Archive for dracula

Monstrous Post Cards

Posted in Media with tags , , , , , , , , on October 27, 2019 by ranranami

Thanks to a fun template from craftideas4kids.com I was able to throw together a couple of fun poster postcards for today’s entry. It’s been a rough week, but there’s always time to play around with fun international and vintage posters anyway.

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Monstrous Paper Dolls

Posted in Fun and Games, Halloween Junk with tags , , , , , , , on October 5, 2018 by ranranami

I know what we’re all thinking. Monster High dolls are cute, but they’re not classic. Classic model dolls are awesome, but kids can’t play with them without breaking something! If only there was some way for a child to enjoy classic horror monsters in a creative way…

if only…
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Jill Bauman and Walter Velez have got you covered! The dolls below are only a few awesome highlights from the book, and there are many more (including, for some reason, the Easter bunny and Santa Clause to save them two more issues?) Now I would actually love to just share a scan of every page, but I highly encourage you to get the book if you have the chance. Below are just a few of the awesome selections just to get a bit of a taste…
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A Tribute to Paul Naschy

Posted in Media, People, Videos and Clips with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 30, 2017 by ranranami

How best to describe Paul Naschy? Was he Lon Chaney with the face of John Saxon? Was he the Vincent Price of Spain? To tell you the truth, Paul Naschy was one of a kind. Actor, director, screenwriter, and even sometimes producer. He wore every mask at one point or another, and played ever role, from Wolfman to Frankenstein, to Dracula, and even Satan himself.

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Where Lon Chaney Jr played the American Wolfman, Naschy’s Casanova version of the role practically chewed the scenery. No matter the quality of a film, the poor dubbing, or awful edited versions that have been butchered a hundred times for American audiences, there’s no denying how compelling Naschy still is in those films. He was just that good. He was also known to be a fantastic, down-to-earth kind of person, too, which goes a long way in my book for any major star.

Shout Factory just released some epic collections of Naschy films I’d like to get my hands on, having settled for some of those more questionable releases I’ve mentioned, and it was about time too.

I couldn’t resist ending on this fantastic tribute video I found. I hope some day more of the world will really come to appreciate this brilliant man. Oh, and by the way, happy halloween!

Horror Flick of the Week: Dracula (1931)

Posted in Media, Movies and shows, Trailers, Videos and Clips with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 30, 2015 by ranranami

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Cliche? Perhaps. I just went to the theatre this week and watched the English-Spanish double feature TCM is featuring nationwide, and had a blast. But…there were only 5 people in the theatre (including myself and two friends) during the first film, and only us when the Spanish version aired. Which leads me to believe not enough people truly appreciate this movie.

I will not say it’s Lugosi’s greatest performance, even though it’s spectacular. Honestly, I think he doesn’t get enough attention for the many other excellent roles he has played in horror. Sure…there were a few bad ones…but I really never fault his performance. Even Plan 9, the few frames he was actually present, I wouldn’t say Lugosi was what made that movie bad. But this isn’t an article about Bela, it’s a recommendation for any and all who haven’t Seen Universal’s Dracula to do so as quickly as possible, and follow it up with the Spanish one too.

Renfield was not a huge character in the novel, and only cinema has made him dynamic. Specifically this movie is what started it…so watch Dwight Frye (english) and Pablo Alvarez Rubio (spanish) closely. They’re absolutely incredible. In fact, I’d say they’re my favorite characters in both movies. Keep in mind that the pacing is slow, because this was during the infancy of talkies, but also keep in mind that Todd Browning was nothing if not a master of making silence work for him rather than against. IF you have put Universal’s Dracula off for any reason, this is the year to finally give it a good watch. You won’t regret it.

Halloween Commercials

Posted in Media, Videos and Clips with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 3, 2014 by ranranami

You know what I used to love about October? All of the awesome Halloween commercials. Just a dash of plastic fangs and a sprinkle of green make-up could make a product that much more appealing in October. Here’s to the television spots that reminded us all about Halloween’s impending approach…

 





 

Book of the week: “The Essential Dracula: The Difinitive Annotated Edition”

Posted in Books, Media with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 19, 2013 by ranranami

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The Essential Dracula: The Definitive Annotated Edition, By Leonard Wolf

(Obviously the actual novel bit is by Bram Stoker)

 

Get me drunk enough, and there are a few things you’ll commonly see me do: talk with an Irish accent (even though I am in no way related to anyone Irish), spout random French words from my old high school French class, and complain that nobody has ever properly given Dracula it’s due on the big screen. What does this have to do with my favorite edition of Dracula I’ve ever read? Well, I’ll tell you.

 

It is not easy to write an annotated book without getting heavy-handed, or filling the novel with footnotes that just aren’t necessary or interesting. A lot of times, annotated books just break down to defining a word a moderate reader might not understand, like ‘superfluous’ or ‘clatu virata nicto’. Somehow, Mr. Wolf managed to inject an interesting or useful note into practically every page. The footnotes themselves actually add to Dracula, rather than taking away from it.

 

In reading this edition, I felt like I had come to know more about the time period, the novel, and Bram Stoker himself. What’s more, since there’s just so MUCH information, reading it again has still left me feeling like I learned something new every time. It also convinces me a little bit more each time I read this edition, that a film has never been made which could compare to the book. Yes, I understand movies rarely are anywhere near as good as the books they’re based on, but you’d think after 50+ tries, someone would have nailed it in the past 90 years.

 

I recommend this for those of us who love Dracula, and for those of us who love history. There’s an earlier edition with lots of pretty pictures and illustrations thrown in too, but I haven’t gotten my hand on a copy yet. Ultimately, I think if anyone actually decided to do true justice to the story of Dracula in a film, they would reap the most benefit from reading this edition. Thank you, Mr. Wolf, for this wonderful read.

Horror Flick of the Week: Love at First Bite

Posted in Media, Movies and shows with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 30, 2013 by ranranami

Every year, my best friend and I gather a collection of our ‘traditional marathon movies’ and watch them like crazy on Halloween. The night always starts with Love at First Bite. Not only is it one of Hamilton’s funniest movies, but he’s also playing Dracula. I’d also like to add that it’s a quote-able movie, with plenty of awesome lines to go around.

 

The atmosphere at the beginning is great: fog, candle-light, howling wolves and Dracula in tails. In short, they’ve nailed the Tod Browning feel. Renfield is amazingly neurotic, creepy, funny, and…funny. The whole picture is nice and light, like a good appetizer before you sink your teeth into the main dish.

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Dracula longs for the company of a woman, Cindy Sondheim, a model in New York. Now Dracula is pretty much always on the prowl, in any and all incarnations he’s ever taken. It’s no surprise then, that Cindy Sondheim is the reincarnation of his true love…Mina Harker. Instead of wasting away longing for her company and reading gossip magazines, though…he’s ousted by the government so his castle can be converted into a training facility for young athletes. This is the perfect opportunity to finally pursue the woman of his dreams.

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And what’s an eviction notice without an angry mob of villagers?

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He finds her, they spend the evening together, and then-Dracula gets to meet her psychiatrist/occasional love interest…Van Helsing’s grandson. They don’t get on.

 

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I’ll leave all the juicy bits out for anyone unfamiliar with this movie to discover on his or her own, but chances are that if you like Tootsie…and if you like Dracula in any form…you’ll probably like this. No, there sadly isn’t any drag, but it really brings Tootsie to mind anyway. I guess it’s the time period…or the setting…or the wig. Not sure. I’ll get back to you on that.

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