Monday, May 31, 2010

NOTD Scream Queen: Tiffany Shepis "Diana"

Tiffany Shepis (born September 11, 1979) is an American scream queen from New York City, who has been involved in film-making since the age of 12.

In 2004, she also had a memorable appearance in the independent comedy The Deviants as Marina the Nudist. Her most recent films include New Terminal Hotel, Dorm of the Dead, Bonnie and Clyde Meet Dracula, Basement Jack, Nightmare Man, and Chainsaw Cheerleaders, The Violent Kind.

When interviewed to magazines such as Femme Fatales and Sirens of Cinema about being a horror icon, she said she "loves blood and gore" in movies - but detests real life violence.

She got her start in Troma Entertainment's Tromeo and Juliet and has since acted in many other low-budget horror oriented B movies. Shepis will be seen as "Diana" in Adam Gierasch remake Night of the Demons as Diana, which is slated for a DVD Release on October 31, 2010. She stars in the Psychological thriller The Violent Kind, premiering at the Sundance Film Festival.

Shepis makes appearances in events such as New Jersey's Chiller Theatre Expo, where she makes a point to interact with her fans.

Shepis has appeared in numerous video clips of artists such as Lil' Zane, Wu-Tang Clan, The Offspring and Run-D.M.C. She also appeared in Destiny's Child's video clip of "Nasty Girl," but it was never released.

Nintendo filmed Shepis for a commercial for the game Conker's Bad Fur Day. However, her commercial was allegedly pulled for being too vulgar.

She has two chihuahuas, named Vlad the Impaler and Boris Karloff.

NOTD Scream Queen: Monica C. Keena "Maddie"

Monica C. Keena (born May 28, 1979) is an American actress, known for her roles as Abby Morgan on Dawson's Creek and Rachel Lindquist on the short-lived comedy Undeclared and her role as Lori Campbell in Freddy vs. Jason.

Keena is also to appear  in Adam Gierasch remake Night of the Demons as Maddie Curtis, which is slated for a DVD Release on October 31, 2010.

NOTD Scream Queen: Diora Baird "Lily"

Diora Baird (born April 6, 1983) is an American actress and former model for Guess? who has appeared in films such as Wedding Crashers (2005) and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning (2006). She plays "Lily" in the remake of Night of the Demons, which is slated for a DVD Release on October 31, 2010.

In 2004, Baird also started earning acting roles, such as a guest appearance on the Drew Carey Show and in the low-budget film Brain Blockers. Her breakthrough appearance in a major film was in Wedding Crashers in 2005, which she followed up with roles in Accepted and Hot Tamale. In 2006, she appeared in four films, most notably a major role in the horror prequel The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning. In 2009, Baird portrayed an Orion starfleet officer in Star Trek directed by J. J. Abrams but was cut from the final version of the film. However she can be seen in the deleted scenes of the home video release.

Baird had featured photo spreads in several magazines including Playboy, FHM, Stuff, Maxim (in which she was ranked #76 on the Maxim magazine Hot 100 of 2007 list and #64 on the Maxim magazine Hot 100 of 2008 list), Toro and Esquire (UK). One advantage in her modeling career seems to be her large natural breasts, which measure 32DD. She lent her voice to the Scarface video game as one of Tony Montana's possible girlfriends.

Baird has also guest-starred in episodes of Big Day, Shark, The Loop, and Two and a Half Men (the 2009 episode "She'll Still Be Dead At Halftime"). She is to star in the movie 30 Days of Night: Dark Days, directed by Ben Ketai, who is produced from Columbia Pictures and Ghost House Pictures Baird stars also in the FEARnet webseries Tea Party Massacre, which is part of the series Women in Horror Month. She also starred in the 2009 comedy Stan Helsing.

NOTD Scream Queen: Bobbi Sue Luther "Suzanne"

Bobbi Sue Luther (born 27 August 1978 in Annapolis, Maryland) is a model and host of TLC's Junkyard Mega Wars.

