Category Archives: Movie Memorabilia

Collecting Dracula: 1931 Movie Posters

The Film that Launched the Universal Monsters

Dracula 1931 Lobby Card

Film posters were designed to have short life spans.  They were simply intended to promote upcoming and new releases while a film was in the theater.  When the film left the theater, the posters were thrown away.  Since scarcity and desirability are primary drivers of value, film posters of classic movies are now extremely valuable – particularly for a film as iconic as Universal’s Dracula starring Bela Lugosi. 

The iconic nature of Todd Browning’s Dracula and the enduring legacy of Bela Lugosi’s performance make posters for this film some of the most coveted – and expensive – of all classic film posters.  Unfortunately, only a few posters are known to exist today from the wide range of designs that originally existed.

Below, we’ve included artwork from the original 1931 Universal press book to give you a look at the original designs that are not known to exist any longer.

One Sheet Film Posters

Dracula 1931 One Sheet Style A
Dracula 1931 One Sheet Style A
Dracula 1931 One Sheet Poster Style F
Dracula 1931 One Sheet Poster Style F

We previously published  in-depth article on the Style F One Sheet in our Classic Movie Posters series.  You can read it here:

Classic Movie Posters – Dracula 1931 One Sheet

The following One Sheet Styles are from the original 1931 Film Press Book but no known examples of these posters exist (if they do…Wow! What a find it will be!)

Dracula-1931-one-sheet-style-b
Dracula 1931 One Sheet Style B
Dracula 1931 One Sheet Style C
Dracula 1931 One Sheet Style C

Dracula 1931 Three Sheet:

Dracula 1931 Three Sheet Style D
Dracula 1931 Three Sheet Style D
Dracula 1931 Three Sheet Style E
Dracula 1931 Three Sheet Style E

Dracula 1931 Six Sheet:

Dracula 1931 Six Sheet
Dracula 1931 Six Sheet

Dracula 1931 24 Sheet

Dracula 1931 24 Sheet
Dracula 1931 24 Sheet

Dracula 1931 Insert

Dracula 1931 Insert
Dracula 1931 Insert

Dracula 1931 Half Sheets:

Dracula 1931 Half Sheet Style A
Dracula 1931 Half Sheet Style A
Dracula 1931 Half Sheet Style B
Dracula 1931 Half Sheet Style B

Dracula 1931 Window Cards:

Dracula 1931 Window Card Style A
Dracula 1931 Window Card Style A
Dracula 1931 Window Card Style B
Dracula 1931 Window Card Style B

Dracula 1931 Herald:

Dracula 1931 Herald Front
Dracula 1931 Herald Front
Dracula 1931 Herald Back
Dracula 1931 Herald Back
Dracula 1931 Herald Interior
Dracula 1931 Herald Interior

Dracula 1931 Jumbo Lobby Cards:

Dracula 1931 Lobby Card

Dracula 1931 Lobby Card

Dracula 1931 Lobby Card

Dracula 1931 Lobby Card

Dracula 1931 Lobby Card

Dracula 1931 Lobby Card

Dracula 1931 Lobby Card

Many of these incredible pieces of ephemera are, unfortunately, lost to history.  And all of them are beyond he reach of most collectors.  Regardless, we have the film and, through this digital gallery, we can all relish the awesome pop culture art of these iconic posters.

Related:

Classic Monster Trading Cards: Topps Creature Feature

You’ll Die Laughing With These Glorious Bubble Gum Cards

TOPPS Creature Feature Trading Card Deck

By now, most of you readers know I am a 1970s Monster Kid.  While Monster Mania was to end by the end of that decade, the early 70s was still a wonderland of phantasmagoric merchandise.  By 1973, I was 7 years old, well on my way to Monster Kid-dom,  and one of my favorite places in the world was the local Get-n-Go convenience store.  The comic book spinner rack was a treasure trove of excitement, the latest issue of Famous Monsters was usually on the magazine stand and then there were the bubble gum cards!   

From Wacky Stickers, to Planet of the Apes and eventually to Star Wars,  bubble gum cards held me in rapture for a decade, and in many ways they still do.   The height of that rapture was Topps Creature Feature cards.  It was like Famous Monsters with bubble gum! Each package a mystery with cards featuring pun-filled jokes and marvelous movie still from movies I had yet to see!

Topps Creature Feature Trading Cards

Released in 1973, Topps Creature Feature cards featured licensed black and white movie stills from the classic Universal Studios and American International Studios. 

Series 1 included cards 1-64:

                               Card #34:   Topps Creature Feature Card #34 1st Series   Topps Creature Feature Card Back #34 First Series   Series 2 includes cards #65-128

                                Card #66: Topps Creature Feature Card 2nd Series #66 Mole People                                 Back:Topps Creature Feature 2nd Series #66 Card Back                               Card #78:Topps Creature Feature Series 2 #78

Topps Creature Feature Card #78 2nd Series

The back of the cards used the same “You’ll Die Laughing” headline and purple illustrated border as the original 1959 Funny Monsters cards and included a marginally funny monster joke.

