Friday, October 29, 2010

The Goosebump Moment -- The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad (1949)

Say what you will about Walt Disney being all about sweet family-friendly fare, but I maintain that beneath that wholesome exterior beat the heart of someone who loved to scare the hell out of little kids.

Think about it -- Snow White being told to run into the forest because the Queen wants her heart cut out (!!!), Bambi's mother getting shot, the nightmare of Pleasure Island in Pinocchio.

I loved them all.

And I loved this one as well. Every year on The Wonderful World of Disney, they would show this short, and I would watch it and enjoy the combination of humor and horror.
I think it still holds up today as one of the most horrifying (and hilarious) cartoons ever made. I love how it starts out with him getting terrified by just his imagination, with easily explained reasons. Then, just when he convinces himself that he's being an idiot....

The Goosebump Moment -- The Birds (1963)

After a two-week hiatus, I'm back with a few more scares in prep for Halloween (it's for the best that I didn't continue at the pace I was going -- I needed to hold back some stuff for next year!)

First up is the perfect counterpoint to my first Goosebump post -- Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds.

This is an unusual Hitchcock film, but because of its repeated TV showings and subject matter, it became one of his most famous. It also was the best and most successful of the "nature turns against man" subgenre until Jaws came along 12 years later.

The Birds has a number of famous set pieces -- the most famous of which are the attack on the school by crows, and the climax in the attic. But the following scene is my favorite. I think I like it because of its complete absurdity, and it's the point where all hell has started to break loose in the movie.

The first hour of The Birds is very slow, and the audience is disoriented because it attempts to play out like a typical Hitchcock romantic suspense comedy. But there are several important differences -- first, there's no soundtrack, no background music at all, except for the cries of birds. Second, the normal playfulness doesn't really ring true -- the main character Melanie (played by Tippi Hedren) is so abrasive that the audience can't really warm up to her. Finally, the scenes go on (and on) with a lot of unnecessary exposition and talking. While there have been various criticisms leveled at the movie for this and other reasons, I think it serves an interesting purpose. Rather than building suspense, it builds a restlessness in the audience -- you find yourself wanting the attacks to start so something starts to happen. This complicity of the audience response is unlike any other horror movie of the time.

This clip is really a portion of a much longer scene that starts immediately following the attack on the school.

Here's the setup: Melanie has just been in the attack and has taken refuge in the Tides Cafe, where she has (another!) lengthy talky scene with various townsfolk and tourists, none of whom believe her. Soon enough, the attacks begin outside, the gas station explodes and everyone panics. Here's the absurdity, Melanie is really the only one at this point who realizes the birds are out to maim and kill, yet rather than staying in the relative safety of the Cafe she rushes outside (to help? to chase down her nascent boyfriend?) and immediately ducks for cover into a glass telephone booth. What follows is another masterpiece of editing and special effects.

Some other fun facts about The Birds:

The schoolhouse and the Tides Cafe are still both standing, but they are in two separate towns five miles apart. In the movie, it's edited so that it looks like the schoolkids run a couple blocks down the hill toward the cafe. Dianne and I had dinner at the Cafe and afterwards I called home from the phone booth, which unfortunately is now just an open booth rather than the glass cage you see here.

The artwork on the poster is not Tippi Hedren, but actually based on a still of Jessica Tandy (from the scene where the sparrows come down the chimney).

An alternate ending (planned but not shot) had the survivors driving to San Francisco among evidence of the damage, and then seeing the Golden Gate Bridge, covered in birds (!!!)

In an absurd (but cool) bit of licensing, Mattel put out The Birds Barbie a couple years ago (Dianne has it, of course!)


Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Goosebump Moment -- The Haunting (1963)

Okay, enough with the funny....back to the creepy and suspenseful.

The Haunting is a perfect example of how to make a ghost story (along with The Innocents -- see my earlier post).

Based on The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson, the film follows an ill-fated paranormal investigation by a group of four relative strangers (two men and two women).

But the director (Robert Wise, between West Side Story and The Sound of Music) doesn't go for cheap thrills. Instead, he uses the camera, the music, and the big empty house (sets?) to build a sense of isolation and dread. And he brings you into the story without any real effects and without really showing anything at all.

I think that's key. It's always scarier to worry about what you're going to see, or thought you may have seen, rather than seeing the monster straight on. Watch what he does in the bedroom scene in the clip below....

