Moreau were adapted into early film versions. In many ways, the expressionistic German silent cinema led the world in films of horror and the supernatural, and established its cinematic vocabulary and style. Many of the early silent classics would be remade during the talkies era. The vampire character has been one of the most ubiquitous in the history of cinema, extending from the earliest days of cinema to present-day manifestations.
Dark, primitive, and revolting characters that simultaneously attract and repel us formed the irresistible heart of big-screen vampire tales. At first, bloodsuckers leeches and vampire bats intrigued and frightened people from cultures around the world. Demonic or supernatural possession was often juxtaposed with blood-drinking, sex, and corpses. Many religions, myths, folk-tales and cults espoused the idea of obtaining the life-essence from blood — in its extreme was the practice of cannibalism.
Vampires began to emerge in popular fiction of the 18th and 19th centuries, during which time Anglo-Irish writer Bram Stoker's vampire novel Dracula was written. It has become the most popular, influential and preeminent source material for many vampire films. Sheridan Le Fanu's lesbian vampire tale Carmilla came a close second to Stoker's writings. Stoker's seminal book hatched all the elements of future vampire films -- predatory female vamps who kissed the neck of male victims for their human blood, an elderly Count who vied for their prey, and a vampire hunter with garlic to ward off the "Prince of Darkness" and with a wooden stake to drive through Dracula's heart.
It appeared that Quasimodo, from Victor Hugo's Notre-Dame de Paris novel, became the first horror figure in the minute short by female director Alice Guy titled Esmeralda , Fr. In the French silent film serial with ten chapters Les Vampires , Fr. Caligari from director Robert Wiene, about a ghost-like hypnotist-therapist in a carnival named Dr. Caligari Werner Kraus who calls pale-skinned, lanky, black leotard-wearing Cesare Conrad Veidt, later known for his portrayal as Major Strasser in Casablanca , his performing somnambulist and haunted murderer , from a state of sleep.
The shadowy, disturbing, distorted, and dream-nightmarish quality of the macabre and stylistic 'Caligari,' with twisted alleyways, lopsided doors, cramped rooms, overhanging buildings, and skewed cityscapes, was shot in a studio. It was brought to Hollywood in the s, and later influenced the classic period of horror films in the s - introducing many standard horror film conventions.
As with many classic films i. This made the film appear to be a delusional nightmare in a psychotic mental patient's Francis dream, thereby diluting the subversive nature of the original. Female vamps made an appearance in Robert Vignola's melodramatic The Vampire , although they were femme fatales who seductively 'sucked' the life-blood from 'foolish' men -- also exemplified by popular vamp actress Theda Bara in A Fool There Was Until recently, the lost Hungarian film Drakula halala , Hung.
The first genuine vampire picture was also produced by a European filmmaker - director F. Shot on location, it was an unauthorized film adaptation of Stoker's Dracula with Max Schreck in the title role as the screen's first vampire - a mysterious aristocrat named Count Graf Orlok living in the late s in the German town of Bremen.
Because of copyright problems, the vampire was named Nosferatu rather than Dracula, and the action was moved from Transylvania to Bremen. The emaciated, balding, undead vampire's image was unforgettable with a devil-rat face, pointy ears, elongated fingers, sunken cheeks, and long fangs, with plague rats following him wherever he went.
In the film's conclusion, the grotesque, cadaverous creature was tricked by the heroine Nina Greta Schroder into remaining past daybreak, so Orlok met his fate by disintegrating into smoke in the sunlight. At the turn of the century, Shadow of the Vampire fancifully retold the making of the classic, with John Malkovich as obsessive director F.
Wegener directed the first of his influential adaptations of the Golem legend by Gustav Meyrinck - Der Golem , Ger.
