Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Movie Monsters

One of my favorite books when I was young was Movie Monsters by Alan Ormsby. It was released by Scholastic in 1975 and features "A Ghoulery of Monster Greats", which are little bios on everybody's favorite monsters --

LON CHANEY -- Man of a Thousand Faces

The next section of the book is "How to Make a Monster", which includes make-up and recipes for monsters --


I remember my brother and I made this Brown Bag Frankenstein a couple of times. Unfortunately, we never saved them or took any pictures.

The last part of the book is "How to put On Monster Shows". It features the script for a short sketch that incorporates the Monster Recipes. It's called --


Frankenstein Meets Dracula and Mr. Skull in the House of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde...

We never attempted to do the show, but we used to make plans like we would.

You can read John Rozum's post about this book here.

Alan Ormsby on IMDb.

Alan Ormsby on Wikipedia. According to Wikipedia, Mr. Ormsby also created Hugo: Man of a Thousand Faces.One of my favorite toys when I was a young pup. Read a post I did about Hugo here.

Below is a mix based on the monsters in the books. It features the main title music and some trailers from the movies. A special thanks to Universal Horror Sounds. Some of these tracks originally appeared on his blog.

Track Listing

1. Man Of A Thousand Faces (1957) - Frank Skinner
2. The Phantom Of The Opera (1925) - Lee Erwin
3. The Wolfman (1941) - Hans J. Salter & Frank Skinner
4. Frankenstein (1931) - Giuseppe Becce & Bernhard Kaun
5. The Mummy (Trailer)
6. The Mummy (1932) - James Dietrich
7. King Kong (Trailer)
8. King Kong (1933) - Max Steiner
9. Dracula (1931) - Phippip Glass
10. Horror Of Dracula (Radio spot)
11. Horror Of Dracula (1958) - James Bernard
12. Dr. Jekyll And Mr. Hyde (1931)
13. The Bride Of Frankenstein (1935) - Franz Waxman
14. The Creature From The Black Lagoon (1954) - Hans J. Salter
15. Blacula (Radio Spot)
16. Blacula (The Stalkwalk) (1972) - Gene Page
17. Young Frankenstein (1974) - John Morris

Click the link below to download --

--> Movie Monsters <--


Anonymous said...

Wow! I had this book as a kid and it really started my whole love of costumes and monster make up. Me and my best friend would spend a lot of time in my Mom's vanity mirror making ourselves up. Now he's a very successful professional make up artist in Hollywood. It all started here.

Jon B. Knutson said...

Oh my god, I used to have that book, too... and had completely forgotten about it until seeing this post! Thanks for bringing back a cherished childhood memory (and good job keeping hold of that book through the years!).

megomuseum said...

When my daughter was born two years ago I got shoved into a waiting room for about a half hour during a possible complication.

THIS BOOK was in there, I kept wondering why and if I should steal it. I read it cover to cover and left it there. It was the last thing I expected to find in a hospital waiting room.

brian said...

A true classic from my childhood as well. I luckily still have mine (don't ask me how it survived my many readings) and I pull it out from time to time to reminisce. I knew about the author Ormsby as having a part in some of my all-time favourite films, but I never knew he was behind one of my very favourite toys. Very neat!

Erick Monsterama2000 said...

Anonymous - It's a great book, isn't it?

Jon - You're welcome. Childhood memories are good. Actually, this copy is a replacement I got from eBay. The original one lost it's cover some years ago.

Mego Museum - That is peculiar!

Brian - I was surprised by the Hugo connection also.

Karswell said...

I need to get this book NOW!

Anonymous said...

I had this book as a kid, too, and somehow I lost it in my teenage years. I was able to find a nice copy on eBay about four months ago when I remembered it - definitely worth purchasing again. The illustrations are really nicely done.

Anonymous said...

I bought this book back in 1975 from the Scholastic book program when I was in fifth grade and tried every monster either on myself or my brother and sister! I have pictures of me with the paper bag Frankenstein make-up for Halloween!

