Sounds of the Season!

I swear, if it’s not all the new books coming out that is trying to get my money, it is the soundtracks! Between the scores I already ordered for titles like The Last Shark, The Witch and The Lighthouse (even before I’ve seen it?!?!?), I came across these two that I had no choice but to order! I mean, how can a lover of Italian horror and classic Universal monsters not have these two in your collection?

The first one is for Michele Soavi’s film La Setta (1991), also known as The Sect, or The Devil’s Daughter, depending on which release you got a hold of. With the score by Pino Donaggio, part of this was released on an earlier version by Cinevox, this release now contains 9 more tracks that have never been released before. It also focuses on Donaggio part of the score, where he even plays violin on it. This release is also limited to 500 copies, so if you’re a fan of this movie and/or the composer, I wouldn’t wait too long. The price is $19.95 and is available through Screen Archives Entertainment. Continue reading

Dracula & Frankenstein on the Big Screen!

monster double feature

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.

Book Review: The Creature Chronicles

creaturechroniclesThe Creature Chronicles: Exploring the Black Lagoon Trilogy
Published by McFarland, 2014. 408 pages.
By Tom Weaver, David Schecter, & Steve Kronenberg

This should be a very simple review. If you want to know anything about Creature from the Black Lagoon, or its two sequels, Revenge of the Creature and/or The Creature Walks Among Us, then just buy this book. Just about anything and everything you need to know about those films is in this book. Tom Weaver, along with Schecter and Kronenberg, have researched and compiled so much information, from the cast and crew, premieres, design teams, press, music, down to all the screenwriters involved in them, all here in this book. It even has an introduction by Creature star Julia Adams.

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Book Review: The Lady from the Black Lagoon

Lady from the Black LagoonThe Lady from the Black Lagoon
Published by Hanover Square Press, 2019. 368 pages.
By Mallory O’Meara

As a horror historian (sounds such more impressive than horror fan, doesn’t it?), anytime some light can be shed on someone important in the genre, especially when that light was purposely taken away from them, then I’m all for it.

If you were to just go by the screen credits in those classic movies, you’d never know about some of the thousands of people that actually worked on them. This isn’t anything new either, since a LOT of people go without given due credit. That’s just the business. But when that business included someone taking credit for someone else’s work, even getting rid of said person because they were starting to get their deserved credit, then that that error needs to be fixed,  especially when we’re talking about the creation of one of the famous Universal Monsters. Helping do that is author Mallory O’Meara with this new book on Milicent Patrick, the woman who actually designed the Gill Man from Creature from the Black Lagoon.

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Milicent Patrick – The Lady from the Black Lagoon

Lady from the Black LagoonThe Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954) remains as one of the great monsters from the Universal studios, still holding up today, 65 years later. But there are quite a few out there that still don’t realize that the design of the creature was actually done by a woman, Milicent Patrick, who never received credit for it in the final film. But now, thanks to author Mallory O’Meara, you can learn all about this unsung hero in her new book, The Lady from the Black Lagoon, which will be released on March 5th, from Hanover Square Press.

For all of us that are interested in our Horror History and its heritage, Milicent Patrick is a person that we should get to know and definitely remember, because without her contributions, our favorite Gill-man could have looked quite different. And this book looks to be a great place to start! I’ve already got mine on pre-order, so why don’t you.

You can pre-order your hardcover edition from Amazon now for only $17.70! How could you pass up that price? Just click HERE.

Universal Horrors at the Music Box Theatre

Invisible Man

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:

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Horror History: John L. Balderston

johnlbalderstonJohn L. Balderston
Born Oct. 22nd, 1889 – Died Mar. 8th, 1954

Ever wonder why the original ’30s film versions of Dracula and Frankenstein didn’t seem to follow the novels too much? Well, one of the men responsible for that was writer John L. Balderston. He started his career as a journalist, even before he finished school, working for different newspapers. He would even be a war correspondent during WWI. He eventually started in show business as a playwright, while continuing the journalism gigs as well.

In 1927, he was hired to re-write Hamilton Deane’s stage play of Dracula for American audiences, making more than a few changes. Because of its huge success, he was then hired to do the same for Peggy Webling’s play version of Frankenstein. He would later have his name attached to many of the early monster classics, even if his scripts were never used. But because of his work, a lot of the foundation of these early monster flicks were due to him.

In 1953, Balderston and the heirs of Webling won a lawsuit with Universal, getting paid not only $20,000 but also 1% of any of the films that resulted from their work, including any sequels!