Because of this, all three Topps card sets, from 1959 to 1980, are often referred to as You’ll Die Laughing cards.  That title most appropriately refers to the 1959 Topps Funny Monsters cards which  featured illustrations of monsters rather than licensed movie stills.  Not only did Topps use the same headline and border in all three series, they used the same corny jokes in both 1973 and 1980 series as had originally run in 1959!

We’ll cover those wonderful Funny Monsters 1959 cards in a future article.

Topps Reissued Creature Feature in 1980

Largely a reissue of the 1973 Topps You’ll Die Laughing set with many of the same images and captions, about 33% of the 1980 cards were new images, but the primary difference is the wrapping:

1980 Topps Trading Cards Creature Features PackagingAs well as the addition of color borders to the 88-card set, which is helpful determine the set these cards belong to:

1980 Topps Creature Feature trading cards

1980 Topps Creature Feature sets included one of 22 stickers in each package  Labeled “The Monster Hall of Fame,” these  stickers are quite inexpensive and easy to track down.

Topps 1980 Creature Feature Sticker Mr Hyde

Topps Creature Features Monster Hall of Fame Stickers 1980

Base sets are affordable as well.  For collectors on a budget, the 1980 cards are a less expensive place to start collecting.

Collecting Monster Trading Cards

Creature Feature cards from 1973 and 1980 series are quite easy to find both as single cards and in lots.  It may take a bit if effort to piece together the entire series as lots often are incomplete.  But with time and diligence, assembling a full series is very doable.

Single cards usually range from $1 -$2 and sets are usually in the same per-card price range times the number of cards included in the lot.  It is common to find complete display boxes for the 1980 series, though much less common to find 1973 sealed display boxes.

Interestingly, many of the original 1973 proofs are currently listed on eBay for fixed price of $320 each.  It’s a really unique collectible, but it would obviously be quite an investment to piece together a large collection of these

Here’s an example:

Topps Creature Feature #4 Proof

Certificate of Authentic Topps Creature Feature Proof

Worth taking a look, and a really unique monster collectible for the right collector!  Click here to see all the Topps Creature Feature cards currently listed on eBay

Monster Card Collecting Resources

More more in-depth information about Topp’s Creature Feature Trading Cards and collecting trading cards in general, I highly recommend these resources:

Did you collect these cards in your Monster youth? Do you still? Share your memories – and your collections – with us!

Most Expensive Star Wars Movie Props Ever Sold at Auction

The Force Is Strong With These Original Star Wars Movie Props
han-solo-blaster

In case you haven’t heard, there’s a little film out called Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens.  It’s already the most successful movie in film history and it hasn’t even been released for a month.  My family has helped that number, with multiple viewings to our collective credit and more planned.

Despite it’s mainstream commercial appeal, this is a film franchise for Monster Kids.  Thankfully, director JJ Abrams returned the franchise to the original trilogy roots with a heavy focus on practical effects.

To celebrate this most-welcome news, we thought it would be interesting to take a look at the most expensive props and costumes from the Star Wars movies (yes, even the prequels).  The folks over at JustCollecting.com compiled this list of the most expensive Star Wars memorabilia ever sold at auction – from Stormtrooper helmets to slave girl outfits, wookie heads to “weapons for a more civillized age”.

If you’re in the market for a piece of Star Wars movie history, you’re going to need a lot of intergalactic credits…

20) Princess Leia’s ‘slave’ costume

Star Wars Memorabilia: The Most Expensive Items Ever Sold

(Image: Profiles in History)

This outfit was worn by Carrie Fisher in Return of the Jedi, when Princess Leia is reduced to a slave girl by the evil Jabba the Hut following her failed attempt to rescue Han Solo. It originated from the collection of Richard Miller, a 30-year veteran with Industrial Light and Magic and the original designer and sculptor of the memorable costume.

The outfit was comprised of screen-worn, production-made rubber elements, along with fabric parts recreated from existing photographs. Described as the most complete and important version of the costume to have survived in private hands, the outfit sold at Profiles in History in October 2015 for $96,000 (inc. buyer’s premium).

19) Return of the Jedi Stormtrooper helmet

Star Wars Memorabilia: The Most Expensive Items Ever Sold

(Image: Profiles in History)

Return of the Jedi featured more Imperial storm troopers than ever before, particularly for the battle scenes on Endor, so the production team produced around 50 new helmets based on the original molds used for those on The Empire Strikes Back.

The helmet was worn during filing by stunt performer Billy Horrigan, who also worked on movies including the original Indiana Jones trilogy. It remained in his collection for years following the production, and eventually sold at Profiles in History in July 2012 for $98,400 (inc. buyer’s premium).

