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.


Heruka said...

"I ate, drank. and sometimes slept there, gamed (of course) helped with the garden, adopted their religion, and most definitely watched movies there"

What religion is/was that Rob? (other than polyhedral hedonism, obviously)



Rob Kuntz said...

The Gygax's (and myself for a shorter time period)
were once Jehovah's Witnesses. One of their daughters still is, whereas the rest of the family
members, including myself, disassociated with that affiliation many, many years ago, and all for different reasons.

rafael beltrame said...

i was so afraid of the "As sete faces do doutor Lao" when i was a kid!

thats a great movie, and i think its very inspiring in many ways to DMs

ATOM said...

I always loved Vincent Price as an actor. The Raven is a particularly good movie! What was that other one? The Pit & the Pendulum! I also have "The fall of the House of Usher" around the house, going to have to watch that again soon.Old "VP" as I call him, was born to act in Poe movies!

Benoist said...

Vincent Price + Boris Karloff = Instant "win" by my book. I loved both actors' work.

The Raven seems to be quite the freeform adaptation of Poe's work, isn't it?

Rob Kuntz said...

Yeah, it's got a tongue firmly implanted in cheek, but that does not take away from the great lines and acting. At best a mere usage of the title only. Look elsewhere (Fall of the House of Usher) for better adaptations of his work in film.