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Feature: Stomaching Horror Movies

With the arrival of October just on the other side of the sunrise, so begins Ryan and my month of horror movies. We endeavor each year to devote the month to jointly enjoying scary movies, which happen to be his milieu more so than mine. We also have ourselves booked for a horror movie marathon in two weeks, which will offer some contemporary, one classic and surely a few older flicks that will turn my stomach.

It is not outright gore that disgusts me but the style of those grotesque images used primarily in the 1970s (I think the style spilled over into the preceding and subsequent decades as well). Blood during that era was quite orange and for some reason that shade makes me lose my appetite. The 60s and 70s also was marked by a seeming obsession with period pieces, that is horror movies primarily set in medieval or Renaissance time frames. Vincent Price is particularly guilty of appearing in an abundance of such films and his 1961 Pit and the Pendulum, based of the Edgar Allan Poe story is one I do not revel seeing again at this marathon.

I understand the appeal an era of castles must have had for fright filmmakers back then in addition to the archaic forms of torture, but there is something about the color scheme generally used in the color films of the 1960s and then the 1970s and into the early 1980s that grosses me out. The movie does not need to be a horror flick to turn me away, just have that certain look. I cannot explain this aversion, but perhaps I merely link the style to the revolting scary movies I have seen from these decades.

The irony is, despite being particularly disgusting to me, I find these films otherwise unscary (outside, for instance, the dread one feels in watching that swinging blade inch closer to the victim’s stomach). Because the time period I describe is teetering on the edge of what I consider classic films, perhaps I can write off my uninterest as a need to stick to the classics. Give me a good Frankenstein or comically bad monster movie instead, please.


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