18) Empire Strikes Back Stormtrooper helmet

Star Wars Memorabilia: The Most Expensive Items Ever Sold

(Image: Prop Store)

When it came time to film The Empire Strikes Back, producer Gary Kurtz noticed the original Imperial Stormtrooper costumes from the first film were looking a little worn. Most of the helmets had been reconditioned and repainted, so a new set or around 8-10 helmets was ordered.

This example was one of the new MK II style helmets made during production. Although showing signs of excessive use, and missing its original communicator ear piece on one side, the rare helmet sold for $99,400 (inc. buyer’s premium) during a Prop Store auction in September 2015.

17) Obi-Wan Kenobi’s Cloak

Star Wars Memorabilia: The Most Expensive Items Ever Sold

(Image: Bonhams)

Based on Ralph McQuarrie’s conceptual designs, the last of the Jedi Knights appeared as a nomadic monk rather than a great warrior. Not only is ‘Old Ben’ Kenobi’s cloak indicative of the peaceful nature of the Force, it’s also the only thing left of him after his battle with Darth Vader in Episode IV.

The iconic costume appeared in the first two original films, and then remained in storage in Los Angeles until the Bonhams auction in 2007 when it was sold for a price of $104,000 (inc. buyer’s premium).

16) Stormtrooper DLT-19 heavy blaster rifle

Star Wars Memorabilia: The Most Expensive Items Ever Sold

(Image: Profiles in History)

This DLT-19 heavy blaster rifle was originally created for Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope by the British movie weapons company Bapty & Co. Based on a deactivated World War II-era German MG 34 machine gun, the rifle was one of four seen in a weapons rack in the communications room on the Death Star.

Just two of those rifles included Bakelite stocks as seen on this example, meaning there’s a 50% chance it was the rifle used by Chewbacca himself during Princess Leia’s prison break sequence. Having been restored to its screen-used appearance, this blaster rifle – the only one of its kind ever auctioned – sold at Profiles in History in July 2012 for $104,500 (inc. buyer’s premium).

15) Darth Vader helmet & shoulder armour

Star Wars Memorabilia: The Most Expensive Items Ever Sold

(Image: Profiles in History)

Following the end of filming on The Empire Strikes Back, Lucasfilm sent this Darth Vader helmet and shoulder armour set to be replicated by N.J. Farmer and Associates. The company then used the production-made originals to create promotional suits, to be worn at the film’s premier in May 1980.

The helmet then spent almost two decades in storage with the company, before being rediscovered, and sold at a Profiles in History auction in July 2012 for $110,700 (inc. buyer’s premium).

14) X-Wing Fighter production miniature

Star Wars Memorabilia: The Most Expensive Items Ever Sold

(Image: Profiles in History)

As the Star Wars effects unit filmed the final climactic attack on the Death Star, they realised they were blowing up miniature X-Wing and Y-Wing fighters faster than they could make them. To save time, they started reusing parts from exploded models to create more cannon fodder for the Imperial guards (sorry Porkins).

This unpainted X-Wing filming miniature was created from a variety of screen-used components which survived the effects team’s pyrotechnics. It was the first X-Wing production model ever offered at auction, and sold at Profiles in History in 2010 for $112,100 (inc. buyer’s premium).

13) Darth Vader’s helmet from The Empire Strikes Back

Star Wars Memorabilia: The Most Expensive Items Ever Sold

(Image: Profiles in History)

The second Darth Vader helmet to appear on the list was also used in the production of The Empire Strikes Back. It was created for use during the climactic fight scene between Vader and Luke Skywalker, during which Vader reveals (spoiler alert) he is Luke’s father.

The helmet featured transparent cheeks and a modified grill, which enabled the Olympic fencing champion Bob Anderson a much clearer view whilst performing the fight sequences with Mark Hamill. It was sold at a Profiles in History auction in April 2003 for a price of $115,000 (inc. buyer’s premium).

12) Darth Vader’s Lightsaber from The Empire Strikes Back

Star Wars Memorabilia: The Most Expensive Items Ever Sold

(Image: Profiles in History)

Here’s one of the most feared weapons in the galaxy – Darth Vader’s lightsaber. This screen-used prop was used by David Prowse during production on The Empire Strikes Back -most notably in the climactic fight scene in Cloud City, in which the Skywalker family reunion goes slightly awry. Luke gains a parent and loses a hand, as Vader slices it off with this very weapon in one of the worst examples of father-son bonding in cinema history.

Originating from the personal collection of producer Gary Kurtz, this rare original trilogy lightsaber sold at Profiles in History in 2005 for $118,000 (inc. buyer’s premium).

11) C-3PO’s head

Star Wars Memorabilia: The Most Expensive Items Ever Sold

(Image: Profiles in History)

This original C-3PO helmet was worn on-screen by Anthony Daniels in his role as the faithful protocol droid throughout Return of the Jedi – whether it was translating threats for Jabba the Hutt, or being worshipped as a golden god by the Ewoks on Endor.

