Picking Bones, Part One
A couple of weekends back I got to see the original THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA on the big screen at the magnificent Alabama Theatre in Birmingham, to the accompaniment of the venue’s vintage pipe organ and a new score written specifically for the film. It was a fantastic experience and I have no complaints. I did, however, bristle once during the opening introduction provided by one of the overseers of the theatre. He at one point said that THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA is not “really” a Horror movie. I snarled in my seat and almost cried “Horseshit!” but restrained myself. My lovely wifey, sitting next to me, gave me a sideways glance and a smile. She knows me well.
Friends, if ever a movie could be called a Horror film it is Lon Chaney’s THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA. It is one of the pillars that supports the entire genre! A part of the very foundation! Why this hesitancy to call a Horror movie a Horror movie? Surely it must be a carryover from the days when Horror was seen as not being on the same artistic level as mainstream cinema, an allegation to which I must again say “Horseshit!” We’re seeing the same kind of lopsided snobbery being depicted these days against comic book movies by pretentious wannabe elitists. To a large extent the bias against Horror has been eradicated. We have two Horror films at this point that have won Oscars! Why, then, must some uneducated types perpetuate the stereotype by trying to mislabel Horror properties? To say that a movie is a Horror film is a compliment. Any movie should be so lucky as to aspire to that label!
WAYNE MILLER is the owner and creative director of EVIL CHEEZ PRODUCTIONS, specializing in theatrical performances and haunted attractions. He has written, produced, and directed (and occasionally acted in) over two dozen plays, most of them in the Horror and True Crime genres. He obtained a doctorate in Occult Studies from Miskatonic University and is an active paranormal investigator. Is frequently told he resembles Anton Lavey. And Ming the Merciless.
Denn die totden reiten schnell!