Reviews, articles, rants & ramblings on the darker side of the media fringe

Posts tagged “Frankenstein

Bernie Wrightson R.I.P

It was just over a month ago that Liz Wrightson announced that her husband, legendary artist Bernie Wrightson was retiring. Liz confirmed on Sunday that after a long battle with cancer, Bernie has passed away. Here is the full transcript from Liz. My condolences to the Wrightson family, Rest in Peace Bernie.

A Message from Liz Wrightson.

After a long battle with brain cancer, legendary artist Bernie Wrightson has passed away.

Bernie “Berni” Wrightson (born October 27, 1948, Baltimore, Maryland, USA) was an American artist known for his horror illustrations and comic books. He received training in art from reading comics, particularly those of EC, as well as through a correspondence course from the Famous Artists School. In 1966, Wrightson began working for The Baltimore Sun newspaper as an illustrator. The following year, after meeting artist Frank Frazetta at a comic-book convention in New York City, he was inspired to produce his own stories. In 1968, he showed copies of his sequential art to DC Comics editor Dick Giordano and was given a freelance assignment. Wrightson began spelling his name “Berni” in his professional work to distinguish himself from an Olympic diver named Bernie Wrightson, but later restored the final E to his name.

His first professional comic work appeared in House of Mystery #179 in 1968. He continued to work on a variety of mystery and anthology titles for both DC and its principal rival, Marvel Comics. In 1971, with writer Len Wein, Wrightson co-created the muck creature Swamp Thing for DC. He also co-created Destiny, later to become famous in the work of Neil Gaiman. By 1974 he had left DC to work at Warren Publishing who were publishing black-and-white horror-comics magazines. There he produced a series of original work as well as adaptations of stories by H. P. Lovecraft and Edgar Allan Poe. In 1975, Wrightson joined with fellow artists Jeff Jones, Michael Kaluta, and Barry Windsor-Smith to form “The Studio,” a shared loft in Manhattan where the group would pursue creative products outside the constraints of comic book commercialism. Though he continued to produce sequential art, Wrightson at this time began producing artwork for numerous posters, prints, calendars, and coloring books.

Wrightson spent seven years drawing approximately 50 detailed pen-and-ink illustrations to accompany an edition of Mary Shelley’s novel Frankenstein, which the artist considers among his most personal work. Wrightson drew the poster for the Stephen King-penned horror film Creepshow, as well as illustrating the comic book adaptation of the film. This led to several other collaborations with King, including illustrations for the novella “Cycle of the Werewolf,” the restored edition of King’s apocalyptic horror epic, “The Stand,” and art for the hardcover editions of “From a Buick 8” and “Dark Tower V.” Wrightson has contributed album covers for a number of bands, including Meat Loaf. The “Captain Sternn” segment of the animated film Heavy Metal is based on the character created by Wrightson for his award-winning short comic series of the same name.

Characters he worked on included Spiderman, Batman and The Punisher, and he provided painted covers for the DC comics Nevermore and Toe Tags, among many others. Recent works include Frankenstein Alive Alive, Dead She Said , the Ghoul and Doc Macabre (IDW Publishing) all co-created with esteemed horror author Steve Niles, and several print/poster/sketchbooks series produced by Nakatomi.

As a conceptual artist, Bernie worked on many movies, particularly in the horror genre: well-known films include Ghostbusters, The Faculty, Galaxy Quest, Spiderman, and George Romero’s Land of the Dead, and Frank Darabont’s Stephen King film The Mist.

Bernie lived in Austin, Texas with his wife Liz and two corgis – Mortimer and Maximillian. In addition to his wife, he is survived by two sons, John and Jeffrey, one stepson, Thomas Adamson, and countless friends and fans. A celebration of his life is planned for later this year.


122 Years of Horror

A History of Horror from Diego Carrera on Vimeo.


Sir Christopher Lee – R.I.P.

Sir-Christopher-LeeSad news just in, one of my all time movie star heroes, for as long as I can remember, Sir Christopher Lee, has died at the age of 93 after being hospitalised for respiratory problems and heart failure.

The veteran actor, best known for a variety of films from Dracula to The Wicker Man through to the Lord of the Rings trilogy, passed away on Sunday morning at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital in London, according to sources.

The decision to release the news days after was based on his wife’s desire to inform family members first. The couple had been married for over 50 years.

