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Previews & Reviews that are Z's Views

Behind The Scenes With Ray Harryhausen And His Special Effects Models

Mighty  Joe  Young.   The  Beast  From 20,000 Fathoms.   20  Million  Miles  to  Earth.   The  7th  Voyage of Sinbad.   Jason  and  the  Argonauts.   The Valley  of  Gwangi.   The  Clash  of  the  Titans.

If these movies take you back to your childhood, you’ll get a kick out of i09’s   Behind The Scenes With Ray Harryhausen And His Special Effects Models.  

The Strange Life of the Man Who Created “The Addams Family”

Charles Addams, the creator of The Addams Family,  was a strange bird.  Although Addams had a normal childhood, his cartoons hinted at a darker side…

 …Instead of a standard coffee table, Addams used a Civil War-era embalming table. He also kept a collection of antique crossbows above his sofa, and he used a young girl’s tombstone (“Little Sarah, Aged Three”) as a perch for his cocktails…

Addams married two different women who looked like the character Morticia from his cartoons (and his second wife even had her nose fixed to look more like the character).  Addams married his third wife in a pet cemetery.

Over the course of his career…

“Addams illustrated 68 covers for The New Yorker and contributed more than 1,300 cartoons to the magazine” — His most popular creation the comic strip The Addams Family “spawned two live-action television series, two animated cartoons, and two blockbuster feature films.”

Surprisingly The Addams Family  tv show got his cartoons banned from The New Yorker and after his divorce his second wife controlled the rights to the tv series.

You get the full details of Addams interesting life if you click over to the very interesting piece Light Heart; Dark Humor: The Man Behind The Addams Family  by Bill DeMain at Neatorama.

Q & A with John Carpenter!

I’ve been a John Carpenter fan since his classic Halloween.  Then when VHS came out I was able to go back and see Assault on Precinct 13  [which I prefer to the two].

Carpenter went on to do Escape from New York,  The Thing  and so many other cool films.  Somewhere along the way the lighting escaped the bottle.

Carpenter has the best attitude about his career, his life and his legacy.  I’d love to see him return to Snake Plissken with Kurt Russell one more time.

That’s not likely and Carpenter doesn’t talk about it in this interview, but he does talk about a lot and the interview is more than worth a read.

Source: Deadline.

James O’Barr: “The Crow” and Much More

Sean CW Korsgaard posted a great interview with The Crow creator James O’Barr.

O’Barr discusses what got him on board the new Crow movie [O’Barr hated and had nothing to do with the sequels and was against a new Crow film]…

…We’re not remaking the movie, we’re readapting the book. My metaphor is that there is a Bela Lugosi Dracula and there’s a Francis Ford Coppola Dracula, they use the same material, but you still got two entirely different films. This one’s going to be closer to Taxi Driver or a John Woo film, and I think there’s room for both of them…

a new Crow comic that O’Barr is writing and drawing called The Engines of Despair

…features a woman who was killed on her wedding day and comes back for revenge…

…a war comic

…It’s a true war story from the Korean War, about a group of Marines – I was in the Marines, and I’d heard about this group called “the real 300″, Fox Company, 235 of them held a mountaintop in Korea for five days against thousands of well-armed Chinese troops in subzero temperatures. Unlike the Spartans, against all odds, they held the mountain, and 82 of them lived to tell the tale…

…and a pet project O’Barr has been working on called Sundown

…it’s a gothic spaghetti-western that I’ve been working on for about five years in my spare time. It’s following four characters, each on a journey across post-Civil War America, each have different motives, goals and back stories, and Sundown is like any good story, about their journeys, not their destination. I’d describe it as theWizard of Oz if it had been directed by Sergio Leone…

Korsgaard’s O’Barr interview is really well done and I recommend it to all.

“Vampire Grave” Found in Bulgaria

From The Telegraph, October 10, 2014 in the article “Vampire Grave” Found in Bulgaria by Matthew Day and Harriet Alexander.

A skeleton with a stake driven through its chest has been unearthed in Bulgaria, in what archaeologists are terming a “vampire grave.”

“We have no doubts that once again we’re seeing an anti-vampire ritual being carried out,” said Professor Ovcharov.

All I can say is, “Don’t remove the stake!” - Craig

“Night of the Living Dead” Prequel Moving Forward with George Romero’s Blessing

Cameron Romero [George Romero’s son] has started a Indiegogo to prime the well to get his zombie movie Origins  financed.

The movie has his dad’s blessing and the elder Romero will serve as an executive producer of the film which will be a prequel to Night of the Living Dead.

I like the idea that Cameron has taken up the mantle and plans to carry on the Romero zombie tradition.

41 Things We Learned from the “Dracula” Commentary

Kevin Carr at Film School Rejects provides 41 Things We Learned from the Dracula  commentary.

Here are five of my favorites…

16. Dracula’s infamous line “I never drink wine” was not in the book or the stage play. However, after it became popular from the film, it was added to the dialogue of the stage play.

20. Several scenes in the script described fangs for Dracula, however Lugosi never wears them. Even though the Count in Nosferatu had fangs, the vampires from the early Universal films did not have them.

25. Originally, Stoker planned to call the title character Count Vampyr. However, he stumbled upon the history of Vlad Tepis and his name Dracula (meaning “son of the Devil”).

32. The shot of Renfield crawling at the fainted maid is not as sexual or violent as it first appears. In fact, he is trying to catch a fly that has landed on her. This was edited out of the English-language version but left in the Spanish-language one.

34. Originally, Lugosi was not considered for the role in the film. Trade papers suggested Conrad Veidt (the sleepwalker in The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari). The studio wanted Lon Chaney, and they ended up offering him a three-picture deal which included a talkie sequel to The Phantom of the Opera. However, Chaney died before this could be done. After several other considerations, Lugosi got the role with a $500 per week salary.

Mignola’s “Frankenstein Underground”

Mike Mignola [Hellboy] is going to write a five issue Frankenstein mini-series for Dark Horse comics.  Mignola says…

“This version of the Frankenstein monster has the same thirst for knowledge readers will remember from Mary Shelley’s novel… I’m trying to do something that’s true to the origin Mary Shelley created for the creature but also captures a bit of the feel that Boris Karloff brought to the role in the classic Universal films.”

Mignola’s mini-series will called Frankenstein Underground and will be part of his Hellboy universe.

Source: Outer Places.