a hell of a great ending.
  9. The Tingler (1959), this film has a silly, completely impossible plot, but it also has Vincent Price and its fun and that makes up for a lot. This William Castle money maker was aimed at the teenage movie audience and featured one of his best Perceptos (buzzers placed under the theater seats). If this one is ever rereleased on to the big screen you can bet your sweet Tingler I’ll be there.
  10. 13 Ghost (1960) what can I say, I like William Caste’s style. 13 Ghost is another fright film he cooked up. I first saw this one when I was a kid during summer break and it scared the Hell out of me. L loved Margaret Hamilton as the housekeeper/witch.

No comments:

Post a Comment