Sunday, October 23, 2011

Preserving the Thing

About a week or so ago I received an email by one of my Twitter buddies concerning The Thing prequel. Apparently the comment he wanted to leave on my review was too long, thus forcing him to email me it instead. He commented on why he doesn’t want to see the prequel and why the prequel might ruin the magic and mysteriousness of the Carpenter movie. While I liked the prequel and while it doesn’t ruin the magic for me, I thought this was a very interesting piece that I could not help but share.

I'm actually quite surprised you liked this at all, based on reading your review and knowing your love for the '82 film. I would say the ''82 film is in my top five favorite movies of all time, maybe the number 1 spot.

I have not seen this prequel and never will. Let me get that out of the way now, because I get heat from people saying I can't complain about something I haven't seen. I however say I CAN and WILL.

MacReady: "Now I'm gonna show you what I already know."

The idea of showing what happened at the Norwegian camp seems utter ridiculous to me now, as it was when I heard the film was going into production. The filmmakers stance of "we'll show you what happened, why the axe is in the door" cracked me up. Was there a huge number of '82 Thing fans looking for those answers, I have to believe that is not the case and I'll tell you why. When you watch Carpenter's movie the American's discovery at the Norwegian camp/station is foreshadowing of what they will soon encounter. We are offered small glimpses of information regarding the thing, how people reacted to it and where it came from. Seeing the burnt out camp, dead people, yes axes in doors (sweet Satan!) and the burned remains of a Thing mid-transform. This info also provides elements of mystery that are crucial to the story and tone of the film.

As the '82 film progresses, the Thing begins it's attack and paranoia set in and eventual battle up until the closing scene with MacReady and Childs. We can infer that what we just saw the Americans go through is essentially what the Norwegians went through without the requirement of a prequel film to fill in the blanks. Your own creative mind can fill in those blanks and I'd imagine do it in a much better fashion than this prequel does. Carpenter could have just as easily done the film from the stand point that the Americans discovered the alien, but he didn't and I don't think that was to lay any kind of groundwork for a prequel. All the information is there, all that is needed is in the '82 film.

Now, let me ask this. How can there be even a shred, a sliver of mystery or suspense to this prequel, when '82 fans know all the people from the Norwegian camp die and the Thing escapes? I can't get my head around that huge problem with this prequel.

Another huge issue I have with the prequel is what limited CGI I saw in the trailer. It looked atrocious, I laughed when I saw the thing come out of the block of ice. You said there are some practical effects in there, which is great, it sounds like the CGI is way overused and fake looking. That cast sounds utterly forgettable from what you said and that is a very very weak leg to this film I'd imagine. The '82 film had a fantastic cast that I know you love. If you didn't love the cast and their performances, this wouldn't be your favorite movie, bottom line. Your section about nitpicking the movie is also of grave interest to me and another warning sign to stay away from this film. If they are intent on showing every detail (because people wanted it for some ungodly reason) then why didn't it hone EXACTLY to the '82 film? It should be dead on.

I found the final minutes of the 2011 film on YouTube to see how the transitioned their film into the '82 film. Nice from the standpoint that they led right up to that films beginning, but I must ask. If someone is new to the Thing and watches this film first and then the '82 film after what many magical and fantastic things are killed for a moviegoer. For those people I feel truly sad. This prequel tries to bill itself with providing answers to questions it's actually killing for those new to The Thing…

This bit of dialogue is from one of my favorite scenes from the '82 film and the reason for me adding it to the end here is because this conversation for me kills an reason for the prequel.

MacReady: "I don't know, thousands of years ago it crashes, and this thing, gets thrown out or crawls out and it ends up freezing in the ice."

Garry: "The Norwegians get a hold of this, and they dig it out of the ice…"

MacReady: "Yes, Garry. They dig it up. They cart it back. It gets thawed out, it wakes up, probably not the best of moods. I don't know, I wasn't there!"

