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Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Horror Movies and the Cross - Censored Cemetery Crucifix Scene from "Bride of Frankenstein"

Screen shot of the censored scene.

Bride of Frankenstein is the 1935 sequel to Universal Pictures' 1931 film Frankenstein, both directed by James Whale and star Boris Karloff as the Monster.

Whereas little was censored in the first Frankenstein, by the mid-1930s the rules about violence and other potentially offensive content in public entertainment were strict.

Joseph Breen, director of the Production Code Administration, and an Irish Catholic, made many recommendations regarding what was appropriate and what wasn’t for Bride. At this time, if a script didn’t receive the PCA’s seal of approval, it simply wasn’t getting produced.

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Horror Movies and the Cross - Five Favorite Scenes Displaying the Power of the Cross


Many horror movies especially of recent times downplay the power of the Cross to give more of a sense of the unstoppable power of a particular evil entity, but there are still many horror films that offer displays of its power in the face of an encounter with evil. Usually these scenes are dealing with vampires and demons. Below are five of my favorite scenes among many that I was able to locate online (*be warned that some of these scenes may be viewed as scary by certain viewers*):
 
1. Dracula (1931)
 
 
 
2. Dracula: Prince of Darkness (1966) 
 
 
 
3. The Devil Rides Out (1967) 
 
 
 
4. Fright Night (1985) 
 
 
 
5. Bram Stoker's Dracula (1992) 
 
 
 

Monday, April 5, 2021

Horror Movies and the Cross - The Cross in the Very First Horror Movie from 1896

 
Horror movies go back to the very origins of film, specifically to 1896, when French special-effects genius Georges Méliès made the three plus minute short, Le Manoir du Diable (The Manor of the Devil, otherwise known in English as The Haunted Castle).

Méliès, known for his silent sci-fi fantasy A Trip to the Moon — and for the tribute paid to him in Martin Scorsese’s Hugo — used his innovative methods to tell a story of “a large bat that flies into a room and transforms into Mephistopheles. He then stands over a cauldron and conjures up a girl along with some phantoms and skeletons and witches. Two men then enter the room to examine the matter, and are soon frightened and tempted by the conjurings of Mephistopheles, until finally one of them grabs a large crucifix from the wall and the devil disappears.” Though a quick and concise story, and as scary as a walk through a very short haunted house with a bunch of frights flying at you from all directions, still it is an excellent example of a technique Méliès supposedly discovered that very year. According to Earlycinema.com,
 

Friday, April 2, 2021

Elder Ephraim of Arizona and the Demon Possessed Canadian Woman

 

Elder Ephraim of Arizon gave the following testimony of an exorcism he performed for a Canadian woman:

"I had gone to Canada and there I spoke to the Greek community about the devil, about how he deceives us and leads us to sin. When I finished the speech and the people left, there was a big uproar. Some ladies then came and informed me that some old lady had been demonized. The demon-possessed woman was shouting and screaming, saying words about me:

'This man has revealed me, he brought me out! What are you looking for here in Canada? He came to take what was mine, which I had bound tightly. I will hurt him and take revenge on him!'

Monday, March 29, 2021

The Demonology of Saint Diadochos of Photike

 
Saint Diadochos distinguishes evil spirits into two categories: into the most subtle psychic demons and into the most material carnal demons. The subtler spirits fight the soul by arousing the psychic passions and the material fight the flesh by arousing the body with carnal desires. Both categories are equivalent, yet they operate "against each other", due to the difference between the soul and the body, which is reflected in both categories of demonic spirits, as long as they affect the soul and the body. When grace does not dwell in man, they nest in the depths of his heart, like real snakes, preventing the soul from desiring good. But when Grace, which was obtained through Baptism, is in man, then they run around the parts of the heart, that is, not in the heart or mind but mainly in the flesh, like dark clouds, taking various formations, in order to distract the mind from its contact with Divine Grace.1

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