Sunday, November 19, 2017

This Week in Fright Film History November 19 - 25, 2017

Frankenstein (1931)directed by James Whale and stars Colin Clive, Mae Clarke, Boris Karloff, Dwight Frye and Edward van Sloan is released on November 21, 1931.

Jamie Lee Curtis who starred in a number of horror films including, Halloween (1978), The Fog (1980), Prom Night (1980), Halloween II (1981) and Halloween: Resurrection (2002), was born on November 22, 1958.

Michael Gough, English character actor who is known for his roles in the Hammer Horror Films and his role as Alfred Pennyworth in four films of the Burton/ Schumacher Batman films was born on November 23, 1917.

William Henry Pratt aka BORIS KARLOFF the youngest of nine children was born on November 23, 1887. Karloff once said of Frankenstein's creature, a role which he immortalized in 1931, “The monster not only gave me recognition as an actor it created for me a certain niche, which has given me a career”

One Body Too Many (1944) a comedy-horror film directed by Frank McDonald, starring Bela Lugosi and Jack Haley who was best known for his role as the Tin Man in The Wizard of Oz (1939) was released on November 24, 1944.

The Ghoul (1933)  a British horror film starring Boris Karloff, Cedric Hardwicke, Ernest Thesiger, and Ralph Richardson, was released in the United States on November 25,1933.

The Phantom of the Opera (1925) an American silent horror film adaptation of the Gaston Leroux’s novel of the same title was released on November 25, 1925. The film was directed by Rupert Julian and starred Lon Chaney as the Phantom and Mary Philbin as Christine Daaé.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

This Week in Fright Film History - November 12 - 18, 2017

The Mad Ghoul (1943) also known as Mystery of the Ghoul, starred Turhan Bey, Evelyn Ankers, David Bruce, and Milburn Stone, who would later play ‘Doc” on the television series Gunsmoke.  The Mad Ghoul (1943)was released on November 12, 1943. The Mad Ghoul (1943) was the last film of director James P. Hogan, who died shortly after finishing the film.

The Invisible Man (1933) an American science fiction/horror film based on H. G. Wells' science fiction novel The Invisible Man(1897) was released on November 13, 1933. The film was directed by James Whale and stars Claude Rains, in his first American screen appearance, and Gloria Stuart. It is considered by many to be one of the greatest Universal Horror films of the 1930s.

Waxworks (1924) a German silent horror film directed by Paul Leni. Waxworks (1924)   is an anthology film that goes through several genres including a fantasy adventure, a historical film, and a horror film through its various episodes. It was released on November 13, 1924.

Goodwife Ann "Goody" Glover (died November 16, 1688) was the last person to be hanged in Boston as a witch. Three hundred years later in 1988, the Boston City Council proclaimed November 16 as Goody Glover Day.

Salem's Lot (1979) was first broadcast on American television by CBS on November 17 and 24 1979 in two 2-hours segments. Salem's Lot (1979) was adaptation of the novel of the same name by Stephen King and starred David Soul and James Mason.

Tower of London (1939) released on November 17, 1939 was an American horror film directed by Rowland V. Lee. It stars Basil Rathbone, Boris Karloff and Vincent Price. The Tower of London (1939) was Price's first horror film.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

This Week in Fright Film History - November 5- 11, 2017

The Headless Horseman (1922) an American horror film released on November 5, 1922 was  adaption of Washington Irvings The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. The film featured American humorist and actor Will Rogers.

Son of Dracula (1943)  directed by Robert Siodmak  and  starring Lon Chaney, Jr. and Evelyn Ankers was released on November 5, 1943.   Son of Dracula (1943)  is the first film to show a vampire transforming into a bat. It was the third film in Universal Studios' Dracula trilogy, beginning with Dracula (1931)and Dracula's Daughter(1936).

Dwight Frye, best  remembered for portraying  Renfield in  Dracula (1931) and  Fritz in Frankenstein (1931) died of a heart attack while riding on a bus in Hollywood on November 7, 1943.

