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Creepy Classics &

Monster Bash News

It's our latest offerings, and a look ahead at cool classic monster, horror, & science fiction releases. Celebrate the classic horror and science fiction films from the silent era through the 1960s, retro TV horror from the 1950s-1970s. Can't remember the title of a movie? Here's the place to ask. Want to reminisce about chilhood monster movie memories? Ask questions about the annual Monster Bash Classic Movie Conference. Just e-mail your message to: creepyclassics@creepyclassics.com.

THE CREEPY CLASSICS &
MONSTER BASH NEWS

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22 Creepy Years

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Wednesday July 29 - Thursday July 30, 2015

TODAY'S PHAN FOTO: A nice photo of a pleasent evening with Bela Lugosi visiting Forrest J Ackerman and Wendy Ackerman. Get all your favorite classic horror, mystery and sci-fi movies in the Complete DVD Catalog Department or in our Creepy Blu-Ray Department, here at Creepy Classics!

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All the Noose That's Fit To Post

New! Here Come The Cliffhangers

Just in, great cliffhanger serial titles on DVD-R. These are complete serials on double disc DVD-Rs in regular plastic snap cases. Some really cool, rare titles:

DARKEST AFRICA (1936) Real life animal trainer Clyde Beatty stars in this non-stop lost jungle adventure. Complete with young boy sidekick and bull whip, Clyde tackles flying batmen and various man-eating beasts. It's the search for the lost city of Joba. Complete serial.

COMMANDO CODY - SKY MARSHAL OF THE UNIVERSE (1953) Stars Judd Holden, Aline Towne, William Shallert, Roy Barcroft and Denver Pyle. A classic serial at the end of the cliffhanger heyday. Rocket suits, government agents and Republic's crack special effects team made this one of the last great serials. Re-marketed on television in the 1950s.

FLYING DISC MAN FROM MARS (1950) Stars Walter Reed, Lois Collier and James Craven. A Martian lands in a flying disc and sets up shop in a dormant volcano. He uses mind control and is after precious Uranium to power his weapons of mass destruction in plans to take over our planet. Airman Walter Reed is onto the evil aliens and the adventure begins and never lets up. Twelve chapter serial.

HAUNTED HARBOR (1944) Stars Kane Richmond, Kay Aldridge and Roy Barcroft. A 15 chapter serial with all the great trappings and more. A man is falsely accused of murder. He escapes with the help of friends and is on a mission to clear himself. Get ready for hurricanes, a master criminal base, jungle threats and a harbor haunted by the dead and feared by natives.

THE INVISIBLE MONSTER (1950) Stars Richard Webb, Aline Towne, Lane Bradford, Stanley Price and Eddie Parker. A leader of the underworld acquires a bizarre chemical from another country that make people invisible in combination with a special light ray. His plans are to develop an invisible army and, well....you guessed it, rule the world! 12 chapter serial.

THE IRON CLAW (1941) Stars Charles Quigley. There's gold from a Spanish galleon hidden in a creaky old mansion filled with hidden passageways. Greedy family members are looking for the hidden treasure...but so is a masked phantom with a sharp iron claw in place of a hand. The cloaked figure comes out from the shadows to chill the gold-seekers. 15 chapter serial.

MASTERS OF VENUS (1962) A children's sci-fi matinee serial produced in England. Two kid's father has created a rocketship powerful enough to reach other worlds. When "Men in Black" arrive with ray guns and threaten to steal the rocket and plans, the family escapes...in the rocket. Landing on Venus they find a strange race of beings, weird creatures and peril at every turn. Eight-part serial.

OFFICER 444 (1926) Silent serial stars Ben F. Wilson, Neva Gerber, Ruth Royce and Al Ferguson. Government agent Officer 444 is after a mad scientist named "The Frog" who wants to rule the world. The Frog is a slinking shadowed figure moving much like Lon Chaney in his roles as a contortionist. The Frog does rule an underworld complete with dungeon and deformed evil hunchbacks. A woman working with The Frog, called The Vulture tries to lead Officer 444 astray too.

PIRATE TREASURE (1934) Stars Richard Talmadge, Lucille Lund, Walter Miller and Pat O'Malley. A real rough and tumble serial from Universal, the same year they made THE BLACK CAT (also with Lucille Lund). A young man finds that he has a real pirate's treasure map and sets out to find his fortune. A tough gang of cut-throats discovers he has this valuable map and will stop at absolutely nothing to get it. Some unbelievable real-life stunts pepper this forgotten, gritty serial.

Get these great vintage serials on DVD in our Cliffhangers Department here at Creepy Classics.

