I think it’s safe to say that when I first saw 1973’s The Exorcist I was totally too young to comprehend the horror it was presenting. I guess I saw it when I was probably around seven or eight thanks to it airing on the Movie Channel. All in all I was actually bored by the film, especially when my Father talked up how absolutely horrifying the film was when he first saw it, the shocked audience members, the young women fainting, etc.
Having said that though when I watched the film about eight years later…boom…I was absolutely terrified by it. I had a very, very hard time getting to sleep that night, my brain kept playing over the ultimate nightmarish scenario of what was said to be true events. Of course being a fright fan means that in some masochistic way I really do enjoy being absolutely terrified out of my mind…so that is why I revisit the Exorcist on dark and stormy nights now and again.
The other day I stumbled across this 10th anniversary interview from a 1984 episode of Good Morning America featuring host Joan Lunden discussing the cultural impact with Max Von Sydow, Ellen Burstyn, Jason Miller, and of course Linda Blair. William Peter Blatty, the author of the novel that the film was based on as well as screenwriter for that script is interviewed as well.
Many of you know that I love a good horror movie but there is a selection of films that I hold in the highest of esteem, that would be the original Universal Monster pantheon. Dracula, Frankenstein’s Monster, the Creature from the Black Lagoon, the Invisible Man, the Mummy, and my favorite of all, the Wolf Man.
I’ve told this story in the forums before, when I was three years old I stayed up to watch the local Saturday Midnight horror show on television. I do vividly remember sitting up in the bed next to him, transfixed to the screen while my Father was snoring away. He woke up and told me I had to go to sleep and I told him I would after the movie. I wasn’t scared by Frankenstein’s Monster, in fact after watching that film I’ve always had a love for the Monsters that goes very deeply, they are the individuals who are wronged…well, normally…I mean Dracula and the Invisible Man are hard to have soft feelings for.
Shortly after that viewing of Frankenstein I started to draw, watch, and play anything monster related. Around that time Post cereals, I believe it was Sugar Crisps, started to give out glow in the dark mini-posters that had the Universal Monsters printed on them. I got the Wolf Man, hung him up on the inner door of our bedroom…and this is the only time I was frightened by the Monsters…because my Father had failed to mention the poster glowed in the dark. I woke up and turned over…there was the Wolf Man’s face staring back at me. I yanked the covers up over my head and didn’t go back to sleep. The poster got taken down, even though I protested, but soon I was introduced to the Wolf Man proper when it was played on the same Midnight horror show a couple of weeks later.
If you want the epitome of the classic Universal Monsters you owe it to yourself to watch this film.
I really enjoyed the director’s cut by the way of the Wolfman remake, I thought the theatrical version was all right but it cut out some very important character development and a fantastic scene with Benicio Del Toro and Max Von Sydow. So if you are bored some night, make it a double feature with some enjoyable lycanthrope action!
Another huge thanks to Quint’s continuing awesome behind the scenes series over at Ain’t It Cool News, as well it’s submitter, Nick Wesley. Today you can see how the crew brought about the ‘living’ painting sequence involving Vigo the Carpathian (Wilhelm von Homburg, voiced by Max Von Sydow).