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Showing posts from June 2, 2012

Der müde Tod (1921) - Fritz Lang

Destiny from 1921 is the first successful film by Fritz Lang. Since I am doing this in chronological order, this is the first Horror movie to be made this well. Fritz Lang takes into account every aspect of the film. He weighs the contrast of the lighting with the mood in the scene. He gets these wonderful HUGE shots outside and the film is still visible. He actually spent the time experimenting with film to get the actual science behind successful cinematography. Sure, Robert Wiene had some fantastic sets in Caligari. However, Lang is successful with both artistic set design and beautiful cinematography.
The story is deeper than most horror films up to this point. The title suggests that Death might be the “Destiny” of every man, or I should say that every man’s destiny is Death. However, I believe that it actually shows that bringing souls out of the living is the Destiny for Death.
Death in this movie is quite well portrayed, perhaps the most well portrayed version of Death. His c…

The Penalty (1920) - Wallace Worsley

The Penalty from 1920 just might be the most demanding role that Lon Chaney has ever had to take on. This role called for him to play Blizzard, a gangster that has not had legs for most of his life. They were amputated. To preform this role Lon Chaney had to literally tie his legs behind his back so that he could appear as an amputee for the film. This proved to be extremely painful for Chaney who would only be able to film scenes for about 5 - 10 minuets at a time. This was about when the pain would become excruciating. This role actually left the great actor with permanent damage to the muscles in his legs. Now, that is going out on a limb (or two) for your role.

The Penalty is nothing more than a gangster picture. Wikipedia and the sources that I use to research horror movies says otherwise. They classify this movie as a Crime/Horror film. However, there isn’t a scene in the entire movie that makes a hair stand vertical on my neck. That being said the movie is really interesting. T…

The Golem: How He Came Into the World (1920) - Paul Wegener

This movie is among the greatest silents to have ever graced a silver screen. Der Golem is truly superior work, it shows that famous brand of expressionism almost better than Dr. Caligari. The effects alone are enough to make you fall in love with it and beg for more.
The story, shows the Jews who are under persecution from the kingdom of Prague. Rabbi Lowe, the main character in this story, has enough of the persecution. He creates a giant Golem out of clay to protect his Ghetto. Then he brings the Golem to life by placing a star of David, emblazoned with a ‘magic word’ on it. The Golem does the Rabbi’s bidding and helps rid the kingdom of its evil emperor and evil citizens.

Its not enough for the Rabbi’s right hand man though. Who is jealous that the Rabbi’s daughter is dating some shiksa! Furious the Rabbi’s buddy sicks the Golem on the shiksa and all hell breaks loose. The only way to stop the Golem now is if there is some little girl who will rip the star from the Golem’s chest!…