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Scary Monsters & Super Cheap Thrills: The awesome movie poster art of Reynold Brown

House on Haunted Hill’ (1959).
If I had the money, I guess I’d buy an old abandoned cinema somewhere downtown or maybe one of those big ole drive-ins that’s been long left for dead some place out in the desert. I’d refurbish it then screen double-feature monster movies each and every day. Double-bill after double-bill on continuous performance. Choice picks from the whole back catalog of Boris Karloff, Vincent Price, dear old Peter Cushing, and “King of the Bs” Roger Corman. Yeah, I know, I would probably go bust within six months—but hell, it would have been worth it just to see these classic horror movies and glorious science-fiction films on the big screen where they belong and not on flickering cathode-ray tube of childhood memory.

The walls of this fantasy cinema would be covered with the finest movie posters and artwork by the likes of Albert Kallis, Frank McCarthy, and Reynold Brown—“the man who drew bug-eyed monsters.”

Brown has probably impacted on everyone’s memory one way or another as he produced a phenomenal array of movie posters. Brown supplied artwork for B-movie features like Creature from the Black Lagoon and Attack of the 50ft. Woman, mainstream movies like Spartacus and Mutiny on the Bounty, to those classic Corman horror films House of Usher and The Masque of Red Death. I know I can hang large parts of my childhood and teenage years by just one look at a Reynold Brown poster. Straight away I can tell you when and where I saw the movie and give a very good idea of what I thought and felt at that time. Now that’s the very thing many a great artist tries to make an aduience feel when they look at a work of art. While artists can spend a lifetime trying to achieve this, Reynold Brown was doing it as his day job.
The Thing That Couldn’t Die’ (1958).
Tarantula!’ (1955).
More of Reynold Brown’s classic sci-fi and hooror movie posters, after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Homemade Monsters: DIY horror movie makeup from 1965

Martian #1.
In 1965, Forrest J. Ackerman hired legendary movie make-up artist Dick Smith to produce a Famous Monsters of Filmland Do-It-Yourself Monster Make-Up Handbook. Smith (1922-2014) was the guy who did the award-winning make-up for movies like The Exorcist, Little Big Man, The Godfather, Taxi Driver and Ken Russell’s Altered States. Smith’s special edition illustrated magazine presented a 100-page step-by-step guide on how to get the look for some of cinema’s best-known movie monsters. Using a range of everyday objects—from crepe paper and breadcrumbs to ping pong balls—Smith shared some of his best-kept secrets of the trade.

In his introduction to the handbook, Smith wrote:

Make-up is an exciting hobby, but it has been enjoyed by only a few young people because learning how to do it was very difficult. It was my hobby when I was a teenager, so I know both the difficulties and the excitement. I enjoyed make-up so much that I became a professional make-up artist, and after twenty years, I still love it.

What I want to do with this book is to provide you young amateurs with the information you’ll need to make it easy for you to understand and enjoy this art. The book begins with very simple make-ups and ends with some complicated ones.

Any kid who grew up on black & white Universal and RKO monster movies would have dug Smith’s book. Nearly every kid loves the thrill of making themselves into monsters and scaring the bejesus out of grown-ups. It’s all the fun of growing up. And Smith’s Do-It-Yourself Monster Make-Up Handbook certainly offered the young and those old enough to know better that chance.

Dick Smith’s Do-It-Yourself Monster Make-Up Handbook is still available to buy as a paperback. But here’s a taste of how it looked when first published in Famous Monsters of Filmland in 1965.
Martian #2.
Werewolf #1.
See more of Smith’s scary monster make-up tips, after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Master of Mischief: The brutal horror and cheesy sexploitation movies of Pete Walker

“For Men Only” (1968) and “School for Sex” (1969).
Let’s talk about Pete Walker—the sexploitation and horror movie director whose grand body of work includes such cult classics as House of Whipcord, Frightmare and The House of Mortal Sin.

Walker had a highly successful and equally controversial twenty-year film career as producer and director with his company Peter Walker (Heritage) Ltd. He started out in the early sixties making 8mm stag loops of busty models and finished his career on a high in the early eighties when he directed his last movie the big-budget all-star cast horror film House of Long Shadows (1983).