His film career started in 1947 with a role in gothic romance Corridor of Mirrors but it wasn’t until the late 50s, when Lee worked with Hammer, that he started gaining fame. His first role with the studio was The Curse of Frankenstein and it was the first of 20 films that he made with fellow legend, Peter Cushing.

Lee’s most famous role for Hammer was playing Dracula, a role which became one of his most widely recognised although the actor wasn’t pleased with how the character was treated. “They gave me nothing to do!” he told Total Film Magazine in 2005. “I pleaded with Hammer to let me use some of the lines that Bram Stoker had written. Occasionally, I sneaked one in. Eventually I told them that I wasn’t going to play Dracula any more. All hell broke loose.”

In the 70s, Lee continued to gain fame in the horror genre with a role in The Wicker Man, a film which he considered to be his best… he’s right.

He was knighted in 2009 for services to drama and charity and was awarded the Bafta fellowship in 2011. Lee still has one film yet to be released, the fantasy film Angels in Notting Hill.


Hotel Transylvania 2 – Trailer

Sony Pictures Animation released the first teaser trailer to Hotel Transylvania 2, which introduces Oscar-Tony-Grammy and Emmy-winning writer, director, performer, composer and producer Mel Brooks in the sequel to the 2012 worldwide hit.

Dracula, Mavis, Jonathan and all of their monster friends are back in the brand new comedy adventure: when the old-old-old-fashioned vampire Vlad arrives at the hotel for an impromptu family get-together, Hotel Transylvania is in for a comic collision of supernatural old-school and modern day cool.


Frankenstein Created Bikers

DudeDesigns_FCB_WEBMore insanity from the makers of Dear God No! Check them out on kickstarter HERE and read the official blurb below…

FRANKENSTEIN CREATED BIKERS centers around the re-animation of the South’s most notorious biker gang, The Impalers. Dr. Marco and his assistant are performing gruesome experiments in their asylum lab and have resurrected the thrill-kill Motorcycle Club to capture a Bigfoot containing a pathogen that will allow them to perform a human head transplant. When news of the gang resurrection draws the attention of bounty hunters, law enforcement and rival gangs, the lofty aspirations of these mad scientist starts to spiral out of control. Things get even worse for the occupants when failed experiments escape from the basement and the lab is attacked by a bomb-happy femme fatale named Val.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1334887287/frankenstein-created-bikers-a-35mm-feature-film/widget/video.html


Penny Dreadful – Season 2

PENNYDREADFULSEMBENE640PENNYDREADFULSIRMALCOLM640The new season will see Vanessa (Eva Green) and Ethan (Josh Hartnett) forming a deeper bond as the group, including Sir Malcolm (Timothy Dalton), Dr. Frankenstein (Harry Treadaway), and Sembene (Danny Sapani), unite to banish the evil forces that threaten to destroy them. Meanwhile, Dorian Gray (Reeve Carney), the Creature (Rory Kinnear) and Brona (Billie Piper) are all waging battles of their own. Patti LuPone will be as a mysterious character of great importance in Vanessa’s past. Helen McCrory returns as Evelyn Poole (a.k.a. Madame Kali), the seductive spiritualist who will pose a unique threat to our heroes this season, along with Simon Russell Beale, who is back as eccentric Egyptologist Ferdinand Lyle. Additional guest stars include Douglas Hodge as a Scotland Yard investigator, Sarah Greene as Poole’s powerful daughter, Hecate, and Johnny Beauchamp as a man with a singular past.


Reanimator – The Graphic Novel

Re-Animator_Variant-Cover-ArtCreated in 1921 by Lovecraft as a semi-parody of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, the Reanimator story follows the creepy doctor Herbert West on his quest to conduct freaky experiments and create terrifying zombies. The character is likely best known from the epic 1985 film version, starring Jeffrey Combs in the title role.

Now the classic H.P. Lovecraft tale of the Reanimator is being re-imagined as a new comic series later this year. The comic will be written by Keith Davidsen with art by Randy Valiente, and published by Dynamite. The new series will see West headed to New Orleans to revamp his experiments, though it sounds like he’ll run afoul of the locals. Cue the epic voodoo battles. Dynamite has dabbled with the Reanimator franchise a few times in recent years via a one-shot issue, an Army of Darkness comic crossover.

Here’s the official synopsis for the run:

In Reanimator, Dr. Herbert West heads to New Orleans to continue his life’s work: the revival of the dead by purely chemical means. To accomplish this task, he recruits Susan Greene, a young and wide-eyed pharmacologist fascinated by his macabre experiments. Initially unfazed by West’s unorthodox practices (including how he funds his research – by selling zombie brain fluid as a narcotic), Susan may regret her scientific curiosity as sinister forces – those aligned with Elder Gods and Haitian Voodoo – begin to align against the Reanimator.


