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Like, totally awesome horror movie-themed lights made from old-school VHS tapes
08.01.2017
10:28 am
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A VHS tape LED light
 
Some days the Internet can be very, very generous when it comes to discovering cool stuff that you never knew existed. Such as these insanely cool LED lights that are made from vintage VHS tapes.

The lights are the invention of Hayley Summers who runs the UK-based Etsy shop, NancysJars. As a horror nerd, I’m partial to Summers’ excellent horror film-themed VHS lights which are a scream. Summers will also customize her VHS tape lights to your exacting specifications. Due to a massive influx of orders, the shop has closed down temporarily but will reopen just as soon as Summers can catch up with the demand for her fantastic lights. In the meantime, I’ve posted photos of some of my favorites below and after the jump…
 

 

 

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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08.01.2017
10:28 am
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That time Jeanne Moreau posed for Playboy
08.01.2017
09:12 am
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Jeanne Moreau, indisputably one of the greatest cinematic icons that France ever produced, passed away yesterday at the age of 89. Moreau was almost certainly the defining female actress of la nouvelle vague, most obviously for her portrayal of the impulsive and elusive Catherine in François Truffaut’s masterpiece Jules et Jim, who forges a close friendship with and, inevitably, a romantic rivalry between the eponymous pair of men, portrayed by Oskar Werner and Henri Serre, respectively.

There can be no doubt that Moreau belongs on the short list of actors who left a profound mark on the international cinema of the 1950s and 1960s, right alongside Mifune, Von Sydow, and Mastroianni. In 1958 Moreau appeared in two masterpieces by Louis Malle, namely Les amants and Ascenseur pour l’échafaud. During her most visible years she also appeared in Jacques Becker’s Touchez pas au grisbi, Roger Vadim’s Les liaisons dangereuses, Michelangelo Antonioni’s La Notte, Luis Buñuel’s Diary of a Chambermaid, Orson Welles’ The Trial, and many others. She appeared often in movies into her later years, winning a César in 1992 for The Old Lady Who Walked in the Sea at the age of 63 and even popping up in the much-disputed romcom “classic” Love Actually more than 20 years after that.

Moreau’s world-weary visage and adeptness with a cigarette easily clinched her identity as the “intellectual’s sex symbol,” as she was called incessantly, of the day. However, it was not as if Moreau lounged with a Gitane in a cafe in all of her movies, some of which had significant risqué content, including Jean Dréville’s La reine Margot, Jean-Louis Richard’s Mata Hari, Agent H21, and Philippe de Broca’s Chère Louise.
 

 
It says something about the particular cultural currency Playboy attained in the 1960s that Moreau, three years after Jules et Jim, agreed to appear in a spread in the pages of the magazine. The pictures appeared in the September 1965 issue, when she was 37 years old.

In typical Playboy fashion, the accompanying text dances around the topic of Moreau’s, er, unlikely status as a sex symbol, stating that she “possesses few of the physical assets commonly considered prerequisites for projecting sex appeal,” even quoting a sly remark of hers to the same effect (“Beautiful? Of course not. That’s the whole point about me, isn’t it?”).

The subhead refers to Moreau as “the brooding, beguiling high priestess of French cinemactresses” LOL.
 
See the pics after the jump…..
 

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Posted by Martin Schneider
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08.01.2017
09:12 am
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Wild and inscrutable ‘Dune’ trading cards
07.31.2017
09:53 am
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Feyd lashes out at Paul
 
Frank Herbert’s densely plotted interplanetary epic Dune, published in 1965, has always represented a kind of dividing line between those who truly dig sci-fi and those who couldn’t muster the interest in whether young Paul Atreides would be able to secure control of the planet Arrakis and its copious reserves of the spice melange. Today it’s easy to regard the Dune series as a precursor to George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire, the series of books that led to Game of Thrones, but in the early 1980s Herbert’s masterpiece resembled nothing so much as a ready-made template for an answer to Star Wars.

Famously, Alejandro Jodorowsky took a crack at adapting Dune in the 1970s. In the early 1980s an attempt to turn Dune into a film was undertaken by the Dino De Laurentiis Corporation, and bizarrely, David Lynch, at that time known only as the director of Eraserhead and The Elephant Man was tapped for the gig. As J. Hoberman once pointed out, “Lynch was the first American avant-garde filmmaker to direct a Hollywood blockbuster,” and the results were predictably dark, unsettling, and at times well-nigh incomprehensible—although part of the blame for that surely goes to the Herbert book, which is famously hard to follow.

