I've been watching a lot of horror movies the past few weeks, especially the old classic monster movies by Universal Studios and the later Hammer Films remakes.
I have a great fondness for both, and I've been trying to decide which I like better. Hammer films featured Christopher Lee and the incomparable Peter Cushing, but Universal had some pretty great talent, too, especially Lon Chaney, Jr. and Boris Karloff. While I'm not a great fan of Bela Lugosi, his was the first portrayal of Dracula I ever saw and I'll always love that Lugosi stare. And who doesn't immediately picture Boris Karloff when you imagine Frankenstein's monster? The Universal actors became the icons for all the monsters of classic horror that still resonate with us nearly eighty years later.
Ultimately, though, I'm going to have to go with Hammer Films as my favourites for their greater depth of story. Universal too often opted for the typical 'Hollywood treatment' of classic fiction, usually missing the point of the story entirely, Frankenstein being a prime example. I was watching the Hammer movie, Revenge of Frankenstein the other night and was struck by the poignant tragedy of the brain transplant patient fleeing to avoid becoming a medical sideshow while slowly degenerating and becoming progressively more violent. There were no clear bad guys here and everyone lost out in the end; especially Dr. Frankenstein who was beaten near to death by a mob of his patients and needed to have his brain transplanted, leaving his fate open to speculation.
So, what's your favourite studio? Cast your vote on the poll at the left.
Now here's a video with some great classic monster movie scenes accompanied by the greatest Halloween song ever written. Happy Halloween everyone!
Welcome Back to the Labyrinth
"We have been away far too long, my friends," Ashoka declared, his face lit by the eldritch green glow of his staff. "But we have finally returned to the labyrinth whence our adventures first began."
"Just imagine the treasures that lie within," said Yun Tai, flexing his mighty muscles. "Wealth enough to live in luxury the rest of our days."
"And arcane artifacts of great power," added Ashoka his words dripping with avarice. "All ours for the taking!"
"Umm...guys?" Nysa interrupted. "Do you hear something dripping?"