Halloween is just around the corner, so here are a whole bunch of scary, gory, cheesy, entertaining and informative picks from YouTube for the entire family.
Directed by John Carpenter, Halloween was produced on a budget of $325,000 and grossed $110 million worldwide, becoming one of the most profitable independent films ever. It starred the 19 year old unknown, Jamie Lee Curtis, in her film debut and Donald Pleasance. Because of the low budget, most of the actors received very little compensation for their work. Pleasence was paid the highest amount at $20,000, Curtis made $8,000, and Nick Castle (Michael Myers) earned $25 a day.
The film was the first installment in what became the Halloween franchise. Carpenter also co-wrote the script. And the main music theme, which was so much a part of this movie´s success, was composed and performed by (you guessed it!) John Carpenter.
In 2006, it was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”.
Horror Express is a 1972 Spanish/British horror film directed by Eugenio Martín filmed in Madrid . Although it was a low budget movie, it had the top leading actors of the genre, uniting Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing, Alberto de Mendoza and Telly Savalas in the cult movie. Silvia Tortosa played the countess.
There were problems before work began on the picture because Cushing had recently lost his wife and was still distraught. When he arrived in Madrid, he informed the producer that he could not do the film. His co-star, Christopher Lee was an old friend and was able to console him and encourage him to work on the movie.
Ever wonder about the origins and history behind all our Halloween traditions, tomfoolery or should I say Jack Foolery? (Jack o Lanterns…) and shenanigans?
This History Channel video is entertaining and well documented. I couldn´t find a full video but this one is in three parts of about 15 minutes each.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6CWZsH9Wras pt 1 – 15 min
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Za4WEkXeHeI pt 2 – 15 min
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MuJWxxZzSHE pt 3 – 12.59 min
The Omen is a 1976 suspense horror film directed by Richard Donner that became a massive commercial success. It received many nominations and awards. The American Film Institute ranked it number 81 on 100 Years… 100 Thrills, a list of America’s most heart-pounding films and the score by Jerry Goldsmith was nominated for AFI’s 100 Years of Film Scores and won an Oscar for the score. The film was ranked #16 on Bravo’s 100 Scariest Movie Moments and the Chicago Film Critics’ Association named it the 31st scariest film ever made.
With strong performances by Gregory Peck and Lee Remick, together with an elegant and well written storyline, the plot almost seems very plausible – which is a testament to the skillful interlacing of fiction and reality accomplished by director Richard Donner.
The Making of The Omen – Curse or Coincidence -6 min
The Omen is considered one of the most cursed films ever produced. If you´re interested in hearing about all the disturbing events surrounding the shooting of the film, watch this very short video with interviews of the director and crew members recalling the production and filming.
Fright Night Part II is an American horror film and the 1988 sequel to the original Fright Night movie. William Ragsdale and Roddy McDowall both reprised their roles from the first movie. Unlike the first film, it was not that popular until it was released on videocassette. Since then it has become a cult film.
The original Fright Night 1985 film was a huge success both with audiences and critics. Unfortunately, I haven´t been able to find any good reproductions of the original Fright Night, but I can highly recommend it to anyone who loves the campy but well done horror genre.
House of Horror – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oM11KSSuqy0 – 27 min
Curiosity Killed … – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K4qnbsMIhqE – 25 min
“Tales from the Crypt” is a horror anthology TV series based on the 1950s comic series of the same name. Because it was originally aired on HBO, the series contained an unprecedented amount of graphic violence as well as other objectionable content which were impossible to show on regular broadcast TV at the time. It has since been edited for broadcast in syndication. It ran from 1989 to 1996. Popular stars like Demi Moore, Daniel Craig, Whoopi Goldberg, Brad Pitt, Christopher Reeve, Martin Sheen and famous directors like Robert Zemeckis, Richard Donner, John Frankenheimer worked on some episodes. Michael J. Fox, Tom Hanks and Arnold Schwarzenegger not only directed by appeared in cameos on their episodes.
If you like horror, this is your series. You can find a whole collection of episodes to the right of the YouTube screen when you see either one of our recommended videos.
Casper Meets Wendy is a 1998 direct-to-video spin off of the 1995 film, Casper. The film is a sequel to Casper: A Spirited Beginning. This was the first major film for 11 year old Hilary Duff who played playing Wendy, the good witch. A great non-threatening Disney film for the youngsters.
Disney’s Halloween Treat is a 47 minute Halloween-themed show featuring a compilation of Disney animated spooky or supernatural cartoons and shorts as well as segments from Disney feature films. Fun for the kids and will probably bring back lots of memories for moms and dads.
Kermit the Frog of Sesame Street and Vincent Price – it was inevitable!
What would horror movies or Halloween be without Vincent Price!
Campy and creepy in equal measures, House on Haunted Hill deserves its status as a horror classic. The 1959 black and white film was directed by William Castle and stars Vincent Price as eccentric millionaire Frederick 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 you can imagine, all the guests are trapped inside the house with ghosts, murderers, and other terrors.
The film is best known for a famous promotional gimmick used in the film’s original theatrical release called “Emergo“: William Castle placed an elaborate pulley system in some theaters showing the film which allowed a plastic skeleton to be flown over the audience at the appropriate time.
Thanks to Castle’s gimmickry, the film was a huge success.
Edgar Allen Poe, Vincent Price and director Roger Corman – depending on your point of view – is a combination made in heaven (or hell) that produced eight very popular films based on the works of Poe. The 1965 movie was filmed in England with a predominantly English cast. It is a story about a man haunted by the spirit of his dead wife.