I was just wandering aimlessly through the halls of kindertrauma this morning and landed upon a Name-That-Trauma of no real importance to me. It was determined that the movie in question was THE HORROR STAR. I had never heard of it and found it mildly interesting and decide to watch the attached video and – lo and behold – I believe one of my very own Name-That-Traumas may be part of the intro to that clip!!!!!!! In the clip – after the blood red title – are 3 old black and white stills of old “horror stars” – Frankenstein, Dracula and ???? Maybe Dr. Jeckyl? I don’t know.
When I was very very young, maybe 5 or 6, in the ‘70s, I was already kind of weirdly obsessed with horror movies and with being scared. I remember one day I was playing with my sister in our bedroom and my grandma was watching T.V. in the living room and a commercial came on with the music for one of those day of the week movies (Monday Night Movie, etc. – if you lived through it you know what I’m talking about) and – for some reason – even as a wee tyke – I knew that it was probably a scary movie and I RAN out to the living room to see what it was and all I remember was it was various shots of a “man about town” in a tall hat and a scary face – and in the last shot it was his full face looking right at the camera and it scared me so bad that I started sobbing and my grandma had to bring me some water to calm me down. Since then the only movie I have seen that even comes close to the creepy feel of that guy is CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG – the child stealer guy – and, while he is really creepy, it’s not him.
So, when I saw that photo on that clip it stopped me dead in my tracks. Could that be the guy? Could that be the movie? Does anyone know what that still is from?
An interesting side note that has no particular relevance to anything – but something I find really odd. I clearly remember when I was in first grade having this friend named Robin. She had long, scraggly dark hair and was sort of a loner type – even in first grade. One time she told me that she had a TV Guide that was only for this one channel that only played horror movies (and I think she might have even told me that her and her mom were witches.) I was so excited when she told me that that I became obsessed with finding that channel and that TV Guide. At some point she eventually told me that that wasn’t true and I was so disappointed. But how odd is that – two little first graders chatting about a horror channel and a horror TV Guide.
Thank you so much! This site is my horror dream come true!
UNK SEZ: Carol, thanks for the fascinating NAME THAT TRAUMA! The third still in the trailer for HORROR STAR (AKA FRIGHTMARE) is LON CHANEY, Sr. from TOD BROWNING’s 1927 silent film LONDON AFTER MIDNIGHT. If you saw the clip you’re looking for in the seventies than the likelihood that it was, in fact, LONDON AFTER MIDNIGHT is zero because the last known copy of that famous lost flick died in a fire back in 1967!
So what did you see? Was your grandma watching that phantom horror channel your witch friend conjured? Could it have been a documentary on LON CHANEY? LONDON was remade in 1935 as MARK OF THE VAMPIRE with BELA LUGOSI but his get up was completely different. I think we’re going to have to take it to our readers. Can anyone think of a figure that could be mistaken for LON CHANEY, Sr’s horrifying creation from LONDON AFTER MIDNIGHT?
AUNT JOHN thought maybe it could MR. SARDONICUS and I thought possibly VINCENT PRICE from MADHOUSE. Any other ideas out there?