Hero Huggers – Horror Icon Pillow Cases

Hero Huggers are a hand made character pillowcase featuring fun and colourful characters by Renny Roccon. $25 plus p+p, get them HERE

Hero-Huggers_Pillow-Covers


Frankenstein by Mignola

frankenstein-underground-mock-up-png-110212Bride-of-Frankenstein_MignolaOne of my favourite books re-imagined by one of my favourite artists. In 2015 Dark Horse Comics will publish ‘Frankenstein Underground’, a new five-issue miniseries written by best-selling comic book creator Mike Mignola, with covers by Mignola and interior art by acclaimed artist Ben Stenbeck (Baltimore). The miniseries follows the Frankenstein monster, who is alone, abandoned, and wandering underground, where he discovers both other monsters and the dark secrets to the universe.

The miniseries will be the second appearance of the Frankenstein monster within the mythology and continuity of Hellboy, B.P.R.D., and the other Mignolaverse titles; the character first appeared in the graphic novel ‘House of the Living Dead’ by Mignola and Richard Corben.

“It’s intimidating as hell to take on an icon like the Frankenstein monster,” said Mignola. “I’m trying to do something that’s true to the origin Mary Shelley created for the creature but also captures a bit of the feel that Boris Karloff brought to the role in the classic Universal films. At the same time I’m throwing the monster into an entirely new environment, so I think the result will be something new. It’s an odd one, but ultimately will add an important new wrinkle to the Hellboy/B.P.R.D. world.”

Mignola is no stranger to Frankenstein’s monster. He’s long been fascinated by Shelley’s novel and the iconic Universal Studios films that it spawned. In 1991, he drew scenes from classic Universal Studios horror films for Topps trading cards and recently drew a Bride of Frankenstein Mondo print.


Universal Monsters

Universal-MonstersThe newest assortment of Universal Monsters action figures is out now at Toys”R”Us and is coming soon to comic shops and specialty stores, as well as an all-new figure of the greatest monster hunter of all time.

Frankenstein’s Monster as he appears in Son of Frankenstein, and a super-poseable version of the Creature from the Black Lagoon. Both feature entirely new sculpts by Jean St. Jean, and both come packaged on a blister card with a small display base. Additionally, the Monster comes with the prosthetic arm of Inspector Krogh.

As a bonus, hanging alongside the Creature and Monster is Diamond Select Toys’ original take on the famous monster hunter, Van Helsing. Also sculpted by St. Jean, Van Helsing stands around 7 inches tall, and comes armed with an axe, a sword, a crossbow and a rifle, all of which can be carried on his back. Definitely not based on Van Helsing as portrayed by Edward Van Sloan in the 1930’s Universal classics… Now make a Hammer series and give us Peter Cushing, by far the best Van Helsing.


Universal Look To Relaunch Monster Franchises

universal-monstersNot sure how I feel about this, I’m still scarred from that vile Van Helsing movie… Universal Pictures most enduring legacy is its library of classic movie monsters that include Frankenstein, Dracula, The Wolf Man, Creature Of The Black Lagoon, The Invisible Man, Bride Of Frankenstein, and The Mummy. Universal is now dedicating renewed resources and an unprecedented, far-reaching commitment to revitalise its monster heritage.

The studio is in early stages of developing a substantial new production endeavor that will expand and unify a network of classic characters and stories. The architects of that narrative will be Alex Kurtzman and Chris Morgan. Kurtzman recently broke with partner Roberto Orci, but his big-scale projects have included Transformers, Star Trek and The Amazing Spider-Man. Morgan is the writer behind five installments of The Fast And The Furious, which has been Universal’s most reliably lucrative franchise. It’s not set in stone yet if either will write, but they will soon be going around town enlisting talent to bring new cinematic life to these enduring characters from lore, literature and Universal’s own library. While Universal has selectively tapped its Movie Monster library for The Mummy, Van Helsing, The Wolfman, and the upcoming Dracula Untold, this will be the first time that the studio has formalized an approach to these classic characters in a cohesive, connected way rather than as a series of stand-alone projects by disparate filmmaking teams.

They’ve begun the meetings to put together an interconnected slate of Monster films, and the first will be a reboot of The Mummy, which will be released April 22, 2016. Part of their duty will be to work closely with production, marketing, promotions and consumer product to support the revival. They will also reevaluate projects which have preexisting attachments, and bring it under one cohesive strategy.

