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October: The Changing Face of Fear - Caligari to Krueger

Every Friday in October, Friday Night Weird will be charting the evolution of horror films from German Expressionism to Slasher Franchises - and buckets of blood in between. These are the films that shaped the genre and defined the fears of generations- starting with arguably the first true horror film, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari- a surreal silent film from 1920 rarely seen in theaters. We'll also look at the invention and capitalization of the "splatter film" with 1963's Blood Feast, the combination of art house and slaughter house in 1974's Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and one of the most lucrative modern monsters that helped the horror genre reach mainstream audiences with 1984's Nightmare on Elm Street. Watch the series trailer here!
 

The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, 1920
Oct 6
The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari was the first German Expressionist film, and it  uses the movement’s uniquely postwar sensibilities to create an atmosphere of tension and dread that characterized German sentiments towards authority at the time. (Robert Wiene, 1920, Germany, 1:07, NR)
 
Blood Feast, 1963
Oct 13
This is one of the most important terrible films in history. With a budget under $25k and shot in 6 days, it netted several million, launching “splatter film” into the mainstream of horror. Can you figure out what the producer meant by “selling the sizzle, not the steak?” (Herschell Gordon Lewis, 1963, USA, 1:07, R)
 
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, 1974
Oct 20
Lauded by many as one of the most influential films ever, this was a watershed in elevating slasher flicks to a new level of emotional impact. It can be seen in the way that the character “leatherface” literally changed the face of what a monster is for a whole generation of films, from Friday the 13th to Silence of the Lambs. (Tobe Hooper, 1974, USA, 1:23, R)
 
A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)
Oct 27
This film took the terror inside our minds, and also gave the evil monster good dialogue again, which had been lost almost since Dracula. It also made great use of the “collective guilt” trope, and launched one of the most successful franchises ever, complete with merchandising. (Wes Craven, 1984, 1:31, R)
 
 

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