A lot to enjoy in this 22nd issue of The Monster Times: WNEW's The Creep explains why the sunglasses; the centerfold by Bill Nelson is a monstrous Mount Rushmore for your monsterkid cave wall; The Green Slime gets slimed; Dr. Wertham (yes, that guy) responds to a critical put-down; the House That Dripped Blood is sopped up by Brian McFadden as he pays a visit to Shepperton Studios; Genesis II takes off; and TMT's Monster Poll reveals the results of who's the most monstrous (I didn't vote: did you?)
While the humor doesn't improve much for this last issue of Monster Madness, the inclusion of articles was a last gasp attempt at enticing the maturing monsterkids into spending their coinage. In this issue you will find cool reading on the Creature from the Black Lagoon (with a great pic of Milicent Patrick at work), reviews for Asylum, Blacula, and Dr. Phibes Rises Again, the redoubtable Robert Bloch, and a letters page. Special note: the Fright Gallery ad on page 61; who wouldn't want all of these 24 x 36 inch posters to stare at in the middle of the night?
I always find it interesting to see lobby cards that stress a romantic angle for a horror movie. It seems so contrary to the selling point of the movie, which would be terror, scares, or jeers (depending on the quality). Of course, you don't see much romance at all today in horror cinema, but in the 1950s and 1960s it was either the monster wanted the girl or the hero wanted the girl, or the monster just wanted to eat both of them and be done with it. So on this Mexican lobby card for The Black Scorpion, we get a back-grounded monster and some military action, but a lot of romance up front. Go figure. On the plus side, the stop motion work was supervised by Willis O'Brien and Richard Denning is the hero. I like Richard Denning.
Surprisingly enough, Monster Madness issue 2 landed on the magazine racks in 1973. Perhaps monsterkids just loved seeing those monster pictures ( I know I did), or perhaps they figured the attempt at humor couldn't get any worse (MM #1). Well, so much for figuring. Here's issue 2 to provide your daily allowance of "groan" factor for today. Just keep telling yourself it was 1973.
A lively Peter Cushing, a love-cursed Christopher Lee, and Terrence Fisher's direction, make Hammer's The Mummy a colorful horror movie. Cushing related his concern regarding how the highly imaginative poster art, where the mummy has that gaping hole in its chest with the light streaming through, wasn't actually in the movie. He made sure to add a bit of business to at least imply the nasty wound (shown in the inset scene in the first lobby card).
I have a hunch you'll dig issue 28 of The Monster Times. The Hunchback of Notre Dame (the classic silent version) takes center stage, but The Black Scorpion pokes its tail into the magazine and Plastic Man gets his due. Hammer's television endeavors and movies get a nod and Long Island-based The Children of the Night rock 'em dead in The Monster Scene, while Wolfman Jack howls. For you morbidly inclined, death in horror movies is interred by Rob Comorosky in his Part 1: Death is a Way of Life. Broiled stake, anyone?
A good, lightweight, Hammer horror movie with social commentary undertones, with similarities to the plot line in The Creature from the Black Lagoon. The revelations that ensue show humankind's weaknesses compared to the Yetis strengths, showing the true monsters of the movie.
In issue 42 of The Monster Times, the Werewolf of Woodstock gets skinned, the wizard of gore himself dishes it up in an interview, and Mark Carducci's personal appearance at the Shepperton Studios auction, when they changed hands and bled away their monstrous history, will bring a tear to your eye. There's an odd True Scream Confessions attempt at humor taking us inside the private lives of the monsters, but I can leave it. You may like it, though. Here's something else: The Transylvanian Catalogue by Macmillan, offering 16mm prints for rental, by mail. An interesting early attempt at catering to the movie going fan of horror and science fiction movies. They must have gotten hammered by the VHS market when it sparked up in 1977.
An overly talky movie, yet still has its charms; especially with the monster hanging around the lighthouse for food scraps. In-between the gabfests, the unexpected gore (monster holding severed head, crab crawling over severed head) must have jolted kids in their theater seats, making it a must see movie for them. I saw it on local television in the 1960s and was nicely scared, thank you very much. The creature suit was fashioned by Universal veterans involved with the Creature from the Black Lagoon.
The usual mad scientist on lonely island performs experiments they shouldn't kind of movie. Only done very very badly. You can watch this one on YouTube. Lucky you. There's something about this Mexican lobby card, though, that's kind of cool and very spook show stylish.
Star Trek versus Space 1999 in issue 47 of The Monster Times. It figures just as things are aces for TMT content-wise the next issue would be its last. Bummer. One consolation is that there's a lot to read in this all science-fiction issue, from Flash Gordon to T.H.U.N.D.E.R Agents to Chinese Chillers from Hong Kong (okay, so a little horror's thrown in here, too). Of special note, there's an interview with Gene Roddenberry beginning on page 10 you shouldn't miss: he talks about the ST movie, Space 1999, and his television projects. Those were the days, my friend.
This Mexican lobby card for Diary of a Madman, based on the Guy de Maupassant short story, The Horla, makes sure to show Vincent Price's patented sinister stare to best effect. The essential model of the Horla, an unseen, unknown, maliciously intending alien entity moving from host to host, is now an often used one in science fiction and horror movies. The Horla is often mentioned as H.P. Lovecraft's inspiration for The Call of Cthulhu.
Arguably Burt I. Gordon's best movie, The Magic Sword delivered an effective fantasy that certainly left an impression on me when I first saw it in the 1960s. Worth a crusade or two, the lobby standee, and that awesome giveaway flashlight sword, are two treasures I'd love to cast a spell on for my collection.
A quick, skimpy, issue of The Monster Times, issue 44 went huge to contain the giant behemoths within. Now that King Kong is the size of Godzilla, I'd say it's time to do a nice behemoth smash down movie. What do you think? It would be huge. On another note, Glenn in Tell It to the Editor, gives TMT hell for denigrating Star Trek, and "was wondering why you can't do TMT in a good magazine form like the other monster magazines. I really enjoy your articles, but the thin, yellowing paper and the coloring of the pictures are more grotesque than some monsters I know."