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Tag Archives: House of Wax

Sunday Cinema, in Progress

I thought I should make my blog post before it got any later, although I was tempted to wait until at least the next movie.  We began the movie watching portion of our day early so are able to get more movies in.  Naturally I wanted to watch all Halloween movies (I always want to watch all Halloween movies, but during October is the time it is easiest to get away with).  We began with a DVD which was loaned to me by a work friend, Phantom of the Opera (1943), colorized.

This is the reaction you might get when you try to take a girl home on the first date.

I did not realize this was the Claude Rains version.  I love Claude Rains!  I’m not sure I loved the movie, although I did love the ending.  Perhaps I’ll write a blog post about it.  I have not done a movie write-up in a long time.  I love doing movie write-ups.

After Phantom of the Opera, I suggested House of Wax (1953), because Vincent Price has a deformed face, kind of like the Phantom (acquired by different means but with a similar personality-warping effect).  For another reason, I knew House of Wax moved along faster.  I like a movie that moves right along.

Yes, that is Charles Bronson in the center. Vincent Price is hiding his deformed face, by the way.

This brought us to 2 p.m., when I knew Snapped was on.  We decided to check that out before going on with our movies.  Sunday is a good day for Snapped, after all.  Unfortunately, it was the episode about Amy Fisher. I was hoping for one I had not seen, so we reopened the movie debate early.

Any excuse to re-share the picture of our friend Ellie in “Amy Fisher: The Musical.”

At last we settled on House on Haunted Hill, because it stars Vincent Price.  I like to have a connection between my movies.  Additionally, this is a William Castle movie.  I loves me some William Castle!

I guess she doesn’t have a thing for skinny guys.

Oh dear, as I typed this in, House on Haunted Hill got finished. Now I must debate with Steven as to which movie to watch next.  More Vincent Price?  Another William Castle?  Or maybe something with a house.  Or a hill. Happy Sunday, everyone.

 

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Murder or Monsters on Wrist to Forehead Sunday

Are they plotting somebody’s demise?

I interrupt the movie-watching portion of my day for a fast blog post.  Of course I am having a Wrist to Forehead Sunday.  I would swoon onto a lounge if I had one, but that is not the important thing.  The important thing is to make a blog post. My husband, Steven, and I just watched Evil Under the Sun, a star-studded Agatha Christie adaptation, one of our favorites.  We are now looking at House of Wax, the 1953 version starring Vincent Price.  I said I wanted either monsters or more murder.  This is kind of both.

“As you see, my hands are not capable of great art any more.”

A Facebook friend shared the above picture, which got me thinking about House of Wax.  This movie also features Carolyn Jones, in a sadly small role.  That makes me think about watching Invasion of the Body Snatchers, which I would call more monster than murder, although I suppose that would be open to debate.  Feel free to discuss amongst yourselves.

And before this, they were drinking martinis. Mmmm…. martinis…

Carolyn Jones doesn’t have too big a part in Body Snatchers, either.  Maybe I should invest in a couple of DVDs of the old Addams Family TV show.

In the meantime, I’m over 200 words.  I call that acceptable.  We’ll see if I can do better as the week wears on.  Happy Sunday, everyone.

 

Monster Movies on Wrist to Forehead Sunday

Guess which one I look more like.

I interrupt my Wrist to Forehead Sunday activities to make my blog post.  I open with a picture from House on Haunted Hill, our first movie selection for the afternoon.  We selected it because our guest, Kim, wanted to see something with Vincent Price.  We love Vincent Price.  Now we are watching The Bat, also with Vincent Price.  Additionally, Agnes Moorehead stars.  We love her, too.

And here’s the happy couple.

Full disclosure:  I am not paying a great deal of attention to the movies we are watching.  We are enjoying some jokes and conversation, as well as snacks and drinks.  What else could you ask for on a Sunday afternoon?  I know: a better blog post.  Well, for that, there’s always tomorrow.  Remember: Mohawk Valley Girl posts every day.

In the meantime, what movie will we watch next?  I am set on watching another Halloween movie.  A traditional favorite like Frankenstein, Dracula or the Wolfman?  Or something more obscure from our collection of 50 Horror Classics?  A low budget, stylistic creepfest like Carnival of Souls?  The list goes on.

I would like to end with another picture (you know how I like to include three).  Not knowing what movie we will watch next, I shall select one from our downloads.

They always go for the blonds, don’t they?

Here is dear Vincent and his obsession, Marie Antoinette, in House of Wax.  We probably will not watch that one today, though, as we have recently viewed it.  Still, another picture of Vincent Price is not a bad thing to end a blog post with. Happy Sunday, everyone.

 

What to Watch on Scattered Saturday?

There was not a whole lot of scatter to my Scattered Saturday today (nor a whole lot of scat either, if you’re into jazz) (which I am).  I ran, I wrote, I read, I did not do dishes, I went to an early dinner with my husband, Steven, and now we are about to embark upon the movie watching portion of the evening (as regular readers know, my favorite part) (along with the bra off, sweats on, wine drinking portion of the evening) (which it also is, except for the sweats; too hot).  This being the case, I share a picture I downloaded earlier to share on Steven’s Facebook page:

Just another unrealistic body type for us females to aspire to.

I’m pretty sure this is a publicity shot for House on Haunted Hill (1959), one of our go-to movies for just such an evening.  I think we will not watch this movie tonight, since we did recently view it.  What are our other possibilities?  Hmmm….

