The exhibit you are viewing is a survey of horror materials found in the Free Library's circulating collections. There are many more books and movies in this genre but we chose materials that we could lend to the public. The research and text for the horror exhibit was done by Cameron Dahl, a Librarian 2 in the Literature Department and Aurora Deshauteurs, Curator of the Print and Picture Collection. We hope you enjoy the horror show!
The illustrated Cooke edition, c1780
LInk to te record in the Free Library of Philadelipa Collection: http://know.freelibrary.org/vufind/Record/812259
From NoveList Plus:
First published pseudonymously in 1764, The Castle of Otranto purported to be a translation of an Italian story of the time of the crusades. Walpole gives us a series of catastrophes, ghostly interventions, revelations of identity, and exciting contexts.
Book description: With The Mysteries of Udolpho, Ann Radcliffe raised the Gothic romance to a new level and inspired a long line of imitators. Portraying her heroine's inner life, creating a thick atmosphere of fear, and providing a gripping plot that continues to thrill readers today, The Mysteries of Udolpho is the story of orphan Emily St. Aubert, who finds herself separated from the man she loves and confined within the medieval castle of her aunt's new husband, Montoni. Inside the castle, she must cope with an unwanted suitor, Montoni's threats, and the wild imaginings and terrors that threaten to overwhelm her.
The Monk is the most sensational of Gothic novels. The main plot concerns Ambrosio, an abbot of irreproachable holiness, who is seduced by a woman (or perhaps a demon) disguised as a novice, and who goes on to sell his soul to the Devil. An extravagant blend of sex, death, politics, Satanism, and poetry, the work greatly appealed to the Marquis de Sade. The Broadview edition includes a critical introduction and appendices of historical materials that address the novel's literary sources (in English, German, and Greek literature), historical contexts (the French Revolution, slavery and abolition debates, sexuality), critical reception, and influence."--Book jacket.
Excerpt from Show Don’t Tell: The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920)
The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, the gold standard example of early German expressionism in film, is just plain weird. Today we call it a “horror” film, but it’s not scary. It is disorienting and certainly creepy, but you won’t jump in your seat while viewing it. But if you care about the genre known as “horror,” then you have to confront Caligari. If you care about film history in general, about “film noir” in particular, or Post WWI German politics, you have to care about Caligari. Wait, what?
Image source and full article link to: http://prettycleverfilms.wordpress.com/2011/05/13/show-dont-tell-the-cabinet-of-dr-caligari-1920/
Product description: The most brilliant example of that dark and twisted film movement known as German Expressionism, The Cabinet Of Dr. Caligari is a plunge into the mind of insanity that severs all ties with the rational world. Director Robert Wiene and a team of designers crafted a nightmare realm in which light, shadow and substance are abstracted, a world a demented doctor and a carnival sleepwalker perpetrate a series of ghastly murders in a small community.
excerpt from Movie News from Turner Classic Movie : The Hands of Orlac - The 1924 Original German Expressionist Thriller by by Michael Atkinson
The general consensus, for many decades running, is that though The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920) is a cinema-history landmark, and the seminal ship that launched the thematic fleet of German Expressionism (which remained the world's coolest and most influential film movement for a decade), and that the credit for the film's pioneering abstruse stylization and invention went not to the director, Robert Wiene, but to the film's team of writers, producers and theater-trained designers. (And, to a degree, the performances by Werner Krauss and Conrad Veidt.) In fact, Wiene has always been short-shrifted, if only because so little of his other work has been available for viewing. (He'd made 18 movies prior to 1920, most of them lost, and worked steadily until his death in 1938.) The Hands of Orlac (1924) is a case in point, long written about but rarely seen, and never available before on home video, but a vivid, throbbing demonstration of the visual fire Wiene had to offer, with or without Caligari's set painters.
