“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.”
“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”
I will be teaching a course this summer at the Wescoe School of Muhlenberg College on Literature and Film. I have used this post before, but I wanted to put it up again, and I plan to expand the treatment of my favorite horror films.
So, to begin . . .
I have been a fan of horror movies since I was a child. I grew up watching Universal movies from the 1930s and 1940s being shown on various themed TV shows with horror hosts. As an adult, my love for these films has not waned; in fact, it has grown and helped to feed my scholarly interest in film. I use these films in some of the classes I teach in college.
For this series, I will try to limit my choices of film to 2-4 representative examples. Two films, in particular, stand out to me from the 1920s. They both starred Lon Chaney Sr., the Man of a Thousand Faces, and were made by Universal Studios.
The first film is The Hunchback of Notre Dame, (1923) based on the Victor Hugo novel, and it is an extraordinary piece of cinema that stands up today. It was a very expensive production at the time. Estimates range in the $1,250,000 to $1,500,000 range. Given the year, that is a huge sum of money. The movie accurately reflects Hugo’s examination of the capacity of human beings to be intensely cruel to each other and of the abuse of power by those in positions of authority. Wallace Worsley directed the film, and Lon Chaney Sr. gave a magnificent performance as Quasimodo. It is also important to remember that Mr. Chaney created all of his own makeups. If all you know of this story is the Disney version, you need to see this production. I would consider it one of the best and most important films ever made.
The Phantom of the Opera (1925) starring Lon Chaney Sr. is based on Gaston Leroux’s novel and was a huge success. Chaney played the deformed writer who falls in love with a singer and who becomes her kidnapper. This tale of horror and love has been redone numerous times, including the well known stage musical, but none of those productions have reached the sterling height of this extraordinary film. As with the Hunchback, Chaney created this makeup, and his performance is sublime. Again, if you have not seen this film, I recommend it highly.
Please follow the following links to find my novel:
The book trailer:
My radio interview:
“Maledicus is sure to be a literary horror classic. I was amazed to find that this story was not at all what I thought it would be. In this telling of good vs. evil, of bravery and self-sacrifice, we see a portrayal of the most constant of human struggles that death often defies through sheer force of will and therein lies the deeper meaning that brought this novel to life by the author, Charles F. French. Concurrently with the demonic theme is a well-thought out philosophical approach to horror, wrapped in an evocative story that will capture your fear and terrify you. This story is abundant with tantalizing details, unforgettable characters, and words that will not only touch your heart and mind, but also take your breath away. It is a completely riveting story with suspense, mystery, horror, bravery, and a great love that transcends time. You will not be able to forget this one. It will haunt you. And, when you read it, you will know why.”
“Once I started reading Maledicus I couldn’t put it down! I just finished it and I. HAVE. NO. WORDS… You better be writing a sequel 😀 That was incredible! I actually felt like I was going back in time and travelling through the ages. It was great to see the contrasts of each main character especially since it shows that different backgrounds/opinions can work together to make a great (and lovable) team. The theme of stopping bullies was ever present and really helped develop a great story line. I also loved the romance that was woven throughout the novel and it shows that love is omnipotent and will always conquer evil. I really loved how you intertwined the past with present and dreams with reality. Even the priest was not spared by Maledicus! I truly cannot express how great of a read this was!”
“The story is very Stephen King-esque, leading the reader into the minds of the characters and developing a plot line that is both engaging and thought-provoking. The horror and suspense elements make this an absorbing read, and the frequent shifting to various points of view increases the extent to which the novel becomes a page turner. I would definitely recommend the book to anyone looking for an eerie, engrossing read.”
“Scary story! Love the characters (well, I don’t love Maledicus, of course) and their individual stories….much as one does with a Stephen King novel, you feel like you actually “know” the characters and come to enjoy their company and miss them when the book is over.
Great first book! looking forward to the next installment….”
Thank you to all for the very kind words!
Please follow the following links to find my novel:
The book trailer:
My radio interview:
I do not usually deal with anything political on this site, but our times have become so extreme that I cannot pretend that writing and politics are disconnected in any way. Writers must speak our conscience.
Regarding President Trumps’s budget plan to make drastic cuts to Meals on Wheels, I remind everyone of that great writing, which was a morality tale and one of social critique: A Christmas Carol.
The ghost of his dead business partner, Jacob Marley, pays a visit to Ebenezer Scrooge to offer him a chance at redemption:
“But you were always such a good man of business, Jacob,” faultered Scrooge,
who now began to apply this to himself.
“Business!” cried the ghost, wringing its hands again. “Mankind was my
business. The common welfare was my business; charity, mercy, forebearance,
and benevolence, were, all, my business.” (Dickens 21)
The soul of a society, the spirit of a people, and the decency of a nation are largely determined by the treatment of the less fortunate. Cutting funding in any way for Meals on Wheels, which delivers food to those who might not otherwise eat, including many veterans, is an act of evil. We would do well to heed Dickens’ admonition.
Dickens, Charles. A Christmas Carol. New York. Bantam. 1997.
In our current political climate, in which the Press has been attacked as somehow against the people, it is important to remember that a free Press was seen by the founders of the United States of America as a crucial element to keeping the nation free. Other thinkers have argued for the maintenance of the free Press as a necessary aspect of battling tyranny and supporting freedom. The Press is one of the institutions that must be preserved if the nation is to remain a free democracy.
One of the writers whose work most clearly illustrated the abuse of power and the effects of the suppression of the Press was George Orwell.
In an example of the use of the free press itself, Teddy Roosevelt said, in an editorial in The Kansas City Star, 1918:
Perhaps the most important words about the Press come from the paramount document for the country: The Constitution of the United States of America, The First Amendment:
the all inclusive site for self care tips, techiques and practices
A Novel in Progress
an eco-aware, flower power, neo-hippie, vegan blog
itsnotyouitsdefinitelythem - A 'return to sender' for the social issues affecting you or those you know
Writing, poetry, chat.
A crime-fictional blog...
~ a part of Life
Science fiction and fantasy author
Contemporary Fiction from author Rebecca Laclair
Words strung together mean something
Vent into darkness, be held by silence.
I have a few words for you.
Bookish and nerdy
even if hidden behind clouds, a sunbeam will always bring light.
"I live in two worlds; one is a world of books."
A haven and sanctuary for the words that drip from my mind like a faulty tap, to find refuge on blank pages akin to squatters within empty houses.
Author / Educator at Crazy Corner Farm
Too school for cool for more than 30 years.
Have you ever felt more related to?
My mind, my rules.
Biblical postings, Talmidim- meaning students
My blog - My books - and other interesting stuff about my adventures
Living life one chapter at a time.
Lifestyle, Fashion, Food
Mjesto gdje se susreću ljubitelji knjige
Stories you will never forget
A blog that tracks the journey of my life.
To lands beyond our imaginations we go. May the galaxies be our only guide !
A writing adventure
Lori Lynne Armstrong, Writer
Practice makes something.
history has its eyes on you
take a seat and enjoy my blog.
Now with a new tagline
Be the change
Have fun reading. Message me any time.