barbara_hambly (barbara_hambly) wrote,
In a Halloween mood a couple of nights ago I sat down and re-watched Blair Witch Project, which scared the living bejeezus out of me the first time through. The second time through... not so much.

During the late '50s and early '60s, my parents wouldn't let us kids see horror movies. (I learned later it was because my Dad has an extremely vivid imagination and they give him nightmares). But we were desperately curious about them, so my cousin Paul John would tell us about them - give the plot and descriptions.

And the most horrible, scary, terrifying one that scared me even to THINK about was a William Campbell flick called "The Tingler". From what Paul John told me, the movie I saw IN MY HEAD was unbelievably frightening.

And then as an adult I saw it in Real Life. Oh, boy. Vincent Price wrestling around on the floor with a two-foot rubber earwig. What a heartstopper.

Time changes all things.

These days I find some of the '50s monster-films very soothing, if I'm agitated or upset about something I can't change. My go-to films are Godzilla and The Thing From Another World (the REAL version, not any of the remakes). There's something about seeing the Big Guy trample Tokyo that I find very calming. I suspect, actually, that the upsurge of horror films in the '50s were a way of displacing the horrible anxieties of the Cold War - although it's very strange, seeing the opening shots of Godzilla, and realizing that the people carrying charred bodies out of radioactive ruins had, only five years previously, ACTUALLY been carrying charred bodies out of radioactive ruins.

I was awfully old before I realized that the Raymond Burr footage was all spliced in later and that you never see the faces of any of the characters that he's talking to. They actually did a good job of that.
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