The first horror movie, only about two minutes long, was made by imaginative French filmmaker Georges Melies, titled Le Manoir Du Diable (1896, Fr.) (aka The Devil’s Castle/The Haunted Castle) – containing familiar elements of later horror and vampire films: a flying bat, a medieval castle, a cauldron, a demon figure and anything that exhibited a bizarre look.
Look at the Italian word Bizarre Capricious. Doesn’t it look amusing in one way and fearful in another way?
The film, shot in 1921 and released in 1922, was an unauthorized adaptation of Bram Stoker‘s Dracula, with names and other details changed because the studio could not obtain the rights to the novel (for instance, “vampire” became “Nosferatu” and “Count Dracula” became “Count Orlok”).
The Order of the Dragon. Vlad, or Dracula, was born in 1431 in Transylvania into a noble family. His father was called “Dracul,” meaning “dragon” or “devil” in Romanian because he belonged to the Order of the Dragon, which fought the Muslim Ottoman Empire. “Dracula” means “son of Dracul” in Romanian.
Dracula is literally translated in Gaelic as Drac Ullah meaning bad blood. …. Thus, the Romanian word Dracul stands in English for both dragon and devil. Dracula will bite only the neck. Why? Is it so nice more than any other parts?
Before writing Dracula, Stoker met Armin Vambery, a Hungarian writer and traveller. Dracula likely emerged from Vámbéry’s dark stories of the Carpathian Mountains. Stoker then spent several years researching European folklore and mythological stories of vampires.
Dracula is an epistolary novel, written as a collection of realistic but completely fictional diary entries, telegrams, letters, ship’s logs, and newspaper clippings, all of which added a level of detailed realism to the story, a skill which Stoker had developed as a newspaper writer. At the time of its publication, Dracula was considered a “straightforward horror novel” based on imaginary creations of supernatural life. “It gave form to a universal fantasy . . . and became a part of popular culture.
The later movies like The exorcist in which the rotating head of a girl gave a weird look. The figure in Annabelle is also the same. Once there was a film Jack the Ripper, supposed to be a spine chiller.
In between Alfred Hitchcock created psychic movies mending a little bit of horror in it.
Then came the era of masks and costumes. I think the dress of Santa Claus must be the first one adorned in public parties, especially during Christmas. Other costumes followed.
When the Malls and Super Departmental store chains came in view, these dresses resembling Disney characters and then the Superman and Spiderman and He Man with stuffed up muscles came up as an amusement for children and elders. Star War characters are also not spared. Giving a hug with the bear costume and shaking hands and kisses became a fashion or an in thing. No monkeys were found. I don’t know why? If a T Rex welcomes us at the entrance? I think the space suit hasn’t surfaced yet at the gates of all these annexes.
The vampire fangs became popular after the film Dracula.
The latest additions are Dentures Zombie Vampire Teeth Ghost Devil Fangs Halloween Props Costumes.
The latest import is exhibiting these costumes in restaurants. Already one hotel has come with the name ‘Haunted House’, the theme restaurant.
At the entrance itself the Dracula face will welcome you, like the skull entrance in the Phantom Comics. After reading many Phantom episodes of my time of Lee Falk, the entrance will be merryfying than horrifying.
Come inside. The serving boys will be in the masks and costumes of prehistoric creatures, thanks to Spielberg. For the tiny tots playing in the garden, the ice creams will be offered by batman and Spiderman and the latest crawling and swimming creatures of Disney fame Dory in the swimming pool.
But nobody can beat our Bees Saal baad which I call as a landmark ‘horror’ movie of all times in the Indian subcontinent. This created a sensation of ‘lady’ ghosts in white sarees that will drag for miles and fly in the wind and the song that followed. The hero will only follow her in the misty domain.
Why going to a haunted restaurant when few are offering 30 varieties of herbal teas and 40 varieties of salads and soups! Even Tibetans have come out from high altitudes to our Chennai sea shore! What more is needed for a haunted feeling? Added to it there will be a long list of all the medicinal properties on the earth in the recipe. This is Yoga Year and people will taste anything to get well.
Just like the adage ‘behind every successful man there is a woman’, will there be an ambulance and a team of doctors and a box full of medicines for every show of horror movies? Will it become mandatory to give a certification? Ghost alone can tell! Will it prophecy a 3 D film in horror?
We are living totally in a funny world indeed!
By Sundareswaran date: 6th July 2016
Source: The Times of India Chennai Times dated 5th July
Details from Internet sites.