 

 

Lodger Laird Cregar Birthday

This in from Bashin' Birthday reporter Scott Goettel:

Hi Ron,

July 28th is the birthday of Laird Cregar, born 7/28/1913, and passed
away at the young age of 31 on 12/09/1944 (his funeral eulogy was
delivered by Vincent Price).

Scott

Laird Cregar is known for his fabulous acting in the Jack the Ripper RKO masterpiece THE LODGER (1944). Also in HANGOVER SQUARE as a psycho, THE SPANISH MAIN and other films before his untimely death. -Ron

 

 

Next Summer's MONSTER BASH

Next summer's MONSTER BASH FROM MARS, PA will be July 8-10, 2016.

Discounted 3-Day Membership admissions are available right now. Just go to Creepy Classics and order yours, or click here. Passes for this October's BASH and next July's BASH are available now.

Hotel reservations at the host hotel, the Doubletree by Hilton are available NOW for October's show (October 16-18). Reservations for the summer show (July 8-10, 2016) are also available now!

Call for on-site reservations at: (724) 776-6900 or direct to reservations at (888) 627-8175.

Make sure to say you want the "Monster Bash" rate.

 

 

New! Vintage Columbia Sci-Fi DVD Collection

Six classic sci-fi flicks from the vaults of Columbia Studios: THE 27TH DAY (1957), THE NIGHT THE WORLD EXPLODED (1957), THE H-MAN (1958), 12 TO THE MOON (1959), BATTLE IN OUTER SPACE (1960) and VALLEY OF THE DRAGONS (1961). Two disc-set.

It's in shock stock now at Creepy Classics in our New DVD and Blu-Ray Department. We'll load one up on our flying disc and using a special mix of anti-gravity have it to you....fast!

 

 

Quick, Don't Miss Out On Getting An On-Site Room For Next Summer's MONSTER BASH

Monster Bash Conference reservations for the next summer show are now being taken (while they last) -- July 8-10, 2016. You can get the special discounted BASH rate now.

The Doubletree Pittsburgh North, Mars, PA.

Call at (724) 776-6900 or direct reservations (888) 370-0998.

 

 

New! Lost In Space VHS Tapes

Now in rockin' shock stock - LOST IN SPACE on like new used VHS tapes. You'll find The Swiss Family Robinson in Space in our Used Video Graveyard here at Creepy Classics. Get yours today before they're all gone.

 

 

Actor Theodore Bikel R.I.P.

Thanks to Richard Campbell for alerting us to the passing of great actor Theodore Bikel.

Theodore Bikel passed away. He was in I BURY THE LIVING and a TWILIGHT ZONE called 4 O'CLOCK. But the "creepiest" thing he ever did was recording his own version of the Beatles song "Piggies"!  Best. Richard.

 

 

Coming in a Few Weeks

The All Christopher Lee Issue!

A MONSTER BASH MAGAZINE SPECIAL with a Monster Bash interview with Christopher Lee. Memories from you, the fans...plus behind-the-scream photos...

The all Christopher Lee MONSTER BASH special with cover painting by Lorraine Bush.

Stay tuned for details here!

 

 

New! Classic Horror Four Movie DVD Set In Shock Stock Right Now

In early, the four movie set - CLASSIC HORROR from Columbia Studios. Get it shipped out right away. It's in stock here at Creepy Classics. You'll find it in our New DVD Department.

FIVE (1951)
Stars William Phipps, Susan Douglas, James Anderson, Charles Lampkin and Earl Lee. A moving tales of post world nuclear destruction. Five people roam the countryside and destrution. The shades of society's evil still present among them as they fight amongst themselves. A moving, stirring tales of survival in a world lost.

THE MAD MAGICIAN (1954)
Stars Vincent Price. Follow-up to HOUSE OF WAX. Vincent Price is a wronged magician gone totally crazy. Circular saws and magician tricks become methods of mysterious murder. Catch Ed Wood actor Conrad Brooks in a brief crowd scene where they light a huge, deadly bonfire.

THE MAN WHO TURNED TO STONE (1957)
Stars Victor Jory, Ann Doran and Charlotte Austin. A group of renegade scientists are working on a way to keep eternally young. The use young women, extract their life forces and electronically transfer them to another. Only problem is, you need to keep doing this or the youth-subject becomes a hideous zombie. The side effects are tough.

THE TERROR OF THE TONGS (1961)
Stars Christopher Lee and Yvonne Monlaur. A seaman's daughter is missing and the Red Dragon Tong is responsible. Their a group of cult killers headed by Christopher Lee in a very Fu Manch like role. The father is out for revenge as he stalks the terrible cult into a world of horror.

Get your two-disc set now! CLICK HERE!

