Monday, August 27, 2018

NEWS FLASH: “Terror of the Wolfman” Unearthed!

Yes, campers!  This Earth-shattering movie was excavated from its Super-8 cartridge, developed, and unleashed to the Interwebs!

You can see the script and learn about its development in this post from October, 2015, on the Super Blog.

This mangy opus was concocted in Fall of 1973.

Your Cast:
Markus Alfredio

David Rush as The Burgomeister (Mad Scientist)

Above is a clearer photo of our movie maestro.


Bill Hughes as "Igor" and the Sheriff

Tony Greenway as the Lonesome Lover

Cathy Richardson as the Doomed Beauty

 You can tell the film’s blazing 1970s topicality by reading the “Sound by” credit.

And, yes, the Technical Advisor’s name is a deliberate portmanteau of Marvel’s Stan Lee with the director Stanley Kubrick.

As our story opens, David Rush as the Mad Scientist/Burgomeister is performing a delicate experiment.  The secret formula will, in fact, lead to *gasp* several deaths.

It’s deliberate that David resembles Groucho Marx.  (That’s a greasepaint moustache.)

The Mad Scientist’s lab was set in my parents’ garage, complete with a Visible Man model and my big brother’s chemical set.

Cued by his hunchbacked assistant—played by Bill Hughes (seen again later)—, the Mad Scientist welcomes his gawky guinea pig.

Yep, yours truly.  I looked like this in the senior photo taken later, in fall of this year:
By the way, that chapeau atop my dome was purchased at the OSU (OK State University) bookstore. 

It’s bright orange.  I had worn the thing previously in our church’s presentation of Godspell, in November, 1972.

Our sucker subject has come to the Doctor because of a bad headache.  A perfect prospect for the Doctor’s formula!
Yes, that’s a 7Up Uncola glass I’m quaffing from.  A better view:
And now, after some amateur stop-motion hand-hair-growing, a full reveal of the monstrous transformation!
Wait a minute!  That’s no wolfman!
Nope, for some reason we didn’t use a werewolf face ... we used a thin rubber skull mask, augmented by a glued-on beard and my glasses, crowned by the OSU derby.

When the “wolfman” makes a pass at the astounded Doctor, the scientist tries to ward the creature off with some scissors.
This line refers to the creature’s originally intended hirsute state.
And, of course, the “little snip” business is another Marxist reference, to the infamous barber scene from Monkey Business, when a moustache trim ends in a tiny Hitlerian bristle.

You may notice that the transformed monster (that’s me) doesn’t do a lot of damage to the laboratory.  Director David Rush explains:  “One memory is, I recall Bill [Hughes] and I wanted you to be more violent once you turned into the monster but for some reason you didn't want to wreck your parents’ garage.  We compromised with your energetic kick of the plastic bottles under the table.”

After the “wolfman” escapes, he participates in another film homage, this time to the sequence in 1931’s Frankenstein
Of course, our scene was more rudely hewn.  And, I’ll have you know, Terror of the Wolfman parodied Frankenstein a FULL YEAR before Gene Wilder and Mel Brooks did it in Young Frankenstein!  So there!
By the way, Kathy our mermaid was a swell sport.

The Lonesome Lover seeking his lost mate.

After this foul deed, our “wolfman” runs away, and directly past Bill Hughes, our sheriff with a rifle.  Talk about Instant News!  No sooner does the fiend leave the maiden’s body behind ... than it’s front-page news on the newspaper the same day!

EXTRA SPECIAL UPDATE: We are now able to pinpoint the shooting of the movie (or at least the newspaper scene).  The Headline "Nixon Believes Field Unlimited, Sources Report" undoubtedly is from May, 1973.  Nixon's 2nd Attorney General, Richard Kleindienst, resigned on April 30, 1973.  Then-Secretary of Defense Elliott Richardson was tapped for the AG slot at the end of May, 1973.  This newspaper (thus the scene) came from that interregnum of AGs.

Strangely enough, the “wolfman” clambers into his home and becomes mysteriously delivered of his affliction.  Maybe the eldritch draught wore off?

Never mind, because he’s been tracked down and will pay the price for his dirty deeds.  You can also get a good glimpse of Sheriff Bill Hughes.

And so our tragic tale doth end ...

Insane amounts of gratitude are due to David Rush.  His blog may be found here:

He developed the film and edited it.  As far as the dubbed music soundtrack, he writes, “For the record I lifted the music from these sources:  DVD of F.W. Murnau’s Nosferatu – DVD of The Third Man, directed by Carol Reed with Joseph Cotton and Orson Welles – Marx Brothers music found somewhere on the Internet.”

And now you, my friends, may view Terror of the Wolfman!

 That's all, my friends, until the beginning of October.  Come back on Monday, October 1st, for BLOG-O-WEEN!

All original content
© by Mark Alfred