Walker describes his film career as “making mischief.” His movies (in particular those written by David McGillivray) take a well-aimed boot to the flabby rump of the British establishment. Walker has said he was interested in exposing the established order’s hypocrisy and “abuse of authority.” This he highlighted in films like House of Whipcord which exposed the depraved brutality at a correctional facility and House of Mortal Sin where a psychotic priest carries out his kind of final judgment on a few parishioners. Walker was inspired by what he saw going on all around him as he said in an interview from 2005:

“At any given time at my school, 50% of the masters had their hands down boys’ trousers,” he claims. “Prison wardens must have an in-built sadism, otherwise why would they do that job? Judges do a holier-than-thou act every day. How dare these people pontificate to the rest of us? They’re getting off on it!”

Walker made films quickly and cheaply. The son of the actor and music hall performer Syd Walker, the young Pete Walker raised enough cash from making stag loops to help finance his first feature I Like Birds in 1968. Shot over eight days on a tiny budget, I Like Birds was a minor hit and made a profit. It set the template for all of Walker’s future films—the “kick, bollock and scramble” school of filmmaking.

At a time when the British film industry was on life support, Walker was single-handedly making independent movies in guerilla fashion. He eschewed traditional narratives with their preachy moral undertones, instead opting for evil characters defeating the heroes and heroines or debauched couples have their “degenerate” behavior bring them happiness and reward—as can be seen in Cool It Carol!. Walker had a “fuck it” attitude and was shooting British cinema the bird.

He could have continued making soft core movies, but Walker decided in the early seventies to move into horror films with his first low-budget thriller Die Screaming, Marianne (1971). This starred Susan George, Barry Evans, and veteran actor Leo Genn. It’s an okay movie but doesn’t hint at what was to come.

The Flesh and Blood Show (1972) was his first proper horror movie in which a brutal psychopath terrorizes a group of young actors in an old abandoned seaside pier. It’s a thrilling tale well constructed and the kind of story writers like Richard Laymon would make a career out of penning in the 1990s.

Ignoring the rather poor comic strip sex romp Tiffany Jones (1973), it is the next three horror films that are his best work and define Walker’s career.

First up was House of Whipcord (1974) which was written by McGillivray and starred the greatest British horror actress ever Sheila Keith as an evil and sadistic prison governess. This was devilishly good entertainment that subverted the genre’s expectations. The film was heavily criticized and damned by many who saw it as some kind of far-right moral finger wagging. This was mainly because of Walker’s ironically subversive opening dedication “to those who are disturbed by today’s lax moral codes and who eagerly await the return of corporal and capital punishment.”

Then came Walker’s greatest film Frightmare (1974) which once again starred Sheila Keith this time as a seemingly ordinary neighborhood cannibal. Famed for its brutal splatter scenes—in particular one with an electric drill—long before Abel Ferrara made The Driller Killer—has led Frightmare to be described as:

A depraved, shameless and morally bankrupt depiction of the modern British family….

Frightmare is one enjoyable hell of a ride which benefits from Keith’s stunning performance and some well-judged acting from the supporting cast which included veteran actor Rupert Davies—who was best known as TV’s Maigret.

The final of this grand mid-seventies triumvirate was House of Mortal Sin (aka The Confessional) which starred Susan Penhaligon, Dynasty‘s Stephanie Beacham, Sheila Keith and Anthony Sharp as seriously deranged priest Father Xavier Meldrum.

Walker was raised a Catholic and gleefully uses the church’s sacraments in blasphemous fashion to kill people. The film was reviled by critics, though proved to be another box-office hit. However, Walker wasn’t completely pleased with the response:

“I was really hoping to get into trouble on that one. I mean, he kills people with a communion wafer, which is meant to be the body of Christ in Catholicism. I made that film because I went to a Catholic school where hellfire and damnation were rammed down my throat. I was waiting for a blasphemy charge from the Vatican. But it never came.”

Walker continued to make movies but the returns weren’t so good. Apart from House of Long Shadows, the best of his later work was slasher movie The Comeback (1978) starring singer Jack Jones. Walker retired from movies in his early forties and moved into the construction industry.

You’d think after making some of the best British horror films ever made, Pete Walker might have received a few prizes or honors or maybe a couple of initials after his name. But all the dear man ever got from working in movies was hemorrhoids.