 

 

New! Great Hard-To-Find Used VHS Tapes (Like New) In Shock Stock

Just scanned from deep in our vaults, like new, great titles on used VHS....just some of the newly added titles include: INVASION OF THE SAUCERMEN, ATTACK FROM MARS, THE AMAZING COLOSSAL MAN, THE COSMIC MONSTERS, THE SLIME PEOPLE, THE RAVEN (1963), IT CONQUERED THE WORLD, THE CRAWLING EYE and many, many more.

Peruse our Used Video Graveyard right now. You'll find many that never even had a DVD release!

 

 

MEXICAN MONSTER PARTY JULY 2015

By Roberto "Bobb" Cotter
   
Hola, amigos, and welcome to this month's thrilling column; it's double feature time at the ol' hacienda! We've got a couple of Santo classics for you this month (mainly because the DVD features them that way): SANTO VERSUS LAS LOBAS ("Santo vs. the She-Wolves") and EL ESPECTRO DEL STRANGULADOR ("The Ghost of the Strangler"). So buckle up for plenty of turnbuckle action!

SANTO VS. LAS LOBAS is one of the brightest spots of the mid-70's period of El Santo films; in fact, it would work quite well as a straight horror film even without the Silver-Masked Man, and so his role is rather like a bonus. The film looks eerily like a mid-70's TV film, complete with grainy film stock, and it indeed belongs to a small group of his and Blue Demon's films that were originally intended for the small screen, but instead were blown up to 35mm and shown theatrically. It deserved it; SANTO VS. LAS LOBAS (not connected or related to the 1964 Kitty De Hoyos classic LA LOBA, by the way) generates a genuinely scary atmosphere and some gripping shock scenes. The movie's only real fault is the makeup; don't get me wrong, it's really good, but it only covers the werewolves' face, feet, and hands... which is the case in a lot of old werewolf movies, except that, in a lot of old werewolf movies, the rest of the body is covered by clothes in order to mask the deception. Here, we can plainly see where the makeup begins and ends because the rest of their bodies are clearly human, with some strategically-placed loincloths and bikinis.



SANTO VS. THE STRANGLER and its sequel, GHOST OF THE STRANGLER, were produced by the man responsible for the previous two El Santo films, Alberto Lopez, but for GHOST, the directorial reigns were turned over to the 'father' of the Wrestling Women, Rene Cardona. As usual, there is plenty of everything: sexy women, music, wrestling, and horror. There's even a very serial-like scene where El Santo is caught in a giant drill-press! Whether or not the movies were shot back-to-back or concurrently remains open to conjecture, but one thing's for sure: about the only people that didn't work on the sequel were those who got killed in the original! SANTO VS. THE STRANGLER was a sort of "Phantom of the Nightclub", with the scarred Strangler (ever-reliable Roberto Canedo) stalking and murdering sexy women. He's back up to his old tricks in GHOST, except it isn't his ghost, it's the Strangler in the flesh (or more accurately, his VICTIM'S flesh! Ew!) and he wants revenge. Assisting him in his gruesome shenanigans is the Mexican all-purpose monster man, Gerardo Zepeda, who earns points simply for being named "Tor."



And that's it for this month, amigos; as always, please remember to click for free at the Animal Rescue Site to help provide food and care for shelter animals (or better yet, adopt one!) Until next month, Adios and Vaya con Dios, or "Goodbye, Good Luck, and may the Good Lord take a likin' to ya!"

-Uncle Roberto, Cousin Lucky, and Cher.

Roberto "Bob" Cotter is the author of THE MEXICAN MASKED WRESTLER AND MONSTER FILMOGRAPHY published by McFarland Books.

Get SANTO VS. THE SHE-WOLVES & SANTO VS. THE GHOST OF THE STRANGLER on DVD here at Creepy Classics in our Mexican Monsters on DVD Department!

Mexi-Movie fans...please note that Blue Demon, Jr, will make a rare public appearance at the MONSTER BASH OCTOBERFEST all three days - October 16-18, 2015. Don't miss meeting him, getting an autograph! Question and answer session moderated by Roberto "Bobb" Cotter and Juan Ortiz.

 

 

New! HOUSE ON HAUNTED HILL Lobby Card Reproductions

Now in shock stock, the complete eight card set for HOUSE ON HAUNTED HILL (1959). You can get them individually, or at a discount for all four. They each are on heavy stock card paper and come in crystal clear sturdy acrylic slip sleeves.

You gotta love the witch/housekeeper card....the scene that sent me through my parents ceiling when it came on TV when I was a kid....!

Find them in our Poster & Lobby Card Reproductions Department here at Creepy Classics!

 

 

New! HORROR HOTEL Lobby Card Reproductions

Now in shock stock, the complete four card set for HORROR HOTEL (1960). You can get them individually, or at a discount for all four. They each are on heavy stock card paper and come in crystal clear sturdy acrylic slip sleeves.