Obviously some of those monster pictures haven’t panned out. With Marvel Studios and Disney building a billion-dollar business relying on the Marvel Comics superhero character library, Universal seems to be trawling it’s heritage and is looking to dust off and modernize the classic movie monsters that inspired many of the movie monsters we see today.

I’m just wary…


Image

Rest But In Death – Berni Wrightson

Bernie-Wrightson-Rest-But-In-Death


Jack Pierce

Jack-Pierce_bannerJack Pierce (born Janus Piccoula; May 5, 1889 – July 19, 1968) was a Hollywood make-up artist most famous for creating the iconic make-up worn by Boris Karloff in Universal Studios’ 1931 adaptation of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, along with various other classic monster make-ups for Universal Studios.

frankenstein_jack-pierce_themanbehindthemonstersAfter immigrating to the United States from his native Greece as a teenager, Pierce tried his hand at several careers, including a stint as an amateur baseball player. In the opportunist twenties, Pierce embarked on a series of jobs in cinema—cinema manager, stuntman, actor, even assistant director—which would eventually lead to his mastery of in the field of makeup. In 1915 he was hired to work on crews for the studio’s productions. On the 1926 set of The Monkey Talks, Jack Pierce created the make-up for actor Jacques Lernier who was playing a simian with the ability to communicate. The head of Universal, Carl Laemmle, was won over with the creative outcome. Next came Conrad Veidt in The Man Who Laughs, also a silent Universal picture. Pierce was then immediately hired full-time by the newly established Universal Pictures motion picture studio. The 1930 death of Lon Chaney, who throughout the 1920s had made a name for himself by creating grotesque and often painful horror makeups, opened a niche for Pierce and Universal, Chaney’s films provided audiences with the deformed, monstrous faces that Pierce and moviegoers so clearly enjoyed.

jack-pierce_boris-karloff_frankensteinUniversal’s first talkie horror film, Dracula, eschewed elaborate horror make-up. Pierce designed a special color greasepaint for Bela Lugosi for his vampire character, but apparently the actor insisted on applying his own makeup. For all film appearances of the character thereafter, Pierce instituted a different look entirely, recasting Dracula as a man with greying hair and a moustache. The most significant creation during Pierce’s time at the studio was clearly Frankenstein, originally begun with Lugosi in the role of the Monster. The preliminary design was apparently similar to the Paul Wegener 1920 German film of The Golem. When James Whale replaced Florey as director, the concept was radically changed. Pierce came up with a design which was horrific as well as logical in the context of the story. So, where Henry Frankenstein has accessed the brain cavity, there is a scar and a seal, and the now famous “bolts” on the neck are actually electrodes; carriers for the electricity used to revive the stitched-up corpse. How much input director James Whale had into the initial concept remains controversial. Universal loaned out Pierce for the Lugosi film White Zombie. They also loaned out some of the Dracula sets for the troublesome filming. Lugosi had collaborated with Pierce on the look of his devilish character in the film.

frankenstein_boris-karloff_jack-piercePierce’s make-up can be seen in Bride of Frankenstein (1935) and Son of Frankenstein (1939), The Mummy (1932), Lon Chaney Jr. as The Wolf Man (1941), and their various sequels associated with the characters. He also helped comedian Bud Abbott augment his thinning hairline with a widow’s peak toupee in his early films with Lou Costello. Pierce’s final credit is as makeup artist for the TV show Mister Ed from 1961 to 1964. He died in 1968 from uremia.

Jack Pierce’s enduring work at Universal has become a huge influence to many in the entertainment field, including make-up artists Rick Baker and Tom Savini. Jack Pierce was an innovator in the world of screen entertainment and material design. Pierce understandably felt he never got the recognition he deserved and died a bitter man. Finally, in 2003, Pierce was recognized with a lifetime achievement award from the Hollywood Make-up Artist and Hair Stylist Guild.

jack-pierce_wolf-man_lon-chaney-jrIn recent years, there is a strong desire to give Pierce a Hollywood Boulevard star for his popular lasting triumphs that have been preserved for decades on the movies he worked on. Pierce undeniably created screen icons to last beyond his lifetime. His contributions still continue to attract droves of attention to his astonishingly memorable, entirely original designs.