Shock cuts are great, but the scare wears off rather quickly. Movies like The Haunting stick with you long after the credits roll.

The Goosebump Moment -- An American Werewolf in London (1982)

While we're on the topic of John Landis -- where else to go next but to the movie that inspired the Thriller video.

Many of my posts have championed the slow build-up of suspense as opposed to out-and-out shocks.

But sometimes, a shock is just what you need. In that regard, An American in Werewolf delivers.

It also manages to deliver the very tricky proposition of melding funny and scary. When it's pulled off, audiences tend to love being able to laugh after they're scared.

Prior to this film, its director was known primarily for large-cast unrefined comedies (most recently Blues Brothers), and its star (David Naughton) was known primarily as the I'm-a-Pepper Guy and for his one-hit disco wonder "Makin' It!". Put together with the special effects genius of Rick Baker, they created a darkly comic horror classic.

For this Goosebump Moment clip, I didn't want to go with the excellent but often-seen Transformation Scene. Instead, I wanted to show either shockcut dream sequence where Jenny Agutter as David's nurse/girlfriend awakes him in the forest, or the subway scene -- a great example of suspense without showing anything.

Unfortunately, thanks to NBC/Universal's legal department, neither of those clips are available on youtube.....but fortunately, the trailer includes shots from both of those scenes, is available on youtube, and is a kick on its own....

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Tales of TV Halloween Past -- Michael Jackson's Thriller (1983)

Since I've gone on a short musical detour, now seems like the best time to bring in the best music video ever produced, which also happens to be a great blending of horror movie imagery and pop music.

In 1983, Michael Jackson was at his peak, and MTV was known primarily for showing music videos (hence the title). So, in one of those moments of perfect timing, Jackson and John Landis (the director of horror movie classic An American Werewolf in London) teamed up to produce a long-form video for the title track of his blockbuster album.

Though ground-breaking in its day, the impact of Thriller has been somewhat lessened in recent years through a combination of Jackson's downfall and death and the zombie-dance centerpiece becoming a pop culture trope in movies, tv, and youtube flashmob videos.

As a result, more people have likely seen the Chinese prisoners doing the Thriller dance than have seen the video in its entirety. Unfortunately, the complete 13-minute mini-movie is rarely if ever shown on TV -- usually cutting out the first pre-music 4 minutes and much of the center section, and the entire credits sequence. It is also apparently not out on DVD -- nor is the Making Of... video (which was a huge bestseller in its own right on VHS).

So, although I like to only show a tease of the film in question, encouraging you to go out and track down the dvd and watch it, I am including the complete video below. In production values alone, I think it holds up as a short tongue-in-cheek horror film even today. And the song will be stuck in your head the rest of the month (which is as it should be...).

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Goosebump Moment -- Meet Me in St. Louis (1944)

Okay, so this one is a little bit of a've likely never seen a Judy Garland musical showing up on any self-respecting Halloween/Horror movie list.

But Meet Me in St. Louis is important to the genre because one of its pivotal scenes takes place at Halloween. And the way that scene was filmed, with its use of blues and oranges, and long tracking shots that make a suburban street sinister, in turn inspired John Carpenter and Dean Cundey (the director and cinematographer of 1978's Halloween).

The movie takes place in four parts covering each season of a year and follows the everyday dramas of a turn of the (20th) century family -- of course, occasionally they also burst into song.

Here's the set-up: The Halloween segment focuses on youngest sister Tootie, played by Margaret O'Brien. She's being allowed to join in with the older kids for Halloween festivities -- apparently in the good old days this involved building a giant bonfire in the middle of the street and tormenting the neighbors, as opposed to trick-or-treating. Well, the older kids dare Tootie to approach the scary house down the street.

So, even though this really supposed to be charming and funny rather than scary, watch how the framing and the colors are used to evoke the mood -- then the next time you watch Halloween (later this month hopefully) see what they swiped. (And sorry this one doesn't embed...just click the link)

The Goosebump Moment -- The Lady in White (1988)

I couldn't find a larger picture of the poster, so you can't read the tagline, but here's what it says:

The year is 1962.
The place is Willowpoint Falls.
Nobody talks about what
happened in the school
cloakroom 10 years ago.
Now, in the dead of night,
Frankie Scarlatti is going
to find out why.

I love the graphics and layout of this poster. It perfectly captures the mood of the film.

