Dracula (1979) Released by Varese Sarabande, 2018 2-discs, 37 tracks total, with a total running time of 1:48:49 Music Composed and Conducted by John Williams
When I started to really get into soundtracks, one of the first horror ones that caught my eyes . . . or ears, technically, was John Williams score for the ’79 version of Dracula, starring Frank Langella. Now because of Jaws (1975) and more importantly Star Wars (1977), I knew the name John Williams pretty well. The soundtrack for Star Wars was the first soundtrack I ever bought and listened to that endlessly. After seeing this version of Dracula, I also fell in love with the score. That opening track alone is enough to capture your imagination. It immediately draws you in with that amazing opening cue and never let’s go. It has been one of my favorite scores, even after all these years. And . . . while this may upset some Williams’ fans, even after I started to notice and realize some of the similarities between this score and the one he did for Star Wars, that was done two years before, it has not changed my love of this soundtrack.
Dracula (1931), Dracula’s Daughter (1936), and Son of Dracula (1943). This is the series of films that really created and started what is now known as the Universal Classic Monster films. Dracula came out in Feb. in 1931 and did such business, the studio followed suit with another film. And another. And another.
But are these classics remembered just because of nostalgia, or are they really well-made films that are still effective today and rightly deserve the monster of “classic”? In this episode, we delve into the first three Dracula films and take a closer look at these titles to see if they hold up to us, and even more so, maybe getting you, the listener, interested enough to revisit them along with us!
The Strand Theatre in Shelbyville, IN, has announced this year’s Friday Night Frights schedule and once again, makes me wish I lived closer to the theater! We all know and love the Universal Classic Monsters (or at least we should!) but few fans have had the opportunity to see them in a movie theater on the big screen. Well, if you live near the Indianapolis area, now you have your chance.
In the past, my partner-in-horror Aaron Christensen (aka Horror 101 with Dr. AC) and I have given some little seminars at the Sulzer branch of the Chicago Public Library, giving an overview of the horror genre. This year, however, not only did they ask us back, but they wanted MORE! So now, we’re taking over every Tuesday in October with TERROR TUESDAYS!
The Nosferatu Story: The Seminal Horror Film, Its Predecessors and Its Enduring Legacy Published by McFarland, 2019. 225 pages By Rolf Giesen
As a horror fan, I am forever grateful to all the authors out there that decided that they were going to do all this research and study on a particular film, or a sub-genre as a whole, and then put all of that work into a book so that other film fans can learn so much more about them. Whether it is on a specific sub-genre or a certain film in particular, I know that after reading it, I will have a little bit better understanding of the subject matter upon visiting it once again. Giesen’s book on Nosferatu, as well as early German horror cinema, is just that book. You’ll read about a lot of important names that would have a huge impact on the horror genre.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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 →