Hung, Drawn and Executed

Hung drawn and executedI’ve been a collector of horror movie posters for more years than I can remember, and have spent more money on them over the years that I want to remember! One of the great things about being a collector is that you start to learn more about not just the movies, but in case of the posters, you start to know who some of these artists were that created some of these incredible images. The real shame is that in the past, some of these talented people weren’t even allowed to sign their paintings, such as Reynold Brown, who created so many incredible poster art from the ’50s.

One of those current artists, Graham Humphreys, has released a book of his horror art, entitled Hung, Drawn and Executed: The Horror Art of Graham Humphreys. My first introduction to his work, without knowing it, was his fantastic piece for the British Quad for Evil Dead 2. Starting out in the collecting world, it was one that I always hope to acquire some day. Then you start to see other pieces of his talent, on not just posters but now on book covers and Blu-ray covers too! Humphreys work is unmistakable and is just incredible how he nails the likenesses of the characters. In fact, at this very moment, I have the recent quad artwork he did for the new Blu-ray release of James Whale’s Old Dark House hanging in my movie room, which you can see below. Once again, just incredible. But just take a second to google his work and I’m sure you’ll recognize quite a few of his pieces. Continue reading

Mystery Photo 8-19

This is a special Mystery Photo Monday because it happens to be my birthday! So with this week’s photo, I’m going to give you a little hint. Not only is it one of my favorite films, it is also the first movie I rented on VHS when I purchased my very first VCR. But before we get to the photo, let’s go over last week’s. It was from the Italian film The Spider Labyrinth (1988). A little slow at times but has a killer ending! Kudos to Aaron AuBuchon and Gavin Schmitt. Well done!

Okay, let us get to this week’s photo. Don’t wait too long to answer or you may end up like the guy in the photo. As always, please remember not to post your answers here so that others can have a guess. Just send your answer to us in an email to jon@kitleyskrypt.com. Good Luck!

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WildClaw Theatre Delivers a Horror Western!

Hell Followed with Her posterFor the last 12 years, WildClaw Theatre has been bringing horror to the stage. From the works of H.P. Lovecraft and Sheridan Le Fanu to the more modern day tales from Scott T. Barsotti and Paul Foster. Now they bring us something a little different from the horror genre, a western. Of course, it wouldn’t be WildClaw without throwing in something a little more terrifying, right? So come out to see their latest, a “bloody tale of the good, the bad, and the undying.”

Hell Followed with Her is the story of revenge. Willow Parker has been searching for man for two years with revenge in her heart and mind. Now she has finally tracked him down, but making this tale of revenge a little more difficult is the undead that has followed her.

Directed by WildClaw’s Artistic Director Josh Zagoren, and written by Bill Daniel, this new play starts on October 11th and runs through November 9th at The Den Theatre in Chicago. Tickets are on sale now (just click HERE). Starring Jyreika Guest, Ardarius Blakley, Krista D’Agostino, Kim Boler, Brittany Ellis, Gregory Madden, Ashley Yates, Sophia Rosado, Polley Cooney, Nora King, Savanna Rae and George Zerante.

Horror theater is something that all horror fans should experience. Live performances is incomparable to a movie because it is taking place right in front of you! And WildClaw has been giving Chicago the opportunity to witness this for a dozen years. So help them continue by supporting them and going out to see their latest production, Hell Followed with Her.

Encyclopedia of Hammer Films!

Encyclopedia of Hammer FilmsLast year, McFarland published Howard Maxford’s massive volume on Hammer films, The Complete Hammer. Now comes another huge tome on the Studio that Dripped Blood, by author Chris Fellner, entitled The Encyclopedia of Hammer Films.

This 606 page book is a pricy one, retailing at $145 (though Amazon has it listed for $106.74), covers not only the films that made the studio famous, but it seems to go into much more detail about the productions the studio was involved with. From feature films, to featurettes, television, and much more. You’ll get production details, synopses, reviews, quotes,  and biographies. There is information on the people that worked both in front of and behind the camera, as well as things that Hammer had a connection to, such as the tax shelter companies to the British Board of Film Censors, as well as the many projects that Hammer never got off the ground.

We haven’t gotten our hands on this title yet so we’re just going on what we’ve read about it. Will it be worth the hefty price tag? I know at once point I’ll be trying to get a copy for myself, so we’ll have to see. But in the meantime, any book that comes out on Hammer, I’m going to be excited about. Titles like this help keep not only the movie titles alive and remembered, but also, more importantly, the people behind them that help create them for audiences to enjoy for decades to come.

Stay tuned for more details!

Horror History: James Carreras

jamescarrerasJames Carreras
Born Jan. 30th 1910 – Died June 9th, 1990

James Carreras was the son of Enriqué Carreras, who along with William Hinds, would form the company that would later evolve into Hammer Films. First starting just as a distribution company, they figured instead of buying other films to distribute, they could make their own films and distribute them, cutting out the middle man. Then Hammer Films was born. James Carreras would be the head of that division until he retired.

The great thing about Carreras was that he knew little about the actual making of films. He left that up to the people who knew what they were doing. But he did how to sell the movies. In fact, he was known for selling a movie before a script was even written! They would come up with a title, create a poster, and sell the movie on that alone. Then it was up to the screenwriter to whip up a story and go from there. And it worked. A lot.

Carreras’ policy was about as simple as you could get: make films that are guaranteed to make a profit. In those days, with these smaller film companies, sometimes your financing on the next film would rest on how well your last one did at the box office. And this is something that Carreras seemed to excel at. He was always bringing in fresh female faces to appear in their newest films. Starting the trend that would become known as Hammer Glamour. Again, he knew what would sell.

He was the head of the company until 1971, when he gave control over to his son, Michael.

Discover the Horror Tour Continues

DtH at Flashback

We had an amazing time at Flashback Weekend (pictured above with filmmaker John Borowski), even selling a few more copies of my book, Discover the Horror. I got to do a little Q&A on Saturday morning to talk about the book (thanks Mike & Mia!!!) and answer a few questions. My good friend Bryan Martinez not only recorded it, but made a nice little video out of it, with film clips and all! You can see it below.

Please remember that if you have read the book, PLEASE go on to Amazon and post a review. It doesn’t have to be an essay, but can just be a sentence or two. But the more reviews it gets the more circulation it will get for similar titles. So please take a second and post your thoughts. And besides, I would love to hear them as well. Continue reading

Horror History: Amando de Ossorio

blinddeadAmando de Ossorio
Born April 6th, 1918 – Died Jan. 13th, 2001

With the recent announcement that Synapse Films is working on a new restoration of the original Tombs of the Blind Dead (1970), we thought it would be a great time to pay a little tribute to the creator of our favorite undead Templars, filmmaker Amando de Ossorio.

While he started as a journalist and producing radio dramas, once he got into the film business, it was making short films and documentaries. He started making feature films but it was in 1969 when he directed his first horror film, Malenka (aka Fangs of the Living Dead) which was a little cheesy but still had some great atmosphere. But it was the following year when he created his legacy, when he wrote and directed La noche del terror ciego, better known as Tombs of the Blind Dead (1970). Keep in mind, this was only a couple of years after George Romero set loose his flesh eating zombies unto the world, before Ossorio released his undead Templars that were feasting on the blood of their victims. With a unique twist on zombies and vampires, he gave us something that is still remembered and celebrated six decades later. Continue reading