Horror Archives

Bride of the Monster

Bride of the Monster (originally known as Bride of the Atom) is a 1955 horror/science-fiction film starring Béla Lugosi in a traditional mad scientist role. It was produced, directed and co-written by Edward D. Wood, Jr.. A sequel, entitled Night of the Ghouls, was made in 1959, but went unreleased for decades.

Trivia:

Producer Donald E. McCoy strongly disagreed with the use of nuclear warheads. He only agreed to finance the film if Edward D. Wood Jr. rewrote his original script, and made it end with a nuclear explosion as a warning against the use of nuclear weapons.


This was Edward D. Wood Jr.’s only financially successful film upon original release.

 


When Vornoff has Janet Lawton strapped to the table, he tells her she is about to become “The Bride of the Atom”. “The Bride of the Atom” was this film’s working title.

 


Edward D. Wood Jr. credited Alex Gordon with co-writing the story and screenplay as thanks for giving him the idea. Gordon actually contributed nothing to the script.

 


The prop octopus was stolen from Republic Studios and was constructed for the John Wayne film Wake of the Red Witch (1948). The motor which controlled the octopus’ tentacles was not stolen with it, as is obvious to the casual viewer. Additionally, one of the tentacles was torn off in the process of stealing it out of the property room.

 


Stuntman Eddie Parker’s participation in this film is still debatable. The story that he doubled Bela Lugosi stems from amateur fanzines in the early 1960s, and the assumption that Parker doubled Lugosi in Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man (1943). He didn’t. Parker doubled Lon Chaney Jr. as the Wolf Man; Australian actor/stuntman Gil Perkins doubled the Monster.

 


Tony McCoy was cast in the male lead role, primarily because his father, Arizona entrepreneur Donald E. McCoy, was the owner of Packing Service Corp. (a meat packing concern), and was a major investor in the film.

 


Wood began shooting ‘Bride of the Atom’ in October, 1954 on a tiny sound stage in Los Angeles called Ted Allan Studios. He ran out of money after just three days and had to shut down production.

 


According to Paul Marco, Edward D. Wood Jr. thought that Bela Lugosi’s memory might not be very good so for Lugosi’s huge speech in Bride of the Monster, Wood had the prop man make cue cards. Lugosi, upset, insisted he didn’t need cue cards and he would “memorize it.” Wood still insisted on the cue cards telling Lugosi, “We have to be safe.” Bela Lugosi went to Paul Marco for help. He had Marco promise not to show him the cue cards during the scene. Paul Marco held the cards at his side the whole time and Lugosi never looked over once. Bela Lugosi gave a sensational performance and the whole crew got up and applauded.

 

Dracula's Daughter released May 11, 1936

Dracula's Daughter

Dracula’s Daughter is a 1936 vampire horror film produced by Universal Studios, a sequel to the 1931 film Dracula. Directed by Lambert Hillyer from a screenplay by Garrett Fort, the film stars Otto Kruger, Gloria Holden, Marguerite Churchill and, as the only cast member to return from the original, Edward Van Sloan. Dracula’s Daughter tells the story of Countess Marya Zaleska, the daughter of Count Dracula and herself a vampire. Following Dracula’s death, she believes that by destroying his body she will be free of his influence and can live as a human. When this fails, she turns to psychiatry and Dr. Jeffrey Garth. When his efforts fail, she kidnaps Janet, the woman Jeffrey loves, and flees with her to Transylvania in an attempt to bind Jeffrey to her. She is foiled and destroyed when her jealous manservant shoots her with an arrow.

Ostensibly based on a short story titled “Dracula’s Guest” by Bram Stoker, the film bears little or no resemblance to the original source material. David O. Selznick initially purchased the rights to the story for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. Selznick, probably knowing he could not legally make the film because of Universal’s copyright on the original film, sold the rights to Universal. After first assigning the picture to James Whale, Universal production head Carl Laemmle, Jr. finally put Hillyer in the director’s chair.

Upon its release, Dracula’s Daughter was not as successful as the original, although it was generally well-reviewed. In the intervening decades, criticism has been deeply divided. Modern critics and scholars have noted the strong lesbian overtones of the film, overtones that Universal acknowledged from the start of filming and which they exploited in some early advertising.