Luther played an Orion Slave Girl on Star Trek: Enterprise, She also played a newsreader on Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo. In March 2007, Bobbi Sue Luther was named the new face of St. Pauli Girl beer. She was also in Season Five Episode Six 'The Smoking Jacket' of Curb Your Enthusiasm as a Playboy girl, and appeared in Season 2, Episode 5 titled 'Goodbye to That' of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles. She is also the spokes girl for LYNX BODY SPRAY, a brand that is called the Bond Film of Advertising.

Bobbi just finished filming 3 feature films already in 2006 and is slated to begin filming of a 4th at the end of May. Of those films, Killer Pad directed by Robert Englund is proving to become a comedy hit as well as Parental Guidance Suggested, where Bobbi costars beside Frankie Muniz, Ryan Pinkston, Matthew Lillard and Jamie Kennedy. She also plays a protagonist in the 2009 film Laid To Rest. Luther will be seen in the Adam Gierasch remake of Night of the Demons as "Suzanne" Reed, which is slated for a DVD Release on October 31, 2010.

Also she has been in numerous things such as Maxim, Playboy, Stuff Magazine, FHM magazine for almost every country in the world, Loaded Magazine (UK), Nuts, Zoo, as well as GQ, Splat, Ocean Drive, Celebrity Car, and Seventeen Magazine -- not to mention the covers of magazines like Max Muscle, Iron Man, Star trek magazine, Player, Beverly Hills 213 and Steppin' Out Magazine, and many more.

NOTD Scream Queen: Shannon Elizabeth "Angela"

Shannon Elizabeth (born September 7, 1973) is an American actress and former fashion model. Elizabeth came to prominence in the 1999 comedy film American Pie. She plays "Angela" in the Adam Gierasch remake of Night of the Demons, which is slated for a DVD Release on October 31, 2010.

Elizabeth appeared in several films, including the horror film Jack Frost and Dish Dogs, before being cast in 1999's American Pie. Pie was a major box office success, and achieved cult status for her nude bedroom scene in the movie. Elizabeth subsequently appeared in several Hollywood films, including Scary Movie, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, and Tomcats. Elizabeth starred in the UPN series Cuts until the show was canceled in May 2006. Cuts and its parent show, One on One, were two of the many shows not to be picked up by The CW. Elizabeth appeared in That 70's Show for a number of episodes.

 In August 1999, she posed for a nude pictorial in Playboy. In 2000 and 2003, she was featured in Maxim. In June 2008 she was Maxim's cover girl.

She provided the likeness and voice for Serena St. Germaine in the 2004 video game, James Bond 007: Everything or Nothing.

Elizabeth describes poker as her "second career" and has been called "one of the leading celebrity poker players." She visits Las Vegas up to three times each month to participate in poker games with the top players of the United States. Elizabeth played in the Main Event of the 2005 World Series of Poker and won a special tournament celebrating the opening of a new poker room at Caesars Palace hotel in January 2006, beating out 83 celebrities and poker professionals to win $55,000. She has also cashed four times in the World Series of Poker in 2006 and 2007, but again busted out of the Main Event early. In 2007, she advanced to the semi-finals of the NBC National Heads-Up Poker Championship in a field consisting of the top poker professionals before losing to eventual champion Paul Wasicka. Among the four opponents she defeated were three World Series of Poker multiple bracelet winners: Jeff Madsen, Barry Greenstein, and Humberto Brenes.

Night of the Demons (2009) - the Remake

Night of the Demons is a 2009 American remake of the 1988 film of the same name. It is written by Jace Anderson and director Adam Gierasch. The DVD release is set for October 31, 2010.


Angela Feld is throwing the Halloween party to end all Halloween parties at the infamous Broussard Mansion in New Orleans, where dark events transpired almost a century ago. But when the packed party gets busted by the police, Angela and her friends are the only ones left behind. Soon the Teens make a grisly discovery in the basement and inexplicable events start to take place. With the mansion gates mysteriously locked, the Teens find themselves trapped for the night...and soon they're fighting ancient flesh-eating demons for their very souls."


