Brain Damage (1988)
Directed by Frank Henenlotter
Starring Rick Hearst, Gordon MacDonald, Jennifer Lowry, Theo Barnes, Lucille Saint-Peter, Vicki Darnell
I’m sure everyone reading this is familiar with this strange and twisted Faustian tale, that could only come from the mind of the man who gave us Basket Case (1982), writer/director Frank Henenlotter. If you haven’t, then I’m not sure what cave you’ve been living in for the last 30 years, but you need to pick it up now and watch it. It will change your life. Okay..maybe not change it, but definitely put a lot more entertainment in it. And there is even a message in there too! I mean, how can you have a tale about a parasitic creature, that looks like a cross between a turd and a deformed penis, that gets you hooked on a hallucinogenic drug that it emits, if only to keep you in control. Sure, there is a huge drug/addiction parable here, as well as the old fable of selling soul to a devil, but as crazy as it sounds, Henenlotter actually created a very well thought out story and it works quite well. The characters feel like real people, giving the dark and funny story more of an edge than most would probably take it as, about a much too common plague that still exists today. Sure, maybe not played out like it is here, but then it wouldn’t be as fun to watch, would it?
Monday once again. And now that summer has really kicked in, it makes the day even more enjoyable…not! Counting the days until fall starts. Anyway, before we get to this week’s photo, let us go over last week’s. It was from the 1957 flick Zombies of Mora Tau, starring the lovely Allison Hayes! While not the zombies we know these days, they did manage to create a few chilling moments in this fun little monster movie. Kudos to Hoby Abernathy and Doug Lamoreux. Nicely done.
Okay, our photo for this week’s brain teaser might be an easy one. Or it might be one that is just on the tip of your…brain, but you just can’t seem to reach it. But give it a good college try!
And remember, please do not post your answers here in the comments so everyone can have a chance. Just send them in an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
For our third year of doing our newer T-Day event in May, I decided to do something a little different. Since there have been quite a few movies screened over the last fourteen years, I know there were more than a few that some of the other participates had missed. So we decided to do a Best Of this time out. I sent out the list of all the movies that had been screen previously, and had everyone pick three titles they’d like to see in the lineup. There were six films that got more than one vote, so we went with those. I know we usually try to get through seven titles, but this year was a little different and a little more relaxed.
Bela Lugosi and Boris Karloff: The Expanded Story of a Haunting Collaboration By Gregory William Mank Published by McFarland, 2009. 701 pages
If you don’t want to read our whole review, then to put it as simply as we can get: Buy this book.
Originally published in 1990, under the title Karloff and Lugosi: The Story of a Haunting Collaboration, it was almost ten years later when Mank released a massively updated and revised version in 2009. So much time had passed since its first publication, where he had interviewed so many more people, giving him even more information and stories about Lugosi and Karloff, that he felt the need to update this book. And I’m so glad he did, since it was one of the most enjoyable, enlightening, and entertaining books that I’ve read in a long time. Really an essential volume for any monster kid.
I have to give Mank credit for not just updating this book because of new interviews and information, but to correct a few things, namely stories about Hope Lugosi, the last true “Bride of Dracula”, who in the past was not treated well by the media and journalists, including himself. But after interviewing her and getting to know her, he wanted to make sure that her side of the story was out there. So for that, I give him a lot of credit for wanting to make sure it was heard.
In three weeks, we will be heading out to Mars, PA for the annual Monster Bash Conference, and needless to say, we’re pretty excited. This show is the farthest distance that we travel which is why it took us so long before we decided to finally take the plunge. Now I only regret not starting going sooner.
At one point during the first day of the show, a gentleman walked up to my table and we started chatting…the usual stuff, movies, posters, and such. We were talking about the classic Universal monster films and some of the posters for them. I mentioned that I would be scared to death to own something like one of those, just because of the value, I’d be terrified that something would happen to it. He mentioned that some time ago, he had purchased an original one-sheet for The Invisible Man, but had to get rid of it for that same reason. Then he mentions that he put out a book some time ago called Children of the Night, which was a book on movie posters. Of course, I have that book in my library, which I quickly told him, which made him smile even more! His name is James Gresham and is a super nice guy and such a pleasure to chat with. Children came out in 2007 and is a comprehensive guide to classic horror posters, lobby cards, and other items. For someone like me that will never be able to afford these kind of items, it is a great way to at least be able to see some of them and the beautiful artwork. He followed up this book in 2010 with They’re Here Already, which is the same kind of book, but covers the science fiction films of the 1950s. Again, so much fun to look through. These are both beautiful hardcover edition books that are a bit pricey but well worth the money if you are a fan of this kind of poster art. Continue reading
Back in 2008, Horror Cinema was published by Taschen, in a large hardcover edition, filled with some amazing color and black & white photos, with the famous shot of Jack Nicholson’s face looking through the broken door from The Shining. There were ten different chapters, covering subjects such as Slashers & Serial Killers, Science-Fiction Horror, Voodoo, Vampires & Werewolves, and many more. Each section had a little bit of history on that particular subject surrounded by some wonderful imagery. Slightly larger than 9×11 in size, at a 192 pages, this is a great little coffee table style book. Then in 2012, they re-issued it, in a slightly larger size, but with the cover having Klaus Kinski and Isabelle Adjani from Nosferatu the Vampyre(1979). The content was still the same.