Childs: "How could this motherf@*ker wake up after thousands of years in the ice?"

George Bennings: "And how can it look like a dog?"

MacReady: "I don't know how. Because it's different then us, see. Because it's from outer space. What do you want from me? Ask him!"

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Music Box Massacre 7

I’m rather late on reporting this but this past weekend (October 15 till the 16th) was the yearly Music Box Massacre at Chicago’s own Music Box Theater. This year, unlike the past two years that I went, was different for me because I slept through half of the 24-hour marathon. I have no idea why I was suddenly tired all of a sudden but I missed out on some movies that I’ve wanted to see for a long time. Regardless, I was fortunate to experience three films on 35mm print one of which is a must for the Halloween season. So, without further ado, I’ll give you a short rundown and musings of the films I was able to catch.

The marathon started off with the silent film…

Waxworks (1924)

This fantasy film is considered horror but I’m not sure why. I feel it’s more action adventure than anything although I guess it’s because there are some elements of horror that must have been shocking for people back when it was first released. Personally, I felt it was a little boring but what I have to applaud was the live organ player who had to sit there the entire time.

Burn Witch Burn (1962)

After his wife confesses to being a witch, a college professor must find out whether or not she was telling the truth but time is running out because dark forces are descending upon him and the only way to stop them is by sacrifice. Also known as Night of the Eagle for some reason. This was a fun movie and a perfect candidate for MST3K or any other type of Riffing. Hammy acting, sexist dialogue and some really cheap but strangely effective special effects laden this film. I personally loved the part when you hear something howling, screaming and bellowing outside the door but never end up seeing it.

Hour of the Wolf (1968)

I slept through this movie.

The Abominable Dr. Phibes (1971)

I loved this movie but calling it horror is a bit much even if the final revealing of Phibes is shocking, then again I guess it could be considered a Slasher movie. Oh whatever, either way I liked it a lot. Price plays yet another interesting, stylish and charismatic killer that sort of reminded me of Theater of Blood. This time he plays Dr. Phibes, a doctor of music, who seeks murderous revenge on all the doctors who were unable to save his wife from a tragic accident. Dark British humor and the 12 plagues of Egypt make this movie work seeing and it’s even funnier watching it with a live audience.

Wizard of Gore

With special guest Herschell Gordon Lewis

I broke away for dinner.

Halloween (1978)

No party that takes place during October is complete without a 35mm screening of Carpenter’s infamous slasher movie. The print we saw was reddening, scratch and dust filled with horrendous jump cuts… everything I wanted to see to give me that authentic “grindhouse” feel. This time around, because I saw the movie so damn much, I began to notice the small things that gave away the film’s actual location of California. Not just the ridiculous foothills but also the palm trees in the background and the cactus looking plants in some people’s yard. If only Illinois had palm trees.

Poltergeist (1982)

Upon watching this for the first time in years, I was suddenly reminded just how much I love this film. It’s such a touching and sad story of how the parents of a little girl are willing to travel to another plane of existence to save their daughter. Unfortunately, in reality, Heather O’Rourke died young and went towards the bright light anyway. The subtle humor, the nods to childhood fears and the chilling yet uplifting score by the famous Jerry Goldsmith gave me this warm feeling as I sat in those uncomfortable chairs.

Pumpkinhead (1988)

After releasing an ancient demon to seek revenge on the youths that accidentally killed his little boy, a farmer must stop what he unleashed before it ends up killing him as well. I saw this movie only once before and I hated it. Upon watching it again, I enjoyed it and I loved the special effects (of course I would because it was directed by Stan Winston) but I feel that it was a little unjustified to release such a horrid monster after the teens apologized for the fatal accident. The climax is anticlimactic but then again we are talking about the 80’s.

Gates of Hell

I broke away to grab a quick snack.

The Vampire Lovers

I fell asleep to.

Children Shouldn’t Play With Dead Things

I drifted in and out of sleep to. I was awoken by the excruciatingly loud ending.