Edward Furlong as Colin Levy[4]
Shannon Elizabeth as Angela Feld[5]
Monica Keena as Maddie Curtis[6]
Diora Baird as Lily Thompson[7]
Bobbi Sue Luther as Suzanne Reed[8]
John F. Beach as Jason Rogers[9]
Michael Copon as Dex Trilby[10]
Tiffany Shepis as Diana[11]
Linnea Quigley as Ballerina Woman


Production took place in New Orleans in October of 2008. There are several differences between the original and the remake, with the most notable being the change in location as well as an updated plot. Linnea Quigley, who starred in the original film as Suzanne has a cameo in this film. The special effects and FX effects[12] was created by Rob Walker of Drac Studios.[13]


Bands such as 45 Grave, Concrete Blonde, Goatwhore, Psycho Charger, TSOL, Type O Negative, Zombie Girl, The Ghastly Ones, Haunted Garage, Wednesday 13, and Death Riders have all been so far confirmed to contribute to the soundtrack.[14] 45 Grave will be creating an original song for the soundtrack.[15]


The film is slated for a theatrical release late summer or sometime in the fall of 2010, despite original plans to have it released in October 2009. The film did, however, premiere at the London FrightFest Film Festival in August 2009 where it was a well received audience favorite.


Reception for the film has been positive for the most part, with Bloody Disgusting giving a good review of the film, saying "This film isn't your typical by-the-numbers rehash, Adam Gierasch throws in some nice directorial touches including a sepia-toned silent movie style opening flashback and a fast-paced in your face punk rock attitude that helps the film rise above many of today's remakes."[16] Dread Central's review was a bit mixed, giving the review 3 1/2 blades out of 5, saying "It’s brash, loud and sexy, but a few too obvious flaws unfortunately knock the film down a peg. In the end it’s still a fun ride and certainly worth a watch on an evening when you’d rather disengage the brain and sink a few drinks than deal with anything more cerebral."[17] Another reviewer on ZombieCommand said that the film "achieved exactly what Geirasch set out to do and was very entertaining to boot" and was a "good teen scary movie".[18] Fright Fest director and founder stated that the audience response in general was noted to be positive for the film.[19]


1.^ 'Night of the Demons' Director Talks Remakes
2.^ Frightfest UK Review: 'Night of the Demons'!
3.^ Early Synopsis For 'Night of the Demons' Remake
4.^ It's Party Time! First 'Night of the Demons' Images
5.^ A New Look at Angela from 'Night of the Demons'
6.^ 'Night of the Demons' Remake Gets October Theatrical Run
7.^ 'Night of the Demons' Soundtrack to ROCK, New Hi-Res Pic!
8.^ Super Sexy Hot Chicks in New 'Night of the Demons' Stills!
9.^ Official Sales Art For 'Night of the Demons' Remake
10.^ Creepy Pic From 'Night of the Demons' Remake!
11.^ 'Night of the Demons' Begins Production, Check Out the House!
12.^ Drac Studios Louisiana Announces Its First Project
13.^ [ FX House Drac Studios to Produce Horror, Begins with 'Dead in the Water'
16.^| Bloody Disgusting's review of Night of the Demons

Deathday: William Castle 1914-1977 Producer 'The House on Haunted Hill"

William Castle (April 24, 1914 – May 31, 1977) was an American film director, producer, and actor.


William Schloss was born in New York City to a Jewish family. Schloss means "castle" in German, and Castle probably chose to translate his surname into English to avoid the discrimination often encountered by Jewish entertainers of his time. He spent most of his teenage years working on Broadway in a number of jobs ranging from set building to acting. This put him in a good stead to become a director, and he left for Hollywood at the age of 23, going on to direct his first film 6 years later. He also worked an as assistant to director Orson Welles, doing much of the second unit location work for Welles' noir classic, The Lady from Shanghai.

Castle was famous for directing films with many gimmicks which were ambitiously promoted, despite being reasonably low budget B-movies. Five of these were scripted by adventure novelist Robb White. Recently, two of his films have been remade, House on Haunted Hill in 1999, and Thirteen Ghosts in 2001 (the latter retitled Thir13en Ghosts).

He also produced, and had a brief non-speaking role in, Roman Polanski's film Rosemary's Baby (1968). Castle is the grey-haired man lurking outside the phone booth while Mia Farrow is attempting to get in touch with the obstetrician. According to the documentary featured on the film's DVD release, Castle had wanted to direct the film as well, but the studio insisted on hiring another director due to the reputation Castle had gained through his previous work. They felt that the novel deserved a better treatment than Castle was able to give it.

After a long career, William Castle died in Los Angeles, California, of a heart attack.[1] He is interred in the Forest Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery in Glendale, California.

A documentary focusing on Castle's life, Spine Tingler! The William Castle Story, directed by Jeffrey Schwarz, had its premiere at AFI FEST 2007 in Los Angeles on November 8, 2007.[2] It won the Audience Award for Best Documentary.

Castle's gimmicks

Macabre (1958): A certificate for a $1,000 life insurance policy from Lloyd's of London was given to each customer in case he/she should die of fright during the film. Showings also had fake nurses stationed in the lobbies and hearses parked outside the theater.[3]

House on Haunted Hill (1959): Filmed in "Emergo". An inflatable glow in the dark skeleton attached to a wire floated over the audience during the final moments of some showings of the film to parallel the action on the screen when a skeleton arose from a vat of acid and pursued the villainous wife of Vincent Price.[4] The gimmick did not always instill fright; sometimes the skeleton became a target for some audience members who hurled candy boxes, soda cups or any other objects at hand at the skeleton.[5]

The Tingler (1959): Filmed in "Percepto." In the film a docile creature that lives in the spinal cord is activated by fright, and can only be destroyed by screaming. In the film's finale one of the creatures removed from the spine of a mute woman killed by it when she was unable to scream is let loose in a movie theatre. Some seats in theatres showing the Tingler were equipped with larger versions of the hand-held joy buzzers attached to the underside of the seats. When the Tingler in the film attacked the audience the buzzers were activated as a voice encouraged the real audience to "Scream - scream for your lives."[6] Articles regarding this often incorrectly state the seats in the theatre were wired to give electrical jolts.

13 Ghosts (1960): Filmed in "Illusion-O". A hand held ghost viewer/remover with strips of red and blue cellophane was given out to use during certain segments of the film. By looking through either the red or blue cellophane the audience was able to either see or remove the ghosts if they were too frightening.[7]

Homicidal (1961): This film contained a "Fright break" with a 45 second timer overlaid over the film's climax as the heroine approached a house harboring a sadistic killer. A voiceover advised the audience of the time remaining in which they could leave the theatre and receive a full refund if they were too frightened to see the remainder of the film. To ensure the more wily patrons did not simply stay for a second showing and leave during the finale Castle had different color tickets printed for each show.[8] In a trailer for the film, Castle explained the use of the Coward's Certificate and admonished the viewer to not reveal the ending of the film to friends, "or they will kill you. If they don't, I will."[9] About 1% of patrons still demanded refunds, and in response:

"William Castle simply went nuts. He came up with 'Coward's Corner,' a yellow cardboard booth, manned by a bewildered theater employee in the lobby. When the Fright Break was announced, and you found that you couldn't take it anymore, you had to leave your seat and, in front of the entire audience, follow yellow footsteps up the aisle, bathed in a yellow light. Before you reached Coward's Corner, you crossed yellow lines with the stenciled message: 'Cowards Keep Walking.' You passed a nurse (in a yellow uniform?...I wonder), who would offer a blood-pressure test. All the while a recording was blaring, "'Watch the chicken! Watch him shiver in Coward's Corner'!" As the audience howled, you had to go through one final indignity -- at Coward's Corner you were forced to sign a yellow card stating, 'I am a bona fide coward.' Very, very few were masochistic enough to endure this. The one percent refund dribbled away to a zero percent, and I'm sure that in many cities a plant had to be paid to go through this torture. No wonder theater owners balked at booking a William Castle film. It was all just too damn complicated."[10]

Mr. Sardonicus (1961): In this gothic tale set in 1880 London a baron's face is frozen into a permanent grotesque hideous smile after digging up his father's grave to retrieve a lottery ticket left in the pocket of his father's jacket. The audiences were allowed to vote in a "punishment poll" during the climax of the film - Castle himself appears on screen to explain to the audience their options. Each member of the audience was given a card with a glow in the dark thumb they could hold either up or down to decide if Mr. Sardonicus would be cured or die during the end of the film. Supposedly, no audience ever offered mercy so the alternate ending was never screened.[11]

