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Classic Horror Films on DVD
What characteristics define Horror movies? Visit the “Film Genres” page on the American Movie Classics (AMC) web site to find out!
Call Number: PR 6037 .T617 N67 2007
Publication Date: Produced 1922; DVD released 2007
This silent vampire film, a landmark of German Expressionism, is known for its fidelity to its source, Bram Stoker's novel 'Dracula.' It is regarded as one of the greatest and most influential horror movies ever made. Rather than depicting Dracula as a shape-shifting monster or debonair gentleman, F.W. Murnau's vampire, Graf Orlok, is a nightmarish, spidery creature with a bulbous head and taloned claws.
Call Number: PR 6037 .T617 D72 2006
Publication Date: Produced 1931; DVD released 2006
This film is the genuine classic, named to the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress in 2000. Bela Lugosi's portrayal of Count Dracula puts this version at the top of the pantheon of Universal monster movies.
Call Number: PR 5397 .F716 2006
Publication Date: Produced 1931; DVD released 2006
Boris Karloff stars as the unnamed "Monster," which cemented his place in film history as one of the most popular of the Universal movie monsters. But it was Colin Clive whose character, Dr. Frankenstein, uttered the film's most memorable line: "It's ALIVE!"
Rosemary's Baby by
Call Number: PS 3523 .E7993 R673 2006
Publication Date: Produced 1968; DVD released 2006
Directed by Roman Polanski, this adaptation of the Ira Levin novel scared millions of pregnant women half to death when it premiered. Suspenseful, with the occasional infusion of humor, this tale of modern-day Satan worshippers makes you wonder how well you really know your neighbors.
Night of the Living Dead by
Call Number: PN 1997 .N54 2007
Publication Date: Produced 1968; DVD released 2007
Long before "The Walking Dead" and "Zombieland," this low-budget, black-and-white fright-fest was the granddaddy of the zombie sub-genre. But what was really revolutionary (for 1968) was that a young African American man, Duane Jones, was cast in the lead role.
The Exorcist by
Call Number: PS 3552 .L392 E96 2010
Publication Date: Produced 1973; DVD released 2010
Audiences were shocked by the blasphemous themes and language, and truly disgusting makeup and special effects, when this story of a girl's demoniac possession came out in 1973. The spine-tingling soundtrack alone was enough to provoke nightmares. The urban legends surrounding this reputedly cursed film have helped to keep its mystique as the "scariest movie ever made" alive.
Call Number: PN 1995.9 .H6 J35 2000
Publication Date: Produced 1975; DVD released 2000
Without the massive success of the fictional "Jaws" -- considered to be the first summer blockbuster movie ever -- there would be no "Shark Week" today. Given the technical and weather-related challenges of filmmaking before CGI (computer-generated images) existed, it's amazing the film was made at all. The enduring popularity of this simple story of a rogue shark terrorizing a quiet beach town just proves how much people enjoy being scared.
The Shining by
Call Number: PN 1997 .A23 S5356 2001
Publication Date: Produced 1980; DVD released 2001
You can't talk about scary movies without mentioning bestselling horror novelist Stephen King. Although not all of his literary nightmares have translated well into film, director Stanley Kubrick successfully evoked the sinister ambience of the deserted hotel -- which is almost a character in itself. Jack Nicholson's performance as the writer slowly going mad is one of the creepiest on film. You'll never look at a snow day the same way again.
Now Streaming: Films on Demand
Why do moviegoers enjoy being scared? This episode of the National Geographic series Brain Games explains the psychology of fear, and how elements of a scary film -- such as lighting, sound effects, and music -- affect our brains.
Composers of film scores once labored in obscurity, but are now recognized for their contributions to a film's success. Would the Star Wars series have been as much fun to watch without John Williams' brilliant music, which symbolically cheered for the heroes and booed the villains? In this episode of Great Film Composers: Music of the Movies, we meet Williams (who also scored Jaws), as well as Jerry Goldsmith, whose soundtracks made our skin crawl in The Omen and Alien.
Crab Monsters, Teenage Cavemen & Candy Stripe Nurses : Roger Corman, King of the B Movie by
Call Number: PN 1998.3 .C68 N37 2013
Publication Date: 2013
This book is a rollicking account of the career of Roger Corman, one of the most prolific and successful independent producers, directors, and writers of all time -- and self-proclaimed 'King of the B Movie.' As told by Corman himself and graduates of the so-called 'Corman Film School' -- including Peter Bogdanovich, James Cameron, Francis Ford Coppola, Robert De Niro, and Martin Scorsese -- this comprehensive oral history takes readers behind the scenes of more than six decades of American cinema, as now-legendary directors and actors candidly unspool recollections of working with Corman before their big breaks. The text is supplemented with full-color reproductions of classic Corman movie posters; behind-the-scenes photographs and ephemera (many taken from Corman’s personal archive); and critical essays on Corman’s most daring films, including 'The Intruder,' 'Little Shop of Horrors,' and 'The Big Doll House.'
Frankenstein: The First 200 Years by
Call Number: PR 5397 .F73 F72 2017
Publication Date: 2017
In 1818, Mary Shelley's novel 'Frankenstein' was first published in an anonymous three-volume edition of 500 copies. Some thought the book was too radical in implication; a few found the central theme intriguing; but nobody predicted its success. This book, celebrating the 200th birthday of 'Frankenstein,' traces the journey of Shelley's story from limited-edition literature to the bloodstream of contemporary culture. It includes new research on the novel's origins, and a facsimile reprint of the earliest-known manuscript version of the creation scene. The legacy of 'Frankenstein' can be seen all over the world: on small and large screens, in print and online, on stage and on billboards, in graphic novels, comics, and even on cereal packages. Originating as a Regency nightmare, Frankenstein's creature has even become a cuddly childhood companion -- thoroughly 'Munstered,' so to speak. The real creation myth of modern times -- the era of genetic engineering, three-parent babies, nanotechnology, artificial intelligence, robotics and singularity, human/animal interfaces and secularism -- is no longer Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. The real creation myth is 'Frankenstein.'