Friday, August 31, 2012

FRANKIE'S FUNNY BONES!

THE COLLECTO'RS WEB: FREEZE YOUR COOL!



The poster and collectible art found at Wolfgang's Vault online store is impressive. Among the movie posters for sale is a 22" x 28" serigraph of a modern showing of the 1927 PHANTOM OF THE OPERA, starring the greatest mon-star of all time, Lon Chaney, Sr.

The poster was created for a 40th Anniversary showing on October 27, 1967 at Old Dominion College in Norfolk, VA. Also on the bill was Buster Keaton's HAUNTED HOUSE.

In typical 60's fashion, the image is patterned after the poster art that was very popular during the Art Nouveau period of the 1890's. It is probably the only time Mary Philbin has ever been depicted topless in this (or any other) role.

This rare poster is selling for $1,115.00.

From Wolfgang's Vault: "Serigraphs are produced by applying layer after layer of ink on to the paper, one color at a time, until the piece is finished. The finished print is more brilliant in color and requires a much higher degree of work by the artist and the printer than do offset reproductions. The result is artwork of exceptional quality."


BUSTER KEATON IN "HAUNTED HOUSE"

COMING THIS WEEKEND . . .


Wednesday, August 29, 2012

UNDYING MONSTERS DEAD?



In what is truly disappointing news, it appears that Editor and Publisher Dave Davey's excellent monster magazine, UNDYING MONSTERS is close to ... well, dying. The print magazine market is getting tough, and the print monster magazine market is getting tougher. With most cover prices from 8 to 10 dollars, people with limited discretionary income are thinking twice before dropping the bucks for a magazine.

That's not to say, however, that UNDYING MONSTERS is worth a pass. On the contrary, if you are a lover of the classic years of monster movies, then this magazine is right up your bloodstained alley.

I must admit, I have been a little remiss in promoting Mr. Davey's labor of love. This will be remedied in coming posts here at MONSTER MAGAZINE WORLD.

In the meantime, I urge you all to visit the UNDYING MONSTERS website and purchase a copy or three, and help bring an undying monster back to life!

Here are the details on the situation:

"We regret that our tribute to AMICUS in issue #5 has been delayed. We still do not have a publication date, but we are doing all we can to get the magazine printed. Unfortunately, sales have not lived up to our expectations. Undying Monsters has been losing money steadily since its inception. We had hoped circulation would increase over time, but this has not happened. And with the increase in printing and shipping costs, it has become impossible for us to maintain a quarterly schedule. We have therefore decided to temporarily stop offering subscriptions.

While it has become necessary for us to reduce our operating costs as much as possible, we have no plans to raise our price or reduce the print quality and number of pages of our magazine. One prospect we are considering is to print the magazine to order. Once we have received enough requests to cover our publishing costs, the magazine will be printed and mailed. It will no longer be available in comic book stores, and depending on the cost per issue, it may or may not be available from our direct dealers. We sincerely hope this can avoided, but the alternative might be to cease publication entirely. We will continue to post updates to this page. If you are interested in pre-ordering UM #5, email us at sales@undyingmonsters.com. You will not be charged, and current subscriptions will be honored.

Pictured to the left is the current working draft of Mark Maddox's cover for UM5. The magazine will also contain an interview with the RONDO-Award winning artist which we're sure you will find fascinating. Film coverage includes review articles on Dr. Terror's House Of Horrors and Torture Garden, with Tales From The Crypt as our sixth Film Book. We had hoped to cover more of AMICUS' anthology films in this issue, but we weren't about to slight such great films like The House That Dripped Blood and Asylum because of lack of space. Hopefully we can cover these and other AMICUS films in a follow-up issue. A special thanks to Stephen Jones for sharing his treasure trove of fabulous stills. Without his help, this issue would not be possible."