Peanut Sculpture – By Steve Casino

Steve-Casino_Creature_Bride-Frankenstein_MunstersCheck out these exquisitely made pieces of art… from peanut shells by artist Steve Casino. I’ve posted some of his horror-themed art here, there is much more at his website HERE

Steve-Casino_Hitchcock_Universal-Monsters


Universal Monsters – Infographic

If you have a monster fan in your life who isn’t quite as in touch with the Universal Monsters legacy as they should be, send them this handy chart, which highlights all of the major films involving these core characters from 1923-1960. Courtesy of  Movie.com

Universal-Monsters_infographic


Mike Hill Art

Boris-Karloff_Frankenstein_Mike-Hill Mike Hill is a world renowned portrait sculptor and artist. Originally from Warrington, England, Mike now lives in Los Angeles, CA. His career spans more than 20 years, and covers everything from garage kits to life-size figures; British television to Hollywood films.

Regan_The-Exorcist_Mike-Hill

In addition to private commission work, Mike has worked for companies such as the Franklin Mint, Sideshow Toys, DC Comics, Dynamic Forces and Tussauds Waxworks. Want, want, want… Check out his site HERE


Universal Monsters – by Shag

bride-of-frankenstein-shagthe-invisible-man-shag1the-mummy-shagthe-creature-from-the-black-lagoon-shag0frankenstein-shag


Image

Absolut Karloff – Boris Karloff Tribute

Absolut Karloff


Image

Run For Your Life, Charlie Brown – By Dennis Davies


Forrest J. Ackerman

Forrest J. Ackerman (born Forrest James Ackerman; November 24, 1916 – December 4, 2008) was an American collector of science fiction books and movie memorabilia and a science fiction fan; a magazine editor, science fiction writer and literary agent, a founder of science fiction fandom and possibly the world’s most avid collector of genre books and movie memorabilia. He was the editor and principal writer of the American magazine Famous Monsters of Filmland, as well as an actor and producer (Vampirella) from the 1950’s into the 1980’s, and appears in two documentaries related to this period in popular culture: Jason V. Brock’s The AckerMonster Chronicles!, which details his life and career, and Charles Beaumont: The Life of Twilight Zone’s Magic Man. He was, for over seven decades, one of science fiction’s staunchest spokesmen and promoters.

Also called “Forry,” “The Ackermonster,” “4e” and “4SJ,” Ackerman was central to the formation, organization, and spread of science fiction fandom, and a key figure in the wider cultural perception of science fiction as a literary, art and film genre. Famous for his wordplay, he coined the genre nickname “sci-fi”. In 1953, he was voted “#1 Fan Personality” by the members of the World Science Fiction Society, a unique Hugo Award never granted to anyone else.

Ackerman was born Forrest James Ackerman (though he would refer to himself from the early 1930s on as “Forrest J Ackerman” with no period after the middle initial) on November 24, 1916 in Los Angeles, to Carroll and William Schilling Ackerman. He attended the University of California at Berkeley for a year (1934–1935), worked as a movie projectionist, and spent three years in the U.S. Army after enlisting on August 15, 1942.

Ackerman saw his first “imagi-movie” in 1922 (One Glorious Day), purchased his first science fiction magazine, Amazing Stories, in 1926, created The Boys’ Scientifiction Club in 1930 (“girl-fans were as rare as unicorn’s horns in those days”). He contributed to both of the first sci-fi fanzines, The Time Traveller, and the Science Fiction Magazine, in 1932, and by 1933 had 127 correspondents around the world.

He attended the 1st World Science Fiction Convention in 1939, where he wore the first “futuristicostume” (designed and created by Myrtle R. Douglas) and sparked fan costuming, the latest incarnation of which is cosplay. He attended every Worldcon but two thereafter during his lifetime. Ackerman invited Ray Bradbury to attend the Los Angeles Chapter of the Science Fiction League, then meeting weekly at Clifton’s Cafeteria in downtown Los Angeles. Bradbury often attended meetings with his friend Ray Harryhausen; the two Rays had been introduced to each other by Ackerman. With $90 from Ackerman, Bradbury launched a fanzine, Futuria Fantasia, in 1939.

Ackerman amassed an extremely large and complete collection of science fiction, fantasy and horror film memorabilia, which, until 2002, he maintained in a remarkable 18-room home and museum known as the “Son of Ackermansion.” (The original Ackermansion where he lived from the early 1950’s until the mid-1970’s, was at 915 S. Sherbourne Drive in Los Angeles) This second house, in the Los Feliz district of Los Angeles, contained some 300,000 books and pieces of movie and science-fiction memorabilia. From 1951 to 2002, Ackerman entertained some 50,000 fans at open houses.

