Friday, September 09, 2005


My first encounter with horror fiction was a radio play during the 1970s called Gabi Ng Lagim (Night of Terror). The show would start with howl from a dog and a creepy voice over stating the shows title and episode. The show was about the local supernatural monsters and ghosts in the Philippines and their encounter with the people. I used to listen a lot to that show, but the funny thing is for the life of me I cannot remember a single storyline.

I do remember the movies . The Vincent Price-Peter Lorre movie the Raven, the Black cat, House of Usher, A Cask of Amontillado all movies based on the works of Edgar Allan Poe. Then there was the Dracula films from Hammer Films. For most people when you say vampire the word Nosferatu comes up along with the name Max Shreck or Bela Lugosi, but for me it will always be Christopher Lee. Hammer Film's resident Prince of Darkness. The Dark and Campy Count scared, ravaged, died and was resurrected again for several Vampire films and as he rose from his crypt he faced Van Helsing, another Hammer main stay Peter Cushing. Through the years because of the weekly late night movies on channel 9 and 2 I was able to watch several other horror films - the Roddy McDowelll movie with a Golem, Vincent Price in the house of wax, John Carradine essaying the role of Dracula in Billy the Kid vs Dracula. Or Even Blacula Dracula's soul brother!

Mid-afternoon Tagalog movies had horror films like the movie were the character turned into a bat, demonic/ghostly posessions, a baby was thrown into a mud hole and who comes back years later to inflict revenge, and other creatures common in Filipino horror films tianak, cafres, nuno sa punso, aswang, mangkukulam the list goes on and on. And the impakta in Darna vs the Impakta used to give me the heebeejiibees.

But what is the purpose of horror films or fiction? Maybe its a safeway for us to experience terror. It may also satisfy our curiosity without suffering the consequences, the tale of Dracula is widely believed to be a tale of the triumph of Victorian prudeness over the Count's personification of what was believed then baser instincts. And at the same it is a tale of caution that tells the repercussions of evil outside and within us.

But then again there is a saying that explaining the joke ruins it. Deconstructing takes the fun out of anything. So I guess I will leave at that a horror story like any other story is interesting because of the tale, no explanation needed.


Post a Comment

<< Home