“You think I’m the murderer? I thought you were the murderer!”

Thinking of Vincent Price usually brings me back to Laura (1944), a stylish noir, as one reviewer described it, and another of our favorites.  Price plays, unusually enough, a leading man type, not a creepy murderer type.  This is another of our go-to movies.

Nothing to worry about, everything is fine.

I finish with one last shot of Price, in another of our go-to movies, House of Wax (1953).  Price does play a creepy murderer-type in this one.

So we have several suggestions right off the cuff for the movie watching portion of our evening.  What to watch, what to watch, what to watch (yes, you have to say it three times).  Tune in tomorrow, on Wrist to Forehead Sunday, and perhaps I’ll tell you.

Just a thought: would you be more apt to describe this post as Slacker Saturday?  I’m thinking, maybe.

 

 

Halloween Bonafides on Wrist to Forehead Sunday

I let another movie run while I make my Wrist to Forehead Sunday post.  We usually watch True Crime television on Sunday, notably episode after episode of Snapped, but it is autumn, and that means it is time for Halloween movies!  Of course, I like horror movies all year long, particularly the cheesy variety, but there is an especial feeling of comfort in watching them as the weather begins to turn cool, as it did today.

We began our movie watching with Return of the Body Snatchers, which is not cheesy but something of a classic.  Mostly I like the classic cars.  It is a selling point to me in an old movie when the characters do a lot of driving.  I like to have a connection between the movies I watch, so we are now looking at House of Wax.  The connection is that both movies feature Carolyn Jones, most famous for portraying Morticia Adams.

Our other potential choice was The Birds, because of bit parts in both movies played by that guy that was on The Dick Van Dyke Show.  Steven had to look up his name for this blog post:  Richard Deacon.  I never would have remembered that, if I ever knew it to begin with (I am not at all sure I did).  I felt Wax was a better movie to go with, because an actor famous for Morticia clearly has better Halloween bonafides than one who played some random guy opposite Dick Van Dyke (YES, I love Dick Van Dyke, no he is not a Halloween guy, shut up).

I would really like to write some more posts about cheesy horror movies.  We have watched a couple, but I just can’t seem to put pen to paper about them.  I’ll have to work on that.  In the meantime, I sit here, poised with one wrist to my forehead, watching what we’re watching and lamenting my lack of a better blog post. You would think I would be used to it by now.  Never mind.  The largest room in the world is the room for improvement.  That gives me plenty of space to maneuver.

 

More than a Knock-Off

I was just a little disappointed in the plot of The Mad Magician (1954). At first I took myself to task for lamenting the movie I wanted to see rather than enjoying the movie I did see. Then I thought maybe I could write a story using the plot I’d been hoping for. What plot was that, you may ask. I say, nice try! You’re not stealing my plot ideas! In fact, I’ve said too much already.

Enough of that nonsense. Let’s talk about The Mad Magician, starring Vincent Price, another Halloween movie presented by TCM which awaited me on my DVR. Oh yeah, before I forget:

Spoiler Alert! I’m getting a little bored with these spoiler alerts, are you? But this is one where you seriously might want to watch the movie before reading about it.

In pre-movie commentary, Ben Mankiewicz tells us the plot. Price is an inventor of illusions for other magicians. When his own chance for fame is cruelly snatched from his grasp, he goes mad and seeks revenge. The movie followed House of Wax, Price’s first horror film. Both movies were in 3D, a feature completely lost on television viewers. That hardly matters: moth movies are very enjoyable.

Magician follows a rule I once read: Audiences want the same thing, only different. A lot of elements are the same. Price starts out as a dreamy, creative genius who turns murderous once his dreams are destroyed. He was dreamier in Wax, and he was destroyed physically, which accounted for both his method and his madness. I thought in Magician he was more murderous than mad. Of course, a murderous Vincent Price is always worth a watch.

Leonard Maltin calls Magician a knock-off of Wax (Leonard Maltin’s 2011 Movie Guide, Signet, 2010). I can see that, but, really, this is a plot line that is used often and to good effect. Somebody does a guy dirt. The guy seeks revenge. It worked in The Count of Monte Cristo. It worked in Sweeney Todd (the stage play; hated the movie). I won’t even begin to list all the more recent movies, books and graphic novels that use it, but that might be a fun game at your next party, if you’re into that sort of thing.

Getting back to our movie, one addition is that Price has a wife that betrays him. She’s played by the delightful Eva Gabor and is quite a different character from her Lisa on Green Acres.

Another fun character is the gossipy writer from whom Price rents a room. Only she thinks he’s… well, that would be giving away an important plot development. She was my favorite character, not surprisingly, as I fancy myself a writer. Also, she is far from a useless movie female, but is very instrumental in moving things along.

The movie does make use of a hoary make-up cliche: you can use prosthetics and masks to completely transform yourself into another person. Oh, don’t spout “suspension of disbelief” at me. Some things are easier to swallow than others (although “swallow” and “suspend” is kind of mixing metaphors, isn’t it?). In this case, there is at least an explanation for the impersonations and Price’s talent is important to the plot.

I recommend The Mad Magician. It might be fun to watch it on a double bill with House of Wax and list every parallel. My favorite was the final joke involving a head. I thought the one in Magician was funnier, but spoiler alert notwithstanding, I don’t want to give it away.