Monday, January 19, 2009

The "Monster Bash" pinball machine

In 1998 Williams put out the ultimate Universal Monsters pinball game, with awesome artwork. Above is the front of the advertising flyer for the game, below is the back. I was never a pinball player, but I loved the art for many of those with genre-related themes. Go to My Star Trek Scrapbook blog to see the 1979 Star Trek game!

And for the rest of the post is the back panel art, with details of the playing area. Loads of monsterous fun!

And lastly, enjoy the promo video for the game starring The Bride, in all her big-beehive-haired glory!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Part 2: Drac Has Risen...

My Monster Memories today are of:
Issue #6 of the "Dracula Lives" magazine
(Click on images to view full size.)

I bought the above "Dracula Lives" magazine at a corner convenience store in Macon, GA on the way to school in 1974. I bought every issue of this awesome magazine I could find, and was glad to see that this one covered my favorite Hammer Drac movie, "Dracula Has Risen From The Grave." Since I my past entry was on this very subject, I thought I'd post this article for your enjoyment before moving on to the next.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

The Making of: Dracula Has Risen From The Grave

My Monster Memory today is of:
"Dracula Has Risen From The Grave"
(Click on images to view full size)

From issue #10 of Fantastic Films, published in September of 1979, comes this behind-the-scenes article on the making of "Dracula Has Risen From The Grave," the third in the Hammer series of films starring Christopher Lee as the Count. Sink your teeth into this!

My own personal monster memories of this film began about 1971. We lived in Parkersburg, WV at the time, and I was in the 6th grade. Every Friday at school they showed a movie in the gym, with admission being a quarter. The one I remember most vividly was "Dracula Has Risen From The Grave," especially the scenes of the woman's body being discovered in the church bell, Dracula under the ice, and his destruction on the cross at the end. It would be over 35 years before I would see it again, when it finally came out on DVD. It has always been my favorite out of the Hammer Dracula films, due to this nostalgic memory; although not the best movie of them all, certainly very entertaining and better than the Drac sequels that came after.

In this piece of artwork for one of the posters, the artist himself posed for the reference photo of Dracula, which accounts for the fact it resembles Lee not in the slightest. Alos Drac seems a bit petulant and frustrated... more an upset child than a threatening figure.

Below are some screen captures from the DVD of the scenes I mentioned as being particularly memorable to me.

Although technically, he rose from a frozen stream, but that just didn't click as a catchy title.

This buxom belle is found stuffed up in a church bell. Why and how Drac did it is unclear, but perhaps he got tired of hearing the clanging every time he settled in for a morning nap.

As the burdened Monsignor makes the long tiresome climb, he wonders why they ever thought the castle would make a good tourist attraction.

Nothing says "rise and shine" like the taste of fresh blood on your lips.

"You! I command you, come and pull my finger!"

"Now, slave... go forth and do my bidding!
Oh, and pick me up some Visine from Rite-Aid while you're out!"

Impaled on the cross, the Count struggles helplessly while the gawking onlookers don't lift a finger to help.

Poor persecuted Dracula, who only wishes to live and let die, is abandoned by his faithless servant, whom he always treated with dignity and respect.

Even watching Frank Miller's "The Spirit" movie last week wasn't this eye-bleedingly painful.

Presumably dissolving into blood off-camera, Drac disappears after a painful and lingering death. It could have been worse, though; he could very easily have landed on the cross in a sitting position, in which case it would have been a real pain in the posterior.

It's interesting how times have changed; if a teacher showed this movie in his class, much less to a gym full of teens, they would probably end up on the 6 o'clock news, be fired, and the kids all trotted to the school shrink for counseling. Meanwhile the kids go home and play violent video games and watch TV shows and movies that would have given me nightmares for years at that age. Hypocrisy.