By Wheeler Winston Dixon
Arranged by means of a long time, with outliers and franchise motion pictures overlapping a few years, this one-stop sourcebook reveals the old origins of characters comparable to Dracula, Frankenstein, and the Wolfman and their numerous incarnations in movie from the silent period to comedic sequels. A historical past of Horror explores how the horror movie suits into the Hollywood studio approach and the way its huge, immense luck in American and eu tradition multiplied globally over time.
Dixon examines key sessions within the horror film-in which the fundamental precepts of the style have been tested, then banished into comfortably trustworthy and malleable types, after which, after collapsing into parody, rose repeatedly to create new degrees of depth and threat. A historical past of Horror, supported by means of infrequent stills from vintage movies, brings over fifty undying horror motion pictures into frightfully transparent concentration, zooms in on cutting-edge most sensible horror sites, and champions the celebs, administrators, and subgenres that make the horror movie so fascinating and well liked by modern audiences.
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Additional resources for A History of Horror
To increase the mystery surrounding his role as the monster. Lugosi had been deprived of the role of a lifetime, and thus missed not only a chance to originate the sound version of Frankenstein’s monster, but also to broaden his public persona. The impact of the decision was almost immediate; by 1934, Lugosi was reduced to working in cheap ﬁlms like Clifford Sanforth’s Murder by Television, a dull ﬁlm with static direction in which Lugosi plays twin brothers and trudges through a desultory plot having little to do with the title.
By the time Universal tapped Lugosi to reprise his stage role on ﬁlm, the actor had played it hundreds of times and had no difﬁculty other than having to cut down his theatrical “projection” for the camera, not always 25 26 A History of Horror 8. Bela Lugosi in his classic role in Dracula. Courtesy: Jerry Ohlinger Archive. with success. In the early days of sound, the studios realized that the easiest way to adapt to the new medium was to transport both Broadway plays and their casts to Hollywood and essentially photograph the plays with a minimum of camera movement.
Not content with this, First National Pictures shoved Christensen into an equally vapid follow-up, The House of Horror (1929), a comedyhorror ﬁlm starring Mack Sennett veterans Louise Fazenda and Chester Conklin and containing a brief sound sequence in an otherwise silent ﬁlm. Christensen was then pressed into service to direct Seven Footprints to Satan (1929), based on the well-known novel by Abraham Merritt, concerning the search for a fabulous jewel in a haunted castle. Despite Christensen’s desperate attempt to bring some life to the proceedings with his customarily dazzling visuals, the ﬁlm collapses under the weight of a contrived dénouement.
A History of Horror by Wheeler Winston Dixon