Monday, September 29, 2014

THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME / Universal Pictures - 1923

It's Hunchback Monday with Tabonga, here at The Dungeon!.. Here's another great production starring Lon Chaney as Quasimodo with a staggering $1,250,000 budget!! Jeez, how many freaking nickels at the box office would it take to pay that pile of cash back?!

A nice lobby card showing all the stars from this fifteenth century story taking place in Paris. Producer Carl Laemmle has a mind boggling 899 credits and another astounding 730 credits for Miscellaneous Crew... Whotta Man!!..

Lon was pretty much Universal's golden boy with his terrific characters and makeup jobs.

Because Quasimodo was such a misfit, he was an easy target for public ridicule and torture.

He isn't even allowed a drink of water as he's chained up on a wooden deck in the hot sun!

Esmeralda tries to comfort Quasimodo and gives him water to help get through the ordeal.

But, there's a deep rooted hatred for his tormenters and some pay the ultimate price!

FAMOUS MONSTERS #33 sported the twisted face of the mighty Quasimodo.

A German poster from THE MAN OF A THOUSAND FACES starring James Cagney showing a few of Chaney's classic characters.

And, here's Cagney in full makeup as the chained up Quasimodo!

This is an interesting Lon Chaney cutout puppet figure for kids to play with! Tune in Wednesday when we'll start our HALLOWEEN COUNTDOWN!!

Saturday, September 27, 2014

THE DESTRUCTORS - Paul Dunlap "Laser Rubies and Go-Go Girls" (1968)

Welcome to the last Saturday night in September feature for this year, and it's another good one, straight out of 1968, "The Destructors!" "The Most Bizarre Caper Ever Planned?" I don't think so, but it's at least an entertaining watch if you can track down a copy in a dark alleyway in your home town somewhere!

Here's one of the keys to 1960's brilliance, if you don't have the most exciting movie in the world, at least start it off with a bang and a damn interesting title card! "The Destructors" gets an A+ in that department! Pretty cool, after all this time spell-check still doesn't recognize Destructors as being a word! That's classy!

Here's Richard Egan again as debonair Dan Street! Richard just cruised through these pages last month in "The Most Authentic Trucking Movie Ever Made," "Moonfire!" He's even better in this film!

"Do the stanky leg, do the stanky leg!" Some things will never change!!

Now that is what I call a very attractive sneer! Talk about hot, and check out all those people in the background!

Michael Ansara is Count Mario Romano, he's an elegant kind of fellow! Any fan of 50's Western TV shows will recognize Michael as Cochise in the show "Broken Arrow" for 72 episodes! Among a ton of other things, Michael was also Qarlo Clobregnny in the "Outer Limits" episode called "Soldier!"

The Count is not a very nice guy, but I give him a lot of credit for having a nice bar!!

Khigh Dhiegh has the role of King Chou Lai! Why they bothered changing his name from Khigh to Kang, I have no idea! The name he was born with was Kenneth Dickerson! On top of that, he was Kang in William Castle's "13 Frightened Girls," and he was Khan in the TV show "Khan!" What do they call a giant monkey in Texas?  Kang Khan!!

They call it "The Cyclops" and it's one Helluva evil eye powered by laser rubies that everybody wants to get their grimy mitts on!

"The Cyclops" easily destroys this military vehicle with it's death ray and then proceeds to completely disappear it! What an amazing show of power!

Meanwhile, back at the club, Joan (Visit To A Small Planet, Blue Hawaii, Kid Galahad) Blackman as Stassa, is putting on her own display of power! Stassa is shaking it to the Go-Go sounds of the genius Paul Dunlap, a true musical hero down in The Dungeon for his work on so many classic flicks we love like "I Was A Teenage Werewolf," "I Was A Teenage Frankenstein," "Blood Of Dracula," "How To Make A Monster," and "The Three Stooges In Orbit!" Here's just a very small, but tasty morsel of what's on the menu!

Dan Street needs a hot smoke to cool off after that number!!

Time for a little comedy relief featuring this bimbo waitress/personal go-go girl Prissy as played by Linda Kirk! Tough job finding out much about Linda except that she was a bikini girl in "The Oscar," and she was also on one episode of "The Monkees!"

It's not often I get to show off an old record cover! I think I used to have that one that Stassa's holding! It's a knockoff record by some unknowns but it's got the key word on the cover, "TWIST!" These types of records were commonly sold in five and dime stores like Woolworths, Cornet, or Rasco's for about 99 cents!

This is a great scene where Richard Egan is trying to get back into the good graces of his ex-wife Charlie, and he's scarfing down on a fried chicken leg at the same time! The unflappable Charlie is played by Patricia Owens who will be enshrined for all time in the Dungeon Hall Of Fame for her portrayal as Helene Delambre in "The Fly!"

