Sunday, August 12, 2012
Famous Monsters Memories: Cushing, Lee, Price, Karloff, Lorre, Ads, Pig Men!
Welcome to another edition of Famous Monsters Memories! This time it's select imagery and covers from issues 97, 98 and 99!
FM cover #97 features the Amicus film, ASYLUM from 1972. This and TORTURE GARDEN (1967) were the last two Amicus anthologies I had left to track down. Upon renting the videotape of ASYLUM I honestly couldn't see what all the fuss was about. TORTURE GARDEN ended up being even worse.
Anyway, it was nice to see Cushing again and some of the stories did have interesting moments. The wraparound was also eerie even if you sort of know how it's going to end up. At the time, British horror pretty much usurped most all other horror films I saw as a kid. After all the ballyhoo surrounding everything I'd read about ASYLUM, I expected it to be better. But then, they can't all be as good as THE HOUSE THAT DRIPPED BLOOD (1970)!
As Forry states in his 1973 article, there were a handful of stills from the original ISLAND OF LOST SOULS (1932) thought to have been lost forever. Having then discovered them, he displayed them over the course of several issues. This was one of them; a profile of the Pig Man.
Above is a movie theater marquee from the original release of HOUSE OF FRANKENSTEIN, a 1944 monster mash featuring many of horror's heavyweights of the time period.
Famous Monsters cover for issue 98 has a great countenance of one of the Saucer Men from 1957s INVASION OF THE SAUCER MEN as painted by artist Randy Counts.
Here's a publicity photo of Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing during the making of DRACULA AD 1972 (1972); a film that was being heavily touted at the time because they took the Transylvanian bloodsucker and placed him in a modern setting after the runaway success of AIPs COUNT YORGA, VAMPIRE (1970).
When I was a kid, AD 1972 was one of my most sought after Drac flicks. I don't recall ever seeing it in the TV Guides back then as I used to scour them for any and all monster flicks. The only Hammer Dracula's that got frequent airplay were HORROR OF DRACULA and the 60s entries after it. Commander USA's Groovie Movies showed Hammer horror, too, but only their 70s output and none of the Chris Lee Drac's. Upon finally buying the long overdue US tape, it was a bit disappointing, but much better than its reputation attests.
To the left is one of dozens of ads that appeared in the back of every issue of FM. These ads were some of my favorite parts of the magazines.
Although I never got one, the 8mm projector was something I always wanted and I often slobbered at the mouth like the Wolf Man in the hopes of ever getting one and some of those cool 8mm films to go with it!
The closest I ever got was this film projector like thing where you'd insert these yellow cartridges, then turn a crank and a cartoon would play on the wall sans any sound. The faster you turned the crank, the faster the 'toon played. It was a fave toy of mine, but I still wish I could have gotten one of those movie projectors!
Famous Monsters #99 features a Basil Gogos painted cover and is quite a stellar issue. The image of lycanthropy was a favorite subject on FM's covers and this is yet another sterling example of the famed Chaney Wolf Man.
Mae Clarke, menaced by Frankenstein way back in 1931, reads up on herself over 40 years later in Famous Monsters of Filmland magazine.
This is a publicity still from THE RAVEN (1963); one of several classic horror pictures based on Edgar Allan Poe and starring Vincent Price. This one featured Boris Karloff and Peter Lorre alongside Price. This is my favorite of the Price-Poe's.
Our local ABC affiliate back in the early 80s used to show horror and monster pictures (well, pretty much every channel did back then) late at night. When NWA Wrestling would go off at midnight, the remaining four or so hours belonged to Things That Go Bump In the Night.
It was here I first saw THE RAVEN (1963) and enjoyed it so much, I watched it nearly everyday after school. I like it just as much now as I did back then.
Here's a photo from a 1970s monster marathon awards show. There are a few familiar faces here including Count Yorga himself and Clu Gulager among others. Click the pic for the text.
This advertisement for a Warren Publishing Dracula book was being heavily promoted at the time. I never got hold of one, nor do I know how many issues were ever made, or if this was simply a one off. Maybe somebody out there reading this has one, or can add some information? Vampirella was a huge success for Warren at the time and Dracula occasionally featured as a nemesis in her magazine.
UNTIL NEXT TIME...