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  • mistermuse 12:03 am on November 8, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Bela Lugosi, , Bram Stoker, , Dracula, , Frankenstein, , horror movies, Lon Chaney Jr., Phantom of the Opera, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, The Invisible Man, The Wolf Man, , Vlad the Impaler   

    HOLLYWOOD’S GOLDEN AGE: NOT JUST BAD, BUT HORROR-ABLE ACTORS 

    November 8 is an especially appropriate day to unveil this post. Why? Because it’s the birthday of both VLAD DRACUL and BRAM STOKER, author of DRACULA, the famous horror novel “inspired” by the lore of Vlad Dracul — badder known as Vlad the Impaler (for badder details, click links below — the second of which is not for the squeamish):

    https://www.onthisday.com/people/vlad-the-impaler

    The Terrifying True Story Of Vlad The Impaler — History’s Real Dracula

    This sets the stage for the first of our “horror-able” actors: BELA LUGOSI, one of movie history’s most iconic character actors, who played Count Dracula in the classic DRACULA film released in February 1931. Here is the trailer:

    As if unleashing one monster on the public in 1931 wasn’t enough, November brought….

    Frankenstein’s monster was of course played by the equally “horror-able” and iconic character actor, November-born Boris Karloff:

    Next we have The Wolf Man, Lon Chaney Jr. (son of the legendary silent film star who played Quasimodo in The Hunchback of Notre Dame, the phantom in The Phantom of the Opera, and other leading roles in early classics)….

    For our closer, the Price is right….Vincent Price, that is. Although most of Price’s horror-able roles came after Hollywood’s Golden Age, he wasn’t entirely invisible during it (or was he?):

    That’s The End for now, but never fear. We, too, shall return….

     
    • obbverse 2:29 am on November 8, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      Dracula… no es-cape.

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 12:22 pm on November 9, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        Like Dracula, like Trump.
        But at least the former offers escapism from the latter.

        Like

    • calmkate 6:28 am on November 8, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      what a horror-able collection of bad actors and C grade movies … good to watch for a laugh 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • masercot 7:44 am on November 8, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      I never felt that Lon Cheney wanted to be in movies. He was kind of clumsy as an actor. But, he was also kind of love-able, so he gets a pass from me. I did enjoy his interaction with Lou Costello in Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein. I think one of his best roles was in Spider Baby…

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 9:41 am on November 8, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        You mean Jr, of course. He. probably wouldn’t have become an actor if his father, Lon Chaney, hadn’t been one — and a famous one, too — in the silent era.

        Like

    • scifihammy 8:16 am on November 8, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      I used to love watching these old horror movies on late night TV as a kid, with my brother. Classics! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • Rivergirl 9:05 am on November 8, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      Oh, I used to loooove those when I was young! Now? Pure camp. Delightful.

      Liked by 1 person

    • magickmermaid 1:01 pm on November 8, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      I’m not a horror film fan but for some reason I really liked these! Maybe because the acting was so over the top that I found them funny 🙂
      I enjoyed your Bad Actors series!

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 1:21 pm on November 8, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        Thanks, mm. I think we appreciate them more as adults because we don’t take them seriously….or should I say, we can take them seriously as “camp” classics.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Ashley 1:21 pm on November 8, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      Great fun. These had me laughing, again!

      Liked by 1 person

    • America On Coffee 5:20 pm on November 8, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      I cannot imagine how scary these all were compared to Freddy Krueger and our government today!😱

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 8:26 pm on November 8, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        Trump and his administration are certainly scarier than any horror movie. At least we don’t have to watch Freddie Krueger, but you can’t turn on the news on TV or read a newspaper without being confronted by the hideous orange monster.

        Liked by 1 person

        • America On Coffee 12:55 am on November 9, 2019 Permalink

          Pray for Trump, Congress and our Judicial branch.🙏

          Liked by 1 person

        • mistermuse 1:38 am on November 9, 2019 Permalink

          Sorry to say I can’t think of anything more futile than praying for Trump. I think we both know he is what he is — it’s “baked in” — and he isn’t going to change. Far be it from me, however, to discourage anyone else from wasting their time praying for a man who’s the very personification of a lost cause.

          Like

    • Elizabeth 5:51 pm on November 8, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      I think those old horror films were a lot less horror filled than more recent ones. Maybe it’s just because blood looks less dreadful in black and white.

      Like

    • mistermuse 8:32 pm on November 8, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      I think much of the horror in old horror films was suggested or implied compared to how graphic (made more so by Technicolor) horror films are today.

      Like

  • mistermuse 12:01 am on November 25, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Bride of Frankenstein, Frankenstein, horror films, , , Son of Frankenstein, The Body Snatcher   

    25 GUESSES 

    [He] was the opposite of what appeared on the screen. He was very urbane, very well read, very well educated, soft-spoken, a real English gentleman. –Robert Wise, Academy Award-winning movie director

    Do you think you have a good idea who the gentleman is who is the subject of that quote? Although you may find it hard to believe, it ain’t yurs truly. The fact is that mistermuse (despite qualifying in every other respect, including gentleman) does not happen to be English. Also, although a handsome devil, mistermuse is not a movie star. But that was a very logical (if mistaken) assumption on your part, so I will give you 24 more guesses.