Find them in our Poster & Lobby Card Reproductions Department here at Creepy Classics!

 

 

Above: James Whale (director of FRANKENSTEIN and BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN) with David Manners (actor in DRACULA, THE MUMMY, THE BLACK CAT).

James Whales Birthday Remembered

This just in from our birthday reporter here at Creepy Classics:

Hi Ron,

July 22nd marks the birthday of director James Whale...born 7/22/1889,
and passed away on 5/29/1957 at age 67.

By the way, July 22nd would have also been my grandfather's birthday
(Olen Chapman)...he would have been 121! Born on 7/22/1894, Grandpa
passed away at age 97 on 4/16/1992. We were so close, and remained good
buddies for all my life!

Scott Goettel, KY

 

 

Monster Bash Octoberfest Site Up

The beginnings of our October MONSTER BASH has been bubbling under and growing steadily. Yes, she's back on the list and says her schedule is clear! Barbara Steele will be at MONSTER BASH OCTOBERFEST 2015. It's a celebration of growing up and watching great horror and science fiction on TV. Those late night movies featured Barbara Steele movies....Rod Serling's THE TWILIGHT ZONE is arguable the greatest TV show of all time and his daughter, Anne Serling will be at BASH to give a super special presentation on her dad. THE MUNSTERS was a part of our lives, our monster family and the wonderful Pat Priest (Marilyn on THE MUNSTERS) will be at BASH. Lisa Marie who starred as Vampira in the movie ED WOOD and wasa the creepy alien in MARS ATTACKS. Felix Silla who was Cousin It on THE ADDAMS FAMILY and appeared in BUCK ROGERS, DON'T BE AFRAID OF THE DARK and so much, much more will be BASHIN'. And, Mexican Wrestler - in person - Blue Demon, Jr.!, Pittsburgh's TV Horror Host icon and actor in NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD, Bill Cardille (Chilly Billy Cardille) will be with us. Ohio's TV Horror Host icon - SON OF GHOUL is in! Remember THE ABBOTT & COSTELLO TV SHOW? Well, the greatest impersonators on the planet THE ULTIMATE ABBOTT & COSTELLO TRIBUTE SHOW (Joe Ziegler and Bill Riley) will also appear and perform.

This is just the beginning of the autumn MONSTER BASH celebration....stay tuned.

The site is up (and still under creepy construction), membership admission is available now for a $10 discount. The hotel is almost sold out...get your room now! Ask for the MONSTER BASH discount group rate.

Call for a reservation now: Call (724) 776-6900

Dealer tables are selling too!

A sneak peek at the upcoming MONSTER BASH OCTOBERFEST 2015:

Get connected with the MONSTER BASH OCTOBERFEST...the details are here - CREEPY CLICK!

 

 

New! Famous Monsters #281 (Three Covers Available!)

This issue is out with three different covers and we stock each one here at Creepy Classics: THE BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN (by Rick Baker), The COMIC CON EXCLUSIVE (Godzilla Vs. King Ghidrah) and CTHULU VS. GODZILLA. All three versions are here, in stock now, and ready to ship to you!

In this issue of the founding monster fan magazine: THE BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN celebrates 80 years of shrieks, Godzilla - King of Monsters, Cthulu - H.P. Lovecraft's world of horror, a new horror comic strip, witches and more!

Get one (or collect all three) from our Creepy Magazine Newsstand here at Creepy Classics!

 

 

Coming From Universal in High Definition....Blu-Ray? DVD? Probably...Fall/Winter 2015

This brought to my attention by Jim Clatterbaugh (editor of MONSTERS FROM THE VAULT):

Posted on the Home Theater Forum web site:

Universal posted their Q2 report today. You may be interested in some of the on-going projects.
 
Mastering & Restoration
-          Completed 4k feature restoration project: Spartacus
-          Continued to work on the 4k restorations of:  “Animal Crackers”, “Cocoanuts”, “Duck Soup”, “Horse Feathers”, “Monkey Business”, My Man Godfrey” and “Shanghai Express”. These will be completed in Q3
-          Began 4k restoration work on “Ghost of Frankenstein”, “Frankenstein Meets the Wolfman”, “House of Dracula”, “House of Frankenstein”, “Son of Frankenstein” and “The King of Jazz”.  These will be completed in Q4
-          Began 4k restoration work on silent features: “Last Warning”, “Oh Doctor” and “Outside the Law”.  These will be completed near the end of 2015
-          Began film element research and scan tests for the 4k restoration of “One Eyed Jacks”, Marlon Brando’s only directorial effort.  This work is being partially funded by the Film Foundation
-          Completed standard (non-restoration) feature re-mastering work on “Phantom Lady”. Also began standard re-mastering work on “Something for a Lonely Man”, “Winchester ‘73”, “Desperado Outlaw Wars” and “Desperado Badlands Justice”

