Friday, October 24, 2014
Thursday, October 23, 2014
The other night I was watching Dracula's Daughter. The 1936 sequel to Dracula. I've seen this movie a handful of times since I was a kid and I spotted something that I had never noticed before. Towards the end of the movie, a character runs behind a large tapestry. On the tapestry is an image of Bela Lugosi as Dracula (or maybe as Vlad the Impaler). I hit the slo-mo and pause buttons over and over, marveling at this amazing looking tapestry.
If you're not familiar with Dracula's Daughter, the film begins soon after the events in Dracula. Countess Marya Zaleska, Dracula's daughter, shows up and swipes the body of Dracula. She burns Dracula's body in hopes of breaking the vampire curse. It doesn't work and she continues to thirst for blood.
The film suffered many problems for Universal including a revolving door of screenwriters, recasts, battles with censors and budget issues. Besides his likeness of a wax dummy and his likeness on the tapestry, Bela Lugosi did not reprise his role as Dracula. A real shame, because in a few of the early drafts, the movie begins in the 14th century and features the origins of Dracula. The tapestry must be a holdover from those unfilmed scenes.
I went ahead and added some color to the tapestry hopefully making it easier to see some of the details. Bela Lugosi/Dracula stands wearing robes instead of his cape and what looks like two (hell)hounds stand at his side. Is he portraying Vlad the Impaler? I wonder what happened to this amazing set piece? I would like to think that it's sitting in an old trunk waiting to be discovered. Since it looks like it was painted on canvas, more than likely the paint was probably stripped and the canvas was used for something else. After all, Dracula's Daughter was the last of the first wave of the Universal monster films and for a few years it looked like Universal had ended their monster run permanently.
I made this GIF so you can see how it moves in the film. I'd like to see someone attempt to recreate this amazing piece of film history.
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
Today's Halloween desktop wallpaper comes from Al Feldstein's 1954 cover of Three Dimensional Tales from the Crypt of Terror #2. Add the Crypt-Keeper to your desktop by clicking on the 1920x1080 image and save it to your computer.
Below is my poor attempt at turning this classic cover into a 3D image in the same vain as those Dynamite Magazine 3D posters I loved as a kid. It kinda works, so grab a pair of cardboard red and blue 3D glasses and have a look.
Tuesday, October 21, 2014
I was happy to find this excellent illustration of the Headless Horseman in a 1931 issue of Needlecraft Magazine. You never know where you're going to unearth a Halloween nugget. This Headless Horseman is probably glad to be released from that old musty magazine. I hope he doesn't wreck havoc searching for a head on the internet highway. My apologies if he does.
Ride Headless Horseman, ride!!
Monday, October 20, 2014
Warning! I'm not responsible if this werewolf monster jumps out of your computer monitor and wrecks havoc. This one comes from The Beyond #1 comic from 1950. Click on the 1920x1080 image and save it... if you dare.
It's a Castle Vlad time warp from Vlad's teen dance party from the 1960's. Thought to be lost forever, this rescued episode includes the never before seen Zombie Hop...IN COLOR!
Sunday, October 19, 2014
Here's a fun WWII era Halloween cover from The Family Circle. It doesn't have anything related to Halloween inside, but it does have an interesting two page article on special effects man, Lee Zavitz.