2018 was a special year here at the Krypt because it marked the 20th anniversary of it. Back on October 19th, 1998, the Krypt came online. I’ve always said there’s been more than a few times that I’ve considered closing the door and spending more time reading the never-ending books in my library or watching the countless movies in my collection. But the Krypt has kept me sane over the years, giving me my little soapbox, an outlet to express my thoughts about the horror genre and those that work within it. Without it, I think I would have gone mad! Either that, or would have driven my friends crazy from always ranting and raving to them! There were even times that I thought I was just wasting my time here, but I know from the feedback that I get from you out there that is very far from the truth. And those that have reached out to me to express their praise of my ramblings, I can’t thank you enough because they have encouraged me to continue on. Which I have, and will continue to do. Like everyone’s else, this year has been full of ups and downs, but keeping the Krypt running has really been therapeutic and keeping me sane. So thank you to all of those that continue to follow and support me and the Krypt. I am so very grateful for you all. Here’s to another 20 years.
Because this is the 200th Anniversary of Mary Shelley’s famous tale, before the end of the year, I thought it might be a good idea to post this, just in case there might be a few out there that hasn’t seen it. This is the first filmed version of Shelley’s tale, that was thought lost for many decades, but a print was finally discovered. It is only about 13 minutes long, but if you haven’t seen it, please take the time to do so. Seeing the special effects used here might seem a bit crude, but just imagine the folks seeing this over 100 years ago.
The film was directed by J. Searle Dawley, and stars Augustus Phillips as Frankenstein, Mary Fuller as his Elizabeth, and Charles Ogle playing the “Monster” for the first time in cinematic history. So please, take a few minutes now and watch a very important piece of our horror history, and be thankful that this was even discovered.
It’s strange how the name of Frankenstein always puts images of the monster that was pieced together by a mad doctor in our heads, when in fact the name is of the creator, not the creature. And the man who is considered to be the first Frankenstein (yes, I know there were others, but I did use the word “considered”), was Henry Frankenstein and played by British actor Colin Clive. He was the one to utter those famous lines “It’s alive! It’s alive!”. But much like the curse his character fell upon, the actor himself seemed to be cursed as well.
Now thanks to Gregory William Mank and Midnight Marquee, you’ll be able to read all the details about his life and death, in “One Man’s Crazy!” The Life and Death of Colin Clive, which should be out anytime now. I’ve read several of Mank’s books and he always fills them with so much information, details, stories, as well as heart and soul, that really shows us his subject for who they were. Mank is top-notch scholar who always delivers with his books. I can’t wait to dig into this one.
This book retails for $30 but if you order it directly from Midnight Marquee, you can get it for only $19! For ordering details, head over to their website HERE, or drop them a line at email@example.com.
One of the many things that I’ve loved about the fact that this year is the 200th Anniversary of when Mary Shelley’s novel, Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus, was first published, is the attention that it has been getting. Especially in the book world! I think I have picked up more books on Frankenstein, the original novel, Shelley, and the movies, this year than I have in over the last decade. And that is definitely a good thing, that Shelley’s creation and all its decedents are getting this much attention. And now, coming out later this month, is another title, The Vault of Frankenstein: 200 Years of the World’s Most Famous Monster, by Paul Ruditis.
Since I’ve just ordered my copy, all I can say about this book is what is listed on the Amazon page, but it looks pretty fun and will be a welcome edition to my Frankenstein section in my library. It retails for $29.99 and is a 176 pages that is filled with different aspects about Shelley, the novel, the films, as well as the cultural impact that it has made over the last two centuries.
A bonus to this book is the memorabilia replicas that have been created for the book, that comes in an envelope that has little movie posters, the playbill for the first stage adaptation of Shelley’s novel, and much more.
The book comes out in a couple of weeks, I’m sure I’ll have a full review posted at some point. But until then, let’s keep this Frankenstein celebration moving!
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:
Biology Run Amok!
Published by McFarland, 2018. 255 pages
By Mark C. Glassy
I first discovered the writings of Glassy with his first book, The Biology of Science Fiction Cinema, which I stumbled across at a Half Price Books a few years ago. Within those pages, he discusses different films in the horror and sci-fi genre, looking at the science in them and seeing what could be true and what is totally off. Such an enjoyable read. This time out, Glassy does the same, but also is educating the reader with a lot of science knowledge and how it is applied in some of our favorite films. These were originally published in Scary Monsters magazine, starting back in 2009, but now are all gathered together in this one volume.
In the beginning of the book, he describes how audiences today are the “Jurassic Park Generation” since we pretty much will believe the science we see in movies as reality. But Glassy goes through these different theories and explains in more details some of the fallacies therein, but also when some of the films gets the science correct.
Frankenstein: How a Monster Became an Icon
Published by Pegasus Books, 2018. 254 pages
Edited by Sidney Perkowitz & Eddy Von Mueller
Being a sucker for any books on Frankenstein, the movies, the novel, and/or anything in between, it was a no-brainer to add this one to my library when it came out. At first glance, I figured it would be another one of those psycho-babble titles, filled with such ludicrous ideas and theories. But as I started to dig into it, not only were my initial fears were wrong, I found this a very intriguing and interesting read, with plenty of ideas, theories, and information that really got my brain working.
Editors Perkowitz and Von Mueller have gathered a collection of authors that really know this subject and have quite a few interesting things to say about it, as well as giving the reader a variety of subjects relating to Shelley and her famous creation. The book covers a variety of topics, from Shelley’s original novel, to the many adaptations of it, to the science and the morals and ethics behind it. There is even an interview with filmmaker Mel Brooks, talking about Young Frankenstein (1974)! There are chapters that discuss different aspects of Shelley’s story, such as the creature and how it is looked upon, perceived, and treated, and why? These are the parts that I found most fascinating since it really gave you some ideas to think about, if Shelley really had these in mind when she wrote it. We get to hear about how Frankenstein’s creature has invaded the media over the last 200 years and how it is used, which again, I found very interesting to see how far this character has come these last two centuries.