Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Halloween 2012


Below are all the Halloween treats for 2012. I hope you enjoyed some of them.


Blood suckers of Connecticut

H. P. Lovecraft treat..."The Alchemist" 

BE AFRAID...the Vampire Squid

H. G. Wells treat..."The Star"

Animation land Halloween cartoons  

Witch Hazel 

The mirror
 
Kwaidan..four ghost stories 
 
Edgar A. Poe treat..."A Tale of the Ragged Mountains"

Giants

Mark Twain treat..."A Ghost Story"

The Devil and Maciste..."Maciste all'inferno"

"Daughter of Horror"...a remarkable cult film 
 
Two historical cinematic Halloween offerings

Yes Virginia, there is a village named "Frankenstein" in America 

Bram Stoker treat..."Dracula's Guest"

Schrödinger's cat achieves revenge 

"The Hands of Orlac"...Austrian Expressionist cinema

H. H. Munro treat..."The She-Wolf"
 
Physics taking the fun out of Halloween cinema?

Halloween lithograph postcards from the past

   
Not just for Halloween, but works good--"face painting"

A disappearing Halloween tradition..."bobbing for apples" 

Honoré de Balzac treat..."The Elixer of Life"

Guy de Maupassant treat..."On the River" 

Meet Zé do Caixão [Coffin Joe] from Brazil's first horror film..."At Midnight I'll Take Your Soul"

Mary Henry and the living dead..."Carnival of Souls"

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle treat..."When The World Screamed" 
 
Corman/Coppola horror film..."Dementia 13" 

 
Castle and Price for the classic horror film "House on Haunted Hill"


92 years later, it is still a strong [horror] film..."The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari"

"Nosferatu"...the first and best

From the inanimate to the animate..."The Golem"

"Frankenstein"...1910 version

Some early dinosaurs..."The Lost World"


A fun place to visit on Halloween 


Halloween costumes...they do change over time 


And now we can think of the big November event...

 

Monday, October 29, 2012

Halloween costumes...they do change over time






In times past the above would have been sufficient, but things change.



 You can dress-up as Tim Burton’s Alice Kinglsey wearing this sexy costume inspired by the original dress from designer Colleen Atwood. The Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland costume includes a dress, headband and petticoat. The baby blue Alice dress features mesh lace short sleeves with an antique Victorian-era lace neckline trimmed in black ribbon. This sexy Alice costume is a flirty version of the dress worn by Mia Wasikowska on the 2010 Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland. The included black petticoat gives you added frills and more body to the skirt. The included blue headband with black bow is worn in the hair giving you classic character appeal. Time to follow that white rabbit down the whole to Underland so you can discover your heroic and empowered side in sexy style.

"The Dead Have Something to Tell You"

by

Bess Lovejoy

October 27th, 2012

The New York Times

ONCE, we commemorated the dead, left out offerings to feed them and lamps to guide them home. These days, Halloween has drifted far from its roots in pagan and Catholic festivals, and the spirits we appease are no longer those of the dead: needy ghosts have been replaced by costumed children demanding treats.

Over the last century, as Europeans and North Americans began sequestering the dying and dead away from everyday life, our society has been pushing death to the margins. We tune in to television shows about serial killers, but real bodies are hidden from view, edited out of news coverage, secreted behind hospital curtains. The result, as Michael Lesy wrote in his 1987 book “The Forbidden Zone,” is that when death does occur, “it reverberates like a handclap in an empty auditorium.”

It wasn’t always this way. Death once occurred at home, with friends and family gathered around. Local women were responsible for washing the body and sewing the shroud. People sometimes slept in the same room as corpses, because there was nowhere else to go. In the Middle Ages, cemeteries often acted as the public square: you didn’t just walk on the graves, you ate, drank, traded and sometimes even sang and danced on top of them.

You can see this familiarity with death in the ways people have historically treated famous dead bodies. Alexander the Great’s mummy was one of the most revered objects in the ancient world, and a stop at his tomb provided a political boost to Roman emperors (Augustus supposedly went as far as kissing the corpse, though it’s said he knocked off Alexander’s nose in the process). Soon afterward, early Christians began building the first churches over the tombs of martyrs, and venerating their body parts — fingers and toes, tongues and eyeballs — as miracle-producing sacred relics. A letter from around A.D. 156 describes the bones of St. Polycarp as “more valuable than precious stones and finer than refined gold.”

The veneration of relics is a well-known religious practice, but the tradition also influenced the treatment of secular saints like Galileo and Descartes, whose bones were seen as symbols of their genius. When Galileo was exhumed in 1737 in Florence, Italy, for transfer to a more lavish tomb, several fingers, a tooth and a vertebra were plucked from his skeleton to be kept as relics. When Descartes was exhumed in Sweden in 1666 for reburial in France, a guard stole his skull, and the French ambassador pocketed his right index finger. During the French Revolution, a conservator reported that he’d carved some of Descartes’ bones into rings, which he distributed to “friends of the good philosophy.”

The idea of turning the dead into jewelry wouldn’t have seemed strange to the Victorians, who often wore rings, lockets and other adornments made from the hair of dead loved ones. The Romantics were particularly serious about these things, and Mary Shelley went so far as to keep Percy Shelley’s heart — plucked from his beachfront funeral pyre — in her desk drawer until she died. In her defense, keeping a heart as a relic wasn’t entirely uncommon: Voltaire’s heart is still kept at the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris, while Chopin’s is preserved in alcohol at Warsaw’s Church of the Holy Cross.

Hearts and hair weren’t the only bodily remnants once kept around the house. After the author and statesman Thomas More was beheaded in 1535, his devoted daughter Margaret rescued his boiled-and-tarred head from its pike on London Bridge, preserved it with spices, and later asked to be buried with it in her arms. And the widow of the writer and adventurer Sir Walter Raleigh kept his embalmed head in a case after he was executed in 1618.

Today these stories strike us as macabre; they display an intimacy with death that seems downright unhealthy. But taken as signs of their times, it’s possible that they actually show a healthier relationship with death than the one we have now. Despite the (frequently commendable) advances that have removed death as a constant presence in our lives, it remains inevitable, and many of us are ill prepared when it comes.

The erasure of death also allows us to imagine that our mortal trivialities and anxieties are permanent, while a consistent awareness of death — for those who can stomach it — can help us live in the here and now, and teach us to treasure what we already have. In fact, a study by University of Missouri researchers released this spring found that contemplating mortality can encourage altruism and helpfulness, among other positive traits.

This idea probably would have seemed stranger half a century ago than it does now. While death is still largely absent from our lives, we’re starting to be a little more comfortable talking about it. Since the mid-1950s, a growing body of academic literature has sprung up around death, dying and grief. Cultural products that deal with corpses — everything from Mary Roach’s best-selling book “Stiff” to the Internet video series “Ask a Mortician” — are becoming more popular. “Death cafes,” in which people come together over tea and cake to discuss mortality, have begun in Britain and are spreading to the United States, alongside other death-themed conferences and festivals (yes, festivals).

