June 24, 2011 | 2:55 p.m.
Gene Colan, the comic-book artist best known for The Tomb of Dracula and his work with characters such as Daredevil, Batman, Iron Man and Howard the Duck , died Thursday in New York after battling liver disease and cancer. The work of the Bronx, N.Y., native spanned 67 years and crossed multiple comics universes, with credits for Marvel, DC, Dark Horse, Eclipse and even Archie. His moody, atmospheric style stood in stark contrast to, say, the cosmic bombast of Jack Kirby or the kinetic realism of Neal Adams. Colan will be most remembered for an era-defining achievement in 1970s horror comics; he drew 70 issues of The Tomb of Dracula,” written by Marv Wolfman, creating the vampire-hunter character Blade that would lead to the first Marvel film franchise. (“Howard the Duck” also made history in 1986 as the first Marvel feature film, although its achievements beyond that are debatable.) […]
May 18, 2011 | 5:56 a.m.
Tod Browning’s films were often unsettling, shocking and disturbing. They were populated with freaks, geeks, carny folk, ruthless people and vampires. Though his best-known film is 1931’s “Dracula,” with Bela Lugosi, his greatest productions were his collaboration with the “Man of a Thousand Faces,” Lon Chaney. So it seems only appropriate that two of his legendary films with Chaney: 1925’s “The Unholy Three” and 1927’s “The Unknown” open “American Gothic: A Tod Browning Retrospective” on Thursday evening at the American Cinematheque’s Aero Theatre. Born in Louisville, Ky., in 1880, Browning began performing and singing as a youngster. He ran away from home at 16 and joined a circus, where he went from carnival baker to contortionist. Many of his films revolve around circuses. He later went into vaudeville and was introduced to D.W. Griffith in 1913 by an old vaudeville partner. […]
Feb. 16, 2011 | 1:12 p.m.
Oh, the horror of it all. Eighty years ago saw the release of two seminal horror films from Universal — James Whale’s “Frankenstein” and Tod Browning’s “Dracula” — and their combined success wrote a major new chapter in the history of the cinematic genre. For the next several years, Universal would produce horror hit after horror hit including 1933’s “The Invisible Man,” 1935’s “Bride of Frankenstein” and 1939’s “Son of Frankenstein.” On Sunday, the Fox Theater in Pomona will celebrate the 80th anniversary of these two legendary horror giants with screenings of both films and a special guest panel featuring Karloff’s daughter, Sara Karloff, and Lugosi’s son, Bela Lugosi Jr., as well as film historian Ted Newsom; monster-film historian Bill Warren; make-up expert Craig Reardon; visual effects artist Shane Mahan; actor Dan Roebuck and “monster artist” Frank Dietz. The panel will be […]
June 23, 2010 | 2:30 a.m.
Hero Complex contributor Nicky Loomis is back with a look at a local event out for new blood in its second year. For a couple of self-described “horror film geek freaks,” the idea to start a vampire convention came natural. But as Wendi Mirabella, an event planner, and her longtime friend, Lotti Pharriss Knowles, a writer/filmmaker, set out to separate themselves from the current vamp-scape of pretty-boy fangers and TwiPhones full of Edward Cullen head shots – it left them feeling a little long in the tooth. “It almost seems like there is a bit of vampire fatigue,” said Mirabella, the organizer behind the 2nd Annual Vampire Con, a Thursday-Saturday (June 24-26) film festival that celebrates the original gangstas of vampire lore – not the current breed who’ve perfected creating a good brood and, well, looking pretty. Fang fatigue there […]
Oct. 29, 2009 | 9:13 p.m.
Continuing our countdown to Halloween is another Susan King special touting what will be a cool look by many of the creators of audible terror at some of film’s greatest scary tales — from 1925′s “The Phantom of the Opera” to “Poltergeist” and “The Thing.” Just spotlighting another event for fear-seeking fanboys and followers of classic Hollywood alike. — Jevon Phillips The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences explores the things that go boo tonight at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater. But don’t expect any scholarly examination of the use of sound in horror films at “The Sound Behind the Image III: Real Horrorshow!” “I think what it really amounts to is a … horror movie night in the doors with friends, pizza and some horror movies,” says the program host, veteran sound editor David E. Stone, who won an Oscar […]
May 29, 2009 | 6:12 p.m.
Susan King is back with another report about an L.A. event, this time it’s a mini-festival of horror films this weekend to mark the resurrection of one of the most beloved brand names in geekdom. -G.B. The American Cinematheque is celebrating the return of the movie magazine “Famous Monsters of Filmland” with a two-day feast of classic Universal horror films. The late Forrest J. Ackerman began “Famous Monsters” with publisher James Warren 51 years ago and gave the world 191 issues of the magazine before it gave up the ghost in 1983. There was a revival in 1993 but that turned into an ugly dispute when Ackerman and the new regime parted ways. After numerous legal issues, Famous Monsters is shambling out of the crypt once again (although this time it’s online only) but without Forry’s presence the venture will have to prove […]
Dec. 14, 2008 | 2:58 p.m.
Welcome to a chilly weekend edition of Everyday Hero, your roundup of handpicked headlines from around the fanboy universe… "Star Wars," conducted: What possible new frontier could be left for George Lucas and his three-decade-old space fantasy epic? Well, going loud and live with orchestral power might do the trick. Jack Malvern has the story in the U.K.: "Lucasfilm has authorised ‘Star Wars: A Musical Journey,’ a retelling of the story that will combine excerpts of the film with live orchestral accompaniment. Diehard fans may dream of Jedi Knights serenading Jabba the Hutt and C-3PO singing ‘Don’t cry for me, R2-D2′ but they are likely to be disappointed. Producers for the show, which will have its world premiere in Britain, emphasised that although actors would be used to narrate the story, it would not be a stage musical. The production, […]