Best,

Jim

Thanks Jim! Of course, Creepy Classics will carry all of the target films for our crowd: SON OF FRANKENSTEIN, THE GHOST OF FRANKENSTEIN, FRANKENSTEIN MEETS THE WOLF MAN, HOUSE OF FRANKENSTEIN, THE LAST WARNING (never had an official release ever! Follow-up to THE CAT AND THE CANARY), OUTSIDE THE LAW (Lon Chaney) and PHANTOM LADY. -Ron

 

 

Get Ready To Rumble, Mexican Monster Style at MONSTER BASH'S OCTOBERFEST!

Father:

Son:

Blue Demon, Jr. In Person All Three Days

BASH! This October!

The son of on of the greatest Mexican Wrestlers is one of the greatest Mexican wrestlers of today! He

will make a very special appearance at MONSTER BASH October 16-18. Get ready! Autographs and special Mexi-Luchador merchandise.

A celebration of Blue Demon with Blue Demon, Jr.

Blue Demon was one the most popular Mexican wrestlers ever and made scores of movies where he met and fought monsters...classic monsters, aliens, blobs, werewolves, vampires....he never failed to save the human race. His son has carried on the legacy and is one of the greatest wrestlers in the world and is in the movies too....meeting monsters!

We are proud and honored to have Blue Demon, Jr. at MONSTER BASH OCTOBERFEST 2015, October 16-18.

Get your VIP membership admission right now and meet all the movie and TV stars....and now one of the greatest legends in Mexican heroes - Blue Demon, Jr. in person. CLICK HERE!

Blue Demon, Jr. appears with Mil Mascaras in MIL MASCARAS VS. THE AZTEC MUMMY:

A match with Blue Demon, Jr.:

 

 

MONSTER BASH OCTOBERFEST On-Site Rooms Selling Fast!

Just got out of my final meeting at the MONSTER BASH hotel yesterday afternoon. All is now set for the October BASH and reservations are being taken for MONSTER BASH OCTOBERFEST 2015 (THE MONSTER BASH ZONE!) - October 16, 17, 18. Rooms are already selling briskly and Friday and Saturday are almost sold out.

So get your passes right now if you want to be on site for the October BASH. There are a lot of alternative hotels close, but if you want to be on-site, better call now: (724) 776-6900 or direct to reservations at (888) 627-8175 For your on-site room. Make sure to say you want the "Monster Bash" rate.

October BASH: http://www.monsterbashnews.com/bash-October.html

 

 

Dealer Tables For July 2016 MONSTER BASH Now Available

If you're a vendor and want to set up at MONSTER BASH, now's your chance to get on board for the next summer MONSTER BASH at the Doubletree Pittsburgh North, July 8-10. Don't be left out. Get your BASH dealer space now. For a limited time the tables are discounted $50 off right now.

CLICK HERE to get your dealer table.

....and get ready to MONSTER BASH with classic monster movie fans from across the nation!

 

 

Christopher Lee Passes

I'm working away this Thursday morning and text comes in: Christopher Lee, dies at 93 from MONSTER BASH staffer Leonard Hayhurst.

Christopher was truly the last of the golden age of horror actors....the big ones: Lon Chaney, Bela Lugosi, Boris Karloff, Lon Chaney, Jr., Peter Cushing, Vincent Price....and now Christopher Lee. He will ever flicker across my viewing screens and memories in HORROR OF DRACULA, HORROR HOTEL, THE HOUND OF THE BASKERVILLES, CASTLE OF THE WALKING DEAD, CORRIDORS OF BLOOD, CURSE OF FRANKENSTEIN, THE MUMMY...well, you know...the list goes on and on. Tall, dark and gruesome as his autobiography self-desribed...he will be missed and the legacy of actors that he represented will forever be on the mantle of our minds. -Ron Adams, Monster Bash/Creepy Classics.

Obit from The London Telegraph - reactions and coverage:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/celebritynews/11666316/christopher-lee-dies-live.html

We are adding a special tribute at the MONSTER BASH CONFERENCE next week.

Please e-mail your thoughts and memories.

