The 1950's was an era when the slightest of things would be considered taboo, therefore to a modern audience a lot of "horror" flicks of its day would be considered relatively tame to current eyes. Here are a few of the classic films from its time to see if there is any comparisons to the way in which the genre was approached.
You will find most of the horror of the 50's was heavily influenced by Science Fiction, often involving aliens, monsters or psychotic killers with some form of power.
Many films were based around a more Science Fictional comic book edge, or tampered with the subject of control, sexism and a lack of control. There was nearly always the screaming blond shrieking blood into the ears of the audience while her hero goes out of his way to save her at the right time. It was a way to show how Women were seen as weak, that Men were superior and therefore they could uphold this social image. There was usually a clever way of hiding the villain, and even during their menacing acts they would be hidden away from the main screen as to observe something as controversial as a death was unheard of in its day. This also helped to create an air of mystery around character's, especially monsters. Visual effects were obviously very primitive in the 50's so any upfront visual would usually be cheap, or not very convincing.
The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951)
An alien (Klaatu) with his mighty robot (Gort) land their spacecraft on Cold War-era Earth just after the end of World War II. They bring an important message to the planet that Klaatu wishes to tell to representatives of all nations. However, communication turns out to be difficult, so, after learning something about the natives, Klaatu decides on an alternative approach.
Unknown. (Unknown). The Day the Earth Stood Still. Available: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0043456/. Last accessed 29/09/2011.
The War of the Worlds (1953)
H.G. Well's classic novel is brought to life is this tale of alien invasion. The residents of a small town in California are excited when a flaming meteor lands in the hills. Their joy is tempered somewhat when they discover that it has passengers who are not very friendly. The movie itself is understood better when you consider that it was made at the height of the Cold War--just replace Martian with Russian....
Unknown. (Unknown). The War of the Worlds. Available: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0046534/. Last accessed 29/09/2011
The Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954)
A scientific expedition searching for fossils along the Amazon River discover a prehistoric Gill-Man in the legendary Black Lagoon. The explorers capture the mysterious creature, but it breaks free. The Gill-Man returns to kidnap the lovely Kay, fiancée of one of the expedition, with whom it has fallen in love.
Unknown. (Unknown). The Creature from the Black Lagoon. Available:http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0046876/. Last accessed 29/09/2011
The She Creature (1956)
Using hypnosis, Dr. Carlo Lombardi claims that he can have his patients regress and recover memories from their past lives, thereby proving that reincarnation exists. He also claims that the spirit of these past lives can be brought forth to take physical form.. A series of violent murders by a creature that seems to disappear into the sea suggests that Lombardi's claim may be correct. The medical and scientific community believe him to be a complete fraud but one enterprising businessman sees the opportunity to make a small fortune with Lombardi's ability.
Unknown. (Unknown). The She Creature. Available: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0050957/. Last accessed 29/09/2011.
This film shows somewhat of a turn table of the taboo subject of Women having any kind of power over Men, this concept in the 50's was enough to frighten any bloke from his Wife! In this film we see the "Devil Girl", an Alien being from the planet Mars, come to Earth to take Men to be breeding stock for her own race. Sexy, but scary!
This film is based around a little girl named Rhoda Penmark who may seem innocent at first glance but you know theres an uncanny evil lurking inside of her. As the film progresses we see Rhoda's character become caught up in her own crimes and the storyline tenses. It is a story of which is caught up in many similarities to this groups synposis for our own storyline, the concept of a young girl taking her negative emotions out on people through adolescent motives.
Just to let you all know I believe it is time we got together to discuss this project farther as a full team. If you could find a good time convinient to all of you to meet up then that would be most helpful.We should put what research we have done on the blog (current job) and analyse it, then create a timetable showcasing the things to do over the next few weeks. Once we decide this we should then appoint one another with key jobs (character concepts, script writing, etc) to get the ball rolling faster.
You will also recieve this message via other forms of mail to ensure you get it.
A young girl named X drags herself to School everyday, the path to the gates becoming a dark, swallowing cloud of anxiety and fear. As soon as she steps foot into the grounds, the laughing begins. White teeth gnash around her, words of vile intensity bite into her very soul. The bullying is exhausting.
You will often find X hidden away in the janitors closet, feeling safe from harms way. Nothing can find her there, she feels peace and unlike with many other things, a control of her surroundings. She flicks on the small light. Its dull, but bright enough to know your not buried alive.
