You know where to find me…

Ghost of Frankenstein

Sometimes a friend will post a movie photo on his or her Facebook page or blog and my kneejerk response is, invariably, “I am so there!” Kneejerk or knot, I mean literally that. The magic of art in general — and cinema in particular — is that it takes us out of body, recuses us from mundane concerns, from our industry, our labor, our obligations, and woes and transports us to another plane, where we exist in two vicariously exciting dimensions. Well, the movies bring to the party height and width and our imagination provides the depth for a personal 3D conversion that technology could never duplicate, allows us to breach the fourth wall and step into the frame. I’ve been studying the above frame for years — a classic image from GHOST OF FRANKENSTEIN (1942) — and the corresponding scene from the film. Since I was a little boy, I wanted to be in that cemetery (with or without Bela), stepping through the ground-fog, reading the names on the stones and feeling that Gothic chill. Call me crazy, but when I was an anxiety-prone 12 year-old, the thought was comforting. A Frankenstein cemetery was my safe place, was sanctuary. And in my heart it still is.

Battle Planet_of_the_Apes_blu-ray

Would I want to live in a real irradiated city? I’m not saying that… and yet whenever I see this matte shot from BATTLE FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES (1973) I just want to be there. Why is that? Is there a psychological term for this? BATTLE and BENEATH THE PLANET OF THE APES (1971) both had scenes set in The Forbidden Zone, the remains of a long-ago-blasted human city (New York in BENEATH, specifically Queensboro Plaza, the New York Stock Exchange on Wall Street and St. Patrick’s Cathedral in midtown, all of which have gotten smooshed up against one another) and if I had to hazard a guess I’d say it’s the thrill of poking around in the ruins and finding relics of a long-ago time. Sadly, I’ve lived long enough to see portions of New York City reduced to a Forbidden Zone-like ruin and that was no fun… but the image still thrills me. And I still want to go there.

Beast from 20,000 Fathoms

You know when hero Paul Christian and bit player Lee Van Cleef ride the rollercoaster to destroy THE BEAST FROM 20,000 FATHOMS (1953)? And I’m not talking about just being in the place, per se — I’ve been to Coney Island — I’m talking about the adventure, the risk. All of it. The radioactive mini-warhead, the suits, and then the slow ascent up the coaster. You could choose — and people have chosen — to laugh at the preposterousness of this setpiece or you could do as I do every time I watch the movie… just go there.

Brides of Dracula

Pretty much any horror movie scene set within a provincial inn or tavern and I’m Johnny on the Spot. These places always seem so cozy and inviting. (When the regulars aren’t acting like jerks… which they always are. They always eye newcomers suspiciously and act rudely. Can’t a horror movie protagonist ever walk into a tavern and have the locals go “Hey, look who’s here? A stranger! Let’s buy him a shandy!” But no, nobody ever goes that.) Gothic horror movies are invariably set in autumn, nearer winter than summer, and you always get a feeling of a chill in the air, so when characters come into a tavern and have a glass of wine or a bowl of goulash I always feel that warmth in my bones. Because, you know, I’m there.

Night of the Demon

Karswell’s comeuppance and the restoration of order in NIGHT OF THE DEMON (1957) occurs in an ordinarily drab trainhead, at the junction of superstition and science. I want to pitch my tent there, by Karswell’s smoldering remains… or whatever the Demon leaves of him.

X, the Man with the X-Ray Eyes

Every minute spent in  Don Rickels’ company in X: THE MAN WITH THE X-RAY EYES (1963) is like time spent sitting in my Dad’s Lazy Boy after he’s turned in for the night.

Cat and the Canary

To see Gale Sondergaard’s baleful face in the window in THE CAT AND THE CANARY (1939) not only means I’m home but that dinner’s on the table.

Them!

Know how James Whitmore’s character in THEM! (1954) is always coming to the aid of children and how he comforts the little orphan girl while the rest of the adults talk science? I want to end my days there.

Brute Force

It’s not just horror movies and it’s not always about feeling good. Sometimes it’s the way a movie makes you feel bad that causes you to set up housekeeping. The lost look on Howard Duff’s face when John Hoyt dies during the prison break in BRUTE FORCE (1947)? I live there.

3 Godfathers

John Wayne’s Terrapin Tanks speech from 3 GODFATHERS (1948)? I live there.

Crime Wave

Dub Taylor gassing on about music just before Ted de Corsia coldcocks him in CRIME WAVE (1954)? I live there.

Targets

The TARGETS (1968) tanks? I live there. Almost literally.

Lost Continent

THE LOST CONTINENT‘s (1968) strangling Sargasso of miniature ships? I live there.

Throne of Blood

Toshiro’s moment of perfect clarity at the end of THRONE OF BLOOD (1957)? I live there.

