Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Another Night of Horror with The Vern: Return of The Living Dead and Nosferatu.

Sorry about this folks, I wanted to get this one posted on Sunday, but I fell ill and just didn't want to work on much.  This has also caused me to be late with my Manic Blog Loving Monday posts which will pick up next week, I promise.  Only one day left until Halloween, and while I'm still fighting a nasty cold I plan on checking out a few more horror gems.  This one however has two completely different movies.  I don't think you could get a more odd double feature if you tried.  That's right. I'm going to be looking at the horror comedy "Return of the Living Dead" and the silent classic "Nosferatu".

Return of The Living Dead: 1985

While working at a storage facilities that has corpses in it.  Too workers accidentally release gas fumes into the air that cause the dead to rise from the grave.   This is a very comedic zombie movie that is set apart from most of the ones from this genre.  For starters, the undead talk and the whole idea of them eating brains was from this movie.   The main characters in this film really stood out for me even if some of the acting was awful..  I really liked that the head gang in this flick had punks, preppy teens, dorks, oh and of course the token black guy.  They all seemed to get along just great, but still kept their stereotypical personality tropes and I loved it.  Favorite scene is when the zombies all attack and eat a group of paramedics, and one of them goes on the radio to ask for more paramedics.   This flick was a lot more comical then I thought.  I remember seeing ads for this in a horror magazine my cousin would get, and I thought that this looked really scary.   It's very aware of it's own humor and I liked that a lot, but the bad acting does wear on me a bit.  Still a good watch, and one to watch with your friends on Halloween.

Nosferatu: 1922

A Germany based real estate agency dispatches Hutter(Gustav Von Wangenheim) to the home of Count Orlok(Max Schreck) to sell him some property next to his own.  While at the Count's estate, Hutter begins to discover that his host is a vampire and learns that he wants his beloved bride Ellen (Greta Schoder).  This was the very first vampire movie,and also in a way the first horror film too.   Since Bram Stoker's original novel "Dracula" came out in 1897.  This version seems to be more current with the book in terms of just setting and tone.  The vampire however is a lot more monstrous and disturbing looking then the usual well dressed ones we normally associate with now.  It was interesting as a film fan to notice certain horror tropes when watching the movie.  Seeing Ellen get stalked by Orlok towards the end reminded me of other slasher films. Also the Gothic settings and use of shadows are still heavily used in horror films today.  I am not a huge silent film watcher, and have only seen a few,but there were a few jarring things about this movie. The shutter rate of the camera cause the actors to appear as though they are walking fast.  Yes I realize that the motion picture camera was new and that they couldn't quite get the fluid motion from their actors as they could now.  But it's hard to build any suspense when everyone looks like Keystone Cops from that era's comedy classics.  Also the title cards were up on screen to long.  Apparently people took longer to read a simple paragraph then they do now.   Despite these small issues, it was worth me watching this one to discover the origins of one of my favorite genres.  But it's not one I want to revisit anytime soon. Also be sure to check out the movie "Shadow of the Vampire" with William Dafoe as Max Schreck who many people believed could be an actually vampire.


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