Dune boasted one of the all-time interesting casts, a lineup that included the future Jean-Luc Picard, the future Agent Dale Cooper, the erstwhile wife to John Le Carré‘s George Smiley, and the frontman for biggest rock band in the world at the time, and that’s all without mentioning personages like Max Von Sydow, Sean Young, Linda Hunt, Brad Dourif, Dean Stockwell, and José Ferrer. (Probably the most familiar image from the movie shows Sting wearing his “space underpants.”) I’m mildly obsessed with Dune‘s peculiarly anti-commercial virtues, and so naturally, I got excited when I recently discovered the existence of Fleer’s trading card set promoting the movie.

Each one of Fleer’s wax packs contained 10 cards as well as a sticker and a stick of gum. The entire series ran to 132 cards, the last two of which are “Terms and Definitions” cards helpfully explaining to the tween audience what expressions like “Bene Gesserit” and “Crysknife” are supposed to represent (see below for the answer).
 

Stilgar asks Jessica to “pass within”
 

Running for their lives….
 
Much more after the jump…...

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Posted by Martin Schneider
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07.31.2017
09:53 am
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David Lee Roth’s insane isolated vocals from ‘Runnin’ With the Devil’ make a really great ringtone
07.28.2017
02:42 pm
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The great David Lee Roth back in the late 1970s.
 
So first off, yeah, I know that David Lee Roth’s isolated vocals from Van Halen’s 1978 juggernaut, “Runnin’ With the Devil” have been making the rounds out on the Internet for a while. But perhaps what you didn’t know is that there is a site that allows you to download them in neat little MP3 files so you could, as I’d strongly suggest, use them as ring tones for your smart phone. So let’s all help make our smart phones great again by ditching those irritating pre-loaded ringtones and replacing them with Diamond Dave’s straight-up mythical war cry from the stoner teen anthem, “Aaahhh Haaa YEAHHH!”

Of course, it’s easy enough for most people to DIY this themselves, but on Soundboard.com you can even text DLR’s vocals to anyone you want in the United States. If DLR isn’t your cup of tea (???), don’t despair as there are over 485,000 other sounds on Soundboard, including famous quotes spoken by Samuel L. “Say WHAT again” Jackson and Christopher Walken. There’s also an entire category called “Nicolas Cage loses his shit” that includes a downloadable MP3 of Cage rage-screaming the word “fuck” for five full seconds. Nice.

In case you’ve never heard Roth’s isolated vocals from “Runnin’ With the Devil,” here’s a video compilation of that audio:
 

David Lee Roth’s isolated vocals from “Runnin’ With the Devil.”

Posted by Cherrybomb
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07.28.2017
02:42 pm
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Edgar Wright’s brilliant fake trailer for ‘Don’t’ spoofs exploitation films of the ‘70s & ‘80s
07.28.2017
02:29 pm
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Don't
 
This summer, both critics and regular folks who have to pay for their movie tickets have gone ga-ga over Baby Driver. The film was directed by Edgar Wright, who first gained mainstream attention for his awesome horror-comedy, Shaun of the Dead (2004). Admiration for Shaun led to Wright being asked to contribute a fake trailer for the Quentin Tarantino/Robert Rodriguez extravaganza, Grindhouse (2007), their highly entertaining tribute to ‘70s and ‘80s exploitation cinema. In an interview with Rolling Stone prior to the release of Grindhouse, Wright talked about the main inspiration for Don’t.

In the ‘70s, when American International [Pictures] would release European horror films, they’d give them snazzier titles. And the one that inspired me was this Jorge Grau film: In the UK, it’s called The Living Dead at Manchester Morgue. In Spain and in Italy, I think it’s called Do Not Speak Ill of the Dead. But in the States, it was called Don’t Open the Window. I just loved the fact that there isn’t a big window scene in the film—it’s [the trailer’s] all based around the spin and the voiceover not really telling you what the hell is going on in the film.

Don’t Open the Window is set in England, and though English is the spoken language in the US version, the American trailer was cut in such a way that none of the actors’ voices are clearly heard. When Tarantino and Rodriquez appeared on Charlie Rose to promote Grindhouse, they talked about why there’s no dialogue in the preview for exploitation pictures like Don’t Open the Window.

Tarantino: His [Wright’s trailer] is like a British horror film from the ‘70s, but it’s the American trailer, which means they never let any of the actors talk, because in America they didn’t want anyone to know that it was a British movie until you were already in the theater.

Rodriguez: It was too late.

Tarantino: It’s too late!