Trivia:

Some elements of the plot are from Bram Stoker’s story “Dracula’s Guest” which was written as a chapter in his 1897 novel “Dracula,” but excised due to the novel’s length. It was first published in 1914, two years after Stoker’s death. Other elements are loosely based on the 1872 short story “Carmilla” by Sheridan Le Fanu.
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Takes place immediately after the events of Dracula (1931).
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This was originally to be another project for director James Whale. The script he submitted was so “outrageous” (in various senses of the word) that he was taken off the project. A virtual list of writers submitted treatments and scripts.
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The title character blinks her eyes only once in the course of the film, in a medium shot during Lady Hammond’s party.
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The last horror film produced under the supervision of Carl Laemmle.
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Bela Lugosi earned $4,000 for his participation in publicity photos for this film (he does not actually appear in it).
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Director Lambert Hillyer was injured on the 9th day of production (according to publicity, Friday the 13th) when a free-standing fill light toppled on his head. Nearly half a day of shooting was lost when he was briefly hospitalized. However, filming started February 4, 1936 and finished March 10, 1936, and there was a Thursday the 13th, but no Friday the 13th in that time interval.
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Completed for $278,000 it was one of Universal’s most expensive productions of the 1930s.
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Top-echelon director A. Edward Sutherland was originally assigned to direct. His contract contained an unusual “Pay or Play” clause, and he earned $17,500 for his involvement in the production. Because of interminable production delays, Sutherland moved on to another project before shooting began. His replacement, Lambert Hillyer, who had directed mostly “B” westerns, earned just $5,000 for directing the film.
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Four days after production wrapped, Universal’s principal debtor, Standard Capital Corp., seized control of the studio and the Laemmle family – including patriarch Carl Laemmle, who had founded the studio – were unceremoniously kicked out.
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Part of the original SHOCK THEATER package of 52 Universal titles released to television in 1957, followed a year later with SON OF SHOCK, which added 21 more features

 

Dog Soldiers

Dog Soldiers is a 2002 British horror film, written and directed by Neil Marshall and starring Kevin McKidd, Sean Pertwee and Liam Cunningham. It was a British production, set in the highlands of Scotland, and filmed almost entirely in Luxembourg.

The film contains homages to H.G. Wells, the films The Evil Dead, Zulu, Aliens, The Matrix and Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan.

Trivia:

Set in Scotland but filmed in Luxemborg.


The piece that Megan plays on the piano halfway through the film is Debussy’s “Clair de Lune”, roughly translatable as “moonbeam”. The link is obvious, but is possibly also a nod to An American Werewolf in London (1981), the soundtrack of which consisted purely of songs with “moon” in the title.

 


One of the soldiers in this movie is called Bruce Campbell, a reference to The Evil Dead (1981) (Bruce Campbell is the actor who portrayed its hero Ash and the film seems to have partially inspired the plot of Dog Soldiers (2002)).

 


Near the start of the film, they discover the tracking chip in their radio and someone mentions the Kobayashi Maru scenario, originally in Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan (1982).

 


The G3 rifle used by Spoon and later Terry didn’t work properly when firing blanks. During some scenes in the house, you can see Terry manually working the bolt to chamber the next round.

 


In the scene where Wells asks Cooper to knock him out, Kevin McKidd (Cooper) throws a stage punch the first time, but misjudges the distance of the second and catches Sean Pertwee (Wells) on the nose. Pertwee didn’t feel the punch however as he really was drunk for that scene.

 


Sean Pertwee’s character “Sgt. Harry G. Wells” is named after H.G. Wells, one of writer/director Neil Marshall’s favorite authors.

 


There is very little CGI used in the movie because the people involved in the filming believed that CGI was being over-used at the time and that it would take viewers out of the movie because they would be focused on how the special effects looked rather than the story, thus the werewolves are animatronics and body suits with stilts.

 


Being Scottish, Kevin McKidd who plays Cooper spotted that there is nowhere in Scotland that is a four hour drive from anywhere as mentioned in the film, but chose not to say anything.

 


The film makes several references to Zulu (1964). There’s the choral music featured in Zulu when Spoon is talking about Rorkes drift, and “Dog Soldiers'” Sgt. Well’s paraphrases “Zulu’s” Colour Sgt. Bourne’s “be quiet now will you, there’s a good gentleman, you’ll upset the lads” when talking to Ryan.

 


The movie probably takes place on the 1 and 2 September 2001, as England did indeed beat Germany 5 – 1 on the night of the 1st. Those nights were indeed full moons.

 


Jason Statham was originally the top runner for playing the part of Cooper, but he had to back down at the last minute to do John Carpenter’s Ghosts of Mars (2001).

