14 Reanimated Facts About “The Bride of Frankenstein”

Mark Mancini and Mental_Floss present 14 Reanimated Facts About The Bride of Frankenstein.  Here are three of my favorites…

In the original Frankenstein’s thrilling climax, the monster seems to meet its demise inside of a windmill that’s caught fire. So when we first see the creature in Bride, the big brute is riddled with obvious burns. Also, a lot of his hair has obviously been singed off. For subsequent scenes, however, makeup artist Jack Pierce incrementally toned down the burns and replaced some of the hair. This created the illusion that the monster was slowly recovering from its injuries over the course of the film.

Although the creature had been a mute in the first movie, Whale decided that the reanimated corpse ought to pick up some basic language skills during the sequel. Both Karloff and the studio disagreed quite strongly, but in the end, Whale got his way. Sara Karloff—the actor’s daughter—explained her father’s reservations in the DVD documentary She’s Alive! Creating the Bride of Frankenstein. “He felt it would take away from [his performance in the original film] and I think he was wrong,” she said. “History, cinema history, has proven him wrong.”

“It’s a lot of people’s favorite horror film,” said bestselling author Neil Gaiman of The Bride of Frankenstein. “Dammit, it’s my favorite horror film.” In the above clip, Gaiman recalls staying up late as a boy to catch both Frankenstein and its 1935 sequel in a televised double-feature. What did he think? “Frankenstein was a huge disappointment to me,” Gaiman admitted, but he fell in love with the atmospheric Bride and remains a fan to this day. He is especially fond of the climax, which he cites as his favorite “two to three minutes of film, ever.” Another celebrity admirer is Guillermo del Toro, who, in a 2008 conversation with Rotten Tomatoes, ranked The Bride of Frankenstein as one of his top five films.

The Walking Dead 100 Project

The Ken Lashley cover is my favorite from the Heroes Initiative Walking Dead 100 Project.

The Heroes Initiative is an organization that…

…creates a financial safety net for comic creators who may need emergency medical aid, financial support for essentials of life, and an avenue back into paying work. Since inception, the Hero Initiative has been fortunate enough to benefit more than 50 creators and their families with over $950,000 worth of much-needed aid, fueled by your contributions! It’s a chance for all of us to give back something to the people who have given us so much enjoyment.

One of the cool fundraising ideas that the Heroes Initiative came up with was the Walking Dead 100 Project.  Heroes Initiative in collaboration with Image Comics got over 100 artists to create an original Walking Dead cover on specially printed blank Walking Dead #100 covers.  The original art was then auctioned off with the proceeds going to the Hero Initiative.  In additional the 100+ pieces were collected in special edition hard and trade paperback books again with the proceeds going to support the Hero Initiative.

You can see all 100+ pieces of Walking Dead art here.  The Walking Dead 100 Project books are sold out but you can see a larger version of Ken Lashley’s cover here.

Tony Todd Plays Dracula!

Bleak December Inc. has teamed with Fangoria Musik with the plan to release a series of audio adaptations of classic horror stories including Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde, The Phantom of the Opera, and Frankenstein.

First up is Tony Todd (what a great audio choice!) as Dracula.  Click over to ComingSoon.net to listen to a trailer as Tony Todd Plays Dracula.

How to Tell Who is the Monster in John Carpenter’s “The Thing”

John Carpenter’s The Thing has an ambiguous ending that fans have argued about since the release of the film.  Seems the arguing can stop now thanks to the information provided by Dean Cundey, the cinematographer on The Thing.

Check out the ending and see if you can spot who (is either) is The Thing.  If you can’t and you want to know the secret, then click over to Fascinating Secret About the Monster in John Carpenter’s The Thing Revealed at GeekTyrant.

The Frozen Ghost (1945) / Z-View

The Frozen Ghost (1945)

Director: Harold Young

Screenplay: Bernard Schubert and Luci Ward from an original story by Harrison Carter and Henry Sucher

Stars: Lon Chaney Jr., Evelyn Ankers and Milburn Stone.

The Pitch: “It is time for another Inner Sanctum Mystery!”

Tagline:  “Nameless Terror!..creeping from the walls of a Museum for Murder!”

The Overview:  Beware of Spoilers…

The famous Hypnotist Gregor the Great [Chaney] mistakenly believes he killed an audience member during his act by using his mental powers.  When it is shown that the man died of natural causes, Gregor is still shaken.

Gregor ends up at a woman friend’s wax museum where things really get strange… his woman friend disappears and is thought to be dead and Gergor is the main suspect.  Will Gregor find the person(s) behind her disappearance and clear his name?  Will those watching the movie even care?


The Jungle Captive (1945) / Z-View

The Jungle Captive (1945)

Director: Harold Young

Screenplay: Dwight V. Babcock and M. Coates Webster

Stars: Otto Kruger, Vicky Lane, Amelita Ward and Rondo Hatton

The Pitch: “Isn’t it time to make another Ape Woman movie?”

No Tagline:

The Overview:  Beware of Spoilers…

The third in the Paula DuPree, Ape Woman trilogy.  Seems there were a lot of mad scientist doctors back in the 40’s and their life goal was to turn a gorilla into a woman.  Pretty sick, huh?

In this outing Dr. Stendahl (Kruger) has his minion, Molach the Brute (Hatton) steal the Ape Woman’s body from the morgue.  Of course Molach isn’t called the Brute because of his brainpower and he kills the morgue attendant in the process.  This puts the cops on the trail of the murderer.

