Since Gores Truly is femme-driven – we’re big advocates for chicks and horror and want to give our XX-chromosome readers a chance to contribute to the horror-fest we adore. The following article by Nightshade Nash has been Murder-Her approved.
“Turner Classic Movies: Halloween Day Classic Horror Marathon”
Classic films are my weakness. Film Noir, classic horror, mystery and suspense outrank most of the modern crap Hollywood passes off as quality any day for me. Which is why I adore Turner Classic Movies. In October between the bizarre westerns with half a plot and the worst films of the 1960s they show some of the best classic horror films ever made, including some of the great silent films of all time.
Which is why I was so excited to see that this past Sunday, for their ‘Silent Film Sunday’ feature, they were showing what I believe is the definitive and foundation portrayal of The Phantom of the Opera. This is not the semi-light hearted musical that I will freely admit to loving. This is the dark and twisted story of a tortured and disfigured madman composer below the Paris Opera, obsessed with a young girl, and determined to make her a star regardless of the collateral damage. It was in my opinion one of Lon Chaney’s crowning achievements and I was thrilled to finally be able to see it without distraction since oddly enough, I don’t actually own a copy of it. So settled under the covers, I set out to enjoy every second of this silent masterpiece. Which I did; right up to the part where I fell asleep.
Now, I’ve had this problem with silent film before. As a fan of classic cinema it’s actually pretty shameful. Especially when I fall asleep during one of the greatest silent horror films ever made. I love the melodrama and suspense of the silent film. The range of emotions that the actors had to employ to convey the scene without words has a unique depth to it that has been lost to the craft. And yet, I can’t manage to stay awake through a single damned one. I think it’s the score. As dramatic as they try to make the music to convey the feel of the scene, I guess it just soothes me. Nosferatu could be draining his victim of blood and there I am, snoozing to the feverish pitch of the orchestra. Which means, that somewhere between the Chandelier of the Paris Opera falling and Raoul rescuing Christine from the broken spirit of the Phantom, I fell fast asleep.
Lucky for me and all of you classic horror fans out there, TCM is offering more in this last week leading up to Halloween than a brilliant silent film that I clearly won’t ever see all of. The remaining line up for the rest of this week includes suspense and drama films leading up to a FULL day of horror starting at 6:00 am on Halloween Day and ending at 10:00 am on November 1st. Their star of the month for October is, fittingly, Vincent Price and the prime-time selection for Halloween night includes: The Pit and the Pendulum (1961), The Haunted Palace (1963), and The Masque of the Red Death (1964). So set the DVR, grab the popcorn and some caffeine, and snuggle up on the couch for a marathon of classic horror and suspense that will certainly keep you up all night.
About the Author: A multi-medium artist, Nash is as at home with her glue gun and sewing machines as she is communing with the dead. As an avid wanderer, she enjoys seeking out the lost and forgotten in the dark corners of the world in her travels. In her off time she can be found honing her riding and shooting skills because when the zombies come? She’s going to be ready. With a shotgun and a horse.