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Ahab

The Evolution of Horror Movies

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Making new threads is not usually my thing... But here we go.
@SirMang I shall post my reply to your post in the patch thread here... then we can stay on topic both here and there. But this is a bit weird without the original posts on the topic.
@Slasher_Clone, @DontZzz34, @Gottaevil you all had some interesting points there about this... so if any of you are interested in continuing that conversation, we can do so here without cluttering up the patch thread.

   To continue with a reply to SirMang's post...  Peeping Tom was released two months before Psycho. Psycho would have been completed filming and would have been in post production at the time of Peeping Tom's release... So it is doubtful it had any influence on Psycho at all... at least as far as anything in the movie itself was concerned. But the reaction to that movie and how it did at the box office were most definitely a huge influence on how Psycho was promoted... and may have had a some influence on it from the editor's perspective.

    Off camera kills were done for a reason back then... people just couldn't handle something that horrifying at the time. Frankenstein (1931) for instance was not very graphic at all compared to later movies... But people were feinting in the theaters. It also had the first child murdered in a movie that I am aware of... off screen of course. Today, we are somewhat desensitized to the blood and gore in movies. Off camera kills were often done by showing the struggle as they moved the camera to focus on the combatant's shadows... not everything was left up to imagination... but they could not show the violence on that level first hand at the time.

   Argento was awesome... and without him, Dawn of the Dead would not have been made at all... or at least not for many years to come.
   The evolution of music in movies is very strange at some points... Silent movies were nothing but music... and the first year or two of "talkies" had nothing more than a bit of music for the opening credits and sometimes... for the end titles... and that was it. It feels weird watching movies like Dracula (1931) which was released before Frankenstein and had no soundtrack beyond its overture. Music adds more to a movie than most people realize. 

   I will come back and write a post about earlier horror movies and their influence on movies that followed them some time later if there is interest... This thread could point out some older movies that some may not have heard of that they may find of interest if the conversation continues.

 

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Thanks for the inclusion, and I’d love to talk about more early slashers or horror in general. On with the discussion....

Dawn is an interesting movie but I find more can be said about Night of the living dead, it’s not as gory and Dawn definitely influenced future film makers but I think Night’s still socially relevant today which Dawn struggles with. It’s funny that Night kicked off the zombie craze but doesn’t actually contain any zombies, the dead in Night are actually Ghouls (which are middle eastern monsters of non human origin but work as well as ex-humans). 

Night casting a black man as a white working class hero is most comparable to Ripley being written as a man but played by a woman, Ripley is the most badass final girl of all time, I can’t help but think this is related to her dialog being left untouched and Sigourney Weaver  playing it in such a straight and genuine fashion. It effects the overall feel when a switch like this is preformed, but modern movies mostly fail to get why it worked in earlier films. 

I love all the old zombie movies almost as much as classic slashers, glad you started a thread man.

 

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Thanks for the inclusion as well on this thread. It’ll be a interesting discussion. While I don’t know a whole lot about psycho or peeping Tom. I can’t say much about those movies..... I’m going to have to give them a watch sometime though! 

I remember we were discussing what truly kicked off slasher films, Friday the 13th and Halloween. Which I think is accurate. They seem to be the most popular of slashers. I think we all know Friday the 13th got their inspiration from Halloween. I wonder where Halloween got their inspiration from? Also where Texas chainsaw massacre got their inspiration? There’s definitely a pattern that started from somewhere that led to one movie to another

 

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The fascination with horror movies over the years has definitely evolved from being tense from the atmosphere created to simply being outright shocked. The originals like Dracula,  Frankenstein,  etc were basically entering uncharted territory and set the stage for the later efforts.  We can thank Hitchcock for understanding the effect of suspense over gore, and I'm grateful Carpenter was influenced by his examples. I do enjoy the old black and white movies simply because those are the ancestors to what we enjoy today. The Hammer films were another great series with knew how to raise the hairs on your neck.  After Halloween and Friday the 13th, the horror movies were all shock and jump at you types, and they most certainly have their place in theaters. With the advanced special effects available today,  it was only inevitable that the shock movies would more commonly use them. The originals used what they had at the time and they did well.  I notice a recent trend in movies that have returned to the formula of suspense and atmosphere over gory effects,  and I'm grateful for that. People like to be scared,  and both types serve that need quite well.  Also, Texas Chainsaw was influenced by Ed Geins story, which is another point. Today's movies have more history to use as source material, so the story lines can be more diverse and original.  The zombie craze was indeed started by Night of the Living Dead,  and I think it was far superior to the sequels that relied on gory zombie munching than plot and suspense. I hope I didn't bore you with this.  Cheers and game on, my friends 

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I should also point out that the case file of Ed Geins was also the inspiration for Psycho and influenced Silence of the Lambs. The film about him starred Kane Hodder,  who looks nothing like Ed but portrayed him perfectly. 