Again the taunting begins. Tormenting acts of sheer unnecessary violence force themselves upon X as she tries to simply get through a regular School day. Smack, a bloody nose. Shout, a familiar threat.
The janitors closet becomes lit up again with the eerie glow of the dull light, X is sobbing, bruised and on the edge of suicide. Then comes another light into the already lit room, this one however is brighter and a lot warmer than the glow from the hanging bulb infront of her.
Before her stands the Devil giving her the chance to have power over those who hurt her. She accepts, and is hugged by the large black wings shrouding her and the light from view.
X is never the same again, she now can control the bullies who go out to harm her. She builds friends who seem to be possessed, she can control them and make them harm others and even destroy themselves. It's when the corridors flicker and we find the main bullies being targeted and brutally murdered one by one through X's power of the mind only.
The Space School: A 1950's style Science Fiction Horror B-Movie about a robot caretaker who decides to take its revenge on the teacher who drops litter everywhere over a School based in Space. Comical implications by the use of cheesy "B-Movie" type narrations and visuals, with a dark atmosphere submerging the story towards a more chilling "horror" style genre (but due to being outdated, obviously failing...)
The Bully killer: A Ghost of a young girl lurks the corridors in search for those who bullied her to her death. Using a lot of indirect visuals to atmospheric and creepy effect, this scary setting becomes a dead end story typical to that of cheep budgets used by B-Movie makers back in the 1950's era. Thus setting the scene for a lot of cringe-worthy "Ed Wood" moments.
Peeping Tom: A dark tale based on a Male School cleaner who works at an all Girls School who has managed to get away with pedophilia, or so he thinks. One night when cleaning things seem to mysteriously start becoming messy straight away again. Little does "Tom" know a dark shadow of a little girl with pigtails and a long, sharp knife, is playing a deadly game...
For our first brief, we have been given the challenge of creating a small, animated 1 minute 30 second "B-Movie" style trailer.
This team is comprised of:
Together we are, well, we don't have a company title yet! Our first challenges are to create company logo's and research on High School "Horror" flicks in general. Any ideas for story lines that are conceived shall be placed on our blogs to then collectively discuss at a later date.
Here are a few films which jump to mind when on the subject of High School films which somewhat involve revenge or a reaction of a character.Here are a few of the films I remembered earlier in our group discussion:
"The Nutty Professor" (1963)
This film shows a shy, geeky and desperate College Professor named Julius Kelp transform himself into the local adolescent heart throb "Buddy Love". This alter ego takes over his life, helps him to pursue his deepest desires for popularity which in turn leads to him craving his own personality back due to a shift in self understanding. It's full of funny, touching and meaningful suggestions which help the audience to feel positive about who they really are.
Scary Movie (2000)
This film is based upon a group of American High School Teenagers who face a masked killer stalking them down one by one in revenge of an accidental murder they caused a year previous. Although its full of comical moments, this film has its fair share of blood and gore suitable for churning any non-sadistic stomach. The way in which it pushes and pulls the audiences anxiety levels as to what happens next is well done and really reflects the attitudes of adolescent behaviour.
We have already decided that due to the nature of our projects title, it should follow a more serious approach in both storyline and artistic direction.
Of course we must remember that in the 1950's era of film-making what we consider as gory today wouldn't of been heard of back then. The violence needs to be presented in to what the modern audience would perceive as an almost comical fashion in comparison to a modern horror film.
As everything relating to the group project so far as been under a working title, I have decided to plot down a few ideas of my own that could be useful for a name. A good name is what gets your company noticed, sticks in peoples minds and should be original enough to get easy hits on search engines. Here are a few of my ideas:
The H-Team (Spoof title made in class)
Hands on Animations
Frame by Frame Animations
Pixplosion (It makes sense to me!)
New Blood Designs
Primeval Designs (Just sounds cool!)
The Toon Wagon! (As were not making Cartoons, I doubt it would work, but it definitely made me chuckle!)
Second Coming Animations (Yup, a cheesy comparison of my group to a Messiah himself!)
Any ideas for cool names, throw them my way! (Especially Dave and Matt!)
I think we should go with something professional, not too cheesy or distant from the tone of "High School Revenge". Which when you look at my list, doesn't leave much. Its just a few ideas however as im itching to design a logo but cant as we don't have a name yet!