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Blake I. Collier | The Dirty Deacon

Contributor for Mockingbird | Co-creator of Son of Byford | Contributor for Christ & Pop Culture
1860609.fcaef04.10af6736cdd54c3ba9f0d7ababea0ebe

1959

I know, I know, it’s Thanksgiving, but this gif was too good to pass up!
Best scene from The House on Haunted Hill (1959).
I know, I know, it’s Thanksgiving, but this gif was too good to pass up!
Best scene from The House on Haunted Hill (1959).
I know, I know, it’s Thanksgiving, but this gif was too good to pass up!
Best scene from The House on Haunted Hill (1959).

I know, I know, it’s Thanksgiving, but this gif was too good to pass up!

Best scene from The House on Haunted Hill (1959).

October 30, 2013
The Tingler (1959)
Directed by William Castle
82 min.
Key Scenes:
With an essential element of the whole movie experience not present in this viewing—the vibrating theater seats that would go off when the tingler escapes into the movie theater in the film, there are certain things that the modern viewer misses that the older views may have experienced.  Still this movie beats most of the creature flicks ever made.  
There are two scenes that stick out in my mind.  The first is when the “deaf and dumb” wife of the movie theater owner is drugged by Price and sent into a hallucinogenic state where she is chased by a knife-wielding, burnt-faced serial killer and goes into the bathroom to a tub full of blood, blood that is colored and a hand starts to reach out of the bloody bath.  The only color display in the whole film is the blood of the human body.
The second is when Price extracts the tingler from the back of the “deaf and dumb” wife of the movie theater manager.  The first sight we have of the creature comes from behind a medical curtain and the pulling out of the creature is all done in shadows.  We see the centipede kind of creature in shadow only at that point and the audience starts to wonder, what in the world is going on!
This is a wonderful little film that deals with the nature of fear itself.  Why do we fear and if we could create a cure where we wouldn’t need fear, would we actually want to take it?  The Tingler was a way to control fears, but it also took over the whole being of the person and made them perish faster.  Well worth the hour and 22 minutes that it runs and another film to consider for the top films of the month.
October 30, 2013
The Tingler (1959)
Directed by William Castle
82 min.
Key Scenes:
With an essential element of the whole movie experience not present in this viewing—the vibrating theater seats that would go off when the tingler escapes into the movie theater in the film, there are certain things that the modern viewer misses that the older views may have experienced.  Still this movie beats most of the creature flicks ever made.  
There are two scenes that stick out in my mind.  The first is when the “deaf and dumb” wife of the movie theater owner is drugged by Price and sent into a hallucinogenic state where she is chased by a knife-wielding, burnt-faced serial killer and goes into the bathroom to a tub full of blood, blood that is colored and a hand starts to reach out of the bloody bath.  The only color display in the whole film is the blood of the human body.
The second is when Price extracts the tingler from the back of the “deaf and dumb” wife of the movie theater manager.  The first sight we have of the creature comes from behind a medical curtain and the pulling out of the creature is all done in shadows.  We see the centipede kind of creature in shadow only at that point and the audience starts to wonder, what in the world is going on!
This is a wonderful little film that deals with the nature of fear itself.  Why do we fear and if we could create a cure where we wouldn’t need fear, would we actually want to take it?  The Tingler was a way to control fears, but it also took over the whole being of the person and made them perish faster.  Well worth the hour and 22 minutes that it runs and another film to consider for the top films of the month.
October 30, 2013
The Tingler (1959)
Directed by William Castle
82 min.
Key Scenes:
With an essential element of the whole movie experience not present in this viewing—the vibrating theater seats that would go off when the tingler escapes into the movie theater in the film, there are certain things that the modern viewer misses that the older views may have experienced.  Still this movie beats most of the creature flicks ever made.  
There are two scenes that stick out in my mind.  The first is when the “deaf and dumb” wife of the movie theater owner is drugged by Price and sent into a hallucinogenic state where she is chased by a knife-wielding, burnt-faced serial killer and goes into the bathroom to a tub full of blood, blood that is colored and a hand starts to reach out of the bloody bath.  The only color display in the whole film is the blood of the human body.
The second is when Price extracts the tingler from the back of the “deaf and dumb” wife of the movie theater manager.  The first sight we have of the creature comes from behind a medical curtain and the pulling out of the creature is all done in shadows.  We see the centipede kind of creature in shadow only at that point and the audience starts to wonder, what in the world is going on!
This is a wonderful little film that deals with the nature of fear itself.  Why do we fear and if we could create a cure where we wouldn’t need fear, would we actually want to take it?  The Tingler was a way to control fears, but it also took over the whole being of the person and made them perish faster.  Well worth the hour and 22 minutes that it runs and another film to consider for the top films of the month.

