Sunday, September 28, 2008

Return of The Monster

Lovers of horror and fantasy films look back with yearning toward certain film experiences which they might only have been able to imagine were it not for the digital age and dvds. Were it not for director cuts and extra features we probably would never have seen Linda Blair's "spider walk" from the Exorcist or the scene "Spider Pit" scene from the original King Kong (I'll post both below). And to be honest both are probably scenes which we could have done without, and which the directors were wise to excise from the final cut.

But what about other lost gems that we've craved since childhood. At least that I've craved since childhood? I would love to see Edison's 1909 film version of Frankenstein. According to web sources, the much sought after copy of this curiousity was only made available after 1970, when a private collector came forward to allow someone to restore the version. The first public showing of this restored version of the fifteen minute film finally occured on October 30, 1993. Of course the complete version is now available on the net. For those interested, here it is on Youtube. Be aware, that we're talking about a 1910 film:


Another classic that I have craved is "London After Midnight". The lost Lon Chaney piece. Now, unfortunately, no copy of this film has ever been located. However, there were tons of stills made during production and Turner Classic Movies commissioned a restoration of the film based on a shooting script. So what we have are original images from the film along with the script and although it's not a motion picture per se, it certainly gives you a feel of how the motion picture would have looked to an audience back in the twenties. Again, if you would like to see the entire production from TMC, you can find it on You Tube.

disclaimer: I claim no right to any of the video here; all is from searches found on youtube. I urge anyone seeking these films to purchase the dvd's, all of which are available. And to be honest, for the true collector, owning the most pristine copy is really what it is all about.


Charles Gramlich said...

I kind of like the spider pit and spider walk scene, although not the part of the latter where she sticks her tongue out. That looks kind of silly.

Stewart Sternberg said...

Charles, when I first saw the spider walk, it was creepy. Of course, I saw it in context with the rest of the film and I think that makes all the difference.

Aimless Writer said...

Thanks for the memories

Rick said...

You make fun of me hunting Bigfoot and this is what you do with your time?

Wait til they here about this at Conclave 33. In Romulus, MI. October 3-5. Stewart will be a speaker. Just in case any of you can attend.

He'll be discussing, among other things, politics in science fiction. If that doesn't draw you in, what will?

Stewart Sternberg said...

Well,as a former film critic and student...and as a lover of horror, science fiction, and fantasy genres....I'd have to say that "yes", this is what I do. And I will be talking about politics in science fiction, although I won't be putting across any particular point of view, no matter how difficult, I will remain impartial.

Barbara Martin said...

The spider walk is creepy, I agree, and those poor folks watching at the last century must have had bad dreams after.

L.A. Mitchell said...

Loved the 1910 Frankenstein. The ghostly effect on the film lends to creepiness.