Just In Time (for Halloween 2021)

As if I don’t have enough movies in my collection already – let alone horror films – the postman delivered these today:

The Wolfman Complete Legacy Collection contains movies made from 1935-1948: Werewolf of London (1935), The Wolf Man (1941), Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man (1943), House of Frankenstein (1944), House of Dracula (1945), She-Wolf of London (1946, starring Lassie‘s own June Lockhart), and Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948); and a number of Bonus Features (Monster by Moonlight documentary, The Wolf Man: From Ancient Curse to Modern Myth, Pure in Heart: The Life and Legacy of Lon Chaney Jr., He Who Made Monsters: The Life and Art of Jack Pierce, The Wolf Man Archives, Abbott and Costello Meet the Monsters, and more).

From the back cover:

The original Wolf Man is one of the silver screen’s most unforgettable characters and, along with the other Universal Classic Monsters, defined the Hollywood horror genre. The Wolf Man: Complete Legacy Collection includes all 7 films from the original legacy including the eerie classic starring Lon Chaney Jr. and the timeless films that followed. These landmark motion pictures defined the iconic look of the tragic monster and continue to inspire countless remakes and adaptations that strengthen the legend of the Wolf Man to this day.

Last week I received an excellent werewolf movie I ordered
which I had reviewed back in 2018:

Time to settle in with a good horror flick,
some popcorn, and my sidekick.

ℳ –

Dream Journal (3.2.2020)

I’ve been writing about my dreams here, but decided that it might be more fun to publish Posts on them. Although I probably dream every night, I don’t remember every one. Instead of doing one Post per every dream I DO remember, I figured one Post with numerous dreams would be more practical.

These dreams took place from 2.21.2020 to 3.1.2020.

  1. I’ve read that when you dream of a living space (house, apartment, etc.), this actually is a reflection of how you are feeling about YOURSELF. For me, I’ve found that when I do dream of a living space it’s always beautiful and I remember all the details. This tells me that I only have these dreams when I am feeling exceptionally good about myself. Makes sense I guess.

    I was apartment-hunting and looking at one of two spaces on the rooftop of a tall building. These apartments were supposed to be retail spaces but had been converted. They were set-up like a duplex, but with windows looking into the other. (Obviously, drapes would be required here.) But what I remember – and loved – the most was the abundance of plants both inside the apartment and on the rooftop. It was almost as if the entire area was once a nursery. Perhaps this harkens back to my memories of when I worked at Summerwinds. (Hated the retail aspect, but loved the plants!) I didn’t want to wake-up…
  2. This next one was strange and the first time I have ever dreamed of werewolves.

    Dreams often contain story lines which seem completely irrelevant
    but actually pinpoint a key feeling.

    I was conducting interviews – a total of 9. I believe it was to gather information so I could write about it. I do not remember what I asked the first 8 people, but the last one turned out to be an actual werewolf. (Perhaps the previous 8 were werewolf “wannabes”.) The werewolf did not attack me and I was neither afraid nor concerned. I was just glad that I’d discovered “it”.

    This website states, “A werewolf represents an enemy in disguise of a friend, wild sex, boredom, fantasies, anger, disappointment, loss of control over oneself, and losing out on friends.”

    This website says, “Seeing a werewolf in your dreams warns something around you is not as it seems. There are illusions that may veil aggression, hate, fear, and repressed anger. It can mean there are some parts of you that are dangerous…It can also mean there are intrinsic parts of you that you keep hidden.” (My shadow?)

    And this site says, “A werewolf is a changeling and represents such a theme within our daily lives…Changeling’s primarily transform themselves physically but in dreams they will symbolise a change in personality.”