The Sentinel (1977)

“What do you do for a living?” “We fondle each other.” Indeed, The Sentinel is one of those 70’s movies too fucked up to describe but very simple when you get right down to it. Basically it’s about a haunted apartment complex that’s being investigated by one of the new tenants who claims to have been invited to an birthday party by the tenants. However, there are no tenants in the apartment except for a reclusive priest. Now the young woman must find out why the apartment is being haunted, why is she being plagued with unsettling visions and what is the priest guarding on the third floor. Naked fat women eating people’s brains, a cat in a hat, loud noises, non sequitur scenes and an ending that’s reminiscent of Browning’s Freaks makes this film a worthwhile acid trip.

From Dusk Till Dawn (1996)

What a perfect movie to end a noon-to-noon, 24-hour horror marathon. I’ve always loved this movie and it’s a roller-coaster ride to see it with sleep deprived horror fanatics. Whoever thought that vampires would evolve from charismatic, caped villains (Lugosi) to ancient Mexican strippers (Hayek)?

The Massacre survivors (12:00pm)

Try and spot me in this picture. Here’s a clue: I’m the one who is holding the brown pillow. Also, I was smart to bring a pillow and blanket to this.

Thus concludes yet another Music Box Massacre and although I didn’t meet anybody there like I would have, probably because this year seemed more packed then usual, I had a blast with all the films. I will close out this piece with one of my favorite quotes of the night (aside from Sentinel).

“Psychos do not explode when sunlight hits them! I don’t give a fuck how crazy they are!”

Pictures courtesy of WGON Helicopter, Kindertrauma, The Vault of Horror and Hey! Look Behind You.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Review - The Thing (2011)

Many of you know because of my Thing Week that The Thing (1982) is my favorite horror movie of all time for many reasons including one that trails back to my childhood. It was best home video experience I ever had and The Thing became a part of my life like no other horror movie. When I heard that The Thing was going to be remade, I shuttered to think how the CGI would replace the brilliant practical effects that Bottin had worked on. Then, it was released that it would be a prequel rather then a remake but even that made me cringe because I never wanted to know what happened to the Norwegian outpost. Most of the ominous mood and fright comes from not knowing what happened, leaving only your imagination to fill in the blanks. I isolated myself from this movie and when I saw the trailer I had a lot of doubts but it also made me curious to see what they could do. So, I patiently waited for it’s release and I sat in the middle of the theater waiting to be wowed by an unnecessary “premake.” So, what is my verdict on a prequel to a personally beloved horror movie… well, after I mulled over it that night I came to the conclusion that I enjoyed it. Yeah, I really liked it but I feel as though I must nitpick it here and there.

The story is much like Carpenter’s film. A group of Norwegians locate a crashed alien saucer that has been buried under the ice for thousands of years. They enlist the help of two American scientists to help them figure out what crawled out of the ship and froze beneath all the ice. In the midst of their celebration, the alien entity thaws out of the ice and begins killing and replicated anybody that comes in its way. Now, the outpost residents must find a way to stop the alien before it reaches a populated area but how do they know who is human and who is a thing? Paranoia settles in and the storm outside is getting worse and worse.

So what exactly did Matthijs van Heiningen, the director, do that made me like this movie. Well, understand that I am not praising this movie and although I liked it… I don’t think it was flawless or brilliantly directed. However, what I really loved was all the little nods to Carpenter’s film that were scattered throughout the movie. These are little things that would go overlooked in some people’s book and would provoke some people to say that this film was more of a remake then a prequel. They explain why there was an axe stuck in the door, they explain what that two-headed thing was and what it was like when it was alive and in that respect there was a wonderful tribute to Norris’ death (think spider legs, upside down heads and open chests). There is a wonderful nod to the cinematography from the Carpenter film; the scene where the camera trucks forward to reveal the big block of ice that held the alien. This shot was so small and minute that not many people would even realize it was from Carpenter’s film. There’s many more throughout the film that made me pleased.

