Horror History: George Bau

georgebauGeorge Bau
Born Dec. 22nd, 1905, Died in March of 1974

Bau is another name in the movie industry that is pretty much an unknown, which is a damn shame, since if it wasn’t for people like him, we might not have had some of the incredible fantastic cinema that we have today. Back in the late ’30s, Bau was developing and creating new types of make ups, such as foam latex, that would be still used to this day. The stuff that he was inventing at the time was used by Perc Westmore on the film The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1939), allowing them to do wonders with Charles Laughton’s makeup. Bau also developed the first plastic bald cap, a method to preserve plaster molds so they could be used more than once, the pressure injection method of inserting foam latex into large size molds, and many more. I’m not trying to take anything away from modern day makeup artists, but these guys back in the beginning of cinematic makeup effects had to create their own methods and ways of making these effects work.

He worked on films such as Arsenic and Old Lace (1944), House of Wax (1953), and even Frankenstein 1970 (1958) to name a few. But without his discoveries and the inventions that he created, the world of monsters might not have looked as good as they did then, or do now. And for that reason alone, he needs to be remembered, and respected.

You Know You’re a Die-Hard Horror Fan…

…when there is a movie coming to Blu-Ray that is just terrible…but you’re excited about it anyway!

Blackenstein blurayAt the end of next month, Severin Films will be unleashing one of the worst of the worst, the 1973 film Blackenstein, directed by William A. Levey, and written and produced by Frank R. Saletri, who was later murdered in a gangland style crime, which has never been solved. Even though I’m a huge fan of the blaxploitation films in the horror genre, like Blacula, this one is a real tough title to get through. But this release hopes to change all of that, at least by giving us the film in two different versions, as well as a bunch of extras to maybe help explain a little how this film came to be.

This release will feature the original theatrical cut, which runs only 78 minutes, and the video release, which is 87 minutes. It will also feature an interview with writer/producer Saletri’s sister. There is also an archive news broadcast on his murder, as well as Ken Osbourne and Robert Dix talking about Saletri. We also get to hear from Bill Munns, the man responsible for creating the titular monster!

As I said, even though I barely made it through this when I’ve watched it before, I really am excited to pick this one up when it comes out on May 30th.

LSoH Takes on Frankenstein: The True Story

LSoH38Growing up in the early ’70s, the small town I lived didn’t have it’s own  movie theater, so I had to get my beginning monster education from the TV. From shows like Night Gallery, Kolchak: The Night Stalker, to plenty of made-for-TV movies around that time that were horror themed, it was everything a young horror fan could ask for. And I loved them all. But there was one show which was shown over two nights in 1973 that stuck in my mind for decades. It was Jack Smight’s 1973 film Frankenstein: The True Story, starring a wide array of actors such as James Mason, Leonard Whiting, David McCallum, Jane Seymour, Agnes Moorehead, Ralph Richardson, John Gielgud, and Tom Baker.

At the time, I had no idea just how far away the “true” part really was, but when I was a 8-year old boy, all I knew was that it was mind-blowing. I can vividly remember watching this with my slightly older brother, amazed at some of the gore on screen, and anxiously waiting for part 2 to take place the two nights later. Years later, after finally being able to track down the full unedited edition, I could re-visit this great tale, which I did multiple times. Even after being more educated about the “true story”, I still consider this a favorite. And now, thanks to Little Shoppe of Horrors, I will once again be able to dive into this wonderful production.

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Movies Can Cure What Ails You!

being sick1

Years ago, if I had gotten sick, whether it was the flu, cold, sinus infection, I would struggle through it and still try and continue my normal rituals during the day, hoping the drugs I was given would fight off whatever bug I had contracted. I’d still be working on the computer, writing, or doing something other than what illnesses require the most…plain and simple rest.

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The Year of Naschy Continues…

Inquistion bluray

And yet we have even ANOTHER Naschy title being announced for a Blu-ray release. In fact, I believe this title never even got a DVD release, at least not here in the states. Up until now, we’ve had to deal with dupes off the old VHS tape. But today, Mondo Macabro announced they would be releasing the 1976 film Inquisition, a nice little tale of love, Satanism, and those purveyors of evil…the church!

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Year of Naschy

Naschy CollectionWhen the news broke today of the Paul Naschy Collection coming from Shout Factory, I was notified by more than a few friends on social media about it. I’m guessing my fondness of Senor Naschy and his work has gotten around! With all the titles that have been released, or have been announced, or ones that I’ve heard rumors are still coming, I am just in awe that this man’s work is finally getting the treatment and recognition he’s been deserving for way too long. It’s one thing for a company like Shout Factory to release a Vincent Price collection, since we all know that Price is a horror icon (and rightly so). So to see them give the same kind of treatment and spotlight on Paul Naschy…well, it is just an amazing thing. Even after his death, I know there are plenty of us out there still waving the flag to bring attention to him and his work, and with all these Blu-ray releases does nothing but help that cause. 2017 really will be the Year of Naschy!

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Dark Waters Comes To Blu-ray

dark-waters-blurayThe beauty of the horror genre is that it is a never-ending sea of titles that come in and out with the tide, that there are often movies that get swept away so quickly that fans either forget about them, or never hear about them to begin with. Mariano Baino’s 1993 film Dark Waters is one of those films. Not to be confused with the Japanese one from 2002 that was later remade here in the states, but Baino’s film is a highly original tale about dark things going on in a strange convent on a remote island in Europe. It was released in an amazing DVD box set by No Shame back in 2006, but hadn’t hit Blu-ray until now, thanks to Severin Films, which has been given a HD transfer from the original 35mm negative and features over 4 hours of special features.

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