Monster Bash Celebrates Lugosi

If you are a fan of Bela Lugosi and anywhere near Canton, Ohio, then come August, you’ll have the chance to see 8 of Lugosi’s films on the big screen at The Palace Theatre. Taking place on August 12th & 13th, they will be screening 4 features each day, with a bonus feature Saturday night. There will be some dealers set up in the lobby as well, giving you time to wander around and do some monster shopping in between screenings! It’s not too often that you have the chance to see titles like this on a huge screen, like the original Dracula (1931) or Island of Lost Souls (1932), so if you are able to take advantage of it, I would highly recommend it. Such a better way to see and enjoy these films than on your TV.

Continue reading

Nosferatu 100-Year Anniversary Screening in Chicago

This year marks the 100 Year Anniversaries of F.W. Murnau’s Nosferatu, originally released back in 1922. That’s right, folks. A whole century ago. There is a reason this film is still being screened in theaters all these years later, as well as why it is a very important step in our horror history. Sure, it was made without permission from Bram Stoker’s widow, and was ordered by the courts to be destroyed. But lucky for us, prints of it survived and all these years later, we are able to look at this amazing piece of cinema and still be in awe of what they created ten decades ago.

And to be able to see it on the big screen! With a live organ accompaniment? What more could you ask for! On Saturday, March 5th, at the Patio Theatre in Chicago, they will be screening Nosferatu, with Jay Warren playing the organ during the film. Tickets are only $7 each, with a special introduction by TCM personality and film historian Dr. Annette Bochenek.

If you have never had the chance to see this on the big screen, what better time than its 100-year anniversary? As a horror fan, both young or old, novice or well-seasoned, this is an opportunity not to be missed. For all the information, head over to the Patio Theatre’s website HERE.

Sideshow Hammer Figures

I have quite a few famous horror figures in my collection that I’ve picked up over the years. Some are model kits, many of which I actually painted myself. Others are statues I’ve purchased that came painted already. Granted some of these were a bit pricy, but never more than a 2-3 hundred at the most. Granted, the full size bust of the poster zombie from Zombie or Dr. Hill’s decapitated head in a pan were a bit higher than that, but for a figure, I try to shy away from the real expensive stuff, mainly because I personally just can’t invest that much money into something like that.

But now Sideshow Toys has announced a couple figures that are $530 EACH and I’m trying to convince my brain that I DO need to invest in these!

Continue reading

Movie Review: Boys from County Hell (2020)

Directed by Chris Baugh
Starring Jack Rowan, Nigel O’Neill, Louisa Harland, Michael Hough, John Lynch, Fra Fee, Morgan C. Jones, Robert Nairne, Lalor Roddy

Creating a vampire movie these days is extremely difficult without treading on the footsteps of the countless titles already in this done-to-death sub-genre. When a filmmaker not only does that, but creates a very entertaining, humorous and still an effective picture, he, along with the cast and crew, need to be applauded. Because of that, I felt I needed to post a review, hoping to draw more people to it.

Continue reading

Soundtrack Review: Dracula A.D. 1972

Dracula A.D. 1972
Released by BSX Records
15 Tracks with a Total Running Time of 53 min.
Music Composed by Mike Vickers

Growing up watching a lot of television in the early ’70s, you became pretty accustomed to theme shows from shows. So the first time I remember hearing the score for Dracula A.D. 1972, in my head, I heard “A Quinn Martin Production”. While most of you out there have no clue what I’m referring to, they were a production company that made more than a few shows back then.

Anyhoo… That is the big difference with this score, coming from Hammer that was known for their bold and gothic musical scores, hitting your ears as hard as the bright red blood hit your eyes. Vickers came up with a very modern, almost jazz sounding Main Theme, that while dramatically different from Hammer’s past, it actually works quite well here. The music, as well as the film, are quite dated in their look and feel. But Vickers does a pretty good job blending in the new with the old. Track # 5, Devil’s Circle Music: Excerpt from White Noise, is a wild mixture of percussions, distorted screaming, and other disturbing sounds, blended together like a bad acid trip. But when viewed in the film, it works just right. Continue reading

Halloween Favorites

Fright FavoritesHorror scholar David J. Skal has a new book coming out this fall, just in time for Halloween, entitled Fright Favorites: 31 Movies to Haunt Your Halloween and Beyond. Presented by Turner Classic Movies, Skal takes on 31 films ranging from the silent era, hitting a few titles from each decade through the ’80s, and a few beyond that. Most of these everyone will agree are classics, with a few comedies listed in the later day titles. The description in Amazon says they are “family-friendly” but not sure The Exorcist (1973) and The Thing (1982) are ones I would be screening for 8-year old Timmy! Continue reading

Horror History: Karl Freund

freundKarl Freund
Born Jan. 16th, 1890 – Died May 3rd, 1969

Karl Freund was a German cinematographer that worked with some other top names in the business: Robert Wiene, F.W. Murnau, and Fritz Lang. When he finally made his way over to the states, Universal quickly put him under contract, where he would photograph several of their films, including a few horror films like Dracula (1931) and Murders in the Rue Morgue (1932). He would eventually direct a few films, two of them being horror, and both of which have become classics. The first one was The Mummy (1932) starring Boris Karloff, the second one was Mad Love (1935), starring Peter Lorre. This would be his last film as a director.

Freund went back to being a cameraman, because that is what he knew best. He won an Oscar for Best Cinematography for The Good Earth (1937), nominated again for Blossoms in the Dust (1941), and was given an Oscar in 1955 in the Technical Achievement department for the design and development of a direct reading brightness meter. He eventually went to work in television, specifically on the I Love Lucy show, and helped developed the 3-camera system for filming TV shows, which is still being used today. He also developed a new way of lighting the sitcoms, making them look a lot better than what they had been.

So while he was obviously a very talented cameraman, and gave the industry some amazing technical advances, he also gave us horror fans some great movies to watch, which we still continue to do today!

Movie Review: Lugosi – The Forgotten King

lugosi forgotten king 3

Lugosi: The Forgotten King (1985, 2018)
Directed by Mark Gilman Jr. & Dave Stuckey

In 1985, with the early days of VHS tapes and video stores, there weren’t too many documentary titles out there, especially on horror movies or their stars, unless you count a few trailers collections. But I can remember coming across one title in particular that was on the shelves, Lugosi: The Forgotten King. Being an young and eager fan to learn as much as I can about the horror genre, especially one of its icons, I immediately rented it. Even though the running time was short, showed the audience a little bit more behind the man and really how much of a talent he was. Now, 35 years later, it is out on DVD in an updated version, through Operator 13 Productions. Continue reading

Movie Review: Dracula, Prisoner of Frankenstein

dpofbanner

Dracula, Prisoner of Frankenstein (aka Drácula contra Frankenstein, 1972)
Directed by Jesús Franco
Starring Dennis Price, Howard Vernon, Paca Gabaldón, Alberto Dalbés, Britt Nichols, Geneviève Robert, Anne Libert, Luis Barboo, Fernando Bilbao, Josyane Gibert

DPoF posterI know it is hard for some fans to think of Jess Franco as a highly crafted filmmaker, but there are more than a few examples in his filmography to prove that. This, however, is not one of them.

The first time I saw this film was from the Wizard Video VHS tape, under the title The Screaming Dead, which is quite different when comparing it to the DVD of Dracula, Prisoner of Frankenstein. Right away you’ll notice that it is extremely cropped with most of the opening names in the credits being cut off on the sides. The film is sequenced differently as well, having some parts in there that are not in the DVD version! For the sake of sanity, I’m just going to talk about the DVD version from Image Entertainment back in 2006. Continue reading