  3. I dreamt that I was moving back in with Tim, although he was living in a different place. This space was full of light, shades of white, and very modern/contemporary. He had purchased a number of contemporary pieces of furniture and accessories – all of which I loved. It also was open. Modular. Shared this space with other people, as well. (This conjoining reminded me of my previous dream – see #1 – except there were no “walls” separating the living spaces.) One big open area with cubicle-like spaces to accommodate individual apartments. One couple had a miniature pony for a pet. I came with Ramses and was concerned about him running amok or getting out. The feeling that I got from this dream was that Tim and I were not getting back together but were going to be roommates. I felt happy, secure, and home.
  4. I NEVER DREAM OF DOGS, but last night I dreamed of a smallish, black pitbull (male) who kept wanting to get at me. Attack me? Nasty thing.

    Dreams about animals are the most difficult dreams to explain. The dream meaning of animals is based on the general characteristics of that animal.

    This website states, “A threatening and aggressive pit bull who shows teeth is always representative of our fears, enemies, or obstacles.”

    Aunty Flo says, “A black dog is a nocturnal creature found in the United Kingdom, connected with evil and death…Seeing a fierce dog roaring and coming towards you in your dream, foretells that you will be of different opinions with your friends, but if the situation is not handled very well, you might end up being betrayed by friends.”

    Or the dream could’ve reflected my feelings about the black, murderous animal I currently am forced to live.

ℳ –

Beefcake::Micha Bergese

beefcake
n.  an attractive man with well-developed muscles

Micha Bergese
Actor, dancer/choreographer, theater director

Micha Bergese was a choreographer for Interview with the Vampire. He also played one of the Paris vampires. However, Micha might be best known as the Huntsman in The Company of Wolves.

Micha Berges on IMDB
Shaolin Show
Interview with Micha Bergese

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(Post) Countdown to Halloween: My Favorite Films (1960-1969)

It’s the 1960’s – a time of great social and political change (civil rights, Vietnam war, assassinations of JFK & MLK, Apollo 11, Woodstock, and “flower power”). It also marks the appearance of such movie classics as Rosemary’s Baby and Night of the Living Dead and the continued release of gothic horror offerings by British-based Hammer Films (Curse of the Werewolf, Dracula: Prince of Darkness, The Reptile).

A reminder that my super-favorites are highlighted in RED. Diego’s put his pawprint on the ones that star fantastic Felines.

Black Sunday
Filmmaker Mario Bava (Caltiki – the Immortal Monster) directed this Italian piece of gothic horror. A darling of the horror genre, Barbara Steele stars as a witch seeking revenge on her descendants. At the time, the movie was considered unusually violent (such as a face being pierced by an iron maiden). Banned in England, AIP cut some of the more gruesome parts before its theatrical release in the US. “In 2004, one of its sequences was voted number 40 among the ‘100 Scariest Movie Moments’ by the Bravo TV network.” (Wikipedia)
Black Sunday was loosely based on Gogol’s horror novella Viy and co-stars John Richardson.
Trivia:
Bram Stoker’s Dracula “recreates several scenes from Black Sunday nearly exactly as they were filmed…” (Wikipedia)
Tim Burton cited being inspired by its imagery during the making of Sleepy Hollow.
Burn, Witch, Burn Diego's pick
Originally titled “Night of the Eagle”, this supernatural thriller is based on a 1943 novel by Fritz Leiber, Conjure Wife.

Richard Matheson co-wrote the screenplay. Starring Peter Wyngarde as a psychology professor and Janet Blair as his magic-conjuring wife.
Carnival of Souls
Ghosts? Zombies? Ghouls? Whichever you choose, this independent horror film is a hauntingly eerie bit of terror. Filmed in black-and-white and set to an original organ score, Carnival of Souls was shot in three weeks in a style called guerilla filmmaking.

Starring Candace Hilligoss (in a role that gained her fame) and directed by Herk Harvey (above, in a cameo), it remains a cult classic, influencing such modern-day filmmakers as George Romero (Night of the Living Dead, Dawn of the Dead) and David Lynch.
The Curse of the Werewolf
Hammer Films’ The Curse of the Werewolf was based on a novel by Guy Endore (“The Werewolf of Paris”) and features Oliver Reed (as Leon) in his first starring role. The storyline here is a bit different from traditional lycanthrope films in that it does not require the victim to have been bitten by a werewolf in order to become one himself. Additionally, Leon’s werewolf persona is very elegantly crafted.

