Friday, July 31, 2015
Fourteen years before he headed down the Amazon on the "Rita" in Universal's THE CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON, Richard Carlson was posing as a dashing writer/director/actor in the November, 1940 issue of MODERN SCREEN.
Thursday, July 30, 2015
In the July 1938 issue of PHOTOPLAY, the perky actress, Ginger Rogers, was interviewed. The first question she was asked was, "What personal accomplishment are you most proud?" Her answer was a sketch she had done of Maria Ouspenskaya!
Wednesday, July 29, 2015
When Maleva, the "Gypsy Woman", intones "De vay you valked wus torny", over the dying Larry Talbot in Universal's 1941 THE WOLF MAN, she lifted the curse of the werewolf forever, or at least a few years later until FRANKENSTEIN MEETS THE WOLFMAN.
Russian-born Maria Ouspenskaya (1876-1949) will be remembered by horror film fans for her brief, but indelible appearances as the aforementioned Maleva. She appears to come, literally out of the mist, to Talbot's aid in the most fortuitous of situations, as if she were his guardian angel.
The chain-smoking Ouspenskaya was quite respected as an actress in her day. IMDB states that she was "addicted" to astrology and would interrupt a film's production until the stars were right for her to go in front of the camera, which added a colorful but problematic dimension to her persona.
Following is an article from SCREENLAND, April 1941. In it, she reflects on her life and the struggles she had along her own "thorny way". When told by her mother, "You are an Ugly Duckling. Men will not seek you out. Your salvation lies in developing your intelligence", she knew she was telling her the truth and took her advice. The result was a remarkable life and career in the theater and films.
Friday, July 24, 2015
Basil Gogos is the undisputed king of cover artists from the classic era of monster magazines. Awash in blazingly lurid colors and festooned with underlighting, spotlighting, and backlighting that casts caverns of shadows, his work is indelible and enduring and serves as the touchstone for all who came after.
Coming soon to the auction block is the original work that Gogos did for the cover of the 13th issue of FAMOUS MONSTERS OF FILMLAND. Recognized as Gogos' first depiction of the Frankenstein monster, it was originally intended as a preliminary work. Publisher James Warren reportedly went wild over its overt impressionism and bought it for use on the cover of FM #13. The cover is also notable for its use of the phrase, "Best Issue Ever!" which appeared numerous times over the years on the cover of FM.
The acrylic painting is on illustration board and the matted image measures 9.5" x 11.5".
Tuesday, July 21, 2015
Is it too early to be nostalgic about horror films from the 1990's? Not if you're Charles Band, son of cult director Albert Band, who has managed to reinvent, resuscitate, and re-imagine his Full Moon Entertainment film properties on a somewhat regular, and spot-on timely basis. Just when you thought you'd never hear again from franchises like SUBSPECIES, PUPPET MASTER and TRANCERS, Band turns out another one in the series to keep fans' attention.
And speaking of fans, Full Moon has been around since the 1980's and has managed to maintain a core base of loyal followers, similar to what Troma has accomplished as well -- which may account for large numbers who enjoy productions from both. I have watched a fair amount of Full Moon films over the years; the aforementioned TRANCERS, NETHERWORLD, DR. MORDRID, THE PIT AND THE PENDULUM and MERIDIAN to name a few. A surprising number of stars who went on to A-list (or near A-list) films have paraded through these decidedly B-list movies, including Lance Henrikson, Sherilyn Fenn, Ashley Laurence, Helen Hunt, Tim Thomerson and Oliver Reed. Even a horror icon or two. like Angus Scrimm, Martine Beswick, Barbara Crampton and Jeffrey Combs have had roles in FM films. The films have been helmed by the competent direction of names such as Stuart Gordon and David DeCoteau. Overall, Full Moon as a company is well-branded, has a cool logo, has lots of characters from its films to make toys and collectibles out of, has a streaming video subscription channel, and even has a "house" signature sound from brother and composer, Richard Band.
Now,we are waiting for the soon-to-be-released 8th issue of FULL MOON PRESENTS DELIRIUM magazine, the latest in a long string of sideline merchandise from horror's "Band of Brothers". Optimistically announced on a bi-monthly publishing schedule, it will probably appear -- like so many others -- less regularly. The fact that they offer subscriptions is promising enough.
At first glance, DELIRIUM appears very similar to the page layouts used by FANGORIA. No wonder -- it is edited by FANGO's own editor and scribe, Chris Alexander, and it's got his mark all over the place. While I found the return of GOREZONE to be rather lukewarm and anemic, Alexander's oversight and his writing have never seemed more enthusiastic. It seems like he is enjoying a refreshing break from the strictures and confines of a magazine that he has held the reins on for, well, many a full moon.
The snappy blurb on the DELIRUIM website is worth repeating here:
“'Full Moon presents DELIRIUM' is a breathless, bold, bloody, beautiful, brainy and ballistic bi-monthly 21-gun-pulp-fiction-salute print periodical dedicated to exploring and celebrating the uninhibited joy of making outrageous movies while high-fiving the fevered audiences who just can’t seem to get enough of that far-out stuff…
Published by Band, produced by the Full Moon Features team and edited by filmmaker, film journalist and FANGORIA Magazine EIC Chris Alexander, DELIRIUM is a passionate work of lurid wonder, jam-packed with exclusive interviews, bizarre stories, garish photos from Band’s expansive and foreboding vaults (many of which have never, ever, EVER been seen before), posters, retrospectives, special FX make-up secrets, laughs, shocks, thrills and chills. DELIRIUM aims to chart indie horror and fantasy’s secret history using the Empire/Full Moon/Band legacy as the foundation but then careening madly into unexpected directions.
Each issue has a mix of independent and exploitation coverage beyond that of Full Moon movies. For example, issue #2 has an excellent, in-depth look at the TOMBS OF THE BLIND DEAD quartet of films. About a third of every issue is dedicated to articles on the Full Moon film franchises.
So, fans who are looking for a well-balanced diet of Full Moon madness and other coverage from the "nostalgic 90's" and there abouts, there's enough guts and gravy to fill up the most ravenous of revenents.
Thursday, July 9, 2015
A running feature in the earlier years of FILM BULLETIN, published from 1934-1963, was the "Exploitation Picture of the Issue". Selected for the 29 December 1941 issue was Universal's THE WOLF MAN.
Also reviewed in the same issue, it was described by the single-named reviewer, Leyendecker, as "made to order for thrill fans" and ranking "well up as a horror film, despite a fantastic story (!)". Lon Chaney, Jr. receives a nod for playing a "difficult roll" with a "strong, yet sympathetic performance".
The picture above is a full-page ad shown in the December 15th issue of FILM BULLETIN. Listen to that box office howl!
Thursday, July 2, 2015
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.