Of particular note, the hospice movement has taken death back from an exclusively medical setting, and more Americans are now dying at home, frequently among their families. (According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 19 percent of Americans aged 85 and older died at home in 2007, compared to 12 percent in 1989.)

It’s never easy to confront mortality, but perhaps this year, while distributing the candy and admiring the costumes of the neighborhood kids, it’s worth returning to some of the origins of Halloween by sparing a thought for those who have gone before. As our ancestors knew, it’s possible that being reminded of their deaths will add meaning to our lives.



Rest in Pieces: The Curious Fates of Famous Corpses

by

Bess Lovejoy

ISBN-10: 1451654987
ISBN-13: 978-1451654981

Monsters Versus Sexy Nurses

In her essay in The Times, the author Bess Lovejoy argues that ignoring death “allows us to imagine that our mortal trivialities and anxieties are permanent.” Some of those trivialities and anxieties can be found in our cheeky Halloween costumes, which increasingly seem to be about showing taut and toned skin, rather than it decomposing.

Are we replacing zombie looks with sexy maid and witty high-concept constructs to avoid reminders of death? Or is it time to forget the otherworldly origins of Halloween and just have fun?

"Zombie Confessions: I Was a Sexy Nurse"

by

Erin Earley

October 28th, 2012

The New York Times

Halloween is my favorite holiday of the year, hands down. I’d trade the next 20 Christmases for a single Halloween: I'd pick death bells over jingle bells; and if a ghoul and a reindeer were in a fight, I’d root for the ghoul, even though I am a vegan.

As a tribute to my deep love for this glorious day, I spend October planning the Thriller NYC dance group for the Greenwich Village Halloween Parade. Together with my choreographer, Carolyn Kelly, we coach 150 people not just how to dance, but how to be dead, rotting and scary. We firmly believe that Halloween is a sacred day and should be honored with the evil of the Thriller.

It is painfully clear that there is a cultural divide when it comes to Halloween costumes.

Oddly enough, every year our spot in the parade is right behind a car full of naked girls whose costumes are simply painted onto their skin. My zombies grumble about this odd juxtaposition and have chided how those aren’t real costumes -- they also comment on, ahem, other things that may not be real. It is painfully clear that there is a cultural divide when it comes to Halloween costumes. One will either honor the day with the macabre, as my zombies would argue is how the holiday is supposed to be celebrated, or one will don a pair of hot pants and high heels and make up an identity to go with the outfit.

But, I have to confess, I’m writing as someone who has dabbled in both the ugly and less respected “sexy” worlds. Having just gotten married in September, a zombie bride was the natural choice for this year. I was a zombie flapper in 2011 and just your regular run-of-the-cemetery zombie in 2010.

But, in 2009, I was a sexy cop and a sexy nurse in 2008 -- and a sexy anything else for all the preceding years. Does that make me lose my Halloween cred? I don’t think so.
Zombies at the Thriller Dance in New York City, 2011.Wavelight Photography Zombies at the Thriller Dance in New York City, 2011.

Although my zombies may snuff at those in fishnets who aren’t bloodied and oozing, one thing I know is this: whatever your aesthetic, Halloween is simply a celebration. The magic of Halloween is escaping from your everyday world and living in a fantasy land, wherever that may be. For 364 days of the year, we are expected to fulfill our everyday duties, show up to work in proper attire, and adhere to dress codes in bars and restaurants.

But on Oct. 31, all bets are off. You can wear whatever you want and be whoever you please.

And so, there are those of us who decide to be dead, and there are those of us who want to bring sexy back. And what’s worse? At the end of the day who cares. Because one thing I’m sure of is this -- the zombie and the nurse would agree that what’s worse are those who dress up as nothing at all.


[Erin Earley is the organizer of Thriller NYC, a performance featuring 150 zombie dancers that is part of the Village Halloween Parade.]


Costumes on the cheap...

video

video



Previous Halloween treats...

Blood suckers of Connecticut

H. P. Lovecraft treat..."The Alchemist" 

BE AFRAID...the Vampire Squid

H. G. Wells treat..."The Star"

Animation land Halloween cartoons  

Witch Hazel 

The mirror
 
Kwaidan..four ghost stories 
 
Edgar A. Poe treat..."A Tale of the Ragged Mountains"

Giants

Mark Twain treat..."A Ghost Story"

The Devil and Maciste..."Maciste all'inferno"

"Daughter of Horror"...a remarkable cult film 
 
Two historical cinematic Halloween offerings

Yes Virginia, there is a village named "Frankenstein" in America 

Bram Stoker treat..."Dracula's Guest"

Schrödinger's cat achieves revenge 

"The Hands of Orlac"...Austrian Expressionist cinema

H. H. Munro treat..."The She-Wolf"
 
Physics taking the fun out of Halloween cinema?

Halloween lithograph postcards from the past

   
Not just for Halloween, but works good--"face painting"

A disappearing Halloween tradition..."bobbing for apples" 

Honoré de Balzac treat..."The Elixer of Life"

Guy de Maupassant treat..."On the River" 

Meet Zé do Caixão [Coffin Joe] from Brazil's first horror film..."At Midnight I'll Take Your Soul"

Mary Henry and the living dead..."Carnival of Souls"

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle treat..."When The World Screamed" 
 
Corman/Coppola horror film..."Dementia 13" 

 
Castle and Price for the classic horror film "House on Haunted Hill"


92 years later, it is still a strong [horror] film..."The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari"

"Nosferatu"...the first and best


From the inanimate to the animate..."The Golem"

"Frankenstein"...1910 version

Some early dinosaurs..."The Lost World"


A fun place to visit on Halloween

A fun place to visit on Halloween


"Exploring the history of catacombs"

by

Suemedha Sood

October 26th, 2012

BBC TRAVEL

Beneath the city streets that travellers walk on each day, dark labyrinths of underground catacombs are passageways to the past, to a time when the ghostly tunnels served as burial grounds for millions of people.

The catacombs of Rome, which date back to the 1st Century and were among the first ever built, were constructed as underground tombs, first by Jewish communities and then by Christian communities. There are only six known Jewish catacombs and around 40 or more Christian catacombs.

In Ancient Rome, it was not permitted for bodies to be buried within the city walls. So while pagans cremated their dead, Christians, who were not legally allowed to practice their religion, turned to underground cemeteries, built beneath land owned by the city’s few rich Christian families. The Jewish population was already implementing this practice when Christians began doing so around the 2nd Century.

