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Posts Tagged ‘Frankenstein’

William Godwin – Caleb Williams

Posted by demonik on June 29, 2011

William Godwin – Caleb Williams   (Four Square, June 1966)

Blurb

WILLIAM GODWIN, renowned as he is for this masterpiece, Caleb Williams is probably even better known as the father of Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, who was the creator of the greatest of all horror stories, Frankenstein. Born in 1756, Godwin had a Christian upbringing but suddenly and inexplicably turned ‘complete unbeliever’ in 1787. He took up writing and set out deliberately to attack all the standards of society — much of his energy concentrated on marriage, which he called ‘the worst of all laws’. He also attacked the powers of landlords and spearheaded his campaign with this book. To support himself and his family he ran a bookselling business which gradually pushed him further and further into debt until finally he sought a job in the civil service. In later life his writing became less antagonistic — and less successful. He died in 1836.

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Donald Glut – Frankenstein Lives Again

Posted by demonik on June 4, 2009

Donald Glut – The New Adventures Of Frankenstein #1: Frankenstein Lives Again (Mews, January 1977)

Cover Illustration by Tony Masero

Cover Illustration by Tony Masero


Review by Franklin Marsh

Compared to 2,3 and 4 No. 1 Frankenstein Lives Again is very much a scene setter and consequently Boresville. An interesting pre-credits sequence with English pilot Fairfax whizzing over the icy wastes of the Arctic when Doh! the ‘plane runs out of fuel. He survives the crash and seeks out the emergency survival kit (a half bottle of scotch), gets p*ssed and walks into an ice wall. Contained within is the frozen Frankenstein Monster – worshipped by local Eskimos as the Ice God. They give Fairfax a bashing and dump him back near civilisation.

Meanwhile on a train French idiot Pierre Dupre finishes Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and hands the book back to its owner – none other than (fanfare) Dr Burt Winslow! He’s Rich! Intelligent! Long-Haired! Handsome! Top Of The Class In Everything! as he proceeds to bore the Frenchman with his life story and obsession with the Frankenstein legend. Although Burt’s not convinced it’s a legend. Pierre, instead of either leaping from the train or throwing Megabore off it, is so mesmerised by Burt’s brilliance he offers to join him. On reaching the end of the line, they team up with Morris Lamont who tips them the wink about Fairfax. They visit the mad drunken airman and get the location of ‘the Ice God’ With Lamont driving a massive truck they set off. When the truck can go no further, Burt and Pierre unload the dog sleds and set off for the ice wall. Busily chipping away, they’re attacked by hordes of irate Eskimos who want to hang on to their Deity. Dupre carries on chipping while Winslow blazes away at the ‘Natives’ dropping at least one with every shot (the Eskimos needless to say, couldn’t hit a barn door with a banjo at five paces.) Despite the intense bombardment our heroes free the ice-encased monster, hitch it to their sleds and buzz off to rendezvous with Lamont. After they’ve loaded up, the Eskimos get a small consolation by wounding Dupre. Some more nonsense and Burt is winging his way with a crated creation back to Castle Frankenstein – which he bought for a song, despite the outrage of Ingoldstadt mayor Krag and huge crowds of Lederhosen clad extras. The only ray of sunshine is Lynn Powell (Huzzah!) secretary and assistant (yeah, right) who is waiting for Burt, tidying the castle. Will the second part of the book pick up? I ****ing hope so because if I have to read just how brilliant,super,wonderful Burt is much more, I’m going to have a K’niption fit.

(Later)

Forget all that rubbish I posted above. How could I have doubted Don? Part 2 is Back With A Vengeance and jet-propelled. Mr Glut has opened boxes marked Ludicrousness, Horror Cliches and Ultraviolence and gone barmy in the best possible taste. The very next page my jaundiced eye fell upon – ‘A creature had suddenly appeared in the mountains near Ingoldstadt, looking more dead than alive. His countenance was that of a dried corpse, with parched lips and sinister green eyes that stared with an unearthly fire from their cavernous sockets. He sat atop a circus wagon and grinned, showing his few yellow teeth…’ Yay! It’s Professor Dartani’s Asylum Of Horrors – featuring Vampires! Werewolves! Zombies! Witches! I nearly burst several blood vessels but its just a travelling waxworks. However despite some magnificent megaphone marketing in Ingoldstadt, Killjoy Krag runs the Prof and his human gorilla stooge , Gort, out of town.

Burt and the better looking FM (Arf!) are back at the castle. A quick brush against Lynn’s full breasts and its down to some serious Mad Scientisting. Winslow’s got the best equipment money can buy and its time for that old revival ballyhoo. Lynn changes into a short, white nurse’s uniform that reveals her gorgeous legs. Even Burt the Brain must have felt a rustling in the front of his trousers as she leans over a very important piece of scientific equipment. ‘For a short while Winslow managed to smile, considering the fact that he was working with such a vision and not with any ugly and deformed assistant named Igor.’

