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Tuesday, September 8, 2015

My Favorite Horror Movie Props

I received an e-mail a while ago from Sam Harding of Invaluable.com asking if I could write an article about my favorite movie prop/props.

It took me a bit of time to come up with one.  But each time I thought of one, another cool one would come to mind... so, I decided I'd write up a quick list of my top five horror movie props.

So, there they are in chronological movie order:

1.  "Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horror" (1922)- Count Orlok's Coat.

While technically not a prop, I would absolutely love to have the coat worn by Count Orlok in "Nosferatu".

This item was such a simple thing that added so much to the character, and the mood of the film.  The dark contrast of the coat with the paleness of Count Orlok's skin, when combined with the shadowy lighting- made you feel as if he was coming out of the shadow physically.

It also turned a rather hideous looking creature into a solid, strong looking figure of menace, and added a touch of class and regalness to him.

2.  "The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms" (1953)-
The Beast.

This item is on the list because it helped cement stop motion animation as not just an art form- but also as a valuable tool for movie storytelling when done right.

And you couldn't do it any more right than Ray Harryhausen.

The attention to detail for musculature, scales, etc is just amazing... and since it's designed to be flexible, it'd be cool to pose it and make it eat GI Joe...

3.  "Dementia 13" (1963)- Kathleen & Gravestone.

One of the creepiest scenes in "Dementia 13" is near the start of the movie when Louise is swimming in the pond.  She finds "Kathleen" and a gravestone underwater.

The Kathleen wax doll is such a vital part of the killer's psychology... and is essentially the reason WHY people wind up dying.

To display it, I'd recreate the underwater scene as best I could.

4.  "The Fog" (1980)- 6 Must Die Sign.

The sign of the wrecked Elizabeth Dane that changes to read, "6 MUST DIE" introduces a vital plot point, and lets us know that the scares are JUST beginning.

A must for over any horror fan's door...

5.  "Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon" (2006)- Leslie Vernon Mask.

Like Count Orlok's coat, it's a simple thing that helps to create such a great look and feel for the character of Leslie Vernon.

The colour, large eye holes, and the long, scar-like mouth combine to make this mask pretty creepy.  It's like a the skull of some genetically unformed monster.

Combined with the "hillbilly" clothes, you could easily mistake it for the face of a inbred, cannibalistic fanatic in the dark woods.

So, there you have it.  Those are five horror movie props I would love to either own, or have replicas of for display in "The Corner of Terror" office.

What are YOUR favorite horror movie props?  You might find one of them at Invaluable.com's site, so give them a visit at the following link, and come away with a piece of horror movie history!

A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy's Revenge (1985)

In 1984, Wes Craven introduced the world to Freddy Krueger, and horror movies were never quite the same again.

In 1985, "A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy's Revenge" came out, pushing Krueger into the realm of household word and horror icon.

Five years after Nancy Thompson fought Freddy Krueger, Jesse Walsh has moved into her old house.  Soon, Jesse starts to experience bad dreams that become reality.  As people start to die, Jesse finds himself fighting Krueger for his very soul...

While I did enjoy this movie, I found it fell short of the first one.  The premise of an entity possessing someone to kill is interesting, but I felt it didn't really fit in with Freddy's personality.  He wouldn't use someone else to kill in the "real world", since he could do so in their dreams.  Not only that, he strikes me as having a huge enough ego that he wouldn't want the puppet getting the credit for the kill.  Not only that, his being able to manifest and kill in the "real world" kinda goes against the first movie, where he was pretty much limited to their dreams.

The characters, while likable, weren't all that different from the ones from the first movie- especially the jocky Ron Grady.  He was almost a carbon copy of Rod Lane in the first one.  That factor made it a little hard to really care about them.

The acting was good.  As usual, Robert Englund was great as Krueger.  Mark Patton did a good job as Jesse, bringing a nice touch of vulnerability to the character.  Kim Myers looked good, and brought strength and compassion to Jesse's love interest, Lisa Webber.  The other actors honestly didn't get enough screen time to really bring their characters to life... which probably added to their already somewhat cookie cutter feel.

Visually, this film had some great moments and effects (especially for 1985).  Krueger's face melting was great to see, and I thought the editing for Coach Schnieder's death was fantastic.  While, you can tell that it was filmed in the 80's (big hair, and 80's clothes abound big time), the movies at a visual pace that helps to keep you from focusing on those things.  The way the fire moves along the railings, etc at the climax really impressed me, and looked stunning.

All in all, I would certainly recommend "A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy's Revenge", I would also add that it's not one that I'd watch frequently, as it doesn't quite fit in with the overall series.  I'm going to put it in The Bad.