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

FANGORIA'S 100-PAGE HALLOWEEN SPECIAL SNEEK PEEK



Never to be outdone, the FANGO folks are getting read to unleash another of their legendary 100-page Halloween spectacular special issues. Promising to be another hefty tome of terror, you can take a look at what's in store at their website HERE.

Monday, August 27, 2012

LON CHANEY SHALL NOT DIE!



April 1, 1883 - August 26, 1930
[Source: FAMOUS MONSTERS OF FILMLAND #14 Oct. 1961]

HIS BITE WAS OUTTA SITE -- SO IS HIS ACTION FIGURE


Got your freak on? Due early next year is a William Marshall as Blacula action figure. Here's the first word:

"Blacula 12in Collectors Figure: "Rising From the Echoing Corridors of Hell, An Awesome Being of the Supernatural - With Satanic Power of Sheer Dread. Chained Forever to a Slavery More Vile Than Any Before Endured...Blacula!" This Soul Cinema classic collector’s item features an exact likeness to William Marshall as Blacula, high quality movie accurate outfit and fully poseable 1/6th scale body. This Bloodsucker, Deadlier than Dracula, is packaged in a deluxe 4-color window box with a fifth panel. "BLACULA His Bite Was Outta Site!"

RELEASE DATE: 01/31/2013

Suggested retail price: $79.99.

A COOL, 12-INCH GHOUL



Good noose, Zach fans! At long last, from Amok Time, a Zacherley action figure will be available. Here's the details:

Horror movie icon Zacherley the Cool Ghoul is now in 1:6 scale size. The man who became the best, funniest, and most well-known and beloved TV horror host of all time can now be yours in outstanding detail as a fully articulated action figure standing a whopping 12-inches tall! The Zacherley the Cool Ghoul 12-inch Action Figure is a limited edition of 500 pieces.

Figure comes with interchangeable heads, candle, and is packed in a coffin shaped box.

Due for release on August 31, the suggested retail price is $69.95.

MONSTER CARD MONDAY



NOTE: I'm showcasing here a series of SPOOK STORIES trading cards that were graciously donated to MONSTER MAGAZINE WORLD's Museum of Monsterology by a most kind benefactor. As a result I will, in turn, be sharing them with you, dear readers. A heartfelt "thank you" to James G. in Colorado for your generosity. You have hereby been bestowed the official title of "Fellow Monsterologist"!

MONDAY MORNING MACABRE


[Art by John Severin.]

Sunday, August 26, 2012

A "WEIRD TALE" OF LOVECRAFT



While H.P. Lovecraft's total ouput cannot be called voluminous, he left enough to make a substantial impact on the fields of horror and science-fiction. Still, we all wonder what he would have done next had he lived longer.

A number of Lovecraft's stories and poems were published in the greatest of the weird fiction pulps. Written in 1918, Polaris appeared in the December 1937 issue of WEIRD TALES, just a few months after his death.





Saturday, August 25, 2012

JOURNAL OF LOVECRAFTIANA NO. 1 NOW AVAILABLE


Now available for download is a new publication by THE ORIGINAL ARKHAM PRESS in an electronic magazne format. Fans of H.P. Lovecraft might be interested in learning more about Lovecraft's comic adaptations and how the forced demise of horror comics, such as those by EC, were a contributing factor to their (sometimes over-the-top) re-emergence in the 1960's. Plus, it's written by yours truly!

Here's the 411 from THE ORIGINAL ARKHAM PRESS site:

"The first publication of the eZine, Journal of Lovecraftiana is now available for purchase. With the theme, "The Underground Lovecraft", it contains a lengthy essay by long-time Lovecraft admirer and historian, John Navroth entitled "Lovecraft's Last Gasp". It is "remastered" from its first appearance as a submission to the Lovecraft Amateur Press Association's Esoteric Order of Dagon in 2009 with color images replacing the original black and white reproductions.