Heroes for Sale

Aline MacMahon’s broken heart in HEROES FOR SALE (1933)? I live there.

Black Sabbath

The vampire boy who comes home to cry for his mother in BLACK SABBATH (1963)? Brrr… I live there. Annnd we’re back with horror movies. Well, you know me. You know how I am. And now you know where I live.

Where do you live?

28 Responses You know where to find me…
Posted By Doug : June 21, 2013 5:11 pm

Just last night I watched the Blu-ray of “The Shadow” starring Alec Baldwin, John Lone and Penelope Ann Miller. The sets and art design were gorgeous, especially Lamont Cranston’s mansion. I said to myself, “I want to live there!” and here is this post.
I have no idea why this film wasn’t as big as Tim Burton’s “Batman”-it’s a solid show that impressed me all the way through.
It even has Ian McKellen!
Where else would I live? Freedonia. New York City from a thousand films. San Francisco. I’d visit Oz, and maybe, for a few days, Bruges.

Posted By Doug : June 21, 2013 5:11 pm

Just last night I watched the Blu-ray of “The Shadow” starring Alec Baldwin, John Lone and Penelope Ann Miller. The sets and art design were gorgeous, especially Lamont Cranston’s mansion. I said to myself, “I want to live there!” and here is this post.
I have no idea why this film wasn’t as big as Tim Burton’s “Batman”-it’s a solid show that impressed me all the way through.
It even has Ian McKellen!
Where else would I live? Freedonia. New York City from a thousand films. San Francisco. I’d visit Oz, and maybe, for a few days, Bruges.

Posted By Vanwall : June 21, 2013 5:17 pm

Nice to know we live in a lot of the same places. Most of them are dark, some of them are happy, all of them are mine, at least until the run-time is out.

Posted By Vanwall : June 21, 2013 5:17 pm

Nice to know we live in a lot of the same places. Most of them are dark, some of them are happy, all of them are mine, at least until the run-time is out.

Posted By AL : June 21, 2013 6:00 pm

I know it’s basically a puppet on wheels, but the demon in NIGHT OF THE DEMON is my personal favorite of all the screen Monsters. I think he’s beautiful!

Posted By AL : June 21, 2013 6:00 pm

I know it’s basically a puppet on wheels, but the demon in NIGHT OF THE DEMON is my personal favorite of all the screen Monsters. I think he’s beautiful!

Posted By Brian : June 21, 2013 6:03 pm

I’ve yet to meet the person who wouldn’t want to visit Oz. My favorite place to live? On the Starship Enterprise as it leaves for a new alien world at the end of every episode.

Posted By Brian : June 21, 2013 6:03 pm

I’ve yet to meet the person who wouldn’t want to visit Oz. My favorite place to live? On the Starship Enterprise as it leaves for a new alien world at the end of every episode.

Posted By Qalice : June 21, 2013 6:32 pm

I, too, live on the Enterprise, as long as the Captain is Kirk and the First Officer is Spock.

When Roy Batty dies on a rainy roof in Blade Runner, I live there.

When Michelle Pfeiffer says “I am sorrow” in Ladyhawke, I live there.

When The Three Musketeers, played by Oliver Reed, Frank Finley and Richard Chamberlain, along with D’Artagnan played by Michael York, cause a fight in a tavern just to steal food, I want to be there.

When Jody Foster shoots a serial killer, aiming just by the sound of his gun in a dark basement, in Silence of the Lambs, I wish I was there.

When Fred Astaire dances, but especially in The Band Wagon, I want to go there!

And when Buster Keaton moves stoically through the most amazing adventures, in any of his movies, I want to live there always.

Posted By Qalice : June 21, 2013 6:32 pm

I, too, live on the Enterprise, as long as the Captain is Kirk and the First Officer is Spock.

When Roy Batty dies on a rainy roof in Blade Runner, I live there.

When Michelle Pfeiffer says “I am sorrow” in Ladyhawke, I live there.

When The Three Musketeers, played by Oliver Reed, Frank Finley and Richard Chamberlain, along with D’Artagnan played by Michael York, cause a fight in a tavern just to steal food, I want to be there.

When Jody Foster shoots a serial killer, aiming just by the sound of his gun in a dark basement, in Silence of the Lambs, I wish I was there.

When Fred Astaire dances, but especially in The Band Wagon, I want to go there!

And when Buster Keaton moves stoically through the most amazing adventures, in any of his movies, I want to live there always.