He knew most of the writers of science fiction in the first half of the twentieth-century. As a literary agent, he represented some 200 writers, and he served as agent of record for many long lost authors, thereby allowing their work to be reprinted in anthologies. He was Ed Wood’s “illiterary” agent. He kept all of the stories submitted to his magazine, even the ones he rejected; Stephen King has stated that Ackerman showed up to a King book signing with a copy of a story King had submitted for publication when he was 11.

Ackerman had 50 stories published, his stories have been translated into six languages. Ackerman named the sexy comic-book character Vampirella and wrote the origin story for the comic.

Through his magazine, Famous Monsters of Filmland (1958–1983), Ackerman introduced the history of the science fiction, fantasy and horror film genres to a generation of young readers. At a time when most movie-related publications glorified the stars in front of the camera, “Uncle Forry”, as he was referred to by many of his fans, promoted the behind-the-scenes artists involved in the magic of movies. In this way, Ackerman provided inspiration to many who would later become successful artists, including Joe Dante, Peter Jackson, Steven Spielberg, Tim Burton, Stephen King, Gene Simmons (of the band KISS), Rick Baker, George Lucas, Danny Elfman, Frank Darabont, John Landis and countless other writers, directors, artists and craftsmen.

He was married to teacher and translator Wendayne (Wendy) Wahrman (1912–1990) until her death. Her original first name was Matilda; Forry created “Wendayne” for her. Wendayne suffered a serious head injury when she was violently mugged while on a trip to Europe in 1990, and the injury soon after led to her death.

A lifelong fan of science fiction “B-movies”, Ackerman had cameos in over 210 films, including bit parts in many monster movies and science fiction films (The Howling, Return of the Living Dead Part II), spoofs and comedies (Amazon Women on the Moon), and at least one major music video (Michael Jackson’s Thriller). Ackerman was fluent in the international language Esperanto.

In 2003, Ackerman said, “I aim at hitting 100 and becoming the George Burns of science fiction”. His health, however, had been failing, and after one final trip to the hospital, informed his best friend and caregiver Joe Moe that he didn’t want to go on. Honouring his wishes, his friends brought him home to hospice care. However, it turned out that in order to get Ackerman home, the hospital had cured his infection with antibiotics. So Forrest went on for a few more weeks holding what he delighted in calling, “a living funeral”. In his final days he saw everyone he wanted to say good-bye to. John Landis recalled that “Although he was extremely ill he told me he could not die until he voted for Obama for President and he did.”

Forrest J Ackerman died on December 4, 2008, at the age of 92. He is interred at Glendale Forest Lawn with his wife Wendayne “Rocket To The Rue Morgue” Ackerman. His plaque simply reads, “Sci-Fi Was My High”.


Frankenweenie by my 7 Year Old Son

Frankenweenie is about a young boy called Victor and his dog Sparky. One when they were playing baseball, the ball goes on the other side of the road, when Sparky chases it, when he runs back a car hits him and he dies. For his science experiment Victor makes Sparky come back to life by using Frankenstein’s experiment with lightning.

The school was having a science fair and Victor was going to use Sparky as his experiment at the fair, but one of his friends finds out and wants to do the same experiment. He uses a dead goldfish but when the experiment is over, the goldfish is invisible. Then other kids do the same experiments with other dead pets. The best dead pet is Shelley, a turtle who grows into a giant turtle like Godzilla who goes crazy and attacks everything.

I really liked it; it’s funny and spooky, more spooky than Hotel Transylvania. My Dad told me that it’s in black and white to make it like a copy of the old Frankenstein movie, which is called an homage. SPOILER ALERT The end is the same as the old Frankenstein movie when they go to a windmill and burn it. I haven’t seen it yet but my Dad says I can watch it and his other old spooky movies (He means Universal Classic Horror).

I give it 4½ stars


Danny Boyle

Daniel “Danny” Boyle (born 20 October 1956) is an English film director and producer, best known for his work on films such as Shallow Grave, Trainspotting, 28 Days Later, Sunshine, Slumdog Millionaire and 127 Hours. Boyle won numerous awards for his 2008 film Slumdog Millionaire, including the Academy Award for Best Director. Boyle was presented with the Extraordinary Contribution to Filmmaking Award at the 2008 Austin Film festival, where he also introduced that year’s AFF Audience Award Winner Slumdog Millionaire. In 2012, Boyle was the Artistic Director for Isles of Wonder, the exceptional opening ceremony of the 2012 London Summer Olympic Games.

