Historical figures have a hidden past you never knew about…
If you believe the numerous pieces of literature to support this claim that is. Lincoln turned vampire slayer long before Buffy was born, and Henry the 8th was a werewolf during his reign! Of course I am talking about the historical mash up genre, a genre that spans both literature and movies.
Though its popularity rose with the release of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies book, examples of the genre can be seen thorough our cinematic history. Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure springs to mind with its collection of famous figures enjoying ice cream and failing to chat up mall girls, while the movie C.S.A tells a very different and disturbing tale of a America you will not recognize, one where the South won the Civil War. Pride is soon to become a feature film and classic comedy duo Abbott & Costello had no shortage of genre run-ins. Now it seems Helen Keller is getting in on the action with the trailer for Helen Keller vs Nightwolves online now.
As you can see the film is not exactly taking itself to seriously, and who can blame it when the subject matter is going to be a tad tricky to play straight. Barry Bostwick appears hamming it up, and the whole cast seem to be enjoying the silly story line. It makes a change from Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, which took a much more serious look at its subject matter. Helen Keller is certainly ready to kick nightwolf butt, shame we don’t really see any of the nightwolves in question. It looks incredible silly, but as thats the films sole intent it seems to have done a bang up job. This is still a work in progress with an Indiegogo campaign running over the next few weeks, so if you want to see more of this then you know what to do. The director is Ross Patterson who directed the great Pool Boy and FDR: American Badass, and his movies have there own brand of unique humor. It may not be for everyone, but for the people who love over the top slapstick style antics, then his work will be right up your alley.
So with Helen Keller vs The Nightwolves (hopefully) joining the ranks of Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, we here at Grizzly Bomb thought it may be fun to check out a few other filmatic examples of the genre. Throw your history books away, because this will be an education of the exploitive kind as we look at just what are famous (and infamous) historical figures have got up to that never got recorded.
Billy the Kid Vs Dracula (1966)
Legendary actor John Carradine stars in this western where outlaw Billy has a confrontation with the prince of darkness. The film never says that John is actually Dracula, but going on the fact he has a cape and the title of the movie says so, you can put two and two together here. He takes a shine to Melinda Plowman and goes about wooing her to the undead side. Unfortunately for the count Melinda is already shacking up with Billy the Kid who does not take kindly to the intrusion. Heavy on romance and western elements rather than horror, this one is an acquired taste.
Jesse James Meets Frankenstein’s Daughter (1966)
Around the same time that Billy tussled with Dracula, another famous gunslinger was doing the rounds with a classic monster favorite. In fact both films regularly did the rounds as a double bill when it came to screenings. In this one Frankenstein’s daughter decides a trip to the Wild West is in order, and while she is there gets into some of the smae type of shenanigans that got her father in trouble. Replacing children’s brains with artificial slave brains is one such diabolical deed, but her main goal is to work her way up to adult brain surgery. The problem for her is she picks Jesse James gunslinger friend as her next experiment, and this leads to a confrontation between the two. Slightly more fun than the above mentioned movie, but man what a great double bill these two must have made back in the day!
Bonnie and Clyde vs Dracula (2008)
Bonnie and Clyde were notorious criminals who went on a spree of violence in the early 1930s, apparently also had time to meet the Lord of the Vampires himself Dracula. Bonnie and Clyde pull a heist and hightail it to a mansion to hideout. While all this is going on a Doctor by the name of Loveless manages to reanimate the count, and now said mansion is occupied by Dracula who is not too impressed by the duos intrusion. As fun and silly as the title suggests, but the colliding of these famous characters is a bit of disappointment as they stumble on each other almost as an after thought.
Abraham Lincoln Vs Zombies (2012)
So we all now know of Lincoln valiant efforts against the undead, but did you also know he managed to put time in to fight the walking dead too? This is the basis of Abraham Lincoln Vs Zombies. This time round Lincoln has troubles with the Civil War, but not in the way you think. Seems the Confederates will not stay dead and it is up to ole’ Abe to sort it all out. This is a cash in by the famous The Asylum company that specialize in giving us these cheap and cheerful copies of famous main stream movies
FDR American Badass (2012)
It seems like Lincoln was not the only present who had a secret life. Franklin D. Roosevelt never let being in a wheelchair cramp his style, nor does it seem it stopped him from kicking ass and taking names. The film follows Franklin’s rise to presidency, just with added Nazi Werewolves and rocket shooting wheelchairs. Barry Bostwick (who is fast becoming a legend of these low budget movies after his performance in the above mentioned Helen Keller and 2010 Moby Dick) chews the scenery to no end as the president in question, and the film itself is a laugh riot with its tongue stuck firmly in its cheek!
Marilyn: Zombie Hunter (2015)
Finally we have some poster art from the latest mashup movie coming this year. The tantalizingly titled Marilyn: Zombie Hunter has the famous actress putting down her scripts and picking up some fire power to take out the zombie menace!
With countless historical mashup books still coming out as we speak, I doubt the genre will ever be struggling for ideas. Who knows which teaming we shall see in the near future? Hopefully it will be just as bonkers as these offerings have been. Keep checking Grizzly Bomb in the next few weeks for a roundup of literature mashup movies.
Images: Church Hill Productions, Street Justice Films, Embassy Pictures, Big Atom Productions, Outpost Worldwide, The Asylum, A Common Thread, Street Justice Films.