Posted By DevlinCarnate : June 21, 2013 7:36 pm

another great nostalgia filled post…too many “wish i’d been there” moments to count…i enjoy these blogs precisely because of that,it stretches my memory

Posted By DevlinCarnate : June 21, 2013 7:36 pm

another great nostalgia filled post…too many “wish i’d been there” moments to count…i enjoy these blogs precisely because of that,it stretches my memory

Posted By Gene : June 21, 2013 9:27 pm

What an incredible post! I lived in the movies, television, and old time radio as a kid. What incredible memories and inspiration to this day. I could be in sooo many moments and films:
1) With Dorothy in Oz – definitely
2) With Barnabas Collins (Jonathan Frid – not Depp) in House of Dark Shadows
3) With The Beast and his house while he longs for Belle in Cocteau’s La Belle et La Bete
4) With the Rabbi (and his odd sons)in Fanny and Alexander
5) With Mastroianni in every moment of 8 1/2
and Giuliette Masina in every moment of Juliet of The Spirits
6) With Lon Chaney Sr in The Phantom of The Opera
7) With Satine in Moulin Rouge
8) With the children in The Innocents
9) With Norma Desmond in Getty’s vast mansion in Sunset BLVD.
10) With Nur ed Din in Pasolini’s Arabian Nights
… I can go on and on and on – it’s endless what film can do

Posted By Gene : June 21, 2013 9:27 pm

What an incredible post! I lived in the movies, television, and old time radio as a kid. What incredible memories and inspiration to this day. I could be in sooo many moments and films:
1) With Dorothy in Oz – definitely
2) With Barnabas Collins (Jonathan Frid – not Depp) in House of Dark Shadows
3) With The Beast and his house while he longs for Belle in Cocteau’s La Belle et La Bete
4) With the Rabbi (and his odd sons)in Fanny and Alexander
5) With Mastroianni in every moment of 8 1/2
and Giuliette Masina in every moment of Juliet of The Spirits
6) With Lon Chaney Sr in The Phantom of The Opera
7) With Satine in Moulin Rouge
8) With the children in The Innocents
9) With Norma Desmond in Getty’s vast mansion in Sunset BLVD.
10) With Nur ed Din in Pasolini’s Arabian Nights
… I can go on and on and on – it’s endless what film can do

Posted By Richard : June 22, 2013 1:02 am

Great post! I guess I live in both the light and the dark. Here are a few:

When an 8 year old kid sees Karloff’s Frankenstein back into a room for the first time on Shock Theater and slowly turns for a close-up, life begins.

I live with the trooper in Them who is left behind at the murder scene at night in the desert. When the ant sounds begin he turns out the light and slowly walks off camera …

I live with Peggy Ashcroft as the farmer’s young wife in the 39 Steps. The look of loss on her face as Robert Donat runs away from the police is heartbreaking.

I live at the Enchantment Under the Sea Dance in Back to the Future when Marty, who can’t make the cut for his 80′s high school talent show, invents rock and roll.

I live with The Wonders when they hear their record played for the first time in That Thing You Do!

I live with Oskar when he so gently and awkwardly embraces the vampire Eli in Let the Right One In.

I live in the “You Make my Dreams Come True” fantasy sequence in 500 Days of Summer.

I live in Bedford Falls with the Bailey’s, in Amelie’s Paris, the Kinsella’s farm in Iowa, and the Bates Motel.

It is a list without end. But it is fun to think about.

Posted By Richard : June 22, 2013 1:02 am

Great post! I guess I live in both the light and the dark. Here are a few:

When an 8 year old kid sees Karloff’s Frankenstein back into a room for the first time on Shock Theater and slowly turns for a close-up, life begins.

I live with the trooper in Them who is left behind at the murder scene at night in the desert. When the ant sounds begin he turns out the light and slowly walks off camera …

I live with Peggy Ashcroft as the farmer’s young wife in the 39 Steps. The look of loss on her face as Robert Donat runs away from the police is heartbreaking.

I live at the Enchantment Under the Sea Dance in Back to the Future when Marty, who can’t make the cut for his 80′s high school talent show, invents rock and roll.

I live with The Wonders when they hear their record played for the first time in That Thing You Do!

I live with Oskar when he so gently and awkwardly embraces the vampire Eli in Let the Right One In.

I live in the “You Make my Dreams Come True” fantasy sequence in 500 Days of Summer.

I live in Bedford Falls with the Bailey’s, in Amelie’s Paris, the Kinsella’s farm in Iowa, and the Bates Motel.

It is a list without end. But it is fun to think about.

Posted By swac44 : June 22, 2013 10:18 am

If you need me, I’ll be in the hammock next to Walter Huston’s down near the Sierra Madre.

Posted By swac44 : June 22, 2013 10:18 am

If you need me, I’ll be in the hammock next to Walter Huston’s down near the Sierra Madre.

Posted By Brian : June 22, 2013 7:58 pm

Qalice, I agree. If Kirk and Spock aren’t on the bridge beam me back to the living room.

RHS, Great blog and one deserving of a sequel. It certainly stoked my imagination.

