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Tag Archives: Vincent Price

I Like Monsters

Hello, and welcome to Lame Post Friday.  I went running earlier, hoping to offer a Running Commentary Post.  Unfortunately, or perhaps fortunately, depending on how your tastes run, I just don’t feel like doing that.  I feel like posting pictures from monster movies.  Since I indulge myself on Fridays (and most other days when it comes to this blog) (don’t judge me), here is Bela Lugosi in a publicity shot from The Wolfman.

This is how I will look on Sunday, contemplating the approach of Monday.

I actually had been scrolling down Facebook trying to talk myself out of my monster movie picture cop-out when I saw this picture of Bela and I just couldn’t resist.  I went on to see what else I could find, skipping around to my favorite movie groups and pages.

Icons in coffins, what’s not to like?

I believe this is Basil Rathbone, Boris Karloff, Vincent Price and Peter Lorre (in the back).  I’m almost sure I’ve seen this before and cannot believe I have not used it in a blog post yet.  If I repeat myself, well, some things are worth repeating.

This is probably what he would look like riding a subway.

When we think of monsters, especially movie monsters, naturally we would think of Frankenstein’s monster, one of the first and one of the best.  I shall conclude with a less literary monster in another publicity shot.

I never knew that magazine had centerfolds.

Full disclosure:  I am not that familiar with the Planet of the Apes movies.  I think Steven and I watched the first one once, but I don’t remember that much about it.  I think we saw the remake and were unimpressed.  Then again, one could argue that these movies are more sci fi than horror.  But why argue on Lame Post Friday?  I’m going to have another glass of wine.  I hope you’ll tune in again for my other weekend posts.

 

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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.

 

 

At Least I Used Pictures

So here I am on the last day of my fabulous four-day weekend, watching a movie I have seen many times before and thinking I had better make my blog post now, so I can get back to enjoying my day.  We did a few household chores, ran the necessary errands, and are on to the hanging out, movie watching portion of the day.

The first thing we watched was The Feud, Bette and Joan, which we DVR’d from… some cable channel.  I forget which (Steven is smoking in the basement, so I can’t ask him).  Susan Sarandon is Bette and Jessica Lange is Joan.  They are excellent!

Can you find “Nina”?

I love Hirschfeld, too.

I’ve been wanting to use this picture in a blog post.

Full disclosure:  I don’t know where this picture came from or who made these dolls.  My husband must have found it somewhere, because it was in our downloads.  He finds the best stuff of the internet!  I can never find a thing.

Guess which one looks like me before coffee.

After we saw The Feud, I wanted to see an old move, so we put in one of our all-time favorites The House on Haunted Hill, the original Vincent Price version from 1958, not the rather hideous remake, which we say but about which I do not much recall.

So here is my Monday post.  I don’t know that you could call it a Mental Meanderings, and I feel it is not a Middle-aged Musings, but I hope it is acceptable. And I hope to see you all tomorrow on Tired Tuesday (you think I won’t be tired after a four-day weekend?  I’m afraid you overestimate me).

 

Favorite Ghouls on Wuss-out Wednesday

I am so tired right now, I think all I can manage is a Wuss-out Wednesday post.  It is Wednesday, right?  Earlier today, I was wishing it was Thursday.  Then I reminded myself of a morning I got out of my car and thought, “Why can’t it be Thursday instead of Wednesday?”  then I thought, “You idiot, it’s Tuesday.”  I may have shared that memory before, but I still think it is funny.

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Two of my all-time favorite ghouls.

This is what I immediately thought of at the time.   This is Bela Lugosi and Boris Karloff.  I never knew which movie the shot is from but I believe that is not the original dialog.  I used it as my Facebook cover photo for a while. Now I realize I should not have put it in a Wuss-out Wednesday post but in a Tired Tuesday post.  Which just goes to show you how often I do the wrong thing.  But now that I’ve put in a photo, I’d kind of like to put in a couple more.  I wonder what I can find.

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She’s really not that into him.

Speaking of favorite ghouls, who doesn’t love Vincent Price?  This is from House of Wax, one of my go-to horror movies.  Price is in love with his Marie Antoinette.  How Pygmalion of him.  Before the film can really explore the creepiness of that infatuation, the place goes up in flames and Price becomes a villain, deformed in body and spirit.  I don’t know where I’m going with that.  Perhaps the next time I watch the movie, I’ll write a scholarly essay on Hollywood’s missed opportunities.

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Aren’t they cool?

Just to finish out the theme of favorite ghouls, here is a photo Steven has shared on Facebook so it was in our downloads.  Christopher Lee, Vincent Price and John Carradine.  At least, Steven says it is John Carradine.  I had thought it was Peter Cushing.  How classless is that, that I’m going to publish this without making sure of my information.  That’s how I roll on Wuss-out Wednesday.

 

But What Would Poe Think?

Spoiler Alert! I’m going to tell the plot and I may give away a couple of the best jokes.

I thought The Raven (1963) had it all: Vincent Price, Boris Karloff and Peter Lorre star. Roger Corman directed. And it’s based, or rather “inspired by” Edgar Allen Poe. This movie is going to rock! I thought, as I set my DVR.

Well, the movie does rock, but not quite in the way I expected it to. It starts out creepy enough: the camera pans through a gloomy castle while Price’s inimitable voice intones the poem “The Raven” by Poe. A big, scary black bird appears on cue. When Price dramatically asks will he ever see his dear Lenore again and we are waiting for — come on, you know this — Quote the Raven, “Nevermore!” instead we hear a rather testy Peter Lorre answer, “How should I know?”

And it goes on from there.

It is a very silly movie. Boris Karloff is responsible for Lorre’s feathered state. He is the evil head magician. Price’s father used to be the (not evil) head magician, but Price lives retired with his beautiful daughter and the body of his dead wife.

Lorre’s son is played by Jack Nicholson. I think it is delightful that Nicholson got his start in cheesy horror movies. So far I’ve seen him in Little Shop of Horrors, The Terror and now The Raven. Unfortunately, in The Raven, he is merely a handsome young man and doesn’t get much to do.

The highlight of the picture is the showdown between Karloff and Price. This is a scene they love to show clips of in Price or Corman retrospectives. Price counters Karloff’s zaps with panache and a sweet smile.

I laughed heartily at The Raven and recommend it to lovers of horror with a sense of humor.

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.