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…

4. LOOK CLOSELY AND YOU’LL NOTICE THAT THE MONSTER’S WOUNDS APPEAR TO HEAL.
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.

6. BORIS KARLOFF OBJECTED TO GIVING THE MONSTER ANY DIALOGUE.
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.”

14. IT’S NEIL GAIMAN’S FAVORITE HORROR MOVIE.
“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.

You Betcha: 14 Polite Facts About TV’s Fargo

Jake Rosen and Mental_Floss present You Betcha: 14 Polite Facts About TV’s Fargo.  Here are three of my favorites…

2. THERE’S A REASON THEY DIDN’T USE MARGE.
One reason Littlefield was more supportive of this spin-off was because creator Noah Hawley had no desire to revisit McDormand’s Marge Gunderson character, the heavily-pregnant sheriff of Brainerd, Minnesota. In 2014, Hawley told IndieWire that he opted for an anthology format with a different narrative every season to avoid the show becoming about the “grim” day-to-day adventures of Marge.

4. THE SERIES IS ALL TAKEN FROM A (FAKE) TRUE CRIME BOOK.
Hawley has been quoted as saying he thinks of the Fargo-verse as being influenced by a big book of Midwestern crime tales, with each season being a different chapter. He cemented that idea in the ninth episode of the second season, opening with a close-up of a book titled The History of True Crime in the Midwest.

5. … WHICH MIGHT EXPLAIN THAT UFO.
Saving Patrick Wilson’s Lou Solverson character during the “Massacre at Sioux Falls” referenced in the first season was the appearance of what appeared to be a UFO hovering over a motel parking lot. Even by Fargo’s standards, it was a strange occurrence. According to Hawley, who was pressed for some kind of explanation during a June 2016 book signing, the scene stemmed from the idea that the show is taking cues from “true crime” books and all of the unbelievable details they often contain.

Speaking of a similar scene that felt disconnected from the narrative of the original film, Hawley said that he asked himself, “‘Why is this in the movie?’ It has nothing to do with the movie—except the movie says, ‘This is a true story.’ They put it in there because it ‘happened.’ Otherwise you wouldn’t put it in there. The world of Fargo needs those elements; those random, odd, truth-is-stranger-than-fiction elements.”

The Ultimate TV & Movies Car List

One of the fun things about movie and tv shows is that the characters in them (usually) get to drive the coolest vehicles.  I’ve always said I’d drive the ’66 Batmobile or the ’50 Merc that Cobra drove if I had the extra cash.

The folks at autoacessoriesgarage.com created The Ultimate TV & Movies Car List.  There are 114 vehicles on our list and a fun factoid about every single one.  Click over and enjoy!

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.

10 Amazing Facts You Probably Didn’t Know About Wolverine

Wolverine art by Dan Panosian

ComicBookMovie.com presents 10 Amazing Facts You Probably Didn’t Know About Wolverine.  Here are three of my favorites…

10. His Claws Weren’t Originally Part Of Him
Wolverine has a lot of cool powers, including enhanced senses and the ability to heal from pretty much any injury. However, the pièce de résistance is obviously his six deadly claws. Creator Len Wein originally had some very different ideas for those though, and among his earliest ideas was that Logan would be a wolverine who had somehow mutated into a humanoid creature, similar to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

As if that wasn’t already weird enough, the now iconic claws would have been revealed as gloves with the claws attached to them, robbing Wolverine of arguably his most recognisable feature (and that classic “Snikt!” sound). It wasn’t until years later that we would learn those those claws were actually part of his skeleton before being coated in Adamantium.

7. Hugh Jackman Wasn’t Bryan Singer’s First Choice
After seeing Hugh Jackman play Wolverine almost countless times, it’s now hard to picture anyone else in the role (and with his final appearance as Logan set for next year, replacing him will be a huge challenge for 20th Century Fox). However, while this may now be hard to believe, Jackman wasn’t actually X-Men director Bryan Singer’s first choice to play the character.

