Tuesday, February 28, 2023


The sad news is just out -- Ricou Browning, the actor who suited up in one of the most popular of Universal's monsters, Creature From the Black Lagoon, has passed away at the age of 93. Mr. Browning was the famed Gill Man in the underwater shots for the film. He was also a popular attendee at many conventions for years.

Farewell, Mr. Browning.


Coming up for bid at Heritage Auctions are several very rare lobby cards from the U.S. Goldwyn release of Robert Weine's incredible work of German expressionist horror, DAS CABINET DES DR. CALIGARI (THE CABINET OF DR. CALIGARI). Their rarity cannot be underestimated as original lobby cards from this film are extremely hard to come by. Each card is expected to sell for between $8,000 and $16,000. A rare treat for us Monsterologist's!

Monday, February 27, 2023


While there have been rumblings from Crom here and there for years, sword and sorcery -- and to make a distinction, not fantasies like LORD OF THE RINGS or GAME OF THRONES -- has largely been overlooked by the movie and television industry . . . until maybe now?

Millennium Media has reportedly wrapped up the filming of RED SONJA, a new version based on the Dynamite Entertainment comic book series, who owns the copyright. I wasn't hugely impressed with Brigitte Nielson's Sonja that was released way back in 1985, so I'm hoping that the always-developing technology of filmmaking will bring a new shine to her sword and shield. I'm also keeping my fingers crossed that Matilda Lutz is the right choice for the titular character.

Millennium Media's website is mum on the subject except for an initial news announcement, a single teaser photo, and this film synopsis:

Enslaved by an evil tyrant who wishes to destroy her people, barbarian huntress Red Sonja must unite a group of unlikely warriors to face off against Dragan The Magnificent and his deadly bride, Dark Annisia. Based on the best-selling comic series.

Plus, it sounds like Conan and King Kull will both get a shot on the small screen, if things go right.

‘Red Sonja’: Matilda Lutz Goes Full Sword and Sorcery in First-Look Image
The cameras are rolling in Bulgaria on the Millennium movie adapted from the comic book series and directed by M.J. Bassett.

By Etan Vlessing | October 11, 2022 | HollywoodReporter.com
A first-look image from M.J. Bassett’s sword-and-sorcery feature Red Sonja, adapted from the comic book series and starring Matilda Lutz as the titular character, has been released by Millennium Media.

In the photo above, Lutz is framed by a fiery backdrop as she holds a sword over her shoulder. The ensemble cast also includes Wallis Day, Robert Sheehan as Draygan, Michael Bisping as Hawk, Martyn Ford as General Karlak and Eliza Matengu as Amarak.

Red Sonja is adapted from the comic books of the same name by Dynamite Entertainment and based on the heroine created by Robert E. Howard and adapted by Roy Thomas. The cameras are rolling on the film at the Bulgarian Nu Boyana Studio, with additional shoots at the Greek Nu Boyana Studio later this month. 

Lutz’s recent projects include Paramount Pictures’ Zone 414 and Neon’s Revenge. Bassett’s projects include Solomon Kane, starring James Purefoy; Lionsgate’s Endangered Species; Rogue, starring Megan Fox; and episodes of Freeform’s Motherland: Fort Salem.

Joey Soloway, who was initially set to helm the project, has an executive producer credit. Producers include Mark Canton, Courtney Solomon, Luke Lieberman, Les Weldon, Jeffrey Greenstein, Jonathan Yunger, Yariv Lerner and Joe Gatta. Avi Lerner, Trevor Short and Boaz Davidson are also among the executive producers.


[FROM: Mad Magazine #116 (January, 1968).]

Sunday, February 26, 2023


I must have been 11 or 12 years-old when I watched THE FOUR SKULLS OF JONATHAN DRAKE (1959) on our black and white TV console. Before that, I had been lucky enough to be allowed to watch pretty much anything that I wanted in the way of TV shows, so no problem there. By then, I was a hardcore fan of FAMOUS MONSTERS OF FILMLAND and anything else devoted to monsters that I could get my claws on.

