As Dr. Van Helsing searches the country side for his friend Jonathan Harker, he soon discovers his friend met a terrible demise by the hands of a Count Dracula. Now Van Helsing must rush to the aide of Harkers relatives as Dracula’s vengeance becomes a plague upon the entire Harker family.
The year was 1957 when Hammer Film Productions made its first attempt to revamp the popular horror icons. First starting with Frankenstein, Hammer would produce their first in color horror film titled The Curse of Frankenstein. Placing Peter Cushing as the infamous Victor Frankenstein and Christopher Lee as the monster. The film was a major success in both England and The United States and would be the first to spawn a new trend of gothic horror films. From there on Hammer would proceed to make Dracula (or Horror of Dracula).
Horror of Dracula was…
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The year was 1923 and Universal Pictures made the silent film adaptation of Victor Hugo’s gothic novel, The Hunchback of Notre Dame. With its amazing sets of fifteen hundreds Paris and starring the makeup genius Lon Chaney as Quasimodo, the film was a huge success and is the most successful silent film. Chaney, a pioneer of make up effects brought on his A game to the film, setting him apart from most actors.
Two years later Universal releases 1925’s The Phantom Of The Opera. Another silent film featuring Chaney as the phantom and another role that would established his reputation into legendary status. As Chaney would go on as a dominant name in make up effects and Hollywood, Universal Pictures was merely making a small crack in cinema history.
In 1931 Universal begins the very first cinematic universe featuring popular monsters like Dracula, Frankenstein and The Invisible Man. Universal also…
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by Paul Batters
Of all the monsters in the pantheon of the ‘children of the night’, perhaps none have had such an impact on the sympathies of an audience as the Frankenstein Monster. Many films have been made where Shelly’s Gothic tale is told or at least appropriated. Yet none have ever been able to match Boris Karloff’s performance as Dr. Frankenstein’s near-immortal creation.
This discussion does not aim to focus on the mechanics of the film-making process of the first three films nor their storylines; insomuch that if they are brought up, it’s done so as a reflection of Karloff’s performance. Indeed, a great deal of discussion and discourse has already covered the making of the three films I would like to focus on. If anything, this is a celebration of Karloff’s portrayal.
In popular culture, the Frankenstein Monster has become reduced to a mindless brute – a near-indestructible…
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Back to my childhood for today’s pick. Whoa, wait… is that a Disney movie!? Why yes it is. But listen to Daddy Jeff here. Do not let that dissuade you because this isn’t any ordinary Disney flick. Oh no. This little ditty was from back when Disney wasn’t afraid to make some seriously creepy movies. They knew that sometimes kids actually like to be scared. What a concept! Gee, I wonder why Halloween is so popular… but I digress. Something Wicked This Way Comes is based on a Ray Bradbury book, plus he actually wrote the screenplay, so it’s got the same feel. And as we all know, Ray knows how to deliver the creepy goods. The story circles around a small town that is visited by a traveling carnival (that mysteriously arrives and sets up in the middle of the night), and soon after the sweet townspeople start to…
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Yep. It’s time to go back to the classics. The Universal classics, baby. It’s time for Franken-freaking-stein, mother-effers. This is such a damn great movie. You know, we’re so used to these iconic creatures and established tropes, that you sometimes forget that they all started somewhere. Mary Shelley’s book was the inspiration, but so much of what we immediately link with Frankenstein’s monster come from this classic. The bolts in the neck, the sunken stare, and most importantly Boris FREAKIN’ Karloff… all right here. Watching Karloff’s performance is so much of the fun here. He’s childish, yet menacing. His confusion and learning process is soulful. It’s fun to watch a brand-new (unknown at the time) master at work. What’s fun about Frankenstein is that watching with modern eyes it’s still an amazing film, but if you try to put yourself in the eyes of a 1931 viewer, holy hell you…
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“They’re coming to get you Barbra.” Such a perfect, memorable, and foreboding line to start a perfect, memorable, and foreboding film. If only young George Romero knew the extent of the explosion he was creating when he did this little flesh-eating zombie film in good ole Pittsburgh. Yep, no-brainer choice today. I usually hold the real no-brainers for Halloween every year, but I was deciding between two films this year and couldn’t choose. Instead, I’m ending my 2015 list with TWO no-brainers. I couldn’t wait anymore; I had to write about each film now. First, it’s this masterpiece. I love the original Night of the Living Dead. It summarizes everything I love about horror films. It’s claustrophobic; it’s dread inducing; it has an array of interesting characters; and as has been dissected many times over, it actually says something. This is Halloween viewing 101. Night of the Living Dead is…
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Looks like we have a new release of universal reaction figures from super 7. Screen shots attached!