Saturday, May 8, 2010

Stuff of the Day: "Monster Fonts Box"

This covers two obsessions: The amazing fonts from House Industries and my obsession with monsters growing up in the 1960's. Specifically, Aurora Monster Model Kits (which this Box nicely mimics the packaging of), Famous Monsters of Filmland magazine, and the monster movies they'd show on Saturday afternoons.

Back then, it seemed that every city had a local Monster Movie Matinee of some sort, complete with semi-creepy hosts, and low budget sets. In Rochester (or Fishers, outside of Rochester, where I grew up) we had some options. If we twisted the antennas correctly we could pick up "Eivom" from Syracuse (The otherworldly title was "movie" spelled backwards, in case you're as slow as I was). We also had a Rochester based show, who's name I can't remember, but the host was just a hand coming out of a coffin, along with his assistant Egor (of course). Then, on Saturday late night, we had Gregory the Gravewalker! The movies were usually pretty bad, but we eagerly sat through them anyway.

This box also brings to mind my childhood obsession with Lon Chaney. The Dryden Theater at the George Eastman House here in town was one of the few places you could see silent movies on the big screen. When I was a kid, maybe 9, they did a series on Lon Chaney, with a variety of his work on display, but I was mostly interested in the monsters: The Hunchback of Notre Dame and The Phantom of the Opera, specifically. I later caught "Man of a Thousand Faces" on TV, with Jimmy Cagney playing Chaney. I was hooked, especially with the notion of him carrying around a tackle box full of make up, so that he could transform himself into anything the movie needed. For years I had a similar box (although I didn't carry it around with me or anything) full of stuff to make fake scars or sideburns if the occasion called for it. And, of course, his son (Creighton Tall Chaney, later Lon, Jr.) went on to play perhaps my favorite of the Universal monsters, The Wolfman.

Okay, I've gotta go dig up my copy of "Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein" now.

1 comment:

killerklown said...

The show was Monster Movie Matinee and his assistant was Epal.