Halloween Movies

Dear Liza,

Since it is October, we have been watching ”monster movies”. But we don’t like gory stuff or really scary stories, so we are pretty fussy about what we watch.

We start with the silly ones, because we like to be silly. Charles Schulz’s ”It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown”, and Mel Brooks’ ”Young Frankenstein” are two of our favorites.

The old classic movies, like Boris Karloff’s 1932 “The Mummy” and the 1954 “The Creature from the Black Lagoon”, have such delightful dialogue, characters and stories that they feel like old friends that we visit once a year. This year we tried a ”new” one, 1953s “The Magnetic Monster.” It was interesting, but I think maybe one watching is enough.

“The Blob”, which starred a very young Steve McQueen in 1958, had pretty ridiculous special effects, but it was just so much fun. The courageous teenagers who worked so hard to make the adults believe that the monster was real, and to save everyone, always give me hope. And the early rock n’roll theme song is just adorable.


Our bow to the Disco era is ”Love at First Bite”, a Dracula spoof with handsome George Hamilton playing the ancient count in modern New York City.

We watched the modern stop-motion film “ParaNorman”. It is a stunning homage to classic horror movies and created by our local Laika studio. They use thousands of hand made sets and pieces to create better-than-lifelike characters. The story is so sweet and moving, I cry just a little when the ’evil witch’ can finally stop haunting and rest.

From the 1945 Blythe Spirit

The newest film we watched this year was a remake of “Blythe Spirit”. Judi Dench played the eccentric spiritualist Madame Arcati, who accidentally brings a lady back ’from the other side’ and then can’t figure out how to send her back. It wasn’t as good, in my humble opinion, as the 1945 version, with the delightful Margaret Rutherford as Madame Arcati.

We are coming up on Halloween pretty quick, so we are about done with our monster movie watching for this year. But that’s okay! In just another month, it’s Christmas movie time!


Grandma Judy

Author: Judy

I am a new transplant to Portland from Salinas, a small city in Central California. This is a blog about my new city.

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