It discusses the avenues and forms taken to bring Lovecraft adaptations and Lovecraft-inspired stories to comic books and other sequential art media. It begins with the death of the horror comic book in the 1950's and their resurrection years later with Jim Warren's Creepy magazine, where the first full-length Lovecraft adaptation in a comic story appeared. There is a lengthy discussion of Skull Comics, the infamous underground title that included several Lovecraft adaptations, as well as other extreme illustrated horror stories meant to be a subversive reaction to the forced ceasing of horror and crime comic books from 10 years before. Included is the complete text of the original Comics Code Authority which spelled out the guidelines for the approved content of comic books."

Go HERE to buy.

EXTRA!
To see an example of an H.P. Lovecraft adaptation in an underground comic, click on the MONSTER COMICS tab under this blog's title header and read the classic HPL story, "Cool Air" from SKULL COMICS #4!

Friday, August 24, 2012

BARBARA CRAMPTON: MIDNIGHT HORROR HOTTIE


Earlier today you saw a post here at MONSTER MAGAZINE WORLD that included information on the actress, Barbara Crampton, whose unflinching abilities saw her through many a' terrifying situation in Stuart Gordon's H.P. Lovecraft's screen movies, RE-ANIMATOR and FROM THE BEYOND. As a result, Miss Crampton became instantly famous for her troubles.

Described on IMDB as "gorgeous, talented, and charismatic", who am I to argue? From sexy scientist to screaming Mimi, this gal's got it all. Even a certain popular men's magazine took notice. In the December, 1986 issue of PLAYBOY, the 28-year old actress appeared in a pictorial that depicted her in her natural element . . . sex and horror.



LOVECRAFT'S FIRST LADY . . . AND THAT CRAZY GUY, TOO


"I like playing extreme characters"
-- Barbara Crampton

Women do not play a large role in the stories of H.P. Lovecraft. In the modern filmic retelling of his tales, it is quite the opposite. The sex factor is cranked up considerably, and, in the case of Brian Yuzna and Stuart Gordon's RE-ANIMATOR, to the extreme.

In the most popular of these films, actress Barbara Crampton is the object of desire. She caught the eye (and disembodied head) of Dr. Hill in RE-ANIMATOR, and was the focus of the obsessed (and slimy) Dr. Pretorius in FROM BEYOND.

Miss Cramptom plays these roles with a coolness and sophistication that might otherwise appear unseemly or gratuitous in the hands of another, less talented actress. Even when she's stripped naked and screaming, she does it in a more glamorous than cheesy manner. For that reason alone (and the infamous lab table scene in RE-ANIMATOR), she has garnered her own cult following right alongside the old gentleman's screen adaptations that she appears in.

More details are discussed about her career in Lovecraftian horror in issue #56 of RUE MORGUE (May 2006).


BONUS!

In this same issue of RUE MORGUE is coverage of the actor whose histrionics in Stuart Gordon's Lovecraft adaptations have become legendary. Jeffrey Coombs is the modernized version of the mad doctor played in the golden age of horror by such greats as Bela Lugosi, Peter Lorre, and Lionel Atwill. Notwithstanding Barbara Crampton's obvious allure, without the huge talents of Mr. Coombs, these films would be considerably less memorable.



Thursday, August 23, 2012

THE GREAT CTHULHU CONSPIRACY



Since H.P. Lovecraft's popularity was rekindled in the late 1960's, a cult following has grown up around his stories of "cosmic horror". Tales like At the Mountains of Madness, The Whisperer in Darkness, and The Shadow Out of Time, all had horror elements, but many could be more properly called science fiction.

Along with Donald Wandrei, August Derleth championed Lovecraft's work, especially after his death in 1937. The publishing company known as Arkham House was formed, and readers were allowed the luxury of seeing all of Lovecraft's works collected in book form for the first time since they had been published in the pulps.

