Friday, October 29, 2010

Cultural Geography Notes for Halloween Movies

Forget the mainstream Hollywood Halloween movies (not that there is anything wrong with mainstream Hollywood films compared to other schools of industry).  There are plenty of high quality movies that are perfect for Halloween that come from across the globe.  These films are fun to watch while gaining bits of cultural geographic insight.

Dracula (1931-Spanish edition)

During the same time that the famous version with Bela Lugosi was being filmed Universal was also creating a Spanish-edition.  The actors for this film came from all over the Hispanic world ranging from Mexico, to Spain, to Argentina.  In an effort to show Spanish language films were good as English language efforts the actors and staff worked hard to "one up" the English-language film crew.  They were successful in creating a better technical film that was longer and more faithful to the book than Lugosi's movie.

An unrelated thing to take note is that the Hispanic film was unencumbered by English cultural morals of not revealing too much with the women's nightgowns.

Tim Estiloz has more on the Spanish-language version of Dracula

Let the Right One In

Let the Right One In is the Swedish vampire hit that was recently redone with the American movie Let Me In.  The movie is truly a product of modern Western Europe: willing to accept other worlds except those that deal with Christianity.  While permission and sunlight make prominent parts of the film there is not one mention of a church, cross, or holy water to deal with the most manipulative vampire in a movie ever.

Bubba Ho-Tep

Bubba Ho-Tep is a proper homage to B-monster movies by the primary B-actor: Bruce Cambell.  The films staring an aged "Elvis" and "John Kennedy" as they battle an Egyptian mummy which feasts upon residents of a nursing home.  A forgotten part of east Texas, which is an overlooked part of the country to many, provides the background to a film about how American cultural does not value its old.  But it is mostly a dark comedy about Elvis and JFK versus a mummy.

Do you have your own favorite Halloween movie and any cultural geographic insight to share about it?  If so please comment!

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