Now having had the intro, here’s a quick taste of the posters (and some movie stills) from Pete Walker’s movie career.
“School for Sex” (1969).
Italian poster for “School for Sex” (1969).
Combo poster for “Cool It Carol!” (1970) and “Man of Violence” (1969).
More posters from Pete Walker’s back catalog, after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Hoaxes of Death: Secrets of the infamous death documentary REVEALED!
10:05 am

Pop Culture

horror movies

One of the many pointless rites of passage for dopey teenage boys in the 80s (present company included) was watching Faces of Death on VHS. Originally released to theaters in 1978, the infamous “mondo” movie—a collection of “real death” scenes collected from various supposed “real” news sources and hosted by a death-obsessed world-traveling “pathologist” named Dr. Francis B. Gross (geddit?)—was a box office smash in the kind of greasy grindhouses and drive-in movie theaters where murder and mayhem reigned, eventually gobbling up a reported $35 million in box office receipts. But that was only the beginning…

Faces of Death really became a phenomenon in 1983, when the infamous Gorgon Video company released it on a garish, big-box VHS with its crude drawing of a grinning skull on a pitch-black background with the impossible to resist tagline: “Banned! In 46 countries!”  As soon as you saw it, you just knew you had to watch it. Faces was, arguably,  the first real “viral video.” It spread largely by word of mouth, each giddy viewer embellishing its beastly atrocities in a far-flung game of VCR telephone. By the mid-80s the film’s reputation had grown so fierce that even the title could send a nervous kid into a pile of trembling sweat and goo.

Don’t worry, this guy is gonna be fine.

So did it live up to the hype? Sorta. Everyone has their “favorite” moments—the “bloody” dog fight, the brutal electric chair execution, American tourists gorging on the brains of a live monkey, the guy getting eaten by an alligator, the Satanic cult cannibal feast, the dumb camper who tries to feed a bear a sandwich and becomes the real lunch—but even the least discerning sixteen year old was left with more questions than answers. Why would a camping couple bring multiple cameras with them to film a spontaneous inter-species act? Do you really bleed from the eyeballs when you get electrocuted? Why does the chimp suddenly turn into a monkey halfway through the “feast”? But here’s the thing: it was the 80s. We had no Internet. The true story of Faces of Death was not in the latest edition of Encyclopedia Britannica. We suspected some amount of fraud, but how much and how it was created was unknown. It should also be noted that although a lot of the film seemed fishy, most of it was definitely authentic. The dramatizations in Faces of Death are littered with actual slaughterhouse and morgue footage. It’s a grim view no matter what.

This monkey has some serious concerns about the ‘Faces of Death’ script.

The beans were finally spilled thirty years later…

Keep reading after the jump…

Posted by Ken McIntyre | Leave a comment
Creepy horror Valentine cards for your best ghoul
09:54 am


horror movies
Valentine's Day

Here’s some last minute Valentine shopping suggestions for you spooky folk out there, hand-selected for your best ghoul or boo-friend.

All of these creepy cards are available through Etsy. Links are provided below the photos.

Lobsterboy “I love you this much” Valentine. $3.92 via Etsy.

“The serial killer sweethearts collection.” $12 for set of 5, via Etsy.


Horror icon cards. Set of three for $5, via Etsy.

Chucky and his bride Valentine card. $3.87, via Etsy.

More after the jump…

Posted by Christopher Bickel | Leave a comment
Classic horror movie posters reimagined as 8-bit NES video screens
09:13 am


horror movies

L.A.-via Detroit video director/photographer/poster artist Jesus Rivera wears a lot of creative hats, and he wears them all under the pseudonym “Demonbabies.” His range of styles is as diverse as his range of media, as a perusal of his web site will confirm, but what concerns us on this fine Halloween is his wonderful ongoing series of classic horror flick posters, redesigned as vintage 8-bit Nintendo video game startup screens. He’s been doing these for a few years, and sharing them, and other warped goodies, on his Instagram and on his “Shitty Halloween” Tumblr page. We love how these lean so heavily toward cult horror like House, Cannibal Holocaust, Possession, and I Spit on Your Grave, largely eschewing more mainstream offerings. He’s also done some in video form, complete with glitchy 8-bit music, and those are at the end of this post.


Continues after the jump…

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Leave a comment
These gruesome horror movie posters from Thailand really know how to sell their shit
09:26 am


horror movies
movie posters

Zombie Holocaust’ (1982)
You could say the best kind of movie posters make their pitch—entice an audience—without giving too much of their story away.

On the other hand, these kickass movie posters from Thailand don’t bother with such niceties—they go straight for the choice cuts, chop ‘em up and serve ‘em fresh on a lurid day-glo platter. The end result often means the posters are better than the films they’re selling.