Derleth himself contributed many stories to what he dubbed The Cthulhu Mythos, a term meant to associate a number of Lovecraft's stories into a loose group of interrelated stories tied together with the concept of a pantheon of god-like beings who were the real overlords of the earth. In truth, there was nothing "god-like" -- in a religious sense, anyway -- about Cthulhu, Azathoth, and Nyarlothotep, who were always waiting at the portal of our world to cause all sorts of chaos and mass destruction on the most elemental and secular of scales.

With a theme like this, its hard not to imagine a cult following developing around the concept of The Great Old Ones and company. Assertions from the interesting to the ridiculous cropped up as a result of speculation behind the "real" meaning behind Lovecraft's stories. Some have even gone so far as to say Lovecraft was a sort of Nostradamus of UFOlogy, predicting our bleak future albeit without the hope that H.G. Wells gave us.

In the 1980's, the "All Evil" issue of CRITIQUE A Journal Questioning Consensus Reality, author Ben G. Price explores the concept of evil in Lovecraft's so-called Cthulhu Mythos.



Wednesday, August 22, 2012

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, CECIL KELLOWAY! (IN REMEMBRANCE)


[Photo source from an auction site.]

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, RAY BRADBURY! (IN REMEMBRANCE)

BACK TO "THE BEYOND"


"Actually, I think Lovecraft's all about sex. All of his stories, he writes about these couplings between non-human lifeforms and giving birth to all these monstrosities." -- Stuart Gordon

Even there ever was a champion to bring the tales of  H.P. Lovecraft to the silver screen, Director Stuart Gordon is the one. A huge fan of Lovecraft (I saw him speak at the Lovecraft Film Festival in Portland, Oregon some years ago), Gordon is tireless in his efforts to bring the Godfather of Cosmic Horror into the spotlight of films.

In issue #56 (May 2006) of the Canadian monster 'zine, RUE MORGUE, Gordon talks about his work with interviewer Joseph O'Brien. A bona fide Lovecraft fan, Mr. Gordon has done much to translate the weird fiction writer's tales to the screen . . . which is not an easy job.



[NOTE: To purchase the full issue of the magazine in which this sample article appears, visit the RUE MORGUE back issues department by clicking HERE.]

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

H.P. AND ME

My interest in the life and works of weird fiction writer Howard Phillips Lovecraft goes back a long way. I was a young teenager not yet in high school. It was the middle of the dawning of the Age of Aquarius (at least to some), and everything that was archaic, or in Lovecraftian terminology -- eldritch -- was new again.

The classice horror authors were one by one being reintroduced to a new generation of dazed and confused hippies and pop culture freaks. While a couple of years too young to be declared an official "hippie", I was definitely a card-carrying member of pop culture fandom.

I had heard word and seen these crazy paperback book covers with stories by an author that had the same name as a psychedelic rock group at the time. My curiosity got the best of me and I tried one.


While reading the Ballantine Books edition of THE DOOM THAT CAME TO SARNATH, I found out that the fellow that wrote these far-out tales of strange fantasy and fright had actually been alive and writing 30 or 40 years before.


Well, it didn't take but to devour but a handful of stories and I was hooked like a gillman off Devil Reef. My eye noticed a few Arkham House hardcover books at the local library, so the next tome that I burned my retinas on was DAGON AND OTHER MACABRE TALES.


After that, the next Ballantine paperback that I shelled out my hard-earned allowance on was FUNGI FROM YUGGOTH AND OTHER POEMS. Yes, I know, it was poetry, but it was weird poetry! And when I landed Lin Carter's bio of Lovecraft, A LOOK BEHIND THE CTHULHU MYTHOS, I finally found out a lot about who this guy Lovecraft really was. Granted, some Lovecraftian scholars don't give Carter (or even de Camp) high marks as a Lovecraft biographer, but I always thought besides making his living writing and editing, Mr. Carter was also equal parts fan.


And, that folks, is my story of how I met Howard Phillips Lovecraft, a finer crafter of weird and science fiction from the golden age as one could ever hope to be!

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