Monday, July 28, 2014

'Jack Pierce' Forefather Of Horror Movie Make-Up, Article by Vincent J. Fitzgerald

A Permanent Pierce In The Heart Of Horror
Article by: Vincent J. Fitzgerald

     If I were to ask horror fans which monster has a square head and bolts protruding from his neck, the universal answer would be the sympathetic, misunderstood creation of Henry Frankenstein. In fact, I contend the image is indelible enough to transcend the world of horror and be embedded in the psyches of non-horror fans as well.

  Since the 1910 production of Frankenstein, directed by Thomas Edison, and starring Charles Ogle as the monster, there have been variations of the monster’s appearance faithful to the source material, as was Robert DeNiro’s in Kenneth Branagh’s, Frankenstein (1994), and incarnations that missed the mark during the heyday of Hammer films in the 1960’s and 1970’s.
     The man who put the bolts in Karloff’s neck, gave him the gory scar on his forehead, and shortened jacket sleeves to create the illusion of lanky arms is the legendary, but I fear forgotten, Jack Pierce.

Friday, July 25, 2014

'Blacula' 1972 Blaxploitation Horror Cinema Article With Rare Photo Gallery Starring William Marshall, Watch Wide Screen Trailer Here

Original US Theatrical Movie Poster

BLACULA (1972)
Article by: The Diabolique Magazine Canadian Correspondent Terry Sherwood
What became known as “Blaxploitation Cinema,” which had its main run from 1970 to 1979, featured Black actors in action roles that were only seen at that time as being done by whites such as Director Don Segal's DIRTY HARRY (1972) starring Clint Eastwood.
Many of these pictures featured the black muscle equivalent, usually a former football player or in one case a nightclub doorman in the person of Richard Roundtree who rose to fame as "John Shaft" in the film of the same name and its sequels. 
One important difference was this style of film rocketed Pam Grier to fame as a tough talking, battling, ass kicking but still all woman hero of various films such as: The Big Bird Cage (1972), Hit Man (1972), Black Mama White Mama (1973), Coffy (1973), Scream Blacula Scream (1973), The Arena (1974), Foxy Brown (1974), "Sheba, Baby" (1975), Friday Foster (1975), Bucktown (1975), Drum (1976), Above The Law (1988) among others. What is usually left out is that "Blaxplotation" also included horror films. One of the very best was BLACULA (1972).

COFFY (1973) 
Starring the busty Pam Grier

Extremely rare full frontal nude shot featuring the busty Pam Grier from COOL BREEZE (1972). This movie was a reworking of the classic 1950s crime drama The Asphalt Jungle, which was in turn based on W.R. Burnett’s novel. The sultry actress Pam Grier was once described by fellow actress Margaret Markov as "fearless, basically up for anything!"

 Original Theatrical "One Sheet" Movie Poster
COFFY (1973)
Starring: Pam Grier
She's the "GODMOTHER" Of Them All
... The Baddest One-Chick Hit-Squad That Ever Hit Town!

Rare publicity photo featuring Pam Grier nude while laying down on a large bed covered with luxurious red satin sheets as she watches a mini TV set. It was used in magazines to promote COFFY (1973)

Very rare 8x10 US original hand colorized theatrical movie photo
 Sid Haig hold Pam Grier (Coffy) on the ground

Very rare 8x10 original US hand colorized theatrical movie photo
 The gorgeous Pam Grier gets introduced to a "special client"

Coffy (Pam Grier) with her pimp Robert Doqui

Pam Grier (Coffy) [right] in action!

Another great shot featuring Pam Grier (Coffy) [right] in action!

Original US Theatrical "One Sheet" Movie Poster
Don't mess aroun' with
Starring Pam Grier
She's The Meanest Chick In Town!
She's brown sugar and spice and if you don't treat her nice she'll put you on ice!

Original US Theatrical "Half Sheet" Movie Poster
BLACULA (1972)

BLOODSUCKER! Deadlier than Dracula!
Warm young bodies will feed his hunger and hot, fresh blood his awful thirst

It is important to place film in the context of the time so with BLACULA and the rise of this film making style was part of a new Black Consciousness that was rising in society. In 1968, there was much publicized Black Panther activity in which Oakland police were ambushed. Eldridge Cleaver - who later confessed to leading the raid - published his book of essays titled SOUL ON ICE. 

Berry Gordy, Founder and
Chairman Motown Records in
Los Angeles (circa 1980).
The Watts riots took place in Los Angeles in 1965. Motown was founded by Berry Gordy in 1959 and had spectacular musical success from 1960 to 1969 with over 79 records in the top Billboard 100 chart. It was a time of great social change. What does this have to do with a horror film? I found some interviews with the film’s star William Marshall who said that he would not do the picture unless he could use his Black heritage as a character point. To that end, the vampire character’s name was changed from ‘Andrew Brown’ to the magnificent Prince Mamuwalde.   

The picture opens in the year 1780 with Prince Mamuwalde (William Marshall) and his wife Luva (Vonetta McGee) in the castle of Count Dracula. They were not travelers that had lost their way in a storm but were there to ask Count Dracula’s help in abolishing the slave trade from their nation of Abani in Africa.

BLACULA (1972) 
Wide Screen Trailer

The discussions do not go well for Prince Mamuwalde and Luva as they end up imprisoned in the walls of the castle. Count Dracula (Charles MacCauley) is refreshing in his portrayal as he looks somewhat like Stoker’s original character from the novel with the white hair, beard and slightly frail appearance. 

Publicity shot from DRACULA A.D. 1972 featuring Christopher Lee (Count Dracula) and Stephanie Beacham (Jessica Van Helsing).

It was the Christopher Lee style of Dracula from HAMMER FILMS which was going at that time which was entirely different (before that Francis Ford Coppola abomination). Even with little screen time, Charles MacCauley does a wonderful job establishing the commanding nature of the Count, after all this is a former warrior/defender of his nation, not unlike Mamuwalde.

Dracula places a curse of ‘‘Eternal thirst that you can never satisfy,” on Mamuwalde by draining his blood and sealing him in a coffin for all time to be tended to by his wife Luva.  
It is interesting to note that a male vampire taking the blood of another male had not been done before on screen. Males has been threatened, victimized, made to watch their loved ones die yet never attacked by another male on screen. It was always a female vampire who attacked the male or another female. 

HAMMER FILMS has hinted at it in DRACULA or HORROR OF DRACULA (1958) with the vampirizing of Jonathan Harker and attempted attack of Van Helsing at the film’s climax. If that was the Count that did kill Harker or was it was reserved for his vampire brides is open to conjecture. 

Male vampires drinking the blood of another male is linked with a Homo erotic theme as blood in the Vampire myth is the equivalent symbol of semen. This was further tested in HAMMER FILMS' 1960 picture BRIDES OF DRACULA, when Baron Meinster (David Peel) [right] drinks the blood of his own Mother, bringing in a subtle Oedipal love theme.

The 2 gay interior decorators Billy Schaffer (Rick Metzler) and Bobby McCoy (Ted Harris).
BLACULA then moves to present day (Los Angeles in the seventies). The coffin has been shipped to Los Angeles, along with other purchases from the estate by two seventies caricature effeminate interior decorators Bobby McCoy (Ted Harris) and Billy Schaffer (Rick Metzler). The two open the coffin because it’s a horror picture and become Mamawalde’s first victims.

Bobby McCoy (Ted Harris) and Billy Schaffer (Rick Metzler) open 
Blacula's coffin by mistake and become his first 2 victims!

Mamuwalde (William Marshall) [not shown] spies on the friends mourning Bobby McCoy (Ted Harris) [laying in open coffin]. (L to r) Funeral Parlor Director, Tina Williams (Vonetta McGee), Michelle (Denise Nicholas in her first role) and Michelle's boyfriend, Dr. Gordon Thomas (Thalmus Rasulala), a pathologist for the LAPD Department.

At the funeral home where Bobby McCoy's body is laid, Mamuwalde spies on mourning friends Tina Williams (Vonetta McGee), her sister Michelle (Denise Nicholas in her first role), and Michelle's boyfriend, Dr. Gordon Thomas (Thalmus Rasulala), a pathologist for the Los Angeles Police Department. Mamuwalde believes Tina is the reincarnation of his deceased wife, Luva. On close investigation of the corpse at the funeral home, Dr. Thomas notices oddities with Bobby McCoy's death that he later concludes to be consistent with vampire folklore.
Canadian actor Gordon Pinsent plays Lt. Peters (Gordon Pinsent), and he and Michelle follow the trail of murder victims and begin to believe a vampire is responsible. After Thomas digs up Billy's (Rick Metzler) coffin, Billy's corpse rises as a vampire and attacks Dr. Thomas, who fends him off and drives a stake through his heart.

Dr. Gordon Thomas (Thalmus Rasulala), a pathologist for the 
LAPD examines a female corpse in the morgue.

8 (8x10) b/w theatrical publicity photos featuring: 
Tina Williams (Vonetta McGee), Michelle (Denise Nicholas in her first role), 
Dr. Gordon Thomas (Thalmus Rasulala), Blacula (William Marshall), 
Lt. Peters (Gordon Pinsent), Sam (Elisha Cook Jr.)

The story itself of the belief in reincarnation of a dead wife is not that new yet the resolution is quite different. When not able to have Tina as "Luva," Prince Mamuwalde walks up the stairs of a building in the sunlight. This style of self-sacrifice ending was not been repeated till the film 30 DAYS OF NIGHT (2007) when Josh Harnett’s character "Sheriff Eben Oleson" did a similar deal. 

The sound track, while most pictures at that time featured symphonic scores, BLACULA featured rhythm and blues composed by Gene Page, who went onto  to work with The Supremes, The Four Tops, Barbara Streisand, Martha and the Vandellas, Barry White, Whitney Houston, The Jackson Five, Roberta Flack, Marvin Gaye, The Temptations, Frankie Valli, and Lionel Richie among many others. The band THE HUES CORPORATION, who gave us the disco hit, ‘DON’T ROCK THE BOAT,’ and 21 CENTURY LTD appear in the night club scenes.

The Hues Corporation in the nightclub scene from Blacula (1972)

BLACULA won the first ever SATURN AWARD from THE ACADEMY OF SCIENCE FICTION AND HORROR FILMS in 1972 in the category of best horror film. The winner the following year was THE EXORCIST in 1973. 

HAMMER FILM PRODUCTIONS must have taken note of this as an attempt to get into the youth market as they went on to give updated uneasy stories in the modern setting of London in DRACULA 1972 and THE SATANIC RITES OF DRACULA in 1973.
BLACULA has been panned for being a  dull picture, a film with a story full of holes which it has; yet it is worth a view not only to see a vampire with dignity of his race in the person of William Marshall. That brilliant voice, poise and diction all make "Prince Mamuwaldi" a true addition to vampire film folklore. Some monsters are not very monstrous and you get to see some camera tricks like slow motion plus there is a budget to consider. The picture is still worth a look today if you can find it plus its sequel SCREAM BLACULA SCREAM (1973). A rich vein to be opened and enjoyed.  

Original Theatrical "One Sheet" Movie Poster

More Theatrical Promotional Material And Press/Publicity Photos From BLACULA (1972) 

William Marshall as BLACULA
Original Mexican Theatrical 11 x 14 Lobby Card

Original Mexican Theatrical 11 x 14 Lobby Card

Great Publicity photo featuring Vonetta McGee as Princess Luva

Vonetta McGee as Princess Luva

Another Publicity photo featuring Vonetta McGee

"Dr. Gordon Thomas" (Thalmus Rasulala) and his girlfriend "Michelle"
 (Denise Nicholas) in a gripping scene from BLACULA (1972)

Prince Mamuwalde (William Marshall) aka BLACULA

Prince Mamuwalde (William Marshall) aka BLACULA about to sink 
his sharp fangs into one of his pretty victim's neck!

Prince Mamuwalde (William Marshall) aka BLACULA about to sink 
his sharp fangs into one of his sexy victim's neck!

BLACULA (1972)
7 (11 x 14) Original US Theatrical Lobby Cards
Note: There are normally 8 in the complete set
Great publicity shot featuring William Marshall as Blacula

BLACULA (1972)
    3 original UK 8 x 10 black & white FOH "Front Of House" mini lobby cards. They come from Great Britain and were made available to theatres/cinemas during the year the film was first released (1972). They were designed by the film studio to publicize BLACULA. The scenes were used for display outside the movie theatres to attract movie goers in special glass display boxes. Normally, there were 8 different scenes for each film.

Publicity shot featuring William Marshall as Blacula

William Marshall as Blacula about to throw a 50 gallon drum

At the conclusion of BLACULA (1972)...
When he is not able to have Tina as "Luva," Prince Mamuwalde walks up the roof top stairs of a building to expose himself in the sunlight with disastrous results.

 IMPORTANT LINKS                                            
  • Read another great feature article by author Terry Sherwood called Horror Of Party Beach (1964) here
  • William Marshall on imdb
  • Pam Grier on imdb
  • Vonetta McGee on imdb
  • Denise Nicholas on imdb
  • NITRATE FROM THE GRAVE: The Classic Horror Blog 
  • STARDUST AND SHADOWS: The Classic Hollywood Blog

BLACULA (1972)
Cast & Crew
  • Genre: Horror, Thriller
  • Runtime: 93 minutes
  • MPAA Rating: PG
  • Release Date: August 25th, 1972
  • Country Of Origin: USA
  • Color or Black & White: Color
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Language: English
  • Filming Locations: 6501 Yucca St, Los Angeles, California
  • Production Companies: American International Pictures (AIP), Power Productions 
  • Tag Lines: "Blacula! - Dracula's Soul Brother!"
  • "Rising From the Echoing Corridors of Hell, An Awesome Being of the Supernatural - With Satanic Power of Sheer Dread. Chained Forever to a Slavery More Vile Than Any Before Endured..."
  • "He"s black! he's beautiful! He's Blacula!"
  • "Warm, young bodies will feed his hunger, and hot, fresh blood his awful thirst!"
  • "His bite was outta sight!"
  • "Bloodsucker! - Deadlier than Dracula!"
  Directed by 
William Crain

Writing Credits  

Joan Torres...(screenplay) and
Raymond Koenig...(screenplay)

Cast (in credits order):

Dr. Gordon Thomas
Gordon Pinsent...
Lt. Jack Peters
Charles Macaulay...
Emily Yancy...
Lance Taylor Sr....
Ted Harris...
Bobby McCoy
Rick Metzler...
Billy Schaffer
Ji-Tu Cumbuka...
Skillet (as Jitu Cumbuka)
Logan Field...
Sgt. Barnes
Ketty Lester...
Juanita Jones
Elisha Cook Jr....
Sam (as Elisha Cook)
Eric Brotherson...
Real Estate Agent
Rest of cast listed alphabetically
Adolph Caesar...
Narrator of Theatrical Trailer (voice) (uncredited)
Leanna Johnson Heath...
Receptionist (uncredited)
Group Performing in Club (uncredited)
Jan Stratton...
Policewoman Kirby (uncredited)
David Westberg...
LA Cop (uncredited)

Produced by 

Samuel Z. Arkoff...executive producer
Joseph T. Naar...producer
Norman T. Herman...producer (uncredited)
Mark L. Rosen...executive producer (uncredited)

Music by 

Gene Page...(music composed by)

Cinematography by 

John M. Stephens...director of photography (as John M. Stevens)

Film Editing by 

Allan Jacobs

Casting By 

Joe Scully...(uncredited)

Art Direction by 

Walter Scott Herndon...(as Walter Herndon)

Makeup Department 

Lola Kemp...hairdresser
Fred B. Phillips...makeup artist (as Fred Phillips)

Production Management 

Salvatore Billitteri...post-production manager
Jack Bohrer...production manager
Norman T. Herman...executive production supervisor

Second Unit Director or Assistant Director 

Phil Cook...assistant director

Art Department 

C. Randall Berkeley...property master (as Ted Berkeley)

Sound Department 

Dean Hodges...boom man
Sam Horta...effects editor
Charles T. Knight...sound mixer (as Charles Knight)

Special Effects by 

Roger George...special effects


George Fisher...stunt coordinator
Gene LeBell...stunts (uncredited)
Bob Minor...stunts (uncredited)
Charlie Picerni...stunts (uncredited)
Jesse Wayne...stunts (uncredited)
George P. Wilbur...stunts (uncredited)

Camera and Electrical Department 

Larry Gilhooly...gaffer (as Lawrence Gilhooly)
John Kiser...camera operator
Larry Milton...key grip
Phil Segura...stillman
Earl C. Williman...gaffer (uncredited)

Costume and Wardrobe Department 

Ermon Sessions...wardrobe man
Sandra Stewart...wardrobe woman (as Sandy Stewart)

Editorial Department 

Tom Neff Jr....assistant editor (as Tom Neff)
Bruce Schoengarth...assistant editor (uncredited)

Music Department 

Gene Page...conductor
Al Simms...music coordinator

Transportation Department 

Alan Falco...transportation captain

Other crew 

Samuel Z. Arkoff...presenter
Sandy Dvore...title designer
Julian F. Myers...publicity man
Marshall Schlom...script supervisor
David Sheldon...production executive (uncredited)

These Rare Photos Feature The Sultry Pam Grier Wearing An Authentic Indian Headdress 
To Honor Her Cheyenne Heritage!

Star of 

  Quote From Pam Grier... "People see me as a strong black figure, and I'm proud of that, but I'm a mix of several races: Hispanic, Chinese, Filipino. My dad was black, and my mom was Cheyenne Indian. So you look at things beyond just race, or even religion. I was raised Catholic, baptized a Methodist, and almost married a Muslim."

DIABOLIQUE   -  The Premiere Horror Genre Magazine

   Engage your heart, your mind and your taste for terror within the pages of Diabolique magazine... a lavishly illustrated, bimonthly print and digital magazine exploring every aspect of horror film, literature and art. The magazine's focus on critical perspectives brings fresh analyses to subjects old and new, foreign and domestic - from ancient folklore and Gothic classics to contemporary film releases and modern literary gems. Each issue brims with insightful commentary, criticism and engrossing information complemented by photos, illustrations and handsome, full-color design. Past issues have included contributors from such horror luminaries as Jonathan Rigby, David Del Valle, Colin McCraken, David Huckvale, Paul Murray, and Elizabeth Miller among many others!

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