Whoa! Now this is the most high-tech thing I've seen lately! It takes two, not one, but two, security cards used in tandem, to get into the final chamber of this highly restricted area where the Cyclops is kept!

I have no quaffing qualms about calling these crazy cats the "Aardvark Gang!!!" Who knows what happens when the lights go down!

I could be wrong Ref, but that looks like a low blow to me!

"The Destructors" is basically a love/hate story between these two guys, the two main members of The Count's gang! Here's a progression of stills from the good times right down to their final disagreement! Johnny Seven is the Italian guy as Spaniard, and the other German guy is John Ericson as Dutch! Interesting choice of International names! Born John Anthony Fetto II, Johnny Seven is one of the many lost faces that formed an era never to be duplicated, 1960's TV! Talk about olde skool, Johnny was married to his loving wife Edith Piselli for 59 years until his demise in 2010! The other John, Mr. Ericson just celebrated his 98th birthday last week on the 23rd of September! Shouldn't there be some kind of national recognition? What the Hell's wrong with the world today?  "Pretty Boy Floyd," "7 Faces Of Dr. Lao," "Route 66," John Ericson is another one of those of unknown icons of American TV and movies lost in time! Happy Birthday John!!

Friday, September 26, 2014

THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA / Universal Pictures - 1925

It's Classic Monster Friday with Tabonga, here at The Dungeon!.. We still have a nice pile of pre-fifties titles to post, like this awesome silent film starring the great Lon Chaney. One interesting behind the scenes story involves Chief Cinematographer, Charles Van Enger. In full makeup, Lon Chaney summoned him to his dressing room without telling him why, then, when he was standing closely behind the actor, Lon quickly spun around! Shocked, Van Enger fell back over a stool and landed flat on his back and yelled, "Are you NUTS?!" Chaney laughed, spit out his fake teeth and said... "Never mind Charlie, you already told me what I wanted to know." Also, Mary Philbin's reaction to the unmasked Phantom was real, she had no idea what he would look like until that exact moment! Now, that's what I call, fun.

Here's The Phantom and the makeup genius himself, Lon Chaney. His son Creighton would follow in his footsteps and eventually assume his father's famous name.

Hiding in the shadows, The Phantom seems to haunt the opera house!

In this scene, The Phantom pays a visit dressed as Death, creeping the Hell out of everyone!

He lures Christine to his lair in the catacombs in order to train her for the lead role of Marguerite in the production of FAUST.

I love this shot, showing what good lighting can do for a terrifying looking character.

And, this shot! Wow, the the movie audience must have crapped their pants back in 1925!!

Here are issues #3 and #16 of FAMOUS MONSTERS featuring amazing illustrations of The Phantom, bottom cover done by the fantastic artist, Basil Gogos.

Here's the box art for The Phantom by Aroura models back in the mid sixties.

This is a scene from the 1957 movie MAN OF A THOUSAND FACES starring James Cagney as The Phantom, another one I was lucky enough to see when it came out.

So, who remembers this excellent version of The Phantom?.. I do! There's a big mystery surrounding this photo, no one knows anything about where it came from! After studying it, I have concluded that it is not a mask, rather, an excellent makeup job.

The photo was used for this very nice cover of Charlton's HORROR MONSTERS #7 from 1963.

It was one of six 8x10 Universal monster photos offered by Charlton and was substituted for Lon's version! I will be doing THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME starring Lon Chaney on Monday, so, check back for that one.

And, by the way, today is my mom's 91st birthday - Happy Birthday, mommy dearest!!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

THE WAR OF THE STARS - "Look Out Kid, Beware Of Your Id" - Fanedit (1977)

 One the funnest things about doing this blog is finding about all the krazyass wacko stuff out there that I didn't even know existed in the world like "Jack The Giant Killer: The Musical," or "The Potemkin Project!" Tonight's film is definitely no exception! What can I say? People just send me this stuff telepathically!! Welcome to WTF!? Wednesday and something that needs to be seen and heard to be believed, but I don't think that's going to happen, because Fanedits cannot be owned, and actually don't exist at all!  This project is the reason that terms like "what the fuck" and "fustercluck" have been created! 

That's Right! "Once upon a time....

And if all that isn't obscure enough for you, there's always the bonus features like this dude doing some kind of insane Dylan impersonation on a "Star Wars" version of "Subterranean Homesick Blues!" Have fun trying to get a handle on that one! "Look Out Kid, Beware Of Your Id!"

If you'd like to know more, or get involved yourself with these kinds of projects, then here's the place you wanna be! Have fun, and may the farce be with you Fan-Kenstein!

Monster Music

Monster Music
AAARRGGHHH!!!! Ya'll Come On Back Now, Y'Hear??