The use of catacombs in Rome expanded during the 2nd and 3rd Centuries, as the illegal religion of Christianity grew in popularity. Some areas of the tunnels even became shrines for martyrs buried there. But after Christianity was legalized in 313 AD, funerals moved above ground, and by the 5th Century, the use of catacombs as grave sites dwindled, though they were still revered as sacred sites where pilgrims would come to worship.

The Rome catacombs then fell victim to pillaging by Germanic invaders around the early 9th Century. As a result, relics of Christian martyrs and saints were moved from the catacombs to churches in the city centre. Eventually, the underground burial tunnels were abandoned altogether – only to be rediscovered via excavations in the 1600s.

Today, travellers from all over the world visit Rome to explore its 600km network of catacombs, spread out over five storeys underground near the Park of the Tombs of Via Latina. Dedicated to Christian saints, they are adorned with some of the earliest Christian artwork in the world, dating back to the 2nd Century, featuring paintings on the tunnel walls that depict ancient life. Sacred catacombs open to the public include the Catacombs of Priscilla (Via Salaria, 430), the Catacombs of St Callixtus (Via Appia Antica, 110-126) and the Catacombs of St Agnes (Via Nomentana, 349). The Vatican provides details on how to visit these and other holy burial sites. A few Jewish catacombs, including the catacombs on the Vigna Randanini and those in the Villa Torlonia, are also open to the public -- though some by appointment. 

Centuries later in Paris, catacombs emerged as a creative and discreet solution to a dire public health problem. In the late 1700s, mass graves in the Les Halles district, such as those in the now closed Saints Innocents Cemetery, were overcrowded with improperly disposed of bodies , creating unsanitary conditions that led to the spread of disease. Saint Innocents was shut down, and in 1786 the Paris police moved all the remains buried in the cemetery to an underground network of ancient limestone quarries – the now infamous Catacombs of Paris, located south of the former city gate near Place Denfert-Rochereau.

The eerie tunnels -- a significant portion of which is open to the public as a museum -- took on other uses over the course of history. During World War II, for instance, some sections became hideouts for French Resistance fighters, while other areas were converted by German soldiers into bunkers. Today, Paris’s nearly 300km of catacombs lie 30m under the ground’s surface and still house the remains of around six million people.

The world’s longest network of underground tunnels, extending more than 2,400km, can be found in Odessa, Ukraine, where the catacombs were formed around the 1830s as a result of limestone mining. As in Paris, the tunnels were used as bunkers and hideouts by soldiers during World War II, and a portion of the catacombs is open to the public via the Museum of Partisan Glory.

The catacombs of Malta are designated as a World Heritage Site for their role in Paleochristian history. Carved from the rock underneath the city of Rabat, likely beginning around the 3rd Century, the tunnels show how rural family burials took place among Christian, Jewish and Pagan communities. The complex network of passageways provided graves for 1,000 people and extended over about 5,700sqkm. Heritage Malta provides information on visiting St Paul’s Catacombs located near St Paul’s Church and Grotto.

In Alexandria, Egypt, the Catacombs of Kom el-Shoqafa were originally built for just one rich family around the 2nd Century, but eventually housed more 300 mummies. Open to the public, the three-story tomb about 30m under the ground, features elaborate carvings illustrating scenes from Egyptian mythology, including one relief depicting the jackal-headed god, Anubis.



 

Previous Halloween treats...

Blood suckers of Connecticut

H. P. Lovecraft treat..."The Alchemist" 

BE AFRAID...the Vampire Squid

H. G. Wells treat..."The Star"

Animation land Halloween cartoons  

Witch Hazel 

The mirror
 
Kwaidan..four ghost stories 
 
Edgar A. Poe treat..."A Tale of the Ragged Mountains"

Giants

Mark Twain treat..."A Ghost Story"

The Devil and Maciste..."Maciste all'inferno"

"Daughter of Horror"...a remarkable cult film 
 
Two historical cinematic Halloween offerings

Yes Virginia, there is a village named "Frankenstein" in America 

Bram Stoker treat..."Dracula's Guest"

Schrödinger's cat achieves revenge 

"The Hands of Orlac"...Austrian Expressionist cinema

H. H. Munro treat..."The She-Wolf"
 
Physics taking the fun out of Halloween cinema?

Halloween lithograph postcards from the past

   
Not just for Halloween, but works good--"face painting"

A disappearing Halloween tradition..."bobbing for apples" 

Honoré de Balzac treat..."The Elixer of Life"

Guy de Maupassant treat..."On the River" 

Meet Zé do Caixão [Coffin Joe] from Brazil's first horror film..."At Midnight I'll Take Your Soul"

Mary Henry and the living dead..."Carnival of Souls"

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle treat..."When The World Screamed" 
 
Corman/Coppola horror film..."Dementia 13" 

 
Castle and Price for the classic horror film "House on Haunted Hill"


92 years later, it is still a strong [horror] film..."The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari"
 

"Nosferatu"...the first and best

  From the inanimate to the animate..."The Golem"

"Frankenstein"...1910 version


Some early dinosaurs..."The Lost World"

Penguin Books and Random House Books merge



Someday there will be just one book publisher. Will this merger bring a change in name...Penguin House, Random Penguin, Penguin/Random House Books?

"Random House and Penguin merge to take on retailers"

by

Kate Holton

October 29th, 2012

Reuters

Britain's Pearson (PSON.L) and Germany's Bertelsmann are to merge their publishers Penguin and Random House, aiming to gain the upper hand in their relationship with Amazon and Apple, the leaders in the ebook revolution.

Education and media publisher Pearson said on Monday the joint venture - which will bring under one roof fantasy novelist Terry Pratchett, "Fifty Shades of Grey" author EL James and 2012 Nobel prize winner Mo Yan - would be named Penguin Random House.

Confirmation of a deal came after months of Pearson board discussions and despite an informal approach from Rupert Murdoch's News Corp (NWSA.O), which was interested in combining Penguin with its own Harper Collins publishing unit, a person familiar with the situation said.

"The consumer publishing industry is going through a period of tumultuous change, propelled by digital technologies and the giant companies that dominate them," Pearson Chief Executive Marjorie Scardino said in an email to staff.

"The book publishing industry today is remarkable for being composed of a few large, and a lot of relatively small companies, and there probably isn't room for them all - they're going to have to get together."

Under the plans, Bertelsmann will own 53 percent of the venture and nominate five directors to the board, while Pearson would own the rest and nominate four. Both must retain their share in the venture for at least three years.

Penguin chairman and CEO John Makinson will be chairman of the new venture, and Random House CEO Markus Dohle will be its chief executive.

Analysts said they would have preferred a bid from a group such as News Corp, which would have brought cash into the company and enabled Pearson to quit a market that has been hit by the rapid growth of the ebook and the control it has given to major distributors such as Amazon (AMZN.O), Apple APPL.O and Google (GOOG.O).

