Color Comes Back to Langella’s Dracula

frank-langella-dracula-1979

I can remember watching the 1979 version of Dracula on VHS, and loving the look, the feel, and the atmosphere of it, especially in its glorious color. But something happened when it was released to DVD for the first time. All of the color was bled out, making it almost look black and white. Here’s the little backstory to that. Originally, director John Badham wanted to film it in black and white but the studios said no way in hell. When it came to be released on DVD, Badham had control over the look of the film and had it modified to fit the version he originally wanted to make. Continue reading

Master of Dark Shadows

Master of Dark ShadowsYou couldn’t grow up watching TV in the ’70s and not know of the work of Dan Curtis. His work had a huge impact on my life, from The Night Stalker (1972), The Norliss Tapes (1973), Trilogy of Terror (1975), and so many other made-for-TV movies. Oh yeah, and there was that series Dark Shadow that you might have heard of. Needless to say, if it was from Curtis, you know it was going to be worth your time. And now, thanks to director David Gregory, we’re going to have a chance to learn a little bit more about this amazing man.

Set to be released next month, this feature length documentary covers Curtis and his work, hearing from a ton of people that worked with him and were fans of his work, such as Ben Cross, Roger Davis, Jonathan Frid, Whoopi Goldberg, John Karlen, William F. Nolan, David Selby, Barbara Steele, Kathryn Leigh Scott, Bob Cobert, and many more.

While he definitely worked outside the horror genre a few times, like writing, producing, and directing the Emmy Award Winning mini-series War and Remembrance (1988-89), he made such an impact with horror fans with his films. And they are still as entertaining now, decades later, as they were then. Kudos to Gregory for helping bring light to this talented man that was use to working in the shadows.

Bram Stoker’s Dracula 3-CD Special Edition

Bram Stoker's Dracula Lucy

This really must be the year for special edition soundtracks for Dracula films. Recently Varèse Sarabande had released a 2-CD special edition set of John Williams’ score for the 1979 version of Dracula, which we promptly pre-ordered the minute we heard that news since that has always been a favorite score of mine. And now, thanks to the fine folks at La-La Land Records, they will be releasing a 3-CD set for Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992), giving us fans almost 3 1/2 hours of this incredible music from Wojciech Kilar.

Continue reading

Horror History: Bob Cobert

bobcobertBob Cobert
Born Oct. 26th, 1924

If you were a fan of Dan Curtis and his early TV work, then you are well aware of the work of Bob Cobert, even if you don’t recognize the name. He is probably best known for working on the famous Curtis TV series Dark Shadows, that ran from 1967 to 1971. He also worked on the two feature films based on the series, House of Dark Shadows (1970) and Night of Dark Shadows (1971), as well as the 1991 revival. But he also did a ton of different made-for-TV shows in the early ’70s with Curtis. Titles like The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1968), The Night Stalker (1972), The Night Strangler (1973), The Norliss Tapes (1973), Scream of the Wolf (1974), Dracula (1974), Trilogy of Terror (1975), Burnt Offerings (1976), and so many more.

Working outside of the horror genre, he also composed the music for Curtis’ war epics The Winds of War (1983) and War and Remembrance (1988), as well creating his fair share of game show themes!

Cobert’s music had its own unique style that was recognizable, memorable, and always added to what we were watching on screen. Those films and shows would definitely had lost something without had it not been for his music.

Williams’ Dracula Special Edition Release

Dracula special edition

One of the very first film scores that hooked me was that of John Williams’ score for the 1979 version of Dracula, starring Frank Langella. It was also one of the first soundtrack LPs I bought back in the day, being every bummed that it just wasn’t that long of a score. But now all of that is going to change, thanks to Varèse Sarabande.

Continue reading

Universal Horrors at the Music Box Theatre

Invisible Man

Because our September and October wasn’t filling up already, the Music Box has decided to screen some of the Universal classics in their Universal Horror: A Matinee Series, starting at 11:30am on each weekend listed below. Plus the fact that these are all being screened from 35mm prints! Now is your chance to see some of these essential titles from our horror history but on the big screen like they were meant to be seen! Here’s the schedule for this series:

Continue reading

Horror History: Bernard Robinson

Bernard RobinsonBernard Robinson
Born July 28th, 1912 – Died Mar. 2nd, 1970

If you are a fan of Hammer Films, then you are a fan of Robinson’s work, even if you don’t realize it. Robinson was the art director and later production designer that worked on good number of their films, from Quatermass 2 (1957) to Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed (1969). The first actual film that he worked on was as an art director on The Case of the Frightened Lady (1938). Over those early years, he became good friends with Tony Keys, who would later invite Robinson to come work for Hammer.

Robinson could not only create unbelievable sets out of very little money, he also designed sets that could be used over and over again but moving things around and a little re-dressing. In fact, he was a master of his. Director Terence Fisher had stated that with one of Robinson’s sets, he could point the camera anywhere and he knew it would look fantastic.

Continue reading