Now, what about the characters? Are they as good as Carpenter’s cast and does our new heroine resemble MacReady and his sarcastic and tired frame of attitude? The cast is great but I feel as though they are mostly forgettable except for one person who I think was the best character. As for our heroine, Kate Lloyd, although she does have that survivor woman persona she doesn’t really stand out to me as being unique. MacReady, to me, was unique because he was sort of an anti-hero; he drank, he had a temper, he was tired, worn out and on the edge of going crazy. Lloyd is any typical survivor girl from any given horror movie but I still liked her. She took things into her own hands and understood what the thing was. There are two Americans that look and occasionally act like Childs and MacReady and the person who lives to the end (and where the Carpenter movie begins), he was a badass and it’s tragic to see what would inevitably happen to him.

And now for the meat of the movie: the special effects and how the creature looks. As much as I wanted it to have practical effects I had to abandon that hope a while ago and I accepted that this movie would heavily use CGI. The film does use CGI but it also uses a good variety of practical effects but before I get into that I want to comment on my love/hate relationship with the CGI of this film. I hate the CGI because, like in most horror movies that use it, it looks a little unpolished and cheesy at times. It felt like a video game, ironically because the director stated that he never based anything off the video game adaptation. Some of the CGI made me laugh and say, “Oh man, really?” However, I love the CGI because for the first time I saw the Thing almost exactly how I wanted to see it for a long time. I saw somebody’s chest open up with red tendrils wrapping around somebody. I saw the two-headed thing crab-walking and attacking people and I saw a one-on-one battle with somebody and the Thing. It was a pleasure but too bad it was done with some iffy CGI. As for the practical effects, they were good and they looked painful and slimy just as they did back in ’82. I feel as though, at times, they used CGI when it involved the Thing attacking and running around but for the most part they used practical effects as much as they could. I respect that.

So now lets get into some fan nitpicking here. One of the biggest errors or problems that I found, choose your poison, was the discovery of the alien craft. In Carpenter’s film, the Americans were looking over the tapes they took from the Norwegian camp. The tape clearly shows the Norwegians forming a circle around the craft and then blowing open the layers of ice that buried it. Similarly, this was done in the Howard Hawks adaptation in the 50’s. However, in the prequel, we never see the Norwegians forming the circle and it isn’t until the end where they finally blow open the ice encasing and it wasn’t even by dynamite. When the ship was activated, the engines blew open the ice above it as if they tired to create their own version of how the ship was exposed. Another thing, maybe I didn’t see it the right way or maybe I’m right, but in Carpenter’s film… they find a body with a slit throat. The person obviously cuts his throat with a straight razor but in this prequel the man cuts himself (I think) with a hacksaw. It’s really nitpicky of me to bring this up but as a fan of the original it’s my duty to do so. Personally, for me, the biggest problem was seeing them discover the shape of the craft and blowing it up… it’s like a staple scene in the entire franchise and it was never committed to the final version.

The other big problem that I had with this film that the Carpenter film had was the mood. In Carpenter’s film, the colors were ranging on heavy blues and oranges in order to simulate hot and cold temperatures. By doing this he made me feel like I was trapped in a cold and dark place where my only salvation was gravitating to somewhere warm and… orange. Plus, the entire film is a dark piece, not just figuratively but it’s a very dark place with a lot of shadows and some dim lights. While the prequel gives me that cold feeling with it’s use of blues and light blue coloring, it doesn’t at all give me a sense of darkness and seclusion. This problem was expected and it’s very difficult to replicate so I won’t knock the movie for it but it’s something that I would have like to have seen done.