Back in the late 80's, I was working in a video store in Hawaii. Our store was located in an area where we had a lot of tourist, so we rented movies to them. Our policy was to input their info into the computer. One night I was renting videos to this fellow and when I put his name in the computer, it was "Alan Ormsby". I asked him if he wrote a book about make-up and he smiled and said yes!

It was GREAT to finally meet him. His female companion was a character actress of the 60's and 70's and I think they are married now. She played the Generals daughter on "I Dream Of Jeanie", where Maj. Nelson has to watch her over a weekend.

He was very nice and couldn't believe I had that book and remembered him! He showed me some of the movies he wrote and even gave me his address because I wanted the book signed. I never did send it too him, but I still have the book.

My Personal Thoughts said...

I owned a copy of "Movie Monsters" (loved it, wish I still had it!) . . . my mom helped with me with the Brown Bag Frankenstein and it WORKED FABULOUSLY!
NOW, I wish I had it for the Halloween thing we're doing in the office . . . GREAT costume tips!

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for posting this. I can't tell you how many times I read this book. I had another one as well that got into the mythology behind these monsters but, unfortunately, can't remember the name of it. I just linked to this post on my blog, www.kevinmillerxi.com, in a recent post called "10.5 hours in a makeup chair."

Kylie's Mom said...

Oh, you rule!!! I was so sad, I had told my son about how I made this Frankenstein mask as a kid, but of course the library doesn't carry this book anymore. I thought I would never find the instructions, and here they are!

This was one of my very favourite books as a kid, I had to fight the boys in my class for it. What great memories. We're going to make the mask today, I'm so excited.

Thanks again!

Anonymous said...

I too had this book as a child. My birthday is the day before Halloween, so every birthday party growing up was a Halloween party. A number of years ago I tracked down a copy. Thanks for the post and all of the replies! Another book I loved as a child was "The Secret Hide-out". Was a story of a secret club and had instruction for making masks, shields and spears. Took me a long time to locate a copy!

Keir said...

Thank you so much for sharing this- it brings back so many memories of when I was a kid; I can still remember trying to make the Frankenstein monster get-up from the pages you show here.

Anonymous said...

Man, we must all be long lost brothers from different mothers. I too was obsessed with this book back in the late seventies! Oh my god, how I poured over the pages of this book for hours on end. I remember making the paper Frankenstein and being so thrilled and proud of how it turned out. I too was in about the 5th grade when I made it (back in Palatine Illinois). My birthday is 3 days after Halloween so my parties were always Halloween related to! Coincidentally I was equally obsessed with Hugo and was thrilled when I got that for Christmas. I had no idea of the connection. Thank you so much for posting this! For years I've been trying to remember the name of this book and have spent hours online trying to track it down. Then, today, your post popped up and I gasped audibly when I saw those familiar illustrations! My wife acted like I had seen a ghost! I did! Thank you so much. I just ordered a used copy from Amazon. Can't wait to make these costumes with my kids.

Tom said...

Add me to the long list of those who loved this book as a child. Reading Megomuseum's comments (Brian to those in the know), I actually *did* steal this book. Not that I'm proud of that fact, but it was in my second grade classroom library and nobody else read it. I had to have it! Then it disappeared over the years (perhaps stolen from me in an act of equalizing karma). I found it once again years later on the internet. Not long ago, I found it in a pile of books my wife was about to donate. Women!

BM said...

Thanks so much for posting this!!!

I ordered this book from my school's in-house book program when I was in grade 5. It arrived about two weeks before Halloween and as soon as I saw the brown bag Frankenstein head, I had to make it. I remember it turned out really well (*thanks to my mom helping me out of course. Wish I'd taken a picture! Over the course of the following year I ended up trying most of the make-up suggestions.

I actually look every once in a while for this book on Ebay, still wish I had it now for my kids :)