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…



Frankenstein Conquers the World (1965) – movie review

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Frankenstein Conquers the World (1965)
Aka: Frankenstein vs. Baragon

Directed by Ishiro Honda
special effects by Eiji Tsuburaya
Music Akira Ifukube

FCtW begins with movement in time portrayed with wonderful visuals. 1945 Germany, over a snow covered mountainside, we see a German scientist in a unique piece of Toho Gothic. He’s experimenting with the Frankenstein Monster’s heart which continues to beat despite the destruction of the Monster’s body. The heart is then being transported in the Pacific Theater frankenstein conquers dvd coverduring WW II, a naval waterfront of battleships and submarines. Next it’s In Japan at that moment of the Atomic blast that ended WW II.

Several years later, scientists are working with a Frankenstein feral boy. He continues to grow to giant size and eventually breaks free from his cages. When destruction occurs in the nearby villages, they authorities want to blame Frankie, much to the dismay of scientist, Sueko, who helped raise him like a son. It turns out the destruction is being caused by another Kaiju, Baragon. The two eventually duke it out in an action packed battle as Frankie uses his speed and smarts to defeat the bigger Baragon. The battle and military assault causes an earthquake and Frankie sinks into the earth with a defeated Baragon lying at his feet.

The film stars Nick Adams who had been lending his talents to various science fiction films of the time. It also stars familiar Toho actors, Kumi Mizuno, Tadao Takashima Takashi Shimura, Kenji Sahara, and Yoshio Tsuchiya. There’s some good ol’ time rock n roll in this film especially in the dance hall that is destroyed by Baragon. Awesome dancing! Haruo Nakajima the famed costumed Godzilla actor plays Baragon, and Koji Furuhata plays Frankenstein.

Lets face it, if you were not indoctrinated into the world of Toho films as a kid then you will find faults with the film. The flat-frankenstein-conquers-the-world-still_33-1966head prosthetic doesn’t transition smoothly into the face, you can sometimes see the wires and mechanics of the effects, especially nowadays with HD TVs and big screens. Not to mention the horse that looks like a little puppet on a stick, but if you can overlook some of these small inconsistencies, you may be entertained by the simple story and visual dynamics.

The American release partner, Harry G. Saperstein, was impressed with the octopus battle in King Kong vs Godzilla and urged Honda to film a similar sequence for the Frankenstein film. It was shot but ultimately not used because Honda didn’t feel it fit the storyline. It was re-shot as the opening scene in War of the Gargantuas with Gaira doing battle in the ocean.

However, the Rare Flix/Tokyo Shock DVD has the complete octopus battle in the special features listed under International Extended Scenes. It starts with the full (longer) main battle with Baragon and goes right into the battle with the Octopus.

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.

The Whisperer in Darkness – (2011) – movie review

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The Whisperer in Darkness (2011) 

This is the sophomore effort by the H.P.Lovecraft Historical Society following their much praised Call of Cthulhu a few years back. Their mission is to create films that adhere more closely to Lovecraft’s original tales while recreating vintage era film styles. Cthulhu is loved for its novelty, for its underdog effort, and for its ingenious ‘no-budget’ filming techniques. It is a silent movie praised by both Lovecraft fans and vintage film enthusiasts. Their second film also calls upon historical styles to tell its The_Whisperer_in_Darkness postertale. It is modeled in the style of early horror films, from the 1930’s – and yes it is a ‘talkie’ – not a silent film.

For those who are not familiar with ‘The Whisperer’ story I will give you the brief. After the Vermont floods of 1927, Professor Albert Wilmarth (Matt Foyer) of the Miskatonic University in Arkham MA, begins to receive letters from Vermont farmer Henry Akeley (Barry Lynch). Professor Wilmarth, a studier of folklore and legends ignores the strange tales until he is approached by George Akeley (Henry’s son) who claims to have evidence of these strange creatures. Wilmarth is given photos and a wax cylinder recording of a ritual ceremony that includes the strange voices of these beasts. Intrigued, Wilmarth communicates with Henry Akeley regularly by mail.  Henry’s letters increase with frequency, relaying his paranoia and fear regarding the mysterious creatures which are closing in and surrounding his farm. He minces no words about their malevolent nature. Then suddenly, Henry sends a letter claiming he had been mistaken about the creature’s evil nature and invites Wilmarth to his farm so he can give a full explanation about his encounters. Once at Henry’s farm, Wilmarth discovers the local townspeople are in allegiance with these creatures and he uncovers their plan to open a portal and bring the elders of this alien race to our world.

