Travel back in time with me...To yesterday's tomorrows: Opportunities for the Radio Trained Man advertisment in Popular Science, November, 1936...and don't forget, "Television is sure to come as a commercial industry. Whether this year or later..."
Here's the British pressbook for Jack Palance's Dracula (1973), directed by Dan Curtis (a television production). Francis Ford Coppola's Bram Stoker's Dracula has more to do with Curtis' movie version than Bram Stoker's novel. Curtis explored the romantic past of Dracula and his lost love.
Even though this Mexican lobby card for Isle of the Dead with Boris Karloff shows heavy tanning, the colors are still exciting. Even more striking is how the words suspense, terror, and horror aren't captured in the artwork; there's a more sedate, almost serene composure to it.
Japanese long-haired vengeance-ghost dynamic meets
folkloric tragedy in Andres Muschietti's Mama
when two young sisters, 3-year old Victoria (Megan Charpentier) and
1-year old Lilly (Isabelle Nelisse), are lost in a spooky deserted cabin deep
in the woods. Lost with them is a forlorn entity they name Mama, who is trapped
between here and ethereal-there, feeding them berries to stay alive and
entertaining them as time passes. In the ensuing years, the girls become more
feral and forget their parents.
Lucas (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau), the brother of
Victoria and Lilly's dad hasn't forgotten, and he eventually finds the girls.
As they move from the cabin to their new home with him and their new reluctant
mother, Annabel (Jessica Chastain), Mama follows; many big moths, miasmic black
moldy wall stains that grow, and unsettling creature-induced discomforts ensue.
What is it with moths and wall stains in horror
movies these days?
At least here they are given plausability: the
moths provide a meal for the girls (berries can only go so far), and the wall
stains act as portals for Mama to travel through.
What keeps Mama
from devolving into the familiar slap-death histrionics of a long-haired,
malcontented ghost with demonic powers and anger management issues are the
girls' growing attachment to their new and more tactile mom, Mama's sad life
before and after death, and Annabel's nurturing instinct slowly kicking in over
her need for punking out with her rock band. A sad moment has Mama removing the
older Victoria's new eye-glasses so she can't see how terrible Mama's
appearance really is; Lilly, of course, being younger, doesn't remember her
life before Mama and bonds strongly with her ghostly mom; being flown around
the room for fun helps solidify that bond.
CGI enhancements to Mama and her distorted
facial features, combined with bone-cracking contortions only horror movie
corpses can do, become more distracting than frightening, but the relationship
between mothers and children provides a more thoughtful approach; especially
when Lucas is removed from the action early, leaving Annabel to deal with her
ambivalent feelings and increasingly dire situation. A clever use of long-hair
running around like Cousin Itt provides the best chill-thrill moment.
Eager to learn as much as he can from the
children's 5 year ordeal in the woods is psychiatrist Dr. Dreyfuss (Daniel
Kash). A more creative story thread has him shift gears when he realizes Mama
is not a figment of the children's imaginations conjured to help them cope with
their isolation. Unfortunately, this thread is clipped too soon, in a blatantly
script-convenient way, to bring Lucas back into the finale. Getting everyone
back to the cabin in the woods turns almost funny as first Dr. Dreyfuss, then
Lucas, then Annabel, and finally Mama and the girls converge for a showdown
that will certainly annoy those looking for a happier resolution.
But on the positive side, it doesn't leave room
for a sequel.
You've got to love any horror movie that dares
to do that.
From Tony Rivers' collection comes this 11 x 17 inches, 1948, Jungle Woman Realart Pressbook. Tony says: "Unfortunately the previous owner put punch holes in it to keep it in a binder. Aside from the fact it was folded, it's the only defect in it. I like that they show all 8 lobby cards on the poster page even though in B&W. Still hoping someday to get the other two Ape Woman press books, either Universal originals or realart releases."
Beginning a new series on Zombos Closet...Travel back in time with me...To yesterday's tomorrows: Real Scenery for Popeye, Popular Science, November, 1936...
"Fleischer cartoons differed highly from their counterparts at Walt Disney Productions and Warner Bros. Cartoons. The Popeye series, like other cartoons produced by the Fleischers, was noted for its urban feel (the Fleischers operated in New York City, specifically in Broadway), its manageable variations on a simple theme (Popeye loses Olive to bully Bluto and must eat his spinach and defeat him), and the characters' "under-the-breath" mutterings. The voices for Fleischer cartoons produced during the early and mid-1930s were recorded after the animation was completed. The actors, Mercer in particular, would therefore improvise lines that were not on the storyboards or prepared for the lip-sync (generally word-play and clever puns). Even after the Fleischers began pre-recording dialog for lip-sync shortly after moving to Miami, Mercer and the other voice actors would record ad-libbed lines while watching a finished copy of the cartoon. Popeye lives in a dilapidated apartment building in A Dream Walking (1934), reflecting the urban feel and Depression-era hardships." (from Wikipedia)
The artwork on this lobby card is unique. I'm not sure of the significance of the human and monkee heads positioned in a similar fashion, but the snake versus leopard tableau is striking against the darker foliage.
In this second half of the Two on a Guillotine pressbook, you will find the ad mats, publicity articles, radio spot blurbs, and this cool Dell Comics tie-in. I rotated a few ad mat pages for a better view. Keep in mind both front cover (shown in Part 1) and back cover (last page shown here) form a wraparound.
You can see the effect television had on the 1960s movie industry in this 27 page, 11 x 17 inches, Warner Brothers pressbook for Two on a Guillotine. There's a wealth of promotional material for the theater to sell this movie: a horror kit, "heady" television spot, Internation Brotherhood of Magicians (IBM) tie-ins, giveaway herald, fright insurance, and exploitation stunts galore.
This crude, paste-up hodgepodge has its charms: the glaring vampire and skull faces, the positions of the masked wrestlers looking toward those faces, the repetition of the flying bat between them, and the skeleton holding onto a cross and rosary. Hammer Horror used Eastman Color for its vivid reds, so while I've not seen this movie, I wonder if the production team here was thinking the same thing?
Ritos Malditos (Macumba Love) presents a striking illustration of terror and danger. The use of the inset scenes, done in cartoon format, indicate the artwork is taken from the American poster art. However, the American posters differ in their use of a skull face for the voodoo woman, instead of this alluring face of evil seen here (see American poster below). Here's the movie pressbook.
La Invasion De Los Muertos screams 1970s by the look of this lobby card. Zovek looks like he's channeling Billy Jack. Here's the lowdown from The Zombie Movie Encyclopedia by Peter Dendle:
There's no real explanation for the unhappy catastrophe afflicting the Mexican countryside--just a lot of talk of the mysteries of the cosmos and shots of a starry sky. Whatever's to blame, the dead return from their moldy coffins with blank stares and a thirst for murder. Congregating in large groups, they choke and maul their victims and then tip over the furniture for good measure...Most interestingly, these zombies have an unprecedented fetish for vehicles: they hover around a bulldozer, and make off with any car or truck the keys have been left in.