Continues after the jump…

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Posted by Bart Bealmear
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07.28.2017
02:29 pm
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Horror Scope: Manly P. Hall’s occult murder mystery, ‘When Were You Born?’
07.28.2017
11:12 am
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One of Elvis’ favorite books, The Secret Teachings of All Ages, was the work of Manly Palmer Hall, a Los Angeles-based esotericist who tried to break into the moving picture business long before Elvis did. In 1938, Hall appeared in an astrological murder mystery based on a story he sold Warner Bros., When Were You Born?

Anna May Wong plays Mei Lei Ming, a Chinese astrologer who uses her total omniscience to help the San Francisco police solve a crime. Each of the movie’s 12 characters has a different sun sign—awfully convenient for the plot, but an ingenious way of teaching the zodiac to an audience nonetheless. Hall defended the movie as “the first picture ever made by a major motion picture studio of the world dealing with the subject of astrology except as a joke or fraud.”
 

 
Master of the Mysteries: New Revelations on the Life of Manly Palmer Hall says the original version of Hall’s story “depicted astrologer Evangeline Adams as a ‘kind, old lady’ who happened to be a powerful influence on the stock exchange,” but the studio had other ideas:

The plot would be more saleable as a murder mystery, [the powers-that-be] said, and more believable with a mysterious and sultry female lead. Hall grudgingly agreed, and came back with a revised version that became the only one of his original stories that was ever actually produced[...]

[The script] called for a pet marmoset, but since the only marmoset available had already been rented out, Hall compromised on a little brown monkey named Venus.

Hall consulted the stars for the best starting date and time: exactly 11:26 a.m. Feb. 9. It was reported that he must have gotten his stars mixed up because leading lady Wong was in bed with a cold that day. Hall insisted that although the studio had lived up to the letter of his starting time, it had not observed it in spirit. Director William McGann had shot the first scene at the prescribed moment, Hall agreed, but he had spent an hour or more rehearsing his cast before that. He complained that only one actor in the film was actually born under the character he played—in his case, Pisces, the fish.

As a final touch, it was decided that the movie should open with Hall making an introductory on-camera speech explaining how astrology can forecast future events and, as he says, solve crime. Hall lamented having to do the scene, calling his cameo appearance a final blow to the project that had been tinkered with so much that he barely recognized it as his own. But the movie’s producers felt it was needed to help the public understand what the movie was all about.

When Were You Born? is not yet available from Warner Archive, but Finders Keepers Classics offers a DVD-R with reasonably sharp picture and sound for $6.99. Manly P. Hall sets it up in the trailer below.
 

Posted by Oliver Hall
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07.28.2017
11:12 am
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Junkie Business: John Frusciante meets Timothy Leary in Johnny Depp and Gibby Haynes’ ‘Stuff’
07.27.2017
08:31 am
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Johnny Depp in Berlin, 1993
 
Some movies make rock stardom look like hell. The reason it’s so hard to see Cocksucker Blues is not that it’s such an appealing advertisement for life on the road, but that it makes the lives of the characters in Glengarry Glen Ross look like a lot of fun compared to the Rolling Stones’.

Stuff belongs on the same shelf. Directed by Johnny Depp and Gibby Haynes in 1993, the unreleased short film is a documentary about the squalid junkie crash pad in LA that John Frusciante used to call home. Cameras drift through the house soaking in the bummer ambience as Frusciante’s Portastudio recordings play on the soundtrack. There’s no dialogue.
 

P’s self-titled debut on Capitol Records
 
If there’s a ghost in the movie other than Frusciante’s spectral presence, it’s River Phoenix. Depp and Haynes were bandmates in P, the group that was onstage at the Viper Room when Phoenix OD’d. According to Bob Forrest’s memoir Running with Monsters, Phoenix spent the days before his death at Frusciante’s house getting “deep into a major-league drug binge,” and even by drug-den standards, Forrest says the place was fucked up:

We all lived close to one another. Johnny only lived a couple minutes’ drive from Frusciante’s house and the apartment I kept nearby. The Butthole Surfers’ Gibby Haynes, when he was in town, mostly stayed with Johnny. Sometimes I’d stay there or at Frusciante’s. I was hard to pin down. River usually stayed at St. James’ Club on the Strip, a flashy, high-end art-deco luxury hotel, also known variously as the Argyle or the Sunset Tower. The Viper Room was our headquarters, but Frusciante’s place saw almost as much use, although things had started to take on a dark and forbidding atmosphere there. It still didn’t stop anybody from dropping by. If any of us were working or out on tour, Frusciante’s house was the first stop as soon as we arrived back in town.