In among this lurid gallery of grisly delights are some fine movies—To the Devil a Daughter, The Changeling, Sam Raimi’s Evil Dead II, George A. Romero’s Martin and (a personal fave) John Carpenter’s Prince of Darkness. Of course, there are quite a few bombs too—including George Clooney’s film debut Return to Horror High, Subspecies II and Manhattan Baby.

In the end—it doesn’t really matter as long as these posters succeeded in making each of these films look like two thumbs up.
The Beyond’ (1981)
The Changeling’ (1980)
More lurid Thai horror movie posters, after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Hell on Earth: Behind the scenes of ‘Hellraiser’ and its sequels

Author and director Clive Barker with Doug Bradley as the Cenobite nicknamed ‘Pinhead’.
Clive Barker didn’t know much about directing when he made his debut feature Hellraiser. He thought it best to clue-in on the subject. He decided to borrow a book on filmmaking from his local library. Unfortunately both copies were out on loan. Barker worried that his cinematic career was over before it had even started.

When he pitched the idea for the movie to Roger Corman’s New World Pictures, Barker avoided too much emphasis on his lack of experience. He presented a brief synopsis of his novel Hellbound Heart, a few storyboard sketches and some catchy taglines. It got him the gig.

Barker wanted direct movies because of the abortion made of his last screenplay Rawhead Rex in 1985. He didn’t want the same thing to happen to Hellbound Heart. He also hoped the film would be his calling card to Hollywood.

But he didn’t have a copy of Directing for Dummies or whatever it was called and New World were quibbling over the title Hellbound Heart. They said it sounded like a bad romance.

Thankfully, Barker’s cast and crew were professional and very patient. Together they helped him realize his dark and gory vision on screen.

The film was shot over ten weeks. It cost around a million dollars.

As for Hellbound Heart.—Barker gave his movie the working title Sadomasochists From Beyond The Grave. One female crew member suggested it should be called What A Woman Will Do For A Good Fuck. Hellraiser was chosen as the title—and a legendary franchise was born.

According to writer Neil Gaiman the infamous Cenobites—those dark, mutilated figures from another dimension—were loosely inspired by a group of likeminded writers (called the Peace and Love Corporation) who gathered one night in a rooming house during a party being held in the building. As Gaiman recounts in an introduction to Kim Newman‘s short stories:

The Peace and Love Corporation, which was never a corporation, although it was a bank account, and had not really to do with either Peace or Love, although I think on the whole we were pretty much in favour of both of them, formed, more or less, during a party. We weren’t at the party—it was being held in Kim [Newman}‘s Crouch End flat by his landlord. But we—Kim, Stefan Jaworzyn, Eugene Byrne and myself—were on sleeping bags in Kim’s room, listening to the party going on down the hall. Kim had the bed.

The party was long and loud and the partygoers (old hippies to a man) were playing old hippy music.

We started talking about hippies, lying in the darkness. And we began to rant about commune life and going to San Francisco and putting flour in our hair. It was a kind of free-form improvised stand-up routine, only we were lying on the floor.

The next day we wrote down what we could remember of the rant, added a plot of sorts, called it ‘Peace and Love and All That Stuff’ and sent it off to a magazine, and became the Peace and Love Corporation.

Clive Barker was fascinated by the Peace and Love Corporation. At one point he announced that he was going to write a story called ‘Threshold’, in which Kim, Stefan and I would be creatures from a far-future world beyond the boundaries of pleasure and pain, come to the here and now to hunt down a fugitive. When he finally wrote it it was called The Hellbound Heart, and was later filmed as Hellraiser. Which may mean that Kim Newman was the original inspiration for Pinhead. They are, after all, both snappy dressers.

A new film Hellraiser: Judgment will be released next year.
More images of Hell on earth, after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Killer silhouettes of 80s VHS horror movie box art
01:44 pm


horror movies
sleep paralysis

The excellent recent documentary The Nightmare examines the topic of sleep paralysis, a condition which causes terrifying waking hallucinations in its victims. Many of the sufferers of sleep paralysis describe similar visions. In fact, these descriptions are often so alike, it’s uncanny. One of the typical hallucinatory images described is that of a shadowy silhouetted figure. Sometimes there are three of these figures, the leader of which is usually wearing some sort of a hat. This hat-wearing dream-stalking shadow is said to have been the original basis for the Freddy Krueger character from A Nightmare on Elm Street.