Dear Ron,
Reading about the passing of Christopher Lee this morning has been a very sad thing. He was truly the last of the classic horror legends and an era has come to a sad end. Dracula Has Risen from the Grave was the very first Hammer Film I ever saw, at age ten. I loved every minute of it. I remember walking into my already darkened local movie theater, trying to get my eyes used to the dark, and as I stood there, my eyes were fixed on the screen as the young boy follows the blood stained bell rope to the top and the dead girls falls out of the bell..I was hooked on Hammer Horror! Christopher Lee is great in the movie and I loved his almost silent and fierce Dracula. And of course who can forget the beautiful Veronica Carlson..and I'm so happy that I've gotten to meet her and talk to her at the Monster Bash..

Its too bad that gothic horror movies are almost a dying art and the movies of Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing, Vincent Price, Karloff and the rest will continue to live on and haunt all our monster kid memories...

-Malcolm Gittins, Pittsburgh, PA

I have very mixed emotions about Christopher Lee's passing. Of course sadness comes first. I am sorry about losing him, but I am more sorry for those who were close to him, namely his wife of 54 years. That is an amazing amount of time for an actor to be with his one and only spouse. It is a testament to him and the way he lived.  The feeling of gratitude comes next. I am grateful that he had this wonderful resurgence in his career these past years. It was wonderful to sit in a darkened theater and watch him on the big screen with my son sitting next to me. He added so much to the Lord of the Rings movies. He brought in some old school class and truly stepped up to the plate as Saruman the White.

I always enjoyed him as a villain, but I enjoyed him more as a hero. I always loved how he showed those Satanic clowns who was boss in The Devil Rides Out. His cocky and arrogant Duc de Richlaeu may be just that...cocky and arrogant, but he cares about his friends and throws his concerns for his own life to the side in order to save them from Death itself. He has no fear facing down the enemy. The same can be said for his Prof. Alexander Saxton, in Horror Express(my favorite of his films). He uses wits and courage to defeat an unstopable enemy.

Once again I feel gratitude for getting the opportunity to cheer him on one last time. In the last of the Hobbit movies. In "The Battle of the Five Armies", he comes to the rescue of his friends Gandalf and Lady Galadriel and throws himself into a real knock down brawl against " The 9."  Although it's a (not so obvious) stunt double that does the fighting, it's Lee's Saruman that we cheer for. When the battle ended I leaned over and said to my son " it was nice to see Chris as a hero one more time." Well Chris, I guess your heroic movie days are over, but I will never stop cheering for you. You'll always be a hero to me.... even when you're a villain.

Thank you Sir. Rest in peace.

-Mike Adams, Cartaret, NJ

Hi Ron,

I just saw on the Internet the passing of Christopher Lee. I'm very sad to hear this news. He was the LAST of the great horror actors, a fine actor,
and an extremely intelligent man. I had the honor of meeting him once in 1984 at the first San Jose Film Festival with author Harlan Ellison.
Both Harlan and Christopher share the same birthday and discovered that fact on the day the appeared at the festival.

From Lon Chaney Sr. to Christopher Lee, it is the end of an era of the Horror Actor. We will never see this type of actor again.

God bless him and his Family !

Lou Messina
Sunnyvale, CA

DEAR RON:

I WAS SO SAD TO HEAR THAT CHRIS LEE HAD PASSED AWAY. I LOVED ALL THE HAMMER MOVIES THE BEST AND TO ME HE WAS THE BEST DRACULA. THAT ROLE WAS MADE FOR HIM. I DID HAVE THE PLEASURE OF MEETING HIM AND GETTING HIS AUTOGRAPH WHICH I WILL TREASURE. MY HEART GOES OUT TO HIS WIFE AND DAUGHTER. HE WILL BE MISSED.

-JANIE JURICA, NY

Hello Ron

I was saddened to hear of the passing of this wonderfully talented man, like most monstakids, I grew up watching his movies, ever since Horror of Dracula back in l958, even as a young kid, Iwas totally fascinated by his commanding presence. His talent went from decade to decade, even most recently his work on the remake of 'Dark Shadows' and the 'Lord Of The Ring' trilogy. Classic horror has lost the last remaining star of the genre. His role as Count Dracula, we know, made him an International star. RIP Sir Lee and thanks for the memories..

J50stmonstakid):

Hi Ron:
 
The first Christopher Lee film that I saw in the movies was surprisingly not a Hammer film and not very good.
It was the 1960 remake of "The Hands of Orlac." I had wanted to see the film because it was mentioned in Famous Monsters accompanied by a terrific photo. I thought Lee was magnificently evil in this film. I became an instant Christopher Lee fan. I tried to see all of his films in the theatre and on TV, staying up often late on a school night.

I loved "Dracula Prince of Darkness", The Devil Rides Out" and "Horror Express" to name just a few. In fact, one of the first movies I took my wife to see when we were dating was "Scars of Dracula".

