Announcement

Collapse

Welcome to Moorcock's Miscellany

Dear reader,

Many people have given their valuable time to create a website for the pleasure of posing questions to Michael Moorcock, meeting people from around the world, and mining the site for information. Please follow one of the links above to learn more about the site.

Thank you,
Reinart der Fuchs
See more
See less

Can horror be set in space?

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Can horror be set in space?

    Ella Hunt did a poll on twitter asking whether Alian was a horror film. 94% of responders said yes. She then suggested that horror cannot be set in space. I became aware of this because Andrew Rilstone who I follow responded, "I am reminded of Sid Kipper : “There is a debate about whether or not women can Morris Dance. Since they do, you would think that they argument would be very short....” Anyway she went on to say, 'Yes. Horror is predicated on the fear of the other, the unfamiliar in the world as we know it – space, we already don't know it.' It reminded me of a few things, one was a long quote from C.S. Lewis:

    Consider, again, the enormous difference between being shut out and being shut in: if you like between agoraphobia and claustrophobia. In King Solomon's Mines the heroes were shut in: so, more terribly, the narrator imagined himself to be in Poe's Premature Burial. Your breath shortens while you read it. Now remember the chapter called 'Mr. Bedford Alone' in H. G. Wells's First Men in the Moon. There Bedford finds himself shut out on the surface of the Moon just as the long lunar day is drawing to its close--and with the day go the air and all heat. Read it from the terrible moment when the first tiny snowflake startles him into a realization of his position down to the point at which he reaches the 'sphere' and is saved. Then ask yourself whether what you have been feeling is simply suspense. 'Over me, around me, closing in on me, embracing me ever nearer was the Eternal . . . the infinite and final Night of space.' That is the idea which has kept you enthralled. But if we were concerned only with the question whether Mr. Bedford will live or freeze, that idea is quite beside the purpose. You can die of cold between Russian Poland and new Poland, just as well as by going to the Moon, and the pain will be equal. For the purpose of killing Mr. Bedford 'the infinite and final Night of space' is almost entirely otiose: what is by cosmic standards an infinitesimal change of temperature is sufficient to kill a man and absolute zero can do no more. That airless outer darkness is important not for what it can do to Bedford but for what it does to us: to trouble us with Pascal's old fear of those eternal silences which have gnawed at so much religious faith and shattered so many humanistic hopes: to evoke with them and through them all our racial and childish memories of exclusion and desolation: to present, in fact, as an intuition one permanent aspect of human experience.
    I was also reminded of Morcock's The Black Corridor and Hawkwind's performance of part of it on Space Ritual. In these stories Space itself becomes the source of fear. If horror is about fear of the uncanny, then the alien and the part-human robot or computer are instances. In that sense 2001, or parts of it can be seen as horror. It also got me thinking about how many classic horror films are not set in the familiar world. They are set in the past and in a very odd version of the past in a foreign country (foreign to the makers of the films) The Universal Frankenstein is set in 19th century Germany (or is it set later, not sure) as was the original novel and most subsequent films. That setting allows the filmakers to distance and create a surreal world replete with torch carrying peasants. in the Hammer films, the makers chose to keep Dracula in Transylvania, not following the book in its journey to England and thus not following the morphing of the story from horror to adventure yarn. The universal werewolf film was set in Wales, but a version of Wales unlike any that actually exists and the Hammer one was set in Spain (mainly because the studio had Spanish sets left over from an unmade film. The horror set in our familiar world is a bit of a latecomer. I wonder why so many film makers felt this need for distancing.

    So, when we come to horror set in space, space is no less an alien construct than these other settings. I wondered what people here would make of al this. So here were my thoughts.
    Last edited by postodave; 04-09-2021, 09:33 AM.

  • #2
    With the exception of Kubrick's 2001, which he secretly filmed on the moon, no horror has been set in space.

    All the space settings were faked, people!

    Face it, we're all Charlton Heston pounding sand on the beach because we just realized we've been on Earth the whole time.
    Last edited by Heresiologist; 04-09-2021, 02:40 PM.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Heresiologist View Post
      With the exception of Kubrick's 2001, which he secretly filmed on the moon, no horror has been set in space.

      All the space settings were faked, people!

      Face it, we're all Charlton Heston pounding sand on the beach because we just realized we've been on Earth the whole time.
      2001 has a lot of horror elements. The computer is human-like enough to develop a psychosis but inhuman enough to speak in that calm neutral voice. The moon scenes are done in that eerie silence. And the otherness of space itself is there throughout. In fact it's far more spacelike than the actual moon landings!

      Comment


      • #4
        Very timely article over on the Nerdist, site: 7 Space Horror Movies That Are Horror, Actually

        Alien seems like prima facie evidence for space horror, but, Planet of the Vampires, is a bit of a Nineteen Sixties classic.

