Horror Movie Poster art – Postcard Collection- Part I

Classic movie monsters stamps & postcards 6

Horror Movie Poster Art – post cards (and Sci-fi, too!)

Let me explain,
I collected about a dozen classic horror movie posters including, Bride of Frankenstein, King Kong, Creature From the Black Lagoon, and The Curse of the Werewolf. They range in size from 11 x 17″ to 24 x 28.” However, I soon discovered I will never have enough room to display them.
bride poster

That was when I discovered post-card sized replications of all the famous classic film movie posters. I keep them in a book in plastic sleeves. Along with the Universal Monsters Stamps and post cards from various museums and historical sites, plus Art, Americana, and movie stars, I have over 200 post cards in my collection.
I’d like to share some of these post cards with you.
Creature Features and early horror films:
Here’s my book. It’s a loose-leaf binder with photo sleeves. It holds 4 cards per page (2 front, 2 back).
movie poster art - my collection - Mike K movie poster art - collection - classics photo 7
Universal and Classics:


 1950’s Sci Fi and horror:


US Postal Service Universal Monsters Commemorative Stamps and Post Cards:



More to come…



Movie Theater Displays of Days Gone By

theater MJY 1940s

Movie Theater Displays and Marquees

In the old days the major studios would put some fun displays together for the theaters. Here’s a look at some of those great designs and promotions.

And here’s some theater marquees with some classic films. Less promo but fun to see these films in theaters, some attracting big lines of movie fans.

Aurora Monster Models and Prehistoric Scenes Kits

bride of frankenstein newer model b

Aurora Monster Models and Prehistoric Scenes Kits – Part II

When I was a youngster, I loved to build monster model kits. I would see ads in the back of Famous Monsters of Filmland and I would send away for them via mail order or have my mom take me to local hobby shops to purchase them. The premier company in horror model-kits back then (1970’s) was Aurora. I started with the Universal Monsters model kit collections and soon moved on to the Prehistoric Scenes Kits. Eventually, the kits I owned went to the big toy graveyard where all kids things seem to find their end. For the longest time I thought those model kits were gone forever. But recently, I have found many of the wonderful kits I enjoyed as a kid, still available for purchase.

Aurora Prehistoric Scenes kit molds were first bought by Monogram who only kept seven of the Dinosaurs and the Wooly Mammoth. Sadly they destroyed the other kit molds to reuse the material. Then Revell bought Monogram and re-released the dino kits (twice). Today you can still purchase many of the Aurora Dinosaur kits under the Revell label. Although the box art is different, the kits are basically the same as the old Aurora kits minus the bases and extra accessories.
ankylosaurus reissues
the same Ankylosaurus model released through the years…

Many of the Aurora Monster Model kits were purchased by several different companies such as Playing Mantis, Moebius, and Polar Lights. It is a bit of work to hunt all of these down as they release them sporadically but you can get almost all of them. I have recently purchased, The Forgotten Prisoner and the Aurora Godzilla model.godzilla model

On top of that there are several companies that release customizing kits under the “What if…” banner and alternative pieces market which are often called Conversion Kits. You can change the head of the original Godzilla to one that is more in line with the movies. You can change the heads of the Triceratops to create different horned dinosaurs such as the Torosaurus or the Monoclonius. You can change the head of Dr. Jekyll to match the original  film “The Fly” (which looks amazing). You can now buy Julie Adams to fit with your Aurora style Creature From the Black Lagoon, where she will be set in his arms like the famous scene from the film.

Today’s model kits are amazingly detailed and there are quite a few hobbyists that take great pride in the buildingorgo modelg and painting of these kits. Many are limited release and can sell for upwards of $200. There are 3 types of kits, plastic, vinyl, and resin kits. The resin kits are the most expensive and offer the most detail.

One new kit I’ve been waiting for is Gorgo, by the company, Monarch. It was supposed to be released last year but no one has heard any news since. I hope they continue there plans to release it, because it is a fantastic model. Update: model kit was released – you can see my build here: Monarch Gorgo Model Kitaurora models documentary

Below are some links if you care to check out some more info and pics on the subject. Some of the pics used here are from these sites.

If you want to learn more about the Aurora Kits and product lines, a good place to start is with the documentary dvd, The Aurora Monsters: the model craze that gripped the world. You can get the dvd at monstersinmotion.com or Amazon.