Pearson, however, said the merger would provide significant synergies and the opportunity to spend more on the new technologies transforming the industry.

"Together, the two publishers will be able to share a large part of their costs, to invest more for their author and reader constituencies and to be more adventurous in trying new models in this exciting, fast-moving world of digital books and digital readers," Scardino said.

The two groups said they would save money on joint warehousing, distribution, printing and central functions. They gave no details but UBS estimated possible savings of 10 percent of their combined cost base.

A joint venture will also allow Pearson to retain a link between its education division and the world-renowned Penguin brand. It also avoids a large tax bill in the United States which would have been incurred had Penguin Books been sold.

"We can see why Pearson has chosen this option, but there may be some disappointment there is no outright sale, and especially with the lock-in of the stake," Liberum said.

MAJOR CHANGE

In the first nine months of 2012, Random House was the biggest book publisher in the two major English language markets of the United States. and Britain. It was buoyed by the huge success of the "Fifty Shades" trilogy of novels, which sold more than 30 million copies between March and June, evenly divided between the trade paperback and ebook editions. Penguin was second in the U.S. and third in Britain, behind Hachette.

Mike Shatzkin, founder and CEO of book research consulting firm Ideal Logical, said a tie up would make the joint venture by far the biggest player in the market.

"This is about negotiating power," Shatzkin said. "Random House and Penguin will have so many of the most important books, it's hard to see how any retailers can live without them."

Under the agreement, Pearson said it could sell its stake to Bertelsmann after three years, but if Bertelsmann declined to buy, the joint venture could raise debt to pay both sides a dividend. Either side could require a stock market flotation after five years.

Pearson will include its 47 percent share of the joint venture's profit after tax as an associate in its consolidated statement. While the 47/53 ratio is favorable to Pearson, given the size of the two publishers, the joint venture excludes Bertelsmann's German trade publishing business.

Shares in Pearson were flat at 1,222 pence at 1550 GMT, in line with the broader London market.

On October 3 Scardino said she would step down at the end of 2012 after 16 years, prompting analysts to wonder if the group would sell off its last remaining media assets and focus on its dominant education arm.

Many, however, had focused on whether Pearson would sell the FT Group, which publishes the Financial Times newspaper.

"Basically what people are really hoping for is (clarity) with the FT because that's the family silver and that would show they really have changed. I think they're seeing how it goes. One thing at a time," a top 50 Pearson shareholder said.

Bertelsmann, Europe's biggest media group and owner of European TV broadcaster RTL Group AUDK.LU, is also in the middle of an overhaul to catch up with rapidly changing markets.

Random House is strong in Britain and the United States, while Penguin - founded in 1935 by publisher Allen Lane, who decided the mass market needed cheap paperbacks after finding nothing to read at a railway station - is the world's most famous publishing brand, with a strong presence in fast-growing developing markets.

Both groups have had to invest in the launch of ebooks. They made up 22 percent of Random House's global business in the first half of 2012, compared with around 20 percent for Penguin.

Analysts say regulators will want to look at the tie-up. In 2011, Random House had revenues of 1.5 billion pounds ($2.4 billion) and operating profit of 161 million. Penguin reported revenues of 1 billion pounds and operating profit of 111 million.

Pearson also published a trading update, showing sales up 5 percent in the first nine months but operating profit down 5 percent, reflecting the sale of assets, acquisition costs and weakness in the British professional training market.


Penguin Books

Random House


A Penguin @ 75

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Some early dinosaurs..."The Lost World"



Wikipedia...

The Lost World is a 1925 silent adventure film and an adaptation of Arthur Conan Doyle's 1912 novel of the same name. The movie was produced by First National Pictures, a large Hollywood studio at the time, and stars Wallace Beery as Professor Challenger. This version was directed by Harry O. Hoyt and featured pioneering stop motion special effects by Willis O'Brien (an invaluable warm up for his work on the original King Kong directed by Merian C. Cooper and Ernest B. Schoedsack). Writer Doyle appears in a frontspiece to the film. In 1998, the film was deemed "culturally, historically or aesthetically significant" by the Library of Congress and selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry.

Plot

From a lost expedition to a plateau in Venezuela, Paula White brings the journal of her father explorer Maple White to the eccentric Professor Challenger in London. The journal features sketches of dinosaurs which is enough proof for Challenger to publicly announce that dinosaurs still walk the earth. Met with ridicule at an academic meeting at the Zoological Hall, Challenger reluctantly accepts a newspaper's offer to finance a mission to rescue Maple White. Professor Challenger, Paula White, sportsman Sir John Roxton, news reporter Edward Malone (who is a friend of Roxton and wishes to go on the expedition to impress his fiancée), a sceptical professor Summerlee, an Indian servant Zambo, and Challenger's butler Austin leave for the plateau.

At their campsite at the base of the plateau, the explorers are shocked when a large rock falls, sent their way by an ape-man perched on top of an overhead ledge. As the crew look up to see their attacker, Challenger spies overhead a Pteranodon (mistakenly calling it a Pterodactyl) which sighting proves that the statements in Maple White's diary are true. Leaving Zambo and Austin at the camp, they cross a chasm onto the plateau by cutting down a tree and using it as a bridge, but it is knocked over by an Apatosaurus, leaving them trapped.

The explorers witness various life-and-death struggles between the prehistoric beasts of the plateau. An Allosaurus attacks an Anatotitan, and knocks it into a bog. The Allosaurus then attacks, and is driven off by a Triceratops. Eventually, the Allosaurus makes its way to the campsite and attacks the exploration party. It is finally driven off by Ed who tosses a torch into its mouth. Convinced that the camp isn't safe, Ed climbs a tree to look for a new location, but is attacked by the ape-man. Roxton succeeds in shooting the ape-man, but the creature is merely wounded and escapes before he can finish him off. Meanwhile, an Agathaumas is attacked by a Tyrannosaurus, and gores it to death. Suddenly, another Tyrannosaurus attacks and kills the Agathaumas, along with an unfortunate Pteranodon.

The explorers then make preparations to live on the plateau potentially indefinitely. A catapult is constructed and during a search for Maple White, Roxton finds his remains, confirming his death. It is at this time that Ed confesses his love for Paula and the two are unofficially wed by Summerlee who used to be a minister.

Shortly afterwards, as the paleontologists are observing a Brontosaurus, an Allosaurus attacks it and the Brontosaurus falls off the edge of the plateau, becoming trapped in a mud bank at the base of the plateau. Soon afterwards, a volcano erupts causing a mass stampede among the giant beasts of the lost world. The crew is saved when Paula's pet monkey Jocko climbs up the plateau carrying a rope. The crew use the rope to pull up a rope ladder constructed by Zambo and Austin and then climb down.

