Thursday, March 26, 2009
Movie Time at Gary's House
As a young chap I was part of the Gygax family, virtually adopted at one point, and always in attendance at their house on a daily basis. I ate, drank. and sometimes slept there, gamed (of course) helped with the garden, adopted their religion, and most definitely watched movies there!
That I was influenced by EGG's tastes is to say the least. He would later comment upon several that held deep fascination for him and inspired him in writing many of D&D's spells, particularly, 7 Faces of Dr. Lao; and of course, The Raven, a Roger Corman film.
What we have derived from these films are:
7 Faces of Dr. Lao: Stone to flesh spell (cast by Merlin): "After Medusa turns the disbelieving shrew to stone, Lao calls an end to the proceedings and Merlin restores the now-reformed woman."
The Raven: "Craven and Scarabus then seat facing each other and engage in a magic duel. After a lengthy performance of narrow escapes..."
These scenes are of particular importance, for therein are revealed many future spells, such as shield, magic missile, fireball, meteor swarm and several others, like levitate, polymorph any object and perhaps even animate object which could have had ties to Disney's The Sorcerer's Apprentice from Fantasia, as well. I do not include polymorph (of Lorrie's character into the raven), as that proceeds the matter in many myths, particularly as noted in the Grecian myths that EGG was of course familiar with. One can stretch here or there, of course, but when Vincent Price's character, Dr. Craven, does a quick hand movement and creates a transparent, circular shield that stops Dr. Scarabus' (Karloff's) missiles, well, you just have to appreciate it all in afterthought.
I highly recommend both of these movies, the latter which features a very young Jack Nicholson to boot.