28: “I’m not scared of Frankenstein!”
Oh yes I was! I reflect on classic horror films, a 1970s Monster Magazine, and that – oh-so-wondrous thing: the video recorder! (Cue: Angelic choir)
A Rough Diamond
We meet Spud. A brand new character. Spud’s rough, and tough and he might box you one now and then for fun, but he’s alright really. Definitely no Class-Bully. In fact, if you’re having trouble with one of those, it’s probably a good idea to stay close to Spud.
Most of us called the monster FRANKENSTEIN – didn’t we? Probably because that’s what we saw on so much toy packaging and in comics etc. As I said in last Friday’s article which accompanied the « Blow-Dried Hair/Vincent Price strip, I was actually terrified of horror Films as a kid, up until the age of about 10 or 11. Even Hammer ones! The one that scared the hell out of me was a version of Frankenstein starring David Sarrazin. My cousins were up in Scotland with us and my Ross who was a year younger than I, and who bragged about staying up ’till midnight each night watching anything he liked! – was especially looking forward to seeing Frankenstein: The True Story, TV movie, starring Michael Sarrazin. So was I.
But then: the arm crawled along the floor by itself, and Sarrazin started to sprout lumps and bumps on his face! I ran to bed and my dad stayed with me until I fell asleep. meanwhile, 1 year younger Ross was – true to his boasting – sat in the living room in front of the TV, having a ball.
Whilst on Holiday in a caravan in Courtown, County Wexford, around 1978 – or 79, I saw two Quasimodo Monster Magazines for sale in the local shop. I bought them, and pored over them, countless times. They were black and white and printed on cheap, pulpy paper, but they were packed with still photos from classic – and more recent – horror films. I was introduced to Lugosi, Lorre, Karloff, Lon Sr. and Jr., and a whole host of films. I was especially fascinated by the articles on makeup and effects. They discussed Jack Pierce‘s makeup work, and how an actor could transform into Mr. Hyde – even on the stage, before an audience’s eyes!
(To be honest, reading about most of the movies, was better than actually seeing them, years later)
Magical Video Recorders!
Oh, the very idea of owning one of these! Record the Incredible Hulk, or Six Million Dollar Man, or Battle of the Planets: and watch them again – a billion times! By 1981 or 1982, some of my friends’ families had them and I started bringing home brochures to my dad, urging him to consider. It took a couple of years! The first film we saw on our new Betamax machine was 1982’s Poltergeist. What a blast that was!
** Stay Groovy, all you 1970s kids! **
– John White
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