Now I’m announcing the winner of my Name Your Top Thee Horror Films.
This was bloody hard because everyone had at least one film that I love. It almost came down to sticking a knife in the computer screen. But the winner is – Allan Krummenacker [he deserves to win just for his name, actually 😉 ]. Alan, I have emailed you so send me your address and the book will be on its way with the next carrier bat. Alan’s choice was:
Written and directed by John Carpenter, tells the story of Michael Myers as he stalks and kills teenage babysitters on Halloween. The film begins with six-year-old Michael killing his teenage sister Judith on Halloween 1963. He is subsequently hospitalized at Smith’s Grove Sanitarium. Fifteen years later, Michael escapes and returns to his hometown where he stalks Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) and her friends as they babysit. The film ends with Michael being shot six times by his psychiatrist, Dr. Sam Loomis (Donald Pleasence).
House On Haunted Hill (1959)
Directed by William Castle, written by Robb White and starring another great, Vincent Price as eccentric millionaire Fredrick Loren. He and his fourth wife, Annabelle, have invited five people to the house for a “haunted house” party. Whoever stays in the house for one night will earn $10,000 each. As the night progresses, all the guests are trapped inside the house with ghosts, murderers and other terrors.
The Legend of Hell House (1973)
Directed by John Hough and starring Pamela Franklin, Roddy McDowall, Clive Revill, and Gayle Hunnicutt. The screenplay was written by Richard Matheson based on his novel Hell House. Physicist Lionel Barrett is enlisted by eccentric millionaire, Mr. Deutsch, to investigate “survival after death” in the Belasco House, a place originally owned by the notorious Emeric Belasco, a six-foot-five perverted millionaire and supposed murderer, who disappeared soon after a massacre at his home.
Before I give you my own personal treat for the hours of darkness, allow me to put my old architect’s hat on will you? House on Haunted Hill was filmed, the exterior anyway, at The Ennis House in Los Angeles. Designed by the great American architect Frank Lloyd Wright for Charles and Mabel Ennis in 1923, and built in 1924.
When I saw the film I recognised the house immediately because it is in fact the fourth and largest of Wright’s textile block designs, constructed primarily of interlocking pre-cast concrete blocks.
Wright based the design on ancient Mayan temples and along with other buildings by him, the Ennis House is sometimes referred to as an example of the Mayan Revival architecture.The relief ornamentation on its textile blocks, inspired by the symmetrical reliefs of Mayan buildings in Uxmal, is it’s defining feature. But take a look at the place, it’s not spooky at all! Thankfully it is now a designated National Landmark.
Wright’s Early Sketch
Inside The Real Ennis House
Right. I’ve had my number one choice stolen from me already in this competition, so I’ve had to think pretty hard to come up with a suggestion for you. Next year – and won’t that come round all too soon – I’ll choose something quite different, but for the moment this should do the trick. Enjoy – and get the fly spray ready!
Directed by the master of Italian horror Dario Argento, the film was released in the United States under the title Creepers and heavily edited. Jennifer Connelly stars as a young girl who arrives at an eerie Swiss boarding school where the students are being butchered by a serial killer. With the help of a wheelchair-using entomologist (Donald Pleasence), she discovers she has psychic powers and uses them to pursue the killer. Great music, too!