One day horror movies will finish nursery rhymes to use.
This is not the day.
Time for another Sunday Funday on WNBI-TV! Come watch the Spoooooky Retrojunk and then around 2:00 PM EST, Join Quinn and Lysou as they dive once more into The spooky as hecc Super Famicom game, Clock Tower!
It’s all going down here:
House on Haunted Hill (1959)
I haven’t seen the Bela Lugosi classic version of Dracula yet (but it’s on Peacock; I’ll get to it very soon), but the story for this one is so novel to me that I had to check it out. I love the idea that two productions of the same movie occurred concurrently back n the 1930s. It seems a bit like cheating for one director to be able to watch the other and adapt in real time, but it’s an incidental process that I bet an ambitious studio would resurrect as a gimmick.
So we get a version of Dracula where I have a slightly different context than a lot of people watching it: again, haven’t seen the English version, but I have read the book relatively recently. I’m impressed that this movie is able to adapt the bare bones of the story, and it cuts out some of the extraneous stuff that bogged down the third act (who knew Third Act Problems existed back then?). I’m sure it was at least partially a budget concern that they didn’t have our heroes destroy a bunch of boxes full of dirt, instead simply having Dracula buy a nearby castle, but it’s a good shortcut.
Carlos Villarias is pretty great as the titular character. He’s a little over the top, as early 1900s film actors always are these days, but it fits this character who has like a dozen rules and limitations and powers. The movie lacks a dramatic tension as we learn more about Dracula himself, but it’s necessary for the audience's’ sake (also, over the decades other stories picked and chose what they wanted from the vampire mythology, so you gotta go over your rules with these things). Over time we learn, often through professor Van Helsing, that he can’t stand garlic, sunlight, or crosses. He sucks blood on his victims, turns into a bat and has mind control. But he also needs soil from his native land. (Bram Stoker was on some shit, inventing this motherfucker.) Van Helsing is played by Eduardo Arozamena with a deathly serious air, a perfect counter to Dracula.
I will say that the movie’s tension, then, really comes from Van Helsing convincing everyone that Dracula is real and that the vampire myths are no joke. It’s a foregone conclusion, but time gets tight as Dracula threatens Eva Seward (a very sympathetic and sweet Lupita Tovar). Along the way, we get a chess match of Van Helsing proving that Dracula’s not just a harmless foreign visitor while Dracula finds various ways to get to Eva (often with help with Pablo Alvarez Rubio’s feral Renfeild). The George Melford’s direction is unfussy and inventive, milking the tension of Dracula’s scenes for all their worth. This is a pretty classic take on Dracula, so I should probably keep my word and check out the classic soon enough.
Freddy's Nightmare Tree by Joe Jusko
Joe Jusko cover art for Freddy Krueger's A Nightmare on Elm Street #1 (1989)
Our emotional self can devour and cannibalize the weakest links in ourselves.
It's the ghost, not the monster.
Currently watching: THE GHOST OF FRANKENSTEIN (1942)
October movie #16
October reading material: Frankenstein or The Modern Prometheus, The Monsters: Mary Shelley and the Curse of Frankenstein, and Romantic Outlaws: The Extraordinary Lives of Mary Wollstonecraft and Her Daughter Mary Shelley.
Meeting Norman Bates
(Not my gif)(Requested by @overratedrqmanccer)
(Like I did with my Gomez hcs, I’ll be adding the dating portion later on. Hope you enjoy!)
- You and Norman meet when you stop to get a room at the motel. You’d been passing through the area, on your way back home from a bout of house hunting, when you figured that it was best to stop and get some rest instead of driving on for however long it may end up taking.
- You’d almost missed the stop, the lights on the sign were out and the only reason you’d noticed the place was because of the long line of doors in the middle of nowhere. So you’d had to turn around in the middle of the street to loop back around and pull into the parking lot.
- For a few moments, you assumed that you’d just pulled into an abandoned area; there were no other cars in the parking lot and no signs of life in the check in. You were just about to get back into your car when you heard the familiar sound of footsteps approaching.
- And there Norman is, in all of his nervously gorgeous glory, giving you a big, friendly smile and apologizing for the wait as he motions you into the office. The two of you make awkward small talk and he gives you your keys, showing you around your room as he stutters out different comments.
- Just as he’s about to leave, he invites you to have dinner with him and you agree, giving him a warm smile as you momentarily part ways.
- Soon after, you hear him arguing with his mother and feel a tremor of guilt for causing him so much trouble. When he returns with a tray of food, you apologize and he brushes it off, explaining that his mother is always like that and apologizing to you for having to hear her speak that way.
- You tell him that you understand, that you’d dealt with that sort of thing in your own family; or at one of your jobs, and that you admired him for being so dedicated to and willing to help her. That caused him to go quiet, a bashful sort of silence where he smiled at his feet and relished in the warm feeling in his chest.
