Halloween TV Havoc!: Bobby ‘Boris’ Pickett does “THE MONSTER MASH” on American Bandstand (1964)

Halloween just wouldn’t be Halloween without listening to “The Monster Mash”! Bobby ‘Boris’ Pickett hit the charts multiple times with his novelty song tribute to Frankenstein, Dracula, and all things monster! From 1964, here’s Bobby (and AB host Dick Clark) with THE MONSTER MASH:

Halloween TV Havoc!: Boris Karloff in “A Night at an Inn” (1949): Complete SUSPENSE episode!

Another rarity from the dark vault of live TV horror! This time it’s Boris Karloff starring in a spooky tale called “A Night at an Inn”! Brought to you  by Auto-Lite spark plugs (“From bumper to headlight, you’re always right with Auto-Lite”), here’s King Karloff in a 1949 thriller from SUSPENSE:

Halloween MEET and GREET! Leave your Link!!!

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HALLOWEEN Meet and Greet!

Is Friday tomorrow here in US is HALLOWEEN  let’s Celebrate with our weekly  event!

Meet and Greet and discover new Bloggers!

Please everyone leave your links into the comments…
and if you really want to help this event to be successfully great a reblog would be awesome!!!

Tomorrow a new “Featured of the Week”! Who would be???

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I love how great is to be able to support other artists and creators that are walking steps into this amazing world of beautiful creativity,  being able to be unified trough the universal love and light surrounding this cosmos.
Being here Blogging our souls out is like there is not distances or barriers between all of us.

Stay connected and leave your link see you tomorrow with a New Feature Blog!

Happy Halloween!

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Halloween Havoc!: Bela Lugosi in DRACULA (Universal 1931)

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DRACULA is the film that ushered in The Golden Age of Horror. Sure, there were silent films with elements of the macabre, especially those starring Lon Chaney Sr, and the German expressionist films of Ufa Studios. But this tale of a bloodthirsty vampire on the loose in London struck a collective nerve among filmgoers for two reasons. First was it talked…sound films were barely out of their diapers, and the chilling voice of star Bela Lugosi mesmerized the masses. Second, the country was in the midst of The Great  Depression, and audiences were hungry for escapist fare to take their minds off their troubles. DRACULA took them to another world, a world populated by undead creatures of the night, fiends who were ultimately stopped by the forces of good.

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No need to rehash the plot of DRACULA…if you don’t know the story by now, you’re reading the wrong blog! Instead, I’ll take a look at what works in the film and what doesn’t. Though the movie has lost much of its power in the 84 years since its release, the performance of Bela Lugosi certainly hasn’t. The Hungarian actor originated the role on Broadway, and perfected it to the point where he’s still imitated today. While not as ferocious as Christopher Lee’s interpretation of the Vampire King, Lugosi is in full command here. His slow manner of speaking and impeccable wardrobe make Bela the suavest of ghouls, while those burning eyes let the audience know this isn’t someone to mess with. And those long, splayed fingers reaching to clutch his victim’s throats became a Lugosi trademark, often imitated but never duplicated.

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Tod Browning’s direction is somewhat static, saved by the marvelous camerawork of the great Karl Freund. The eerie sets of Castle Dracula and Carfax Abbey are filled with shadows, cobwebs in every corner, and a variety of vermin. Dwight Frye adds to the atmosphere as Renfield, driven to madness by the Count’s power. Edward Van Sloan as Van Helsing isn’t as athletic as Peter Cushing, but is convicing as the occult expert (as he was in The Mummy). But David Manners and Helen Chandler as the young lovers just don’t cut it for me. Their blandness drags the scenes they’re in down, their acting stiff and wooden. The film is slow paced as it is, and the pair doesn’t help matters. Manners, in his jodhpurs, is particularly annoying, while Chandler just isn’t appealing. Sorry, but I’d rather have Frances Dade (who plays Lucy, one of Drac’s victims).

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Historically important, DRACULA today pales compared to other horror pics of the era. But it was the first, and without it we wouldn’t have those other movies to savor. I usually watch DRACULA every year around Halloween, just to see Bela Lugosi in his most famous (and arguably greatest) role. And despite some of its faults, you should, too. DRACULA has been remade and reworked hundreds of times, but let’s be honest…nobody plays the Count better than Bela. Nobody.