Once Stendahl has the body, he’s ready to perform his experiment to bring her back to life.  Of course he needs the blood of a woman.  Naturally he decides to kidnap and use the blood of his female lab assistant (Ward) rather than a woman with no connections to him.

As the cops close in on him, Stendahl must face off against Molach (who has fallen in love with the lab assistant), the lab assistant’s fiance, the cops and the Ape Woman.  It’s like the Mexican standoff at the end of Reservoir Dogs if the Reservoir Dogs standoff wasn’t suspenseful.


The Strain Producers Carlton Cruse & Chuck Hogan Talk about Watching the Apocalypse Happen!

The Strain is one of my favorite shows producing new episodes.  Based on the trilogy of books by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan, The Strain tells the story of a vampire apocalypse… but these ain’t your pop’s or your little sister’s vampires!  They’re not romantic and they don’t sparkle.

One of the things that I love about apocalyptic stories takes place at their start when no one is sure what is going on or what is the best course of action to take.  You know, when Brad Pitt watches in amazement as normal citizens begin attacking each other, or when Barbara is attacked in the graveyard by the creepy guy in the business suit or when Rick wakes from his coma to discover… well you get what I mean.

That’s one of the reasons I’m such a fan of The Strain.  We’re two seasons in and just 23 days have passed.  The audience knows what’s coming but the characters on the show have only slowly come to realize what’s happening.  The producers were brave (smart) enough to not just jump in to the frenzy.  A slow build-up has been such fun.  I can’t wait for season three to start Sunday night.

/Film has an interview with The Strain Producers Carlton Cruse & Chuck Hogan Talk about Watching the Apocalypse Happen!

The Tomb by F. Paul Wilson / Z-View

The Tomb by F. Paul Wilson (2011)

Paperback: 432 pages
Publisher: Tor Books; Reprint edition (March 15, 2011)

First sentence…

Repaiman Jack awoke with light in his eyes, white noise in his ears and an ache in his back.


The Overview:  Beware of Spoilers…

The Tomb is the first in the Repairman Jack series and an excellent introduction to his world.  Jack lives off the grid and makes his living solving other people’s problems.  Often the solutions aren’t legal but Jack is no hitman. Still, once Jack’s girlfriend Gia discovered the nature of his work, she distanced herself and small daughter from Jack.

When Jack is offered a job to find a stolen necklace that is a matter of life and death, he takes on the task despite long odds.  Jack recovers and returns the necklace to learn, only too late, that it holds an ancient power over monster-like creatures that are now being guided to kill his ex-girlfriend, her daughter and Jack.

F. Paul Wilson has created a believable world by seamlessly meshing the detective and horror novel through the creation of Repairman Jack.  I loved The Tomb and look forward to reading all of the Repairman Jack novels.


11 Nightmarish Facts About “Nosferatu”

Mark Mancini and Mental_Floss present 11 Nightmarish Facts About Nosferatu. Here are three of my favorites…

Little is known about Max Schreck’s life and film career, a fact to which his biographer, Stefan Eickhoff, can attest. According to Eickhoff, the actor’s colleagues regarded him as a “loyal, conscientious loner with an offbeat sense of humor and a talent for playing the grotesque.” The star of over 40 motion pictures, Schreck is best remembered for his haunting portrayal of Orlok in Nosferatu.

Fittingly enough, the man’s last name is the German word for “terror.” Schreck’s performance was so effective that some viewers wondered if the mysterious thespian was an actual vampire in real life. Film critic Ado Kyrou popularized this idea in 1953 when he wrongly claimed that the name of the actor who played Murnau’s monster had never been revealed. “Who hides behind the character of Nosferatu?” Kyrou wrote. “Maybe Nosferatu himself?” That suggestion was subsequently used as the premise of Shadow of the Vampire (2000), which features John Malkovich as Murnau and Willem Dafoe as a bloodsucking, coffin-loving Max Schreck.

The idea that vampires burn up when exposed to direct sunlight is traceable to this movie. In Dracula, the villain casually walks around outside in broad daylight. According to the novel, solar rays can slightly weaken a vampire, but Stoker never implies that they could kill one. Yet for the sake of a more visually compelling climax, Grau and screenwriter Henrik Galeen decided to make the sun’s light utterly fatal to poor Count Orlok, who disappears in a puff of smoke when he’s lured into a well-lit room. Thus, a resilient horror cliché was born.

If she’d gotten her way, this movie would have joined Dracula’s Death in the dustbin of film history. Shortly after Nosferatu premiered in Berlin, Florence Stoker—Bram’s widow—received an anonymous package containing one of its promotional posters. Displayed upon this placard was the inflammatory line “Freely adapted from Bram Stoker’s Dracula.”

An outraged Mrs. Stoker immediately took legal action. Upon receiving the poster, she joined the British Incorporated Society of Authors, which hired a German lawyer to go after Prana-Film. At first, the plan was to sue Grau’s company for copyright infringement. However, a string of terrible business decisions—not the least of which was Nosferatu’s recklessly expensive marketing campaign—had already bankrupted the studio.

When it became clear that Stoker would never make a dime off of Nosferatu, she did everything in her power to have all copies of the film destroyed. In 1925, a German court sided with her and ordered that every copy within that nation be burned. And yet, just like Count Dracula, Nosferatu proved very difficult to kill. Over the next few years, surviving copies made their way to the U.S. and UK. Thus, the undead picture haunted Florence Stoker until the end of her days. Before she died in 1937, a handful of screenings took place—usually in the United States. Stoker relentlessly tracked down wayward copies of the movie and incinerated those that she got her hands on. But despite her best efforts, Nosferatu lived on in the form of pirated bootlegs.

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