The helmet originated from the collection of Brian Lofthouse, who worked as prop supervisor on the original Star Wars trilogy and oversaw all elements of Daniels’ complex C-3PO costume. It was sold by Profiles in History in December 2008 for $120,000 (inc. buyer’s premium).

10) Chewbacca’s Head

Star Wars Memorabilia: The Most Expensive Items Ever Sold

(Image: Profiles in History)

7’ 3” tall actor Peter Mayhew was immediately cast as Chewbacca by simply standing up to greet George Lucas at a London audition. The character was based on Lucas’ dog Indiana, who often sat next to him in his car like a ‘co-pilot’ (and who later gave his name to a certain Dr Jones).

This screen-worn Chewbacca mask, made from yak hair and mohair, was one of five used during filming and is currently the most valuable – having sold for $172,200 (inc. buyer’s premium) at Profiles in History in July 2012. (Image: Profiles in History)

9) Luke Skywalker’s X-Wing fighter model

Star Wars Memorabilia: The Most Expensive Items Ever Sold

(Image: Profiles in History)

This screen-used effects model X-Wing appeared throughout The Empire Strikes Back – identifiable as Luke Skywalker’s fighter by the tiny model R2-D2 behind the cockpit. Bearing battle scars and blast marks, the X-Wing was used in numerous multi-element motion control shots during production. It sold at Profiles in History in July 2012 for $221,400 (inc. buyer’s premium).

8) X-Wing fighter model

Star Wars Memorabilia: The Most Expensive Items Ever Sold

(Image: Profiles in History)

This exceedingly rare X-Wing fighter model was one of the few fully painted and finished models to emerge from the production of Star Wars in one piece. Most were damaged by pyrotechnic effects designed to simulate explosions during filming of the final assault on the Death Star.

Measuring approx. 22 in. long by 18 in. wide, the model was consigned from the collection of a multiple Academy Award-wining visual effects supervisor and sold at Profiles in History in December 2012 for $225,000 (inc. buyer’s premium).

7) Luke Skywalker’s Lightsaber

Star Wars Memorabilia: The Most Expensive Items Ever Sold

(Image: Profiles in History)

The lightsaber is one of the most iconic screen weapons in movie history – “an elegant weapon for a more civilised age” used by generations of Jedi knights. In 2008, the weapon used by Mark Hamil as Luke Skywalker in the first Star Wars film was sold at auction from the personal collection of producer Gary Kurtz. It realized $240,000 (inc. buyer’s premium) at Profiles in History, an auction record for a screen-used lightsaber.

6) Han Solo’s Blaster

Star Wars Memorabilia: The Most Expensive Items Ever Sold

(Image: Profiles in History)

“Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster at your side, kid.” Han Solo’s weapon of choice may be a little more down-to-earth, but for collectors it was equally as desirable. Screen-used by Harrison Ford in both The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, the blaster was described as “possibly the most exciting science fiction weapon to have been offered for public auction”. It sold at Profiles in History in December 2013 for $246,000 (inc. buyer’s premium).

5) Empire Strikes Back Snow Trooper helmet

Star Wars Memorabilia: The Most Expensive Items Ever Sold

(Image: Profiles in History)

Although numerous Imperial Stormtrooper helmets have appeared on the market, this unique example is the only Imperial Snowtrooper helmet to ever come to auction. Worn during the battle scenes on the ice planet of Hoth in The Empire Strikes Back, this helmet remained in original production condition more than 30 years later. It sold at Profiles in History in July 2012 for an exceptional $276,750 (inc. buyer’s premium).

4) Imperial Stormtrooper costume

Star Wars Memorabilia: The Most Expensive Items Ever Sold

(Image: Christie’s)

This set of Imperial Stormtrooper costume components features pieces made for both Star Wars and The Empire Strikes Back. The set was given to a teenage member of an amateur dramatics society in 1993, by another member of the group who had previously worked at Elstree Studios as a pyro-technician. Despite minor damage and restoration, the costume sold for an impressive $319,574 (inc. buyer’s premium) at Christie’s in December 2011.

3) Miniature TIE Fighter model

Star Wars Memorabilia: The Most Expensive Items Ever Sold

(Image: Profiles in History)

The second-most valuable prop on the list is another survivor from the first attack on the Death Star – a screen-used model TIE fighter. The fighter is known to fans as the one which collides with Darth Vader in the trench, allowing Luke to take his shot and sending Vader hurtling off into space to fight another day.

As a prop which changed the fate of the galaxy, the TIE fighter model commanded a top price at auction – a then-record $402,500 (inc. buyer’s premium), realized at Profiles in History in 2008

2) Rebel blockade runner ship

Star Wars Memorabilia: The Most Expensive Items Ever Sold

(Image: Profiles in History)

This Rebel ‘Blockade Runner’ ship features in the first moments of Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope, as it comes under fire from a far larger Imperial Star Destroyer – perfectly capturing the central struggle of the story in a single opening shot.

The unique 16-inch miniature was filmed moving along the entire length of the Dykstraflex track (the world’s first digital motion control camera system designed specifically for Star Wars).