        Comment


        • #5
          Event Horizon is straight-up horror. And a great example of the form.
          Doctor Who has done a good few moves in the horror direction too.
          Space 1999 had more than its fair share of utterly weird, bleak death - sometimes with monsters.
          Hell, even Buck Rogers had a space vampire.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Pietro_Mercurios View Post
            Very timely article over on the Nerdist, site: 7 Space Horror Movies That Are Horror, Actually

            Alien seems like prima facie evidence for space horror, but, Planet of the Vampires, is a bit of a Nineteen Sixties classic.

            It's a response to the tweets that started me on this. Never seen Planet of the Vampires.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Rothgo View Post
              Event Horizon is straight-up horror. And a great example of the form.
              Doctor Who has done a good few moves in the horror direction too.
              Space 1999 had more than its fair share of utterly weird, bleak death - sometimes with monsters.
              Hell, even Buck Rogers had a space vampire.
              Well, there is no denying that Doctor Who experimented with this form a lot of the time, and still does. The Daemons even looks like it was copying The Wicker Man, though it came first and it isn't in space. But then a lot of sci-fi is not in space.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by postodave View Post

                ... Never seen Planet of the Vampires.
                To be honest, my mind's a bit hazy on the details, I think I saw it, years ago, on a late night horror film thing, on Dutch TV, or possibly even earlier, on Channel 4. but it may only have been clips. However, it was directed by Mario Bava and is one of three of his movies that I would really like to get copies of, at some point. The other two being, Black Sunday & Danger: Diabolik.

                One doesn't have to have seen more than a few clips, or to have searched too far, to discover, just how much the later Alien movie, owes to, Planet of the Vampires, however.

                I'd definitely like to see this one, again.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Rothgo View Post
                  Event Horizon is straight-up horror. And a great example of the form.
                  ...
                  A friend of mine worked on the FX team for that show. He did not go into space!

                  And don't get me started on Alien. The evidence for the conspiracy is right there in the tagline: "In space no one can hear you scream." No screams, no horror. QED. How O'Bannon (one of the good ones) slipped that past Scott will forever baffle brave truth seekers--and provide endless fodder for the Ridley the Whistleblower myth.

                  Really, it's all there in The Shining, which exists solely to expose the space-setting horror hoax first laid out in his earlier 2001. The truly great irony is that the fabled Room 237 directly points to the fact The Shining was also filmed on the moon. Overlook Hotel indeed! OVERLOOKING THE EARTH, PEOPLE!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Heresiologist View Post

                    A friend of mine worked on the FX team for that show. He did not go into space!

                    And don't get me started on Alien. The evidence for the conspiracy is right there in the tagline: "In space no one can hear you scream." No screams, no horror. QED. How O'Bannon (one of the good ones) slipped that past Scott will forever baffle brave truth seekers--and provide endless fodder for the Ridley the Whistleblower myth.

                    Really, it's all there in The Shining, which exists solely to expose the space-setting horror hoax first laid out in his earlier 2001. The truly great irony is that the fabled Room 237 directly points to the fact The Shining was also filmed on the moon. Overlook Hotel indeed! OVERLOOKING THE EARTH, PEOPLE!
                    When I was a young child I was a huge fan of the daleks. One Christmas I asked for an army of rollykins and I got lots of daleks in various sizes. I also got a book called The Dalek World. In this book there was a feature about the film Dr Who and the Daleks. In this it said that the film studio at Shepperton was transported into outer space to make the film. At the time I thought this was just a conceit of the writers; I did not suspect that a British film studia had been literally lifted into space. But now I wonder. Years later I re-read the book and it said the studio was transformed not transported. But I have noticed this happens a lot. Things you remember from the past get changed. It looks like our history is being systematically rewritten, possibly by beings not of this world. I want to make clear that I am not for one minute suggesting that aliens might be changing history, but I am saying that they could be. It certainly bears thinking about.

                    Picture1.png

                    cSMHAxYcVfeb-KlUptJ_EKiH3U3UZ6kDMfxsHofg6ot8HfRsCJlLrY_K-LP0yJ1lGAOpNiBn5dqEvIdQ39aoBwlsztK2tIXjqytD.jpg
                    Attached Files
                    Last edited by postodave; 04-14-2021, 12:29 PM.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by postodave View Post

                      When I was a young child I was a huge fan of the daleks. One Christmas I asked for an army of rollykins and I got lots of daleks in various sizes. I also got a book called The Dalek World. In this book there was a feature about the film Dr Who and the Daleks. In this it said that the film studio at Shepperton was transported into outer space to make the film. At the time I thought this was just a conceit of the writers; I did not suspect that a British film studia had been literally lifted into space. But now I wonder. Years later I re-read the book and it said the studio was transformed not transported. But I have noticed this happens a lot. Things you remember from the past get changed. It looks like our history is being systematically rewritten, possibly by beings not of this world. I want to make clear that I am not for one minute suggesting that aliens might be changing history, but I am saying that they could be. It certainly bears thinking about.
                      This... it makes a lot of sense. I should have known the conspiracy ran deeper than suspected. They always do!

