The two most famous horror stars of the now-classic Universal horror pictures of the 1930's and 1940's are, without question, Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi. Besides starring in the roles that launched their fame, they appeared together in seven films. In FAMOUS MONSTERS OF FILMLAND #134 (May 1977) these films were discussed in an article entitled, "Twin Titans of Terror". Penned by John Beifuss Jr., it is a thoughtful piece, free from the pun-infested features that FM was noted for.
Bernie Wrightson, one of the greatest living horror and fantasy illustrators, and, indeed, of our time, has successfully undergone brain surgery and is recuperating, according to his wife, Liz on Facebook. Bernie had suffered a cluster of minor strokes earlier this year and surgery finally became inevitable. Let's send out some healthy and happy Christmas cheer to Mr. Wrightson!
This year marks the 80th anniversary of the quirky Universal thriller, THE BLACK CAT. The pairing of Bela Lugosi and Boris Karloff with Edgar Ulmer directing created an alchemy of unease, horror and perversion that continues to be studied by film historians to this day. It also finds itself on every "Best of Horror Film" list, and for good reason. It is visually arresting, atmospheric and has some of the creepiest moments in 30's horror films. FAMOUS MONSTERS OF FILMLAND #67 (July 1970) included a filmbook on THE BLACK CAT. It was also serialized in FM #134 and #135 (1977). No credit for authorship is given. Here is Part 1 of THE BLACK CAT filmbook.
Lionel Atwill was fresh off from playing one of his many "mad doctor" roles in MYSTERY OF THE WAX MUSEUM and Kathleen Burke had not long completed her role as the exotic Lota, The Panther Woman in ISLAND OF THE LOST SOULS when they appeared together in Paramount's MURDERS IN THE ZOO. Premiering on 1 March 1933, THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER reviewed it the same day in their 1 March 1933 issue. Hollywood horror films in general were on the rise (some critics contend they were close to peaking for the "classic" period) and audiences waited anxiously for anything that would provide thrills and chills. According to the review, the film was "fairly patchy and scrappy", and "goes up and down like a scenic railway". The film suffers -- as many horror films do -- with its disruptive use of comedy by its top-billed star, Charlie Ruggles. Otherwise, THE REPORTER when on to say, "there are several punch sequences that will chill the spectators' spines and make them feel like they're getting their money's worth". The picture at the top with its interesting use of color is a full page ad from THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER issue of 3 March 1933. Burke is ballyhooed with her Panther Woman role, but it would be the last time she appeared in a horror film.
One fine evening in Philadelphia, full-time columnist for THE PHANTOM OF THE MOVIES' VIDEOSCOPE magazine and occasional contributor to MONSTER MAGAZINE WORLD, Tim Ferrante, stopped in a local pub for a beer. Not just any beer as seen by the label above, but a beer with a little tooth to it. Tim thought it might be amusing to share with MMW readers and I couldn't agree more. Brought to unsuspecting imbibers by the Great Lakes Brewing Company, this red ale appears to be a seasonal treat. Thanks, Tim!
Offered by Monsters In Motion is a classic Don Post mask customized by the well-known monster mask maven Dr. David Lady. The Lon Chaney mummy has been modified with a new paint job, a nicely done addition of some custom hair, and a glass eye. The price: $399.99. The catch: Only one available.
I received in the mail this week MIDNIGHT MARQUEE's 2014-2015 catalog of publications. They are celebrating their 20th year of publishing genre books and they show no signs of letting up. Currently, their books are printed using the CreateSpace publishing platform. I have a number of MMP's books and they are all good reads. If you have interest in horror history, biographies of stars, and unique subject matter, go HERE and download the catalog.
As we have seen here recently, Topstone masks can be used in bizarre ways. The juxtaposition of glamour (albeit cheap here) and the ghastly is a common trope use to both titillate and terrify. The end result here is more likely, however, to cause tittering rather than terror.
As in a previous post, if you are brave enough to view the uncensored versions of these photos, you can click here. [Image source: Monster Girls TUMBLR]
The uber-rare one-sheet for LONDON AFTER MIDNIGHT sold to an on-floor bidder at a recent Heritage Auction event.The lucky (and apparently wealthy) collector paid $478,000 for the poster, making it the most valuable movie poster ever sold at a public auction. Now, if someone can just come up with a print of the film. . .