Tag Archives: 1933

Getting into the spirit of things …

I just need a Halloween horror playlist, though.  I’ve already seen this year’s “Castle Rock” and (of course) the second season of “Mr. Mercedes.”

“Vampire” (1979) and “The Last Broadcast” (1998) both come highly recommended by some horror-fan friends that I truly trust.  I also believe that I have never seen any of the classic Universal Studios monster movies in their entirety.  I’ve watched bits and pieces of a couple of them on television when I was a young kid, including “Creature From the Black Lagoon” (1954) and “The Invisible Man” (1933).  When I was a tot in the very late 70’s, the studio’s Gothic monsters were still very much a part of the zeitgeist … my older brother even had the Aurora model kits.  I finally enjoyed F. W. Murnau’s “Nosferatu” for the first time a couple of years ago, but of course the 1921 German film preceded the Universal movies, which re-imagined Bram Stoker’s “Dracula” entirely in 1931.

I’ll probably start first by trying to hunt down a copy of “The Wolf Man” (1941).  That’s the one that other everyone always recommends.

 

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Cover to “Amazing Stories,” A. Sigmund, January 1933

Teck Publishing.  “Amazing Stories” did a run of covers in this style over a period of nine months in 1933.  (You can find them all over at Wikimedia Commons, and they’re in the public domain.)

What style of art is this?  Would it be art deco?

 

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Throwback Thursday: the WOR-9 Thanksgiving Monster Movie Marathon!!!

If you were a little kid on Long Island in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s, then you remember Channel 9’s annual Thanksgiving monster movie marathon.  Dear God, did I love watching it with my Dad.  It was an EVENT.  I loved it far more than any Thanksgiving turkey — if they played monster movies all day, I think I’d cheerfully just enjoy Cocoa Puffs nonstop in front of the color TV in the family’s living room.

The Holy Trinity of monster movies, of course, consisted of “King Kong” (1933), “Son of Kong” (1933) and “Mighty Joe Young” (1949).  It’s a testament to these films’ staying power that they could still appeal to both children and adults roughly a half century after they were made.  Retrospect suggests it was probably a nice little father-son bonding exercise … my Dad was watching me thrill to the same monster action he enjoyed as a boy.  Special effects legend Ray Harryhausen truly blessed my childhood.

The DVD Drive-In website has a neat little nostalgic rundown right here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aTuHnzGSNOs

 

 

 

Throwback Thursday: H.G. Toys’ 1976 “King Kong” jigsaw puzzle

I can’t believe I actually remember this — the 1976 “King Kong” jigsaw puzzle produced by H.G. Toys.  I received it during a backyard birthday party on a hot summer day … either that year or 1977?  I guess that would have made me four or five years old.

I mostly remember the box occupying the disastrous floor of the bedroom closet that I shared with my older brother.  I’m pretty sure the pieces fell out; I never assembled it.  The target demographic for this 150-piece puzzle was well beyond my age group.  That didn’t bother me.  I had no interest in jigsaw puzzles — as a tot, I just liked examining the illustration on the box.

That is indeed a version of King Kong straddling the World Trade Center.  It depicts a movie poster from the truly forgettable, 70’s-awful version of the classic monster story — the one starring Jeff Bridges and Jessica Lange.  The 1933 original, so beloved by my father and me, was far better than this version.  It even had better special effects.  (Ray Harryhausen’s stop-motion photography is still fun to watch; this stinker gave us a man in a gorilla suit.)

That illustration is still pretty cool, though, even if the fate of that bomber clutched in Kong’s hand is somewhat confusing.  (Is is just disintegrating?  Was it made of Legos?)

I never saw this “King Kong” in the theater.  My family didn’t do that much.  But I remember being excited to see the movie on broadcast television a few years later.

As I’ve noted before on this blog, jigsaw puzzles for kids were kind of a thing in the 1970’s and maybe early 1980’s.  (I have since never seen or heard of a child older than a tot playing with one.) Some of the 70’s puzzles, just before my time, were bizarrely sold in cardboard cans.  (I remember seeing those among my older brother’s possessions.)

 

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