                      So... Kubrick's antics are obviously meant to point to the earlier Dr Who and the Daleks film. AND!!!! Can it be mere coincidence that Kubrick's famously cold and distant tone seems positively Dalekian? Excuse me, I think I need to rearrange my evidence board.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Heresiologist View Post

                        This... it makes a lot of sense. I should have known the conspiracy ran deeper than suspected. They always do!

                        So... Kubrick's antics are obviously meant to point to the earlier Dr Who and the Daleks film. AND!!!! Can it be mere coincidence that Kubrick's famously cold and distant tone seems positively Dalekian? Excuse me, I think I need to rearrange my evidence board.
                        When one makes a discovery of this magnitude it may seem important to remain level headed. It would not be level headed to say all film directors are under the control of aliens. But maybe some are. However, you need to remember that Universal Studios copyrighted the make up for their version of Frankenstein's monster. The monster was literally level headed. That meant other film makers could depict the monster but not with the trade marked level head. We note that, especially in the first film the monster's behaviour was much less level headed than that of the monster in the book. In the book the monster has philosophical discussions. In the firm he goes 'guurh!' and throws little girls in ponds. So James Whale was telling us that that which appears to be level headed is not necessarily level headed. Hence we must adopt the conclusion which seems not to be level headed and so are logically compelled to conclude that all film directors are under the control of aliens. QED.
                        Last edited by postodave; 04-15-2021, 12:57 PM.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          It's not really surprising that the trail leads back to old flip top - flat top Frankenstein's Monster & British paranoia. Back in 1948, one Eric Blair (aka George Orwell), published that ultimate post-war SF novel of mind invasion & soul destruction, 1984 (partially based on his experiences as a wartime propagandist at the BBC). Shortly thereafter, in 1950, during the Korean War, a new word was coined to explain the confessions of American POWs, which had apparently been extracted under duress: Brainwashing.

                          Then it starts to get interesting, In 1953, back at the BBC, Nigel Kneale´s: The Quatermass Experiment, is broadcast live. The horror of what happens inside the off course spaceship & what happens to its crew, can only be dimly perceived in the found footage from the ships internal camera, but the gradual invasion and slow transformation of the surviving crew member, Carroon, by a horrific alien organism, enthrals TV viewers throughout the UK. A year later, the BBC broadcasts Kneale's horrific version of, 1984, also live (& with no apparent sense of irony), to widespread acclaim. In the US, the nightmarish, Invaders From Mars (1953), is released, in which a boy discovers that his parents and neighbours are being taken over & replaced by Martians.

                          In 1955, British company, Hammer Film Productions, ventures into the realm of horror for the first time, with an adaptation of, The Quatermass Xperiment. Meanwhile, the BBC broadcast Nigel Kneale's new SF horror serial, Quatermass II, about an alien invasion of extraterrestrial projectiles, which hatch invasive alien parasites which take over their human hosts.

                          In 1956, Invasion of The Body Snatchers, based on the 1955 novel, The Body Snatchers, by Jack Finney, is released in the USA. As family, friends & neighbours, are replaced by alien, 'pod-people' simulacra, the ultimate sort of horrific alien invasion is now well and truly a part of the public consciousness.

                          In 1957, Hammer release, The Curse of Frankenstein, on an unsuspecting British public. Less level-headed & more Hammer-headed.

                          The Daleks came slightly later, apparently, much to the annoyance of Nigel Kneale.

                          Then there's the 1980, post Alien, 'Frankenstein in Space,' Saturn 3.

                          Last edited by Pietro_Mercurios; 04-16-2021, 07:24 AM. Reason: Tidied up & etc.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            It goes deeper with Orwell and Neale. The reality show Big Brother as you will know derives it's name from Orwell's 1984. Years before this program appeared on TV in the year 2000 Neale satirises it in his play 'The Year of the Sex Olympics. How could he see into the future? He says he was inspired by making the dramatisation of 1984 but 1984 does not feature reality TV.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by postodave View Post
                              It goes deeper with Orwell and Neale. The reality show Big Brother as you will know derives it's name from Orwell's 1984. Years before this program appeared on TV in the year 2000 Neale satirises it in his play 'The Year of the Sex Olympics. How could he see into the future? He says he was inspired by making the dramatisation of 1984 but 1984 does not feature reality TV.
                              No, but the camera equipped TVs in 1984, are everywhere & used to keep the people in a potentially constant state of fear of surveillance. In fact, Kneale's, Year of the Sex Olympics, was probably more influenced by Aldous Huxley's, Brave New World, a script of which, Kneale had also worked on, although it was never produced. A World of constant entertainment, distraction & hedonistic excess.


                              Last edited by Pietro_Mercurios; 04-19-2021, 06:46 AM. Reason: Correction.

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X