Well, a lobby card it ain’t, but I lucked out and managed to score a lobby photo from Ed Wood‘s cult classic The Bride of the Monster on eBay this week, so I finished off my X-Mas shopping with a little something for myself. From 1956, approx. 8×10″ with some slight bit of yellowing, it’s a nice start of what I hope will be a future collection of Wood memorabilia, and I’ll make sure to give it a special place on my living room wall. I’m not gonna say how much it cost, but I consider this to be the find of 2012. And unlike some of the other items on the market this came with a reasonable pricetag!
I think it’s a cruel irony that the poor filmmaker that spent a lifetime experiencing ridicule and defeat upon heartbreaking defeat – slowly sending him off on a downward spiral with alcohol – never got to experience how two years after his death in 1978 him and his work starting to gather a loyal cult following. Every piece of promotional material that was thrown away in disgust by frustrated distributors and theatre owners back in the 1950s (and according to The Hollywood Book and Poster interview in Mark Patrick Carducci‘s Saucers Over Hollywood didn’t cost more than a couple of bucks up until the 80s) are now at a feverish point where a copy of the original script will set you back at least $30. And that’s not all. How about a full set of Bride of the Monster lobby cards for almost $1,700? Or a second set for $1,800 – and those are not even in mint condition! I am so envious of a friend of mine (who’s name I won’t reveal out of respect for his privacy) that scored that very same set for the amazing bargain of just $75.
Even though my personal fave from Wood is his 1953 debut Glen or Glenda?, the Bride of the Monster is part of his infamous “trilogy” – peaking with his Plan 9 From Outer Space in 1959 – but Ed kept going up until the 70s, mainly writing and directing various porn movies (for a dose of true surrealism I can recommend his 1971 Necromania: A Tale of Weird Love starring my fave cutie troll Rene Bond.) The Bride of the Monster is easily available in numerous releases, but you can check it out on YouTube:
Filed under Film, Photos, Web
Well, today marks the 130th birthday of horror legend Bela Lugosi. Born Béla Ferenc Dezső Blaskó in Hungary in 1882, he migrated to the USA in 1921 after a brief stint in Germany where he starred in F.W. Murnau‘s Der Januskopf among other films. His main performance was of course as Dracula in the Broadway play that later turned into Universal Pictures‘ 1931 box office hit – although the studio initially wanted Boris Karloff to star in it.
During his life time Bela starred in over 100 movies and found himself being somewhat typecasted by a Hollywood that insisted on casting him as the proverbial bad guy. Battling a morphine addiction during the 50s he made a meager living starring in various “b-movies” such as the god-awful Bela Lugosi Meets a Brooklyn Gorilla before striking up a friendship with fan-boy/director Edward D. Wood Jr – forming a working relationship that resulted in the cult classics Glen or Glenda, Bride of the Monster and Plan 9 From Outer Space.
Much has been said about Wood’s work – in Brett Thompson‘s 1995 documentary The Haunted World of Edward D. Wood Jr. Bela’s son Bela Lugosi Jr. delivers some pretty harsh sentiments – and the infamous Medved Brothers sure made a mint putting down the filmmaker, but I consider that poor drunken transvestite to be a true American auteur who’s ouvre was unique and truly had a language of its own. There’s tons of “awful” movies out there that makes for some pretty excruciating viewing, but you’ll never mistake them for Ed’s. His celluloid atrocities are perfectly wrong masterpieces, shock-full of entertainment value that never fails to grab (and maintain!) the attention of the viewer. And say what you will about film but that is its main objective – to fascinate and entertain us. And based on that criteria I’d say Ed succeded.
Considered to be in the public domain (on account of a divorce snafu) you can enjoy Bela, Vampira and Criswell (oh Lord, I just love Criswell!) in the originally titled Grave Robbers from Outer Space from 1959 on YouTube. Check it out:
Filed under Film, News, Web
I stumbled across this via the super creepy Creepy Dolls page on Facebook. TV-host Gene Moss aka Shrimpenstein was one of many cool horror-themed children’s programme entertainers like Ghoulardi or Vampira that also released some nifty novelty records back in the 60s. Looking at clips of these lost slices of Americana I sure wish this phenomena could come back ’cause what could possibly be more fun than late nights spent watching say Carnival of Souls, Plan 9 From Outer Space,and Robot Monster with a cool host hamming it up between commercial breaks?
Oh well. Check out The “Shrimpenstein” Song and visit Creepy Dolls for some disturbing imagery here.
Filed under Other Music, Web