There is something very primal about this shadow figure that haunts the dreams of sleep paralysis sufferers. This dark silhouette is something ingrained into our animal brains as an anthropomorphic personification of fear itself.

I was reminded of the demons of sleep paralysis when I ran across a post from Camera Viscera collecting scads of VHS horror covers all with the thematic connection of having a silhouette figuring prominently in the artwork. You can check their site or their Facebook page for even more of these “kill-houettes.”

Below is a gallery of the finest examples of shadow terror art.

Happy nightmares, folks:



More 80s VHS kill-ouettes after the jump…

Posted by Christopher Bickel | Leave a comment
Vintage horror film lobby cards through the decades
09:23 am


horror movies
lobby cards

Freaks vintage lobby card, 1932
Freaks vintage lobby card, 1932
As Halloween is quickly approaching I’ve pulled together some pretty cool eye-candy to help feed your inner ghoul - vintage “lobby cards” used to advertise horror films from the last seven decades. The use of lobby cards can be traced back as far as 1910 (The Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale houses a collection of cards from silent westerns from 1910-1930).
Dracula's Daughter vintage lobby card, 1936
Dracula’s Daughter vintage lobby card, 1936
Frakenstein vintage lobby card, 1931
Frankenstein vintage lobby card, 1931
Many lobby cards came in sets of up to twelve cards to help promote the film. In some cases, avid collectors have shelled out loads of cash for vintage lobby cards, such as the card pictured above for the 1931 film Frankenstein which sold at an auction this past summer for over $10K. But most of the cards in this post can be had for more reasonable sums via eBay or Etsy. I’m especially fond of the B-movie lobby cards from the 50s and the 60s that celebrated oddball films like 1956’s The Indestructible Man (starring Lon Chaney Jr.), or the impossibly strange sounding The Brain from Planet Arous (1957), and I think you will be too. Happy viewing, creeps!
Magic lobby card, 1978
Lobby card for the 1978 film, Magic
Many more macabre lobby cards after the jump…

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
Glorious, gory & (sometimes) goofy foreign film posters for horror films of the 1960s and 1970s

The Giant Spider Invasion (Japan)
The Giant Spider Invasion (Japan). Based on the low-budget 1975 film produced by Transcentury Pictures, directed by Bill Rebane
As a huge fan of horror films, especially those of the vintage variety, I really enjoyed pulling together this post that features foreign-made film posters advertising various horror films from the 1960s and 1970s.
Suspiria movie poster (Italy)
Suspiria (1977) movie poster (Italy)
The best thing about movie posters made for consumption outside the U.S. is that they are so much more adventurous. Few of these posters would have ever seen the light of day in a U.S. theater lobby due to their their liberal use of unorthodox imagery and nudity. Some of what follows may be considered NSFW—which is precisely why you MUST see them!
The Exorcist movie poster (Turkey)
The Exorcist (1973) movie poster (Turkey)
Dracula AD movie poster (Italy)
Dracula A.D. (1972, Hammer Films) movie poster (Italy)
More of these marvelous posters after the jump…...

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
Iconic horror soundtracks played in a major key become soothing, triumphant, dorky
10:15 am


horror movies

Transposing minor key songs into a major key (or vice versa) has become a thing on the internet in the past couple of years—a process that has been made rather easy with the advent of pitch-correction software. The results are often astounding. Some popular recent examples that have gone viral are REM’s “Losing My Religion” and Metallica’s “Nothing Else Matters,” both reworked into a major key. These minor-to-major reworks often give the songs a “triumphant” quality. A good example of this is this reworking of Europe’s “The Final Countdown”—already pretty “triumphant” as it was—now it sounds like a goddamn national anthem.

Musician, writer, and amateur filmmaker Ian Gordon has recently reworked a handful of iconic horror themes into a major key. The results, for the most part, turn creepy dread into pleasant elevator music. YouTube user Muted Vocal has uploaded a selection of five of these reworked themes: The X-Files, Halloween, A Nightmare on Elm Street, The Exorcist, and Saw. The changes are fascinating:

The X-Files theme played in a major key sounds exactly like Weather Channel “Locals on the 8s” music.

John Carpenter’s iconic Halloween soundtrack now sounds like Vangelis mashing up his Chariot’s of Fire theme with “Baba O’Riley.”