Suffice to say FM gets revived and breaks the leather straps like paper chains (another example of Burt’s intelligence proving to be sadly lacking). The monster starts to strangle the Doc but then thinks better of it(damn!) and lumbers out of the castle. Some beered up villagers with rifles are lurking nearby on WinslowWatch. A little brains-dashing and bone-breaking later, the lone survivor speeds back to town to warn Krag and whip up the leather shorts brigade. (Many of whom have knee length socks too). The monster bumps into the Prof who charms him with ‘Friend?’ then mesmerises him and the hulk is dispatched to bump off the Mayor. He succeeds and wipes out a few townspeople into the bargain. The rest of the town light their torches and head for Castle Winslow-Powell. Amazingly, Burt manages to hoodwink them, and the saps give him 24 hours to search and destroy. Burt tracks down the Prof, Gort and FM to a rickety barn in the middle of a thunderstorm. Prof and Monster get away, leaving the other two in a furious gun battle as the barn collapses around them. Dartani and his hypnotised helper flee to the castle, where the old carney is delighted to find Burt’s pert, pouting blond bombshell all alone – ‘ ‘ Do you know what that means, my dear?’ he said, enjoying the way her breasts were rising and falling beneath the nurse outfit.’ (as are the Globeswatch team).
Nine pages to go!

(Much later)

– don’t read this if you don’t want to know how No. 1 ends (although it’s already been given away in an earlier post) – OK then – spoiler of spoilers – not only did Don string me along but also got Globeswatch into a frenzy over not a lot (no offence to Lynn). We’d left her being slobbered over by Professor Dartani.

“Like a human insect, Dartani crept along the wall in pursuit of the girl, delighting in the way she squirmed, her breasts heaving due to her frantic breathing.”

And the inspiring “In a streak of movement, one hand gripped the top of her uniform and ripped it down the front so that the tops of Lynn’s rounded breasts showed in all their magnificent abundance.”

Nice of Don to keep it clean, but it probably robbed him of the ’77 Nobel Prize for Literature.

Burt has come to in the wreckage of the barn – which handily fell mostly on Gort. He susses out where everybody has gone/is heading and makes haste to the castle. His arrival prevents the Prof from removing any more of Lynn’s clothes (shame!), who, in a frightful bate, sets FM on him. The monster, being possibly a bigger idiot than anyone else in this book has made a pact with himself not to waste Burt. Lynn, clutching what little she has on, has legged it for the roof with Dartani in hot pursuit. The villagers burst in and the Monster takes some time to grab the chief rabble rouser and lob him out of a convenient window.Everyone ends up on the roof. FM chucks Dartani to his doom, and looks longingly at Lynn. Burt piles in with a rain-proof flaming torch, and the Monster plunges from the battlements. Lynn and Burt embrace as the sun bursts through the clouds and the angry mob shrug their collective shoulders and bugger off back to the town. That’s All Folks!

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Donald Glut – Frankenstein Meets Dracula

Posted by demonik on May 16, 2009

Donald Glut – The New Adventures of Frankenstein #4 Frankenstein Meets Dracula (NEL, 1977)

OUT OF THE SMOULDERING RUINS OF A CASTLE DEEP IN THE HEART OF CROVAKIA ARISE THE BATTERED FORMS OF CAPTAIN JUDSON and his companion, the terrible monster created by Victor Frankenstein a century and a half ago. Together they resume their desperate search for peace, but as always that search is destined for disaster.

Transylvania seems an ideal retreat, but the two wanderers haven’t bargained on the horrible cunning of that diabolical paragon of evil, Count Dracula. And when Captain Judson unwittingly restores him to life a new horror is unleashed on the unsuspecting world.

Dracula’s first thought is for revenge on the people who dared to cross him, and succeeded in confining his powers for more than a hundred years. He evolves a fiendish scheme of reprisal — a scheme which spells, terror for his victims, misery for Captain Judson, and death for his monstrous companion.

This truly is a mental series! Dracula reveals his unspeakable intention – to transplant the brain of a Van Helsing into the skull of the Monster! There is also an ex-mad Professor involved, Burt Winslow, whose gorgeous fiance winds up in her undies very early on and spends the rest of the book as though she were understudying Glynnis Barber in Jane. Subjected to the old Count’s iron will, she is his foolproof means of blackmailing Winslow into performing the vile operation. Ends with a showdown between the two heavyweights. Glut portrays Dracula as an entirely evil megalomaniac, while the Monster has many attractive qualities.

