Cybersurfing: Lifting the Lid on Dracula, Conceiving the Unborn

Book Lifts Lid On Screen’s First Dracula: Reuters reviews Stefan Eickhoff’s biography of Max Schreck, the actor who played Graf Orlock (i.e., Count Dracula) in the 1922 silent film NOSFERATU. Since Eickhoff’s book is in German, this may be the most that English readers can get out of it for some time to come.
Goyer Brings Horror to Chicago: The Chicago Tribune reports on THE UNBORN, a horror film that recently wrapped production in Chicago, under the direction of David Goyer. The film stars Odette Yustman (CLOVERFIELD) and Garry Oldman (HARRY POTTER AND THE PRISONER OF AZKABAN) in a story about a young woman haunted by her unborn twin. (The Dark Half, anyone?)
Top Ten Twist Endings: offers their selections in this misleadingly titled post (which actually contains fifteen surprise conclusions, not all of them from horror films). I didn’t read the whole thing, because I skipped those titles I have not yet seen (didn’t want to ruin the surprise). However, I did look close enough to note one mistake: the claim that “Bad timing was the box office downfall” of THE OTHERS. The film actually made over $100-million in the U.S. – hardly a downfall.
JENNIFER’S BODY: Apparently somebody is making a movie about a girl named Jennifer whose body is possessed by a demon that causes all kinds of trouble. Not the most original storyline, but the body in question is played by Megan Fox (TRANSFORMERS), and somebody has got hold of lots of photos of her wearing some kind of body suit that is supposed to make her look naked in the movie.
Five Science-Fiction Movies That Get the Science Right: offers their somewhat eccentric selections. No one can argue with 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY topping the list, but some of the other titles feature science that is speculative or highly theoretical at this point, so whether they are “right” remains to be proved. Still, I have to concede the argument that SOLARIS (1972) belongs on the list “not so much for the specific science it portrays as for its portrayal of the limits of science and human understanding.”
Monuments and Primal Scenes: The Uses of Stillness and Violence in Horror. Over at the Groovy Age of Horror, Curt Purcell riffs on a 1999 senior essay by Yale University Student Sean Thomas Collins, which sought to fill a gap in horror film theory. Collins premise was that an emphasis on violence leads scholars to overlook something more important to the genre: the “Monumental Horror-Image” – i.e., “curiously static” beings or monumental objects whose mere presence evokes a sense of the Uncanny. Expanding on this notion, Purcell tries to eat his cake and have it, too, positing a “unified theory” in which violence and statis are two sides of the same coin, each equally important to horror. As an example, he cites the opening of Dario Argento’s THE BIRD WITH THE CRYSTAL PLUMAGE, in which violent action is staged in an art gallery full of static objects, and the hero ends up literally trapped – in stasis – in a glass vestibule, able to watch but not to intercede.

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