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Tag Archives: scary movies

Late Post, But Here Are Some Zombie Pictures

I am late making my Wuss-out Wednesday post (yes, I really wussed out this time).  Never mind why.  It’s a long story and makes me look bad. Instead, how about a few pictures of zombies, as suggested in comments of a recent post.  I don’t watch as many zombie movies as I do vampire movies.  However, one must acknowledge zombies as the scary monsters they are.

So that’s what happened to Veronica Lake.

I believe this is from Night of the Living Dead, which we have on DVD but rarely watch.  I find it more creepy than scary, and a little sad, especially at the end.  Still, it is considered a classic, so I pop it in when I can talk Steven into it.

I feel a little like this, only without the bright eyes. I do not feel particularly bright these days.

I found this in my search for zombie pictures, and to me it is apropos.  Of course, I believe in making Halloween last all year long.  In fact, I just set my DVR to record several scary movies on TCM, including the delightfully creepy Mad Love, starring Peter Lorre, whose horror credentials are impeccable.  Another find on my search took me in different direction.

I guess I can’t stop running after all.

I must confess, I have not gone running since the Boilermaker.  At first I felt too tired, then it got too hot.  I suppose these are lousy excuses (as most excuses are, but, hey, I’m only human) (and not an un-dead one at that).  I think I must begin running again, though, with a thought to taking part in a Zombie Run in November.  That sounds like fun.


Severed Head Sunday

Spoiler Alert!  I’m going to be talking about several movies and I’m not going to worry if I give anything away.  Jaws, Strait-Jacket, Sleepy Hollow, The Brain that Wouldn’t Die.

We’re watching Jaws, because it is a good summer flick.  This is what I call relaxing movie viewing: something we’ve seen before that we can just enjoy.  Until the moment when Robert Shaw scrapes his fingernails along the chalkboard to get everybody’s attention during the big village meeting.  I cringed.

“My most UN-favorite moment of the movie,” I said.  “I don’t even mind the severed head.”

In fact, the first time I saw the severed head (you know, when Richard Dreyfus is underwater looking at the recently sunken boat), I jumped and said, “EEWW!”  But it’s a great moment in a scary movie.  Thinking about it, I came up with the title of today’s blog post.  I hope you like it as much as I do.

Last night we watched Strait-Jacket with the incomparable Joan Crawford.  This movie featured several severed heads.  It is one of my favorites.  I loved it even before I knew it was produced and directed by that master of such movies, William Castle.

Naturally I started thinking about other movies we could watch that featured severed heads.  My first thought was Sleepy Hollow, or as I like to call it, The Headless Everybody.  I told Steven we should watch some more severed head films and he said, “Like The Brain that Wouldn’t Die.”

“You’re a genius,” I said.

Ooh, as I typed all this in, the movie progressed and they are ALMOST to the moment of the severed head.  I must stop typing and watch.  As I look back on this post, I do not believe the Spoiler Alert was truly necessary.  No matter.  A couple of bold-faced words is always a good start for a blog post.  I hope you are all enjoying your Sunday as much as I am.


I’m Afraid this is a Post about Movies

This past weekend as I was running in place on the mini-tramp and watching Nosferatu (1922), I began to consider the question what makes a movie scary?

I describe Nosferatu as possibly the scariest movie ever made. I am sure there are many who disagree (not even counting the ones who disagree just to be disagreeable) (you know who you are). However, having seen an auditorium of young children reduced to tears over it, I feel comfortable in calling it a scary movie.

As I ran, I asked myself, am I being scared right now? The answer was generally no. During a few shots I said, “Ooh, scary!” but in fact I was not frightened.

Then again, it was broad daylight. I remember once years and years ago reading the book The Amityville Horror. My sister had read it first. She was reading it one night when I came home from babysitting. As was my habit, I ran home, burst into the house and slammed the door behind me. My sister knew I was expected, knew it was me as I came through the door, and still jumped a foot in the air when I slammed it shut.

She proceeded to tell me every scary thing she had just been reading and made me walk with her to her upstairs bedroom. I came back downstairs and had to spend a good half hour reading the Bible and watching “Highlights from Bing Crosby Christmas Specials” (which I providentially found on the meager cable available in the ’70s) before I dared to go to bed myself. After all, we were the last ones up. ALL the lights were going to be off.

With this in mind, I looked forward to reading the book myself. I started it one evening. Yikes! I finished it the following afternoon. What a disappointment! I know, I should have just waited till dark to finish it. As a reader, I am almost completely incapable of such behavior.

But getting back to Nosferatu, I wonder if I would have been more frightened had I watched it in the dark. I can see where it would have disturbed my sleep as a child. I would have lain in bed and just seen that scary vampire somewhere out there in the dark. The big nose, the deep-set eyes — no sexy savoir-faire for this blood sucker. I’d be watching the wall for his eerie shadow with the long, claw-like fingers. Ooohh.

On this last viewing, however, I noted and admired his scariness, but I was not scared. I was pleased that my interest was caught enough that I ran a little faster and kept running till the dramatic conclusion. But my sleep patterns were not disturbed (at least, I had my usual insomnia, but that’s a whole other topic).

So I had to ask myself: what makes a movie scary? One answer is: that you think it might happen to you. Many people suffer from a fear of birds after watching Alfred Hitchcock’s movie about them. That’s a pretty scary movie by this criteria, because those were perfectly ordinary birds such as you might see anywhere, until… It could happen! Right here! Right now! EEEEEeee!

Monster movies, when one looks at them rationally, should not be as scary, because we know there are no monsters. Or do we? I will probably never see a vampire coming at me, of the Max Schreck or Bela Lugosi variety. But IF I did, it would be scary! This is where having a vivid imagination (as I do) can greatly enhance your enjoyment of a scary movie.

Next time, I’m watching that movie after dark. Maybe on the night of a full moon.