Zotz! (1962): Each patron was given a "Magic" (gold colored plastic) coin which, of course, did absolutely nothing.[12]

13 Frightened Girls (1963): Castle launched a worldwide hunt for the prettiest girls from 13 different countries to cast in the film.[11]

Strait-Jacket (1964): Joan Crawford. Advised by his financial backers to eliminate gimmicks, Castle hired Crawford to star and sent her on a promotional tour to theatres. At the last minute, Castle had cardboard axes made and handed out to patrons.[11]

I Saw What You Did (1965): The film was initially promoted using giant plastic telephones but after a rash of prank phone calls and complaints, the telephone company refused Castle permission to use them or mention telephones. So he turned the back rows of theatres into "Shock Sections". Seat belts were installed to keep patrons from being jolted from their chairs in fright.[13]

Bug (1975): Castle advertised a million-dollar life insurance policy taken out on the film's star, "Hercules" the cockroach.[14]


Bug (1975, writer/producer)

Shanks (1974)

Rosemary's Baby (1968, producer only)

Project X (1968)

The Spirit Is Willing (1967)

The Busy Body (1967)

Let's Kill Uncle (1966)

I Saw What You Did (1965)

Night Walker (1964)

Strait-Jacket (1964)

The Old Dark House (1963)

13 Frightened Girls (1963)

Zotz! (1962)

Mr. Sardonicus (1961)

Homicidal (1961)

13 Ghosts (1960)

The Tingler (1959)

House on Haunted Hill (1959)

Macabre (1958)

Uranium Boom (1956)

The Houston Story (1956)

Duel on the Mississippi (1955)

The Gun That Won the West (1955)

New Orleans Uncensored (1955)

The Americano (1955)

Masterson of Kansas (1954)

The Law vs. Billy the Kid (1954)

The Saracen Blade (1954)

The Iron Glove (1954)

Drums of Tahiti (3-D) (1954)

Jesse James vs. the Daltons (3-D) (1954)

The Battle of Rogue River (1954)

Charge of the Lancers (1954)

Slaves of Babylon (1953)

Conquest of Cochise (1953)

Serpent of the Nile (1953)

Fort Ti (3-D) (1953)

Cave of Outlaws (1951)

Hollywood Story (1951)

The Fat Man (1951)

It's a Small World (1950)

Undertow (1949)

Johnny Stool Pigeon (1949)

The Gentleman from Nowhere (1948)

Texas, Brooklyn and Heaven (1948)

Crime Doctor's Gamble (1947)

Crime Doctor's Man Hunt (1946)

The Return of Rusty (1946)

Mysterious Intruder (1946)

Just Before Dawn (1946)

Voice of the Whistler (1945)

Crime Doctor's Warning (1945)

The Mark of the Whistler (1944)

When Strangers Marry (1944)

She's a Soldier Too (1944)

The Whistler (1944)

Klondike Kate (1943)

The Chance of a Lifetime (1943)


1.^ "William Castle, 63, Movie Producer. Career Modeled on P.T. Barnum, Made Millions on Shockers Like 'Rosemary's Baby'." New York Times. June 2, 1977. "William Castle, who made millions producing and directing films that horrified audiences and often left critics muttering about poor taste, suffered a heart attack at his home in Beverly Hills, Calif., Tuesday night and died at the University of California at Los Angeles Medical Center. He was 63 years old."
2.^ Spine Tingler! The William Castle Story at the Internet Movie Database
3.^ Waters, pp. 15–6
4.^ Waters, p. 16
5.^ "House on Haunted Hill plot synopsis."
6.^ Waters, p. 17
7.^ Waters, p. 18
8.^ Waters, pp. 18–9
9.^ Castle, William. (1999). House on Haunted Hill special features - theatrical trailer. [DVD].
10.^ Waters, p. 19
11.^ Waters, p.20
12.^ Castle, p. 178
13.^ Waters, p. 21
14.^ Castle, p. 255


Castle, William, with introduction by John Waters (1976, republished 1992). Step Right Up! I'm Gonna Scare the Pants Off America: Memoirs of a B-Movie Mogul. New York, Putnam. ISBN 0886876575 (Pharos edition 1992).