It originated from the collection of Grant McCune, Chief Model Maker on the film’s Miniature and Optical Effects Unit who won an Academy Award for his efforts. It was auctioned at Profiles in History in October 2015 for $465,000 (inc. buyer’s premium), making it the most expensive Star Wars movie prop ever sold.

1) George Lucas’ Panavision Camera

Star Wars Memorabilia: The Most Expensive Items Ever Sold

(Image: Profiles in History)

The most expensive piece of Star Wars memorabilia ever sold never even appeared in Star Wars – because it was too busy shooting it. This Panavision PSR 35 mm camera was used by George Lucas during principle photography of Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope in 1976.

It was later acquired by legendary Hollywood actress Debbie Reynolds as part of her famous movie memorabilia collection, and sold at Profiles in History in December 2011 for $625,000 (inc. buyer’s premium).

courtesy of JustCollecting

(Video) Monsterama Episode 21: Ape-Mania

FX Artist’s Tribute to the Planet of the Apes

Brian Penikas and Ape-Mania Staff

Brian Penikas is a talented practical effects artist best known for his design of the Creeper in Jeepers Creepers.  Like many modern make-up artists in Hollywood, Penikas fell in love with practical effects thanks to the magical work of his predecessors.  For Brian, it was John Chambers‘ brilliant work for the original Planet of the Apes films  that set Brian on his career path.

This episode takes a look at Ape Mania, Brian’s tribute company that honors the work of John Chambers and the seminal science fiction franchise, The Planet of the Apes.  Since 1996, Brian and his crew have been making film-quality PoTA replica props, masks and memorabilia as well s appearances at events.

Planet of the Apes was one of my formative Monster Kid events as a youngster and it’s great to see professionals honoring their own influences and keeping us modern monster kids well stocked with museum-quality collectibles.

Watch the episode here:

Ape Mania Collectibles

Apemania.com is still the place to go to see their officially licensed merchandise.  The site hasn’t been updated in quite a while and many of the products are quoted price, but it’s well worth a visit to check out the full line of products as well as a great link resource page for other Ape-related websites.

Ape-Mania resin kits

Ape Mania’s line of resin kits are available in three styles:

  • Unpainted $135
  • Bronze finish $159
  • Signature Series Fully Painted & Detailed by Ape Mania artists $275
  • Available at Apemania.com

Lawgiver Statue Replica Bust by Ape-Mania

Lawgiver Bust

Latex masks: Check out this thread dedicated to Ape Mania masks at The Halloween Mask Association.

Anyone have Ape Mania products in their collection? We’d love to see some pics! Share them on our Facebook page or Tweet them to us and we’ll feature them here in a future post.

 

Classic Movie Poster – Creature from the Black Lagoon

Classic Movie Posters

Creature from the Black Lagoon One-Sheet Movie Poster

Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954, Universal ) U.S. One-Sheet (27 x 41)

The Gill Man swam into theaters in 1954 and has since joined the ranks of the classic Universal monsters alongside Dracula, Frankenstein’s Monster and the Wolf Man.  This classic film was originally released in 3-D and featured groundbreaking underwater photography.  The creature was performed on land by Ben Chapman and underwater by champion swimmer Ricou Browning, who had to hold his breath for up to four minutes while shooting scenes.

While The Creature from the Black Lagoon was originally released in in dual-strip 35mm polarized 3-D, and the listing of 3-D posters in the pressbook, they were never issued.  The only original poster to have 3-D text actually printed on it was the 14×22 window card.  Universal sent “Underwater Thrills in 3-D” snipes for the other posters:

3-D-Poster-Snipe

This is an actual snipe that was included along with a one-sheet poster in a recent offering by  Heritage Auctions. These snipes were rarely used so most of the one-sheets found today do not have the snipes on them.

Here’s what the one-sheet looks like with the snipe:

Creature from the Black Lagoon One-Sheet 3-D Snipe

Take a look at this incredible image from Universal’s 1954 press book courtesy of the wonderful site 3DFilmArchive.com

Universal Pressbook Creature from the Black Lagoon 1954

The one-sheet poster is one of the rarest and most sought after movie posters of the 1950s.  The poster art was done by Albert Kallis who was also responsible for almost all the posters of Roger Corman‘s B-movies in the 1950s, including It Conquered the WorldWar of the Colossal Beast and many, many more.   Kallis was born of Russian immigrant parents, co-founded IHOP (yep, the House of Pancakes) and created some of the greatest genre movie posters of the 1950s.  If you don’t know much about this guy, I highly recommend his autobiography:

Living the Gift of Time

Here’s the 1954 theatrical trailer for The Creature from the Black Lagoon:

Poster Value

As with most Creature collectibles, paper from this classic monster movie is highly sought after and comes with a  correspondingly high price tag.  A copy in Very Fine condition sold for $20,315 in Heritage Auctions Vintage Movie Posters Signature Auction in July 2015.