As Ed makes his descent, he is again attacked by the ape-man who pulls the rope ladder. The ape-man is again shot and finally killed by Roxton. They discover the Brontosaurus that had been pushed off the plateau had landed softly in the mud of the river, trapped but still alive, and Challenger manages to bring it back to London, as he wants to put it on display as proof of his story.

However, while being unloaded from the ship it escapes and causes havoc until it reaches Tower Bridge, where its massive weight causes a collapse, and it swims down the River Thames. Challenger is morose as the creature leaves. Ed discovers that the love he left in London has married in his absence, allowing him and Paula to be together. Roxton morosely but gallantly hides his love for Paula as Paula and Ed leave together, while two passersby note: "That's Sir John Roxton--sportsman."

 

Interesting accumulation of dinosaurs...

Prehistoric Creatures...

Agathaumas (as based on a hypothetical restoration by Charles R. Knight, seen in battle with Tyrannosaurus).

Allosaurus (main carnivorous dinosaur seen, attacking Trachodon, Triceratops and Brontosaurus among others).

Brachiosaurus (seen during the volcanic eruption, one of which was attacked by an Allosaurus).

Brontosaurus (The main antagonist. After falling into a bog at the conclusion of a fight with an Allosaurus, one is captured and taken to civilization, where it escapes and terrorizes the city).

Pteranodon (the first prehistoric animal seen by the team of explorers).

Stegosaurus (escaped the volcanic eruption with many other animals).

Trachodon (is preyed upon by the Allosaurus).

Triceratops (seen in large herds, and shown to be capable of handling an Allosaurus in battle).

Tyrannosaurus (is seen to have little trouble bringing down Agathaumas, as well as having a taste for any Pteranodon that swoops in too close).

Toxodon (a young one was seen being eaten by the Pteranodon).


IMDb reviewer, José Luis Rivera Mendoza, wrote...

More than 80 years after its release, the first adaptation of "The Lost World" remains as one of the most influential silent films ever, due to Willis O'Brien pioneer advances in the field of special effects, as it showcases the first time stop motion animation was used to create creatures on a feature length film. These innovation was of huge importance for this and future films, and earned Willis O'Brien and his dinosaurs a place in history as an iconic image in film history, only surpassed by another of O'Brien's creations: King Kong.

Based on Arthur Conan Doyle's novel of the same name, "The Lost World" is the tale of Prof. Challenger's (Wallace Beery) epic quest looking for the living dinosaurs who supposedly live in the deep Amazonic jungle, according to the journal of his fellow explorer Maple White, who disappeared in his last exploration. Maple's daughter, Paula (Bessie Love) joins the expedition looking for her missing father, as well as Sir John Roxton (Lewis Stone), an experienced hunter friend of Challenger. Prof. Summerlee (Arthur Hoyt) goes as well, hoping to prove that Challenger is a fraud, and finally, reporter Edward Malone (Lloyd Hughes) joins the expedition, hoping to prove his girlfriend Gladys (Alma Bennet) that he is brave enough to face death.

Cleverly adapted by Broadway playwright Marion Fairfax (who also adapted in 1922 another of Conan Doyle's works, "Sherlock Holmes"), the film is an excellent mix of action and adventure that even when it's not entirely faithful to the novel, keeps the spirit of wonder and fascination with the unknown. From the obsessive Challenger to the incredulous Summerlee, every character is very detailed and for the most part well constructed, giving each one of them a defined personality and a certain degree depth absent in many silent films.

However, the film's best remembered characteristic is the incredible special effects by Willis O'Brien, who after mastering his craft in short films got his first work in "The Lost World" and changed special effects forever. His imagery is very vivid, and very detailed considering the limited resources he had. Sadly, Harry O. Hoyt's direction takes zero advantage of Fairfax's story and O'Brien's effects, and delivers a simplistic and unoriginal work that adds nothing to the whole work and seems to let the cast and crew do their job. It's not a bad direction as a whole, but it feels uninterested on the many possibilities a film like this posses.

The cast is quite effective, and really does a great job with what they have, starting with legendary Wallace Beery, who as Prof. Challenger delivers one of the best performances in a silent film. Without the aid of sound, Beery shows a wide range of emotions in his complex character and is great in both drama and comedy. Lloyd Hughes is very good as the cowardly Malone, and showcases a talent for comedy as well as a romantic figure, as his character shows interest in Paula White, played by Bessie Love, who makes a fine counterpart to Hughes and delivers a natural, and fresh performance. Lewis Stone completes the cast and his dignified performance as Sir John Roxton is very effective.

It's safe to say that "The Lost World" owes more to O'Brien and Fairfax than to O'Hoyt, and that probably with a more experienced director the film would had been even better. However, the film's real problem has nothing to do with the way it was made, but with the way it was preserved during most of its history. Nowadays there is not a complete version of the movie, most home video versions are of the 64 minutes version, while one (Image) is of a 93 minutes reconstruction. And while probably that version is the closest we can be to the original runtime of the film, it sadly has modernized the dialogs, to the point that some lines are rewritten to fit our modern standards.

Hopefully, one day we'll be able to see "The Lost World" as it was intended to be, but meanwhile, we can still appreciate the enormous importance of its amazing special effects, and how it forecasts films like "Jurassic Park" in many ways. This epic tale of action, adventure and horror has probably not seen a better adaptation than this, the movie that set everything for the arrival of King Kong and changed special effects for ever. 



The Lost World

1925



Previous Halloween treats...

Blood suckers of Connecticut

H. P. Lovecraft treat..."The Alchemist" 

BE AFRAID...the Vampire Squid

H. G. Wells treat..."The Star"

Animation land Halloween cartoons  

Witch Hazel 

The mirror
 
Kwaidan..four ghost stories 
 
Edgar A. Poe treat..."A Tale of the Ragged Mountains"

Giants

Mark Twain treat..."A Ghost Story"

The Devil and Maciste..."Maciste all'inferno"

"Daughter of Horror"...a remarkable cult film 
 
Two historical cinematic Halloween offerings

Yes Virginia, there is a village named "Frankenstein" in America 

Bram Stoker treat..."Dracula's Guest"

Schrödinger's cat achieves revenge 

"The Hands of Orlac"...Austrian Expressionist cinema

H. H. Munro treat..."The She-Wolf"
 
Physics taking the fun out of Halloween cinema?

Halloween lithograph postcards from the past

   
Not just for Halloween, but works good--"face painting"

A disappearing Halloween tradition..."bobbing for apples" 

Honoré de Balzac treat..."The Elixer of Life"

Guy de Maupassant treat..."On the River" 

Meet Zé do Caixão [Coffin Joe] from Brazil's first horror film..."At Midnight I'll Take Your Soul"

Mary Henry and the living dead..."Carnival of Souls"

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle treat..."When The World Screamed" 
 
Corman/Coppola horror film..."Dementia 13" 

 
Castle and Price for the classic horror film "House on Haunted Hill"


92 years later, it is still a strong [horror] film..."The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari"
 

"Nosferatu"...the first and best

 
From the inanimate to the animate..."The Golem"

"Frankenstein"...1910 version

"Frankenstein"...1910 version



Wikipedia...