According to Wikipedia: “Benjamin Frankel‘s score is notable for its use of twelve-tone serialism, rare in film music.”
Dracula: Prince of Darkness
This is the second entry in Hammer Films‘ Dracula series to star Sir Christopher Lee (Horror of Dracula, Sleepy Hollow). The innate sensuality of Lee is matched by heaving bosoms, plenty of SEX (this is the 60’s), and loads of Technicolor(ed) blood.

Directed by Terence Fisher (Dracula) and co-starring Barbara Shelley (“The First Leading Lady of British Horror”) – with an uncredited Peter Cushing as Dr. Van Helsing.
Gorgo
I shed tears over this film which “focuses on Gorgo, a young sea monster brought back to London for exploitation, and Ogra, his even larger mother, who rampages across London to search for him.” (Wikipedia)

Note:
It has a happy ending…
Mr. Sardonicus
A good old-fashioned black-and-white horror flim by William Castle (Rosemary’s Baby, House on Haunted Hill, The Tingler). The visage of Baron Sardonicus is terrifying to behold – even today – and took five separate facial application fittings to achieve. (Actor Guy Rolfe could only wear the application for an hour at a time.)
“Castle, with his reputation as the “king of gimmicks” to market his films, built the marketing for the film around the idea of the two possible endings.” (Wikipedia)
Trivia:
In his memoir, Castle stated Mr. Sardonicus was one of his favorites to produce.
Night of the Living Dead
Can you believe this movie is 50 years old? Not only does it stand the test of time, it set the standard for all zombie movies that followed. Dubbed the “Father of the Zombie Film”, this was the first movie by George Romero (Dawn of the Dead). He not only directed but photographed, edited, and co-wrote the screenplay.

Shot in black-and-white, it’s still a gory shocker. It’s a cult classic that begat several sequels and other related works.
Planet of the Apes
Loosely constructed from La Planète des singes by French author Pierre Boulle, it tells the story of an alternate universe where apes rule humans. (But you already knew that, didn’t you?) The film was “groundbreaking for its prosthetic makeup techniques” (Wikipedia) and inspired a film franchise, as well as a 2001 remake.
Charlton Heston, Roddy McDowall (Fright Night, Fright Night Part 2), Maurice Evans (Rosemary’s Baby), Kim Hunter, James Whitmore, James Daly, and the gorgeous Linda Harrison star.
Rosemary’s Baby
Horror films rarely elevate themselves to the point that they transcend the genre to become a stylish and sophisticated cinematic success. Although Rosemary’s Baby is about the Antichrist, the horror is more psychological. It’s a sobering look at how society reacts to female intuition.
Rosemary (Mia Farrow) knows something’s not right from the beginning and when she becomes pregnant her maternal instincts kick in with a vengeance, only to be placated and ultimately derailed. Farrow received a well-deserved Academy Award nomination for her performance.
Director Roman Polanski (Blood for Dracula) also wrote the screenplay, which closely followed Ira Levin‘s book. His adaptation earned him an Oscar nomination and Ruth Gordon won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress.
Rounding-out the stellar cast:  John Cassavetes, Sidney Blackmer, Maurice Evans (Planet of the Apes), Ralph Bellamy, Charles Grodin (his film debut), Elisha Cook, and the voice of Tony Curtis.
Produced by William Castle (Mr. Sardonicus, House on Haunted Hill, The Tinger).
Note::
As the film was rated R, my Dad had to take me to see it. ≋;>
The Haunting
Another classic – this time a ghost story. Adapted from Shirley Jackson‘s novel (The Haunting of Hill House), it stars Julie Harris, Claire Bloom, Richard Johnson, and Russ Tamblyn. The fact that The Haunting was filmed in black-and-white only adds another layer to the mounting suspense. Don’t bother seeing the 1999 remake, the original kicks its ass.
Trivia:
“Director Martin Scorsese has placed The Haunting first on his list of the 11 scariest horror films of all time.” (Wikipedia)
Mod fashion designer Mary Quant designed the clothes worn by Bloom’s character (Theo).
The Lost World
Yeah, I know the special effects are dated but what do you want? It’s 1960! (At least it was shot in De Luxe Color.) This is the second movie based on Arthur Conan Doyle‘s novel. Here the explorers face cannibals, dinosaurs, carnivorous plants (!!!), and giant spiders. My favorite character was the “Native Girl” (played by Vitina Marcus). Michael Rennie, the curvaceous Jill St. John, David Hedison, Claude Rains, and Fernando Lamas co-star.
Trivia:
Director Irwin Allen (“Master of Disaster”) used stock footage from The Lost World for various TV shows.
The Reptile
Another horrific offering by Hammer Films which incorporates snake cults, shapeshifting, and mysterious deaths in a small British village.
(I loved the fact that the “monster” is female.)