When I finally met Lee at the Monster Rally convention, I mentioned that I took my wife to see that film and "Dracula AD 1972". He asked me in that big booming voice "Are you still married?". When  I said yes he smiled and said "Good". His films have given me many hours of thrills and enjoyment. They will continue to entertain audiences for years to come. Christopher Lee was the last great horror actor. There will never be anyone like him.
 
Bruce Tinkel
Edison, NJ


Hi Ron,

Sir Christopher Lee leaves us with so many great memories! I'm sure that so many of us stayed up late as children to catch him as Dracula, Frankenstein,The Mummy (or other assorted colorful characters!) on the late show! I remember my Dad using a Dracula photo of Lee as a guideline for applying my makeup for one of my many times as Dracula on Halloween night. I was often Lugosi's Dracula on Halloween, but my Dad always insisted that Lee's was "scarier" so sometimes I wore the fangs with the fake blood dripping as seen in the Hammer films!

I interviewed Christopher Lee back in the 90's on my radio program to debut his (then new) Christopher Lee Sings Devils, Rogues, And Other Villains CD! He was a great gentleman and he did a nice job with the showtunes on his CD (His version of Sondheim's Requeim from Sweeney Todd was a powerful standout!) We talked about music that he liked including tenors like Mario Lanza and Luciano Pavarotti. We also talked about Frank Sinatra, and I remember asking him if he had a favorite Sinatra album. Without hesitating, he answered immediately in his booming voice: Moonlight Sinatra! We'll always watch his movies! We'll never forget him!

- Ron Cannatella

I had the honor of meeting the late Christopher Lee at a book signing. (And I have photographic proof). He was at the 1999 Monster Rally in Arlington, Virginia, to promote his autobiography. I pre-ordered a copy (which of course I still have) and, while waiting outside the ballroom for his appearance, a convention staffer came out to ask us to keep the line moving. “Don’t try to converse with Mr. Lee,” he said, “and don’t reach out and try to shake hands with him. He’s a personable guy and he won’t mind, but we need to keep the line moving.” (I’m paraphrasing). But apparently Mr. Lee didn’t get the memo. Without prompting, he himself extended his hand to each one of us in line as he signed our books, shook our hands and thanked us. I can testify that he had a very firm handshake, especially for a 77-year old. (And no one complained that the line was moving too slow). Obviously, he was a class act.

(I also had my picture taken with Hammer regular Michael Ripper at the same venue. He passed away a year later.)

I'd say that his best Hammer Horror films were Horror of Dracula, The Hound of the Baskervilles, The Mummy, The Gorgon, and the Devil Rides Out.
His worst (no fault of his own) were The 2 Faces of Dr. Jekyll, To the Devil-A Daughter, and The Resident.

-Mark Ditoro
Moon Township, PA

Above: A tribute art piece by the fabulous David Hardy.

 

Hi Ron,

I knew that the day was inevitably approaching, but when it finally arrived, a deep sense of sadness and loss still hit hard. The feeling was reminiscent of the day two years ago when I learned that Ray Harryhausen left for a land beyond beyond; Ray and Sir Christopher were both true gentlemen of the arts.

I suppose that Christopher will always be Dracula for me. I echo fellow Monster Kid and director Tim Burton's words regarding Christopher Lee's small role in "Sleepy Hollow": "When I first met him we were sitting there for two hours, and it's like you're looking at Dracula, even now…If I was an actor, that's the kind of actor I'd want to be." I actually never saw any of the Dracula films until years after their release, but I remember being fascinated by the photos Uncle Forry would regularly run in FM of Christopher with his bloody fangs, wondering how come Lugosi never had a pair like that! For my 25 year old son though, Christopher Lee will always be the wizard Saruman, although Michael reminds me that he knew Christopher at a very early age from his voice work as King Haggard in the animated version of Peter S. Beagle's "The Last Unicorn."

And speaking of voices, for those like me who will miss future displays of Christopher Lee's resonating baritone, never quite hearing him enough when he wore the vampire's cape, may I recommend two audiobooks, unfortunately only available on cassette, but well worth tracking down. On "Christopher Lee Reads Tales of Mystery and Horror by Edgar Allan Poe," he performs "Hop-Frog," "The Raven," "The Masque of the Red Death," "The Tell-Tale Heart," and "Murders in the Rue Morgue. On the companion, "Tales of Horror," he does "The Fall of the House of Usher," "The Black Cat," "The Pit and the Pendulum," and "The Cask of Amontillado." So pull those blankets up tightly around your neck, dim the lights, and Sir Christopher will read you a bedtime thriller whenever you'd like. And, my old friend, as Montressor declares at the end of "Amontillado": In pace requiescat!

