CASTLE OF FRANKENSTEIN
Vol. 2 No. (Whole #6)
Gothic Castle Publishing Company
Editor & Publisher: Calvin Thomas Beck (as Charles F. Kane)
Managing Editor: Bhob Stewart
Associate Editor: Nicholas Morgan
Editorial Assistant: John Benson
Editor Special Projects: Chris Steinbrunner
European Editor: Michael Parry
Cover: Photo from Hammer Films' "The Gorgon"
Cover Price: 35 cents
This was the first issue of CASTLE OF FRANKENSTEIN that I ever bought. Up until then, I was used to the lurid and comedic-tinged (but ever-so-fun) FAMOUS MONSTERS OF FILMLAND and the rough charm of Charlton's pair of mags, MAD MONSTERS and HORROR MONSTERS. But this 'zine was different. It was . . . sophisticated. Looking at it today through a more critical lens, it is considerably less so than when I originally read it in the 60s. But to a 9-year-old Monster Kid, flowering like Marifasa Lupina under the full moon, this was as close to high monster art as it got.
Unlike other monster mags, Cal Beck's chose his content with a decidedly international editorial sentiment. For instance, alongside the familiar articles on THE MUNSTERS and Hammer Films, this is where I first saw photos from a Giallo film (Sei donne per l'assassino/BLOOD AND BLACK LACE) and where I saw my first cover of MIDI-MINUIT FANTASTIQUE. The images as a whole were different than in any other monster 'zine at the time. Plus, it had that looong bio of Lon Chaney, Jr. The publication that came closest to it (and in some ways eclipsed it) was the fanmag, PHOTON.
My opinion went much unchanged for a while, until I came across CINEFANTASTIQUE, which surpassed anything on the newsstand for horror, sci-fi and fantasy film criticism. But with every issue of that I bought off the stands, I always enjoyed the Gothic frissons that CoF could be counted on to provide.
(Concludes on Wednesday!)