Scottish actor John Laurie has a small part as Mad Peter.

My favorite (Halloween) films from 1950-1959
My favorite (Halloween) films from 1960-1969
My favorite (Halloween) films from 1970-1979
My favorite (Halloween) films from 1980-1989
My favorite (Halloween) films from 1990-1999
My favorite (Halloween) films from 2000-2009
My favorite (Halloween) films from 2010-2017

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Countdown to Halloween: My Favorite Films (1980-1989)

Aaah…my favorite holiday is here. I’ve been listening to Halloween Radio (Stay tuned for some 80’s Blasts, Halloween-style) and the songs they’ve been playing had me reminiscing about chillers, thrillers, magic, and things that go bump in the night…

So, I compiled a list of all the movies I especially like/love that contain elements of occult, fantasy, horror, sci-fi – or any combination thereof. Super-favorites are highlighted in RED and Diego has highlighted those films starring fab Felines.

This run-up to October 31st has me thirsty for something warm, thick, and red…

(Had you going for a minute, didn’t I?)

With glass in hand, today’s list is all about cult films or movies with a cult following.
Eleven of the 27 films here are labeled as such (that’s 41%):  An American Werewolf in London, Fright Night and Fright Night Part Two, Near Dark, Pumpkinhead, Re-Animator, Teen Witch, The Howling, The Hunger, The Return of the Living Dead, and They Live.

Now, without further adieu here are my favorite (Horror) flicks of the 1980’s.

Aliens Diego's pick
Based on characters by Dan O’Bannon and Ronald Shusett, this action-packed sequel is the second in the Alien franchise. Once again, Sigourney Weaver plays Ellen Ripley – for which she received an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress (and won a Saturn Award for the same). Practical Effects Supervisor, John Richardson, won a Special Effects Oscar.
We get a good look at the xenomorphs in this film – and there are a lot of them! This is also the first time a Queen Alien was introduced to us (“Get away from her you bitch.” What a catchphrase). Stan Winston Studios (Predator, Pumpkinhead, The Island of Dr. Moreau) created the life-sized Queen which was operated by 14 puppeteers.
Directed by James Cameron, the cast is rounded-out by Michael Biehn, Paul Reiser, Lance Henriksen (Pumpkinhead, Alien 3), Bill Paxton (Near Dark, Predator 2), and Jenette Goldstein (Near Dark).
An American Werewolf in London Diego's pick
Rick Baker‘s special effects – especially the transformation scene – were ground-breaking at the time. (Up until An American Werewolf in London, transformation scenes were shot frame-by-frame. This was a laborious task that meant the actor had to sit motionless for hours while makeup was being applied for the next frame.) In 1981, Baker won the first-ever Oscar for Best Makeup.
Considered a horror-comedy this movie is both terrifying and quirky, using droll humor and songs with “moon” in the title…
Directed by John Landis and starring David Naughton, Jenny Agutter, Griffin Dunne, Frank Oz, and John Landis in a cameo.
An American Werewolf in London is chiefly appreciated as a milestone in the comedy-horror genre and for its innovative makeup effects.” (Wikipedia)
Michael Jackson was a huge fan of the movie, and based on the strength of their work (in An American Werewolf in London) chose both John Landis (director) and Rick Baker (makeup effects) to work with him on 1983’s Thriller music video. It went on to become one of the most lauded music videos of all time. (Wikipedia)
A Nightmare on Elm Street
Tuned in smack dab in the middle of a very gory, bloody scene – and was hooked. Although considered a “slasher film”, Freddy Krueger (played by Robert Englund) is so much more horrifying than the villians of Friday the 13th and Halloween. He’s a serial killer who’s a ghost (dream demon) inhabiting your dream world where whatever he inflicts upon you happens for real. Including your death. (How messed-up is that?) Krueger has become an iconic figure with his fire-scarred face, slouchy hat, torn red-and-black sweater, and metal-clawed glove.
Written and directed by Wes Craven (A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors) the film also stars Heather Langenkamp, John Saxon, and Johnny Depp (Sleepy Hollow) in his film debut.
“Critics today praise the film’s ability to transgress ‘the boundaries between the imaginary and real’, toying with audience perceptions” (Wikipedia)
A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors
Based on his characters from A Nightmare on Elm Street, Wes Craven also penned the screenplay. Along with returning actors Robert Englund, Heather Langenkamp and John Saxon, Patricia Arquette, Larry (Lawrence) Fishburne, and Craig Wasson star. Zsa Zsa Gabor has a cameo.
Angelo Badalamenti composed the score, with heavy metal band Dokken writing/performing it’s theme song, “Dream Warriors”.


