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Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Famous Monsters Memories: 9 Cover Ghouls from the Fabulous 60's

Here's nine monster-ific covers from the greatest monster film mag of all time!

This is issue #53 from January 1969. The main monster from WAR OF THE COLOSSAL BEAST (1958) encores for another cover. This is issue is a smorgasbord of photos and articles on Lon Chaney Sr. and a nifty piece on Hammer movies with some excellent coinciding pictures.

What's on the back cover?

Monster World was another Warren horror movie magazine that ultimately became part of the Famous Monsters issue run starting with number 70 and ending with number 79. After that, Famous Monsters continued with issue number 80.

Issue #54 features one of the big headed, bug eyed monstrosities from INVASION OF THE SAUCER MEN (1957) from artist Ron Cobb. This issue has an interesting interview with British bloodsucker, Christopher Lee, an article about Jekyll & Hyde movies and many cool monster movie pics including one of Chaney Jr. in full wolf make up taking a nap resting his head on a German Shepherd!

This cover was always a big deal to me as a kid seeing a gigantic snake terrorizing a group of people. I still have yet to catch up with this television program. This is issue #55 from '69 and features cover stories on LAND OF THE GIANTS, lots of cool images from the likes of PLANET OF THE VAMPIRES (1965), THE DEADLY MANTIS (1957), GOLIATH & THE DRAGON (1961), HERCULES & THE CAPTIVE WOMEN (1961) and a great article on ace make up artist, Jack Pierce with tons of behind the scenes pics from many a Univeral monster movie.

Basil Gogos interprets this excellent painting of Karloff's Frankenstein Monster. The entirety of issue #56 is devoted to the grand old man of horror who had died February 2nd, 1969 in England. Lots of reminisces from those who knew him and worked with him accompanied by plentiful photos. A must read for Karloff fans.

Vic Livoti, courtesy of MGM, delivered this exciting portrait of THE GREEN SLIME, a US-Japan co-production that is sorely in need of a R1 release. Starting with this issue (#57) Famous Monsters went monthly. Inside you'll find a cool ghoul article on Mexi-horror vampires, a film book on THE GREEN SLIME including some choice and plentiful photos. Also, the Graveyard Examiner delivers horror news and ghoulish giggles with such jokes as:

Do monsters really do all the terrible things you in the movies?

No, quite often they use a stuntman.

When does the Invisible Man usually disappear?

When the waiter arrives with the check.

What's the best way to talk to a monster?

Long distance.

Basil Gogos contributes yet another cover (issue #59), this time detailing the visage of Barnabus Collins from the then popular horror soap opera, DARK SHADOWS. Inside there's an awesome film book on DRACULA HAS RISEN FROM THE GRAVE (1968) with many pics not in the finished film. One image is a comical poster for the film showing a pretty lady in a low cut dress with two band aids across her neck. More Hammer madness with FRANKENSTEIN MUST BE DESTROYED (1969) and John Carradine in VOODOO MAN (1944). An exclusive interview with Carroll Borland about filming MARK OF THE VAMPIRE (1935) and info on Bela Lugosi.

Lastly, issue #60 features Gogos's rendition of Dorian Gray from December of 1969. This one features some tidbits about movies that either never were, or took on different directors than planned. Apparently Polanski was tapped to direct DAY OF THE DOLPHIN (1973), but the shocking murder of his wife kept him out of the limelight for a time. Effects artist, David Allen was attached to an unmade movie titled RAIDERS OF THE STONE RINGS which featured Vikings, Zeppelins, and dinosaurs. Curiously, Hammer was attached to a similar movie entitled ZEPPELINS VS. PTERODACTYLS which never got made. Photos from the then upcoming THE VALLEY-WHERE TIME STOOD STILL (now known as VALLEY OF GWANGI), a horror comic and an article about man eating plant movies round out this great issue.



Samuel Wilson said...

re: issue #56. Peter Lorre must have been prescient, having predeceased Karloff by something like three or four years.

venoms5 said...

It's old comments from him from when they worked together earlier in the decade. Both THE RAVEN and COMEDY OF TERRORS are lots of fun with those two, especially the former.

I Like Horror Movies said...

Anyone that cant appreciate a giant rattlesnake should have their Horror merit badges stripped from their sash. Period.

venoms5 said...

It's one of my favorite covers, Carl.

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