Posted tagged ‘Frankenstein’

“The farther we’ve gotten from the magic and mystery of our past, the more we’ve come to need Halloween.”

October 22, 2017

My back is pure misery. I grab things so I can move from room to room. I keep wishing for a Star Trek doctor with his medical tricorder to knock at the door and with one button take the pain away. I guess I’ll just have to keep wishing.

We are again blessed with a warm, sunny day. The house is even cooler than outside. The blue sky is striking. I figure I’ll make my way to the deck in a bit to enjoy the day.

When I was a kid, we always carved pumpkins. I loved to pull out what we always called the pumpkin guts. Every year the pumpkins looked the same when we were done. They had triangle eyes and a triangle nose and a wide grin with a few teeth up and down. The pumpkins went on the front steps. We’d put in real candles and light them. The wind was always blowing them out, but we’d keep lighting them. There is something magical about lit pumpkins grinning in the darkness.

We loved being afraid, not actually afraid but afraid of scary stories we knew weren’t real. My dad told great stories. We all know the hook. I swear it is a universal story. Small parts of it change, but the hook is always on the car door.

I remember walking on the sidewalks and seeing my shadow. It looked tall and eerie this time of year. Add the sound of my footsteps, and I’d keep an eye out to make sure I wasn’t being followed. I never was, but my imagination worked overtime. Ghosts flew.

I still love the old black and white horror movies. They were always on this time of year. When Dracula hid his face with his cape, we knew, without seeing it, that he was about to bite some poor victim. Renfield was one of my favorite characters. He’d do his master’s bidding and eat flies to keep up his strength. Bela Lugosi had the best voice. Frankenstein wasn’t as scary as Dracula. The doctor’s creation never really had a chance. One of my favorite scenes is when the villagers carrying torches and pitchforks follow their dogs to where the monster is. I always felt bad for Larry Talbot who turns into the Wolfman. His fate was decided by Bela, the Gypsy. I still love these movies. Lots of blood and slashers do nothing for me.

I am resting my back today, not that I need an excuse to be a sloth.

“Look! It’s moving. It’s alive. It’s alive… It’s alive, it’s moving, it’s alive, it’s alive, it’s alive, it’s alive, IT’S ALIVE!”

October 2, 2014

The rain started Tuesday and continued throughout Wednesday until well into the night. The dog’s outside water bowl was filled with rainwater. We’re talking inches of rain here. The ground is still soaked. With the rain came cooler temperatures. It is only 57˚ and with the dampness it feels even colder. The wind has picked up and the trees are being blown. More rain is predicted for later.

I’d vote for October as my favorite month. The weather is lovely, fall flowers are in bloom, pumpkins adorn front steps and fill wagons at farm stands, leaves are in such an array of colors even the most boring road is ablaze in yellows and reds and the best of all is that October finishes on its very last day with Halloween. Christmas has Santa and elves and flying reindeer, but I love even more the witches and ghosts and monsters of Halloween. There are no scary Santa movies except maybe Santa Claus Conquers the Martians which is frightfully bad. Nope, hands down, Halloween has the best scary movies. I love them all especially the classics. I’m not talking blood and gore movies. I want to be scared by subtlety. We never see Dracula bite into Mina’s neck. He uses his cloak to hide it, but we know what’s going on. Our imaginations fill in the void. One of my all time favorite movie scenes is in Frankenstein. It is when the villagers hunt the monster. They are sent off to, “…search every ravine, every crevice. The fiend must be found.” The black and white of the movie enhances the scary scene. Wide-eyed women huddle and hide. The dogs who lead the pack of crazed villagers are barking and pulling at their leashes. The men wend their way down a hill their torches bright in the darkness. Their garbled shouts echo in the night. We sense their fear. It touches us and scares us. That’s the best part of Halloween.

“Look! It’s moving. It’s alive. It’s alive… It’s alive, it’s moving, it’s alive, it’s alive, it’s alive, it’s alive, IT’S ALIVE!”

October 12, 2010

Today is dark and rainy. It’s a stay in sort of day. I’m thinking old black and white science fiction movies might be perfect to while away the day. I already know the plot. Strange creatures will attack, some terrestrial, some extraterrestrial. Our heroine will run away screaming. She’ll be wearing a dress and high heels, and she’ll fall. Heroines always do. Our hero will grab her just in time, just before the creature does. He’ll save her and he’ll save the day.

Every Halloween I pull out the old horror movies, the monsters of my childhood, Dracula, Frankenstein, the Wolfman and the Mummy. They didn’t need to be in color or have gore. They scared me anyway.

I’ll never forget the eyes of Dracula in his guise as the count. They looked huge and frightening shining in the light. Even though I never saw Dracula bite his victims, I knew what was happening when he pulled his cape around them. What I imagined was always scarier than what was real. Renfield with his hysterical laughter and his flies and spiders was almost as fascinating as the count, maybe because he had once been just an ordinary person.

I always felt bad for the Wolf Man. I thought of the character as poor Larry Talbot. I never liked that Gypsy woman who tells Larry he’s a werewolf. She was almost scarier than the wolf. It was the eyes again.

I have favorite scenes in Frankenstein. One is when he is awakened by the electricity, when the current goes up and down the coil and the lightening strikes. The scene with the little girl is another. The mob running through the village holding torches and leading dogs to hunt down the monster is my all time favorite scene.

The Mummy is not so scary, but I love it anyway especially the scenes where Im-ho-tep walks with his arms out straight and his wrappings dragging as he hunts for his beloved.

When I was little, I knew the movies weren’t real, but I still had a nagging doubt and always hoped it wouldn’t be a werewolf attacking us. We’d never find a silver bullet.