Frankenstein is a 1910 film made by Edison Studios that was written and directed by J. Searle Dawley.

It was the first motion picture adaptation of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. The unbilled cast included Augustus Phillips as Dr. Frankenstein, Charles Ogle as the Monster, and Mary Fuller as the doctor's fiancée.


Rediscovery and preservation

For many years, this film was believed to be a lost film. In 1963, a plot description (reprinted above) and stills were discovered published in the March 15, 1910 issue of an old Edison film catalog, The Edison Kinetogram.

In the early 1950s a print of this film was purchased by a Wisconsin film collector, Alois F. Dettlaff, from his mother-in-law, who also collected films. He did not realize its rarity until many years later. Its existence was first revealed in the mid-1970s. Although somewhat deteriorated, the film was in viewable condition, complete with titles and tints as seen in 1910. Dettlaff had a 35 mm preservation copy made in the late 1970s.



From The Edison Kinetogram catalog...

Frankenstein, a young student, is seen bidding his sweetheart and father goodbye, as he is leaving home to enter a college in order to study the sciences. Shortly after his arrival at college he becomes absorbed in the mysteries of life and death to the extent of forgetting practically everything else.


The Monster

His great ambition is to create a human being, and finally one night his dream is realized. He is convinced that he has found a way to create a most perfect human being that the world has ever seen. We see his experiment commence and the development of it in a vat of chemicals from a skeletal being. To Frankenstein's horror, instead of creating a marvel of physical beauty and grace, there is unfolded before his eyes and before the audience an awful, ghastly, abhorrent monster. As he realizes what he has done Frankenstein rushes from the room as the monster moves through the doors Frankenstein has placed before the vat. The misshapen monster peers at Frankenstein through the curtains of his bed. He falls fainting to the floor, where he is found by his servant, who revives him.
Charles Stanton Ogle played the Monster.

After a few weeks' illness, he returns home, a broken, weary man, but under the loving care of father and sweetheart he regains his health and strength and begins to take a less morbid view of life. The film's story emphasizes that the creation of the monster was possible only because Frankenstein had allowed his normal mind to be overcome by evil and unnatural thoughts. His marriage is soon to take place. But one evening, while sitting in his library, he chances to glance in the mirror before him and sees the reflection of the monster which has just opened the door of his room. All the terror of the past comes over him and, fearing lest his sweetheart should learn the truth, he bids the monster conceal himself behind the curtain while he hurriedly induces his sweetheart, who then comes in, to stay only a moment. The monster, who is following his creator with the devotion of a dog, is insanely jealous of anyone else. He snatches from Frankenstein's coat the rose which his sweetheart has given him, and in the struggle throws Frankenstein to the floor, here the monster looks up and for the first time confronts his own reflection in the mirror. Appalled and horrified at his own image he flees in terror from the room. Not being able, however to live apart from his creator, he again comes to the house on the wedding night and, searching for the cause of his jealousy, goes into the bride's room. Frankenstein coming into the main room hears a shriek of terror, which is followed a moment after by his bride rushing in and falling in a faint at his feet. The monster then enters and after overpowering Frankenstein's feeble efforts by a slight exercise of his gigantic strength leaves the house.

When Frankenstein's love for his bride shall have attained full strength and freedom from impurity it will have such an effect upon his mind that the monster cannot exist. The monster, broken down by his unsuccessful attempts to be with his creator, enters the room, stands before a large mirror and holds out his arms entreatingly. Gradually, the real monster fades away, leaving only the image in the mirror. A moment later Frankenstein himself enters. As he stands directly before the mirror he sees the image of the monster reflected instead of his own. Gradually, however, under the effect of love and his better nature, the monster's image fades and Frankenstein sees himself in his young manhood in the mirror. His bride joins him, and the film ends with their embrace, Frankenstein's mind now being relieved of the awful horror and weight it has been laboring under for so long.


From And You Call Yourself a Scientist [September 9th, 2007]...

"FRANKENSTEIN (1910)"

Director:  James Searle Dawley

Starring:  Augustus Phillips, Charles Ogle, Mary Fuller

Screenplay:  James Searle Dawley, based upon the novel by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley

Synopsis:
  Victor Frankenstein (Augustus Phillips), a young student, departs his home for college, leaving behind his fiancée, Elizabeth (Mary Fuller). After two years of study, Frankenstein discovers the secret of life. He writes to Elizabeth, telling her his dream of creating a perfect human being, and promising that, once he has succeeded, he will return home and marry her. In his laboratory, Frankenstein throws a number of mysterious compounds into a huge cauldron. He then closes two metal doors, sealing the cauldron within an alcove. Through a window in one of the doors, Frankenstein looks on in triumph as something begins to take shape.... But what emerges from the alcove is far from Frankenstein’s “perfect human being”. As his creation stalks towards him, the scientist backs away in horror, then faints. The Creature (Charles Ogle) is hovering in confusion over the prostrate Frankenstein when the scientist’s servant approaches; it flees unseen. Regaining consciousness, Frankenstein looks around in terror, but there is no sign of his creation.... Frankenstein returns home, joyfully reuniting with Elizabeth; but his happiness is short-lived: the Creature appears, berating him violently. Hearing Elizabeth, Frankenstein implores the Creature to hide behind a curtain. It complies, and the scientist manages to send his fiancée out of the room without her seeing the lurking Creature, who watches Elizabeth intently. When she has gone, the Creature attacks Frankenstein in a jealous rage, only to recoil in disgust and misery as it catches sight of its own reflection in the mirror....

