Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Haunted Spooks (1920)

A classic Harold Lloyd spoof from 1920, but with spooks!  This is considered to be the very first horror comedy even made (though I think that some of Méliés might actually qualify as earlier).  Still this is Harold Lloyd!!  Some even contend that not even Charlie Chaplin could touch his comedic genius.  Happy Halloween Eve!

Monday, October 29, 2012

A Theda Bara Tribute

I ran across this on the web and thought it would make a fitting Halloween post.  It is well done, and Bara has been a favorite of mine since childhood as well!

The Girl And His Trust (1912)

Doing a day of crime films over on my Scare Me site today for the Countdown, which is almost over (saaadd....), thought I'd post a crime melodrama from the king of melodrama himself:  D. W. Griffith.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

The Lost London After Midnight (1927)

This is truly a strange one.  The video below was, as it states, produced with a great deal of care by Turner Classic Movies (TCM).  This is listed by many as the most famous of lost films, but it definitely has it's rivals (I think if a copy of Theda Bara's Sin (aka Vamp) showed up, there would be a lot more rejoicing).  In the last 15 years, so many copies of films have been discovered that were thought well and truly lost for good, from the whole Richard III (1912) to extended footage from Metropolis; so it's not without hope that a copy of this might still exist, after all, it was lost in the 1960's, as opposed to most lost silents, which were lost in the 30's or earlier!  Starring Lon Chaney Sr. and directed by Tod Browning.  This is a real "Wierd" one for sure!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

The Student Of Prague (1913)

Regarded by many to be the very first full length horror film.  It is certainly one of the very earliest that has actually survived (for example, the original Der Golem, has not) 

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Silly Symphonies; Egyptian Melodies (1931)

Disney animation from the early 30's directed by Wilfred Jackson, who is responsible for two segments of Fantasia (1949), one of which is my favorite, Night On Bald Mountain.

Monday, October 22, 2012

The Penalty (1920)

Doing a rundown of Film Noir today on my other Blogspot Scare Me On Fridays today as part a Fright Month celebration, so I thought it would be cool to post a silent crime film here as well.  Lon Chaney Sr. may be best known for his role in iconic silent horror films, but he was just as convincing in other genre roles as well, such as the case here.  Here is plays the very creepy amputee gangster Blizzard; it is considered his breakout role.  The film was directed by Wallace Worsley, who would go on to direct Chaney in several of his most famous roles, including The Hunchback Of Notre Dame (1923).

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Spooks, Flip The Frog (1932)

Ub Iwerks cartoon from the early 30's after leaving Disney.  He was the original creator of the Skeleton Symphony for Disney, for which he got scant credit.  This is his personal furtherance of that project.  This is for my kid, who is having a whole day of Halloween stuff at his whim today....including going to see Frankenweenie in the theater!  So Happy Halloween to all the little ones out there, and happy animation!!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Der Golem (1920)

A remake of the a film now lost from 1915; it contains one of the great Jewish creatures of shadow and myth.  This creature also showed up in The X-Files.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Monday, October 15, 2012

Dreams Of A Rarebit Fiend: The Pet (1921)

If anyone has been on Google today, then you know that today celebrates the 107th anniversary of cartoonist Winsor McCay's famous Little Nemo In Slumberland; well here is another McCay gem for the Halloween season!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The Sealed Room (1909)

This has been described as the only horror short that D.W. Griffith made, or at least the only one that survives (I you take a look at his IMDb page, you see that he is credited with 535 titles as director and owed to some early Biograph Co. archives being lost, that number may well be light).  The fact that it is called a horror film at all is owed to the fact that the story comes from Poe's "A Cask of Amontillado," there are those, like those over at IMDb for example, that keep removing and then replacing the "horror" genre (yeah, I know that it's "user driven").  Whether you consider it a horror film or not, it certainly has a building creepiness to it.  To my knowledge, it is the only time Griffith directed a Poe project.  It is certainly among the very earliest films every based on Poe's work.  Please excuse the outsized embed. it is from the good folks over at Internet Archive, please check them out this pumpkin season, they have a lot of creepy stuff.  Happy Halloween!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

The Patchwork Girl Of Oz (1914)

This is a very early multi-reel movie.  Up until 1910 the one reeler ruled the movie world as 15 minutes or less.  At first this was simply the limit of the manufacturers and producers; later on multi-reel (mostly 2 reels) films were being produced by not widely marketed, largely because early film producers like Edison thought there was not market for longer film (this lack of insight was decried by many prominent employees, is the major reason Edison exited the film industry in 1918).  In less than five years, however, 5-reel films became the accepted and expected norm.  This is a very early, rather obscure Fantasy picture.  It owes a great deal to the early trick films, and doesn't represent any rear advances in editing for the time--it is pure whimsy.  Though this is not the first film depiction of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz book by L. Frank Baum, it is to my knowledge the first feature length film to do so, at a running time of 48 to near 70 minutes.  The really important fact here is that Baum himself adapted his book for the screenplay!  There are two surviving films produced by the Oz Manufacturing Company, which went out of business in 1915, under this title at the Library of Congress, this is the truncated version.  

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Dream Of A Rarebit Fiend (1906)

This is an Edwin S. Porter film produced for the Edison Studio.  It is based on the then famed cartoon by Winsor McCay, whose strip ran with bizarre dreams with no recurring characters...unless you count the Welsh Rarebit as a recurring character!!  (Welsh Rarebit is a kind of cheesy toast, sometimes called Welsh Rabbit).  This film was not produced in 1903, and couldn't have; McCay's strip didn't even begin until 1904. The film actually dates from 1906.  In early film cinema, that might as well be the same thing as comparing a film from 1980 to one of the early CGI 2000's.  I have election poll training tomorrow....I might just be feeling like this 24 hours from now... Happy Election Season!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

The Ghost Train (1903)

This is a "real life trick photo film" that was produced by the American Mutoscope & Biograph Co., the filmmakers working for them who shot this were neither never "credited" or those names were lost to history long before the 1920's.  The was made with a simple reverse negative process to turn an "actualities film" into something spooky.  By some standards it represents an example of American avant-garde in early cinema.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

La Manoir du Diable (1896)

This is largely considered to the very first horror film, and, of course, it was made by the trickester himself:  George Melies!  I love the bat.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

The Haunted House (1908)

If this looks like a Meliésé film...it's not.  It is a film by early Spanish "trick" film maker Segundo de Chomon, who, though is was influenced by Meliésé, was actually innovative in the field of set design all on his own.  And, to give him credit, he was much more narrative in his films than was Meliésé.  Happy Halloween!!

Monday, October 1, 2012

The Haunted House (1929)

Welcome to the first post for the Countdown To Halloween here on Wierdness!  Please take some time to check out other bloggers on the Countdown by clicking the icons to the left!  Happy Spooks!!