Friday, December 14, 2012

WHAT SCARED ME

Sometimes it's not what you see in a horror film that scares the bejeezus out of you . . .  it's what you hear. For me, fear was listening to those agonized moans of physical torment that emanated from the animals being vivisected in Dr. Moreau's infamous House of Pain from the movie, ISLAND OF LOST SOULS (Paramount Pictures, 1932).

Nothing could have prepared me for that. I had already seen a number of monster movies -- some were pretty unsettling because I was young and had not yet been exposed to many screen images of vampires, werewolves and the like. Others were downrght hokey and we knew it, laughing them off like any other joke, whether they were meant to be intentional or not.

But I'm telling you, after watching the first few minutes of Richard Arlen as Parker on board a ship full of "manimals" and then being dumped off against his will on a lonely island dense with perversely grotesque vegetation, you could almost feel yourself right there alongside him in the steamy heat of the tropics.

Not only that, when you get to Dr. Moreau's house there was the laboratory that nobody wanted to talk about until of course, you heard those god awful wails from the surgical experiments of the mad Dr. Moreau. Those wavering, pitiful cries of terror will never quite leave me as I was petrified with the thought of what the hell could be happening to these poor creatures under the scalpel of Dr. Moreau!

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