The Saw theme is now the intro music to an imaginary Hugh Grant film.

Mike Oldfield’s “Tubular Bells”—the theme from The Exorcist—now sounds like the wimpy, tinkly breakdown part of a Styx track, right before the “rock part” kicks in.

A Nightmare on Elm Street‘s theme played in a major key is the only one that retains any creep factor whatsoever—and maybe that’s just me, because I think Christmas is creepy. It sounds like the theme to a Hallmark Channel Holiday special.

These are all really great, but the Halloween theme left me wondering… what would the Chariots of Fire theme sound like in a minor key? I bet it’d be scary as hell. Perhaps Mr. Gordon can get on that and let us know?

Enjoy, here, the pleasant sounds of transposed horror:

via Nightflight, Bloody-Disgusting

Previously on Dangerous Minds:
Can ya dig it? Cabaret Voltaire’s insane version of Isaac Hayes’ ‘Theme from Shaft’
Soundtracks: Cinematic themes from Nick Cave, Sonic Youth, Tom Waits, John Cale and more
You know, this is—excuse me—a damn fine cover! The Joy Formidable revamps the ‘Twin Peaks’ theme

Posted by Christopher Bickel | Leave a comment
Wild prism stickers of 80s horror movies
11:33 am


horror movies
prism stickers

Day of the Dead
These prismatic stickers, universally referred to as “prism stickers,” were all the rage in the late 1980s, which happily coincided with a classic period for horror movies, when the Halloween, Friday the 13th, Hellraiser, Nightmare on Elm Street franchises were churning out product at an alarming clip.

Yesterday on his delightful Tumblr John Darnielle of the Mountain Goats posted a pic of one of these, the Day of the Dead image above, with this message:

you put a quarter into the vending machine and you get a sticker that reflects the light all rainbow-like and it says “the darkest day of horror the world has ever known” on it

there’s a lot wrong with this world but then again check out this completely rad sticker, is what I’m saying

Hear, hear! I can’t get enough of the colors on these—the Slaughter High one in particular strikes me as a minor masterpiece. Darnielle and I aren’t alone in our admiration, in trying to find images of these stickers (not the easiest thing in the world), it was noticeable that many of these went for prices upwards of $30 on eBay.

They Live

An American Werewolf in London

Slaughter High

More prism stickers after the jump…

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Terry Gilliam’s title sequence for ‘Cry of the Banshee’ (with Vincent Price) 1970
02:22 pm


Terry Gilliam
Monty Python
horror movies

Less than a year after the premiere of Monty Python’s Flying Circus on BBC, Terry Gilliam’s credit sequence for Gordon Hessler’s Cry of the Banshee was also presented to the world. For those of us who are more likely to think of a fleshy foot or perhaps “Conrad Poohs and His Dancing Teeth” as typical of Gilliam’s well-known cutout technique might be surprised to see it used to such different effect.

Cry of the Banshee was the second of three movies Hessler would make with Vincent Price in a span of two years; the others were The Oblong Box and Scream and Scream Again.

Among other things this represents Gilliam’s first-ever credit on a feature film, at least I could find nothing earlier on IMDb.


Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Dracula on drugs: Bela Lugosi ‘fesses up to being a dope fiend, 1955
10:39 am


Bela Lugosi
horror movies

Bela Lugosi was perhaps the first Hollywood star to openly admit to his drug addiction. Lugosi had become dependent on drugs after being prescribed opiates for relief of painful sciatica in the late 1940s. As his habit grew, his career slid into shitsville Z-list movies and his dope fiend reputation kept producers from hiring the legendary actor. Lugosi was forced into making his money through repertory tours in the US and England and special guest appearances on late-nite TV and double bills at the local movie theater.

Living the junkie life in direst poverty, Lugosi was given the chance of a comeback by the infamous Ed Wood, who offered the actor work on Glen or Glenda and Bride of the Monster. Grateful for the chance to turn his life around, Lugosi checked himself into a rehab clinic, before moving onto the local hospital. Lugosi went “cold turkey” and spent three months (90 days was the state minimum) getting straight. When he left the hospital in 1955, he gave what is thought to be his last filmed interview, where he talked about his drug treatment, his plans for a new film with Ed Wood and how he felt like a million dollars. The feeling wasn’t to last, by August 1956, the legendary Bela Lugosi was dead.

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
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