Frusciante’s place offered something the Viper Room had in short supply: privacy. But that also made it a liability. What had started out as a party place had devolved and spiraled into some dank drug den. Walls were covered with graffiti. Furniture was damaged. Walls and doors had huge, gaping holes. There was a current there—bad vibes and degeneracy. It was out of control and the kind of place that could make the hardest of hard-core junkies blanch and run in the opposite direction.

Watch ‘Stuff’ after the jump…

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Posted by Oliver Hall
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07.27.2017
08:31 am
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Covetable action figures based on classic and obscure 80’s horror films up for grabs!
07.20.2017
09:17 am
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A custom action figure based on the 1982 slasher film, ‘Pieces’ by Dan Polydoris of Death By Toys. $40 (two available).
 
Dan Polydoris, the founder of Death By Toys, has been creating small numbers of action figures based on films from the 80s since 2010, showing a particular affinity for the horror genre. Polydoris’ plastic characters quickly became super popular with collectors, especially those who, like Polydoris, dig on the “strange, offbeat, and absurd.” For his latest batch of action figures, Polydoris focused on eight different films from the decade including things like 1980’s Maniac, the 1981 Canuck cult classic, Happy Birthday to Me, and 1982’s Pieces starring the great Christopher George. If you just said “YES” to all of that, then listen up because I’m going to tell you how you *might* be able to make one of Polydoris’ newest rare figures yours.

Starting today, Thursday, July 20th at 12:30 CST, a small number of the figures will be available for purchase at the Death By Toys online store, and when I say small numbers I mean really small numbers. For example, Polydoris only made two of the hilarious killer “Kebab Playsets” from Happy Birthday to Me which will run you 40 bucks each. The packaging is also pretty fantastic as it uses images from the original back-in-the-day VHS tape cover art. Nice. All eight figures along with their various prices posted below. Happy hunting!
 

The hysterical ‘Happy Birthday to Me’ “Kebab Playset.” $40 (two available).
 

My absolute favorite of the bunch based on the 1980 film ‘Maniac,’ the “Bloody Scalp.” 30 bucks each (five available).
 
Many more after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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07.20.2017
09:17 am
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David Lynch recites Captain Beefheart’s ‘Pena’
07.20.2017
09:09 am
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Don Van Vliet, ‘Crepe and Black Lamps’ (via beefheart.com)
 
Among the treasures stored on Magic Band alumnus Gary Lucas’ Soundcloud is this recording of David Lynch reading “Pena” from Trout Mask Replica.

The director, who also appears in Anton Corbijn’s short movie about Beefheart, Some YoYo Stuff, recorded “Pena” for a Beefheart tribute show Lucas put on at the NYC Knitting Factory in 2008.

“Three little burnt scotch taped windows.” Where Antennae Jimmy Semens shrieks “Pena” like it’s his last words at the gallows, Lynch’s measured recitation lets you picture every image. They could come from one of his own paintings:

Pena
Her little head clinking
Like uh barrel of red velvet balls
Full past noise
Treats filled ‘er eyes
Turning them yellow like enamel coated tacks
Soft like butter hard not t’ pour
Out enjoying the sun while sitting on
Uh turned on waffle iron
Smoke billowing up from between her legs
Made me vomit beautifully
‘n crush uh chandelier
Fall on my stomach ‘n view her
From uh thousand happened facets
Liquid red salt ran over crystals
I later band-aided the area
Sighed
Oh well it was worth it
Pena pleased but sore from sitting
Chose t’ stub ‘er toe
‘n view the white pulps horribly large
In their red pockets
“I’m tired of playing baby,” she explained

Listen after the jump…

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Posted by Oliver Hall
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07.20.2017
09:09 am
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‘F for Fake’: Orson Welles asks ‘What is reality?’ in dazzling masterpiece of oddball art cinema
07.19.2017
01:20 pm
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“If my work hangs in a museum long enough, it becomes real.”

—Elmyr de Hory

If you’ve seen Orson Welles’ late period quasi-documentary F for Fake, then you know about the mysterious art forger Elmyr De Hory. In his freewheeling cinematic essay, Welles explored the funhouse mirror life of de Hory, who found that he had an uncanny knack for being able to paint convincing counterfeits of Picasso, Matisse, Modigliani and Renoir’s work. After some of his fakes were sold to museums and wealthy collectors, suspicions were raised and his legal troubles—and a life spent moving from place to place to avoid the long arm of the law—began.