Trivia:
Up until 1990, A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors was banned in Queensland, Australia due to its drug references.

Beetlejuice
Director Tim Burton (Sleepy Hollow, Batman Returns, Frankenweenie) and composer Danny Elfman (Batman Returns, Sleepy Hollow, Nightbreed, Frankenweenie, 2010s The Wolf Man) team-up for this wild-ride about ghostly spirits, the after-life, and a smarmy “freeland Bio-Exorcist” named Betelgueuse (played to the hilt by Michael Keaton). Burton employed stop motion, replacement animation, prosthetic makeup, puppetry, and blue screen for the special effects. The film won a 1989 Academy Award for Best Makeup.
My favorite scene was the dinner party during which Harry Belafonte’s “Banana Boat Song” played. (Hilarious.) Another Belafonte song was used during the closing credits:  “Jump in the Line (Shake, Senora)”.
Starring Keaton (Batman Returns), Catherine O’Hara, Jeffrey Jones (Sleepy Hollow, Ravenous, The Devil’s Advocate), Winona Ryder (Alien Resurrection, Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Frankenweenie), Alec Balwin, Geena Davis (The Fly), and Sylvia Sidney – with cameos by Robert Goulet and Dick Cavett.
Chopper Chicks in Zombie Town
An all-female motorcycle gang (the Cycle Sluts) ride into a town inhabited by an evil scientist-turned-mortician, who (with the aid of his dwarf assistant) has been killing local townspeople and turning them into zombies to use as “cheap labor” at an underground radioactive mine.

Former MTV VJ Martha Quinn stars as one of the Cycle Sluts.
Fright Night
Director Tom Holland envisioned a tale fashioned after “The Boy Who Cried Wolf” – or in this case, Who Cried Vampire. The effects/makeup are worth seeing – especially Amanda Bearse‘s transformation into a voluptuous vampire.
Cast:  William Ragsdale as Charley Brewster, Chris Sarandon (The Sentinel) as the vampire Jerry Dandrige, Roddy McDowall as vampire hunter Peter Vincent (who name is an amalgamation of Peter Cushing and Vincent Price), and Bearse as Brewster’s girlfriend, Amy Peterson.
Trivia:
“…in the scene when Amy and Evil Ed go to Peter Vincent’s apartment for help, you can see a white face mask on the wall. This is a life cast of roddy mcdowall’s face which was made/used for the makeup on Planet of the Apes.”  Behind the Scenes of Fright Night
Fright Night Part 2
The sequel to Fright Night, this time with Regine Dandrige (Julie Carmen) taking her brother’s place as a vampiric Femme Fatale. Regine’s joined by a band of vampires eager to do her bidding:  Jon Gries as Louie, Brian Thompson as Bozworth, and the very rock/punk Belle (Russel Clark) who floats around on skates…