The Creature returned to the theater multiple times over the next 20 years, and movie posters for these return showings are much less expensive than the original 1954 release.

Want More Classic Movie Posters?

 

Classic Movie Posters – Godzilla King of the Monsters

Classic Movie Poster Gallery

Godzilla King of the Monsters (1956) U.S. One SheetGodzilla, King of the Monsters (Toho, 1956)
U.S. One-sheet (27″ x 41″)

Godzilla King of the Monsters is the heavily re-edited American 1956 adaptation of the Japanese film Gojira, originally produced by Toho  Studios in 1954, which had previously been shown subtitled in the United States in Japanese community theaters only, and was not released in Europe.  For the American version, some of the political, social, and anti-nuclear themes and overtones were removed, resulting in 16 minutes of footage cut from the original Japanese version and replaced with new footage shot exclusively for the film’s North American release, featuring Canadian actor Raymond Burr playing the lead role of American journalist Steve Martin, from whose perspective the film is told, mainly through flashbacks and narration.

Of note, Godzilla King of the Monsters  was the first post-World War II film to present Japanese people in heroic roles or as sympathetic victims of the destruction of Tokyo to the American public in a commercial release given A-picture status and bookings.

This poster is the U.S. One-sheet style for the 1956 release and I simply love ti for it’s comic book sensibilities and over-top melodrama:

Incredible, Unstoppable Titan of Terror

It’s Alive

Civilization Crumbles as its death rays blast a city of 6 million from the face of the earth

Mightiest Monster!

Mightiest Melodrama of them all!

Who could have known that 61 years after the release of the original  Toho film in Japan that Godzilla would still be the King of the Monsters and as viable commercially at the box office as in the mid-1950s.

All Hail, Godzilla! King of the Monsters!

Enjoy this 1956 theatrical trailer for Godzilla, King of the Monsters:

Much thanks to the Kaiju Poster Database for being such an incredible resource.  They’re listed in our Collectors Resources page and I highly recommend spending some time browsing their site.

Poster Value

This poster is always in high demand and the only current auction I found while writing this article was on Heritage Auctions. They are offering a folded, Fine/Very Fine copy and estimate it will sell for $2,000 to $4,000.  Since the current bid is $1,000 with 17 days yet to go in the auction, their estimate is probably low.

Want More Godzilla?

Classic Movie Posters – Dracula 1931 One Sheet

Classic Movie Poster Gallery

Dracula-1931-One-Sheet

Dracula (Universal, 1931) One Sheet (27″ X 41″) Style F

It’s October and we’re getting back to basics with a focus on the most iconic of all classic monster movies, the films from Universal Studios.  First up, Bela Lugosi as Dracula in the 1931 film classic.

Watch this video history of 1931’s Dracula from Heritage Aucitions:

From Heritage Auctions website:

This lovely Style F stone litho one sheet, with its stunning image of Count Dracula aboard the Vespa en route to London, is a real gem. In March 2009, Heritage sold another copy of this style, from the collection of Nicolas Cage, which realized more than $310,000. At the time, it was noted that the copy offered was one of only three known. The discovery of the poster in this auction brings that grand total to four known to exist in the entire world. The poster had a tear in the upper white border that extends into the image within the green field between Dracula’s raised fist and the moon behind him, with a tiny fleck of missing paper at the intersection of the border and the green field. There was tear from the left border into the “D” in “Dracula” and down into the black of the cape. There was two tears in the right border that extend just into the image and there were pinholes in the upper two corners of the artwork. The bottom white border was trimmed just below the black line which delineates the image from the border so no color image was lost and the entire image and all borders were intact other than the lower border. Through careful professional restoration all of these issues discussed were beautifully restored. The colors on the poster are as vibrant as the day it was printed and have not been altered at all. Few posters combine the high degrees of rarity, desirability, and sheer artistic beauty like this scarce showpiece.

The poster described in the video,  only the fourth Style F poster from the film ever uncovered, sold at auction in 2012  for $143,400. This poster was part of The Berwick Discovery of Lost Movie Posters – a trove of 33 classic and incredibly rare posters dating back as far as 1930 – many examples of which were thought to be lost for all time, realized $503,035 total,.  The Berwick posters came out of an attic and were found in a small country auction in Berwick, PA, in several lots stuck together with wallpaper paste, which had preserved them for more than eight decades.

In 2009, a Style F one sheet owned by the actor Nicolas Cage went for $310,700 when the actor sold off his collection.

Related Articles: 

I recommend this Kindle book for more information on the classic monster movie posters:

POSTER ART FROM CLASSIC MONSTER FILMS

available at Amazon.com for Kindle

 

Monstrous Auction Prices Paid for These Monster Movie Puppets

These Puppets All Claimed Quite a Price at Auction

Puppets.  We all know they’re basically creepy and evil. And Hollywood movies have given us some of the creepiest.

Here are 5 horrible examples of monster movie puppets you should try not to think about too much.