The Lady in White is a little-known ghost movie from the late 80's that starred Lukas Haas, who was the little kid in Witness and who now is known for arthouse indie films. (He most recently played Nash in Inception).

Here he plays Frankie Scarlatti, and the scene shown on the poster is probably the best in the movie. Unfortunately, I think the plot falls apart with some unnecessary issues toward the end, but the first hour or so has a great set-up and some great moody visuals.

The color timing of the early scenes is similar to those in the original Halloween, as well as the target film of my next blog post.

But as ghost scenes go, this one is pretty darn disturbing for a PG movie, especially if you can surrender to the set-up and imagine you're the kid...

Here's the set-up: It's Halloween late afternoon in 1962 and little Frankie has been double-dog dared by some of his classmates to go check out the cloakroom, which is supposed to be haunted by the ghost of a little girl that was murdered years before. Of course, just like you or me or any number of preadolescent boys, he succumbs to peer pressure, accepts the challenge and plans on the quickest of run-throughs, just so he can say he didn't chicken out....things don't go as planned.

Friday, October 8, 2010

The Goosebump Moment -- Trilogy of Terror (1975)

Take a close look at this TV Guide page. On the night of Tuesday, March 5, 1975, (a school night, mind you) had a choice at 8:00 of watching Good Times or Happy Days (or whatever was on NBC). The likely choice was Happy Days, which was in its 2nd season and had started to prominently feature Fonzie. In tonight's episode you'll see that he manipulates Richie and Potsie into letting him join the band (to meet chicks, of course!) This episode is notable not only because Potsie sings "Splish Splash!" -- Really, again?! but also because much of it is filmed on the recently abandoned Brady Bunch sets!)

But I digress....

So as the Happy Days closing credits ended, America's children were treated to the ABC Tuesday Movie of the Week -- Trilogy of Terror (remember, no cable, and no remotes -- everyone was too lazy to get up and change the channel).

If these kids hung around for another hour, they ended up seeing a 70's pop cultural milestone.

The trilogy in question amounted to three short vignettes all starring ubiquitous cross-eyed 70s actress Karen Black. Karen played a different character in each one (swapping out wigs for good measure) -- the first two were fairly pedestrian twilight-zoney mysteries that had a little twist at the end....nothing particularly notable.

But then Part 3, innocuously titled "Amelia", came on. This is a solo tour de force for Black over the next 25 minutes, as she discovers that the little present she bought for her boyfriend wasn't what she bargained for.

Here's the setup: Karen/Amelia gets home from work with a vaguely coffin-shaped package and has a very loooonng phone conversation with her mother, explaining that she has bought her boyfriend this ugly Zuni warrior doll as a gift (imagine what a weirdo Arthur must be!)

Then after arguing with mom (we only ever hear her part of the conversation), she wanders around and starts a bath, calls mom back to apologize, and then has a very looooonng phone conversation with the boyfriend. All of this is done is extremely slow medium shot single takes where the camera barely moves. This, coupled with the flat 70s soap-opera lighting, lulls the viewer into a state of boredom. Unlike some of the previous clips, there's no suspense build-up AT ALL. (yawn, right?) And half the running time is over....

But that's where the Director (Dan Curtis, a veteran of Dark Shadows) is being clever....he brings the horrible into the mundane, and then quickly (very quickly) ratchets things up with music, quick cuts, close-ups, tilted camera work, and a seriously crazy little doll.

Laugh if you this movie became a rite of passage for freaked out little 70s preteens, primarily male. In those days, remember there were no VCRs, so a movie's reputation was built solely on word-of-mouth. In fact, that's why I know that this little 5th grader wasn't watching that March evening (is it possible I was watching Good Times and the CBS lineup instead?!?)

The reason I know is that I distinctly remember hearing about this movie several times over the next few years but never managing to see it. I felt so left out, burgeoning little movie buff that I was. Most memorable was a virtual shot-by-shot description during an 8th grade Latin class from my friend Kevin Mayo, who truly painted a picture of "you-won't-believe-this" horror.

Thanks to Kevin sparing no detail, when I finally saw it (on Money Movie 7 no less!), I wasn't scared so much as excited that I was finally in the Club.

