It’s a Horror to Know You :: Arbogast of Arbogast on Film!

It’s a horror to know you: Arbogast of Arbogast on Film!

1. What is the first film that ever scared you?

The first time I can remember clapping my hands over my eyes for fear of what I was about to see was DRACULA HAS RISEN FROM THE GRAVE, at that moment when the Count wraps his cloak around Zena the Barmaid. That may have been the last time I ever shielded myself from what I was about to see, or not see, in a horror movie. I was pretty hearty through my first ten years of horror movie viewing but the first reel of DAWN OF THE DEAD had me so full of dread that I actually turned to my friend and said “Want to leave?” Priceless.

2. What is the last film that scared you?

Horror films don’t often scare me and a fear response isn’t my top priority. The last horror movie that disturbed me was probably Tom Shankland’s THE CHILDREN, because it really took its time to set things up and give you a nice sense of cause and effect, enmeshed with a healthy dose of what-the-fuck. The last movie to make me gasp audibly was THE OTHERS, over a decade ago.

3. Name three Horror movies that you believe are underrated.

Name *only* three horror movies that are underrated? Talk about your Sophie’s Choice! Actually, we can get ourselves into a semantic suckhole here – are we saying generally underrrated (like, say, LET’S SCARE JESSICA TO DEATH or CARNIVAL OF SOULS) or underrated within the horror fanbase, by people who should know better but so often don’t? I’ll assume we’re talking the latter and I would nominate in this category Armando Crispino’s AUTOPSY (1975), which makes a meal of illusion versus reality, John Hough’s THE LEGEND OF HELL HOUSE (1973), which is a deceptively frank look at family dynamics and the hidden cruelties of language, and Stuart Walker’s WEREWOLF OF LONDON (1935), which is just such a beautiful tragedy about the price of curiosity and how fate can turn people of inherently good will against one another.

4. Name three horror movies that you enjoy against your better judgment.

Ray Danton’s THE PSYCHIC KILLER with Jim Hutton is so sleazy-looking that it was initially hard to see past that… and yet when I was able to kick the kitsch factor, I found the movie incredibly moving and tragic. I love all of the RESIDENT EVIL movies but probably the first one the best. I think M. Night Shyamalan’s THE HAPPENING is very interesting, if not entirely successful; people jump on this guy’s shit but he’s one of the few horror filmmakers who thinks globally and puts people into arguments for purposes other than dividing heroes from villains.

5. Send us to five places on the Internet!

Jason Willis’ SCAR STUFF blog is no longer being updated but there’s an incredible fund of information there about vintage Halloween and horror recordings. Due to a cease and desist order, he has had to pull most of the links to the actual recordings but if you’re a good Internet detective you can still track a lot of this stuff down.

Howard S. Berger and Kevin Marr’s DESTRUCTIBLE MAN blog is a great place to sit and read and reconsider movies both cherished and new (to you). You may not agree with all of their assessments but you can’t fault their footwork or their devotion. Exhaustive is only the beginning.

(HERE)’s a site of Vincent Price recordings, which should be in your listening device-of-choice.

It’s always nice to put a name to a face and if you like Euro-cult movies, you should find value (HERE)…

(HERE)’s an interesting article about cemeteries in the Manhattan outer borough of Queens. Think CITY OF THE LIVING DEAD.

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Matt Sunshine
Matt Sunshine
10 years ago

I love The Legend Of Hell House, and agree that it is underrated, as well as director Hough, who did the Witch Mountain films in the 70’s, The Watcher In The Woods, and one of my favorites: Dirty Mary Crazy Larry.

10 years ago

Another big ‘yes’ vote for The Legend Of Hell House. I love the still. We miss you, Arbogast!

Erin Lashley
10 years ago

I apologize for the fawning tone of the following comment, but Arbogast, I’m jealous of your writing skills. I could do 1000 words on Autopsy and never piece together a phrase that sums up the film like “makes a meal of illusion versus reality.”

10 years ago

I still have AoF in my bookmarks…..

I’ll throw in with Arbogast regarding the Resident Evil films. They are not great films (often not even good films) but I still watch each increasingly weird installment.