Wednesday, October 31, 2012

This is Halloween

One of those bothersome poets noted that the best laid schemes "Gang aft agley".  I'd had many plans for a series of Halloween posts. In previous years I posted stills from my collection of Halloween Hollywood starlets, Victorian Halloween postcards, and I don't remember what else. I haven't had the time to look. This year time and events have played out in such a manner that my plans went agley.

I do love this season for any number of reasons. When I was - hmmm, I'm not sure how old I was, maybe six or seven, I went into hospital to have my tonsils out on Halloween Day. I dare say that had something to do with the crushed and maimed adult I became. My father designed his own house, into which we moved in August of 1959. It had a huge open basement. I can remember having at least one (but I think it was two) Halloween parties, complete with bobbing for apples in those big old tin basins that I haven't seen since those days. No one in my family asked me about my costume, and I was left to cobble together an outfit out of an old robe, a pillow case belly, and my great grandfather's cane. There is  a bit of 8mm home movie of that one, but I haven't had the time to find it - it will have to wait for another year, I suppose.

It had been my intention to have a post I would have called "Scary Monsters and Super Creeps" which was going to focus on my love of the old fashioned Hollywood "horror" movies. Horror movies today are horrible, but in another way. I've greatly enjoyed things like "The Bride of Chucky" and a number of the other slasher/gore fests - which can be quite inventive and quite funny, depending. I do not care for the trend of the last decade or so of more or less realistic torture horror movies. No, real horror movies to me are those wonderful old creaky atmospheric gems like 'Frankenstein" et al. There is too much real horror in our world as it is.

My favorite is, and always has been, the 1931 Universal version of "Dracula" directed by Todd Browning. (Unless you give credence to the stories that Browning often didn't show up and that most of the direction was actually handled by his cameraman, the great Karl Freund. Freund photographed The silent era German classics The Golem, The Last Laugh, and Metropolis. He also directed the Boris Karloff version of The Mummy, the wonderful Mad Love, and - I Love Lucy!) So, I'd meant to write about the 1931 Dracula, and an encounter with a soap opera actor roommate of a friend of mine, who insisted that Dracula was a socialist expose of the ruling class living off the blood of the workers. From there I would have segued into the current political election here in the states.

I was trying to salvage the idea and actually working on a few frame grabs from Dracula when I got the email about Larry. (The friend who notified me didn't have my current phone number, which was just as well. I think it was easier reading the news). Back in the early days of radio free brattleboro, the two of us tried to plan elaborate radio Halloweens - unlicensed and pirate radio in those days considered it a special national holiday. I wish I had more time to work out this post, but I must get ready and leave for work.

Happy Halloween, everybody.


Anonymous said...

Shouldn't that have been....Halloween.....before the nightmare OF Christmas?????? lol. I love the old campy black and white movies. They still do it for me.

Austan said...

Happy Halloween Stevil. I think none of us have it in us right now. And to think it was such a production only a few years ago.

sdt (a.k.a. stevil) said...

mbj/Delores - agreed - on BOTH counts.

Austan - this will have to go down as the Halloween that almost wasn't.