Happy Birthday, Crispin Glover & Clint Howard!! :)

Happy Birthday to two site favorites: Clint Howard and Crispin Glover!

Both Mr. Glover and Mr. Howard are among the most beloved actors in the world of cult cinema. Neither one is your average leading man, but they’d be far less intriguing if they were.

Crispin Glover is one of the most unique personalities in cinema. He has appeared in blockbuster crowd-pleasers, but his heart clearly lies with the darker, challenging side of film. As an artist in many fields, Mr. Glover is always provocative and has the uncanny ability to perturb viewers in fascinating ways. While the average film-goer may recognize him as the nebbish father in Back to the Future, Glover’s acting work has included everything from slasher films (Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter), art films (Dead Man), big-budget fantasy (Alice in Wonderland), offbeat crime films (Wild at Heart), black comedies (Nurse Betty), and other varied films. No matter the film, Glover always brings an intensity and strange quality that is all his own. Glover has brought his surreal talents to directing with What Is It? and It Is Fine! Everything Is Fine, both part of a planned “It” trilogy. There’s no denying that Glover is a true original.

Clint Howard will (to the general public, anyway) always be known simply as “Ron Howard’s brother”,  but has Ron had memorable roles on three different versions of Star Trek? No, but Clint sure has! In fact, Clint has had a pretty legendary career in his own right. Starting in 1963, Clint Howard has been in… well, just about everything. Mr. Howard is the ultimate character actor. He’s been in countless iconic television shows, horror movies (including The Ice Cream Man, a favorite of our fearless ho-stess!), comedies (the first two Austin Powers movies, among many others.), has gone face-to-face with Captain Kirk and Dr. McCoy on the original Star Trek series, and was Roo (!) in two Disney Winnie the Pooh shorts! In 1998, Howard won the MTV Lifetime Achievement Award. It was clearly a gag, but it shouldn’t have been. Clint Howard has been around for over four decades and has produced many roles and moments that will be remembered by fans forever. If that isn’t award-worthy, we don’t know what is.

 In honor of these two eccentric gentlemen, we thought it would be appropriate to have a little music… performed by the birthday boys, of course! The first is a new wave rocker performed by Clint Howard and the Kempsters, the second is Crispin Glover doing his best (and the all-time best) Olivia Newton-John in The Orkly Kid. Both performances are delightfully strange, and we wouldn’t have it any other way.

Happy Birthday, Boys!

 

Boris Karloff: History’s Greatest (Movie) Monster

So, I posted this pic on Instagram the other day:

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Much to my surprise (and dismay), I discovered that there are actually people of Earth who don’t know who BORIS KARLOFF is!!!

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That is unacceptable, so I figured I’d break it on down and lay out some basic (though he was anything but ;)) Boris knowledge for ya’ll. (Especially dedicated to Mr. @itsfunnguy…You are so getting quizzed on this later!! 😉 xoxo)

He was billed only as “?” in the opening credits to Frankenstein, the film that made him a legend amongst both men and monsters. To a figure most unconventional, he gave both monstrosity and humanity. With an uncommon grace and dignity, he expressed simple, childish emotions in a manner that made us care for and understand the lonliness of an actual monster.  When the picture concludes and the ending credits roll, the man behind the creature is given a name: Boris Karloff.

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Boris Karloff is the gold standard by which all subsequent horror actors are judged.  Following his success in the 1931 with Frankenstein, the British Karloff become Hollywood’s resident ghoul, starring in what would become a roster of classic horror films. His Rogues Gallery of performances would include the terrifying mute butler in James Whale’s The Old Dark House (1932), the diabolical titular menace in The Mask of Fu Manchu, the Satanic fiend in The Black Cat (1934), the original Imhotep in Karl Freund’s The Mummy (1932), and enough monsters and madmen to haunt the nightmares of generations to come. Outside of Frankenstein, he is perhaps best-known as the narrator in 1966’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, infusing it with the same devilish charm we’ve come to expect from the King of Monsters. While he clearly had a plethora of timeless creeps to his name, he will forever be associated with the three Frankenstein films he did. Of the part, he once said. “The Monster was the best friend I ever had.”

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Beloved both on and off screen, Karloff was as perfect a gentleman as he was a monster. Karloff was a founding member of the Screen Actors Guild in 1933 and often donated to charities. Every Christmas since 1940, he dressed up as Santa Claus and gave gifts to handicapped children at a hospital in Baltimore, a stark departure from The Grinch. He adored gardening, cricket, and all things English. For the last decade of his life, Karloff moved back to England, where he had a flat in London and a cottage he called “Roundabout” in the countryside.

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Karloff will forever be a giant in the genre and in our pop culture. Whenever Frankenstein is mentioned, you can be sure that images of Karloff will be stirred up. He is perhaps the only figure (save for Jack Skellington) who rightfully dominates both Christmas and Halloween. As long as there are folks that love monsters, Karloff will remain an icon. Impressive for a man who started his career as a question mark.

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Karloff as the voice of Baron Boris von Frankenstein in Mad Monster Party?.

Karloff as the voice of Baron Boris von Frankenstein in Mad Monster Party?.

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Long Live King Karloff!