Waters, John (1983). Crackpot: The Obsessions of John Waters. New York, Macmillan Publishing Company. Chapter 2, "Whatever Happened to Showmanship?" was originally published in American Film December 1983 in a slightly different form.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Linnea Quigley's Perfumes RABID & SUMMER OF SIN

Linnea Quigley’s RABID: Linnea Quigley’s Rabid features an intriguing blend of mosses, graveyard dirt, smokey funereal resins, skeletal apple trees, and the essence of the night sky.

Linnea Quigley's SUMMER OF SIN: Welcome to your Summer of Sin. A sultry summer potion ~ erotic, buttery oils, cool tropical fruit, and sizzling heat.


Deathday: Christopher Marlowe 1564-1593 English Dramatist

Christopher Marlowe (c. 26 February 1564 – 30 May 1593) was an English dramatist, poet and translator of the Elizabethan era. As the foremost Elizabethan tragedian, next to William Shakespeare, he is known for his blank verse, his overreaching protagonists, and his mysterious death.

A warrant was issued for Marlowe's arrest on 18 May 1593. No reason for it was given, though it was thought to be connected to allegations of blasphemy—a manuscript believed to have been written by Marlowe was said to contain "vile heretical conceipts." He was brought before the Privy Council for questioning on 20 May, after which he had to report to them daily. Ten days later, he was stabbed to death by Ingram Frizer. Whether the stabbing was connected to his arrest has never been resolved.

As with other writers of the period, little is known about Marlowe. What little evidence there is can be found in legal records and other official documents. This has not stopped writers of both fiction and non-fiction from speculating about his activities and character. Marlowe has often been described as a spy, a brawler, a heretic and a homosexual, as well as a "magician," "duellist," "tobacco-user," "counterfeiter" and "rakehell." The evidence for most of these claims is slight. The bare facts of Marlowe's life have been embellished by many writers into colourful, and often fanciful, narratives of the Elizabethan underworld. However, J.B. Steane remarked, "it seems absurd to dismiss all of these Elizabethan rumours and accusations as 'the Marlowe myth.'"



Dido, Queen of Carthage (c.1586) (possibly co-written with Thomas Nashe)
Tamburlaine, part 1 (c.1587)
Tamburlaine, part 2 (c.1587-1588)
The Jew of Malta (c.1589)
Doctor Faustus (c.1589, or, c.1593)
Edward II (c.1592)
The Massacre at Paris (c.1593)
The play Lust's Dominion was attributed to Marlowe upon its initial publication in 1657, though scholars and critics have almost unanimously rejected the attribution.


Translation of Book One of Lucan's Pharsalia (date unknown)
Translation of Ovid's Elegies (c. 1580s?)
The Passionate Shepherd to His Love (pre-1593; because it is constantly referred to in his own plays we can presume an early date of mid-1580s)
Hero and Leander (c. 1593, unfinished; completed by George Chapman, 1598)

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Post Mortem, America 2021 (2010)

Post Mortem, America 2021 (2010) is set to be released on Halloween 2010.

Directed by

Cameron Scott

Written by

Cameron Scott


Linnea Quigley ... Lucille
Jim O'Rear ... Severin
Sarah Swofford ... Jesse
Monique Dupree ... Rose
Melanie Robel ... Rattlesnake Sally
Nicola Fiore ... Beth
BeBe Bellamont ... Cynthia
April Monique Burril ... Bee
Jessica Cameron ... Maggie
Larry Laverty ... Ray
Michelle Shields ... Suze
Dennis Lamka ... Django
Isabelle Stephen ... April
Kimberly L. Cole ... Gail
Joel D. Wynkoop ... Bartender
Lloyd Kaufman ... Drunk Bum
Ernest Gentz ... Monk
Robert Jefferson Jr. ... Creep #3
Josh Harms ... Zombie
Kimberly Snapp ... Zombie
Christopher Brandon ... Zombie
Elise Davis ... Zombie
Howard Cooper ... Zombie
Ronee Luttringer ... Zombie
Daniel Krueger ... Zombie
Michel Keck ... Zombie
Michael Krueger ... Zombie
Dakota Meyer ... Zombie
Shannon Feaster ... Zombie
Pandora Potter ... Little Girl Zombie
Carole Stueben ... Zombie
Andrew Saxsma ... Zombie
Eric Phillips ... Zombie
Mary L. Krueger ... Zombie
Alec Chase ... Zombie
Christina Davis ... Zombie
Susan Denny ... Zombie
Kreed Gentz ... Zombie
Megan Halcom ... Zombie
Tanna Kyburz ... Zombie
Chris Morgin ... Zombie
David Ponton ... Zombie
Dawn Stahura ... Zombie

