…and so we reach the final movement of this year’s danse macabre.
It was a bit skeletal as far as content went, but my real purpose was to see if I still had it in me to stick to a daily schedule, even if only for a month. I apparently do, though I have no idea what I’ll do with this knowledge.
For now, I’m going to kick back and enjoy today’s dark celebration.
Though the role was silent and didn’t offer much in the way of facial expression, Christopher Lee’s turn as the bandage-clad revenant in Hammer’s The Mummy is an all-time favorite of mine. Lee’s lean but towering frame combined with skilled physical acting to perfectly portray the shambling menace of an undead powerhouse.
And those eyes! Dear lord, those eyes — capable of expressing the depths of rage, sorrow, and pain despite an otherwise silent and still visage. I can see why Lee wanted to get away from this type of plodding monster role, but I’m glad he took this one on.
While love the entire pantheon of old school fight flick archetypes, I have a particular soft spot for the Invisible Man.
Perhaps it’s because he’s more sci-fi than horror, a tragic example of science gone wrong that prefigured so many of the characters which inhabited the superhero comics I read as a kid.
Or maybe I just dig the stylishly creepy aesthetics of his signature combo of full-face bandages and dark glasses.
In any case, the concept always made for an interesting on-screen spectacle combining the celluloid wizardry of the process shot with an assortment of wire-based practical effects that were old hat back when Euripides was a tyke.
Even the absurd bits — where a supposedly naked individual somehow leaves boot tracks, or fight sequences and the requisite unwrapping scenes which suggest that the transparent terror has six-foot-long arms — are endearing to me as part of the overall package.
Whether played as a tragic figure, comedic foil, see-through superspy, or Ben Murphy sporting a bedazzled denim jacket, I’ll always make time to watch some Invisible Man or Woman strut their stuff.
Poor misbegotten creature. He only crawled out of his lair to catch a Guided By Voices show and maybe hit up that new barcade down the block for some craft brews and Ms. Pac-Man.
Little did he realize that he would be attacked by a mob who thought Monster was the best R.E.M. album, and did not care that he had seen the band perform at State Theatre in Kalamazoo — with The Three O’Clock as openers — on the Fables of the Reconstruction tour.
His last thoughts were of his collection of antique bowler hats, and regretted he had not worn the crimson one with the white satin band more often.
Gosh, I hate when I’m forced to spend the night in an old dark house and a decorative skull (which just happens to be in the room) falls on top of a small animal (which also just happens to be in the room), which then proceeds to strut and squawk around where only I can see it, thus making my roommates doubt my sanity until the creature indulges in a dramatic outburst and we all shout “A G-G-G-G-GHOST!” and get jammed up trying to squeeze through the door at once.
The Legend of Hell House was a lurid, trashy rehash of The Haunting aimed at the jaded audiences of the early Seventies, but its sense of dread-heavy atmosphere is a thing of hair-raising wonder. That’s the reason why it has become a spooky season staple for me, despite the foreknowledge that I will be rolling my eyes when the final act comes around.