Link to the full article:http://www.tcm.com/this-month/movie-news.html?id=198282&name=The-Hands-of-Orlac
Image source link: Cinema of the abstract by Coheed 2.5, MUBI Beta, http://mubi.com/lists/cinema-of-the-abstract
Product description: Reuniting the star and director of The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, THE HANDS OF ORLAC (Orlacs Hände) is a deliciously twisted thriller that blends grand guignol thrills with the visual and performance styles of German Expressionism. Based on a novel by medical-horror novelist Maurice Renard, it charts the mental disintegration of a concert pianist (Conrad Veidt, The Man Who Laughs) whose hands are amputated after a train crash, and replaced with the hands of an executed murderer. When Orlac s father is murdered by the dead man s hands, Orlac begins a steady descent toward madness. Produced in Vienna, the hotbed of psychoanalysis, THE HANDS OF ORLAC is writhing with sexual innuendo and Freudian imagery. This Kino edition was mastered in HD from a 35mm print restored by the F.W. Murnau Foundation, supplemented with additional footage from the Raymond Rohauer Collection.
Image source link: Elizabeth in Frankenstein by Dina Fiasconaro,Feb. 2, 2013, "Mustang" Sallie Gardner: A Stevenson Film Blog, - http://dinafiasconaro.sufilmvideo.org/2013/02/02/elizabeth-in-frankenstein/
Book Description: Mary Shelley's deceptively simple story of Victor Frankenstein and the creature he brings to life, first published in 1818, is now more widely read and more widely discussed by scholars than any other work of the Romantic period. From the creature's creation to his wild lament over the dead body of his creator in the Arctic wastes, the story retains its narrative hold on the reader even as it spins off ideas in rich profusion. Macdonald and Scherf's edition of Frankenstein has been widely acclaimed as an outstanding edition of the novel for the general reader and the student as much as for the scholar. The editors use as their copy-text the original 1818 version, and detail in an appendix all of Shelley's later revisions. They also include a range of contemporary documents that shed light on the historical context from which this unique masterpiece emerged.
Production description: Boris Karloff stars as the screen's most memorable monster in what many consider to be the greatest horror film ever made. Dr. Frankenstein (Colin Clive) dares to tamper with life and death by creating a human monster (Karloff) out of lifeless body parts. It's director James Whale's adaptation of the Mary Shelley novel blended with Karloff's compassionate portrayal of a creature groping for identity that makes Frankenstein a masterpiece not only of the genre, but for all time.
Excerpt from Filmsite Movie Review: The classic and definitive monster/horror film of all time, director James Whale's Frankenstein (1931) is the screen version of Mary Shelley's Gothic 1818 nightmarish novel of the same name (Frankenstein; Or, The Modern Prometheus). The film, with Victorian undertones, was produced by Carl Laemmle Jr. for Universal Pictures, the same year that Dracula (1931), another classic horror film, was produced within the same studio - both films helped to save the beleaguered studio. [The sequel to this Monster story is found in director James Whale's even greater film, Bride of Frankenstein (1935).]
The film's name was derived from the mad, obsessed scientist, Dr. Henry Frankenstein (Colin Clive), who experimentally creates an artificial life - an Unnamed Monster (Boris Karloff), that ultimately terrorizes the Bavarian countryside after being mistreated by his maker's assistant Fritz and society as a whole.
to view full review link to: http://www.filmsite.org/fran.html
Excerpt from black-and-white-movies.com:
The Robert Louis Stevenson story "Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde" has been adapted many times for the big screen. There were two silent versions, a 1947 Spencer Tracy version, and dozens more in the following decades, right up to the present day. It is the 1931 black and white version, directed by Rouben Mamoulian, that is recommended here.
The 1931 Rouben Mamoulian version, with Fredric March, was finally released on dvd in 2005 in its original form. Although framed by the limitations and style of the recently emerging sound techniques, Mamoulian lets the camera pull out some wonderful tricks that elevate the horror aspect -- Jekyll staring at the camera (mirror) as he changes into the hideous Hyde was excellently done. March put his soul into this film, and Hopkins was wonderful as the doomed trollop.