 


Simon Pegg was offered a part in the film, but turned it down after Edgar Wright asked him to save his first horror role for Shaun of the Dead (2004).

 


The insurance did not cover the actors jumping out of the helicopter early in the film. As most of the crew were ex-army they jumped out of it instead. The crew also doubled up as Sgt Well’s soldiers for some of the tabbing shots.

 

Dr Jekyll and the Wolfman

Dr. Jekyll y el Hombre Lobo, also known as Dr. Jekyll and the Wolfman and Dr. Jekyll and the Werewolf, is a 1972 Spanish horror film, the sixth in the series, about the werewolf Count Waldemar Daninsky, played by Paul Naschy.

Tales from the Darkside the Movie

Tales from the Darkside is a 1990 movie directed by John Harrison based on the anthology television series Tales from the Darkside. The film, shot in anthology style, depicts a kidnapped paperboy who tells three stories of horror to the suburban witch who is preparing to eat him, à la Hansel and Gretel.

Paramount Pictures’ (which distributed this movie) television division would later gain distribution rights to the Tales from the Darkside TV series.

The original basis of this film was to be at one point the 2nd sequel in the Creepshow franchise. It did not come to be, and with the popularity of the Tales from the Darkside television series, producers opted to add the title of that show to the film. However, Tom Savini has been quoted as saying that this film is the real “Creepshow 3“.

Trivia:

Three cast members of this movie also appeared on the “Tales from the Darkside” (1984) television series: ‘Deborah Harry’, Christian Slater and ‘William Hickey’.


During a scene in “Lot 249″, Dawn of the Dead (1978) can be heard playing from the TV. Its writer/director, ‘George A. Romero’, wrote the screenplay for the segment “Cat From Hell”.

 


In the episode “Cat from Hell”, a TV is showing a scene from Martin (1977), also written and directed by George A. Romero.

 


The second story, titled “The Cat From Hell” (written by Stephen King and adapted for the screen by George A. Romero) was originally intended for Creepshow 2 (1987). The story was later dropped due to budgetary reasons.

 


“Tales from the Darkside: The Movie” is considered by many fans and Tom Savini himself to be the ‘official’ “Creepshow 3″. Following the success of Stephen King and George A. Romero’s Creepshow, Laurel Entertainment (Creepshow & Creepshow 2’s production company) toyed with the idea of a Creepshow television series. After several negotiations and changes (due to rights holders etc.), the decision was made to change the title for the series to “Tales from the Darkside” (to be helmed by none other than Creepshow director and Creepshow 2 screenwriter, George A. Romero). After the series’ great success, just roughly three short years after Creepshow 2 hit theatres, Tales from the Darkside: The Movie came to fruition in 1990 as the successor to the original two Creepshow installments, sharing many of the same crew as the Creepshow installments.

 

The Craft released May 3, 1996

The Craft

The Craft is a 1996 American supernatural teen horror film directed by Andrew Fleming and starring Robin Tunney, Rachel True, Fairuza Balk and Neve Campbell. The film’s plot centers on a group of four teenage girls who pursue witchcraft and use it for their own gain, and how this changes their friendship. The film’s original music score was composed by Graeme Revell. It was released on May 3, 1996 by Columbia Pictures.

Trivia:

Features over 3,000 snakes including pythons, boas, water snakes, garter snakes, rat snakes, and a 10 foot Amazon constrictor – even rare albino snakes.


Robin Tunney wore a wig in this because she had shaved her head for Empire Records (1995).

 


The Connie Francis song playing on the jukebox when the girls visit their newly rich friend Nancy is “Fallin'”.

 


Though all of the actresses playing teenagers were far past teenage years, at the time of filming Rachel True was almost 30 years old.

 


The shots of Nancy being covered in bugs were created by wrapping a life-cast of Fairuza Balk’s head and torso in green screen material. The bugs were filmed crawling all over the casting and then digitally composited on top of a live action plate of Balk.

 


On the special edition DVD of this film, Andrew Fleming states in the commentary that the production was geared toward earning a PG-13 rating from the MPAA. They followed all of the guidelines to earn that rating, but in the final outcome the film was rated R because the film dealt with teenage girls using witchcraft.

 


Although the name of the Catholic high school is never mentioned in the film, it was referred to as St. Bernard’s Academy in the film’s trailer. This is a nod by writer Peter Filardi to the real Saint Bernard High School in southeastern Connecticut, where Filardi grew up.

