Verne Langdon’s monster masks

Verne Langdon’s monster masks

A veritable Hollywood renaissance man, Verne Langdon’s contributions to horror culture are plentiful. He wrote for Famous Monsters of Filmland; produced horror records such as An Evening With Boris Karloff & His Friends (scripted by Forrest J Ackerman, containing dialogue and scores from the original Universal films), and as an accomplished musician himself, he has recorded monster-themed albums, including The Phantom of the Organ and Music for Zombies. However, it is in the world of…

Read More

Castle Films’ 8mm Creature Features

Castle Films’ 8mm Creature Features

  Before home video, the most popular way to invite your favourite monsters into your living room was through brightly packaged film reels available at the local drugstore. Rue Morgue looks back at this decades-long tradition. — Every generation of horror film fans has a coming-of-age story. Depending on how old you are, you might remember the day your dad brought a VCR into the living room, and how soon after you would spend your…

Read More

King of the Cardboard Castle

King of the Cardboard Castle

Horror hosts were nothing new to the television airwaves of the 1970s. Since the early 1950s, with the likes of Vampira and Zacherley, and into the 1960s, with Sir Graves Ghastly and Ghoulardi, they provided late-night creature comforts for horror fans both young and old. But while most of their shows have come and gone, one show, Creature Feature, which debuted on WDCA out of Washington, DC in 1973, continues today. Its host, Count Gore…

Read More

Making monsters for the man

Making monsters for the man

Although Reynold Brown created some of the genre’s most iconic movie posters, as a new book on the artist reveals, for him it was just like any other job. Before viral ad campaigns and other gimmicks, a movie poster was the studio’s essential marketing tool. Littered throughout a newspaper’s entertainment section, the ones for genre films called out with hyperbolic taglines, always claiming to be the most shocking, awe-inspiring epics ever brought to the local…

Read More

Monster mask pioneer Verne Langdon dead at 69

Monster mask pioneer Verne Langdon dead at 69

Verne Langdon, writer, producer, composer and sculptor best known to horror fans for the iconic monster masks he created in the 1960s, died on January 1, 2011 of natural causes. He was 69. A monster kid at heart, Langdon’s intricately sculpted masks, bearing the likenesses of many Universal Monsters, were initially offered in the back pages of Famous Monsters of Filmland magazine. They would eventually redefine Halloween masks for future generations when they later appeared…

Read More

Famed Hammer director Roy Ward Baker dead at age 93

Famed Hammer director Roy Ward Baker dead at age 93

Directing films featuring schizophrenic babysitters, epic disasters and busty lesbian vampires. To a horror fan, that’s quite a career. Roy Ward Baker, a prolific British filmmaker who helmed many horror and science fiction classics for Hammer Films, including Quatermass and the Pit, The Vampire Lovers, Scars of Dracula, Dr. Jekyll & Sister Hyde and The Legend of the Seven Golden Vampires, died October 5 at the age of 93. “Baker was always workmanlike, with occasional…

Read More

Hammer screenwriter Jimmy Sangster dead at 63

Hammer screenwriter Jimmy Sangster dead at 63

British screenwriter Jimmy Sangster, who changed the course of the horror genre in the 1950s with his scripts for Hammer’s The Curse of Frankenstein, Horror of Dracula and The Mummy, died in London au August 19, at the age of 83. With The Curse of Frankenstein (1957), Sangster successfully toyed with horror tradition by making Peter Cushing’s mad doctor the film’s focus, instead of his cadaverous creation, which had long been the norm during Universal…

Read More

Hitchcock’s Films by Robin Wood

Hitchcock’s Films by Robin Wood

Why should we take Hitchcock seriously? Considering all of the books and documentaries about his work, the DVD re-releases and remakes of his films, not to mention his direct influence on several generations of filmmakers, it seems like a downright silly question to ask today. But film critic and scholar Robin Wood (1931-2009) was quite earnest when that very question prefaced his 1965 book Hitchcock’s Films (Tantivy Press), the first serious English-language work on the…

Read More