House of the Wolf Man
Directed by Eben McGarr
Starring Ron Chaney
Available on DVD
The 31 Days of Halloween wraps up today with not one, not two, but three different reviews. We start with a modern “vintage” film, in the 2009 direct-to-DVD film, House of the Wolf Man. The concept is simple, take the old Universal Studios Monsters, make a new movie with them (or as close as you can legally get without paying for the rights) in classic style of black and white, mix in one Chaney family relative and instant success?

Oh if only that worked out. Normally I try not to do spoilers in reviews, but this movie isn’t good and if you’re interested in seeing it, the review will only help to guide you to the film (and possibly lower your expectations to a realistic level) and if you’re not going to see it, what do you care if I spoil it?

The plot is simple enough and the concept is actually novel, fill in the gap of the “House of” series from Universal. You see, once Universal realized they had a money making franchise on their hands with the monsters, they started putting them together to do battle. First in Wolf Man meets Frankenstein and then a series of films with “House Of” in the title. The Wolf Man never got a House film, until now.

We start out with two kids arriving at a spooky old castle. The kids are Reed and Mary Chapel, brother and sister. Reed is dressed like a 50’s high school football player and could have been an extra on Dobie Gillis. Mary has really weird and unnatural shaped hair. They’ve been summoned to the house because they might be heir to it. Once inside they meet a creepy butler and the owner, mad scientist Bela Reinhardt. We know he’s mad, because he has the outfit. Also his face never changes expression. Then again, maybe that’s just Ron Chaney’s bad acting.
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Mad Monsters
Red Hair Dreadful Dracula
8 Inch Scale
By: Classic TV Toys

Classic TV Toys began making retro MEGO type 8 inch action figures in 2005. The company produced several of their own designs and creations, but some of their most sought after properties are the reproductions of old Mego licenses. Long before Mattel and some of the other big names got into Mego Repro, Classic TV Toys were making cloth 70’s style dolls.

Mego’s Mad Monsters were an unlicensed series of classic monster figures, such as Dracula, Frankenstein, the Mummy and the Wolfman. At some point, for reasons unknown, Dracula received a makeover with red hair. Speculation is that Universal accused Mego of replicating their Dracula without paying for a license and the red hair was supposed to differentiate it.

The original red haired Mego Dracula is very rare. When Classic TV Toys started making their Reproduction Mad Monsters, they made a smaller run of Red Haired Draculas to commemorate the infamous Mego incident. So how does this 2005 figure compare to it’s 1970’s counterpart?

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We here at Infinite Hollywood are big fans of Hammer’s Horror films, so we thought it best to mention that TCM (Turner Classic Movies) is running a HAMMER HORROR FESTIVAL all month long. Unfortunately it’s not quite as robust or as frequent as we’d like. Still, every Friday this month TCM is running four classic Hammer Horror films. Turner Classic Movies is adding seven new Hammer Horror films to their archives during this run, so it is a nice addition to their lineup.

The first week was Dracula, so the big star has already passed. Two weekends are already in the books, but the next three weekends have some decent lineups. If you’ve got a craving for horror you should stop by TCM. Here is the schedule if you’re looking for a little bit of a different take on horror films:

Friday, October 15,2010 Starting at 8:00 PM

The Mummy (1959)

Curse of the Mummy’s Tomb

The Mummy’s Shroud

Blood from the Mummy’s Tomb

Friday, October 22,2010 Starting at 8:00 PM

X the Unknown

Five Million Years to Earth

These Are the Damned

The Stranglers of Bombay

Friday, October 29,2010 Starting at 8:00 PM

The Curse of Frankenstein

The Revenge of Frankenstein

Frankenstein Created Woman

Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed

Obviously both the Mummy weekend and the Frankenstein weekend will be must-see TV for horror buffs. That said, it’s nice to see some lesser known Hammer Horror get in on the action, like the Stranglers of Bombay. So if you’re looking for some fresh horror films this Halloween, check out the movies on TCM from Hammer. Grab some popcorn and watch Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee entertain you with some bone chillers.

There’s very little to like in the new Star Wars trilogy of movies. Sure, the expanded universe has been fun, but the movies themselves more or less suck. However there was a handful of bright spots and Count Dooku was one of them. Christopher Lee played the role in epic fashion and gave us a little piece of vintage acting in films that were largely about teen actors, crappy CGI and George Lucas’ bad ideas.

Lee as Dooku felt very Star Wars. So it’s awesome to find out that Christopher Lee has been knighted by the Queen of England. He’s now fully fit to carry a lightsaber. Sure lots of other actors have been knighted, but Anthony Hopkins has NOTHING on Chris Lee.

Not only was Christopher Lee awesome as Dooku in Star Wars, but he rocked the house as the lead villain in Lord of the Rings. Lee was equally entertaining as Saruman in the Lord of the Rings and earned himself plenty of fanboy praise for it.

Plus who could forget Christopher Lee’s work in The Wicker Man? He’s downright creepy in that movie. Lee is a master at weaving classical acting and horror. He even took it to James Bond as Scaramanga in the Man with the Golden Gun. Which brings me to all the more reason this guy deserves to be knighted by the Queen of England…

His portrayal of DRACULA! They don’t come any better than Lee’s Dracula. Not only will the Hammer version of Dracula sleep with your wife and steal her soul… HE WILL EAT YOUR FLIPPIN’ FACE OFF!

I dare you to find a creepier Dracula than Christopher Lee. I know you can’t. Dooku, Dracula, Sarumon, Scaramanga and even that crazy guy from the Wicker Man. Lee is awesome in everything.

So here’s to you Christopher Lee, man of many evils. You deserve your knightship!