Abraham "Bram" Stoker the Irish novelist who created the most famous vampire in literature, Count Dracula was born on November 8, 1847 in Clontarf, Ireland.

Claude Rains an English stage and film actor whose career spanned 46 years. He was known for many roles in horror films, including The Invisible Man (1933), The Wolf Man (1941), and Phantom of the Opera (1943) was born on November 10, 1889

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Groovie Goolies Monster Mash Music Video

This Week in Fright Film History - October 29 - November 4

The Golem: How He Came Into the World (1920) a silent horror film co-directed by and starring Paul Wegener as the Golem was released on October 29,1920.  The film was directed by Carl Boese and Wegener, written by Wegener and Henrik Galeen.   The Golem: How He Came Into the World (1920) is a prequel to The Golem (1915) and The Golem and the Dancing Girl (1917) and is the only one of the three films that has not been lost. 

Halloween II (1981)  the second installment in the Halloween,  directed by Rick Rosenthal, written and produced by John Carpenter and Debra Hill, was  released on October 30, 1981.

Edward Van Sloan  remembered for his roles in horror films such as Dracula (1931), Frankenstein (1931), and The Mummy (1932), was born on November 1, 1882.

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 the United States on November 1, 1936 by Gainsborough Pictures. The film was also released under the titles The Brainsnatcher and The Man Who Lived Again.

Carrie (1976) an American horror film based on the 1974 novel of the same name by Stephen King was released on November 3, 1976. The film was directed by Brian De Palma, written by Lawrence D. Cohen and starred Sissy Spacek, Piper Laurie and John Travolta. Carrie (1976) was the first of King's novels to be adapted for film. Sissy Spacek was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress and Piper Laurie was nominated for Best Supporting Actress.

Godzilla  (1954) a Japanese science fiction  film produced by Toho, directed by Ishirō Honda, and featuring special effects by Eiji Tsuburaya was rleased on November 4, 1954.

The Mask of Fu Manchu (1932) starring Boris Karloff and Myrna Loy was released on November 5,1932. Directed by Charles Brabin, this film is considered the best of the Fu Manchu films produced during the 1930s.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

This Week in Fright Film History October 22 - 28, 2017

The Boogie Man Will Get You (1942) a comedy/ horror film, directed by Lew Landers, starring Boris Karloff and Peter Lorre was released on October 22, 1942. It was the last film Karloff made under his contract with Columbia Pictures.

Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982) and the third installment in the Halloween franchise with a science fiction twist was released on October 22, 1982.   Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982) is noted for being the only film in the Halloween series that does not revolve around Michael Myers or any other elements from Halloween I or II.  Jamie Lee Curtis had an uncredited role as phone operator (voice only).

The Mummy's Tomb  (1942) the  sequel to The Mummy's Hand (1940)  in which Lon Chaney, Jr. plays the part of Kharis the mummy for the first time was released on October 23, 1942. Make-up artist Jack Pierce spent up to eight hours to wrap Chaney. It is rumored that Lon Chaney, Jr. disliked the role of Kharis the mummy.

Una O'Connor was born on October 23, 1880. She  was an Irish actress appeared in Frankenstein (1931), The Invisible Man (1933) and Bride of Frankenstein (1935) .

The Magician(1926) an American horror film directed by Rex Ingram about a magician's efforts to create life was released on October 24, 1926. The film was adapted from the novel The Magician by W. Somerset Maugham

October 25, 1978 the first installment of the Halloween franchise Halloween (1978) was released. Directed and scored by John Carpenter and starring Donald Pleasence and Jamie Lee Curtis in her film debut. Halloween (1978) has since become a horror classic.

The Student of Prague (1926) a German silent film by actor and filmmaker Henrik Galeen. It is a remake of The Student of Prague (1913). Written by Hanns Heinz Ewers the film was released on October 25, 1926.

Vincent Price an American actor, best known for his distinctive voice and roles in horror films, died of lung cancer on October 25, 1993.