Most sincerely,
Mike Zielski

Hi Ron,

I first met Christopher Lee when he was in NY to host "Saturday Night Live". When he finally arrived in the lobby of NBC studios in Rockefeller Center , he autographed my paperback copy of Bram Stoker's "Dracula", next to Peter Cushing's signature, whom I met at the Famous Monsters con 3 years earlier. Upon seeing his close friend's name he was pleasantly surprised, and exclaimed , "Oh you've met Peter!" We posed for pictures and we spoke for nearly 20 minutes and he was impressed by my knowledge of his career. At one point, he said to me, "You know they are waiting for me upstairs--- but they can wait a little longer!" Finally we shook hands and left to go up in the elevator to the famous studio 8H.

Earlier in the pre dawn hours , I acquired a standby ticket, which was not a guarantee of admission. After all the subscribers were let in , there were 3 empty seats still available . I was the third attendee and the last to be admiited. I thought I would sit in the back , maybe in the balcony section. I was shocked that I was led by an usher to sit in the second row, orchestra section!  Having chosen to watch the dress rehearsal for that night's live show, I was  witness to see Mr. Lee perform with John Belushi, Dan Akyroyd, Laraine Newman, and Gilda Radner and doing something  rare , which was comedy. I also saw skits that never made it on the air, such as a James Bond spoof with himself as  the villianous 'Dr. V-Neck", so called because he wore a V neck sweater.  When he played "Mr. Death" with Newman , he was a commanding presence before my very eyes wearing a long black hood and robe similar to his costume in his film, 'Horror Hotel". Holding a scythe, he walked past me in the aisle after the skit was over. I quietly applauded and he turned 'round , and seeing me, he waved back.  After the dress rehearsal ended, I went up to him, told him how much I enjoyed the show, and was going home to catch it again on TV that night.

When Lee agreed to attend the Creation con in NY in 1990 to publicize, "Gremlins 2", I had a chance to give him photographs from his first film, "Corridor Of Mirrors", which he made back in 1948. When he stepped  out on stage  to answer audience's questions , he called on me and I asked him if he had photographs from his debut film. He said 'no". I then pulled out my manila envelope and told him that I wanted to give them to him , which I did. Next day (Sunday), he stepped out on stage, and before he took questions from the fans, saw me and asked me to please stand up. He said," I want to personally and graciously thank you for the astonishing feat in providing me with stills from my first film. Ladies and gentlemen, lets give this fine young man a round of applause!". My dear friend Zach Zito, who was with me, assured me that my feet were firmly on the floor, but emotionally I felt I was on a cloud.

Having given him the special stills led to another meeting at Virgin Megastore 9 years later. I waited on the autograph line , where Lee was signing items purchased in the store. I had brought with me a copy of a book that I, and Zach Zito, and a third co-author had written "Monster Madness". Upon seeing me, he asked me if I could stay after the signing was over; he wanted to speak to me and ask me a favor! After the line ended, the security guard said I had to leave. In his deep, baritone voice, Mr. Lee said to the guard, "No!. He stays here! He's my friend!" He quickly told me of a book about his films was almost ready for publication, and could he have my permission to use the 'Corridor Of Mirrors" still  and how would I want my credit be phrased! It was on this occasion , that  we gave him our book. Thumbing through it we discussed his "Frankenstein" film for Hammer, and seeing a picture of Karloff, he said that earlier version was a "better picture".

After I obtained a copy of the new book on his films, and seeing the picture of him making his film debut, with my name underneath was satisfaction enough. In 2007, after seeing an announcement on his website, that he would be signing autographs all day at a hotel in London , Zach and I went to the U.K. and I brought the book with me with the chapter of his first film opened in front of him. He signed his name near where mine was printed. After the day ended , he waited in a small room just off the hallway for his son in law to get the car out of the parking lot. He saw me outside the door, and gestured me to come in and sit with him. We spoke about Shakespeare, his possibly playing "King Lear", which he said he couldn't do because "it would drain me!', meaning it was too physically demanding at his age, and we spoke about his fond memories working with Orson Welles, on a live TV production of "Moby Dick".  We talked for about 40 minutes, just him and me, while his car was blocked from leaving the parking space, and his son in law was looking around for the hotel attendant to get the second car out of the way. At this meeting , I also gave him photos of Conrad Veidt  , his favorite actor. Looking them over, he said, "He was the greatest!". I leaned over and said, "One Of the greatest!"

Thank you for letting me share this with you and , I hope, your readers. Knowing that I gave him some of the joy and happiness that he gave me since I was 11, is now very comforting to me. I must stop here, I am choking up.

Michael Lederman
New York City

....and this from our dear friend Ted Bohus:

 

A Virtual Visit to Creepy Classics:

Video shot by Kevin Slick from Louisville, Colorado on a visit.

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