When Dracula Met Frankenstein: My Years Making Drive-In Movies with Al Adamson
Published by Murania Press, 2021. 377 pages
By Sam Sherman
You can’t be a fan of exploitation cinema of the ‘60s and ‘70s and not know of Sam Sherman, either by name or the multitude of film titles that he had his fingers in. Sherman only has 28 credits as a producer, many of them for films directed by his good friend Al Adamson, but his mark on the film world is so much greater. He was an ad man who could come up with some of the best titles, promotional ideas, gimmicks, and all the other ballyhoo so memorable, sometimes more than the films themselves!
He is also the man that was responsible for introducing Paul Naschy to the states, when his company, Independent International, picked up Naschy’s Mark of the Wolfman when they were looking for a Frankenstein picture that they had already promised distributors. It featured two wolfmen and two vampires, but definitely no Frankenstein or his creature. But somehow, due to the creative genius of Sherman, Mark of the Wolfman now became Frankenstein’s Bloody Terror. If you don’t know the whole story already, then you’ll have to buy the book to find out!
I am shocked and amazed that I am just hearing about this new book and am eternally thankful to my friend Gavin Schmitt for putting it on my radar, which I quickly ordered!
So … not sure who Sam Sherman is? If you’ve ever seen any of the classic Al Adamson flicks, like Satan’s Sadist, Dracula vs Frankenstein, Blood of Ghastly Horror, or the Blood Island movies from the Philippines, such as Mad Doctor of Blood Island or Beast of Blood, then you at least know the work of Mr. Sherman. Or should I say, a small part of Sherman’s work. In the world of low-budget filmmaking, Sherman was involved in pretty much all aspects, especially when it came to promoting and distributing. He would help come up with the lurid titles, help with the ad campaign, and so much more.
Now, thanks to Murania Press, you’ll get to read all the juicy bits from his career, working with Independent International Pictures, Al Adamson, and much more. In this 378 page trade paperback book, you’ll read along as Sherman “revisits those halcyon days and reveals the behind-the-scenes story of IIP’s rise and fall.” But he also goes into the entire drive-in era, having to deal with independent producers and distributors, trying not to get ripped off, and all the other fun things you had to do when you were working well below the major studios.