Gallery of classic kits:

Gallery of new kits and conversion accessories:

Model builder vids:




Dracula the Un-Dead – book review

Dracula The Un-dead
Dacre Stoker & Ian Holt
New American Library/Penguin (2009)

Dracula the Un-dead is a direct sequel to Bram Stoker’s classic novel, Dracula. The novel reconnects us with the surviving original characters some twenty-five years later, and introduces a few new ones, most notably, Quincy Harker, son of Mina and Jonathan Harker. The familiar ‘band of heroes’ that fought off the ultimate evil are once again summoned to face the dark entity that they had assumed was gone forever. The tale begins with Dr. John Seward trying to warn his old comrades about an evil conspiring to unleash a reign of blood upon England. He is hot on the trail of the accursed creature and ready to do battle. We quickly learn that it is not Dracula that he is hunting. It is a vampire who is just as wicked and cunning, Elizabeth Bathory.

Arthur Holmwood, Jonathan and Mina Harker, and Van Helsing, ignore Seward’s warning, knowing full well that he had become a morphine addict and a recluse, that is, until death comes to their very door. Meanwhile, Quincy Harker, an aspiring actor who is failing out of law school has a chance meeting with a legendary and eccentric stage actor from Eastern Europe, who befriends the young man and becomes his mentor. The tale escalates into a race to save the young Quincy from the clutches of a known evil and an unknown entity, while trying to tear down the veils of deceit and lies the young man has been subjected to since his birth.

Although the novel starts with a letter, it is written in modern, third person narrative. ‘The Un-dead’ frequently revisit’s the original novel, not just to remind us of past events but to give detail (sometimes contradictions) on character’s feelings and thoughts not expressed in the original novel. In order to enjoy this book you have to first accept that it is not written in Bram’s style, nor the style of 19th and early 20th Century writers. Secondly, you have to accept quite a bit of dancing around the (fictional) facts of the original, in order to enable Dacre Stoker and Ian Holt to tell the story they wanted to tell. Thirdly, you have to accept that this story is just as much about Elizabeth Bathory (more so in the first half of the book) as it is Dracula. And, at times it seems to be more of a sequel to Francis Ford Copalla’s Dracula film rather than Bram Stoker’s novel as it expands the Dracula character into a more sensitive being.

In this novel, Dracula is not portrayed as the ultimate evil we have read about. He is portrayed as a romantic stately figure, honorable and noble, that has been afflicted with the curse of the undead. Bathory is transformed in the book from our vision of a countess bathing in the blood of young maidens, to a many centuries old, powerful and evil vampire. Bram Stoker is actually a character in the book, struggling to get his story, “Dracula” launched as a play at the Lyceum Theatre in London. In the story, Dracula confronts Stoker and condemns his version of the events as a one-sided view told by his enemies. This helps to explain the difference in the portrayal of Dracula’s nature from the last novel to this one. The tale is intertwined with true historical events that help to firmly set it in the 1912 time frame.

Dracula the Un-dead successfully ramps up the tension and action of multiple plot lines and, I indeed, found it difficult to put down the book for the last 150 pages. It is a fast paced and exciting tale with many twists and turns, a crossover from an older style to modern novel writing.

The Afterward and endnotes make for some interesting reading; further explaining that some of the ideas and characters present in this sequel were originally Bram Stoker’s ideas, found in handwritten notes and touched upon in Bram’s short story, Dracula’s Guest. (Most notably the character of Inspector Cotford of Scotland Yard, originally conceived for Bram‘s Dracula tale but left out of the book‘s final versions.) It also briefly explains the loss of the copyright for the name Dracula in a lawsuit with Universal Pictures and the dual purpose of this book to get the name Dracula somewhat realigned under the Stoker family name.

I find Dracula the Un-dead to be a successful novel, revisiting and expanding upon the legendary character and book, engaging for fans of the original or for casual fans that have not read the original but are familiar with the story. This is an easier read, told in modern fashion, that touches upon all the main plot points of the original while unfolding a new story and plotlines. Purists will scream blasphemy but with all the changes and evolutions in the legend of vampires that have taken place since the groundbreaking original Dracula novel, this one at least returns to traditional vampire lore. Would fans be happy with a carbon copy sequel in style, story and plot-points? Would a novel like that even be accepted by a publisher in this day and age? The answer is, no. So while this may never become a classic like the original (most sequels aren’t) readers should stop squawking and just enjoy the ride. It’s not perfect but it’s still the best vampire novel I’ve read in a long time.