At the time Welles met up with Elmyr in the early 70s, he was living in Ibiza and had already been the subject of Fake! The Story of Elmyr de Hory the Greatest Art Forger of Our Time written by the notoriously fraudulent “biographer” Clifford Irving, who himself figures prominently in the film. During the course of filming F for Fake, Irving (who was later portrayed by Richard Gere in The Hoax), was serendipitously revealed to have forged his own “autobiography” of Howard Hughes (not to mention Hughes’ signature) and sentenced to jail time. The resulting film, an essay on the authorship of “truth” in art, is a dazzling, intellectually challenging masterpiece that can never quite decide if it’s a fake documentary about a fake painter of fake masterpieces who himself was the subject of a fake biographer… or what it is. (It’s no wonder that Robert Anton Wilson was such a fan of F for Fake, which figures prominently in his book, Cosmic Trigger II).

F or Fake also calls into question the nature of “genius”: If Elmyr’s forgeries were good enough to pass off as Picasso or Modigliani’s work, or even to hang in museums under the assumption that they were the work of these masters, wouldn’t Elmyr’s genius be of equal or nearly equal value to theirs? (Worth noting that it was ego that got in the way of Elmyr’s scam at several points in his life: He was often left apoplectic at hearing how much crooked art dealers were making from his forged paintings!)

He didn’t intend to become an art forger, but life during the Great Depression and WWII wore down his scruples. He was imprisoned—or so he claimed, there’s no proof one way or the other—for a time in a Nazi concentration camp for being gay and when he got out he survived by cultivating his charismatic con man skills. One of his scams was pretending to be a Hungarian nobleman selling off his family’s art masterpieces after the war. Apparently he even sold his forged art via mail order. Some of de Hory’s many known pseudonyms included Louis Cassou, Joseph Dory, Joseph Dory-Boutin, Elmyr Herzog, Elmyr Hoffman and E. Raynal.

But Elmyr himself was often on the wrong end of a con, getting ripped off by his own (equally complicit) agents and dealers. He was arrested in Mexico but managed to get off and when they couldn’t pin any other crimes on him, Spain sent him to prison for a few months for homosexuality and consorting with bad people. When Irving’s book came out, the jig, as the saying goes, was essentially up.

De Hory’s former bodyguard and driver, Mark Forgy, the author of the 2012 book The Forger’s Apprentice: Life with the World’s Most Notorious Artist, has kept Elmyr’s archive since his death in 1976. In recent years Mr. Forgy has been trying to make more sense of Elmyr’s odd life locating dozens of his paintings and his birth records. From the New York Times:

He claimed that his father was a Roman Catholic and a diplomat, but the Budapest ledgers list Adolf as a Jewish merchant. The Nazis killed his entire family, Mr. de Hory said. But a cousin named Istvan Hont visited the artist’s villa on Ibiza, where Mr. Forgy was working at various times as a chauffeur, secretary and gardener. Mr. Hont, it turns out, was the forger’s brother.

Mr. Forgy knew that his boss copied masterpieces but did not much question their life on Ibiza, in which they kept company with celebrities like Marlene Dietrich and Ursula Andress. “I accepted the amazing with a nonchalance,” Mr. Forgy said in a recent phone interview. Mr. de Hory was the focus of Orson Welles’s 1974 documentary F for Fake, and Clifford Irving breathlessly titled his book Fake! The Story of Elmyr de Hory the Greatest Art Forger of Our Time.

After Mr. de Hory’s suicide, Mr. Forgy returned to Minnesota. “I went into deep seclusion” working as a night watchman and house restorer, he said. He held onto the papers and paintings. “I have schlepped them around endlessly,” he said. “The walls here in the house look like the Pitti Palace in Florence.”

His wife, Alice Doll, encouraged him in recent years to examine the stacks of false passports, Hungarian correspondence and Swiss arrest reports.

On December 11, 1976, Elmyr de Hory committed suicide by overdosing on sleeping pills after discovering that the Spanish government had agreed to hand him over to the French so that he could stand trial on fraud charges. Naturally there was speculation that he’d faked his death to avoid extradition, but Forgy, who was there when he died, has shot this theory down. After Elmyr’s death, his paintings—both his forgeries and his own original works—became so popular that forged de Hory art appeared on the art market! Heavy meta. Former Texas governor John Connally and a partner bought 100 of his paintings and sold them to wealthy buyers in the 1980s.
 

Elmyr’s portrait of Clifford Irving for TIME magazine’s coverage of the Howard Hughes hoax in 1973.
 

Portrait of a woman in the style of Modigliani, by Elmyr de Hory
 
More Elmyr after the jump…

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Posted by Richard Metzger
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07.19.2017
01:20 pm
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