So....join the club....and witness what passed for Family Hour entertainment in 1975. And marvel how Karen Black managed to pull this off without cracking up or winking at the audience -- she plays it completely straight and over the top. I particularly love how she keeps talking to herself, like when she starts to creep herself out and shouts "What's going on?" into the other room (which is exactly the kind of thing people do when they're alone and scared). And check out the look on her face when she's cowering on the bed and the little thing is climbing up the bedspread. Awesome. But nothing -- Nothing! -- beats the final shot of the episode -- which is not shown here, you'll have to go see it for yourself.... (or ask Kevin to describe it to you....)

Thursday, October 7, 2010

The Goosebump Moment -- The Night of the Hunter (1955)

Most times, the haunting scenes that stay with you the longest are those you see as a child. I was a huge TV-head growing up and watched as many suspense and horror movies as I could. I think I had a pretty high tolerance for fright, at least when it was on the safety of the TV, but there were a couple that scared me...well, you know what they say....

The Night of the Hunter was one of them. I distinctly remember watching it on Money Movie 7, which was the daily movie they showed from 4:00 - 5:30 on Channel 7 before the news came on. During commercial breaks, the host (who I don't remember, but he was some local TV anchor I think) would have some type of contest (trivia questions maybe?) where viewers could call in and win the weekly jackpot. Money Movie 7 tended to show films that fit easily into the 90 minute slot, and if they didn't...well, some editor by trimming whatever scenes he deemed necessary (plot be damned!). Occasionally, they would show some color epic and they would have to split it up into multiple days (once they showed El Cid and it took all week long, and I'm pretty sure they still had to cut it).

Anyway, the following scene disturbed me as a little kid so much that I wouldn't watch the movie again in its entirety for years.

Here's the setup: Robert Mitchum is pretending to be a minister, but how anyone falls for it is beyond me -- he is pure walking evil -- he has LOVE tattooed on the fingers of one hand and HATE on the other. Anyway, he had previously been bunking with Peter Graves in the State Pen and had learned that Peter had stolen a bunch of money and hidden it somewhere, presumably at his home with his wife and two small children (which Peter stupidly describes in great detail before meeting his untimely end).

So, knowing that the recent widow (Shelley Winters -- a lifetime before she became the blowsy overweight grandma on Roseanne) is a devout Christian woman, he knows the quickest way to insinuate himself into her life is to be a Bible-thumping Man of God.

And boy does she fall for it.....but the kids sure as hell don't!

The scene leading up to this one is really good also -- when Shelley, bathed in a heavenly glow, finally figures it out and realizes her fate.

But this one is the one that gave me nightmares. In fact, most of the movie after this scene is filmed like a child's nightmare come to life. You have to see it -- there's really no other movie like it. The one-shot director was Charles Laughton who had played the Hunchback of Notre Dame, and who was married to the Bride of Frankenstein herself -- Elsa that's a pretty good pedigree for a horror movie.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Tales of TV Halloween Past -- The Paul Lynde Halloween Special (1976)

We children of the 70's lived in a world much different than cable for us, and often just a single color TV in the house. At that time, our programming choices were limited to the three networks, a local station, and a couple of UHF stations to choose from.

So when something came on TV, we pretty much had to watch it. And around the holidays, we pretty much watched variety shows.

It's hard to explain these shows to my kids...they can't seem to grasp the random selection of guest stars, the over-the-top musical numbers, the jokes that no one thought were funny -- except apparently the studio audiences.

It's even harder to explain that we kinda liked them.

So come with me to the night of Friday, October 29, 1976. The Bicentennial Summer was past, I was 12 years old, and life was good. I had likely seen the following promo several times throughout the week and was settled in for a night of awesome Halloween entertainment.

I mean, how could you resist that?! Uncle Arthur, Mrs. Brady, Pinky Tuscadero, and Kiss?!?

But the promo really doesn't do this justice. In addition to the Kiss' first primetime appearance, this includes the only time that Margaret Hamilton dressed as the Wicked Witch of the West after her appearance in Wizard of Oz....and Witchiepoo from H.R. Pufnstuf is her sister!

And of course, Betty White makes an appearance (some things never change). Seriously, some network programming executive is missing out -- can you imagine if ABC reunited Betty White and Kiss in a Halloween special this year? Ratings bonanza!

But as hard as I'm trying...this thing is really have to see it to believe it. I dare you to make it through the entire clip (but rewards await you if you do).

Tomorrow, back to a more....traditional type of Horror....

Sunday, October 3, 2010

The Goosebump Moment -- The Innocents (1961)

The trick to making a good ghost story movie is to make the audience uncertain of what they're really seeing -- just like the characters inside the movie. Although shocks certainly have their place, slow creeping dread and unease stays with you longer.