October 30, 2013

The Tingler (1959)

Directed by William Castle

82 min.

Key Scenes:

With an essential element of the whole movie experience not present in this viewing—the vibrating theater seats that would go off when the tingler escapes into the movie theater in the film, there are certain things that the modern viewer misses that the older views may have experienced.  Still this movie beats most of the creature flicks ever made.  

There are two scenes that stick out in my mind.  The first is when the “deaf and dumb” wife of the movie theater owner is drugged by Price and sent into a hallucinogenic state where she is chased by a knife-wielding, burnt-faced serial killer and goes into the bathroom to a tub full of blood, blood that is colored and a hand starts to reach out of the bloody bath.  The only color display in the whole film is the blood of the human body.

The second is when Price extracts the tingler from the back of the “deaf and dumb” wife of the movie theater manager.  The first sight we have of the creature comes from behind a medical curtain and the pulling out of the creature is all done in shadows.  We see the centipede kind of creature in shadow only at that point and the audience starts to wonder, what in the world is going on!

This is a wonderful little film that deals with the nature of fear itself.  Why do we fear and if we could create a cure where we wouldn’t need fear, would we actually want to take it?  The Tingler was a way to control fears, but it also took over the whole being of the person and made them perish faster.  Well worth the hour and 22 minutes that it runs and another film to consider for the top films of the month.

October 29, 2013
House on Haunted Hill (1959)
Directed by William Castle
75 min.
Key Scenes:
This was the first Vincent Price film I ever watched and, to this day, it is still my favorite.  Part of my love for this film stems from it’s misdirection.  
*Spoilers Ahead*
The beauty of this film is how it is wrapped up in the atmosphere, tone and pretense of a haunted house horror film.  Visitors come to a house that is supposedly the dwelling place for vengeful spirits at the request of an eccentric millionaire and his wife of the year for a party where they get a generous $10,000.00 check if they make it the whole night through in the house. 
At the end of the film, it turns out that all of the elements of horror and the “ghosts” are largely at the behest of the murderous spat between millionaire and wife.  It turns out the wife is cohorts with one of the guests and is attempting to off her husband before he offs her.  The other unfortunate guests get caught in the middle of it all.  Throw in some creepy caretakers and a old blind lady and most of the effectively scary scenes are explained.  
Every scene is embroiled in the unknown of what exactly is going on.  Is it haunted? One of the guests had stayed in the house before and almost been killed in the process.  Is there something insidious outside of the marital hatred between the hosts?  One is never quite sure and William Castle doesn’t always make it clear what is natural and what is supernatural…even to the very end.  And THAT is why I love this film.  Castle didn’t feel like he needed to explain everything to us, but instead let us wonder about it as we went to bed or drove home.
October 29, 2013
House on Haunted Hill (1959)
Directed by William Castle
75 min.
Key Scenes:
This was the first Vincent Price film I ever watched and, to this day, it is still my favorite.  Part of my love for this film stems from it’s misdirection.  
*Spoilers Ahead*
The beauty of this film is how it is wrapped up in the atmosphere, tone and pretense of a haunted house horror film.  Visitors come to a house that is supposedly the dwelling place for vengeful spirits at the request of an eccentric millionaire and his wife of the year for a party where they get a generous $10,000.00 check if they make it the whole night through in the house. 
At the end of the film, it turns out that all of the elements of horror and the “ghosts” are largely at the behest of the murderous spat between millionaire and wife.  It turns out the wife is cohorts with one of the guests and is attempting to off her husband before he offs her.  The other unfortunate guests get caught in the middle of it all.  Throw in some creepy caretakers and a old blind lady and most of the effectively scary scenes are explained.  
Every scene is embroiled in the unknown of what exactly is going on.  Is it haunted? One of the guests had stayed in the house before and almost been killed in the process.  Is there something insidious outside of the marital hatred between the hosts?  One is never quite sure and William Castle doesn’t always make it clear what is natural and what is supernatural…even to the very end.  And THAT is why I love this film.  Castle didn’t feel like he needed to explain everything to us, but instead let us wonder about it as we went to bed or drove home.

October 29, 2013

House on Haunted Hill (1959)

Directed by William Castle

75 min.

Key Scenes:

This was the first Vincent Price film I ever watched and, to this day, it is still my favorite.  Part of my love for this film stems from it’s misdirection.  

