AMC and NBC Universal Television Distribution Join Forces to Celebrate the Tenth Year of AMC's Popular Annual Halloween Movie Marathon
MONSTERFEST X Features Universal Studios' Horror Cult Classics That Popularized the Genre
Films Air as Part of Non-stop Marathon October 22-31
NEW YORK, NY, August 30, 2006 – It was 75 years ago that Dracula first bared his fangs to strike terror into the hearts of moviegoers, and an artificial man named after his mad creator Dr. Frankenstein was given life from a bolt of lightning. During MONSTERFEST X, the tenth year of AMC's annual Halloween movie marathon, the network will pay tribute to these iconic monsters by presenting Universal Studios' vault of horror cult classics — movies which popularized the monster movie craze and set the stage for today's horror films. The Universal films air as part of the non-stop frightfest featuring more than 230 hours of movies from October 22-31.
This deal was orchestrated through NBC Universal Television Distribution and AMC.
In the 1930s, Universal Studios established themselves in the horror genre with several groundbreaking films starring Lon Chaney, the legendary "man of a thousand faces," and Bela Lugosi, the ultimate film persona of the vampire Dracula. Dracula and Frankenstein were the first two Universal titles produced in 1931, and ultimately helped save the ailing movie studio with booming box office sales. It is a testament to the popularity of these Universal Studios movies that they have maintained a lasting generational appeal and their iconic characters have become a staple of American pop culture.
Television's most popular destination for the avid horror movie fan, MONSTERFEST X celebrates its tenth annual Halloween movie marathon on AMC. This year's festival promises to be the biggest and most comprehensive showcase of horror on television. Encompassing movies from the early years of Hollywood to today's contemporary thrillers, the non-stop frightfest runs October 22-31, for 10 days and 10 nights — more than 230 hours of fear-inducing and supernatural death-defying movies.
Below is a list of films from the Universal Studios vault. A complete schedule of programming may be found on: www.amctv.com/monsterfest beginning October 2.
Featured films (in production year order):
AMC's MONSTERFEST X draws first blood with Hollywood's first big screen adaptation of Bram Stoker's popular novel, 1931's Dracula. The Transylvanian count turns his blood lust toward the unsuspecting inhabitants of London, focusing specifically on the object of his desire, Mina Seward (Helen Chandler). Bela Lugosi established himself as the definitive vampire and one of Hollywood's most lasting horror stars in director Todd Browning's original terror masterpiece. Universal had made a number of horror films during the silent era, but Browning's Dracula began the Universal monster series.
AMC also presents Frankenstein, the classic monster movie of all time. The film's name was derived from the mad, obsessed scientist, Dr. Henry Frankenstein (Colin Clive), who experimentally creates an artificial life, an unnamed monster (Boris Karloff) that ultimately terrorizes the Bavarian countryside after being mistreated by his maker's assistant, Fritz, and society as a whole. The film's most famous scene is the one in which Frankenstein befriends a young girl named Maria at a lake's edge and mistakenly throws her into the water (and drowns her) along with other flowers. The film launched the career of then unknown actor Boris Karloff, who is uncredited in the opening credits of the film as 'the Monster.'
THE MUMMY (1932)
Boris Karloff solidifies his status as one of the greatest horror stars in film history with his terrifying yet surprisingly poignant performance as high priest Imhotep, a 3,700 year old mummy who wreaks havoc upon the members of the British field exposition that disturbed his tomb. Featuring groundbreaking innovations in make-up that are used to chilling effect, The Mummy earns its place in the canon of classic horror cinema.
THE INVISIBLE MAN (1933)
Claude Rains stars as a scientist who turns himself invisible in The Invisible Man. Unfortunately, the formula used slowly drives him insane and turns his character into an invisible killer, causing him to terrorize the countryside. Boris Karloff had been the studio's original choice for the role of the Invisible Man, but director James Whale wanted someone with more of an intellectual voice. Claude Rains was Whale's first and only choice. The film also stars Gloria Stuart who received an Oscar-nomination for her performance as the 100-year-old survivor in the 1997 blockbuster Titanic.
THE BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN (1935)
This celebrated sequel to the 1931 classic finds Mary Shelley's monster alive and well and forcing the good baron to create a mate. Horror film icon Boris Karloff reprises his role as Dr. Frankenstein's fabled creation and Elsa Lanchester co-stars as his monstrous lady love.
SON OF FRANKENSTEIN (1939)
In this second follow-up to the horror film classic, Boris Karloff gives his final performance as Frankenstein's monster. In this installment, Basil Rathbone plays the son of Dr. Frankenstein, who inherits not only his father's home, but also his inert project in the basement. Horror film legend Bela Lugosi gives a commanding performance as Ygor, the monster's malevolent and haggered caretaker.