He remade the film a third time, with Karl Freund as cinematographer, again titling it Der Golem , Ger. The expressionistic film was based upon Central European myths and influenced later 'Frankenstein' monster films in the early s with themes of a creator losing control of his creation. The Golem, played by Wegener, was an ancient clay figure from Hebrew mythology that was brought to life by Rabbi Loew's magic amulet to defend and save the Jews from a pogrom in the 16th century threatened by Rudolf II of Habsburg.
The man-made, clay creature roamed through the Jewish ghetto of medieval Prague to protect it from persecution. The earliest horror pictures were one-reel or full length features, many of which were produced in the US from to the early s, making the horror genre one of the oldest and most basic. Many of them are now-forgotten "vamp" pictures featuring devilish, captivating ladies.
Searle Dawley, a minute one-reel version made by the Edison Studios and starring Charles Ogle as the monster. In this early version, the Monster was created in a cauldron of chemicals rather than by a bolt of lightning.
Two other silent precursors to later Frankenstein films were Joseph W. Smiley's Life Without Soul and the expressionistic German film Homunculus , a six-hour epic serial about an artificially-created man. Before the s, Hollywood was reluctant to experiment with the themes of true horror films. Instead, the studios took popular stage plays and emphasized their mystery genre features, providing rational explanations for all the supernatural and occult elements. The Miser's Conversion aka The Miser's Reversion was the first film to depict a screen transformation by using a series of dissolves with footage of the character's different stages of makeup, rather than a single jump-cut.
This was later used to great effect in many films including Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and The Wolf Man In the film, the title character miser Sidney Bracey , 75 year-old John Grisley, obsessed with the idea of evolution, acquired a rejuvenation serum that transformed him into a 40 year-old man with just a few drops.
To intensify the effect, he drank the entire bottle of serum and reverted into an ape. One actor who helped pave the way for the change in outlook and acceptance of the horror genre was Lon Alonso Chaney, Sr. He appeared in numerous silent horror films beginning in at Universal Studios. He was soon to become the first American horror-film star and Hollywood's first great character actor.
His first grotesque character role as a fake cripple a contorted figure named the Frog , his breakthrough role, was in The Miracle Man a film that only partially survives. Chaney's films, collaborating with director Tod Browning on ten feature films over a decade, included these examples of lurid melodrama and horror and crime:. In the first of Chaney's two other horror masterpieces, he appeared in one of the earliest versions of Victor Hugo's novel about the hunchbacked Quasimodo - a tortured bellringer living in a cathedral tower in love with gypsy dancer Esmeralda Patsy Ruth Miller in director Wallace Worsley's The Hunchback of Notre Dame - it was another silent film version of the classic tale.
This film was a technical achievement, with a two-color Technicolor 'Bal Masque' sequence, the falling chandelier and underground lake scenes. Its dark expressionistic tones helped set the tone for horror films in the 30s.
Its most famous scene was ingenue Christine's Mary Philbin unmasking of Lon Chaney's mask - revealing a hideous skull-face, lipless mouth, rotten teeth, snouty nose, and bulging eyes. There were a few very early renditions in the s of the classic tale taken from Robert Louis Stevenson's story "The Strange Case of Dr. Hyde" and Thomas Russell Sullivan's stage play "Dr.
The first filmed version was also the first American horror film - director Otis Turner's Dr. Hyde with future director James Cruze starring as the title character. Hyde Jekyll to provide a new perspective. Paul Leni was already known in his homeland for the spooky horror classics Backstairs , Ger. Download it today!
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The worst ignominy suffered by Chaney, Jr. George MacDonald. Remember, kids: Holy Is Not Safe. This can occur in the process of both involuntary and Voluntary Shape Shifting , and the final form, if there is one, doesn't have to be horrific. Runewriters : Severian and other shapechangers can turn themselves into various animals. Live-Action TV.
Terrible things happen there. Dark, inscrutable, and ultimately eerie things. Now Osbert has come into his majority, and he's gone to avenge his father's murder. Showing results: of Published: May Downloads: Pages: Published: Jan Downloads: Pages: Published: Jan Downloads: 80 Pages: