More Scripts From The Crypt
Weaver/Rhodes Celebrate Lugosi and Bride Of The Monster (1955)
Another wow from Tom Weaver's Scripts From The Crypt series, this one written/compiled by him and Lugosi historian Gary Don Rhodes. Not only is there exhaustive coverage for Bride Of The Monster, but countdown through Bela's final couple of years as Bride was made, released, and run over period up to the horror legend's 8/56 death. I see Bride Of The Monster not at all in "bad movie" terms, and would tip readers to ideal format for next time watching: Crop your image to 1.85, Bride better in that intended ratio (Image's DVD is full-frame, otherwise excellent from Wade Williams source). Also recommended is fast-forward through dreary talk among those other than Lugosi, save bits like Loretta King exchange with Dolores Fuller, which back story should be read prior to pic view. Great thing about Weaver-Crypts (more are forthcoming) is easy access to subject films, disc and/or streaming, and chance to watch, read, watch again. Never has Bride Of The Monster been so rewarding than in company of this just-out book.
|Bride Lands in Cleveland with Big G|
I'd submit that Bride Of The Monster was the only Lugosi film written by fans who grew up watching him, Ed Wood and Alex Gordon being young men in 1954 (Gordon thirty-two, Wood lately turned thirty as Bride rolled). They were children when Lugosi made his Dracula splash. Such circumstance would not be unlike me growing up to pen a chiller for Peter Cushing or Christopher Lee. Shot-full-of-holes as Lugosi's career was, it had to be all-time high doing dialogue spoke ultimately by an actor you'd spent all of life idolizing. Can we blame Alex or Ed for latter-day wrangling over credit? (each said he was primary author) Whoever led gave Bela terrific stuff --- better than that, it was respectful of him, keyed to the actor's strength. This is the late-term Lugosi we want to see, in control and not having to cope with Berle/Skelton silliness by writers stuck deep in bowels of formula gagging (honed for most part since vaudeville). TV comics wouldn't go gentle with Lugosi, humor smacking more of disparagement than parody, but then Milton Berle was born 1908, Red Skelton 1913 (though he'd admit privately it was 1906). What did they know, or care, of Bela's art?
|Scenes Like Are Cue to Fast-Forward|
But hold on --- Lugosi was already all over television. Most of his chillers had been for independents or poverty row, and so were sold early to tube-cast. BL and his fans had ready access to oldies on
There's another Tom Weaver "Script From The Crypt" I want to mention. This one is for The Indestructible Man, a 1956 nerve-jangler with Lon Chaney as a heist thug raised from death thanks to ill-advised science practiced by Robert Shayne and later McHale's Navier Joe Flynn. I liked The Indestructible Man from seeing it as charm on Channel 8 bracelet that was weekly Sat morning play of Allied Artists sci-fi. They'd pad the movies with a "teaser" scene before credits and s-l-o-w crawls explaining action (or lack) we're about to see. Unlike too much of his 50's work, Lon is Main Man in addition to being Indestructible, this among precious few star parts I recall from him post-war. Weaver tells the whole background, his patented "Fun Facts" a delight carried forward from previous Script/Crypts and ones to come. There is so much humor to Weaver's work, but never at the expense of our horror heroes. He's respectful, but never stuffy, nor smug like too much of spoofing crowd that paint the genre with camp because they understand too little about it. I only wish Chaney had post-resurrection dialogue, but he does have a lulu of a swear-revenge speech from behind bars that gets The Indestructible Man off to compelling start. There's also virtual tour of