The thought of having your head shrunken to the size of a lemon made my skin crawl. I think I may have become vaguely aware of Tzantzas -- as they are called by the indigenous tribes of the Amazon basin -- by watching a travelogue on TV or something of the sort. Plus, my Dad had the book, AMAZON HEAD HUNTERS by American explorer, Lewis Cotlow, which was popular at the time, and I would sneak a look at the photos with a strange fascination.

Lewis Cotlow's infamous book.

So, I began to watch Eddie Cahn's film and was immediately enthralled by the opening scene, complete with creepy music and disembodied skulls bobbing in the air. But that didn't prepare me in the least for what was to come.

Dr. Zurich cooks up his specialty -- Yikes!

Rather explicit at the time, there was one long scene where the requisite mad doctor, Dr. Emil Zurich (Henry Daniell), is shown during the complete process of head shrinking. Not only that, but we had his Jivaro sidekick, Zutai (Paul Wexler), skulking around creating all sorts of eerie mischief. The final scene that reveals Zurich's secret (and I won't reveal it here just in case you haven't seen it yet -- and you should) is another shocker, and believe me, that was more than enough to scare the pants off of this young Monster Kid!

Saturday, February 25, 2023


A mathematician by trade, Arthur Porges (20 August 1915 – 12 May 2006) constructed stories much like his profession, with plots a hurricane couldn't blow a hole through, and not a word out of place; near perfectly built until the hidden house of cards would eventually collapse, revealing the sinister or mysterious end.

Porges wrote over 200 stories, mostly in the genres of mystery, science-fiction and horror. Among his favorite authors were Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Jack London, O. Henry, Isaac Asimov and Rudyard Kipling, one of his personal favorites. All were master story-tellers and it's easy to see Porges' inspirations in his tight plots and concise writing. The story below, from THE MAGAZINE OF SCIENCE FICTION AND FANTASY (October, 1966), is a perfect example of this.

With a career that lasted over half a century, Porges wrote for dozens of periodicals such as ALFRED HITCHCOCK'S MYSTERY MAGAZINE, ELLERY QUENN'S MYSTERY MAGAZINE, AMAZING STORIES, THE NEW YORK POST, and men's magazines CAVALIER, MAN TO MAN and ESCAPADE. A collection of his weird fiction, THE MIRROR AND OTHER STRANGE REFLECTIONS, was published by Ash Tree Press in 2002.

Visit the Arthur Porges fan site HERE.

Friday, February 24, 2023


Edgar Allan Poe's writings had a huge influence on the French; famed poet Charles Baudelaire translated his works and his books sold briskly. Another Frenchman, artist Odilon Redon, drew a series of plates with themes drawn from Poe's verse. Redon is generally recognized as the father of Symbolism, a style of art popular in the latter part of the 19th Century. These plates, done in charcoal, were Redon's homage. I have added the source work for some of these, where I could find them.

“The eye, like a strange balloon, mounts toward Infinity.” (Berenice)

“Before the black sun of Melancholy, Lenore appears.” (The Raven)

“On the horizon, the Angel of Certitude, and in the somber heaven a questioning eye.”

“The living breath is also in the Spheres.”


“A mask sounds the death knell.” (The Bells)

A Remembrance of Aerial Forms: Odilon Redon’s À Edgar Poe (1882)