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On ‎8‎/‎15‎/‎2019 at 7:24 PM, Slasher_Clone said:

I love all the old zombie movies almost as much as classic slashers, glad you started a thread man.

   I keep forgetting to come back to this thread.
   You always seemed to have an interest in the zombie movies... But "White Zombie" I think was really the first zombie movie... Voodoo zombies though... no zombie plague here, that came later... "The Last Man on Earth" with Vincent price was the first movie made from the book "I am Legend" and featured "vampires" caused by a virus... both the virus and the vampires it created decimated humanity... but in this movie, which came before "Night of the Living Dead", you can see where George Romero took much of his inspiration from... The book was a bit more like the Will Smith movie, but it could not have been made in that way at the time.
    While "Night of the Living Dead" was a great movie for something with such a low budget, this was not an original concept... It is just the one that kicked off the "zombie" genre really. The black and white film helped the effects look more realistic than they were... and gave it the feeling of a classic movie at the time it was made. Its story also had the same type of feel as a Twilight Zone episode... Which is another reason it was a great movie... The 1996 remake was pretty good too... Tom Savini directed that one... But the twist on the ending was not quite as effective in my opinion... Never change a great story, even if people know the ending... Romeo and Juliet tells you the end right at the beginning of the story... and for some reason, it has endured for centuries.
     Not many lead roles went to black actor back then, and this movie pulled it off very well... making it look like it was normal for a black man to take charge over white people in a time that it wasn't. I cannot remember the actor's name, but he did an awesome job. Black... White... or whatever... who cares. The person in charge should always be the most qualified, in this movie, he was black... but at the time, people did not like this... Those people were stupid... very, very stupid.

     Dawn of the dead took things to another level with the special effects... Tom Savini is a genius with practical effects. When I first saw this movie... I knew that the guy who did the effects had seen people torn apart before... No one who hadn't seen such violence could reproduce it so accurately... Then I found out he was a photographer in the Vietnam war... and everything made sense. The way he did his effects inspired many others to do it in a similar fashion.

     Ripley was awesome... Sigourney is a great actress in my opinion. She is probably the first female hero in the movies... and was the first "final girl" that I can think of right now. But she was not the first strong female protagonist... Red Sonja may actually hold that title, but she did not get a movie until the 80's and it was kind of a dud. Several other character from the old Conan books like Valeria may have come before her though, and were strong female characters in their own rights... But Sonja was the first female who could handle herself in a fight that took the spotlight in her own stories that I know of. Without these early characters to inspire later writers... our beloved slasher movies may have ended VERY differently... Movies are not the only thing that can give inspiration to movie makers... There is a massive pool of literature to pull from too. But before these female characters in literature, the only definition of a strong female was a woman that could speak back to her husband.
     Modern movies lost why these pioneers made it work so well because they are using their medium to push their own political views... This ruins everything about these movies. Politics need to remain in the background if it is present in a story at all... unless it is specifically about politics. 
     It worked in the older movies because differing views were not forced in our face. Ripley for instance did not consider herself better than any of her crewmates... and neither was she portrayed that way, or viewed in that way by her crewmates. Our final girls in the slasher movies were just "the girl next door", not some all powerful... I am better than you just because... fucktards like in todays movies. And when the Alien showed up in the very first viewing of "Alien"... who would have thought Ripley would be the last one alive?... It surprised me as I did not know the ending on my first viewing and it was VERY unexpected... and a welcome change from the norm.... Same thing with Friday the 13th.... The first time I saw it, I had no idea how it would end... Alice being the "final girl" was a surprise... and a welcome surprise at that... Adrienne King rocks.

     Just a bit more to add to that... Ripley... and our beloved final girls were relatable characters... They were no different that the women you have known through your life and I have known through my life... Just normal people... that happened to be female... and put into a dangerous situation... yet still managing to be the sole survivor against all odds. They had flaws, they were not perfect... nor stronger than the average woman or the men that hung around them... Just normal human females... Relatable characters that were no better than anyone around them placed in bad situations. When we can relate to them, we "feel" for them... If you cannot relate to a character, or feel anything for them... then you do not care what happens to them.
     Women are capable of the same stuff as men... some men are bigger and strong than most women... but I have known some pretty strong women too that would give many tough guys a run for their money... One redhead in particular that I have known for most of my life, can throw a harder punch than a man more than twice her size... I know this through first hand experience... and we are still friends.
     Today, the whole... "white men are toxic" crap is just making the world less fun to be in. I have news for the rest of the world, there is a lot more than white men who are toxic... and not even close to all white men are toxic... That is a racist statement if I ever heard one... change the "white" to anything but white... and see what that group has to say... These things DO work both ways... But this has led to female characters that are "superior" to everyone around them that is not female... This takes the relatable part away, let alone any believability... Lose these two things and the character is complete garbage, and the movie can go in the trash with it.

     Sorry... started to ramble a bit there.... I will come back to this thread again as soon as I can. There is always more to say about this topic... when I remember to get back to it anyway.

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