It was Russell Crowe who both the filmmaker and the studio really wanted in the role, but he had no interest in joining the comic book adaptation. It was then that Dougray Scott was chosen to play Wolverine, but when scheduling conflicts forced him to drop out just weeks before the cameras started rolling, the unknown Jackman was chosen at the last minute, a decision Singer wasn’t initially that pleased with. Needless to say, it all worked out for the best!

4. Later Versions Were Modeled After Clint Eastwood
As you’ve now no doubt already realised, Wolverine was very much a work in progress when he was first introduced. Having decided against making the hero an angry teenager with clawed gloves, Marvel portrayed Logan as being a little rougher around the edges after he joined the X-Men. However, while his appearance had already been settled on, it’s Chris Claremont and Frank Miller who deserve the lion’s share of credit for the version of Wolverine we all know and love today.

Just like he did with Daredevil, Miller played a huge role in redefining how readers viewed Logan by taking inspiration from Clint Eastwood. That’s something which we’ve also been able to see on the big screen with Hugh Jackman, while Miller can also be credited with dreaming up the iconic line, “I’m the best there is at what I do, but what I do best isn’t very nice.”

10 Cool Things About “Body Heat”

Roger Cormier and Mental_Floss present 10 Cool Things About Body Heat.  Here are three of my favorites…

2. CHRISTOPHER REEVE TURNED DOWN THE ROLE OF NED.
“I put myself down too much,” Reeve told The Washington Post of the missed opportunity. “I didn’t think I’d be convincing as a seedy lawyer.” Reeve later regretted the decision, but was happy that his friend, William Hurt, was cast in the role instead.

5. IT WAS SHOT IN FLORIDA—AND IT WAS VERY, VERY COLD.
The film was shot during a cold Florida winter. Turner and Hurt had to put ice cubes in their mouths before each take so their breath wouldn’t show. Their sweat was sprayed on. When the two shot their sex scene, the crew was dressed in duffel coats and scarves.

8. IT WAS MICKEY ROURKE’S BIG BREAK.
Mickey Rourke had already appeared in 1941 (1979) and Heaven’s Gate (1980), but told Larry King that his breakthrough came from playing Teddy Lewis in Body Heat. When Rourke got the one-day gig, he was able to quit his job as a bouncer at a transvestite nightclub.

48 Things We Learned from David Fincher’s Zodiac Commentary

Rob Hunter and Film School Rejects present 48 Things We Learned from David Fincher’s Zodiac Commentary.  Here are three of my favorites…

13. Fincher thinks the reason why the Zodiac still haunts people is due as much to his letters as to anything else. The idea of an ongoing correspondence with someone who was in the process of killing fascinates him.

15. All of the blood in the film is digital because it saved the production enormous amounts of time by not having to wait for wardrobe changes and cleaning.

18. Dermot Mulroney is in great shape, but Fincher was having none of it. “I wanted him to have a waistline like mine so we made up a little fat suit for him.”

11 Nightmarish Facts About “Nosferatu”

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

4. THE VAMPIRE WAS PLAYED BY A MAN WITH AN APPROPRIATELY SPOOKY NAME.
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.

7. NOSFERATU ESTABLISHED A TIME-HONORED VAMPIRE TROPE. 
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.

9. STOKER’S WIFE SUED THE STUDIO.
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.

12 Surprising Facts About Bela Lugosi

Mark Mancini and Mental_Floss present 12 Surprising Facts About Bela Lugosi.  Here are three of my favorites…

4. UNIVERSAL DIDN’T WANT TO CAST HIM AS COUNT DRACULA.
The year 1927 saw Bela Lugosi sink his teeth into the role of a lifetime. A play based on the novel Dracula by Bram Stoker had opened in London in 1924. Sensing its potential, Horace Liveright, an American producer, decided to create an U.S. version of the show. Over the summer of 1927, Lugosi was cast as the blood-sucking Count Dracula. For him, the part represented a real challenge. In Lugosi’s own words, “It was a complete change from the usual romantic characters I was playing, but it was a success.” It certainly was. Enhanced by his presence, the American Dracula remained on Broadway for a full year, then spent two years touring the country.