Odilon Redon (1840-1916) was many things: a painter, printmaker, draughtsman, and pastellist, who, over the course of his career, developed a singular style that fed both the decadent symbolism of the late nineteenth century and the modernism of the early twentieth. One of France’s most influential, yet (still) relatively unknown visionaries, he etched disembodied eyeballs and smudged ballooning minds in charcoal chiaroscuro, floating through a bardo between death and hell. His atmospheric melancholia bridged the Gothic with Surrealism, focusing on three types of landscape: nocturnal, autumnal, lunar. He had a naturalist’s talent for biological insight, but refracted through the medieval bestiary, and summoned figures mired so deeply in ugliness that they emerge both uncannily cute and unsuspectedly evocative. Like Francisco de Goya, writes the curator Jodi Hauptman, Redon “traffics in the monstrous and the diabolic, in distortion and degeneration, and deploys line, shadow, and hue to induce sensations of unease and dread”. But, alongside these idiomatic images of anguish, Redon is perhaps best remembered as an artist who influenced (and was influenced by) some of the most electric currents of nineteenth-century literature, both in English and in French.

Gustave Flaubert, author of Madame Bovary, spent thirty years trying to write about the temptation of Saint Anthony, which, as Colin Dickey argues, found its ultimate realization in Redon’s adaptation of the novel to a series of prints. The French writer Joris-Karl Huysmans, who shared Redon’s taste for deformity, described the painter’s typical subject matter in his novel À rebours (1884), helping draw attention to an artist still struggling for recognition:

". . . figures whose simian shapes, heavy jaws, beetling eyebrows, retreating foreheads and flat skulls, recalled the ancestral heads of the first quaternary periods, when inarticulate man still devoured fruits and seeds, and was still contemporaneous with the mammoth, the rhinoceros and the big bear. These designs were beyond anything imaginable; they leaped, for the most part, beyond the limits of painting and introduced a fantasy that was unique, the fantasy of a diseased and delirious mind."

Later, this same character describes how Redon seems to have transposed Edgar Allan Poe’s tales, their “mirages of hallucination and effects”, into a different medium. Indeed, it is in a series of six lithographic dreamworlds titled À Edgar Poe, where we find some of Redon’s most evocative works. “What is astonishing in the Poe-Redon fusion”, writes Marina van Zuylen, is that “both artists yearned for rules of composition while portraying creatures that were unruly and decomposing”.

In Un masque sonne le glas funèbre (A mask sounds the death knell), for instance, a face detached from any skull chimes a church bell with its skeletal hand. Here the end of life becomes literal disintegration, recalling Poe’s poem “The Bells”, which begins with festal jingling (birth, marriage) and then decays into the jangling repetition of a dissonant virge:

They are neither man nor woman—
      They are neither brute nor human—
                  They are Ghouls:
            And their king it is who tolls;
            And he rolls, rolls, rolls,
A pæan from the bells!

In other images from the À Edgar Poe series, Redon alludes to Poe while also playing out his own poetics of sight. The pièce de résistance, perhaps, in this regard, is captioned L’oeil, comme un ballon bizarre se dirige vers L’INFINI (The eye, like a strange balloon, mounts toward Infinity). To figure out where Redon alights on Poe requires some critical stitching, like Frankenstein assembling the cemetery organs. Van Zuylen connects Redon’s hot-air eyeball to a passage from Poe’s “Berenice”, a late story that picks up one of the author’s favorite themes: the parallel between intellectual realization and erotic longing.

There is, however, a remembrance of aerial forms—of spiritual and meaning eyes—of sounds, musical yet sad—a remembrance which will not be excluded; a memory like a shadow—vague, variable, indefinite, unsteady; and like a shadow, too, in the impossibility of my getting rid of it while the sunlight of my reason shall exist.

While Redon later downplayed his interest in the American author, claiming that he made the lithographs as a gambit for fame, his deep immersion in Poe’s oeuvre becomes all the more visible the longer we look.

[SOURCE: PublicDomainReview.org.]


Come back for more later today!

Thursday, February 23, 2023


Up until about 1970, horror movie posters (aka, one-sheets, half-sheets, etc.) were imaginative works of art that were designed to entice film audiences to spend their hard-earned bucks at the theater. While posters from the U.S. were generally more dramatic, the ones from Europe -- especially those for giallo -- were lurid and exploitative. Posters from Mexico fell somewhere in between as illustrated by these examples.