William Ragsdale and Roddy McDowall reprise their roles as Charley Brewster and Peter Vincent, respectively.
“The special effects makeups were designed by Greg Cannom and his crew at Cannom Creations. Cannom also worked the The Lost Boys and went on to do Francis Ford Coppola’s Dracula.”  Wikia
Gothic
Based on a story by Lord Byron & Percy Bysshe Shelley, Gothic is a fictionalized account of a summer spent at Byron’s home in Geneva which inspires the group to engage in a horror-story competition. True to Ken Russell‘s style of filmmaking it’s surreal, decadant, and subversive.
Stars Gabriel Byrne as Lord Byron, Julian Sands as Shelley, Natasha Richardson as Mary Shelley, and Timothy Spall (The Bride) as John Polidori.
Trivia:
The theatrical poster is based on a famous painting by Henry Fuseli, The Nightmare – which is also referenced in the movie.
Lord Byron was a poet and leading figure in the Romantic movement and a member of the House of Lords from 1809-1824. His only legitimate child (Ada Lovelace) is regarded as the first computer programmer. Born with a deformed right foot, he advocated exercise and was a vegetarian most of his life. The “Byronic Hero” (literary character) and the vampire archetype were both modeled after him. In the Bride of Frankenstein, Lord Byron (played by Gavin Gordon) is depicted in the prologue.
Percy Shelley was another major Romantic-era poet who was married to Mary Shelley. He was a political radical and peace activist; and, like Byron, converted to vegetarianism.
Mary Shelley penned the classic novel, Frankenstein: or, the Modern Prometheus (1818). The idea for it was conceived during that summer in Geneva. Her father was the political philospher William Godwin and her mother the philosopher and feminist Mary Wollstonecraft.
Near Dark
A (modern-day) western-biker vampire tale directed and co-written by Kathryn Bigelow, with music by Tangerine Dream. These vampires are nomadic and vicious predators, but they do have some manners… One scene has Severen (Bill Paxton, Aliens, Predator 2) drinking blood from a beer mug. Joshua John Miller (Teen Witch) is particularly creepy as the pre-pubescent vampire Homer. Lance Henriksen (Aliens, Alien 3, Pumpkinhead) is their leader with Jenette Goldstein (Aliens) and Jenny Wright rounding-out the gang. When they happen upon a naive cowboy (Adrian Pasdar), Mae (Wright) takes a fancy to him and bites him on the neck, forcing him to join their merry little band of undead outlaws.
Nomads
Speaking of nomads, this one combines punk-rockers-on-bikes with the Inuit legend of the einwetok (pronounced in-oo-wad). According to the legend, einwetok are psychic vampires and tricksters; evil spirits that are unable to be photographed. This is an atmospheric, psychological horror film with an unexpected ending. Starring Lesley-Anne Down, Pierce Brosnan, Adam Ant, Mary Woronov, Josie Cotton (“Johnny Are You Queer?”, “He Could Be the One”), and Frank Doubleday. Directed by John McTiernan (Predator).
Predator
Picture a special forces elite military rescue squad in the middle of a central american jungle, who find themselves battling for their lives against an unseen enemy. (If you don’t already know the story I have one question for you: What remote island have you been living on?) Cast: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Carl Weathers, Bill Duke, Jesse Ventura, Sonny Landham, and Kevin Peter Hall (Prophecy) as the Predator.
Outside of the (typical) one-liners uttered by Schwarzenegger, the real delight here is the Predator. This creation is from the amazing mind of Stan Winston (Aliens, Pumpkinhead, The Island of Dr. Moreau).
Trivia:
After seeing Nomads, Schwarzenegger wanted John McTiernan as director on this film.
Alan Silvestri (Predator 2, What Lies Beneath) composed the score.