Filmland has just lost one of its most famous monsters…
Legendary artist Basil Gogos was, without a doubt, one of the finest painters known to horror. His jaw-dropping, mind-melting portraits of cinema’s greatest fiends graced the covers of many, many issues of Famous Monsters of Filmland. Starting with an eerie portrait of Vincent Price for Famous Monsters #9, Gogos created almost 50 wondrously macabre works for the publication. Gogos often bathed his monstrous subjects with brilliant colors from multiple light sources, highlighting their fearsome features with expressionistic radiance. His subjects included The Phantom of the Opera, Frankenstein, Dracula, The Wolf Man, The Mummy, King Kong, Godzilla, Gill-man, Mr. Sardonicus, Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi, Vincent Price, and many other beloved fright icons. Mr. Gogos also brought his distinctive flair to CD covers for rock acts Rob Zombie, The Misfits and Electric Frankenstein.
Farewell, Basil Gogos. Your paintings brought out the beauty in the beast and inspired generations of monster lovers. Thank you for bringing color to black-and-white monsters. 🙂
Ho-wdy, cartoon creeps!
It’s Splatterday Mourning again, and we’ve got the perfect cartoon caper to make you scream!
This week’s abominable animation is Monster Force, a 13-episode series by Universal Cartoon Studios and Canadian studio Lacewood Productions. The story is set in approx. 2020 and centers around a group of teenagers (with attitude!!!) fighting the Universal Monsters with futuristic weaponry. It’s a series that proves that Universal has been trying to do the “Dark Universe” thing long before Tom Cruise and The Mummy.
Both Monster Force and The Mummy resurrected the grand ol’ monsters, but with less scares and more radical action. The “Dark Universe” was clearly inspired by the success of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and this series actually got Marv freakin’ Wolfman to write some episodes! I guess it makes some sense… there always was a strange connection between superheroes and monsters…. Considering that nobody ever talks about this one, it’s actually a lot of fun! It’s G.I. Joe fighting cl-Ass-Sick fiends with sci-fi weapons…and every bit as cool as it sounds! 🙂 It even manages to sprinkle in some references to the actual films. Heck, the score in today’s episode quotes the score of Bride of Frankenstein! Plus, check out these monsters: Groovy. Check it out below…Happy Splatterday, Kinky Kreeps! 🙂 xoxo
Happy The Mummy Release Day, Monster Mashers! 🙂 The film marks the beginning of Universal’s Dark Universe, a series of interconnecting monster movies featuring our favorite ghouls of the past. While we wish they had stuck to pure Gothic Ho-rror, anything that brings attention to Cinema’s Greatest Monsters is worth supporting. And it only makes sense that the Universal Monsters would join in on “shared universe” craze. After all, they created the cinematic sci-fi crossover with 1943’s Frankenstein Meets the Wolfman.
Ho-wever, while The Mummy is the first attempt to start a franchise to under the Dark Universe banner, it wasn’t the first attempt to eXXXhume the great monsters… Back in the late ’90s, Universal had planned a straight Black-and-White throwback to the classic Frankenstein films, done entirely in CGI! In October 1998, The Hollywood Reporter announced that Universal head (;)) Casey Silver had green-lit the film for release in 2000. The film was set to be the first full-length animated feature by Industrial Light & Magic and was budgeted at 80 million dollars. If all of that wasn’t enough, The Wolfman was also supposed to be in the picture!
Alas, this beautiful nightmare was not meant to be. The project died, but Universal did resurrect the creeps in 2004’s Van Helsing. Oy. Only 16 seconds of test footage exists for the film, but it’s pretty fang-tastic! The tower is perfect and Frankie’s got those Karloff-ish good looks we all love so very much. How magical would it have been to have a modern monster film like this?! Hopefully, if the Dark Universe goes on, we may get some installments that have that classic Universal Monsters flavor.
For 16 seconds of pure Monster Magic, check out the video below: