Monday, December 13, 2010

Ten Movie I Want to See:Dead of Night

About all I know about Dead of Night is that:

--It's an anthology horror film with the what may be filmdom's first Evil Ventriloquist Dummy plot.

--It was praised to heaven by Robert Bloch in a Famous Monsters of Filmland essay that was brief, cranky, and (because it was one of the few article not written by Forrest J. Ackerman, a writer who surpasses even the great Stan Lee in corniness) surprisingly coherent.

--It was a rare pre-Hammer British horror film, back when the Brits had a track record in horror that was as pathetic as its legacy literary horror was legendary. Amazingly, it's by Ealing Studios, which would soon become synonymous with comedy.

--I passed up the chance to see it one night on a UHF channel. I wasn't primed for it, and I wanted wait until I could give it my full attention to watch it. I haven't seen it for rent or sale ever since.

That's all I know and that's all I want to know. Horror anthologies should surprise you.


At 12/15/10, 12:15 PM, Anonymous Boston Bill said...

Abracadabra I sit on his knee,
Presto Chango - now he's ME!
Hocus Pocus we take her to bed.
Magic is FUN! We're DEAD!

At 12/15/10, 12:24 PM, Blogger Monster, Indeed! said...

That's from Magic, a '70s Evil Ventriloquist Dummy movie that took a more psychological bent on the theme. That Dummy was definitely creepy as hell.

At 12/22/10, 7:14 AM, Anonymous Boston Bill said...

Yeah, I know, your post just brought it to mind. One of the first trailers that I can remember that wasn't just clips, but an original ad to whet your interest. In fact, it's better than the movie (which is good). It's reputation has grown with Hopkin's fame for portraying Dr Lector!

At 12/23/10, 7:39 PM, Anonymous RPM said...

I'm still scared of Willie THe Dummy from the Twilight Zone episode "THe Dummy". I saw it when I was very young, like on first run or first rerun. I've never been the same since. It had a visceral effect on my psyche.
One day a Charlie McCarthy ventriloquist doll came to my store. I bough it as part of a collection of things. I priced it real cheap ($35.00) just to make it go away!
When I came in the next day , it was gone. Still, I looked for it in the shadows, just in case it lay in wait........

At 12/23/10, 9:03 PM, Blogger Monster, Indeed! said...

The freakiest thing in tat Twilight Zone episode is when the camera pans across the room and suddenly you realize that the ventriloquist dummy, who was laid on his side, is now sitting straight up. In the days before rewinding, that scen could freak you out. "Wait, the dummy wasn't like that before--was it?"

So how come Mortimer Snerd never inspires this kind of fear?


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