In an ongoing series, Lumičre asks a diverse range of film critics about the movie(s) that got them into movies.

CHRIS KNOX: I didn’t get to see this, the mother of all monster movies, until well into my so-called adult life. Probably on VHS initially but definitely at a 16mm screening at the Ponsonby Community Centre or some such with my infant daughter in the early ‘80s. So how did it get me into the movies?

Well, it didn’t. Obviously. That would have to’ve been the six times I saw Disney’s Pinocchio on the big screen as a possibly pre-school infant. I never fully recovered and it still counts as the most sustained and evocative cartoon narrative, ever.

But the stills I saw at a very young age of Jack Pierce’s incomparably beautiful make-up as inhabited by the extraordinarily empathetic Boris Karloff were as powerful as any movie. By the time adolescence flodded in, I was immersed in Famous Monsters of Filmland and totally obsessed with the imagery from this and other Golden Age horror movies. James Whale’s masterpiece was among the very few that actually lived up to – and surpassed – the expectations I had hoarded up over years of scarring my retinae with these ineffable images.

I now have multiple copies in several formats, shelves of books and magazines relating to it and other classics of its genre.

It has never lost its unique power.

Chris Knox is gainfully employed as a columnist and film critic. He’s also known to play a little music.