The Wrath of God – Raiders of the Lost Ark

5 Monstrous Movie Puppets
(Image: Profiles in History)

This ethereal ghost puppet may look relatively harmless, but it has the power to literally melt your face off. Only if you’re a Nazi though, as the bad guys at the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark found out. It emerges from the Ark of the Covenant as the ‘Wrath of God’, who it turns out isn’t too happy with Hitler’s boys and decides to give them a good talking to. The puppet was created by Visual Effects Model maker Steve Gawley, and filmed in an underwater tank to give it the eerie appearance of floating. It was just one of the effects that earned Richard Edlund the Academy Award for Best Visual Effects, and sold at Profiles in History in 2012 for $12,000.

Grizzly Teddy

5 Monstrous Movie Puppets
(Image: Profiles in History)

This delightful little fella was one of the stars of Demonic Toys (1992), another classic straight-to-video horror from producer Charles Band who also brought us Robot Holocaust, Assault of the Killer Bimbos, Puppet Masters 1 to 5, and Gingerdead Man 3: Saturday Night Cleaver. Known as Grizzly Teddy, it’s eventually turned into a man-sized monster by ‘The Kid’, an ancient demon who wants to eat the soul of a baby. I told you it was a classic….This screen-used puppet from the film sold at Profiles in History in 2008 for $1,100.  More than the movie made probably!

Mohawk the Mogwai

5 Monstrous Movie Puppets
(Image: Profiles in History)

This is Mohawk, the evil Mogwai villain of Gremlins 2: The New Batch (1990) who resemblesg what would happen if Jack Nicholson made sweet, sweet love to a hamster. Mohawk eventually turns into a giant Gremlin-spider hybrid, but meets his match when Gizmo goes completely Rambo on him and kills him with an exploding bottle of Tipex. This screen-used Mohawk Mogwai puppet sold at Profiles in History in 2008 for $8,000.

Critter

5 Monstrous Movie Puppets
(Image: Profiles in History)

This starred in the 1986 sci-fi horror Critters, a ‘Gremlins from Space’ movie which inexplicably spawned three sequels (one of which introduced the world to Leonardo di Caprio). The Krites are carnivorous aliens, essentially a cross between a piranhas and Tribles, who escape from a space prison and land on Earth where they terrorize a small Kansas town and eat a few locals. This original screen-used animatronic puppet from the film sold at Profiles in History in 2009 for $8,500.

Jigsaw

5 Monstrous Movie Puppets
(Image: Profiles in History)

Here’s Jigsaw, the creepy mascot of the elaborate chop-em-up Saw series, which showed us what happens when you combine the movie Hostel with the board game Mouse Trap. To be fair, this puppet is no creepier than any other normal ventriloquist’s dummy – all of which are secretly possessed by the souls of dead serial killers. As used on-screen in Saw II, this ‘hero’ Jigsaw puppet sold at Profiles in History in 2013 for $12,000.

Now You Can Own Caroline Munro’s Top From Golden Voyage – Oh, and Spock’s Too!

Amazing Orignal Props from 150 Films and TV Series Up For Auction

spock-shirt-auction

September 23rd is the date to set for all film enthusiasts, as a global auction showcasing 450 of the film industry’s most iconic movie props kicks off.

Prop Store, is one of the world’s leading vendors of original props and collectible memorabilia. We’ve featured them in our Top Websites for Collecting Classic Monsters list.

The original props are from over 150 films and television shows, including Star Trek, James Bond, Doctor Who, and Back to the Future.

Prop Store’s curation process, which is undertaken by teams in both London and Los Angeles, involves tracking down items from all-time favorites, and also paying close attention to current trends and interests in the market.

Stephen Lane, the CEO of Prop Store, uses the revival of Star Wars as an example. He points out that the iconic film may bring in more interest than usual, due to the excitement surrounding the sci-fi franchise’s 7th installment, Stars Wars: The Force Awakens. “It may even outperform a lot of the other auction highlights,” Lane predicts.

Lane says the aim of the auction is to not only appeal to avid moviegoers but also curious collectors looking to invest in something a little bit nostalgic.

“A lot of buyers are looking to purchase from films they grew up with. It’s a way to revisit a pleasant childhood experience. In fact, this is what influences the purchasing of collectors’ items more than anything else.”

When asked of his personal top picks from the auction, Lane highlights the P99 Silencer pistol from James Bond: Tomorrow Never Dies, a Stormtrooper Helmet from Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back and a Fizzgig puppet from The Dark Crystal which has never been seen on the market until now:

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The collection of film memorabilia is valued at an estimated $1.57 million. The auction will take place at the BFI IMAX in London, and is also open to online and call-in biddings. Interested parties can sign up here.