I need to cut this review short but as I stated before, I liked this movie and I thought it was a fantastic prequel to Carpenter’s film as well as a tribute to Campbell’s novella and Hawks’ film. The ending, which trails into to where Carpenter’s film picks up, was one of the very few moments where I got chills of nostalgia. The score, the cinematography and the “cut to black” ending made me smile like never before. It’s even more tragic when you find out what character ends up making it through till the end only to know that he eventually gets shot and killed. With all this being said, I still won’t consider this to be as perfect as the ’82 classic and when I refer to The Thing, I will always be referring to Carpenter’s film. If I ever expose people to The Thing, I’ll only expose them to the Carpenter’s film unless they are really interested. I feel as though this movie is like the black sheep but a black sheep that I have some respect towards. It was an unnecessary prequel that still diminishes the horror and imagination that was in Carpenter’s film but at least they did a fine job of adapting it. If anything, it gives me even more respect to Carpenter’s Thing.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Cowboys & Mutants

When you think of Westerns you might think of films like High Noon, Once Upon A Time in the West, The Dollars Trilogy or perhaps Unforgiven. I’m sure most people would never consider a remake like The Hills Have Eyes to be a Western and for good reason… it’s not. However, upon closer look at the color and the cinematography of when Doug enters the test village, I couldn’t help but get feelings to when I watched High Noon for the first time. It’s strange how many Western tributes there are in this film but at the same time it feels right.

All the scenes that take place in that test village strike an eerie chord with the American Dream; a broken down dream corrupted by the government and/or the criminals that had taken over. Many of these ideas have been put forth into Westerns. The coloring is saturated with yellows and browns that only enhance the sweltering heat of the desert, as our lone hero walks down the middle of the town. I mentioned High Noon and this is exactly what this scene resembles; when Doug first enters the town he realizes that nobody is there must like Gary Cooper’s character walking down the road stunned to find nobody is at his side. In The Hills Have Eyes, the only companion that Doug has is his dog Beauty.

Tombstone established that Wyatt Earp would be the Lone Rider (or Pale Rider) in which Death followed behind him that The Cowboys were warned about. After the murder of his youngest brother, the injury of his older brother and the attempted assassination of himself he pursued The Cowboys in a relentless and violent manner. I can’t help but think that this bears striking resemblance to Doug and his bloody justified revenge. The clan of mutants raped his sister-in-law, burned his father-in-law, murdered his mother-in-law, killed his wife and stole his baby. You can argue that Doug literally became the Lone/Pale Rider that Death followed as he not only recovered his baby but he brutally murdered almost every mutant he saw. I think it’s also interesting that Doug wore a white “pale” shirt.

In probably one of the best confrontations in a modern horror movie, Doug, after getting beaten nearly to death, thrown, kicked, punched and dragged, grabs a screwdriver and holds it up to Pluto who is wielding an axe. There is silence. The shot shows a weak and scared hero holding a peashooter pistol to the ugly homicidal criminal who is aiming a shotgun directly into his face. They both stand their ground and look at each other for a minute while the mutant outlaw laughs at our hero’s ill-fated attempt at defending himself. It’s a standoff and the odds are not in favor for the good. Our hero begs for the outlaw not to kill him and the outlaw merely laughs at his pain and insignificance, but our hero is smart and uses this as a distraction to drive the screwdriver into his foot rendering him defenseless. Like the American hero that is the Cowboy or local sheriff, our hero grabs an American flag and drives it into the throat of the outlaw. Seeing as how he was responsible for the death of his soon-to-be family, he takes the very weapon he used to hurt him (the axe) and thrusts it directly into his skull, killing him.

Thus ends one of the grittiest and bloodiest Westerns of recent time.

Even though that scene wasn’t the end or the final confrontation, it still bears the most resemblance to any Western standoff. Going off tangent, it’s not just the cinematography, coloring or the way things are played out that remind me of a Western but also the costuming. Lizard resembles a Mexican bandito, wearing a brown vest, torn cotton pants and a spike-strip that looks like a full metal jacket. Goggle, though he is mostly in shadow or silhouette, wears a bowler hat. Papa Jupiter, aside from not having the typical cowboy hat, already looks like a bandit. He dresses in all black and has a long down-filled coat. The only person who doesn’t resemble an outlaw is Pluto because he seems to be dressed in a black suit minus the tie. He may, however, be more akin to the elegant outlaw rather than the rugged dirty outlaw.

