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Saturday Movie Matinee

I am hoping that this blog does not degenerate into All Back Pain All The Time, but can I just say, Ow. There was not a chance that I could run this morning and write a blog post about that. I thought I might manage a walking post, but I tried it and no dice. I did, however, watch an old horror movie and I’d like to write about that.

Spoiler alert! I may even give away the ending this time. We’ll see how it goes. I will say right up front that this is not a bad movie; I do not feel you would be wasting your time by watching it. So if you like this sort of thing, you might want to stop reading, go watch Horror Hotel, then come back and read this (clearly I do not feel that anybody’s time is wasted reading my blog).

Horror Hotel (1960) is the first entry in a DVD collection I got for Steven some years ago called “Horror Movie Classics.” It came in a tin box that makes horror noises when you push a little button on top. I purchased it mainly because it included the silent classic Nosferatu, one of the scariest pictures ever made. But I find I enjoy the cheesier entries as well.

The first thing that struck me about Horror Hotel is that the opening scene, a flashback to a witch burning in 17th century New England, was used in The Curse of the Blair Witch.

Wait a minute, have I written about this before? At this point it would behoove me to check. However, that would entail making my painful way up the stairs to the computer, waiting while it boots up and sitting on a chair which totally exacerbates my suspected sciatica for as long as it takes me to search every entry I’ve written about movies. That ain’t gonna happen. Oh well, they show re-runs on TV all the time. And scripted shows recycle plot lines ad infinitum. Anyways, maybe I never wrote about Horror Hotel in the first place.

Where was I? ah yes, the witch burning scene later recycled by the clever Blair Witch people. It turns out that this is a part of a lecture given by a wild-eyed professor who is, I think, getting just a little too heated about his subject matter. Of course a beautiful blonde student is fascinated by it all. She wants to go to the site of the aforementioned burning and do research, over the disapproval of her science professor brother and varsity sweater wearing boyfriend.

Setting aside the wild-eyed professor, this movie is lousy with foreshadowing. For one thing, here’s the ground level fog which never goes away. Seriously, outside of a haunted house with a good dry ice machine, has anybody ever actually walked through this thick, scary mist on the ground? I never have.

Naturally Blondie ignores the gas station attendant who tells her “decent folk” do not go where she is headed. Naturally she picks up the scary hitchhiker who speaks in sepulchral tones using language from another century, apparently thinking he’s a perfectly nice guy that needs a ride even though it is just a bit odd that he disappears abruptly without saying goodbye or opening the car door. And why wouldn’t she explore that dark, cobwebby basement where there isn’t supposed to be one?

I’ve skipped a bunch of stuff, which I think is a good thing if you ever want to watch the movie. I think I’ll skip a bunch of other stuff, too. For one thing, it is probably going to be painful to sit at the computer and type this in (man, I love writing a blog; you can get away with all kinds of stuff).

The climax is exciting. I may be giving away too much by saying that evil is vanquished, but I just wanted to tell you that I sat there asking, “Why didn’t they just do that 300 years ago and save these kids the trouble?”

Well, over 600 words and my back isn’t hurting too badly. I think I’ll go lounge on the couch some more and watch some more horror classics. That way I’ll have something to write about if I’m not up for more energetic Mohawk Valley adventures soon.

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