Monday, February 22, 2010
Dwight Frye, born February 22, 1899, was a very prominent character actor of stage and film, mostly known for his work in many of the early Universal monster classics. Many of us remember him as Renfield, the Count's dutiful slave in 1931's Dracula, and as the bumbling but torturous Fritz in 1931's Frankenstein. Dwight went on to act in many other classic Univseral films, such as The Bride Of Frankenstein, The Invisible Man, Son Of Frankenstein and many others. Labeled as "The Man with the Thousand-Watt Stare", Dwight specialized in portraying mentally disturbed criminal types. His roles weren't always the biggest, but he was always truly unforgettable. Alice Cooper even recorded a tribute to Dwight with his song "The Ballad of Dwight Fry", check out the video below of Alice performing the song live! Happy Birthday Dwight, you madman you!!
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
I usually don't do movie reviews, and I usually keep my opinions of films to myself, since I do realize that everyone has their own tastes, likes and dislikes when it comes to movies, but I thought I'd share this one.
I learned long ago that if I were to ever watch a remake, there is no way I could go into it and expect to compare it to the original. I've seen some very bad remakes in my life, and the fact that I compared it to the original film only escalated my dislike for the remake, so now I watch remakes with no expectations and with a fresh approach, as if it were a movie or story I have never seen or heard.
With that being said, I watched The Wolfman on Sunday, and I absolutely loved it! Yes, there are many elements of the original 1941 The Wolf Man, starring Lon Chaney Jr. in it, the main story of Lawrence Talbot returning to England, being bitten by a werewolf, and in turn becoming one himself is still intact, but they have added many elements to the story, and the film definitely benefits from it. The movie was beautifully filmed, the cinematography was amazing, and the score written by Danny Elfman (a personal inspiration to me) was fantastic. The cast, Benicio Del Toro, Anthony Hopkins, Emily Blunt and the rest, were great and the acting all around was top notch.
I have always been a huge fan of Rick Baker's make-up work (look for his cameo in the film), ever since An American Werewolf In London, and his work on The Wolfman is no exception, it was brilliant! I was expecting to see way too much CGI work, but I was pleasantly surprised at how much traditional make-up was used as opposed to CGI work. Of course the transformation scenes were mostly CGI (as you can see in the trailers) but once the transformations are complete, it's pretty much Benicio in full-on Wolfman make-up. I really loved how they kept the make-up true to Universal tradition, having borrowed from the original Lon Chaney Jr.'s Wolfman as well as Hammer's The Curse Of The Werewolf. I don't want to give too much away, but I truly enjoyed The Wolfman, so much in fact that I would love to see it again! They did a magnificent job with this film, in every aspect..again, this is my opinion, but I do have to say, if you are a fan of the classic Universal horror films and the Hammer films, then you would most likely enjoy The Wolfman! I will warn the faint of heart, it is quite gruesome and bloody at times, so be prepared!
Ricou Browning was born February 16, 1930, and is most famous for portraying the Creature in all the underwater scenes for The Creature From The Black Lagoon, The Revenge Of The Creature and The Creature Walks Among Us. Although Ricou is mostly known for his work as the Creature, Ricou was also a stunt man, producer, cinematographer, writer and director, writing and directing many episodes on the Flipper TV show, as well as feature films. Ricou has been involved in film and television, in front and behind the camera, for over 50 years. Happy Birthday Ricou, may you have many more!
Thursday, February 11, 2010
Bobby "Boris" Pickett was born February 11, 1938, and went on to record possibly the most famous of all monster novelty records, The Monster Mash. The Monster Mash, billed as recorded by "Bobby "Boris" Pickett and the Crypt-Kickers" was a spoof of many of the popular dance crazes of the time, such as the Twist and the Mashed Potato. Bobby went on to record a full-length album, which along with The Monster Mash featured many songs, such as The Transylvania Twist, Blood Bank Blues, and Wolfbane, which is featured on this month's Monster Spookshow Radio! Below is a video of Bobby performing The Monster Mash at Chiller Theater in 2006, featuring the one and only horror host with the most, Zacherle, and music provided by The Dead Elvi! Enjoy the video...and a very Happy Birthday to Mr. Pickett!
