Sunday, September 17, 2017

This Week in Fright Film History Septmeber 17 - 23, 2017

Before I Hang (1940) a science fiction/ horror film released by Columbia Pictures, directed by Nick Grinde starring Boris Karloff was released on September 17, 1940. 

Revenge of the Zombies (1943) directed by Steve Sekely, starring John Carradine and Gale Storm was released on September 17, 1943. This film released during World War II depicts the story a mad scientist attempting to create a race of living dead warriors for the Third Reich.

The Haunting (1963)  directed and produced by Robert Wise was released on September 19, 1963. The screenplay was  adapted by Nelson Gidding from the 1959 novel The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson.  The film  stars Julie Harris, Claire Bloom, Richard Johnson, and Russ Tamblyn.

The Mummy's Hand (1940) released on September 20, 1940 was the first of a series of films featuring the mummy named Kharis. Tom Tyler played Kharis in this film but it would be Lon Chaney, Jr., who would take over the role for the following three sequels.

Herbert George "H. G." Wells, an English writer known for his work in the science fiction genre was born on September 21, 1866. His most notable science fiction works include The War of the Worlds, The Time Machine, The Invisible Man and The Island of Doctor Moreau.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

This Week in Fright Film History Septmeber 10-16, 2017

Maniac aka Sex Maniac, (1934) is an American exploitation/horror film, directed by Dwain Esper and written by Hildegarde Stadie, Esper's wife, as anadaptation of the Edgar Allan Poe story "The Black Cat" was released on September 11, 1934.  John Wilson, the founder of the Golden Raspberry Award, named Maniac(1934)  one of the "100 Most Amusingly Bad Movies Ever Made" in his book The Official Razzies Movie Guide.

The Man Who Changed His Mind (1936) a science fiction/ horror film directed by Robert Stevenson starring Boris Karloff and Anna Lee, was released in Great Britain on September 11, 1936 by Gainsborough Pictures. The film was also released under the titles The Brainsnatcher and The Man Who Lived Again.

The Blob (1958) an American horror/science-fiction film was released on September 12, 1958 and was Steve McQueen's debut leading role. The film's title song  written by Burt Bacharach and Mack David became a nationwide hit in the U.S.

Paul Wegener, the German actor, writer and film director known for his pioneering role in German Horror cinema died on September 13, 1948. He is best none for The Student of Prague (1913),The Golem (1915),The Golem and the Dancing Girl (1917) and The Golem: How He Came into the World (1920).

Sunday, September 3, 2017

This Week in Fright Film History September 3 - 9, 2017

Dead of Night (1945) is a British horror film produced By Michael Balcon the individual stories were directed by Alberto Cavalcanti, Charles Crichton, Basil Dearden and Robert Hamer. The film stars Mervyn Johns, Googie Withers and Michael Redgrave. Dead of Night (1945) is noted for being one of a very few British horror films produced during the 1940’s. the film was released in Britain on September 4, 1945.

Max Schreck (Friedrich Gustav Maximilian Schreck) a German actor who remembered for his lead role as Count Orlok in the film Nosferatu (1922) was born on September 6, 1879.

The Cat and the Canary (1927) is an American silent horror film adaptation of John Willard's 1922 play of the same name. Directed by German Expressionist filmmaker Paul Leni, the film was released on September 9.1927 and is considered by many to be a major influence in the "old dark house" genre of films produced from the 1930s through the 1950s.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

This week in Fright Film History August 28 - September 2, 2017

IThe Haunted Palace (1963) released on August 28, 1963. The film starred Vincent Price, Lon Chaney Jr., and Debra Paget and was directed by Roger Corman.  Although marketed as "Edgar Allan Poe's The Haunted Palace," the film is actually based The Case of Charles Dexter Ward, a novella by H. P. Lovecraft.

The Fly (1958) directed by Kurt Neumann and starring David Hedison, Patricia Owens and Vincent Price was released on August 29, 1958. The screenplay, written by James Clavell , was based the 1922 short story "The Fly" by George Langelaan.  The Fly (1958) was the biggest hit for director Kurt Neumann, unfortunately  he died a month after the premiere.

Isle of the Dead (1945) directed by Mark Robson and starred Boris Karloff was released on September 1, 1945.  The film was inspired by the painting Isle of the Dead by Arnold Böcklin. 

The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1923) directed by Wallace Worsley, starring Lon Chaney, and produced by Carl Laemmle and Irving Thalberg was released on September 2, 1923. The film was Universal's "Super Jewel" of 1923 and was their most successful silent film, grossing over $3 million. The film is noted for its remarkable sets as well as Lon Chaney's performance and special effects make-up.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

This Week in Fright Film History August 20 - 26, 2017

The Seventh Victim (1943) starring Tom Conway, Jean Brooks, Isabel Jewell, Kim Hunter (in her first film), and Hugh Beaumont, directed by Mark Robson was released August 21,1943.

Abbott and Costello Meet the Killer, Boris Karloff (1949) a comedy/ horror film starring Abbott and Costello and Boris Karloff was released on August 22, 1949. The full onscreen title is Bud Abbott and Lou Costello Meet the Killer, Boris Karloff.