Posted By Brian : June 22, 2013 7:58 pm

Qalice, I agree. If Kirk and Spock aren’t on the bridge beam me back to the living room.

RHS, Great blog and one deserving of a sequel. It certainly stoked my imagination.

Posted By jbryant : June 23, 2013 9:22 pm

You can find me at Nell Kenner’s place, jamming with Roland Young and Leila Hyams in RUGGLES OF RED GAP.

Posted By jbryant : June 23, 2013 9:22 pm

You can find me at Nell Kenner’s place, jamming with Roland Young and Leila Hyams in RUGGLES OF RED GAP.

Posted By robbushblog : June 24, 2013 2:37 pm

I want to live in Bedford Falls, not far from the Bailey Bros. Building and Loan and Mr. Gower’s drugstore.

I also want to live on the U.S.S. Enterprise with Captain Kirk as my captain.

Although I don’t drink, I want to spend time in Rick’s Café Americain, witnessing all of the intrigue that goes on.

I want to be the one kid who doesn’t do anything wrong inside Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory.

I want to be on the Millennium falcon with Han, Chewie and Luke shooting at Imperial fighters while flying through space.

I want to live in the Finch house, with Atticus to look up to.

I want to be poolside with Phoebe Cates.

I want to live in Technicolor Sherwood with Robin and his merry men, planning guerilla attacks on “noble” passersby.

I want to stop at a certain bus stop and fall in love with a sad, gorgeous, blond singer.

And finally, I want to ride hell-bent for leather through Monument Valley, with Comanches approaching both flanks.

Posted By robbushblog : June 24, 2013 2:37 pm

I want to live in Bedford Falls, not far from the Bailey Bros. Building and Loan and Mr. Gower’s drugstore.

I also want to live on the U.S.S. Enterprise with Captain Kirk as my captain.

Although I don’t drink, I want to spend time in Rick’s Café Americain, witnessing all of the intrigue that goes on.

I want to be the one kid who doesn’t do anything wrong inside Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory.

I want to be on the Millennium falcon with Han, Chewie and Luke shooting at Imperial fighters while flying through space.

I want to live in the Finch house, with Atticus to look up to.

I want to be poolside with Phoebe Cates.

I want to live in Technicolor Sherwood with Robin and his merry men, planning guerilla attacks on “noble” passersby.

I want to stop at a certain bus stop and fall in love with a sad, gorgeous, blond singer.

And finally, I want to ride hell-bent for leather through Monument Valley, with Comanches approaching both flanks.

Posted By Nim Kovak : June 25, 2013 3:55 am

I also yearn to get that chilly reception at a classic horror film pub … If you think people are distant initially, just wait until you make that awkward query : “Oh, by the way, which way should I steer my coach if I want to go stop by my old chum DRACULA’S CASTLE!!” … That’s when it really gets bad … That’s when you get the classic response (I think I can nearly quote it by heart)

“Sir, you paid for a meal … As an inn-keeper it is my duty to serve you … When you have eaten it, please go from here & leave us in peace …” (something like that)

Posted By Nim Kovak : June 25, 2013 3:55 am

I also yearn to get that chilly reception at a classic horror film pub … If you think people are distant initially, just wait until you make that awkward query : “Oh, by the way, which way should I steer my coach if I want to go stop by my old chum DRACULA’S CASTLE!!” … That’s when it really gets bad … That’s when you get the classic response (I think I can nearly quote it by heart)

“Sir, you paid for a meal … As an inn-keeper it is my duty to serve you … When you have eaten it, please go from here & leave us in peace …” (something like that)

Posted By Ivan : June 25, 2013 8:56 am

RHS, what a fab post! Hope you’re working on a sequel!

Since I’ve been going through a lot of, um, mood swings lately:
–manic: Leatherface’s dance to the sun at the end of TCM 1974
–down: The close-up of Clint at the end of Thunderbolt & Lightfoot
–”Whew! I survived another day!”: (TIE) The Marines singing the Mickey Mouse song at the end of Full Metal Jacket/the look on the Gyro Captain’s face when he pulls up to the wrecked tanker in The Road Warrior

Hmmmm, all my selections are from the end of films; gotta ponder that….

Thanks,
Ivan

Posted By Ivan : June 25, 2013 8:56 am

RHS, what a fab post! Hope you’re working on a sequel!

Since I’ve been going through a lot of, um, mood swings lately:
–manic: Leatherface’s dance to the sun at the end of TCM 1974
–down: The close-up of Clint at the end of Thunderbolt & Lightfoot
–”Whew! I survived another day!”: (TIE) The Marines singing the Mickey Mouse song at the end of Full Metal Jacket/the look on the Gyro Captain’s face when he pulls up to the wrecked tanker in The Road Warrior

Hmmmm, all my selections are from the end of films; gotta ponder that….

Thanks,
Ivan

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