Impressed by its box office prowess, Universal decided to adapt the show into a major motion picture in 1930. Horror fans might be surprised to learn that when the studio began the process of casting this movie’s vampiric villain, Lugosi was not their first choice. At the time, Lugosi was still a relative unknown, which made director Tod Browning more than a little hesitant to offer him the job. A number of established actors were all considered before the man who’d played Dracula on Broadway was tapped to immortalize his biting performance on film.

6. HE TURNED DOWN THE ROLE OF FRANKENSTEIN’S MONSTER.
Released in 1931, Dracula quickly became one of the year’s biggest hits for Universal (some film historians even argue that the movie single-handedly rescued the ailing studio from bankruptcy). Furthermore, its astronomical success transformed Lugosi into a household name for the first time in his career. Regrettably for him, though, he’d soon miss the chance to star in another smash. Pleased by Dracula’s box office showing, Universal green-lit a new cinematic adaptation of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. Lugosi seemed like the natural choice to play the monster, but because the poor brute had few lines and would be caked in layers of thick makeup, the actor rejected the job offer. As far as Lugosi was concerned, the character was better suited for some “half-wit extra” than a serious actor. Once the superstar tossed Frankenstein aside, the part was given to a little-known actor named Boris Karloff.

Moviegoers eventually did get to see Lugosi play the bolt-necked corpse in the 1943 cult classic Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man. According to some sources, he strongly detested the guttural scream that the script forced him to emit at regular intervals. “That yell is the worst thing about the part. You feel like a big jerk every time you do it!” Lugosi allegedly complained.

10. LUGOSI ALMOST DIDN’T APPEAR IN ABBOTT AND COSTELLO MEET FRANKENSTEIN—BECAUSE THE STUDIO THOUGHT HE WAS DEAD.
The role of Count Dracula in this 1948 blockbuster was nearly given to Ian Keith—who was considered for the same role in the 1931 Dracula movie. Being a good sport, Lugosi helped promote the horror-comedy by making a special guest appearance on The Abbott and Costello Show. While playing himself in one memorable sketch, the famed actor claimed to eat rattlesnake burgers for dinner and “shrouded wheat” for breakfast.

Aurora’s Monster Scenes Scandal!

When I was growing up most boys went through a model building phase.  Some kids liked cars others planes or ships, but I was always a fan of comic, movie, tv characters and monster models.

Aurora was the main company producing the model kits and in an effort to promote their product Aurora would hold…

…contests for custom kits, highlighting winners in monster magazines. By the 1960s, they had started noticing that a lot of submissions revolved around expansive, morbid scenarios: a mad scientist’s laboratory, or an execution motif. To Aurora, it was a clear indication that their consumers wanted context for their models… They began developing a line dubbed Monster Scenes. Using generic characters like the Victim, designers concocted elaborate scenarios that put the unfortunate captives in mortal peril.

What followed was a series of missteps…

  • Models featuring torture scenes
  • A Vampirella model that shipped unpainted and appeared nude
  • Labeling each box “Rated X for Excitement!”
  • and more

The model kits began shipping in 1971 and were an instant hit with kids, but parents and activist groups were up in arms even leading to a California law prohibiting the sale of torture toys.

If you’ve read this far you might want to check out Jake Rossen’s Nabisco’s X-Rated Toy Scandal of 1971 at Mental_Floss which provides a more in-depth look.