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Lon Chaney Jr. was born February 10, 1906, and although he was born to the legendary "man of 1,000 faces", Lon Chaney himself, Lon Jr. managed to make a mark himself as a horror legend. Lon Jr. will always be remembered for his portrayal of Lawrence Talbot in Universal Studio's The Wolfman, but Lon Jr. was no stranger to the screen, having acted in almost 70 films before starring in The Wolfman. Lon went on to portray many other famous hollywood monsters, such as The Son Of Dracula, Kharis the mummy in The Mummy's Tomb, The Mummy's Ghost, The Mummy's Curse, and the Frankenstein monster in The Ghost Of Frankenstein. Lon was also well versed in other genres, having starred in many westerns and dramas. Before starring in The Wolfman, Lon gained alot of attention for his role as Lennie in 1939's Of Mice And Men, co-starring Burgess Meredith. To read about Lon Jr,'s diverse career, check out his Wikipedia page. Happy Howlin' Birthday Lon Jr.!
Friday, February 5, 2010
John Carradine was born on February 5th, 1906, and went on to become one of Hollywood's greatest character actors, not only in the horror genre, but many of Hollywood's mainstream films and television shows. John was also the father of famous actors David Carradine, Keith Carradine and Robert Carradine, all who have also had very successful careers in film. John amassed a total of over 230 film appearances, playing everything from mad scientists, henchmen, cowboys, and even Count Dracula himself! John can be seen in such classic films as The Bride Of Frankenstein, The Grapes Of Wrath, House Of Frankenstein, The Astro-Zombies, and one of my favorite John Carradine appearances in The Howling. To read all about John's long and substantial career, check out his Wikipedia page. Happy Birthday John!
Thursday, February 4, 2010
George Romero, born February 4th, 1940, will always be remembered for 1 thing....ZOMBIES! Considered the "godfather" of the zombie genre, George Romero started the ball rolling back in 1968 with the legendary "Night Of The Living Dead". George has gone on to establish himself as a true master of horror with his "Dead" series of films, as well as other classics as Martin, Creepshow, The Crazies, and many others. I had the pleasure of meeting George at the San Diego Comic Con a couple of years back (photo below) and he indeed was a very funny and friendly man. Happy Birthday to the king of zombies, George Romero!
Monday, February 1, 2010
Hello-o my little creepies!
Welcome to the 21st installment of
MONSTER SPOOKSHOW RADIO!
We're well under way in 2010 already, I can't believe it's February! In honor of the upcoming
release of Universal Studio's remake of The Wolfman, this month's Spookshow offers up a couple
of howlin' good werewolf tunes, as well as some romantically rancid ditties for the lovers who
eagerly await Valentine's Day!
This month's gloriously gooey anthems are:
CEMETERY GIRLS - Coffin Draggers
GRAVEYARD GLORIA F.O.D. - The Bones
THE WEREWOLF BLUES - The Guana Batz
MY BABY LOVES MONSTER MOVIES - Dickie Goodman
LIVING DEAD GIRL - The Rock-It Dogs
NIGHT OF THE WEREWOLF - Lee Kristofferson
MY DYING BRIDE - Blitzkid
GHOULINA - Nekromantix
DEAR, DEAR VALENTINE - Zacherle
CANNIBAL GIRL - Cult Of The Psychic Fetus
THE CREEP - The Vampires
BLOODY MARY - Famous Monsters
DOROTHY, MY MONSTER - The Companions
SPOOKY GIRL - The Ghastly Ones
200 LB. WEREWOLF - The Neanderthals
BURN SHE-DEVIL BURN - The Cramps
CARRY ME BACK TO TRANSYLVANIA - Gene Moss
WOLFBANE - Bobby "Boris" Pickett
MAUSOLEUM GIRL - Murderland
Just click on the image above to get the latest installment of
MONSTER SPOOKSHOW RADIO!
George Van Orsdel