Link to image source and to the full article: http://www.black-and-white-movies.com/dr-jekyll-and-mr-hyde.html
Book Description: Stevenson's famous exploration of humanity's basest capacity for evil, "Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde," has become synonymous with the idea of a split personality. More than a morality tale, this dark psychological fantasy is also a product of its time, drawing on contemporary theories of class, evolution, criminality, and secret lives.
Disc 1: Dracula and his disciples -- Blood-drinking beings -- Frankenstein's friends Baron Frankenstein and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde -- Disc 2: Werewolves -- Bela Lugosi -- Boris Karloff -- Ghosts and phantoms -- Disc 3: Witches -- Demons -- Mutants -- Freaks and scream queens -- Disc 4: Girl ghouls -- Maniacs -- Gory gimmicks -- Sorcerers and aliens -- Disc 5: Mummies -- Zombies -- Mad doctors -- Man-made monsters -- Giants and dinosaurs.
Link to image source: Aged to Perfection, or Dorian Grey? http://www.timswineblog.com/2007/11/aged-to-perfection,-or-dorian-grey
Book Description: Oscar Wilde's story of a fashionable young man who sells his soul for eternal youth and beauty is one of his most popular works. Written in Wilde's characteristically dazzling manner, full of stinging epigrams and shrewd observations, the tale of Dorian Gray's moral disintegration caused something of a scandal when it first appeared in 1890.
DVD backcover: George Sanders, Angela Lansbury, Donna Reed. Based on Oscar Wilde's 1891 novel, the story begins when the subject of an artist's painting expresses his desire to maintain his physical beauty over the years-and his wish is somehow granted. One of the last great works of gothic horror fiction! 1945/color-b&w/123 min/NR/fullscreen.
Kirkus: Dr. Montague, an investigator of psychic disturbances, extends an invitation to three young people to join him at HillHouse, whose tragic history has made it unfit for human habitation, and where perhaps they can intensify the forces at work. Eleanor Vance, who had spent eleven years in caring for an invalid mother, is now alone in the world and unwanted- and she has had a poltergeist experience; Theodora is telepathic; and Luke Sanderson is the nephew of the present owner. During the days and nights to follow there are doors that close; drafts that chill; banging and scurrying noises- and writing on the walls. Mrs. Montague arrives- eager to launch a session with planchette and hoping for further materializations beyond these "decided manifestations". But Eleanor becomes increasingly disturbed and distraught; her hoped for close friendship with Theodora is brushed aside- as Theodora goes off alone with Luke; she is the most susceptible to the dark history of this house and attempts to imitate a tragedy in the past; and the story which begins as a spritely tour of the spirit world, ends on a note of real disequilibrium..... A tantalizing, suggestive reconnaissance where the phantasma of other worlds- and private worlds- reveal a disconcerting similarity, and Shirley Jackson's special following will find pause to wonder and admire. (Kirkus Reviews, October 1, 1959)
Excerpt from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:
Philip Winthrop (Mark Damon) travels to the House of Usher, a desolate mansion surrounded by a murky swamp, to meet his fiancée Madeline Usher (Myrna Fahey). Madeline's brother Roderick (Vincent Price) opposes Philip's intentions, telling the young man that the Usher family is afflicted by a cursed bloodline which has driven all their ancestors to madness. Roderick foresees the family evils being propagated into future generations with a marriage to Madeline and vehemently discourages the union. Philip becomes increasingly desperate to take Madeline away; she agrees to leave with him, desperate to get away from her brother.
During a heated argument with her brother, Madeline suddenly dies and is laid to rest in the family crypt beneath the house. As Philip is preparing to leave following the entombment, the butler, Bristol (Harry Ellerbe), lets slip that Madeline suffered from catalepsy, a condition which can make its sufferers appear dead.
Philip rips open Madeline's coffin and finds it empty. He desperately searches for her in the winding passages of the crypt but she eludes him and confronts her brother. Now completely insane, Madeline avenges herself upon the brother who knowingly buried her alive. Both die as a fire breaks out. Philip escapes and watches the house sink into the swampy land surrounding it.
