When I was little, my mom took my sister and me to the movies every weekend. Sometimes I picked the movie, 101 Dalmations was one of my picks. My sister picked the movies most of the time. Black Sunday (the horror/monster one from the 1950's, not the modern one about a football stadium being blown up). Black Sunday was a horror movie with witches and vampires and some pretty narly scenes. Between that one and a few others I sat through, I spent a large part of my childhood absolutely convinced that there was a vampire (who bore a striking likeness to Bela Lugosi) lurking outside my bedroom window. I spent many a night with the sheets over my head and a firm grasp on my little rosary beads.
There was a television program called Morgus Presents - he was a mad scientist who hosted a show that featured a monster movie each week. And, yes, of course, that was on the television in our house every week. Needless to say, I was less than thrilled. Whereas before, the monsters only presented themselves to me at the movie theater (and outside my bedroom window) - NOW?? Now they were INSIDE MY HOUSE!!!! Now that flipping Bela was actually in my livingroom. And Frankenstein too. Not to mention, the Mummy, the Creature from the Black Lagoon and on and on. Then, there was Chiller Theatre. Chiller!!! More monsters more movies more times - more me under the covers!!!
And don't get me started on the mutated human themes. "The Fly" with Vincent Price - the ending of that movie horrified me. And, if that wasn't bad enough, they remade it in the 80's with Jeff Goldblum. I don't like the mutation movies and will not watch them. Once Vincent 'the Fly' Price cried "help me, help me" I never watched another movie about a mutated monster man again. Yuck.
As I got older, I would just exit the building if necessary, or go watch cowboy movies with my grandfather. (Gotta love them cowboys!!)
Then, one day, I watched a movie called "War of the Worlds" with Gene Barry. Well, that movie was and remains to this day my absolute favorite monster movie.
I began to pick and choose which monsters I would give screen time to. I love old B movies of all kinds, and some of the monster ones are favorites. THEM! (big ants!!), The Day the Earth Stood Still!!!, Forbidden Planet! In fact, we were watching 'Mothra' when the big blackout in the 1960's struck NY! One minute the big bug was flying with the tiny girls and the next minute NY was in total darkness - and I never did find out what happened to those two little ladies or the big bug for that matter.
Anyway, today, if I see an old B monster movie that falls within the parameters of my Will/Won't Watch List, Im' in. The monsters from my childhood were so nice. They had their faults, but really, they were just misunderstood, in the wrong place at the wrong time, frightened, confused. ; ) Nothing like the disgusting, unimaginative, revolting, downright garbage that seems to pass for monster movies today. If a power tool plays a part in a movie, I do not watch it. If a creature needs to 'incubate' inside a person, it does not get tv time with me. And, if there is any flesh eating, or things of that nature - nope, not on my menu (excuse the pun!).
One movie that I have never gotten past the first three opening minutes is "Night of the Living Dead". At age 58 I still try once in a while, and sure enough, 3 minutes and I am outta there. Zombies, double yuck. The movie creeps me out from the minute the film starts rolling.
A few years ago, I was watching War of the Worlds one afternoon, and my daughter happened to walk through the room, asked what I was watching. She sat down and started watching (War of the Worlds is captioned!!!) and fell in love with the movie. Now, every time it comes on she is sitting there next to me enjoying every moment of the film.
So, do you have a favorite monster movie?
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