*Spoilers Ahead*

The beauty of this film is how it is wrapped up in the atmosphere, tone and pretense of a haunted house horror film.  Visitors come to a house that is supposedly the dwelling place for vengeful spirits at the request of an eccentric millionaire and his wife of the year for a party where they get a generous $10,000.00 check if they make it the whole night through in the house. 

At the end of the film, it turns out that all of the elements of horror and the “ghosts” are largely at the behest of the murderous spat between millionaire and wife.  It turns out the wife is cohorts with one of the guests and is attempting to off her husband before he offs her.  The other unfortunate guests get caught in the middle of it all.  Throw in some creepy caretakers and a old blind lady and most of the effectively scary scenes are explained.  

Every scene is embroiled in the unknown of what exactly is going on.  Is it haunted? One of the guests had stayed in the house before and almost been killed in the process.  Is there something insidious outside of the marital hatred between the hosts?  One is never quite sure and William Castle doesn’t always make it clear what is natural and what is supernatural…even to the very end.  And THAT is why I love this film.  Castle didn’t feel like he needed to explain everything to us, but instead let us wonder about it as we went to bed or drove home.

Book #5 - Walker Percy’s The Message in the Bottle: How Queer Man is, How Queer Language is, and What One Has to Do with the Other (1954, 1956, 1957, 1958, 1959, 1961, 1967, 1972, 1975) - 327 pgs. (Read b/t: Feb. 25, 2013 - Mar. 12, 2013)
Book #5 - Walker Percy’s The Message in the Bottle: How Queer Man is, How Queer Language is, and What One Has to Do with the Other (1954, 1956, 1957, 1958, 1959, 1961, 1967, 1972, 1975) - 327 pgs. (Read b/t: Feb. 25, 2013 - Mar. 12, 2013)

Book #5 - Walker Percy’s The Message in the Bottle: How Queer Man is, How Queer Language is, and What One Has to Do with the Other (1954, 1956, 1957, 1958, 1959, 1961, 1967, 1972, 1975) - 327 pgs. (Read b/t: Feb. 25, 2013 - Mar. 12, 2013)

Charles Brown & Amos Milburn - “I Wanna Go Home” (1959)

House on Haunted Hill (1959) - dir. William Castle; starring Vincent Price, Carol Ohmart
Vincent Price is the man.  He is one of the great all-time  suspense/horror actors also.  This film ranks up  in one of his best horror films.  This is a devilishly  delightful tale of intrigue and horror.  Unlike its 1999 remake, this  film does not settle for cheap thrills but instead plays on the  insecurities of the audience.  We are the ones that are placing our own  value of horror on the events of the movie, because not one ghost, ghoul  or long-legged beastie appears in the film.
The setup for the film is great where Price’s character has  specifically invited certain people to a haunted house party and if they  make it through the night then he will pay them 10,000 dollars each.   The absolute genius of the film is the nastiness and seething hatred  that is apparent between Price and his wife.  The dialogue is  ridiculously sharp and cutting between these lovers.  And, in the end,  we find that the explanation for the night lies exactly where the film  started, in the midst of a lover’s spat.  This is an exceptional example  of an early horror movie that is smart and full of suspense and  tension.
House on Haunted Hill (1959) - dir. William Castle; starring Vincent Price, Carol Ohmart
Vincent Price is the man.  He is one of the great all-time  suspense/horror actors also.  This film ranks up  in one of his best horror films.  This is a devilishly  delightful tale of intrigue and horror.  Unlike its 1999 remake, this  film does not settle for cheap thrills but instead plays on the  insecurities of the audience.  We are the ones that are placing our own  value of horror on the events of the movie, because not one ghost, ghoul  or long-legged beastie appears in the film.
The setup for the film is great where Price’s character has  specifically invited certain people to a haunted house party and if they  make it through the night then he will pay them 10,000 dollars each.   The absolute genius of the film is the nastiness and seething hatred  that is apparent between Price and his wife.  The dialogue is  ridiculously sharp and cutting between these lovers.  And, in the end,  we find that the explanation for the night lies exactly where the film  started, in the midst of a lover’s spat.  This is an exceptional example  of an early horror movie that is smart and full of suspense and  tension.

House on Haunted Hill (1959) - dir. William Castle; starring Vincent Price, Carol Ohmart

Vincent Price is the man.  He is one of the great all-time suspense/horror actors also.  This film ranks up in one of his best horror films.  This is a devilishly delightful tale of intrigue and horror.  Unlike its 1999 remake, this film does not settle for cheap thrills but instead plays on the insecurities of the audience.  We are the ones that are placing our own value of horror on the events of the movie, because not one ghost, ghoul or long-legged beastie appears in the film.

