Friday, October 20, 2017

HAPPY BIRTHDAY BELA!

A HAPPY ACCIDENT IS THE FACT THAT BELA LUGOSI'S BIRTHDAY OCCURS DURING THE COUNTDOWN TO HALLOWEEN.  And, as I always mark the occasion somehow, I thought I'd post a few pages from that British monster magazine "WORLD OF HORROR" which I spotlighted earlier in the Countdown.  



And then there's the classic cover of the Castle Films DRACULA reel.

UMBERTO LENZI (1931 - 2017)

SADLY, ONCE AGAIN DURING THE HALLOWEEN SEASON WE'VE LOST SOMEONE WITH STRONG TIES TO THE HORROR GENRE:  DIRECTOR UMBERTO LENZI.  Maestro of any and all exploitation genres which happened to be selling at the moment, Umberto Lenzi helmed Italian films ranging from peplum to western, from giallo to cops 'n' robbers . . . and yes, some incredibly influential horror movies as well.  Probably best known for those infamous cannibal films which made it onto the Video Nasties list:  CANNIBAL FEROX, MAN FROM DEEP RIVER and EATEN ALIVE (a genre which, by the way, he hated), Lenzi also directed the bonkers zombie plague film NIGHTMARE CITY a.k.a. CITY OF THE WALKING DEAD which drew heavily on the zombie films of George A. Romero and Lucio Fulci.  The film starts out at lightning pace as a plane loaded with zombies touches down at the airport and scads of flesh-eating maniacs pour out of the plane and munch on the assembled crowd!  Another favourite is GHOSTHOUSE which is a combination "homage" to fellow Italian filmmaker Lucio Fulci's "Gates of Hell" trilogy as well and POLTERGEIST. 
Then there's Lenzi's wacky giallo EYEBALL and even an Edgar Wallace adaption SEVEN BLOOD-STAINED ORCHIDS which finds the director venturing into the world of the krimi.  Two of my all-time favourite Italian crime films were also directed by Umberto Lenzi:  VIOLENT NAPLES and THE CYNIC, THE RAT AND THE FIST. 
The former film stars Franco Nero-"lookalike" Maurizio Merli involved in some of the most actually dangerous-looking, death-defying real world car & motorcycle chases ever put on film.  Merli also stars in the latter film but the real star is Tomas Milian as an hilariously-psychopathic killer.  (Sadly, Milian also died this year).  Lenzi's films were always a ton of fun and I'll plan on watching a couple of his films as my own little tribute.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

IF ONLY I'D KNOWN . . .

WORLD'S FIRST FAMOUS MONSTERS CONVENTION.  Being only around eight or nine years old, I had no idea this existed at the time and couldn't have gotten there even if I had!  However, just because I didn't make that legendary convention doesn't mean I can't peruse the original convention commemorative mag which apparently was available to convention-goers.  Filled with reprint articles from FAMOUS MONSTERS OF FILMLAND magazine as well as new material/special ads, here is a glimpse. . . 























Wednesday, October 18, 2017

ALEX ROSS MEETS THE MONSTERS

AS MANY OF YOU PROBABLY ALREADY KNOW BY NOW, A CERTAIN DEPARTMENT STORE IS OFFERING AN EXCLUSIVE SET OF 7 UNIVERSAL MONSTER MOVIE BLU-RAY STEELBOOKS THIS HALLOWEEN SEASON.  These are the tip-top titles in the Universal Monster canon:  DRACULA, FRANKENSTEIN, THE MUMMY, THE INVISIBLE MAN, BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN, THE WOLF MAN and THE CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON.  Now, since I already own all these movies several times on dvds AND blu-ray, I very much doubt I'll be buying them.  However, the exciting news is that legendary comic book artist Alex Ross has been commissioned to do the artwork for these steelbooks and, as usual, he's done stunning work.  Have a peek.
DRACULA

FRANKENSTEIN

THE MUMMY

THE INVISIBLE MAN

BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN

THE WOLF MAN

THE CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

VAN HELSING'S TERROR TALES

HERE WE HAVE A FEW SHORT BUT SWEET STRIPS FROM THE PALPITATIN' PAGES OF HOUSE OF HAMMER MAGAZINE.









Monday, October 16, 2017

CAPTAIN COMPANY CRASHES FM'S 1965 FEARBOOK

ALMOST AS MUCH FUN AS READING FAMOUS MONSTERS WAS THE ADS IN THE BACK.  Any Monster Kid worth his tana leaves would go through those legendary Captain Company ad sections with a {werewolf's} fang-tooth comb!As a f'rinstance, here's what Captain Company was selling in the back pages of FM's 1965 Fearbook . . . the year I was born.