So much for a Halloween treat.

Well, I have some wonderful, public domain horror films from the glorious age of black and white cinema that would have been perfect for some Trick-or-Treat viewing. I wanted to share this with my readers because, let’s face it, film just isn’t as good as it was. The first was the 1921 silent film Nosferatu based loosely on Bram Stoker’s immortal Dracula. The film itself is, like many silent films in our modern era a bit comical in the over acting of the heavily made up stars. For it’s day though it was a masterpiece and, even today, still holds up well. It introduced us also to a very well done vampire (Graf Orlock) whose make up and design have been imitated over the decades in film and artwork. Interestingly enough, the production was not sanctioned by the estate of the then (and currently) late Bram Stoker whose wife sued the company for copyright infringement.

The second film I intended to upload was George A. Romero’s timeless Night of the Living Dead which only a few years ago entered the public domain and has since been remade and remastered by dozens of hacks and frauds trying to cash in on the name and success of the past. With the threat of a zombie plague as the backdrop it tells the story of an eclectic band of survivors hiding in a farmhouse in the backwoods of Pennsylvania. One by one they fall until only a single hero is left to meet a tragic fate. Made in 1968 it tells not just a horror story but uses the horror story as an analogy for the looming threat of complete annihilation posed by the raging Cold War, racial prejudices that were tearing the country apart and even fears of what sort of wonders (and terrors) were held for us as a species by the burgeoning space program. Yeah, seems like a bit of a stretch for a B horror flick but, if you pay attention to your history and the sub-text of the film, it’s plot and dialogue, it really is a beautiful piece of zombie fiction that redefined the sub-genre.

That said, thoughts are currently racing through my mind. Do I want to open a YouTube channel and post these public domain films and then link them to the site? Do I want to try and convert them into a format that might be uploadable (yes, I know it’s not a Webster approved word) to the page? Or, most likely, do I just want to drop the issue and encourage you to look up these and other fantastic pieces of old cinema on your own? Who knows? For now, I’m just going to bed.


About Danno

Dan Lee is a freelance writer, critic, independent author and publisher, as well as a horror culture correspondent. His articles, interviews, editorials, and fictional works continue to run on several sites and publications. He is also one of the resurrectionists behind the return of the Nashville Zombie Walk (2017).
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