The Aztec Mummy (1957).

The Curse of the Aztec Mummy )1957).

Curse of the Doll People (1961).

Invasion of the Vampires (1963).

The She Wolf (1966).

Mansion of the Seven Mummies (1977).

The Living Head (1963).

Dead of Laughter (1957).

The Mummies of Guanajuato (1972).

The Revived Monster (1953.)

The Robot vs. The Aztec Mummy (1954).

The Snow Creature (1954).

The Whip Against Murderous Mummies (1980).

Wednesday, February 22, 2023


The news is out that popular horror director Robert Eggers is ready to film a remake of F.W. Murnau's 1922 silent horror classic, NOSFERATU: A SYMPHONY OF HORROR. Besides the virtually untouchable original, a new version of the story was made in 1979 by Werner Herzog, starring the cadaverous Klaus Kinski as the titular vampire and the lovely Isabella Adjani as Lucy. A "biopic" of Nosferatu was released in 2000 as SHADOW OF THE VAMPIRE, starring John Malkovich as Murnau and an equally cadaverous Willem DaFoe as Max Schreck/Nosferatu.

I found the two latter films to be quite well done (Malkovich is a great actor no matter what weird films he's in), so my question is: Should the fangs stop with these? The 39 year-old Eggers is a more than competent filmmaker, lensing a series of interesting films, THE VVITCH (2015), THE LIGHTHOUSE (2019), and THE NORTHMAN (2022). Filming the vampire classic is something he has dreamed about for years, but I always want to raise the red flag when I hear this line. But, vanity films do sometimes work out, except this is going against some great work that came before it.

Ultimately, can he match the original in creepiness or the remake in atmospheric imagery? I guess we'll find out in another year or so. But if you ask me right now about the question I posed earlier, the answer is, "No".

Nosferatu: Everything We Know About Robert Eggers' Remake Of The Horror Classic
By Philip Sledge | Monday, February 13, 2023 | Cinemablend.com

Released in 1922, F.W. Murnau’s Nosferatu is often considered not only one of the best horror movies of all time, but also one of the most influential cinema classics to ever hit the big screen. The unauthorized adaptation of Bram Stoker’s Dracula, which made some key but too subtle changes to the source material in an attempt to not pay royalties, has spent the vast majority of its existence in the public domain. But unlike Night of the Living Dead, another horror classic in the public domain, which has been remade countless times over the years, there have only been a couple of retellings of the frightening story over the past century. That, however, will soon change.

At some point in the near future, Robert Eggers, the visionary director behind modern horror classics like The Witch and The Lighthouse, will turn his attention to Nosferatu in a star-studded affair that will cross off a major item on the filmmaker's bucket list. Here is everything we know about the Nosferatu remake at this point in time.

Focus Features, which is releasing Robert Eggers’ Nosferatu remake, has yet to reveal a release date at this point in time, but expect to hear more over the course of the next few months.

The original Nosferatu featured an unforgettable performance by Max Schreck as the terrifying Count Orlock, a role that saw the German actor transform into a silent, deadly, and eerie vampire. This time around, it will be Bill Skarsgård, who has built up a strong resume over the past half-decade with roles like Pennywise in It and Keith Toshko in Barbarian. In September 2022, Deadline revealed that Skarsgård, who is set to appear alongside Keanu Reeves in the upcoming John Wick: Chapter 4, had been cast in the iconic role, with Lily-Rose Depp playing the object of his desires.

In January 2023, Deadline also reported that Willem Dafoe, who previously worked with director Robert Eggers on The Lighthouse, was attached to appear in an undisclosed role. Coincidentally, this will be the second movie based on Nosferatu that will feature Dafoe, as the actor previously appeared in the 2000 meta horror comedy Shadow of the Vampire, in which he played Schreck. Nicholas Hoult is also set to appear in the upcoming horror remake.