Jackie Coogan, child actor, World War II glider pilot and TV star was born on October 26, 1914.   Coogan is best remembered as Chaplin's sidekick in The Kid (1921) and Uncle Fester on 1960s sitcom The Addams Family, earned an estimated $3 to $4 million.  However the money he earned as a child star was spent by his mother and stepfather. Coogan’s mother stated, "No promises were ever made to give Jackie anything. Every dollar a kid earns before he is 21 belongs to his parents. Jackie will not get a cent of his earnings" and claimed that "Jackie was a bad boy’. In 1938 Coogan sued his mother and step-father and received $125,000, a faction of what he had earned. The suit resulted in the enactment of the California Child Actor's Bill, often referred to as the Coogan Law or the Coogan Act. This requires that a child actor's employer but 15% of the earnings into a trust, called a Coogan Account. 

Die, Monster, Die! (1965)  directed by Daniel Haller and starring Boris Karloff was released on October 27, 1965. The film is based loosely on H.P. Lovecraft's story The Colour Out of Space.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

This Week in Fright Film History October 15 - 21, 2017

The Evil Dead (1981) written and directed by Sam Raimi and executive produced by Raimi and Bruce Campbell. Campbell also starred in the film with Ellen Sandweiss and Betsy Baker. The Evil Dead (1981) released theatrically on October 15 1981.

Dr. Renault's Secret (1942) is an American horror movie that was released on October 19, 1942. Directed by Harry Lachman was written by William Bruckner and Robert Metzler, the B-rated film revolves around the mad scientist, Dr. Renault. The film starred J. Carrol Naish, Shepperd Strudwick, Lynne Roberts, and George Zucco.

Béla Lugosi (Béla Ferenc Dezső Blaskó) a Hungarian-American actor, famous for his starring role in Dracula (1931) and his various roles in other horror films, was born on October 20, 1882.

The Old Dark House (1932) a comedy/horror film directed by James Whale and starring Boris Karloff was released on October 20, 1932. The film was based on J. B. Priestley’s 1927 novel Benighted.

Night Monster (1942) a Universal horror film featuring Bela Lugosi and Lionel Atwill  and directed by Ford Beebe. For publicity top billing was given billing was given to Lugosi and Atwill, who both played supporting roles. The film was released on October 20, 1942.

Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers is the fourth installment of the Halloween film series, directed by Dwight H. Little and written by Alan B. McElroy. The film was released on October 21, 1988.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

This Week in Fright Film History - October 08 to October 14, 2017

Ed Wood Jr. an American screenwriter, director, producer, actor,
author and film editor was born October 10, 1924. In the 1950s, Wood wrote, produced and directed a number of low-budget science fiction, horror and western films.  In the 1960s and 1970s, he began making pornographic movies and wrote over 80 pulp crime, horror and sex novels. In 1980, he was posthumously awarded a Golden Turkey Award as Worst Director of All Time. 

The Door with Seven Locks (1940) a British film directed by Norman Lee and starring Leslie Banks, Lilli Palmer, Romilly Lunge, and Gina Malo. Released in Great Britian on October 12, 1940 the film was based on the novel The Door with Seven Locks by Edgar Wallace. The Door with Seven Locks (1940) was released  in the United States by Monogram Pictures retitled as  Chamber of Horrors on December 20, 1940.

Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers (1989) the fifth installment in the Halloween film series directed by Dominique Othenin-Girard and starring Donald Pleasence again as Dr. Sam Loomis, was released on October 13, 1989. The film has the distinction of being the only Halloween movie that has never released in Italy.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

This Week in Fright Film History October 1 - 7, 2017

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.

Tod Browning, best known as the director of Dracula (1931), Freaks (1932) and a number of classic silent films with Lon Chaney, died from lung cancer on October 6, 1962, he was 82.

Edgar Allan Poe, an American author, poet, editor, and literary critic, best known for his tales of mystery and the macabre, died on October 7, 1849 under mysterious
circumstances. The actual cause of his death still remains a mystery.