The setup for the film is great where Price’s character has specifically invited certain people to a haunted house party and if they make it through the night then he will pay them 10,000 dollars each.  The absolute genius of the film is the nastiness and seething hatred that is apparent between Price and his wife.  The dialogue is ridiculously sharp and cutting between these lovers.  And, in the end, we find that the explanation for the night lies exactly where the film started, in the midst of a lover’s spat.  This is an exceptional example of an early horror movie that is smart and full of suspense and tension.

The Bat (1959) - dir. Crane Wilbur; starring Vincent Price, Agnes Moorehead
It is films like this that present the slasher in non-supernatural terms.  Where Michael Myers kept coming back from the dead, the Bat was mortal.  When the premise of this film is explained on the back, images of a shadowy figure who is never revealed by the camera comes to mind, not what actually appears in the film.  A man with a solid black mask over his face and gloves with sharp claws on the ends of the fingers in order to rip out the throats of his victims.  Truly a spark of genius on the part of the director to be able to show the villain, in full, without giving away his identity.  There are some truly well done scenes in the film, unfortunately the often hokey murder mystery story propping the film up plays like an elementary game of Clue.  Vincent Price is the most authentic character in the movie and that is simply because he is being himself: creepy! 
Overall, this is not a bad way to spend an hour and a half, but do not plan on being scared so much as entertained by the cheesiness of the acting and the occasional scene that does create a dark, sinister feeling.  A much more skilled director could have made the whole film dark, but, as was often the case with movies during this time, the comedic flair often won out.  The one distinguishing factor about this film compared to others during this time was the truly strong female characters who were not afraid of facing The Bat.  They had no use for running of the stairs only to get murdered as was often the case in the slasher genre. 
The Bat (1959) - dir. Crane Wilbur; starring Vincent Price, Agnes Moorehead
It is films like this that present the slasher in non-supernatural terms.  Where Michael Myers kept coming back from the dead, the Bat was mortal.  When the premise of this film is explained on the back, images of a shadowy figure who is never revealed by the camera comes to mind, not what actually appears in the film.  A man with a solid black mask over his face and gloves with sharp claws on the ends of the fingers in order to rip out the throats of his victims.  Truly a spark of genius on the part of the director to be able to show the villain, in full, without giving away his identity.  There are some truly well done scenes in the film, unfortunately the often hokey murder mystery story propping the film up plays like an elementary game of Clue.  Vincent Price is the most authentic character in the movie and that is simply because he is being himself: creepy! 
Overall, this is not a bad way to spend an hour and a half, but do not plan on being scared so much as entertained by the cheesiness of the acting and the occasional scene that does create a dark, sinister feeling.  A much more skilled director could have made the whole film dark, but, as was often the case with movies during this time, the comedic flair often won out.  The one distinguishing factor about this film compared to others during this time was the truly strong female characters who were not afraid of facing The Bat.  They had no use for running of the stairs only to get murdered as was often the case in the slasher genre. 
The Bat (1959) - dir. Crane Wilbur; starring Vincent Price, Agnes Moorehead
It is films like this that present the slasher in non-supernatural terms.  Where Michael Myers kept coming back from the dead, the Bat was mortal.  When the premise of this film is explained on the back, images of a shadowy figure who is never revealed by the camera comes to mind, not what actually appears in the film.  A man with a solid black mask over his face and gloves with sharp claws on the ends of the fingers in order to rip out the throats of his victims.  Truly a spark of genius on the part of the director to be able to show the villain, in full, without giving away his identity.  There are some truly well done scenes in the film, unfortunately the often hokey murder mystery story propping the film up plays like an elementary game of Clue.  Vincent Price is the most authentic character in the movie and that is simply because he is being himself: creepy! 
Overall, this is not a bad way to spend an hour and a half, but do not plan on being scared so much as entertained by the cheesiness of the acting and the occasional scene that does create a dark, sinister feeling.  A much more skilled director could have made the whole film dark, but, as was often the case with movies during this time, the comedic flair often won out.  The one distinguishing factor about this film compared to others during this time was the truly strong female characters who were not afraid of facing The Bat.  They had no use for running of the stairs only to get murdered as was often the case in the slasher genre. 