Comments:  Almost as old as cinema itself is cinematic science fiction. Although, unlike the man who would soon become their main professional rival, Georges Méliès, the pioneering Lumière brothers dealt predominantly in filmed realities, they also recognised the possibilities that lay in camera trickery; and sitting alongside their documentary short films of 1895 is to be found Charcuterie Méchanique, or The Mechanical Butcher, a gruesomely humorous piece in which a pig is pushed into one end of a certain apparatus, with various pre-packaged pork products emerging from the other. This one minute piece of footage represents a defining moment in the history of film. Over the following fifteen years, countless similar short films would be produced in France, in Great Britain and in the United States; and although most of these were comic in tone, there was an uneasy quality to the laughter. Right from the beginning, the motion picture camera was used to express society’s equal fascination with, and ambivalence about, advances in medicine, science and technology. During this period, the introduction of automation in factories, and the perceived loss of human control, was a clear cause of apprehension, and a version of the Lumières’ mechanised meat-processor would make an appearance in films made in both England and America, each one touched with the particular concerns of their country of origin. Thus, in Making Sausages, released by the George A. Smith Company, everything up to and including old boots is fed indiscriminately into the machine; while the Biograph Company produced The Sausage Machine, in which live dogs are forced into one end of the processor, and out of the other comes – what else? – hot dogs. (A few years later, the Edison Company would come up with Dog Factory, an animal-friendly variant on this grisly theme, in which customers could have a string of sausages fed into a machine, and end up with a live dog of their breed of choice!) Many films dealt with polar exploration and the potential applications of electricity, and a number featured automata (not “robots”; the term hadn’t been invented yet); some display a startling prescience with regard to such things as flight, both earthbound and celestial – and, for that matter, about the possibility of wars being fought and decided in the air – and high-speed travel. The recently discovered phenomenon of X-rays and advances in surgical technique were also popular subjects, while the controversy that raged over the theory of evolution made itself felt in works such as The Doctor’s Experiment, in which an ape-derived serum makes men behave like monkeys, and The Monkey Man, which features cinema’s pioneer human-ape brain transplant. What is very noticeable, even at this embryonic stage of science fiction on screen, is how often in these films something goes horribly wrong – although in this respect, the French seem to have been rather more optimistic about technological advancements than either the English or the Americans. And given the peculiar obsessions of this website, we cannot close this look back in time without highlighting a certain release from the Biograph Company: 1910’s A Jersey Skeeter. This satire of New Jersey’s notorious infestation problem features a cider-sipping farmer being harassed and then carried off by an enormous mosquito – the screen’s very first giant insect.

But without question the most significant science fiction work of this era was the Edison Company’s 1910 production of Frankenstein. The discovery in 1963, not of the film itself, but a copy of the 15th March 1910 issue of “The Edison Kinetogram” advertising the release of this seminal production sent shockwaves through the cinematic world. Innumerable hunts for an existing print were instigated, but in vain. In 1980, the film was placed upon the American Film Institute’s list of “The Top 10 Culturally And Historically Significant Lost Films”, a depressing honour to say the least. At the same time, the picture of actor Charles Ogle as “the monster”, wild-eyed and threatening, continued to be widely reproduced, tantalising and tormenting movie lovers in equal measure, as Frankenstein began to be mourned right alongside London After Midnight.

But miracles do occasionally happen, and one did here; for there was one print in existence. In the 1950s, it had come by convoluted pathways into the possession of Wisconsin collector and archivist Alois F. Detlaff. The copy had been originally the possession of Mrs Detlaff’s grandmother, and had passed through at least three sets of hands before returning to Mr Detlaff who, finding that the print was deteriorating, put it into storage and refrained from screening it. During the seventies, short clips found their way into a British documentary, but without any acknowledgement of their source; and for a time this effects of this slight looked like keeping Frankenstein from the general public in perpetuity. At length, however, Mr Detlaff was persuaded to participate in the desperately needed preservation of his most precious print. The film’s first public screening in over eight decades took place in October of 1993; the production of a DVD version for commercial release followed another decade later.

With a running-time of only fourteen minutes, Frankenstein is necessarily a much pared-down version of Mary Shelley’s novel; yet what remains is a brisk and efficient compression of the novel’s main points. The film opens with Victor Frankenstein departing for college, leaving behind his fiancée, Elizabeth. A title card then informs us casually that, Two years later, Frankenstein had discovered the mystery of life. Frankenstein writes of his wondrous discovery to Elizabeth, announcing his intention of creating “a perfect human being”, after which he will return home and marry her. In this we have, surely, one of the most historic moments in the development of the science fiction film: the first, although by no means the last utterance of famous last words. And without any further ado, we plunge directly into the creation scene.

It is fair, I think, to say that this is sequence by which any version of Frankenstein will, perhaps must, be judged. Mary Shelley herself may have fudged the issue, but most adaptors of this tale have felt themselves compelled at least to try to flesh out the implications of her text. Perhaps the greatest surprise and pleasure of this film is just how well its creation scene stacks up against those of its better known successors – and not just visually. Although the Victor Frankenstein of the novel obtains his raw materials from “the charnel-house and....the unhallowed damps of the grave”, as Shelley unforgettably puts it, about the bringing to life itself there is, behind the abstruseness of the language, a clear inference less of science than of alchemy. Here, in a laboratory decorated by a scattering of skulls, and with a fully articulated skeleton sitting companionably in a nearby chair, this Victor Frankenstein throws his ingredients into a mixing bowl and stirs them with a spoon, before emptying the result into an enormous cauldron and tossing is a few other odds and ends. (This portion of the film features a generous employment of Whooshing Powder©.) Frankenstein then seals the cauldron behind metal doors and leaves his mixture to “cook”. Thematically, this depiction of the creation of Frankenstein’s “perfect human being” is probably closer to Shelley than any version filmed subsequently.

Through a window in the metal doors, Frankenstein looks on, first in triumph and excitement, then in mounting horror, as his creation takes shape. To depict this, director-writer James Searle Dawley resorted to a scheme equally simple and clever: building a monster substitute, complete with internal skeleton, burning it, filming the burning, and running the footage backward. The result is remarkably effective, with the formation of the Creature’s head being particularly eerie. The overall effect is only spoilt by some amateurish articulation of the Creature’s arms. Although there is no evidence that James Whale ever saw this version of Frankenstein, and although the first two cinematic renderings have very little else in common, it is significant that both immeasurably heighten the impact of the disclosure of their Creature by delaying it. Here, a misshapen hand reaches out from behind the metal doors, and Frankenstein retreats in horror to his bedroom, fainting across his bed. (Our Victor faints more in these fourteen minutes than many later heroines would in ninety.) Then comes the great moment, our first clear look at the Creature, as it lunges through the curtains of the bed to hover over the unconscious Frankenstein. As with the series of shots that stunned movie-goers in 1931, this revelation must have launched the audiences of 1910 from their seats.

Yet with our perspective of very nearly one hundred years, we can see a difference here between the attitude of this Creature and that of its descendants. As it leans over Frankenstein, we see only confusion and concern; certainly no threat. Frankenstein revives, sees the Creature, and faints again – twice. At the sound of footsteps, the Creature flees, and Frankenstein’s servant begins the task of bringing his master around. The scientist looks around apprehensively, but sees no evidence of his handiwork; and, still shaky, returns home to be reunited with Elizabeth.