A Horror Blast From The Past: The Haunted Castle (dir by George Melies)

Here’s a real rarity…the world’s first horror film, courtesy of Lisa Marie Bowman on THROUGH THE SHATTERED LENS!!

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Oh my God, y’all — are you ready to see the very first horror movie ever made!?

Okay, so I guess I should be honest and admit that this is more of a comedy than a horror film.  But it was reportedly the first film ever made to contain horror elements.  (In this case, the film takes place in a haunted castle and features ghosts.)  The Haunted Castle is only 3 minutes long and it’s definitely a bit primitive but that’s understandable when you consider that The Haunted Castle was made in 1896!

The Haunted Castle was a French film and it was directed by George Melies.  Yes, the same George Melies who was played by Ben Kingsley in Hugo.

Watch it below!

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Halloween TV Havoc!: Bela Lugosi in The Cask of Amontillado (1949) Complete SUSPENSE episode!

Good morning! Out of the musty, cobwebbed vault of TV horror comes Bela Lugosi in a rare television appearance on 1949’s SUSPENSE.  Complete with commercials for sponsor AutoLite spark plugs, here’s Bela in Edgar Allen Poe’s THE CASK OF AMONTILLADO:

Halloween Havoc!: Vincent Price in THE INVISIBLE MAN RETURNS (Universal 1940)

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Horror movies vanished from the screen in 1936 due to two factors. One was the ban on horror by British censors, closing a major market for the films. The other, a regime change at Universal, in which the Laemmle family sold the studio. The new owners attempted to reinvent the company’s image, but instead almost ran it into the ground. It wasn’t until 1939, when an enterprising theater owner exhibited a revival of the classics FRANKENSTEIN, DRACULA, and KING KONG, that Universal decided to plunge forth with SON OF FRANKENSTEIN. The third sequel was a success, and the floodgates opened for the second horror cycle. Universal brought their monsters back from the dead, and cast a young contract player named Vincent Price in THE INVISIBLE MAN RETURNS, putting Price on a career arc that would build to a long career as a horror star.

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Geoffrey Radcliffe is scheduled to hang for the murder of his brother. Family friend Dr. Griffin is allowed to visit Geoffrey in his cell at Langley Prison, while the condemned man’s fiancé Helen and his cousin Richard wait at home for a reprieve. Griffin leaves the cell, but when the guards go to check on Geoffrey, nothing remains of him but a pile of clothes! Inspector Samson is called in to investigate, and he recalls hearing the name Griffin somewhere before….

Samson goes to Griffin’s lab and tells the doctor he knows his brother was Jack Griffin (pulling out a file with a picture of original INVISIBLE MAN Claude RAains). Geoffrey was given an injection of duocane, the late Jack’s invisbility formula, and is now free to search for the real killer. But the drug has a dire side-effect: it slowly drives the user insane. Can Geoffrey, aided by Helen, find the culprit before he loses his grip on his sanity?

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Joe May was a pioneer German producer/director who, like many of his countrymen, fled Europe during the Nazi regime. His career in America wasn’t long or particularly successful, and he became a Hollywood restauranteur. Screenwriter and fellow ex-pat Curt Siodmak did much better in Tinseltown (see my post on  THE WOLF MAN for more on him). The cast was stuffed with fine character actors, including Sir Cedric Hardwicke as  cousin Richard (and with Hardwicke in the role, any doubt on who the real murderer was??). Nan Grey (Helen) earned her horror wings in 1936’s DRACULA’S DAUGHTER. Cecil Kellaway (Inspector Samson) was the charming Irishman with the twinkle in his eye in far too many films to mention here. John Sutton (Griffin) played in fright films RETURN OF THE FLY and THE BAT with Price later in his career. And Alan Napier’s (drunken foreman Willie Spears in this) credits stretch from CAT PEOPLE and ISLE OF THE DEAD, to THE MOLE PEOLE and JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF THE EARTH, but will forever be remembered as Alfred the butler on TV’s 60s smash BATMAN.

THE INVISIBLE MAN RETURNS is a welcome return to the H.G.Wells-inspired theme. The movies don’t have a recurring character, it’s a different Griffin in every entry, which is probably why they weren’t as popular as Universal’s other monster series. It’s not particularly scary but enjoyable, and a chance to see Vincent Price in his first starring horror role. Errr… well, we don’t actually SEE him til the end of the flick. So it’s a chance to HEAR Vincent anyway. Uhhh, you know what I mean!