- The two of you talked for quite some time, much later than you assumed you would and by the time you looked at the clock, you were shocked to see that you’d have only a few hours until you’d planned on getting up.
- When your eyes drifted to the clock, he glanced up as well and with a shy chuckle, he gave an “oh, I’m sorry. I’m really keeping you up late, aren’t I?”. He told you that he’d let you go and get some rest and on the way out, you told him that he didn’t have to worry and that you’d enjoyed speaking with him. The smile you gave him, combined with your sweet words, made his heart race and his knees all but buckle beneath him.
- He can’t stop thinking about you for the rest of the night, about how you’ll be gone in just a few hours, disappearing into the world like you never existed at all. It kills him, for some “unknown reason” it kills him and all he can do is sit there in a depressed puddle, watching the clock surge forward and grow closer to your inevitable departure.
- Anyone would be able to see what was going on, even his mother can’t deny it. He isn’t lustful, he’s in love, and from the words he defended you with after he came back from your dinner, she can tell that you aren’t like all the other girls who stopped at their little motel.
- So she takes matters into her own hands.
- She didn’t do anything too terrible, not when you consider what could have happened that night, she merely …toyed with your car a little. It was just a few minor tweaks, fixable things, but ones that weren’t likely to be fixed in a single day. So when you woke up the next morning, checked yourself out, got into your car, and put your keys into the ignition …nothing happened.
- Frowning, you tried starting it up again and as you did so, Norman made his way outside and stood next to your car door, doing his best not to look too happy and asking a polite “car troubles?”. You sighed but gave him a smile and said that you supposed so, asking if there happened to be a mechanic anywhere nearby.
- He pursed his lips and told you that he was afraid not before offering to take a look himself, telling you that he was used to fixing things up. You asked if he was sure and he gave you an adorable smile, assuring you that he was before opening your door for you and telling you not to worry.
- And just like that, you’re stranded at the motel and left with nothing else to do besides slowly fall for the handsome owner.
- You and Norman wind up spending a lot of time together. You keep him company throughout the day, help him with whatever you can and eat all your meals together. Its not hard to see that he likes you and its certainly not hard to like him back so you’re left waiting and hoping that he’ll make a move.
- During this time, he offers you a room at his place, knowing that you’ve been house hunting in the area and that that's the entire reason you were out there in the first place. It seems like the perfect deal so you ask if he’s sure before happily agreeing.
- It’s a little while after your cars fixed and you move in with him that the two of you share your first kiss.
- You were going up to bed and he’d walked you to your bedroom door, standing next to it with you while you finished your conversation. And he’s sat there, looking at and listening to you and thinking about how beautiful you are, and before you even realize it, he’s pressed his lips to yours.
- He pulls away quickly, stuttering and telling you that he’s terribly sorry while you quietly say that it’s alright. Before you can really assure him that you didn’t mind, he’s already gulping and saying a nervous goodnight, hurrying off to his own room to collapse against the door and curse at himself for being so stupid.
- A bit disappointed, you retreat to your own room and sit on your bed, wondering what the hell just happened but feeling giddy all the same.
- The next morning, as he’s cooking breakfast, you make your way over to his side like usual, waiting for him to turn and give you a beautiful smile and a good morning like he always does. When he does, you take his face in your hands and kiss him again yourself.
- After you pull away, you say a quiet good morning and grab your cup of coffee, leaving him frozen in place, flustered, and absolutely over the moon.
I have three book clubs this school and they have me pretty busy. :-)
The Kindred Spirits Book Club is with members of the faculty and our first book is by the Japanese author, Shusaku Endo. I actually read the Spanish translation of the book and I finished reading it last week. I'm looking forward to our discussion at the end of this month.
This book tells the story of Catholic missionaries and their attempt to spread Catholicism in the Japan of the 17th century. It is crude and Endo is able to show the points of views of the European missionary and the Japanese in power at the time. It is really a book that makes us think. . .
My High School Casual Readers Book Club decided on The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde as our first book to read. We finished it and had our discussion. We are watching the film adaptation next week.
I've read other works by Wilde but I hadn't read this novel and it was really good. Very different to his usual style, this one is very dark. And it is thought provoking.
Now, my Middle School Book Club has decided on Caraval. I have read this trilogy before but I loved it so I don't mind rereading the first book.
And in between all these book clubs, I'm also reading webtoons and trying to finish Nick & Nora's Infinite Playlist by Rachel Cohn & David Levithan. I love their books and I'm enjoying this one too, but it's taking me longer than usual since I have to read the others ones first.
Day 15: The Omen (2006) (Prime) Day 16: There’s Someone Inside Your House (Netflix) Day 17: Camp Cold Brook (Prime) Day 18: A Classic Horror Story (Netflix) Day 19: Willy’s Wonderland (Hulu) Day 20: Invasion of The Body Snatchers (1956) (Prime) Day 21: The Seventh Day (Netflix)