And it is here that this version of Frankenstein parts company with both the novel and any other cinematic version of the story. That they were taking a big risk in filming this tale at all, the executives of the Edison Company were only too well aware, as the notes in that long-lost copy of “The Kinetogram” make abundantly clear. “The Edison Company has carefully tried to eliminate all the actually repulsive situations and to concentrate its endeavors upon the mystic and psychological problems to be found in this weird tale,” runs the text, adding still more comfortingly, “We have carefully omitted anything which by any possibility could shock any portion of an audience.” To an extent this is true. Certainly the film contains no murders, or executions, or grave-robbings; nor is the issue of Frankenstein’s hubris and his usurpation of God’s privilege in any way debated. Instead, a title tells us baldly, The evil in Frankenstein’s mind creates a monster. From the beginning, the Creature is designated as “evil”, simply “evil”; not because of anything that it has done or will do – except for frightening Elizabeth into a faint and angrily snatching a flower from Frankenstein, this Creature is completely inoffensive – but because it was made by man and not by God. When Frankenstein returns home, the Creature inevitably follows. What follows just begs for misinterpretation. From all we know of this story, we are almost certain to read the confrontation between Frankenstein and the Creature, and the latter’s angry gesticulation in the direction of Elizabeth, as a demand for the creation of a mate. It isn’t: as the Kinetogram notes explain, the Creature is jealous of Elizabeth; in its opinion, Frankenstein belongs to it. And as we will learn, in an unexpected way it is quite right. This altercation ends with the Creature fleeing again, and Frankenstein proceeds to marry Elizabeth. (No version of the story has succeeded in making this credible.) The Creature reappears on the wedding night, terrorising both bride and bridegroom, before retreating to the drawing-room to gaze at itself in the mirror. It then simply vanishes – but its reflection doesn’t. Frankenstein enters and also looks at himself in the mirror – and sees the Creature reflected back at him....

While the Creature’s murderous stalking of Frankenstein in the novel holds intimations of the legend of the Doppelgänger, this climax to the film feels more like Stevenson than Shelley. As the titles make clear, it is Frankenstein’s love for Elizabeth that banishes the Creature, which becomes in these scenes the embodiment of the scientist’s baser nature. The Creature’s willingness to hide itself from Elizabeth, even as it rages jealously against her, indicates Frankenstein’s attempts to hide his darker side from the woman he loves. In this context, the creation sequence becomes, so to speak, Frankenstein’s bucks' night, his last lapse into sinfulness before the triumph of a pure love and its sanctification in marriage. Thus, even as Frankenstein stares in horror at his own capacity for evil, it fades away; and the film concludes as man and wife embrace. And if this happy ending seems an unlikely conclusion to the story of Frankenstein, it at least has the merit of feeling far less tacked on than the one that closes the 1931 version.

Charles Ogle’s “monster” is of course the centrepiece of Frankenstein. This ragged, shambling entity, with unkempt hair and claw-like hands that look forward to Nosferatu, is an oddly effective creation – not least because Ogle, responsible for his own make-up, did as Jack Pierce would later do for Karloff, and left his own expressive features visible. Augustus Phillips is adequate as Frankenstein (despite being, in what would come to be a grand horror movie tradition, at least fifteen years too old for his role), but shows a tendency towards what I am tempted to call silent film acting. It’s an unjust generalisation, but it conveys what I mean: Phillips’ habit of making a sweeping gesture with his arms whenever he enters a scene is disconcertingly reminiscent of the “actors” who give lessons to Prince George in the “Sense And Senility” episode of Blackadder. Mary Fuller is more natural as Elizabeth, but her screen time is very limited. Technically, Frankenstein is an example of the kind of static, single-shot film-making still common at the time. This style – or lack of style – seems to have been typical of the films of James Searle Dawley; curiously, since the early portion of his career was spent under the supervision of Edwin S. Porter, the pioneering director who helped introduce such concepts as close-ups, panning, cross-cutting and editing within scenes. One point of exception is the use of the mirror, which opens up the action within the frame, allowing, as it were, a third person to be present in a two-person scene; while the implications of the constant framing and re-framing of Frankenstein and the Creature are both fairly sophisticated, and psychologically acute.

That I am in any position today to make these observations, positive and negative, on this version of Frankenstein is an astonishing thing. The plain fact is, the film was not a success. Whether, in spite of all the producers’ efforts, the public found it too horrible or frightening, or even too offensive, or whether they were confused by its subject matter, is unclear. Then, too, although some critics gave the production a positive review, others were quick to denounce the film as blasphemous, and on these grounds many areas banned it altogether. The irony here is that Thomas Edison himself had been amongst the first to agitate for a lifting of “the moral tone” of films, and even played a part in the establishment of America’s first censorship board. In any event, Frankenstein was pulled from circulation; and while many productions of that era would be re-released during the following years, this one never saw light again. Of course, only a miniscule fraction of the countless thousands of films produced during the first decades of cinema survives today. Heartbreakingly, it was the custom of the time to destroy films that were “done with”; stripping them for their silver content was a common practice. Others were put into storage, and simply rotted away over time. The Edison Company also suffered a warehouse fire in 1914, and many of its films not purposely destroyed were lost anyway. By 1918, Edison had closed down his studio, and what could not be sold was just thrown away. When we consider the existence of Frankenstein in light of all these facts, “miracle” begins to look like too small a word.


Frankenstein

1910


 

Previous Halloween treats...

Blood suckers of Connecticut

H. P. Lovecraft treat..."The Alchemist" 

BE AFRAID...the Vampire Squid

H. G. Wells treat..."The Star"

Animation land Halloween cartoons  

Witch Hazel 

The mirror
 
Kwaidan..four ghost stories 
 
Edgar A. Poe treat..."A Tale of the Ragged Mountains"

Giants

Mark Twain treat..."A Ghost Story"

The Devil and Maciste..."Maciste all'inferno"

"Daughter of Horror"...a remarkable cult film 
 
Two historical cinematic Halloween offerings

Yes Virginia, there is a village named "Frankenstein" in America 

Bram Stoker treat..."Dracula's Guest"

Schrödinger's cat achieves revenge 

"The Hands of Orlac"...Austrian Expressionist cinema

H. H. Munro treat..."The She-Wolf"
 
Physics taking the fun out of Halloween cinema?

Halloween lithograph postcards from the past

   
Not just for Halloween, but works good--"face painting"

A disappearing Halloween tradition..."bobbing for apples" 

Honoré de Balzac treat..."The Elixer of Life"

Guy de Maupassant treat..."On the River" 

Meet Zé do Caixão [Coffin Joe] from Brazil's first horror film..."At Midnight I'll Take Your Soul"

Mary Henry and the living dead..."Carnival of Souls"

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle treat..."When The World Screamed" 
 
Corman/Coppola horror film..."Dementia 13" 

 
Castle and Price for the classic horror film "House on Haunted Hill"


92 years later, it is still a strong [horror] film..."The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari"
 

"Nosferatu"...the first and best


From the inanimate to the animate..."The Golem"