Requiem for Innocence
Edited 11/3 to take out some unkind comments about slasher film fans.
I am cross-posting this message on about 30 old horror films from pre-1980 in the hopes that somebody out there shares my despair. There are so few messages for this tour-de-force of Vincent Price, I can only conclude that it is "unloved" by today's standards. This is sort of a message in a bottle. I am feeling very lonely from my experience of the last few moments:
It is nearing midnight on Halloween 2006. This evening I've been flicking through TV channels and getting very depressed. True I have my DVDs to rely on, but I find it sad that there are no good old-fashioned monster movie marathons. You would think you'd be able to rely on the Sci-Fi channel, but for some perverse reason they are showing some wrestling federation. What "professional wrestling" has to do with sci-fi is quite beyond me. Any other movie channel acknowledging Halloween is showing slasher films.
For most of the past 25 years, the fun, the spookiness, the elegance, and the CLASS are all gone from horror films. Frankly, I hate to think what films I'd be watching if I were as "jaded" as today's audiences. I am in mind of a quote from the late Boris Karloff, the Grandmaster. A recent book on horror films recounted Boris talking to author Robert Bloch at a party, and Boris said: "There is nothing pleasant, nothing appealing about the word 'horror.' It doesn't promise entertainment. You and I, each in his own way, have devoted careers to providing chills, shocks, shudders. But we've done so only to amuse, to fulfill the same function as the time-honored teller of ghost stories who offers a few cold shivers to his audience in front of a warm fireplace on a winter's evening. No harm in that, surely. But I'll be blasted if either of us ever deliberately set out to horrify anyone. All this violence and brutality today, shown against a 'realistic' background -- now that's downright horrible!"
If you find these wonderful old horror films "lame", it's nothing to boast about, and I'd keep it to myself if I were you because it speaks more poorly about you than it does the film. To the contrary, it's quite sad if you find them lame. Most today think the only merit to a film is how good the CGI special effects are. Or how many times they employ the cheap "cheat" where they play an obnoxiously loud chord of music to jolt the audience out of their seats (whether anything frightening is happening on the screen at the time of the loud music blast is immaterial). How lazy the creators of good horror films have become and how sadder still for those who watch them. They've desensitized themselves in a way that denies them 50 years worth of classics. There is no sadder word to describe someone than to say they have become "jaded."