Forry Ackerman is a fans fan. Born in 1917, he is nearly as old as cinema itself, and certainly is asmuch a national treasure. Forrys fans are now using the web to organize two tributes to the man who made it all possible.
The fable of Lugosis last stage tour in Dracula in 1951, as repeated in his various biographies, ignored the few facts and evidence available. Shortly into our work, we realized that virtually everything published about the 1951 Dracula, was incorrect. We “who were blind did see again” as we slowly uncovered and documented the truth.
Although Lugosi will always be remembered first and foremost as the legendary Dracula, he actually played a variety of roles before 1931, and many of them romantic leads. While most of us have not had the pleasure of seeing Lugosi on the stage, we can now enjoy several of his early silent performances in films that have only recently been made available to the general public.
Whatever the cause, the result is an added definition to what makes a memorable and potent cinema villain: the ability to conceive and execute elaborate strategies, exquisite perils, world-threatening inventions, and enigma-in-mysteries-in-puzzles intrigues. In short, a villains gotta have brains.
Do I really have to tell you to buy this set? If you are a horror fan and a DVD collector, youve already got it, or youre planning to get it. These films are essential viewing and essential components of a horror film collection.
Forty-five years after he died with a film-script in his hands, Lugosis face and his rich Hungarian accent remain as much a part of American popular culture as Count Chocula and Sesame Street. After all these years, why does he haunt us so? Four books on Lugosi and his films pretty much agree on the answer: Lugosi had presence.
Few film directors could be said to have founded an industry. Mario Bava is one. In the 1960s, inspired by the success of Englands Hammer Studios, Bava made a series of films that became the foundation of Italian horror cinema and influenced the genre worldwide.
While no one who knows me would mistake me for a dyed-in-the-wool Verhoeven fan, I have to admit even I was expecting something more than the hollow treatment given this classic tale of absolute power corrupting absolutely.
Masaki Kobayashis Kwaidan is a collection of four Japanese ghost stories, strikingly beautiful in its visual composition and often as moody and unsettling as the best of Val Lewton or Rod Serling. Its also a surprisingly effective movie for open-minded American horror fans, coming as it does from a cultural and chronological distance.