Leatherface is my favourite horror movie villain. He’s a mad, merciless, messy killer.
Did you know that the real-life killer who inspired The Texas Chainsaw Massacre’s Leatherface, Ed Gein, also inspired two other famous horror movie villains? According to chasingthefrog.com, his crimes also inspired Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho’s Norman Bates and The Silence of the Lamb’s Buffalo Bill.
Ed Gein (middle) (late 1950s)
Hooper, Tobe. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Bryanston Pictures, 1974.
Roman Polanski’s Rosemary’s Baby
When pushed to answer what is my favourite horror movie, I reply, “Rosemary’s Baby.” I’ve watched it nearly once a year since I first saw it as a preteen.
One of the features that I particularly love about horror movies is that, sometimes, the bad guy wins. Growing up, I always wanted to read a comic or see a movie where the bad guy won in the end. It didn’t make sense to me that the hero always had to have the advantage.
After first seeing Rosemary’s Baby, I couldn’t believe what I was seeing in the final scene. It was grotesque and perfect: the Anti-Christ was born healthy and would be loved by his mother in a twisted, Satanic retelling of the immaculate conception.
My other favourite aspect of the movie is the psychological horror. Watching Rosemary unravel the secret that her neighbours are “all of them witches” and to watch her be fed to the wolves by the ones she loved and trusted most is, to me, the scariest possible thing that could happen to someone. It is also something that happens to women all the time, especially in the time that the movie was released. To me, it is an added layer of horror to watch her be treated as a possession knowing that the story is likely familiar to so many of my sisters and foremothers.
Polanski, Roman. Rosemary’s Baby, Paramount Pictures, 1968.
For The Devil’s Muse’s first post about a famous witch, I decided to search for a famous Canadian witch. I found Mother Barnes, a 19th-century psychic from Southern Ontario. Reading her story, she appears to have been a resourceful, clairvoyant, strong woman. She is famous for having conducted psychic readings for one of Canada’s former Prime Ministers Sir John A. MacDonald, including one that predicted Ottawa as the nation’s capital—which is special to me because Ottawa is my hometown.
Visit Mother Barnes – The Witch of Plum Hollow to read the full biography of Canada’s famous witch.
Image from http://www.pinecone.on.ca/MAGAZINE/stories/ElizabethBarnes.html.
The history of how we visualize Frankenstein is not based on Mary Shelley’s description but on the facial features of Boris Karloff. Learn more on the Horror Movie Maven blog.