Rise and shine! It’s 9:15 a.m. and time to get down to the movie room and see my first ever Jungle Jim feature starring Johnny Weissmuller minus the loin cloth. Thankfully he’s added long pants to his wardrobe.
My first feature of the day was another of the”are you kidding me?” variety. Jungle Jim in the Forbidden Land from 1952. Big John is featured here in this terrifying tale of elephant poachers and a race of werewolf like missing links. Sultry Jean Willes plays the devilish dame that she was so good at and Johnny takes out a stuffed black leopard in heroic fashion. I’m glad to say Johnny has a chimp in tow in this series as well. I loved every minute of this campy outing and judging by the laughs from the other attendees, they did to. Thankfully I’ve got a few of these titles at home thanks to TCM. Time to dust them off.
Off to the dealer room once again to spend more cash. Meeting me at the door is a pair of frightening life sized statues.
Next up was a discussion I wasn’t about to miss. Gregory William Mank was on hand for a one hour discussion on the 1945 Karloff-Lugosi film The Body Snatcher. He referred to it as the greatest horror film of the decade and I’m not about to disagree. Mank delves into the story behind the production with a slide presentation and makes for an engaging storyteller. Mank has pretty much been my favorite writer of classic monster film history thanks in part to his many books including Women In Horror Films Volume 1 and 2 and the outstanding book on Boris and Bela.
What better way to conclude this presentation than with the film itself. I’ve always felt this was Karloff’s finest performance and seeing it again did nothing to alter that decision. It’s a Val Lewton chiller from Oscar winning director Robert Wise and should be required viewing. It’s grave robbing at it’s finest with Boris, Bela and the always under appreciated Henry Daniell. I’ll have to do a full post on this one soon.
Back to the dealer room one last time………
Here’s the pile of finds including some fun looking books on Hammer and Amicus, a new bio on Klaus Kinski from author Troy Howarth who was on hand to sign it and of course some movie titles.
Next up for me was attending a heartfelt documentary titled Creature Feature : 60 Years of the Gillman. A fun outing with the director and producer on hand to share their passion for the Gillman and answer any questions after the screening. The film included interviews with many associated with the series including Julie Adams and even modern stars who love the films including Benicio Del Toro with narration by Keith David. Since they played the clip of Clint Eastwood’s film debut in the Revenge of the Creature, I asked if they approached him for a comment to include. They chuckled and said yes but I suspect they were being nice to Eastwood’s camp when they said it didn’t work out.
Three Stooges Break. Thanks to Cleveland TV Horror Host and bass player in the Monsterbash band, Son of Ghoul for sharing a welcome dose of Stooges fun.
Time for me to get ready to ask Audrey Dalton, who was up next on stage about working with Charles Bronson in 1954’s Drum Beat and his late 50’s TV show Man With a Camera.
What are the odds? The first question posed to her by moderator Scott Goettel was to share a story of working with Bronson on the ’54 western Drum Beat and how he got his new name Bronson and saying goodbye to his real one, Buchinski. I think Scott read my leaving day post where I shared with my readers what I intended to find out from Miss Dalton. She was a sweet interview and I’m glad to say spoke of nothing but memorable times and the good people she worked with. Here’s a shot of Audrey from the 50’s.
Time to close the night down with an outdoor drive in theater styled showing of Audrey Dalton joining Tim Holt in …..
It’s events like holding this old fashioned drive in theater experience in the courtyard out front of the festival’s hotel that makes this such a friendly event to attend.
There are always plenty of events I don’t make it to including other screenings and interviews coupled with the Saturday midnight bash festival. Back to Canada in the morning after stopping in Erie for a bit more movie shopping.
If this festival is within range for you to drive to and you have a passion for the classic monsters of Hollywood history, do yourself a favor and book a space ship to Mars next year. Perhaps I’ll see you there.