The Bat (1959) - dir. Crane Wilbur; starring Vincent Price, Agnes Moorehead

It is films like this that present the slasher in non-supernatural terms.  Where Michael Myers kept coming back from the dead, the Bat was mortal.  When the premise of this film is explained on the back, images of a shadowy figure who is never revealed by the camera comes to mind, not what actually appears in the film.  A man with a solid black mask over his face and gloves with sharp claws on the ends of the fingers in order to rip out the throats of his victims.  Truly a spark of genius on the part of the director to be able to show the villain, in full, without giving away his identity.  There are some truly well done scenes in the film, unfortunately the often hokey murder mystery story propping the film up plays like an elementary game of Clue.  Vincent Price is the most authentic character in the movie and that is simply because he is being himself: creepy! 

Overall, this is not a bad way to spend an hour and a half, but do not plan on being scared so much as entertained by the cheesiness of the acting and the occasional scene that does create a dark, sinister feeling.  A much more skilled director could have made the whole film dark, but, as was often the case with movies during this time, the comedic flair often won out.  The one distinguishing factor about this film compared to others during this time was the truly strong female characters who were not afraid of facing The Bat.  They had no use for running of the stairs only to get murdered as was often the case in the slasher genre. 

House on Haunted Hill (1959)
Vincent Price is the man.  He is one of the great all-time suspense/horror actors also.  I dare to say that this film may rank up in one of his best horror films as well.  This is a devilishly delightful tale of intrigue and horror.  Unlike its 1999 remake, this film does not settle for cheap thrills but instead plays on the insecurities of the audience.  We are the ones that are placing our own value of horror on the events of the movie, because not one ghost, ghoul or long-legged beastie appears in the film.
The setup for the film is great where Price’s character has specifically invited certain people to a haunted house party and if they make it through the night then he will pay them 10,000 dollars each.  The absolute genius of the film is the nastiness and seething hatred that is apparent between Price and his wife.  The dialogue is ridiculously sharp and cutting between these lovers.  And, in the end, we find that the explanation for the night lies exactly where the film started, in the midst of a lover’s spat.  This is an exceptional example of an early horror movie that is smart and full of suspense and tension.
House on Haunted Hill (1959)
Vincent Price is the man.  He is one of the great all-time suspense/horror actors also.  I dare to say that this film may rank up in one of his best horror films as well.  This is a devilishly delightful tale of intrigue and horror.  Unlike its 1999 remake, this film does not settle for cheap thrills but instead plays on the insecurities of the audience.  We are the ones that are placing our own value of horror on the events of the movie, because not one ghost, ghoul or long-legged beastie appears in the film.
The setup for the film is great where Price’s character has specifically invited certain people to a haunted house party and if they make it through the night then he will pay them 10,000 dollars each.  The absolute genius of the film is the nastiness and seething hatred that is apparent between Price and his wife.  The dialogue is ridiculously sharp and cutting between these lovers.  And, in the end, we find that the explanation for the night lies exactly where the film started, in the midst of a lover’s spat.  This is an exceptional example of an early horror movie that is smart and full of suspense and tension.
House on Haunted Hill (1959)
Vincent Price is the man.  He is one of the great all-time suspense/horror actors also.  I dare to say that this film may rank up in one of his best horror films as well.  This is a devilishly delightful tale of intrigue and horror.  Unlike its 1999 remake, this film does not settle for cheap thrills but instead plays on the insecurities of the audience.  We are the ones that are placing our own value of horror on the events of the movie, because not one ghost, ghoul or long-legged beastie appears in the film.
The setup for the film is great where Price’s character has specifically invited certain people to a haunted house party and if they make it through the night then he will pay them 10,000 dollars each.  The absolute genius of the film is the nastiness and seething hatred that is apparent between Price and his wife.  The dialogue is ridiculously sharp and cutting between these lovers.  And, in the end, we find that the explanation for the night lies exactly where the film started, in the midst of a lover’s spat.  This is an exceptional example of an early horror movie that is smart and full of suspense and tension.

House on Haunted Hill (1959)

Vincent Price is the man.  He is one of the great all-time suspense/horror actors also.  I dare to say that this film may rank up in one of his best horror films as well.  This is a devilishly delightful tale of intrigue and horror.  Unlike its 1999 remake, this film does not settle for cheap thrills but instead plays on the insecurities of the audience.  We are the ones that are placing our own value of horror on the events of the movie, because not one ghost, ghoul or long-legged beastie appears in the film.

The setup for the film is great where Price’s character has specifically invited certain people to a haunted house party and if they make it through the night then he will pay them 10,000 dollars each.  The absolute genius of the film is the nastiness and seething hatred that is apparent between Price and his wife.  The dialogue is ridiculously sharp and cutting between these lovers.  And, in the end, we find that the explanation for the night lies exactly where the film started, in the midst of a lover’s spat.  This is an exceptional example of an early horror movie that is smart and full of suspense and tension.