Since we're only a few weeks from Halloween, we thought it might be nice to look at something with a monstrous appeal. Grab your trick or treat candy (I hope we got some Snickers!) and let's join the Mad Monster Party.
Although technically this was a theatrical feature, I think most of us probably saw it first on TV. Released in 1967, this 90 minute kid's monster comedy was put together by the folks at Rankin/Bass - the same people who gave us Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, and it featured the same style of stop motion animation. Only this time, instead of cute little elves and reindeer, it was Dracula, the Frankenstein Monster, and a whole host of weird creatures coming into our living rooms!
The plot goes like this: Baron Frankenstein (voiced by the wonderful Boris Karloff, and the puppet looks just like him) has discovered the most destructive substance in the universe! Now that he has discovered the secrets of life and death, he invites all the monsters to his remote island to celebrate. This includes his nerdy nephew Felix, whom Frankenstein decides will be his heir. This doesn't sit right with the monsters, and they scheme to eliminate Felix. The Baron's gorgeous assistant, Francesca, is at first in on the plan, but eventually she falls for Felix and tries to help him escape. The gigantic IT! (aka King Kong) is brought to the island and goes on the rampage. After all else fails, Frankenstein uses his potion of destruction and blows up the entire island. Felix and Francesca survive, adrift at sea, but Francesca tells Felix their love cannot be - she is a robot made by Frankenstein! Felix says it's OK, "Nobody is perfect...is perfect...is perfect..."
The full roster of monsters, for those of you who are dying to know: Dracula, Frankenstein's Monster,his Mate (voiced by Phyllis Diller!), the Wolf Man, The Invisible Man, the Hunchback, the Mummy, the Creature (from the Black Lagoon), and Dr. Jekyll/ Mr. Hyde. I'm not sure if Rankin/Bass did this with the permission of Universal Studios or not. The Creature is just called 'The Creature', and doesn't look exactly like the movie version. The Frankenstein Monster definitely looks like the Universal version though, with flat head and all. It's a goofy, funny romp, which is no surprise since Mad Magazine vets Harvey Kurtzman and Jack Davis had a hand in the writing and design respectively.
The show is a lot of fun for anyone who enjoys the classic monsters and 60s culture. The show has some great music, bongos and all, and there's a number called "Do the Mummy", performed by a skeletal rock band. Check the clip below.
Karen has joined the ranks of podcasters along with her friends Larry and Bob on the Planet 8 podcast. Click on the image to hear them explore all things geek!
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Karen and Doug
Bronze Age Babies, Unite!
On Sunday, 4/23/17, Martinex1, Doug, and Redartz gathered for a day of fun at C2E2 in Chicago. It was great to finally meet in person after years of online cameraderie.
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Karen and Doug met on the Avengers Assemble! message board back in September 2006. On June 16 2009 they went live with the Bronze Age Babies blog, sharing their love for 1970s and '80s pop culture with readers who happen by each day. You'll find conversations on comics, TV, music, movies, toys, food... just about anything that evokes memories of our beloved pasts!
Doug is a high school social science teacher and department chairman living south of Chicago; he also does contract work for the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. He is married with two adult sons, also both married.
Karen originally hails from California and now works in scientific research/writing in the Phoenix area. She often contributes articles to Back Issue magazine. She is married. She hangs out with Joe Biden occasionally.
Believe it or not, the Bronze Age Babies have never spoken to each other...
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Dig Karen's Work Here? Then You Should Check Her Out in Back Issue!
BI #44 is available for digital download and in print. I've read Karen's article on reader reaction to Gerry Conway's ASM #121-122, and it's excellent. This entire magazine was fun! -- Doug
Back Issue #45
As if Karen's work on Spidey in the Bronze Age wasn't awesome enough, she's at it again with a look at the romance of the Vision and the Scarlet Witch in Back Issue's "Odd Couples" issue -- from TwoMorrows!
Karen's talking the Mighty Thor in the Bronze Age!
Click the cover to order a print or digital copy of Back Issue! #53