 


After Sarah returns to her house near the end, the house is full of snakes, rats, maggots, etc. As she retreats to the upstairs bathroom, we see her pass a whiteboard with the name Gustav Klimt. Gustav Klimt was an artist whose works were denounced for their eroticism. He was also known to have a common theme of the “Femme Fatale” or women who were empowered and strong.

 


In the shooting script, as well as early edits of the film, it is implied that only Sarah has actual magic powers, and that the other girls’ abilities are merely a result of their leaching off of Sarah’s magic.

 

Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell

Frankenstein and the Monster From Hell is a 1974 British horror film from Hammer Film Productions. It was directed by Terence Fisher and starred Peter Cushing and David Prowse. Filmed at Elstree Studios in 1972 but not released until 1974, it was the final chapter in Hammer’s Frankenstein series of films and director Fisher’s last film.

Trivia:

Peter Cushing claimed that the wig he was required to wear made him look like Helen Hayes.


The last of Hammer’s Frankenstein movies.

 


Last feature film directed by Terence Fisher.

 


The role of Sarah was first offered to Caroline Munro.

 

the monster david prowse

The Monster David Prowse

david prowse as monster from hell

David Prowse as The Monster

Curse of Frankenstein


The Curse of Frankenstein is a 1957 British horror film by Hammer Film Productions. It was Hammer’s first colour film, and the first of their Frankenstein series. Its worldwide success led to several sequels, and the studio’s new versions of Dracula (1958) and The Mummy (1959) and established “Hammer Horror” as a distinctive brand of Gothic cinema. The film was directed by Terence Fisher and starred Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee. Lee and Cushing would both go on to enjoy long film careers, usually as the protagonists in other films of the same genre.

Trivia:

For many years this held the distinction of being the most profitable film to be produced in England by a British studio.


The first Frankenstein movie to be filmed in color

 


The idea originated with Milton Subotsky, who went on to co-found Amicus Films, Hammer’s main rival during the 1960s and early 1970s. The script was revised several times to avoid repeating any elements from the Universal Frankenstein series. As part of this effort, new monster make-up had to be devised especially for this film.

 


Christopher Lee’s monster make-up was almost literally done at the “last minute”. After previous attempts to design a monster make-up using a cast of Lee’s head had failed, make-up artist Philip Leakey made the final design the day before shooting began, directly onto Lee’s face, using primarily cotton and other household materials. Since he didn’t use any latex or molds, the make-up had to be recreated from scratch every day.

 


The original concept for this film was a black-and-white feature with Boris Karloff as Baron Frankenstein. Universal threatened a lawsuit if Hammer copied any elements from the classic Universal version. Hammer had Jimmy Sangster completely redo the script and had Jack Asher shoot it in Eastmancolour.

 


This is not the first time Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee starred together. Lee had a small role in Laurence Olivier’s Hamlet (1948), in which Cushing played Osric. The two had also appeared in Moulin Rouge (1952), though they shared no scenes.

 


Bernard Bresslaw was considered for the role of the Creature, on account of his height.

 


Patrick Troughton appeared in a brief role as a mortuary attendant. Although his name is credited on some early publicity material his scenes were cut from the finished film.

 


Although they had both previously appeared in Hamlet (1948) and Moulin Rouge (1952), Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing met on the set of this film for the first time. They would pass the time between shots by exchanging Looney Tunes phrases, and quickly developed a fast friendship, which lasted until Cushing’s death in 1994.

 

curse of the werewolf

Curse of the Werewolf

The Curse of the Werewolf (1961) is a British film based on the novel The Werewolf of Paris by Guy Endore. The film was made by the British film studio Hammer Film Productions and was shot at Bray Studios.


Trivia:

The only werewolf movie made by Hammer Studios.


Makeup-artist Roy Ashton based his makeup for this film on Jack P. Pierce’s makeup for The Wolf Man (1941).

 

Curse of the Werewolf 1961

 

 

 

Vampire Circus

Vampire Circus is a 1972 British horror film directed by Robert Young for Hammer Film Productions. It stars Adrienne Corri, Thorley Walters and Anthony Higgins (billed as Anthony Corlan). The story concerns a travelling carnival whose vampiric artistes prey on the children of a 19th-century Austrian village. It was filmed at Pinewood Studios.

Trivia:

Robert Tayman was dubbed by David de Keyser.


Laurence Payne was an 11th hour casting choice replacing Anton Rodgers who dropped out because of illness.

 


According to various books on Hammer films this film went over schedule and some key scenes were never filmed.

 

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