Bram Stoker gave us a gift in 1897. The gift was Dracula, a character very loosely based on the exploits of Vlad the Impaler, who was a dab hand at impaling people on spikes (yeah, he never got invited to many parties I’m guessing). From this one novel an industry was born, with films still being made today about ‘Count Alucard’ and actors such as Christopher Lee, Bela Lugosi and Gary Oldman all having a crack at the role of the world’s most famous vampire.
Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore —
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
“‘Tis some visiter,” I muttered, “tapping at my chamber door —
Only this and nothing more.”
This was the poem that started it all. In January of 1845, American writer Edgar Allan Poe published his narrative poem, The Raven. The physical embodiment of the Raven has remained an eerie manifestation referenced in writing, film, television, and comics ever since. For this reason, it deservingly sits at #16 on the Grizzly Bomb Countdown to Halloween.
White Zombie was produced in 1932. It stars horror legend Bela Lugosi as ‘Murder’ Legrande, an evil voodoo master. It is considered the first feature-length zombie film. And these are proper voodoo zombies, not the flesh-eating modern varieties – which aren’t really zombies at all.
The Black Cat (aka The House of Doom) is one of the Universal horror movies from the 1930’s, and stars two of the greatest names in horror: Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi. Unlike the more classic horror films that Universal made around this time – such as Dracula, Frankenstein, The Mummy and The Invisible Man – The Black Cat is much less known – even though it was Universal’s biggest hit in 1934.