Horror History: Edward L. Cahn

edwardLcahnEdward L. Cahn
Born Feb. 12th, 1899 – Died Aug. 25th, 1963

Cahn started his career as an apprentice film editor but then quickly moved into directing. He started out directing a lot of westerns, crime dramas, and comedies, mainly Our Gang titles. But in the mid ’50s, when sci-fi pictures were starting to really take off, Cahn started working in that genre and made quite a few of them in a very short time. In fact, by today’s standards, Cahn might not be considered a great director, but he was quick and efficient, which is a very good trait to have when working on the world of low budget B-movies. But even those his budgets were low and time was short, the titles he made are still entertaining, even making a few classics while at it.

In his 31 years as a director, he credited with 125 films. That is 4 films a year average, with some years he was make 10! Imagine one of today’s directors trying to accomplish something like that. In those days, time was money. It was crank out the current picture and then quickly onto the next. Though even though that was the attitude, Cahn still put some quality in them.

During those years, he did make some great fun flicks, usually ones with some memorable titles. Such as Creature with the Atom Brain (1955), Invasion of the Saucer Men (1957), Curse of the Faceless Man (1958), or The Four Skulls of Jonathan Drake (1959). Of course, probably his most famous film is the 1958 film that would go on to inspire Ridley Scott’s Alien, which would be It! Terror from Beyond Space.

So if you’re looking for a fun sci-fi/horror film for a Saturday afternoon, look up some of Cahn’s work. I think you’ll find yourself being entertained.

Horror History: Paul Blaisdell

Paul BlaisdellPaul Blaisdell
Born July 21st, 1927, Died July 10th, 1983

Any fans of the monster movies of the ’50s have probably seen the work of Paul Blaisdell. He was the man responsible for creating the monsters and creatures for a lot of those early AIP films, usually done with very little time and even less money. But he always came up with some unique and very memorable designs. He started his career after graduating from the New England School of Art and Design, and started to work for Douglas Aircraft as a technical illustrator. He would also send in his drawings to sci-fi fantasy publications like Spaceways and Otherwords. His work was noticed by a very important figure in the horror / sci-fi genre fandom, that of Forrest J. Ackerman. He became Blaisdell’s agent and introduced him into the world of movie making.

Blaisdell would go on to create some of the most memorable monsters from that era, in films like The Beast with a Million Eyes (1955), The She-Creature (1956), It Conquered the World (1957), Invasion of the Saucer Men (1957), and many more. In the early ’60s, he even started his own magazine called Fantastic Monsters of the Film, with Bob Burns.  Unfortunately, the magazine was short lived.

With all of his creations being still remembered today by dedicated fans, it’s a shame that Blaisdell still does not receive the recognition that he should. So let’s change that. If you’re not familiar with him or his work, look some of his films up and take a look at the fun stuff he was coming up with, just with a few dollars and a lot of creative talent. I think you’ll enjoy what you see.