If you’re a fan of early horror films (1930’s) and regard this film as being made in that time period, you will be quite pleased. The crisp B&W image and the old-style special-fx are consistent with a film from that era. The film has the feel, look and social mindset of films like, The Invisible Man, Frankenstein and Dracula. Even the opening credits are congruent to films of that age. The first glimpse of the creatures are lobster-like shadows cast upon a wooden floor – pincers, claws and insectile legs – a familiar technique used in that age. Troy Sterling Nies delivers an epic, classic score, utilizing an orchestra to produce plodding ominous main themes with hard brass and forceful string arrangements. He utilizes creepy oboe pieces for mood and atmosphere. In the special features you see the filmmaker’s commitment to their ideas. Having no choice in putting their complex monster upon the screen but to use CGI, they tell the animator, we want the CGI to look like old-time stop-motion FX. The FX animator must have been scratching his head at this but he successfully mimicked the style for the film.

Although much of the script is faithful to Lovecraft’s story, the writing team added to the plot and extended the ending for a more dramatic conclusion. Many of Lovecraft’s stories conclude with the main character fleeing the horror – having done nothing – leading the reader to believe that the atrocity continues to this day. The ambiguous ending is great for a short story but not for a film ending. I think what Branney and Lemman (writing team/director/producer) added is fantastic. Wilmarth struggles to save a young girl from the clutches of the beasts while trying to stop the townsfolk from opening the portal to their dimension. The young lady, who plays Hannah (Autumn Wendel), is outstanding and adds an extra layer of emotional depth to the film. You can’t help but root for Hannah and Wilmarth to make their brave escape in the end.

As much as I like Call of Cthulhu, this is a much better made film, smoother and more consistent throughout. Even the HPLHS Logo introduction looks better. It’s rare that I look forward to a filmmaking team’s next projects with such enthusiasm. But even as I finish this review I can’t wait for announcements on what Lovecraft story they will conquer next. Is it on par with the action and themes of today’s modern horror films? Probably not. While I found it intriguing, it fails to capture the true feeling of terror associated with modern horror. What I like most about the film is also what holds it back. No one would think Frankenstein (1931) is scary when watching it today, either. However, is it a successful throw-back to earlier films in style and conception? Yes – and that is what I like about it.





Monster Brawl – (2012) – movie review

Monster Brawl – (2012) – movie review
This film pits classic monsters fighting against each other in a ring, in a classic pay-per-view, wrestling style event. Just like actual wrestling events, the announcers provide tongue-n-cheek observations and ridiculous puns in their non-stop commentary. Before each match there is a short vignette about each monster – about their origins, and how they came to be called upon for this event. Classic monsters include; Frankenstein, the Werewolf, the Mummy, a witch, a vampiress, and a zombie, amongst others. There was no real plot to the film, which I didn’t mind; I viewed it as a mock pay-per-view fight event. For someone, who in the past has watched some wrestling entertainment, this seemed like it would be fun to watch despite it being a novelty. I was expecting mindless entertainment and nothing more. Old school wrestling icons, Jimmy Hart and Kevin Nash played small parts in the film and the voice of Lance Henriksen did some narrating.

There was one aspect the filmmakers left out that could have made Monster Brawl so much more enjoyable. If anyone has ever watched any wrestling event, you know that the audience is half the show. A low-blow means nothing without the venomous “boos” from the crowd. You need the audience cheers of encouragement when the underdog rises against the bigger favorite of the match. You need the verbal disapproval of the audience when one fighter cheats or when a manager steps into the ring to deliver a fatal blow to the defender. The audience’s participations, reactions, cheers and jeers, are like exclamation points to every move the fighter makes in the ring. It adds all of the excitement to the matches. Unfortunately for this film, there is no audience and it leaves the matches in a sterile, listless environment. Even the campy humor can’t breathe life into these walking dead matches. It’s like watching someone else play a video game – you can watch for a short time but it gets stale very quickly.