Link to the full article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/House_of_Usher_(film))
Image source: Circulating collection of the Print and Picture Collection, Free Library of Philadelphia, Fear
Eugene Archer, in the September 15, 1960 edition of The New York Times wrote, "American-International, with good intentions of presenting a faithful adaption of Edgar Allan Poe's classic tale of the macabre...blithely ignored the author's style. Poe's prose style, as notable for ellipsis as imagery, compressed or eliminated the expository passages habitual to nineteenth-century fiction and invited the readers' imaginations to participate. By studiously avoiding explanations not provided by the text, and stultifying the audiences' imaginations by turning Poe's murky mansion into a cardboard castle encircled by literal green mist, the film producers have made a horror film that provides a fair degree of literacy at the cost of a patron's patience." He further opined, "Under the low-budget circumstances, Vincent Price and Myrna Fahey should not be blamed for portraying the decadent Ushers with arch affectation, nor Mark Damon held to account for the traces of Brooklynese that creep into his stiffly costumed impersonation of the mystified interloper.
The Pit and the Pendulum: Vincent Price slowly goes crazy because he thinks his wife was buried alive (a plot between his wife and her lover to get his money). Now totally insane, he starts to murder.
Actress Janet Leigh as Marian Crane
Image source: Circulating collection of the Print and Picture Collection, Free Library of Philadelphia, fear
Kirkus: .... is Norman Bates, who lives an "orderly and ordained" life with the mother he would like "to strangle with her silver cord". But it is Mother who kills the pretty girl who comes to spend the night at his motel, the insurance detective who follows a lead there, and, while it is a local Sheriff who finally puts Norman where he belongs, it is the psychiatrists who put together the fragments of the crime and a fragmented personality.... Garishly pathological, but for the reader- a strait-jacket which is sure to immobilize them. (Kirkus Reviews, April 1, 1959)
Product description: Alfred Hitchcock's landmark masterpiece of the macabre stars Anthony Perkins as the troubled Norman Bates, whose old dark house and adjoining motel are not the place to spend a quiet evening. No one knows that better than Marion Crane (Janet Leigh), the ill-fated traveler whose journey ends in the notorious "shower scene." First a private detective, then Marion's sister (Vera Miles) searches for her, the horror and the suspense mount to a terrifying climax where the mysterious killer is finally revealed.
Excerpt from "My favourite Hitchcock: Pyscho" by Peter Bradshaw, the Guardian, Film Blog:
At 61, Alfred Hitchcock was reaching what many saw as the end of an illustrious career. Then he took a quantum leap to further greatness with a low-budget, black-and-white shocker.
Hitchcock's macabre pulp masterpiece begins with the most dangerous piece of tax evasion in movie history. Sweaty, leery, cowboy-hatted businessman Tom Cassidy has come into the office of a Phoenix realtor, George Lowery, to close a house purchase in cash: an ostentatious wedding present for his 18-year-old daughter, due to get hitched the next day.
He boasts to the secretary, Marion Crane, that the $40,000 he's waving under her nose has been amassed without reference to the tax authorities. He even brags that he never carries more than he can afford to lose. In a shrewd instant, Marion reaches a conclusion Hitchcock cleverly never spells out. If she steals his money, he can take the hit and won't call the cops because that would alert the IRS. She's right. As things turn out, Cassidy only engages a private detective, the stolid Arbogast. But her fantasies of Cassidy's rage-filled threats about getting his money back are weirdly prescient: "If any of it's missing, I'll replace it with her fine soft flesh!" What a very psycho image.
