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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

SE library does old-school horror

Night+of+the+Living+Dead%2C+a+classic+horror+movie+that+established+early+zombie+characteristics+in+film%2C+is+one+of+four+classic+horror+movies+scheduled+for+showing+on+Thursday+evenings+during+October+in+the+SE+Campus+library.+%0D%0APhoto+courtesy+Walter+Reade+Organization
Night of the Living Dead, a classic horror movie that established early zombie characteristics in film, is one of four classic horror movies scheduled for showing on Thursday evenings during October in the SE Campus library. Photo courtesy Walter Reade Organization

By Karen Gavis/managing editor

Horror film enthusiasts can huddle in the SE Campus library Thursday evenings in October to glimpse some classic fright flicks.

Night of the Living Dead, a classic horror movie that established early zombie characteristics in film, is one of four classic horror movies scheduled for showing on Thursday evenings during October in the SE Campus library.
Photo courtesy Walter Reade Organization

“There’s something charming about old horror movies compared to modern horror movies where most of the special effects are generated by computers,” SE assistant library director Tracey Minzenmayer said. “Some of the movies hold up well today, some of them don’t, but that’s really part of their appeal.”

Minzenmayer chose classic horror flicks as opposed to modern ones for a practical purpose, she said. Previously, movie showings on campus attracted fewer viewers than could justify paying the licensing fees.

“After investigating the costs, I chose to pick movies that are in the public domain, which means they are free to show,” she said. “I’m putting my budget toward providing popcorn and other refreshments. If the attendance this year is good, we are hoping to do a bigger event next year.”

First on the list of projected horrors is the 1960 film The Little Shop of Horrors, showing at 6 p.m. Oct. 4.

The second film, a zombie sci-fi classic, is being shown at the request of SE drama adjunct Brad McEntire, Minzenmayer said. In Plan Nine from Outer Space, aliens incorporate a zombie army to save the universe. The 1959 film includes a final appearance by Bela Lugosi, who died during production.

“This movie really has to be seen to be believed,” she said.

The House on Haunted Hill starring Vincent Price will also be shown, and the original Night of the Living Dead will serve as the event’s grand finale. Night of the Living Dead has been added to the National Film Registry and will be preserved for all time, Minzenmayer said.

“I really wanted to have at least one SE Library event that was primarily just for fun this semester,” she said.

SE associate professor of art John Phillips said William Castle directed House on Haunted Hill, and fright films were one of his specialties.

“[Vincent] Price is fantastic, reveling in and relishing the role of the slightly pathological, mostly psychotic oddball, upper-crust lunatic,” he said.

Plan Nine from Outer Space was once declared the worst movie ever made, Phillips said. Edward Wood Jr., who largely influenced Tim Burton, directed the film.

“Wood had earlier befriended the aging, seriously drug-addicted Bela Lugosi (the original Dracula) and featured him in some of his films,” Phillips said. “Before beginning production on Plan Nine, Wood shot a 100-foot roll of silent black-and-white film of Lugosi walking around the front yard of his house. Not long after, Lugosi died.”

Wood worked the silent footage into Plan Nine From Outer Space, Phillips said.

Night of the Living Dead is the first  part of a trilogy and was directed, co-written and photographed by George A. Romero, Phillips said.

“This movie is creepy and, at times, very scary, involving flesh-eating zombies assailing a house full of people trying to not be eaten,” he said. “One of my favorite lines from any movie is from Night of the Living Dead, a bit of scientific good sense, ‘If you kill the brain, you kill the ghoul!’”

Phillips said whoever selected the films are definitely serious fans.

“These are four of the most interesting examples of the sci-fi/horror genre,” he said.

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