Daniel Boyle was born on 20 October 1956 in Radcliffe, Lancashire. Although he now describes himself as a “spiritual atheist”, he was raised in a working-class Catholic environment by his English father and Irish mother. Boyle was an altar boy for eight years and his mother had the priesthood in mind for her son, but aged 14 he was persuaded by a local priest not to transfer from his local school to a seminary near Wigan. He has said of the decision: 

“Whether he was saving me from the priesthood or the priesthood from me, I don’t know. But quite soon after, I started doing drama. And there’s a real connection, I think. All these directors — Martin Scorsese, John Woo, M. Night Shyamalan — they were all meant to be priests. There’s something very theatrical about it. It’s basically the same job — poncing around, telling people what to think.”

He later studied at Thornleigh Salesian College in Bolton, and at Bangor University. Upon leaving school he began his career at the Joint Stock Theatre Company, before moving onto the Royal Court Theatre in 1982 where he directed The Genius by Howard Brenton and Saved by Edward Bond. He also directed five productions for the Royal Shakespeare Company. In 2011 he returned to the Theatre to direct Frankenstein for the National Theatre. This production was broadcast to cinemas as a part of National Theatre Live on 17 March 2011.

In 1982 Boyle started working in television as a producer for BBC Northern Ireland where he produced, amongst other TV films, Alan Clarke’s controversial Elephant before becoming a director on shows such as Arise And Go NowNot Even God Is Wise EnoughFor The Greater GoodScout and two episodes of Inspector Morse. He was also responsible for the BBC2 series Mr. Wroe’s Virgins.

Boyle’s love for film began with his first viewing of Apocalypse Now: 

“It had eviscerated my brain, completely. I was an impressionable twenty-one-year-old guy from the sticks. My brain had not been fed and watered with great culture, you know, as art is meant to do. It had been sandblasted by the power of cinema. And that’s why cinema, despite everything we try to do, it remains a young man’s medium, really, in terms of audience.”

The first movie Boyle directed was Shallow Grave, the film was the most commercially successful British film of 1995. Working with writer John Hodge and producer Andrew Macdonald, Shallow Grave earned Boyle the Best Newcomer Award from the 1996 London Film Critics Circle, and it’s success led to the production of Trainspottingbased on the novel by Irvine WelshShallow Grave and Trainspotting caused critics to claim that Boyle had revitalised British cinema in the early 90s. 

He then moved to Hollywood and sought a production deal with a major US studio. He declined an offer to direct the fourth film of the Alien franchise, instead making A Life Less Ordinary using British finance. the film was his third with Scottish actor Ewan MacGregor, who was scheduled to appear in Boyle’s next movie before being axed in favour of Leonardo DiCaprio. Boyle’s next project was an adaptation of the cult novel The Beach. Filmed in Thailand, the casting of the film led to a feud with Ewan McGregor, star of his first three films.

He then collaborated with The Beach author Alex Garland on the post-apocalyptic horror film 28 Days LaterIn between the films The Beach and 28 Days Later, Boyle directed two TV movies for the BBC in 2001, Vacuuming Completely Nude In Paradise and Strumpet. He also appeared on Top Gear and drove the fastest wet lap at that time.

He also directed a short film Alien Love Triangle (starring Kenneth Branagh), and was intended to be one of three shorts within a feature film. However the project was cancelled after the two other shorts were made into feature films: Mimic starring Mira Sorvino and Imposter starring Gary Sinise. 

In 2004 Boyle directed Millions, a wonderful, but sadly overlooked family film. His next collaboration with Alex Garland was the science-fiction film Sunshine (2007), featuring 28 Days Later star Cillian Murphy. Then in 2008 he directed his biggest commercial and critical hit Slumdog Millionaire, the story of an impoverished child (Dev Patel) on the streets of Mumbai, India who competes on India’s version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?, for which Boyle won an Academy Award, the film won eight Academy Awards in total. “To be a film-maker…you have to lead. You have to be psychotic in your desire to do something. People always like the easy route. You have to push very hard to get something unusual, something different.” Andrew Macdonald, producer of Trainspotting, said “Boyle takes a subject that you’ve often seen portrayed realistically, in a politically correct way, whether it’s junkies or slum orphans, and he has managed to make it realistic but also incredibly uplifting and joyful.”