There is still so much to talk about comparing Hills Have Eyes with Westerns and I’m sure the original has even more similarities but since I haven’t seen it in a long time, I can’t contrast the two films. I haven’t even talked about the relationship between the mutants the gas station attendant. I never really noticed the similarities till I began watching a string of Westerns recently. Although, now I wonder how the movie would play out if somebody like John Wayne, Cline Eastwood or Tom Mix were in Doug’s shoes… as if the film wasn’t already surreal and messed up.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Top 10 Scenes from Fright Night

One of my favorite vampire movies of all time is Fright Night because it was edgy, funny and pretty gory. There are so many memorable scenes in the film from when Peter burns a cross into Evil’s head or Charlie sees Jerry for the first time. However, for my taste there are a few scenes and key moments within the film that have always stood out to me. These moments are my favorite because they’re either well written, visually stunning or expand on the vampire mythology but no matter what… they’ll always be memorable. Now, before I get to the list it must be stated that these scenes, if on a scale of 1 to 10, are within mere decimals from each other. My second favorite scene is ranked at 9.99 instead of a perfect 10. My third favorite scene is ranked at 9.98 and so on. Essentially, they’re all winners in my book.

CAUTION: There are spoilers here.

10) Jerry dances with Amy

As a kid, I always thought this scene was a little out of place but that’s probably because at the time I was more preoccupied with the vampires than with dancing. As time moved on I grew to like this scene because it reminded me of a more modern interpretation of a masquerade ball; the smooth ballroom dancing and the look on Amy’s face when she realizes that Jerry doesn’t cast a reflection in the mirror. Besides, I’ve come to really enjoy “Give It Up” by Evelyn King.

9) Amy and Evil Ed visit Charley

There is no real profound reason why I love this scene. It’s just a quirky yet sad scene where Charley, with a frightened but determined look on his face, is sitting on his bed sharpening a stake. The way Ragsdale handles the role makes me believe that he is hell-bent on defeating Jerry even if it means killing himself and looks on Amy and Evil Ed’s faces are priceless. It’s clear that they think Charley has completely gone overboard but it’s one of those moments where, as the audience, we know what’s really happening and we feel sympathetic for Charley.

8) Billy Cole melts

This is sort of on par with the previous scene but as a kid, and even now, I always admired the special effects Fright Night had, particularly this exceptionally gory melting sequence. Fresh from seeing The Blob (1988), seeing somebody’s skin melt and peel down their bones was one of the most satisfying things I could ever hope for in a horror movie. There’s green goop, sand and slimy bones and it begs the question: what in the hell was Billy Cole and why did he melt?

7) Jerry dies

There was a gap between the ages of 13 and 17 where I didn’t watch Fright Night so when I saw it for the first time in 4 years, I thought the scene where Jerry’s “skeleton” bursts into flames at the end was digitally enhanced with computers. It wasn’t until later I found out that Fright Night was made in ’85 meaning that was all practical effects. I couldn’t believe how amazing it looked and it will forever stand out to me as being one of the best examples of practical effects done right. Additionally, I love this scene because of that painful/remorseful “AMY!” that Jerry lets out as he’s being fried. It’s such a sad moment because you can tell, in his last dying moments, that Jerry really loved her.

6) Amy shows her teeth

For the longest time I was grown up on old-school vampire mythologies; the white fanged teeth, the pale face and the hypnotizing eyes. You can understand that when I saw Jerry for the first time, it was a shock but that moment when Amy looks up towards the camera to reveal her monstrous form… it was “what the fuck!” moment for me. I loved that scene because it showed just how far vampires have progressed since the Bela Lugosi era; now they are seen as literally demons in human form. The way Amy’s mouth peels back into a harlequin smile, a mouth full of swollen gum and crooked, jagged teeth screamed Joker meets Dracula. I should have known by the poster that it would be coming but you know how posters get sometimes… they lie to sell the movie. In this case, what you see on the poster happens.

