Thursday, July 2, 2015

SCARCE LONDON AFTER MIDNIGHT LOBBY CARD


This lobby card, currently up for auction, is an original from Tod Browning's LONDON AFTER MIDNIGHT (MGM, 1927). This particular lobby card is significant because it is the only one in the set that depicts Lon Chaney in his vampire makeup.


Tuesday, June 30, 2015

RICK BAKER FAMOUS MONSTERS COVER SNEAK PEEK


The soon-to-retire Rick Baker has created a cover for FAMOUS MONSTERS OF FILMLAND #281, showcasing the 80th Anniversary of THE BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN.


Bob Eggleton offers an alternate cover, depicting Godzilla vs. Cthulhu.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Saturday, June 27, 2015

HORROR PICTURES COLLECTION - AL ADAMSON (PART 1)


You've seen Tim Ferrante's work here before. He has guested as MONSTER MAGAZINE WORLD'S music critic in "The Sound of Horror" posts.

Tim and I have enjoyed a cross-country correspondence for a time and I have come to learn that he has been very active in our beloved genre. Consequently, I was delighted when I opened a file that I had for the HORROR PICTURES COLLECTION featuring Al Adamson and noticed that he had written the introduction. After telling him of my discovery he wrote back that he not only wrote the introduction, but selected all the photographs as well.

One thing led to another and I asked him if he wouldn't mind writing about his experience. As usual, he was more than gracious. Here, I'll step back and let Tim Ferrante do the talking now....

AL ADAMSON HORROR PICTURES COLLECTION
Tim Ferrante Recollections
June 22, 2015

I'm not sure how I got to know French movie journalist, Gerard Noel. It was the late '80s when we began our trans-Atlantic correspondence, one that was highlighted by his generosity. His envelopes would often contain a poster or two or other piece of Euro-horror material, freely given and most appreciated by yours truly. During this time he was publishing a series of booklets that paid tribute to horror/cult stars and films called Horror Pictures Collection (HPC), a spin-off of sorts of his HPC fanzine created in 1972. They were issued sporadically, filled with photographs and became handsome keepsakes for fans worldwide. Over time, Gerard asked that I write the introductions for the TROMA SPECIAL and THE BEST OF ARGENTO HPCs. I admired his inclination for honoring the broad range of genre subjects.

In 1992 I was working with Al Adamson's partner, Sam Sherman, at Independent-International Pictures (I-IP) on the company's UFO documentary BEYOND THIS EARTH. As a fan of Al, I wondered if Gerard would be open to publishing an Adamson HPC. Sam is a longtime friend so I knew that if Gerard agreed, I'd have full access to I-IP's photo archive. Not being sure what to expect, I advanced the notion to my friend in France. Gerard replied with a letter dated November 6, 1992 saying, “You have 'carte blanche' on this title for the introduction, the photograph captions, the final title, the dedication, etc..”

Carte blanche? Not only did he agree, but he put me in the driver's seat, too!

A signed copy of Al Adamson's Horror Pictures Collection.
 

I wanted to represent Al's films with both unseen and the very best of the I-IP publicity photos. The company's archive included countless negatives, slides and prints, all of which provided a dramatic mix of familiar and never-before-published images. Abiding by the old expression that “sex sells,” several nudes were chosen from films like GIRLS FOR RENT, CINDERELLA 2000 and THE NAUGHTY STEWARDESSES. I'd selected more than the project called for and sent them to Gerard so he could personally identify those he believed best suited the product and his brand.

In mid-January 1993 I received his photo selections and set about writing. With the help of Sam to accurately identify lesser known actors and crew, I wrote 64 captions as well as the introduction. Al's HPC would be 40 pages and feature 65 photos. Now it was left to Gerard and his assistant, Lucas Balbo, to turn the pile of photos and text into a tactile HPC. In a letter dated February 8, 1993 Gerard happily reported, “The Al Adamson HPC is now in production here for publication in late March.”

I clearly remember seeing the cover for the first time. It was an exciting and bold choice, definitely one people couldn't forget. Sam Sherman and his other partner, Daniel Kennis, were delighted with Gerard's efforts. Al had no idea the HPC was being done, but he would be paying a very rare visit to I-IP's corporate office later that year.

Tim Ferrante's personal copy, signed to him by Al Adamson.
 

In August, Al was on his way to Europe and Australia for both pleasure and to film segments for BEYOND THIS EARTH. His trip included a stop at I-IP in East Brunswick, NJ. I sat him down in my office and presented the HPC to him. He was amused, intrigued and openly wondered who might buy something like that. He was, though, obviously impressed by it. I had a stack of them on my desk and said, “Sign 20 of these with just 'Best Wishes, Al Adamson'. I'll also need a personalized one for the publisher in France, Gerard Noel. Oh, and one for me, too!” And he was glad to do it, joking that it would ruin their value if he signed them. As we all now know, Al was murdered in June 1995.

The printed versions of HPC would eventually cease, but the brand still exists online and on Facebook. Gerard is as active as ever and while I've not communicated with him in many years I'll always be grateful for his invitation to be a part of the HPC legacy. – Tim Ferrante, June 22, 2015






















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