The Innocents is a pretty faithful adaptation of Henry James' The Turn of the Screw, and tells the story of a old-maid minister's daughter-turned-governess to a couple of orphaned children in a big empty mansion.

If you've seen The Others (which borrows a bit from this film), you're familiar with the theme of a woman alone who is either witnessing something supernatural or letting her imagination run away with her. Now, throw in a couple of really weird children, and a thinly-veiled dose of sexual repression for the governess and you've got the makings of a great ghost story.

So, here's the set-up: Miss Giddings (Deborah Kerr, still in her King and I phase) has started to think there's something not quite...right...about the kids. She discovers that the previous governess/teacher killed herself after falling into a questionable relationship with the valet/gardener (also now dead). She's starting to wonder what kind of relationship these two had with the children and if that could be the cause of their behavior. She's also starting to see things that no one else appears to see, or admits to seeing...

Take note of how the music stops when she enters the drawing room, and how when she passes the flowers the petals fall off (both of these are recurring images throughout the picture and add to the overall creepiness).

Now this scene, out of context, may not appear particularly scary, but find the movie sometime, and watch it with the lights out and the curtains open, and you may feel differently, especially as things deteriorate further and lead to a truly disturbing ending.....

Tomorrow -- a break from all this creepiness to witness the most unbelievable Halloween special ever televised....

The Goosebump Moment -- The Brides of Dracula (1960)

The same year that Psycho was revolutionizing the horror film, Hammer Studios in England was at the peak of its powers, producing a series of lush technicolor costume frightfilms that would become a staple of drive-ins and late-night tv for years to come. Starting with The Curse of Frankenstein in 1957, Hammer reenvisioned all the classic movie monsters in saturated color.

I don't know if these were ever considered truly scary -- they're mostly just fun because they're so overwrought, filled with huge ornate castles, swelling orchestral scores, seriously over-the-top acting, and plenty of heaving bosoms.

There's so much to love about The Brides of Dracula. First -- Dracula's not even in it -- Instead, there's a blond dreamboat vampire named Baron Meinster (take that, Twilight!), who has been chained up in his castle by his mother and cra-zazy nursemaid. And then there's the heroine Marianne who could not be more stupid if she tried, and who really hasn't grasped the English language.

Here's the set-up: Marianne has come to town to teach at an all-girls boarding school (now we're talking!), but gets sidetracked to Castle Meinster, where she falls for a smooth line and a pretty face, and lets the Baron loose from his chains. Soon enough, girls start cutting class at the school and turning up
(un)dead and in serious need of bronzer, until vampire hunter Van Helsing (Peter Cushing) comes to town.

As the clip starts, Marianne comes to the stable (huh?) to mourn her good friend Gina, who unfortunately appears to have been interred wearing an underwire bra under her nightgown. Gina, if the none-too-subtle subtext is to be believed, wants to be much better friends with Marianne....really, again this was in 1960! (and dig those crazy horse neighs in the background -- later to be parodied in Young Frankenstein).

I'm also including the trailer as a 2nd clip, which manages to include the phrases "pulsating throb", "sex kitten", and "blindingly handsome" all in a little over 2 minutes (this is a horror movie, right?) can you watch this and not want to run out and see the whole thing? (Turner Classic Movies showed it last Friday, so it's likely to show up again this month).

Tomorrow: Another repressed governess is seeing ghosts (.....or is she?)

The Goosebump Moment -- Carrie (1976)

By 1976, Psycho had spawned countless, increasingly bloody, horror films in the 60s and early 70s, most of which just tried to outdo the others in shock value without any artistry.

This is what makes Carrie so unusual. Brian DePalma took the framework of Stephen King's first published novel and created a horror movie that (for much of its length) is funny and sweet, with undertones of foreboding. But here's the trick: It wasn't possible to really shock people at this point (the Exorcist had pretty much cornered the market in that area by the mid-70s).

Instead, he films the movie like a soft-focus teenage sex comedy with a soundtrack filled with soft-rock ballads (think Bread, but sappier) and synth-pop montages. Unlike a horror movie, it's a sunny and silly Cinderella story where poor Carrie escapes her evil mother (and a locker-room full of step-sister like harpies), and gets asked to the ball (er, prom) by a blond curly-haired Prince Charming. She even has an understanding gym teacher/fairy godmother in Miss Collins. None of this tone is evident in the book -- only the plot points are the same -- Carrie is an ugly misfit that you only hear about through other people telling the story.