THE MUMMY'S HAND (1940)
AMC wraps itself around The Mummy's Hand. Two comical out-of-work archaeologists (Dick Foran and Wallace Ford) in Egypt discover evidence of the burial place of the ancient Egyptian princess Ananka. After receiving funding from an eccentric magician (Cecil Kellaway) and his beautiful daughter (Peggy Moran), they set out into the desert only to be terrorized by a sinister high priest (George Zucco) and the living mummy Kharis (Tom Tyler) who are the guardians of Ananka's tomb. To make the mummy appear more frightening, Tom Tyler's eyes (and the inside of his mouth) were blacked out frame-by-frame in almost all close-ups.
THE INVISIBLE MAN RETURNS (1940)
Noted horror film actor Vincent Price stars in The Invisible Man Returns. Framed for the murder of his brother, Geoffrey Radcliffe (Price) is scheduled to hang. After a visit from his friend Dr. Frank Griffin, he vanishes mysteriously from prison. Police inspector Sampson realizes that Griffin is the brother of the original Invisible Man and has given Geoffrey the formula to aid his escape. This was Vincent Price's first horror film, and he went onto star in such 1960 movies such as House of Usher, House of Wax and Pit and the Pendulum.
THE WOLF MAN (1941)
Lon Chaney, Jr. and Bela Lugosi team together in The Wolf Man. Upon the death of his brother, Larry Talbot (Lon Chaney, Jr.) returns from America to his ancestral home in Wales. He visits a gypsy camp with village girl Jenny Williams, who is attacked by Bela (Bela Lugosi), a gypsy who has turned into a werewolf. Larry kills the werewolf but is bitten during the fight. Bela's mother tells him that this will cause him to become a werewolf at each full moon. Larry confesses his plight to his unbelieving father, Sir John, who then joins the villagers in a hunt for the wolf. Larry, transformed by the full moon, heads for the forest and a fateful meeting with both Sir John and Gwen.
PHANTOM OF THE OPERA (1943)
Academy Award®-nominee Claude Rains gives a moving performance in this suspenseful, lyrical update to Gaston Leroux's macabre classic. As the tale goes, Rains plays the famously disfigured musician who haunts the Paris Opera House and kidnaps the beautiful young soprano whom he has trained. Featuring gorgeous music and elaborate sets, this "Phantom of the Opera" is a more-than-worthy version of a much-interpreted and beloved story.
SON OF DRACULA (1943)
In Son of Dracula, Carpathian Count Alucard — Dracula spelled backwards — played by Lon Chaney, Jr., is invited to the U.S. by a young "morbid" heiress (Katherine Caldwell). Her boyfriend (Frank Stanley) and local officials are suspicious of the newcomer, who is interested in the "virile" soil of the new world.
FRANKENSTEIN MEETS THE WOLF MAN (1943)
In Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man, grave robbers open the grave of the Wolf Man and awake him. He doesn't like the idea of being immortal and killing people when the moon is full, so he tries to find Dr. Frankenstein, to kill himself. But Frankenstein is dead and only his Monster is alive and this one wants to live, not to die like the Wolf Man. The Frankenstein Monster, played by Bela Lugosi, is mute in this film, even though Boris Karloff's monster spoke in the earlier Bride of Frankenstein (1935). Lugosi had refused the role in the original Frankenstein (1931) because he would have had no lines.
HOUSE OF FRANKENSTEIN (1945)
House of Frankenstein is the first of the Universal Studios Frankenstein films in which a member of the Frankenstein family does not appear. After escaping from an asylum the mad Dr. Niemann (Boris Karloff) and his hunchback assistant (J. Carrol Naish) revive Count Dracula (John Carradine), the Wolf Man (Lon Chaney, Jr.) and the Frankenstein Monster (Glenn Strange) in order to extract revenge upon their many enemies.
HOUSE OF DRACULA (1945)
Next is the all-star monster movie House of Dracula. In this Universal Pictures' sequel to House of Frankenstein, Dracula (John Carradine), the Wolf Man (Lon Chaney, Jr.) and Frankenstein (Glenn Strange) visit physician Dr. Edelman (Onslow Stevens), seeking cures for their monstrous conditions, but the angry villagers don't appreciate the good doctor's clientele.
CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON (1954)
A pulp horror classic, Creature from the Black Lagoon follows American scientists who get more than they bargained for on an Amazon expedition when a dark tributary turns up a prehistoric man with gills. The half man/half amphibian breaks free after being captured, menacing the adventurers and stealing away the only woman on the crew. A well-crafted creature flick, The Creature from the Black Lagoon introduced to the world one of the most iconic movie monsters of all time.
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