    Here’s a hint. Since 20 November, when last we met (“NOVEMBER 20 POEMS ARE CHILD’S PLAY”), someone’s birthday has come and gone who not only meets the above criteria, but whose film persona might have made an interesting subject for one of those English nursery rhymes, such as “Who Killed Cock Robin?” or “Jack the Ripper and Jill.”

    Time’s up. The gentleman in question is none other than that horror-able actor famous for his roles in such pictures as FRANKENSTEIN (1931), BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN (1935),  and SON OF FRANKENSTEIN (1939): Boris Karloff (born London, Nov. 23, 1887). Karloff also starred in another of my favorite films of that genre, THE BODY SNATCHER (1945), which was directed by the above-quoted Robert Wise.

    What made those films a cut above the average horror movie? Among other things, atmosphere — black and white and gray atmosphere — not necessarily the stuff that screams are made of, but with setting, mood, memorable characters, imagination of story….all the things that, if lacking, no amount of gore and technology can bring to life.

    Here are some interesting facts about Karloff you may not have known:
    His real name was William Henry Pratt.
    He was the youngest of nine children.
    As a young boy, he stuttered and had a lisp.
    He married five times and had one child, Sara (born as SON OF FRANKENSTEIN was being filmed). You’ll find a message from her on the official Boris Karloff web site:

    Home

    Let us end with an interview of the man himself:

     
    • scifihammy 4:54 am on November 25, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      What a treat! Thank you.
      I love these old horror movies. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 8:41 am on November 25, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I love them too – all the more so because they were filmed in black and white. After seeing them in b & w, it would be a sacrilege to colorize them!

      Like

    • arekhill1 1:53 pm on November 25, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      For my money, the apex of b&w horror is Night of the Living Dead, which was filmed long after the color era began. Scared the waste right out of me.

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 5:28 pm on November 25, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        I haven’t seen Night of the Living Dead (1968), but film critic Leonard Maltin rates it highly and calls it “the touchstone modern horror film” (not to be confused with the 1990 Technicolor remake of the same name but lower rating).

        Like

    • linnetmoss 3:21 pm on November 25, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Indeed Mr. Karloff was a very talented actor! I enjoyed “Frankenstein” even though horror is not my cup of tea…

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 5:48 pm on November 25, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I’m not a big horror movie fan in general, but I do like certain ones, including Karloff’s three Frankenstein films, The Body Snatcher (1945), and Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956). I also like certain parody and campy horror films, such as Young Frankenstein and Swamp Thing. I don’t like horror just for the sake of horror.

      Like

    • Don Frankel 8:29 am on November 27, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I actually knew the answer to this right away. Just stuff filled away in my muddled brain. The more fascinating story to me, is the story of how Mary Shelly wrote the novel Frankenstein.

      Like

    • mistermuse 2:45 pm on November 27, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Don, I’m not surprised that you knew this – I thought that if anybody would, it would be you. As for Mary Shelley, I recall coming across that story some time ago. I’d need to refresh my creaky memory as to the details, but I remember it made fascinating reading.

      Like

    • Jane 9:57 pm on November 27, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I spent many late nights on my own as a young child watching old black and white movies. They were terrifying but oh so addictive! I loved the movie Frankenstein and also Shelley’s novel. Thanks for sharing this video. What a gem. The story certainly does have a universal appeal, as the actor says.

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 11:57 pm on November 27, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Jane, thank you for your incisive comment; if evidence were demanded of the truth of Robert Wise’s description of the actor in the opening quote, that video is all that is needed. Such thoughtful responses – especially the “universal appeal” one you cite.

      Like

    • Resa 5:15 pm on November 28, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Thank you!

      Like

    • mistermuse 7:20 pm on November 28, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      You are most welcome!

      Like

    • inesephoto 2:17 pm on December 1, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Wonderful post, and I enjoyed the interview. Old horror movies had class.

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 4:36 pm on December 1, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Thank you. “Old horror movies had class” — I couldn’t have said it better myself!

      Like

  • mistermuse 2:11 pm on January 9, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Bruce Almighty, Frankenstein, , , It's Alive!, Monty Python, Oh God!, , , The Bible   

    TODAY IS “PLAY GOD DAY” 

    We should not play God before we have learned to be men, and as we learn to be men we will not want to play God. –Paul Ramsey, Christian ethicist

    • * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

    According to holidayinsights.com., January 9 is PLAY GOD DAY. While not an official holiday (i.e., it’s not sanctioned by God, the President or Congress), it nonetheless should be one, as man has been playing God since emerging from the cave, if not before.

    If you’re an atheist, you may well ask how man can play what doesn’t exist. Friends, if you think about it, it’s done all the time. In olden days B.F. (Before Film), a man could only play the Almighty in his own time, but since then, God-playing has not been confined to tyrants, despots, politicians and overlords. The invention of motion pictures has been a godsend to a man playing God even after the man is gone. God is not dead — like Frankenstein’s monster, it’s his own creation….and IT’S ALIVE! To wit:

    Here is a list of films (including the actor/God)  in which man has played God. I do not proclaim it a complete list, nor have I seen but a few of the of the films on the list. What do you want for nothing? Remember, this is PLAY GOD DAY, so take it or leave it. I doubt God Itself ever made a better offer.

