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
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
I 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
Sure this is close to a year away, but no reason why you can’t start planning out events for next year, right? Creepy Classics and Monster Bash have scheduled their next film fest, this time featuring the work of Bela Lugosi! Taking place on Aug. 14th & 15th at the Palace Theatre in Canton, Ohio, they will have 2 days of Lugosi films! Below is the schedule: Continue reading
Back in 1938, a theater owner named Emil Umann rented prints of the original Dracula and Frankenstein, along with Son of Kong, and screen them as a triple feature. He got the rental of the films pretty cheap because the studios didn’t think anybody cared about these monster films anymore. Oh how they were wrong. These screenings became so popular, that Umann started running them close to 24 hours a day to keep up with the demand. He even contacted Bela Lugosi to come down to make appearances during the screenings. Once Universal discover this, not only did they increase the film rentals, but made 500 more prints and started renting them to other theaters. Plus, they immediately put another Frankenstein film into production!
If you haven’t had the chance to see these two classic monster films on the big screen and are in the Chicagoland area, now is your chance. The Pickwick Theater in Park Ridge, IL, will be screening both Dracula and Frankenstein on October 30th, starting at 7pm. The Pickwick is a great theater to see these films too! So make your plans now to make sure you attend and see our horror history come to life on the big screen!
For more information, just click HERE.
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
You 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.
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.