Horror Scenes That I Love: “This is Halloween” From The Nightmare Before Christmas

Okay, so it’s not Halloween yet.

But it is close! And, even more importantly, it’s Pumpkin Day! So, in honor of all of the holidays that we celebrate this week, here’s a classic song and scene from 1993’s The Nightmare Before Christmas!

Horror Scenes That I Love: The Final Scene of The Birds

From 1963’s The Birds and directed by Alfred Hitchcock, this is one of the best horror endings ever.

The birds have won. Or, at least they have until Birdemic….

Horror Scenes That I Love: The Silver Shamrock Commercial for Halloween 3: The Season of the Witch

Only 8 more days to Halloween!

That, of course, is from 1982’s Halloween 3: The Season of the Witch. The makers of the new Halloween films might not care for the original sequels but just try to get that Silver Shamrock song out of your head! Even more importantly, just try to listen to it without thinking about the mask melting into your face and turning into a bunch of spiders and snakes. It can’t be done. That’s the sign of an effective horror movie. An effective horror movie is all scaring the audience and not about worrying about whether or not the critics are going to get it.

Speaking of horror, just 8 more days til Halloween Halloween! Just 8 more days til Hallowen! Silver Shamrock!

Scenes That I Love: Christopher Lee as Lord Summerisle in The Wicker Man

Over the course of his long career, Christopher Lee often cited his performance as the charismatic but ultimately sinister Lord Summerisle in 1973’s The Wicker Man as one of his personal favorites.  It’s easy to see why.  The role not only showcased Lee’s ability to be menacing but it was also one of the few films that allowed him to be witty as well.  Lord Summerisle may be a pagan who maintains his power by sacrificing virgins but he’s still quite charming.  With his longish hair, sideburns, and turtleneck, Lord Summerisle is the perfectly aristocratic 70s rogue.

Today’s scene that I love comes from the original The Wicker Man.  (Sorry, the Nicole Cage “bees” scene from the remake will have to wait for next year’s horrorthon.)  In this scene, Lord Summerisle expalins the ways of the island to a skeptical police detective.  Little does the detective know that he’s already been selected to be the next sacrifice.  Lee’s avuncular performance holds up wonderully.

Scenes that I Love: Peter Cushing In Shock Waves

Shock Waves (1977, dir by Ken Wiederhorn)

Today’s scene that I love comes from one of the most underrated zombie films of the 70s, Shock Waves.

In this film, Nazi zombies have emerged off the coast of an island. When a group of stranded tourists explore the island, they come across Peter Cushing, who explains to them just what exactly is going on. Cushing totally steals this scene. It’s always interesting to me that Cushing could convincingly play such depraved characters when, in real life, he was supposedly a very gentle and somewhat shy man. In fact, if you listen to the commentary track that was recorded for Shock Waves’s video release, everyone who worked on the film talks about what a joy Peter Cushing was off-screen.

Here is Peter Cushing in Shock Waves:

Horror Scenes That I Love: The Monster Meets The Bride in Bride of Frankenstein

Bride of Frankenstein (1935, dir James Whale)

Today’s horror scene that I love comes from 1935’s The Bride of Frankenstein.   In this wonderfully acted scene, the Bride (Elsa Lanchester) meets the Monster (Boris Karloff) for the first time.  Both of their reactions reveal them to be far more human than the people who created them.


Horror Scenes That I Love: Bela Lugosi in Dracula

Seeing as how today is Bela Lugosi’ birthday, it only seems appropriate that today’s scene that I love should honor him.  This is one Bela’s best scenes from 1931’s Dracula.  Because his performance has been so widely imitated (and Bela himself appeared in a few films that poked fun at it), it’s often forgotten just how could Lugosi was in the role.

In honor of the one and only Lugosi, enjoy!

Scenes that I Love: Tor Johnson In The Unearthly

We continue to honor the memory of Tor Johnson with today’s scene of the day.

Even though Tor Johnson is playing a character named Lobo, today’s scene that I love isn’t from Ed Wood’s 1955 film, Bride of the Monster. Instead, it’s from 1957’s The Unearthly. In this film, Lobo is now John Carradine’s servant. (Lobo made quite a career out of working for mad scientists.) The Unearthly was directed by Boris Peftroff, a friend of Wood’s, so it’s not improbable that this film’s Lobo was meant to be the same Lobo as the one who appeared in Bride of the Monster and Night of the Ghouls.

Anyway, in this scene, Tor does his usual Lobo stuff while John Carradine plays the piano. “Time for go to bed,” Lobo says at one point, a much-mocked line but one that is delivered with a bit of gentleness by Tor Johnson. My point is that Tor did the best that he could and bless him for it.

Scenes That I Love: Putting On The Ritz from Young Frankenstein

Since today is Peter Boyle’s birthday (he would have been 86), it seems only appropriate that today’s scenes that I love should come from 1974’s Young Frankenstein. Here, for your viewing and listening pleasure, are Gene Wilder and Peter Boyle….

Scenes That I Love: The Blue Sunshine Kicks In

Today’s scene that I love comes from Jeff Lieberman’s 1978 film, Blue Sunshine.

If you haven’t seen the film, Blue Sunshine is the nickname for the acid that a group of characters dropped while in college during the 60s. Unfortunately, ten years later, all of them are losing their hair, suffering from extreme migraines, and turning into psycho killers. It’s the worst acid flashback of all time!

This is a pretty good film, one that uses the horror genre as a way to explore the contrast between the idealism of college and the realities of the real world. It’s also, as you can see in the scene below, quite suspenseful and more than a little frightening.