Here’s some of the more Monster Kid focused memorabilia up for auction:

Professor Sir Alexander Saxton’s (Christopher Lee) Tweed Suit – Horror Express (1972)
horror-express-suit

Caroline Munro’s Top – Golden Voyage of Sinbad (1973)

golden-voyage-munro-top

The Fly’s Paint Test Head – The Fly II (1989)

fly-II-head

Cylon Centurion Helmet Prototype – Battlestar Galactica (1978)

battlestar-gallactica-centurion-helmet

Sally’s Stop Motion Puppet Face – Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)

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Evil Clown Head – Poltergeist (1982)

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all images courtesy Prop Store

Check out the interactive auction catalog and all the other amazing items from the original Planet of the Apes, Little Shop of Horrors and so much more!

Anyone up for a Monster Kid Field Trip to London?

Classic Movie Posters – The Land That Time Forgot

Classic Movie Poster Gallery

land-that-time-forgot-1974-001-posterThe Land That Time Forgot (Amicus, 1975)     U.K. Quad 30″ x 40″

I saw this movie at the theater when I was 9 years old.  Plain and simple – it had everything I could ask for.  I loved Tarzan, dinosaurs, cavemen, submarines….this movie had it all.  One of the last pulp fantasy-adventure films before Star Wars changed everything, The Land That Time Forgot remains indelibly printed in my memory as one of the great movies of my childhood.

This is the British quad poster for the film, and while it isn’t the same one my 9 year-old self fell in love with in the mid-70s, today it is my favorite  poster for the film.  The day-glow title letters really does it for me and ties the poster together visually by matching the vibrant orange of the exploding volcano.  The utter ridiculousness of the submerged T-Rex battling the German U-Boat (spoiler alert:  NOT in the film) adds to the overall camp and the utter joy I feel when looking at this poster.

The art, by the great Tom Chantrell, is simply magnificent — click on the images below to take a closer look:

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Here’s a terrific overview of Chantrell’s career and impact from BFI.uk.org:

Celebrated poster designer Tom Chantrell, whose prolific career took in everything from Brighton Rock (1947) to Star Wars (1977), also worked for both production houses. For a while Chantrell was ‘house artist’ at Hammer, bringing a ghoulish relish to the campaigns for everything the studio put out between The Nanny (1965) and Taste the Blood of Dracula (1969).

This iconic image for the 1966 prehistoric adventure One Million Years B.C. is typical of Chantrell’s partiality for bold lettering and what film poster scholar Sim Branaghan calls “a riot of brilliantly deployed colour across epic, wonderfully composed canvases.”

Chantrell was the man that Amicus would call on when it embarked on its own series of ancient-world fantasies, derived from the novels of Edgar Rice Burroughs. Each starring Doug McClure and directed by Kevin Connor, this sequence began with 1975’s The Land That Time Forgot, the First World War story of survivors from a torpedoed ship coming across a lost continent where dinosaurs still roam. Chantrell’s action-packed poster enticingly contrasts a German U-boat with exciting primordial drama, while the brash red of the title font is matched to the florid lava of an erupting volcano.

With changing fashion and the rise of computer-aided graphic design in the early 80s, the illustrative craft of designers like Tom Chantrell would soon be a thing of the past. So these eye-catching Amicus posters represent some of the final glories of a lost art.

Courtesy of BFI.org

Synopsis:

The Land That Time Forgot starts with the torpedoing of a passenger ship by a German U-boat crew. The few remaining survivors, including Bowen Tyler (McClure) and Lisa Clayton (Penhaligon), manage to overcome the U-boat’s crew when it surfaces and they force the captain to pilot the craft back to allied waters. The crew decide to sabotage their plans and the craft ends up completely lost in unknown waters. They happen across a strange island and find an underwater cave through which they pilot the U-boat. When they surface in the islands interior they are immediately set upon by a dinosaur-like creature that eats one of the crew before Tyler manages to decapitate it. The crew then venture through the strange land and come across more giant beasts and a tribe of primitive cavemen before discovering oil, which they hope will allow them to escape back to civilisation.

Here’s the film trailer for your viewing pleasure:

Poster Value

High-grade copies of this poster are usually priced in the $500 range.  The combination of Tom Chantrell‘s gorgeous art for a Edgar Rice Burrough’s dinosaur vs submarine adventure movie make this a poster that will continue to be desirable for collectors and genre fans for a long, long time.

I found current listings on eBay UK ranging in price from with a Near Mint copy priced at $545.

Grade A copy of this quad poster is offered for 275GBP ($429 U.S.) at Frontrowposters

Tom Chantrell’s estate has partnered with BFI to offer original posters from his collection through their website ChantrellPosters.com – the quad isn’t available but high quality UK double-crown poster (20″x 30″) is listed for 145GBP ($226 U.S.)

Summary

What can I say; this film does it for me.  It was a perfect stew of everything I loved as a nine-year-old and the affection I have for it hasn’t lessened over the years. While it’s effects weren’t high quality even for the time period, with rubber dinosaurs and amateurish cave man makeup, the story was great fun and packed with thrills.  It’s pure, unadulterated camp and I love every second of it.