Thursday, May 14, 2009

Famous Monsters In Hollywood

May 30 - 31, 2009 Famous Monsters of Filmland Return

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An Egyptian Theatre Exclusive!
Take a break from Monsterpalooza and join in celebrating the return of one of the most popular, beloved and influential movie magazines ever - Famous Monsters of Filmland. Legendary fan, literary agent and writer Forrest J. Ackerman started the magazine with publisher James Warren in 1958, and it continued to publish under their guidance until 1983 when it folded after 191 scare-packed issues. The publication's fortunes fluctuated through a roller-coaster of legal issues from 1993 until just this year. Make merry (or should we say, scary?) at the re-launch of the magazine and its website. Classic horror films such as GHOST OF FRANKENSTEIN, SON OF FRANKENSTEIN, DRACULA and HOUSE OF DRACULA will be screened, along with appearances by special guests Sara Karloff, Carla Laemmle (DRACULA), Janet Ann Gallow (GHOST OF FRANKENSTEIN) and Jane Adams (HOUSE OF DRACULA).

Saturday, May 30 - 7:30 PM
Double Feature:
SON OF FRANKENSTEIN, 1939, Universal, 99 min. Dir. Rowland V. Lee. The third atmospheric installment in Universal's FRANKENSTEIN franchise finds Henry Frankenstein's grown-up son Wolf (Basil Rathbone) returning to the family estate with his wife and son (Josephine Hutchinson and Donnie Dunagan) after many years. The laboratory is in ruins - nevertheless Wolf soon becomes enmeshed in his family's nefarious legacy when he finds the dormant monster (Boris Karloff) being looked after by a vengeful gallows' survivor, the crook necked Ygor (a very creepy Bela Lugosi). Universal was firing on all cylinders with their bolt-necked creature when they released this exceptionally entertaining tall tale. Watch for Lionel Atwill as the one-armed police chief (he lost his missing appendage to a previous encounter with the monster). Trailer

GHOST OF FRANKENSTEIN, 1942, Universal, 67 min. Universal's horrors became much more formulaic and by-the-numbers in the 1940s, but the creative juices were still amply flowing in this fourth time out with the Frankenstein monster. Director Erle C. Kenton (ISLAND OF LOST SOULS) helms this fast-moving tale of Wolf Frankenstein's brother Ludwig (Cedric Hardwicke) trying to live down the ignominy of the family name. Too bad for him that Ygor (Bela Lugosi) and the monster (now played by Lon Chaney, Jr.) survived somehow at the end of SON OF... Now they're back knocking on his door for help in reviving the ailing monster, hoping to restore him to his former glory. Adding to Ludwig's headaches are an envious, formerly illustrious doctor (Lionel Atwill) and Ludwig's beautiful daughter Elsa (Evelyn Ankers). Introduction to first film by Sara Karloff. Introduction to second film by Janet Ann Gallow. Trailer

Sunday, May 31 - 7:30 PM
Double Feature:
DRACULA, 1931, Universal, 75 min. Director Tod Browning (FREAKS) and actor Bela Lugosi established the Transylvanian count as one of the archetypal movie vampires and a monster icon for Universal Studios' golden era of classic horror films. This adaptation of Hamilton Deane's then-popular stage play of Bram Stoker's novel is quite different from Murnau's silent NOSFERATU, or from later works coming from Hammer Studios in the 1950s-1970s and Francis Ford Coppola's 1990s version. Real estate agent Renfield (played by everyone's favorite madman Dwight Frye) goes insane after visiting Dracula at his Transylvanian castle and is thereafter confined to a London asylum, though he does the Count's bidding as a hypnotized slave when Dracula comes to Britain and moves into the deserted Carfax Abbey. David Manners is Jonathan Harker and Helen Chandler is his lady love, who Dracula wants to make his bride. Edward Van Sloan, a fixture in early Universal horrors, is Professor Van Helsing. Trailer

HOUSE OF DRACULA, 1945, Universal, 67 min. Dir. Erle C. Kenton. To maximize returns and balking at continuing to grant their monsters a perpetual string of individual sequels, Universal decided to give audiences more bang for their buck. Monster rallies FRANKENSTEIN MEETS THE WOLFMAN and HOUSE OF FRANKENSTEIN had already come and gone, and by the time of HOUSE OF DRACULA, the only original star to appear was Lon Chaney, Jr., reprising his role yet again as Lawrence Talbot, the Wolf Man. Both Talbot and Count Dracula (John Carradine) desire a cure for their afflictions, and secure the help of renowned scientist Dr. Edelman (Onslow Stevens) and his hunchbacked nurse (Jane Adams). Complicating matters are the suspicions of beautiful nurse Martha O'Driscoll and police inspector Lionel Atwill, and the discovery of the dormant Frankenstein monster (Glenn Strange) in a sea cave! Extremely entertaining. Introduction to first film by Carla Laemmle (DRACULA). Introduction to second film by Jane Adams Trailer

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