At one point in the film’s development, Anya Taylor-Joy, who broke out in Eggers’ 2015 horror film, The Witch, was set to appear in the movie alongside Harry Styles, but both have since dropped out.

Nicholas Hoult, who has another vampire-centric feature on the way with the upcoming Renfield, has made it sound like he’s really excited to be working on Nosferatu, citing in an interview with Collider Robert Eggers’ passion for the project and previous works:

"I am a fan of the original, but I think knowing Robert’s work and knowing that he’s wanted to make this film and tell this story — I think he’s been obsessed with it since he was about eight years old, he told me. So when it means that much to him personally and knowing what he’s created with ‘The Northman’, ‘The Lighthouse’, and ‘The Witch’, I’m like, his version of that story is something that I, as a fan, would be excited to see, so to get to go make it with him is something I’m really looking forward to."

And, while Hoult’s character has yet to be revealed, seeing the actor in another horror role, especially after The Menu, will surely be a treat.

When reporting on the casting of Bill Skarsgård and Lily-Rose Depp in September 2022, Variety reported that the remake will follow a young woman as she becomes the target of an ancient evil after the mysterious being meets and becomes obsessed with her, bringing untold horror with him.

There is no telling when Nosferatu will see the light of day, but Eggers has been working on bringing the movie to life for the better part of a decade. In July 2015, Variety announced that the filmmaker, whose feature film debut, The Witch, had opened at Sundance only a few months earlier, had been tasked with writing and directing the remake. Despite him going on to work on movies like The Lighthouse and The Northman over the past several years, it appears as if Count Orlock has continued to lurk in the shadows of the filmmaker’s mind, as the project is finally coming to fruition.

While there have been some great horror remakes over the years, for the most part, these movies often fall short of the original and come off as hollow shells of the source material. Though Eggers admitted that a remake isn’t that necessary, he did tell Collider in 2015 that he has long been fascinated by the original, saying:

"It’s a masterpiece and it really doesn’t objectively need to be done, but I’ve been obsessed with that film since I was a little kid."

When asked if the movie would be a silent film like the original, Eggers joked that if someone wanted to see that version, F.W. Murnau “already made a great one.”

Eggers’ long-awaited remake of the horror classic will reportedly enter production in late February 2023. According to Production Weekly (via the Prague Reporter), the film shoot will reportedly get underway in Prague and surrounding areas throughout the Czech Republic, though specifics were not provided. Expect to hear more, and see on-set photos in the weeks and months to come.

Tuesday, February 21, 2023


Frank Frazetta's influence reaches far and wide, including in the world of Rock 'N Roll, where his artwork is seen on or inspired by numerous album covers. Now, Tool guitarist, Adam Jones has an Epiphone Les Paul model with an iconic Frazetta image on it. Details below.

Epiphone goes berserk with its second Adam Jones Art Collection Les Paul
Like its predecessor in the Art Collection series, the Tool guitarist's new "Berserker" Les Paul is all Silverburst business up front, with an epic design in the back

Last December, the much-anticipated, long-teased Epiphone Adam Jones Les Paul Custom finally arrived, though not quite in the form we were anticipating.

Epiphone partnered with the Tool electric guitar player to create the Adam Jones Art Collection, a series of seven limited-edition Epiphone Les Pauls – limited to 800 units apiece – that each boast a different piece of fine art, selected by Jones. 

December saw the release of the first model in the collection, “The Veil of Bees" model. Now, Epiphone has unveiled the collection's second six-string, “The Berserker.”

“The Berserker” is so named for the piece of Frank Frazetta artwork that adorns the back of its body. Like its predecessor in the Art Collection – and all of its future siblings in the line – the guitar also sports a special design by artist Korin Faught at the back of the headstock, and a special back plate commemorating the artwork and the artist. 

[SOURCE: GuitarWorld.com.]

Frank Frazetta's "Berserker" painting, used famously on Lancer's
CONAN THE CONQUEROR paperback cover.