 

11 Fab Facts About The Beatles’ Revolver

Jeff Merron and Mental_Floss present 11 Fab Facts About The Beatles’ Revolver.  Here are three of my favorites…

7. IT WAS ALMOST TITLED ABRACADABRA.
All four Beatles liked that name, wrote Barry Miles in his Paul McCartney bio, Many Years From Now. Also considered: Four Sides of the Circle and Fat Man. Ringo, noting that the Rolling Stones had just come out with Aftermath, suggested After Geography. They finally settled on Revolver, because an album spins, man.

8. WITHOUT REVOLVER, THERE’D BE NO “BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY.”
Up until the spring of 1966, The Beatles had used a fairly conventional studio technique to make vocals sound richer: double tracking, in which the lead singer would simply record his vocals twice onto different tape tracks. But John Lennon hated doing this. So to accommodate him, EMI engineer Ken Townsend invented “automatic double tracking,” which allowed one performance to be recorded on two tape machines—with one delayed by about 100 milliseconds, automatically creating a nice, thick sound.

11. THEY NEVER PLAYED ANY PART OF THE ALBUM LIVE.
The Beatles were near the end of their touring days, but not quite. They began a 14-city North America circuit in Chicago on August 12, just four days after Revolver’s U.S. release. But they didn’t feel it was possible to reproduce the album’s technically sophisticated, studio-crafted songs on stage. The most recently recorded track that audiences heard was “Paperback Writer,” the number one hit single they had released on May 30, 1966. The Beatles’ last concert was on August 29, 1966, at Candlestick Park in San Francisco. But nobody outside the band knew it at the time.

13 Nostalgic Facts About American Graffiti

Eric D. Snider and Mental_Floss present 13 Nostalgic Facts About American Graffiti.  Here are three of my favorites…

3. CONTRARY TO POPULAR BELIEF, THERE IS NO ACTUAL CONNECTION BETWEEN AMERICAN GRAFFITI AND HAPPY DAYS.
Happy Days premiered five months after American Graffiti was released. It was set in the ’50s, had Ron Howard playing a teen very similar to his American Graffiti character, used “Rock Around the Clock” as its theme song, and even borrowed the American Graffiti font for the credits. You’d think that Happy Days was somehow a spin-off of the movie, but you’d be wrong. It actually began as an unsold pilot in 1971 and aired in 1972 as part of the anthology series Love, American Style. (Lucas watched it at some point when he was considering casting Howard in American Graffiti.) After the movie took off, and with ’50s nostalgia in high gear (Grease was burning up Broadway), ABC reconsidered the Happy Days pilot, ordered a series, and did everything they could to make it remind people of American Graffiti. It ran for 10 years and was one of the most popular sitcoms in TV history.

8. THE PRODUCER HAD TO BECOME MACKENZIE PHILLIPS’ LEGAL GUARDIAN FOR THE SHOOT.
Mackenzie Phillips was just 12 years old when she arrived to make the film, and though she had showbiz experience (her father, John Phillips, was in The Mamas & the Papas), neither she nor her parents realized that California law required her to have a guardian present. “They were almost going to have to recast me, but Gary Kurtz”—a producer on the film—”and his family said, ‘We’ll take her,'” Phillips said in 1999. ” So they went to the courts in San Francisco and got guardianship of me.” Phillips lived with the Kurtzes for the duration of the shoot and described it as a happy experience.

2. IT WAS SAVED FROM BECOMING A TV MOVIE BY THE GODFATHER.
Universal Pictures gave Lucas a budget of $600,000, or about $3.5 million in 2016 dollars, to make the movie—in other words, not very much. When Coppola came onboard as a producer shortly after the release of The Godfather, Universal gave Lucas another $175,000. Later, when the film was finished and had test-screened positively, Universal inexplicably wanted to drastically re-edit it and release it as a TV movie. Lucas objected but had no clout. Coppola, on the other hand—by this time an Oscar-winner—could make studio executives listen. He convinced them to do only a little bit of trimming (the deleted scenes were reincorporated for home video release) and to release the film theatrically.

1 2 3 51