Sunday, September 25, 2016

This Week in Fright Film History September 25 – October 1, 2016





The Mummy (1959) directed by Terence Fisher and starring Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing was released theatrically on September 25, 1959.









Charles Samuel "Chas" Addams an American cartoonist known for creating the comic strip  The Addams Family” died on  September 29, 1988.








 The Ape (1940) a Monogram Pictures film produced and directed by William Nigh and, starring Boris Karloff was released on  September  30, 1940. This would be the last film in Boris Karloff's 6-picture contract with Monogram. He would however return in 1958 for "Frankenstein-1970."
  

 Kongo  (1932) a nearly forgotten and rarely seen film is an American horror film released on October 1, 1932. The film was directed by William J. Cowen, and starred Walter Huston, Lupe Vélez, and Virginia Bruce. Kongo (1932) is a remake of the 1928 film West of Zanzibar, directed by Tod Browning and starring Lon Chaney and Lionel Barrymore, which was also based on the 1926 play Kongo.






George A. Romero's Night of the Living Dead (1959) premiered at the Fulton Theatre in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on October 1, 1968, admission by invitation only and was met with a standing ovation.Night of the Living Dead (1968) was George A. Romero's feature debut and became one of the most successful independent films ever made.





The Brute Man (1946) an American horror film starring Rondo Hatton, Tom Neal and Jan Wiley and directed by Jean Yarbrough was released on October 1, 1946 to very negative reviews. Rondo Hatton suffered from a condition called Gigantism and Universal Studios attempting to capitalize on his condition for shock value, signed Hatton on for a six movie contract. The studio publicity department would often promote the fact that Hatton had no need for special makeup. Unfortunately Hatton died before the release of The Brute Man (1946).  Some film historians claim Universal was so embarrassed at exploiting Hatton’s illness for shock value that it sold the film to the Producers Releasing Corporation rather than issue it directly. Once considered a lost film it has been rediscovered and was released to home video in 1982.





Sunday, September 18, 2016

This Week in Fright Film History Septmeber 18 - 24, 2016









The Haunting (1963) was  directed and produced by Robert Wise. 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.























Friday, September 16, 2016

Friday's Fright Film Fact


During breaks in filming of The Ghost of Frankenstein (1942), Lon Chaney Jr. would often treat child cast members to ice cream.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Tuesday's Fright Film Tidbit




Conrad Veidt’s character, Gwynplaine in The Man Who Laughs (1928) is credited with being the inspiraton for The Joker, Batman's arch nemesis.




Sunday, September 11, 2016

This Week in Fright Film History Septmeber 11 - 17 , 2015


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).









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.










Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Tuesday’s Fright Film Tidbit


In the film Frankenstein (1931), Frankenstein’s first name is Henry and his friend’s name is Victor, however in the novel, Frankenstein’s first name is Victor and his friend is named Henry. The names were switched because the studio believed that the name Victor would seem "severe" and "unfriendly" to the American audience.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

This Week in Fright Film History September 4 - 10, 2016





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.




















Friday, September 2, 2016

Friday's Fright Film Fact


The Body Snatcher (1945) is based the short story The Body Snatcher (1884) by  Robert Louis Stevenson which was based loosely on the Burke and Hare murders also known as the West Port murders. Burke and Hare were accused of committing a string of murders in Edinburgh, Scotland over a period of approximately ten months in 1828. William Burke and William Hare reportedly sold 16 corpses to a Doctor Robert Knox for his anatomy lectures. When faced with a shortage of suitable corpses, Burke and Hare began murdering people and selling the bodies to the unsuspecting Dr. Knox.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Tuesday's Fright Film Tidbit


According to film historians  Murders in the Rue Morgue (1932) was meant as a consolation prize for actor Bela Lugosi and Robert Florey, who had both been dropped from Frankenstein (1931).  Robert Florey who had originally been assigned as director for the film, wanted Lugosi to play the role of Dr. Frankenstein but, Carl Laemmie Jr., the producer, did not want Lugosi for that role and recast him in the part of the creature.  After several screen-tests with Lugosi as the creature, Laemmle didn't like the results and fired both Florey and Lugosi. Laemmle then hired up and coming director James Whale who in turn cast Boris Karloff in the role of the creature.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

This week in Fright Film History August 28 - September 3, 2016




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.



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.