So, for the climax of the movie, there was no real surprise involved. People had either already read the book, or heck, seen the poster (see above) or the TV ads. Everyone knew that some serious trouble was going to go down at the Prom.

Here's the set-up: We know Carrie has telekinesis. We know her mother is a serious whack-job. We know that Miss Collins is thrilled that Carrie is going to the Prom, but is worried that she's being set up (with good reason -- although she mistakenly suspects that dim-witted Tommy and good-girl Sue). And most importantly, we know that bitch Chris has been out to get Carrie ever since the movie started.

So, we see Carrie get to the Bates High School (get it?) Prom. She's beautiful and everyone is nice to her, and wouldn't this all be great if we didn't all know what was coming. We both look forward to it (it is a horror movie, after all) and dread the inevitable. What follows is a masterpiece of building up the suspense.

Right before the clips below start, there's a dizzying (literally!) sequence where Tommy and Carrie dance to their love theme spinning slowly in one direction while the camera moves in the opposite direction. Watch how the camera moves (with minimal cuts) to show how the plan is going to work. Then, when we're keyed up for things to happen, what does DePalma do? Rather than the rapid-fire editing of the Psycho shower scene, he switches to a dream-like slow-motion, and the rest of the scene plays out without dialogue, yet you know exactly what everyone is thinking. It's awesome....

For the purposes of fully enjoying the full Goosebump Moment, you have to watch the first 1:40 of the 2nd clip as well...although I would suggest stopping the click once the blood falls. I think this is a case where the build-up is better than the payoff, although that's when the horror kicks in. Seriously though, don't ruin it, go watch the movie in full (it is bound to be on tv sometime this month)...

Tomorrow...Hammer Horror brings a bevy of buxom vampiric beauties....

Saturday, October 2, 2010

The Goosebump Moment -- Psycho (1960)

Where better to start the month-long walk through of my favorite scary and other Halloween-themed movies and tv shows than with the scene that gave birth to the modern horror movie.

Now, everyone knows about the Psycho shower has become a part of American pop culture, and as such, has been parodied to the point where it has lost its ability to shock.

So, I'm telling you to watch it again. But first, imagine that you're in a theatre in 1960 seeing this for the first time.

Here's the set-up (and like most of my posts this month, spoilers abound):

Janet Leigh is Marion Crane, a sweet but slutty bank secretary who steals a bunch of money to run away with her married boyfriend. For nearly the first hour of the movie, she is in every shot, and much of the time in some state of undress (seriously, essays have been written about the significance of when she changes from a white bra to a black one).

Prior to Psycho, Janet Leigh was known primarily for lighthearted comedies, costume dramas, and for being Tony Curtis' (R.I.P.) wife. And although today Alfred Hitchcock is often (mistakenly) associated with horror, in 1960 he was known for lighthearted suspense movies and for his droll introductions to his weekly TV series.

So, here we are in 1960 when married couples on TV still slept in separate beds, and Psycho opens with Janet Leigh in her (white) bra wrapping up a lunchtime quickie with shirtless John Saxon (see the poster above). What follows is like an extended episode of Alfred Hitchcock Presents -- there are no horrific overtones at all -- just a suspenseful drama as she steals the money and gets paranoid that everyone is on to her.

Then about 45 minutes in, the movie effectively grinds to a halt as she gets lost in the rain and stops to spend the night at the Bates Motel. She has a long conversation with the odd but polite motel manager Norman, who is stuck taking care of his cranky mother. She realizes that she has made a mistake and decides to return the money the next day. As the clip above starts, we've just seen Norman peep on her while she strips out of her clothes (!) to take a shower. Then in quick succession we see her flush a toilet (!!) and get naked in front of us (!!!).

Remember, no one at this point knew what the movie was really about....they were likely titillated by what they were seeing.... a couple minutes and 70+ camera edits later they were likely reeling in their seats.....

Tomorrow: Brian DePalma pays homage to Psycho and proms are never the same....

The Blog That Rose from the Dead

In honor of October 1 -- the start of my favorite time of year -- I am returning to this long-dormant blog and starting a 31-day Halloween blog-a-thon.

Prepare to be schooled on my favorite scary and Halloween-themed movies and tv shows.... and clear your netflix queues -- it's going to be a creepy month!