Deathday: James Whale 1889-1957 Father of Frankenstein

James Whale (22 July 1889 – 29 May 1957) was a British film director, theatre director and actor. He is best remembered for his work in the horror film genre, having directed Frankenstein (1931), The Old Dark House (1932), The Invisible Man (1933) and Bride of Frankenstein (1935), all recognized as classics of the genre. Whale directed over a dozen films in other genres, including what is considered the definitive film version of the musical Show Boat (1936). He became increasingly disenchanted with his association with horror, but many of his non-horror films have fallen into obscurity.

Born into a large family in Dudley, England, Whale early discovered his artistic talent and studied art. With the outbreak of World War I, Whale enlisted in the British Army and became an officer. He was captured by the Germans and during his time as a prisoner of war he realized he was interested in drama. Following his release at the end of the war he became an actor, set designer and director. His success directing the 1928 play Journey's End led to his move to the United States, first to direct the play on Broadway and then to Hollywood to direct motion pictures. Whale lived in Hollywood for the rest of his life, most of that time with his longtime companion, producer David Lewis. Including Journey's End (1930), Whale directed a dozen films for Universal Studios between 1930 and 1936 (his uncredited work on the war epic Hell's Angels having been done for United Artists), developing a style characterized by the influence of German Expressionism and a highly mobile camera.

At the height of his popularity as a director, Whale directed The Road Back, a sequel to All Quiet on the Western Front, in 1937. Studio interference, possibly spurred by political pressure from Nazi Germany, led to the film's being altered from Whale's vision and The Road Back was a critical and commercial failure. A string of commercial failures followed and, while Whale would make one final short film in 1950, by 1941 his film directing career was over. Whale continued to direct for the stage and also rediscovered his love for painting and travel. His investments made him wealthy and he lived a comfortable retirement until suffering strokes in 1956 that robbed him of his vigor and left him in pain. Whale committed suicide on 29 May 1957 by drowning himself in his backyard swimming pool.

Whale was openly gay throughout his career, something that was very unusual in the 1920s and 1930s. As knowledge of his sexual orientation has become more common, some of his films, Bride of Frankenstein in particular, have been interpreted as having a gay subtext and it has been claimed that Whale's refusal to remain in the closet led to the end of his career. However, Whale's associates dismiss the notions that Whale's sexuality informed his work or that it cost him his career.

James Whale's Brentwood Suicide Home
James Whale's Brentwood Home

Whale suffered from mood swings and grew increasingly and frustratingly more dependent on others and his mental faculties were diminishing.[85] Whale committed suicide by drowning himself in his swimming pool on 29 May 1957 at the age of 67.[86] He left a suicide note, which Lewis withheld until shortly before his own death decades later. Because the note was suppressed, the death was initially ruled accidental.[87] The note read in part:


"Do not grieve for me. My nerves are all shot and for the last year I have been in agony day and night—except when I sleep with sleeping pills—and any peace I have by day is when I am drugged by pills.

"I have had a wonderful life but it is over and my nerves get worse and I am afraid they will have to take me away. So please forgive me, all those I love and may God forgive me too, but I cannot bear the agony and it [is] best for everyone this way.

"The future is just old age and illness and pain. Goodbye and thank you for all your love. I must have peace and this is the only way.


James Whale's Brentwood Suicide HomeWhale was cremated per his request and his ashes were interred in the Columbarium of Memory at Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Glendale. Because of Whale's habit of periodically revising his date of birth, his niche lists the incorrect date of 1893.[88] When his longtime companion David Lewis died in 1987, his executor and Whale biographer James Curtis had his ashes interred in a niche across from Whale's.[89]