Frankenstein Meets Dracula thread on Vault of Evil

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Peter Haining – Beyond The Curtain Of The Dark

Posted by demonik on May 12, 2009

Peter Haining – Beyond The Curtain Of The Dark (Four Square, October, 1966: Nel, 1972)


[image]

Bruce Pennington

Foreword – Judith Merril
Introduction – Peter Haining

Robert Bloch – Lizzie Borden Took An Axe
Patricia Highsmith – The Snail Watcher
Ambrose Bierce – Chickamauga
Harry Harrison – At Last, The True Story Of Frankenstein
Guy De Maupassant – The Horla
Ray Bradbury – Fever Dream
Theodore Sturgeon – The Other Celia
Edgar Allan Poe – The Oval Portrait
W. C. Morrow – The Monster Maker
Frederic Brown – Come And Go Mad
H. P. Lovecraft and August Derleth – The Survivor
H. P. Lovecraft and August Derleth – The Ancestor
Mary Shelley – The Mortal Immortal
Nathaniel Hawthorne – Dr. Heidegger’s Experiment
Henry Kuttner – By These Presents
Henry Slesar – Whosits Disease
Edgar Allan Poe – King Pest
Harold Lawlor – Mayaya’s Little Green Men
F. Marion Crawford – For The Blood Is The Life
Edogawa Rampo – The Human Chair
J. S. Le Fanu – The Fortunes Of Sir Robert Ardagh
Robert Bloch – Return To The Sabbath
Clive Pemberton – The Will Of Luke Carlowe
Isaac Asimov – Eyes Do More Than See

I think the Haining legend really starts picking up momentum with this collection. Other early ones like the same years Where Nightmares Are and The Hell Of Mirrors relied too much upon those classics we all have a billion times over, but this looks like the work of a man who loves, and is widely read in the genre. This is where I first read Bierce’s decidedly non-escapist Chickamauga, a detached account of a war crime and one of the most horrible stories ever written. Maupassant’s The Horla is a coming race story of, literally, insane genius and Edogawa Rampo (say it fast) is kinky-cute in the extreme. Of the Frankenstein variations, W. C. Morrow’s ghastly The Monster Maker just shades it from Harrison’s short ‘n nasty effort.

Four Square edition, cover by Josh Kirby

Four Square edition, cover by Josh Kirby

Thanks to Nightreader for scanning the Four Square cover.

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Peter Haining – The Frankenstein File

Posted by demonik on September 15, 2007

Peter Haining (ed.) – The Frankenstein File (Nel, Oct 1977)

Frankenstein File

Peter Haining – The World Of Frankenstein
Mary Shelley – How I Created Frankenstein
Anon – The Old Tower Of Frankenstein
Anon – Bringing The Dead Alive!
Ron Haydock – The Real Castle Frankenstein
Modern Monsters Magazine – The Frankenstein Movies
Forrest J. Ackerman – Universal’s Classic Frankenstein
Boris Karloff – The Life Of A Monster
Ron Haydock – Boris Karloff: The King Of Horror Films
Ted Le Berthon – Demons Of The Film Colony
Dennis Gifford – My Funny Frankenstein
Donald Glut – Peter Cushing: Dr. Frankenstein I Presume?
Peter Cushing – Dr. Frankenstein And I
Christopher Lee – Frankenstein, Dracula And Me
W. C. Morrow – The Monster Maker
Robert Bloch – Mannikins Of Horror
Harry Harrison – At Last, The True Story Of Frankenstein

A Select Guide To The Films: Sixty-Five Years Of Frankenstein On The Screen

Blurb

Of all monsters throughout history, Dr Frankenstein’s is surely the greatest. Originally conceived by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley in 1816, Frankenstein’s monster has not only taken on his creator’s name, but has been the subject of innumerable plays, films, books and television programmes, intriguing and terrifying the world for generations.

This book is both a tribute to and a record of that fascinating legend. It tells how the Frankenstein films have developed from the first Frankenstein in 1910 to the most recent, Paul Morrisey’s Flesh for Frankenstein in 1975, including such unlikely titles Jesse James Meets Frankenstein’s Daughter and Frankenstein Meets the Space Monster.

It contains articles written by such diverse authorities as Mary Shelley, Boris Karloff, Harry Harrison, Christopher Lee and Robert Bloch, linked by Peter Haining’s entertaining anecdotes and supported by a wealth of photographs, line drawings and cartoon strips.

The result is a compelling record that will amuse, enthrall and horrify you!

Similar in approach to the mighty Dracula Scrapbook, but to this reader it’s not quite as accomplished somehow. It’s probably something to do with the presentation, slick and glossy on this occasion as opposed to the glorified fanzine approach of the vampire volume. Still, any book that boasts contributions from Karloff, the Cush, C. Lee, Donald Glut, Denis Gifford and Forrest J. Ackerman, is gonna be entertaining and there are decent examples of monster fiction from Robert Bloch, Harry Harrison, W. C. Morrow and an anonymous eighteenth century scribe.

Needless to say, perhaps, it is indeed “lavishly illustrated”.

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