Fright Film Geek is a blog dedicated to Horror Film History, the movies, the monsters, their makers and the fans.
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.
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.
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
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, Ibelieve 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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
13 Ghost (1960) what can I say, I likeWilliam 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.