5) “Welcome to Fright Night… for real.”

Way before I even went to a midnight screening of this film, I use to cheer every time Jerry walked into the screen and mockingly uttered that infamous line. It was at that moment, the second after he leaned up against the banister and crossed his arms, that I Knew that shit was about to get real. I had chills because everything from this point on was real and not TV. It was that ominous mark that would start the epic confrontation between good and evil and it was an indicator to my friends and family that from that point on, I’d be completely transfixed with the movie.

4) Jerry seduces Amy

I was always fond of this scene, especially now, because it brings back that time-honored tradition of sexuality and vampirism. For a majority of the modern horror era, vampires were scene as emotionless monsters who only kill and drink blood. But this scene stands for something; it shows that a modern vampire movie can still retains that trademark but at the same time compromise to cater to modern generations. Otherwise, the scene is very passionate but yet very ominous. The photography highlights Amy’s curvatious body and Jerry’s soft gentle touch only further proving that he isn’t just drinking her blood for the hell of it but rather because he’s in love with her. Complete with Fiedel’s exotic and electric score, this scene stands out as being one of the more hypnotic scenes in the entire film.

3) Peter kills Evil Ed

For the longest time, and even now, the transformation scene in American Werewolf in London is regarded as being one of the greatest and most painful werewolf scenes in the history of cinema. While there is no doubt that it’s true, I believe the scene where Peter kills Evil Ed (who changed into a wolf) was probably one of the saddest scenes in horror history. I was always plagued by seeing the half wolf half man leaned up against the wall trying in vain to pull the stake out of it’s chest. The way it howls in agony as it stumbles to the ground and Peter’s teary face once he realizes that the wolf is slowly reverting back into a human. The face Ed gives Peter in his final moments is that of a tortured and cursed young man on his dying breaths. When he finally reverts back he’s left naked, exposed, vulnerable but dead. It’s such a sad scenes for such a cheesy movie.

2) Jerry comforts Evil Ed

There was always this eerie sense of comfort that attracted me to this scene and I think I can attribute that to many different things. The way that Jerry’s silhouette walks down smoky ally reminds me of the old black and white noir films of the 40’s. The cold and foreboding tone that accompanies the scene and the inevitable jump presence of Jerry. However, I think I like this scene because it shows a bond between Jerry and Evil Ed, a bond that goes beyond than just blood-sucking. Jerry is considered an outcast and was probably shunned in his time for being a vampire. Evil Ed is considered different from most norms of society so you can also argue that he’s an outcast like Jerry. The dialogue between Jerry and Evil Ed explains a bulk of it but it’s that realization in both of their eyes that they were meant to cross paths with each other. I also like the fact that it shows vampires as just not demons that chase women but also interact between men as well.

1) Jerry confronts Charley

This scene is considered my favorite of all the scenes because of what happens. Of course it was the first time in my life where a vampire wasn’t just a guy with fake fangs in his mouth and it was one of the scenes that made me jump back in my chair when I first saw it. The real reason why I love it is because Jerry is shown as a sympathetic character and not just an unstoppable monster that wants to kill Charley for discovering his secret. Instead, Jerry tamely asks Charley to leave what he saw at the door and just forget about the whole thing. He does this peacefully but when Charley gets stubborn, he grabs him by the throat and tells him that he’s giving him a choice, which was something he never had. This scene feels like a continuation of where Stoker’s Dracula left off. It further sets up the fact that Jerry is a tortured person who lived a cursed life and doesn’t want any trouble. It’s one of the more unique twists on the vampire mythology that I never saw before and I love it for that.