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Famous Monsters of Filmland


theprojectionist
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Any horror fans out there who remember that great magazine from the '60's and '70's, Famous Monsters of Filmland? It was devoted mostly to the classic Universal monsters, but featured anything and everything from the genre. Sci-fi included. What I remember best were the colorful covers, with the blood dripping font, and the kitschy advertisements within: monster masks, life-size cardboard cutouts of Frankenstein's monster, Aurora monster models (they glow in the dark!). I was such a fan of the mag as a kid that I used to ride my bike 10 miles each way to buy that month's copy from the only newsstand that sold it in my hometown! (My mother wouldn't allow me to subscribe to it) My bedroom wall was covered from floor to ceiling with the black and white pictures I used to cut out after devouring it from cover to cover (which is why I failed to save any). From what I understand, there are several current filmmakers who also were likewise inspired by Forrest Akkerman's (the editor and chief) monthly macabre masterpiece; Peter Jackson and Tim Burton, for example.

Anyone else out there with fond memories of this publication?

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I read FMOF in the early 60s, even telling my neighborhood phrmacist to hold an issue for me so I wouldn't miss it. They were very enjoyable, and I learned a lot about sci-fi and horror movies. You can find the covers here:

http://www.mad-monsters.com/Magazines/Famous-Monsters/

 

And I probably had every Aurora monster model ever made.

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Thanks for that link to the covers. Several years ago, there was a more formal FAMOUS MONSTERS website but, after googling for it, I ended up reading something about lawsuits, Ackerman, theft, copyrights, blah blah blah. What a shame.

 

In looking at the Covers link, I am reminded that, for FM's first 15-20 years, they were celebrating films from the '20s to the '50s almost exclusively - from Lon Chaney Sr into Outer Limits' first seasons of monsters. Great stuff. Then, by the end of the '80s, they were stuck with Star Wars and ET.

 

I don't wish for the original covers. I DO wish for the original cover-art, though. Some fabulous paintings, there. Is Aurora even around any more? What a shame that those films are now so pass? that such models wouldn't be interesting to kids. The Knights series, too.

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Yes, excellent books featuring a host of artists that formed a backbone of Marvel & DC for a long time.

 

That incredible quality of inking - always in B&W - was so gorgeous in comparison to the color-comix of the day. And seeing those issues again, they still look incredible even against today's finest slicks.

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"Is Aurora even around any more?"

 

No, sadly, they are not. But, a company called POLAR LIGHTS recreated the original molds (which were destroyed) and now sells reproductions of many of the classic Aurora models from the sixties. At about $15 to $20 apiece (or more), they're a bit pricey, but I couldn't tell the difference between ones I built then and ones I've built now.

 

You can usually find them in hobby shops that sell model kits or advertised in the backs of some of the new crop of monster magazines such as SCARY MONSTERS.

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Joe and Night, thanks for all this info. I think it's a shame that models are so expensive that they're almost the sole domain of collectors - instead of us at Age 4 or 7 or 9. Same with Comic Books - their quality is top-notch but they're no longer the province of kids and their tootsie-roll pops. Not at $5 or $10 or more. Models at 50-cents and 79-cents let us buy a couple a week and assemble huge fleets or air forces, or give us a chance to experiment with Christmas lights inside Franky or **** Lagoon! (And after the glass-bulb 800-degree lights melted them, we could buy new ones the next week and learn NOT to use Christmas tree lights!)

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I had a friend who got "Famous Monsters of filmland." My mom wouldn't allow it in the house.

 

We preferred "The Monster times," which was printed on newsprint and folded. The problem we had with "Famous Monsters" was those lousy puns: Karloffornia, etc.

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