For the full article link to: http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/filmblog/2012/jul/23/my-favourite-hitchcock-psycho
Image source: Circulating collection of the Print and Picutre collection, Free Library of Philadelpiha, Fear
Kirkus: With Daphne du Maurier you always know where you're at, or do you, since all of these five, long stories deal with supernatural manifestations of one kind or another. Whether in the title story (the best?) about a young couple's experience of death and the afterlife in Venice when under the influence of two elderly psychics who appear and disappear. Or the last "The Way of the Cross" (the best?) when an English tour group in the Holy Land experience various chastening experiences -- an elderly Colonel is forced to remember his flogging of a Jewish boy; a pious spinster falls in the "drain they call the Pool of Bethesda"; and an uncontained youngster is the only one to relate then and now. In between there are other experiences of recognition (a father, dying, the daughter who is not his) and precognition so that the evening's entertainment is assured. Without a doubt all within its shadow. (Kirkus Reviews, October 1, 1971)
Product descritption: Nature runs amok in Alfred Hitchcock's chilling adaptation of the Daphne du Maurier story, as a small California coastal town finds itself under attack by gulls, crows and other fine feathered "friends." Rod Taylor, Tippi Hedren, Jessica Tandy, Suzanne Pleshette star.
SIRSI Summary: When Melanie Daniels rolls into Bodega Bay in pursuit of eligible bachelor Mitch Brenner, the small California town is inexplicably attacked by thousands of birds.
Excerpt from Deep Focus Review, the Definitives: an ongoing series of in-depth essays and appreciations on the very best of cinema: Night of the Living Dead by Brian Eggert
Night of the Living Dead birthed not only the phenomenon of zombie horror, but subsequent decades of exploitative filmmaking hell-bent on scaring audiences out of their seats. Arriving at Saturday matinees and frightening the willies out of the mostly adolescent attendants, George A. Romero’s debut film awakened viewers out of their complacency toward the horror genre with a gritty filmmaking style lending startling realism, biting potential for harsh allegory, and a merciless, unconventional finale. Accustomed to pulpy B-movies wrought with space aliens and monsters and atomic-era mutations, Romero’s film featured thematic undercurrents punctuated by a carnival of cannibalistic violence. Moviegoers had seen nothing like it before.
Link to the full article: http://www.deepfocusreview.com/reviews/nightofthelivingdead.asp
Link to image source: Book review: Zombies! an illustrated history of the undead written Dejan Ognjanovic, March 14, 2011 http://www.beyondhollywood.com/book-review-zombies-an-illustrated-history-of-the-undead/zombies-an-illustrated-history-of-the-undead-book-5/
Product description: It is one of the most celebrated horror films in the history of cinema. Now, Elite Entertainment has added even more bonus materials and special features to the classic title Night of the Living Dead. Marking the initial release in Elite s Millennium EditionTM DVD series, Night of the Living Dead has been restored with a newly approved THX Transfer, and includes a wide array of never-before-seen DVD features. Considered one of the true, classic horror films of all time, Night of the Living Dead tells the story of a group of strangers taking shelter in a farmhouse while the rest of the world is doing battle against an army of hungry un-dead.
excerpt fromt he Review of Night of the Living Dead (1968) by Jason Jones for Classic-horror.com:
It's rare when a movie transcends pop culture's usual 15 minutes of fame and becomes a time-tested classic. It's rarer still when the movie is a low-budget, black and white independent feature produced so far off Hollywood's radar that it didn't receive national distribution. What this particular little movie had going for it was a fresh, talented director and the public's hitherto undiscovered phobia about and fascination with flesh eating zombies! Filmed in 1967 by then fledgling director George A. Romero, Night of the Living Dead is a film that while raw in some of its production, was and is spot-on in evoking the most dreadful and deep-seeded of frights. It redefined a lackluster monster and gave rise to both a new genre in horror and a new image in the public consciousness. There's no denying it, Night of the Living Dead is THE archetypal zombie film.
For the full article link to: http://classic-horror.com/reviews/night_of_the_living_dead_1968
Excerpt from Treevenge, review By Jason Sondhi for Short of the Week
The film is a Christmas film, centering around the sadistic violence of the evergreen tree trade. The first half of the film depicts depraved, violent sorts of fellows gleefully chopping down trees. The trees cower and scream at the genocide, but are ultimately powerless in the face of the vicious aggressors. But even trees reach a tipping point and they will have their revenge. A gleefully gruesome revenge.
LInk to the full article and the source: http://www.shortoftheweek.com/2009/07/20/treevenge/