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The Student of Prague (1913), with a run time of 1 hour 25 minutes, is hailed as the first true feature length film in history. The film premiered on August 22, 1913. It is reported the some of the audience members actually screamed when the student’s image steps out of the mirror. Although this effect was achieved with the ever so common double exposure technique that effect had never been seen by the movie going audience at that time and it did make quite an impression.

Lon Chaney, known for his roles in such silent horror films as The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1923), The Phantom of the Opera (1925) and London After Midnight (1927) died on August 26, 1930 from bronchial lung cancer, he was 47 years old.

The Head of Janus (1920) a German horror silent film directed by F. W. Murnau and written by Hans Janowitz . The film was an unauthorized adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson's novel The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, the German authorities did not recognize the source material due to the changes in the names of the characters. The director F.W. Murnau is best known for his film Nosferatu (1922) which was unauthorized adaptation of Bram Stoker’s Dracula. The film was released on August 26 ,1920

The Abominable Snowman (1957) was directed by Val Guest and released by Hammer Film Productions on August 26, 1957. The film is based on a 1955 BBC television play, The Creature, written by Nigel Kneale, who also wrote the screenplay adaptation for the film. The Abominable Snowman (1957) was released in the United States under the title of The Abominable Snowman of the Himalayas.


Sunday, August 13, 2017

This Week in Fright Film History August 13 - 19, 2017

H. G. Wells, an English writer known for his science fiction novels including The War of the Worlds, The Time Machine, The Invisible Man and The Island of Doctor Moreau died on  August 13, 1946 at the age of 79.

Bela Lugosi, famous for his starring role in the  Dracula (1931) and his various roles in other horror films,  died of a heart attack on August 16, 1956 in his Los Angeles home. He was 73.

Cry of the Werewolf (1944) aka Daughter of the Werewolf,  an American horror film starring Nina Foch, Stephen Crane and Osa Massen was released on August 17, 1944. The film is based on a story by Griffin Jay and was directed by Henry Levin.

The Man They Could Not Hang (1939) directed by Nick Grinde, and starring Boris Karloff, Lorna Gray, and Ann Doran was released on August 17, 1939.

 H. P. Lovecraft born was on  August 20, 1890 . He was a virtually unknown author during his lifetime and only published in pulp magazines while living in poverty. He achieved posthumous fame through his influential works of horror fiction and is now regarded as one of the most significant 20th-century authors in the horror genre.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

This Week in Fright Film History August 6 -12, 2017

Caltiki – The Immortal Monster (1959) Italian science fiction horror film directed by Riccardo Freda was released on August 8, 1959. Riccardo Freda claims that he abandoned the film so that future director Mario Bava would have a chance to direct. 

Abbott and Costello Meet Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1953) a comedy/horror film directed by Charles Lamont and starring the comedy team of Bud Abbott and Lou Costello, and Boris Karloff was relased August 10, 1953.

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1941) an American horror film directed by Victor Fleming, director of Gone with the Wind and The Wizard of Oz was released August 12, 1941.  This film version featured an all-star cast including Spencer Tracy, Ingrid Bergman and Lana Turner. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde  (1941) was remake of the 1931 film of the same name, both movies were based on Robert Louis Stevenson's 1886 novella The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer acquired the rights to the 1931 film from Paramount Pictures.  To keep the 1931 film out of circulation, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer ordered every print of the 1931 film that could be located destroyed. The film was considered lost until a full version was found and was restored.

H. G. Wells, an English writer known for his science fiction works including The War of the Worlds, The Time Machine, The Invisible Man and The Island of Doctor Moreau died on  August 13, 1946 at the age of 79.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

This Week in Fright Film History July 30 - August 5, 2017

Invisible Agent (1942) the fourth film in the Universal Studios Invisible Man series, was directed by Edwin L. Marin, screenplay by Curt Siodmak, who had co-written The Invisible Man Returns in 1940. Siodmak, a refugee from Nazi Germany, gave the film a strong anti-Nazi tone.  Invisible Agent (1942 was a wartime propaganda production film meant to boost morale at the American home front was released on July 31, 1942.  The film starred Peter Lorre, Sir Cedric Hardwicke, Ilona Massey and Jon Hall as Frank Raymond as the Invisible agent.

Mad Love (1935) a film adaptation of Maurice Renard's story The Hands of Orlac was directed by Karl Freund, and was Peter Lorre’s , American film debut. The film which also stars Frances Drake and Colin Clive was released on August 2, 1935.

White Zombie (1932) was released on August 4, 1932. This Pre-Code horror film was the first feature length zombie film which featured   Bela Lugosi and former silent film star Madge Bellamy.

Halloween H20: 20 Years Later (1998) the seventh installment in the Halloween film series was released on August 5, 1998.  The film was directed by Steve Miner and starring Jamie Lee Curtis, who had made her film debut in Halloween(1978).

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Tuesday's Fright Film Tidbit

To create make-up for The Mummy (1932) , Jack Pierce glued several layers of cotton onto Boris Karloff's face. After Pierce had finished applying the makeup. Karloff was unable to speak or move his facial muscles.

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