    THE GREEN PASTURES (1936), Rex Ingram
    THE BIBLE (1966), John Huston
    SKIDOO (1968), Groucho Marx
    MONTY PYTHON AND THE HOLY GRAIL (1975), Graham Chapman
    OH, GOD! (1977), George Burns (plus two sequels: Oh, God! Book II, and Oh, God! You Devil)
    TIME BANDITS (1981), Ralph Richardson
    TWO OF A KIND (1983), Gene Hackman
    NIGHT TRAIN TO TERROR (1985), Ferdy Mayne
    RELIGION, INC. (1989), George Plimpton
    ALMOST AN ANGEL (1990), Charlton Heston
    THE PRINCE OF EGYPT (1997), Val Kilmer
    THE ACID HOUSE (1998), Maurice Roeves
    DOGMA (1999), Alanis Morrissette (the first actress to play God?)
    BRUCE ALMIGHTY (2003), Morgan Freeman
    SUPER (2010), Rob Zombie

     
    • ladysighs 7:26 am on January 10, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Save me a place at the table. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • Don Frankel 7:54 am on January 10, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      So as not to be sexist Muse.

      I guess we could say love is more wonderful the second time around.

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 7:59 am on January 10, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Ladysighs, we all have a place at the “end table,” so I don’t need to save you one. Beyond that, you’re on your own (apologies for the dark humor so early in the day)!

      Like

    • mistermuse 8:14 am on January 10, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Love it, Don! Movie critics like Leonhard Maltin say “Bride” is one of the few sequels in movie history which is even better than the original, and the original was pretty damn good. This was great “camp” before the word “camp” became part of movie lexicon.

      Like

    • arekhill1 11:31 am on January 10, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I think a “Play Satan” list would be an interesting project for you, Sr. Muse. My personal favorite, for obvious reasons, is Elizabeth Hurley.

      Like

    • mistermuse 4:39 pm on January 10, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I’d “barely” heard of Elizabeth Hurley until you mentioned (and I Googled) her, Ricardo. It seems I’ve been missing a lot by not keeping abreast of things, celebrity-wise, in recent years….but I’m not Bedazzled enough to undertake another such project. I have too many books to read, too many football games to watch, too many naps to take, etc., etc., etc.

      Like

    • Don Frankel 7:42 am on January 12, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      You know even with all the stitches, the smock she’s wearing and the bad hairdo, she’s kind of hot.

      Like

    • mistermuse 10:38 am on January 12, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I agree, Don. Bride was played by Elsa Lanchester, who was married in real life to actor Charles Laughton. Those who remember her only from much later films such as MARY POPPINS and MURDER BY DEATH would probably be amazed to learn it’s the same woman.

      Like

    • blindzanygirl 2:07 am on July 31, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      I’ll have to watch those movies! Interesting!

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 8:43 am on July 31, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      There are several good films on that list, but you’ll probably go to heaven before getting around to watching them all, Lorraine (and some of them probably aren’t worth the trouble). 😉

      Like

  • mistermuse 12:14 am on November 15, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Frankenstein, , , phobias   

    PHOBIA, SCHMOBIA 

    Did you know that (according to Reference.com) there are at least 530 documented phobias, Including Phobophobia, the fear of phobias? Among the most interesting, to say the least, is fear of midgets (Achondroplasiphobia). Another of my favorites is Anatidaephobia, the fear that somewhere in the world, a duck is watching you. Aflac! Then there is the fear of long words (Hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia). Easy for who to say. You can click http://phobialist.com for a comprehensive list.

    As curious as the above documented examples are, Yours Truly has come across some phobias that, while undocumented, are even more curious. By adhering to the most exacting investigative standards (personal observation), I have determined without fear of contradictaphobia that the following are every bit as real as phobias documented by so-called scientific methods:

    Santaclaustrophobia — the fear of Christmas closing in, surrounded by the God-awful, unholy sound of wall-to-wall Christmas songs from which there is no escape.

    Ideologophobia — the fear of pluralism, pragmatism and, above all, the color gray.

    Expostophobia — the fear of disappearing posts.

    Mistermuseephobia — the fear of Expostophobia.

    Frankelsteinaphobia — the fear of Dr. Don creating a monster who demands to be directed by Young Mel Brooks….seriously.

    Michaelphobia – the fear of archangels.

    Ricardophobia — the fear of the return of Prohibition, concurrent with the closing of the Mexican border to gringos dying of thirst.

    Endophobia — the fear of what all good things must come to.

     
    • arekhill1 3:03 pm on November 16, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      I plan to smuggle myself across, should my phobia be realized.

      Like

    • mistermuse 5:34 pm on November 16, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Ricardo, it would be a pity to make it across, only to develope Cervezaphobia. Maybe you should invite Dr. Don along, just in case.

      Like

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