My Owner and I have started our annual Halloween film fest this week. The couple of weeks before Halloween we like to watch some of our favorite horror/suspense flicks.
Monday night we kicked things off w/ Alfred Hitchcock’s Strangers on a Train. We’re both big Hitchcock fans (we own almost all of his films… including a lot of his very early British films) and Strangers is one of Hitch’s best films… with one of his best villains: Bruno Anthony. I don’t know why exactly, but Hitch frequently used gay characters (especially villains) in his films (Leonard and VanDamm in North by Northwest, all three principle characters in Rope, possibly James Stewart’s character in Rear Window…), only hinted at given the
codes of his day. Maybe he just felt it
added and extra undercurrent of tension.
In Strangers it works
particularly well b/c there’s a hinted-at sexual tension between the hero (Guy)
and villain (Bruno). I think Fight Club drew some inspiration from Strangers.
Last night we watched the Bela Lugosi Dracula (1931). Always a good one. It’s seems a bit campy now… but that’s mostly just b/c Lugosi did such an amazing, iconic job that he’s forever lodged in everyone’s brain as THE baseline Dracula/vampire. Most of the stuff people picture when you say “Dracula” or “vampire” comes more from Lugosi than from the Bram Stoker novel. You could say that Lugosi deserves credit as the co-creator of the character. In addition to Lugosi’s performance, the movie has some other nice technical aspects (great sets and great lighting)… although Kitten and I agree that it’s anti-climactic. Almost all of the best scenes are in the first third of the film (at Castle Dracula and the shipwreck scenes), and when they destroy Dracula you're kind of like, "That's it?"
Not sure what we’ll watch next. I’ve got a pretty extensive DVD collection, so we have plenty to choose from. The Cabinet of Dr. Calagari, The Cat People, Bride of Frankenstein, Freaks, The Bat, Night of the Living Dead, The Terror, Masque of the Red Death, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Let the Right One In… I want to watch Duel again this year, but I’ll have to watch that one myself. That’s the one film that my Owner is too freaked-out by. She watched it w/ me once and swore, never again!!