Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Castle of Frankenstein article on "Kolchak: The Night Stalker"

From the collection cabinet this time comes issue #25 of the fondly-remembered Castle of Frankenstein, published June of 1975. First up, the beautiful painted wrap-around cover, devoted to one of my favorite movies. "The Time Machine." That alone made it worth buying.
(Click on images to enlarge.)
The artist painted Weena a bit slutty, though, which is the opposite of how she was in the movie.

And below, the article on "Kolchak," which was among the shows that I enjoyed at that time, as a teen watching at my Grandma's house when I went over. Regular readers will recall that I had no such TV privileges at my own house.

Fellow Trekkers will recognise Barry Atwater as the peace-loving Surak, in the episode "The Savage Curtain," pictured below.

Bonus: an ad from the same issue of an item I truly would love having now! Can you imagine, a dramatized version of the story narrated and voiced by Lee? I hope to find this somewhere, someday.

I want YOU... to order this record!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The Thing That Couldn't Die poster

From 1958, the poster art for "The Thing That Couldn't Die"

(Click on image to enlarge.)

That's a nice trick there, walking on water...

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Remembering The Forgotten Prisoner

(Click on images to enlarge.)

"He’s the last remaining prisoner from years gone by. Long since passed, and now all that remains are his bones as proof to his existence. His crimes have long been forgotten. His sentence fulfilled. However, this unfortunate prisoner was lost in the system, and now his bones are the only remains that hang from the dreaded shackles of his prison cell. Until now."

Note: this is a re-post imported over from my earlier blog, "Sweet Skulls." It fits in nicely with the theme of "My Monster Memories," so in case you missed it over there, you can enjoy it here.

Oh, man... this brings my younger days back so clearly I can actually smell the model glue and paint. And the giddy, light-headed feeling I had while working on it in 1974 had very little to do with the fumes. Even today, taking out my little Prisoner model invokes such a strong sense of nostalgia that it almost hurts. Among the relics of my youth, only a few survive, and I'm grateful this one did. I had stored it away in a box of collected goodies in my grandmother's guest bedroom closet. Since her house was my one refuge from the strain of a controlling and intolerent stepfather, I kept the things I treasured there, for I had seen more than one item go into the flames of the trash barrel simply because my having them irritated him.

He was an ex-Army sargent, a hunter and construction worker with a sixth-grade education; while I was a bookwormish monster-loving kid who had an artistic bent. Needless to say we clashed, and I always came out on the losing end, being a pacifistic kid who loved nothing more than finding a quiet place to read my comic books. Unfortunately, that also irritated him. That's why my weekend stays at Grandma's house, a haven of love, freedom and normalcy, loom so large in my good memories. Stress-free afternoons reading my newest Monster Times or Castle of Frankenstein, putting together a model, and evenings watching the good stuff on TV: "Kung Fu," "Planet of the Apes," Night Stalker," and the Saturday Night Movie.

The Skeleton in my closet

Over a decade after I built my Forgotten Prisoner model, I re-discovered it in that box in the closet when I went to bring the things I had stored there into my own home. It was in several pieces, but easily fixed and lovingly touched up (except for a missing foot). It was funny, for he had become forgotten for awhile, but he was relocated, restored and placed in a collection bookcase for safe-keeping. Now he comes out yearly and joins the Halloween decorations on the mantle.

It's ironic that the one model that is most remembered by Monster Kids is the one called The Forgotten Prisoner. My lonely friend, you are not forgotten. You are fondly remembered and loved. I think I related to you a lot.

As much as it means to me, you won't find a picture of my own Prisoner on this page; my efforts are painting him were amaturish next to these awesome examples and not worthy to be compared. But you will see some great interpretations of the Prisoner paint job, all of which are terrific. Enjoy!

The two images above come from a great FP page:

A new larger version is available! Wow, but for the price I would possess this...

Here's a Youtube video of "a" forgotton prisoner that's pretty funny. Not a re-creation of our beloved bones, but in the same spirit.
Update: All these years I thought that the awesome and iconic box art was done by James Bama, who did the other monster model box covers.... but in my Facebook roamings, I came across the actual artist: Mort K√ľnstler! Visit his official website here or the Facebook fan page to see more awesome art!