In 2010, Boyle directed the film 127 Hours, starring  James franco in his finest performance. It was based on Aron Ralston’s autobiography Between a Rock and a Hard Place, which detailed his struggle of being trapped under a boulder while canyoning alone in Blue John Canyon, south eastern Utah, and resorting to desperate measures in order to survive. The film was released on 5 November 2010 to critical acclaim, and received six nominations at the 83rd Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay for Boyle and Best Actor for Franco.

Boyle’s next film is called Trance, is about a fine art auctioneer mixed up with a gang joins forces with a hypnotherapist to recover a lost painting.

Boyle was Artistic Director for the 2012 Summer Olympics Opening Ceremony in London. Over the years, Olympic Opening Ceremonies have become multi-million pound theatrical shows, which have become known for their extravagance and pageantry to celebrate the start of the largest multi-sport event in the world. The ceremony, entitled Isles of Wonder, charted aspects of British culture, including the Industrial Revolution and British contributions to literature, music, film and technology. Reception to the ceremony was generally positive, both nationally in the United Kingdom and internationally.

Boyle is a trustee of the UK-based, African arts charity Dramatic Need. He has flirted with another installment of the 28 Days Later franchise. Boyle has stated previously that in theory it will be a sequel titled 28 Months Later, but alluded to a film taking place somewhere else in the world he created in 28 Days Later & 28 Weeks Later.


TNT develop Frankenstein by Dean Koontz

DEADLINE: Cable company TNT has put in development Frankenstein, a drama series from Lionsgate Television and 1019 Entertainment based on the five Frankenstein novels by Dean Koontz, which have sold more than 20 million copies.

Feature writer James V. Hart (Dracula, Hook) and his son Jake Hart will write the project, a modern-day reworking of the classic Frankenstein mythology. It is set in present-day New Orleans and follows Victor Helios (Frankenstein) and his creation 200 years after they thought they killed each other in a battle in the Arctic. The creature has survived and Victor has used science to keep himself alive — and they’re now in the same city unbeknownst to each other. Victor has engineered a new race of bizarre beings who answer to him, and when the creature learns that Victor is alive, an epic war ensues built on 200 years of pent-up rage, with New Orleans caught in the middle. James Hart will executive produce alongside Koontz, whose books have sold more that 450 million copies worldwide, and 1019 Entertainment principals Terry Botwick and Ralph Winter. 1019  Entertainment acquired rights to Koontz’s Frankenstein book series in 2010 for what was originally envisioned as a feature franchise series.

Koontz’s Frankenstein actually originated on TV with the 2004 original movie/backdoor pilot Frankenstein on USA based on his concept, which was executive produced by Martin Scorsese, directed by Marcus Nispel and starred Parker Posey, Vincent Perez and Thomas Kretschmann. It didn’t go to series, and a year later, Koontz launched his book series with Prodigal Son.

This marks the series debut of James V. Hart, who has adapted the works of several big-name authors to the big screen, Bram Stoker (Dracula), Robert Louis Stevenson (Muppet Treasure Island) and Carl Sagan (Contact). This is not the first time he has tackled Frankenstein. Hart has a story credit on the 1994 feature Frankenstein, based on Mary Shelley’s novel, which he also produced. Meanwhile, James Hart credits his son Jake for coming up with the idea for the Peter Pan sequel Hook.


Hotel Transylvania by my 7 Year Old Son ****

Official synopsis for Hotel Transylvania: Dracula, who operates a high-end resort away from the human world, goes into overprotective mode when a boy discovers the resort and falls for the count’s teen-aged daughter.

My Sons review: Count Dracula builds a hotel for all the monsters to have a break away from humans, the monsters are all scared of humans. Dracula is in charge, he has a daughter called Mavis who he doesn’t want to let go out in the daytime as she would be burned by the sun Dracula’s friends are Murray the Mummy, Frank the Frankenstein monster, Wayne the Werewolf, and Griffin the Invisible Man and all the other monsters. A human comes to the hotel called Jonathan, and Dracula tries to hide him from the other monsters by dressing him up as a half-monster like Frankenstein.

The  favourite parts of the movie for me was the beginning when they showed us all the monsters and the graveyard near the castle. I really liked the zombies, especially when they were on fire. It’s pretty funny, the funniest bit is when Frank does a fart-prank on Murray the Mummy, and Murray gets blamed.

If little kids liked spooky stuff, they will like the movie, if not they could be scared. It’s not really a scary movie, I would like it more if it was more scary. I give it 4 stars, it would get 5 if it was scary.