Saturday, December 09, 2006

What's On the iPod? - Lady Frankenstein

When I was a kid, my hometown had a drive-in multiplex. TWO BIG SCREENS! They were designated Showtown East and Showtown West.

I think showtimes were earlier on the west screen because it had the sun at its back.

Maybe it was the other way around and there was some advantage at the East screen. That part's fuzzy.

In the bleak early '70s
In the early '70s, the twin Showtowns presented second run flicks like True Grit often paired with new releases such as A Gunfight with Johnny Cash, but it was also the venue for the usual Southern drive-in fodder that was still floating around.

Newspaper ads trumpted footage of real births or vampire double-features so horrifying some guy who saw them had to be institutionalized.

We also got TV ads for all that stuff while we watched I Dream of Jeannie re-runs in the afternoons. Did they think 10 year olds were going to the drive-in? And people worry about toy ads.

Portrait of a Lady
I can remember among those spots was Lady Frankenstein's ad campaign - really, I can -- slightly sinister, slightly sexy and slightly scary with her big, folically-challenged creation lumbering across the screen. Can't remember exactly what the announcer said but it was something to the effect of "She had the stones to create a monster!" I guess that's kinda in keeping with the films intended feminist take on the Frank story.

Never got to go see any of those darker flicks in those days. My dad liked Westerns, don't you know? But the promos were always good for my Famous Monsters of Filmland-driven imagination, perhaps more exciting than some of the films themselves.

Better 35 years late than never
Nonethless, I was excited to discover via Mondo Schlocko that Lady Frankenstein with Rosalba Neri, aka Sara Bey, is in the public domain and available at

If we can believe Wikipedia ;-), it's often compared to the Hammer Films Frankenstein cycle though lensed in Italy.

Back in the day I thought it was one of those becausee it had that costume-drama style. Also it stars Joseph Cotten who has a vaguely Hammer Films air about him. I didn't know who he was then but he looked vaguely like Peter Cushing.

I got the download MP4 of LF on my iPod now. I'll probably squeeze it in this weekend if I have to stand in many lines while Christmas shopping.


Charles Gramlich said...

Let us know if you think it's worthwhile. I watched "Van Helsing" last night and was fairly disappointed. I'm not sure why it didn't work for me. It seemed to have the elements but both Lana and I quickly got bored with it. For one thing, the fellow they had playing Dracula was terrible.

Sidney said...

Yeah, I didn't care for that "Dracula" either. "Van Helsing" had some cool elements, but I agree, it just didn't hang together well. I'll post something when I've finished Lady F.

Clifford said...

Van Helsing was a true disappointment...I did like a few of the special effects, but little else. Boring.

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