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Thursday, October 28, 2010

Famous Monsters Memories: 6 Spooky Covers--Karloff, Lugosi, Chaney

Basil Gogos paints yet another fangtastic front cover this time featuring the evil visage of MR. HYDE. Inside this issue are the concluding articles on both MARK OF THE VAMPIRE (1935) and THE THING FROM ANOTHER WORLD (1951) including an artists concept of what 'The Thing' looked like in the books hardcover edition. The spotlight is on the 1932 award winning version of DR. JEKYLL & MR. HYDE and also images from a number of foreign fright films including from Mexico, THE CASTLE OF THE MONSTERS (1958) and THE SHIP OF THE MONSTERS (1960) and Germany with DEAD EYES OF LONDON (1939), MUTANO THE HORRIBLE (??), THE STRANGE CASE OF DR. RAMPER (1927) and Fritz Lang's atmospherically Gothic 1923 picture, SIEGFRIED.

There's also a whole page spread of a cut shot from HORRORS OF THE BLACK MUSEUM (1959) depicting Michael Gough menacing an old woman with a nasty piece of cutlery.

Back cover Famous Monsters #62

Gogos strikes again this time painting Boris Karloff from THE MASK OF FU MANCHU (1932). There's an info packed look at the making of the big budget George Pal production, THE 7 FACES OF DR. LAO (1964), a farewell to filmmaker/ cinematographer Karl Freund (the original 1932 MUMMY), a look at prehistoric monsters and gigantic Earth born beasties in the movies and a long detailed Filmbook look at THE MASK OF FU MANCHU. There's also a brief snippet involving a rare 1935 radio interview with Boris Karloff where it's revealed his next movies to be FRANKENSTEIN LIVES AGAIN! and THE WEREWOLF OF LONDON (1935). The former eventually became THE BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN (1935) and the latter was played by Henry Hull.

Back cover of Famous Monsters #65

Issue 66 again features the painterly qualities of Basil Gogos with this impression from the Karloff starring THE OLD DARK HOUSE (1932). Found within this issue is an article on William Castle with some choice candid shots including a picture of a group of fans decked out as skeletons promoting 'William Castle For President'. There's also a fascinating piece on a few of horror filmdom's most well known ape actors--George Barrows, Charlie Gemora and Ray "Crash" Corrigan complete with lots of behind the scenes information such as Barrows' thoughts on his self created gorilla suit seen in various movies and television shows being rented out for the British horror flick, KONGA (1961).

Interestingly enough, there's a Raquel Welch like pose of Angela Dorian aka Victoria Vetri from WHEN DINOSAURS RULED THE EARTH (1970). Dorian, 66, has recently, and quite shockingly made headlines for attempted murder on her boyfriend!

Vic Prezio designs an impressively macabre cover from WITCHCRAFT (1964). This cover highlights a special on occult movies from around the world. There's also an article on the ominous abodes of screen villains and the monsters that live in them.

One highlight is the creepily sinister similarity to a shot of the mask worn by MR. SARDONICUS (1961) and the mask worn by the boogyman himself, Michael Myers. There's also some great images from the likes of PLANET OF THE VAMPIRES (1965)(1965), FRANKESTEIN CONQUERS THE WORLD (1965) and rare Mexi-horror, SHADOW OF THE BAT (1968) and Italian science fiction sword and sandal, GIANT OF METROPOLIS (1961).

This cover displaying an image from the original MYSTERIOUS ISLAND (1929) from the paint brushes of Vic Prezio. Within these pages there's a great cinema bio on famed filmmaker, George Pal, the makeup applied to the QUEEN OF OUTER SPACE (1958) and photos from the rare Mexi-horror LA LOBA (THE SHE-WOLF;1965), THE MANSTER (listed under its aka, THE SPLIT;1959) and SPACE MONSTER (aka SPACE PROBE TAURUS;1965).

The celebrated Basil Gogos returns for this Lon Chaney 40th anniversary that features a filmbook on the lost film, LONDON AFTER MIDNIGHT (1925). Newspaper clippings reporting his death and his many fearful faces are featured here. One photo is particularly amazing showcasing Chaney wearing a similar costume Olga Baclanova wore during the final moments of FREAKS (1932), a film made after Chaney's death. There's a look at the aborted tele-series, TALES OF FRANKENSTEIN with Anton Diffring and the popular column, 'You Axed For It', which is a collage of creepy images from assorted monster movies. A photo packed article on the missing link movie, SKULLDUGGERY (1970) starring Burt Reynolds closes out the issue.

Back cover Famous Monsters #69, September 1970



Shaun [The Celluloid Highway] said...

I love the cover of Issue 68! - great stuff.

venoms5 said...

Yes, it is, Shaun, quite mesmerizing that one! Did you guys get this magazine in the UK, or something similar?

Shaun [The Celluloid Highway] said...

If it was, then I'm fairly certain it would have been through specialist stockists. I've never been a big one for magazines. The only ones I've collected are The Dark Side (which is no more) and Sight and Sound (which is more of a world/art cinema magazine with a British slant). Very few horror magazines have made it to high street stockists in the UK - the aforementioned Dark Side and Shivers being the notable exceptions. Now we have the worthless GoreZone, and Fangoria is a mainstay. Thought I have to admit I've never so much as looked inside an issue.

venoms5 said...

I have a couple hundred issues of Fangoria and a few dozen Dark Side magazines. Too bad they ran afoul of that whole plagiarism scandal. Apparently the editor, Allan Bryce (I think is his name) is involved in another magazine now.

I have one issue of the UK's Gorezone, the one with Danielle Harris on the cover. Back in the late 80's, Fangoria had a sister mag called Gorezone. It lasted 24 issues and covered a lot of international and lesser known horror movies that Fangoria didn't always cover.

At one time, there were several other horror magazines (not including the slew of fanzines) vying for space with Fangoria like Slaughterhouse, Horror Fan and Toxic Horror, but none of these lasted past 5 or 6 issues. I have most of them.

Now, there's a bunch more. Rue Morgue and HorrorHound among others give Fangoria a run for their money.

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