On August 4, Castle Bridge Media presented a panel on mid-century Gothic horror films featuring leading voices in horror fiction and commentary. The panel was made in celebration of the release of the book Nightwalkers, a new look at Gothic horror ranging from the films of Britain's Hammer Studios, home of Christopher Lee's Dracula and Peter Cushing's Frankenstein to Roger Corman's Edgar Allan Poe movies starring Vincent Price, to stand her own standalone works like The Innocents.
The panel featured:
- Grady Hendrix, New York Times Bestselling author of The Southern Book Club's Guide to Slaying Vampires
- Mark Jordan Legan, NPR Film Historian/Commentator & Host of the "Film Freaks Forever" Podcast
- Danielle Trussoni, New York Times Columnist and New York Times Bestselling author of The Ancestor
- Bruce Wright, author of Nightwalkers: Gothic Horror Movies
The conversation began with exploring what exactly is the definition of Gothic. It turns out to be fairly difficult to pin down, though everyone agreed that Gothic horror films require "an air of secrecy," "self-consciousness," a "heightened operatic emotion," and "antiquity as a positive in its own right."
Among the titles that the group identified as the Gothic horror films that everyone should watch were:
- Hammer's Curse of Frankenstein
- Robert Wise's The Haunting
- Anne Fontaine's The Innocents
- The Shaw Brothers/Hammer mashup The Legend of the Seven Golden Vampires
- Jacques Tourneur's Night of the Demon
- Mario Bava's Black Sunday, also known as Mask of the Demon
- Mario Bava's Black Sabbath
- Herk Harvey's Carnival of Souls
- Guillermo Del Toro's The Devils Backbone
- Roger Corman's House of Usher
Listen to the panel for the whole conversation.
Listen on YouTube:
Jason Henderson is the host of the Castle of Horror and Castle Talk Podcasts, the editor of the Castle of Horror Anthology series, and the author of Quest for the Nautilus: Young Captain Nemo from Macmillan Children's Books. His new horror novel, under the pseudonym Peyton Douglas, The Book Man, debuted this summer.