August 12th is a surprisingly important day for horror. History has given us some genuinely stellar films on this day, and that pattern began more than 70 years ago, and really hasn’t slowed much over time. Suspiria is just one of the many awesome flicks to be released on August 12th.
MGM released a strong rendition of Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde on August 12th, way back in 1941. It’s still an appreciated film with good work from Spencer Tracy and Ingrid Bergman.
In 1961 Roger Corman jumped behind the camera to shoot his rendition of The Pit And The Pendulum, and it’s a real keeper. Vincent Price, John Kerr and Barbara Steele not only star, they really elevate Corman’s production as a whole. It’s a great little vintage piece that doesn’t always garner the respect it deserves, despite being one of Corman’s absolute best.
Getting back around to Suspiria, we’re looking at one of the finest Italian genre pieces ever made by Dario Argento, who once held an honest claim to the title of King of Giallo. While Argento’s works would make a sharp downward spiral in the later phases of his career, the first few decades of this legend’s career are irrefutably genius. Suspiria, which turns 40 this year, is generally considered Argento’s magnum opus.
Six years after Suspiria made international waves, Stephen King’s story of a rabid Saint Bernard, Cujo, arrived to general acclaim. The year was 1983, and Cujo opened in the number two spot at the box office, eventually wrapping up a theatrical run that would see the flick amass a solid $21 million. As most know, Cujo, like Suspiria, remains an enormous fan-favorite today.
Moving forward another 13 years we were fortunate enough to welcome Stephen Hopkins’ creepy horror thriller, The Ghost and the Darkness. The picture opened in the top box office slot, and eventually piled up a solid $38 million haul before cooling down a bit on home video.
2005 gave us the moderately successful The Skeleton Key, 2010 produced the international success story, I Saw the Devil and 2011 gifted us Final Destination 5, the best of the franchise since the inaugural film.
As you can see, August 12th is a big day. Depending upon your personal flavor, you’ve probably got at least a single reason to celebrate the genre today!