- Released: October 8, 2002
- Label: Image Entertainment
Description by OLDIES.com:
We hope you are not alone as you listen to these words we bring to you (at considerable risk) directly from the source. Here, revealed for the first time, is proof of the terrifying powers and dangers posed by the monsters in our midst! You may want to keep all the lights on in the house, or perhaps you are more daring and will listen by candlelight. Whatever you do, lock your doors! That may help at least to make you feel safer....
Children of certain generations drooled over the pages of advertisements for monster-related merchandise in the back pages of the magazine Famous Monsters of Filmland. Since a great percentage of the magazine's profit came from these ads, one can assume many of said items were actually purchased, although only a few people might actually admit to having been a customer. This album was one of several phonograph records available by mail order from Famous Monsters, the others including the soundtracks to War of the Worlds and Psycho. Memories dimmed by the haze of monster magazine collections slowly corroding do insist that this Famous Monsters Speak was available in the '60s as well, and when the magazine's franchise was picked up again in the '90s, a compact-disc version of the same recording was once again for sale. So what is this, anyway? It isn't a complete rip-off, as official permission must have been granted by Universal studios to use the copyrighted images of Frankestein and Dracula. And, as was par for the course anytime after the '40s, the appearance of just one of these monsters wasn't enough for the salivating monster lover, and so there are cameos from The Creature From the Black Lagoon, sometimes known as The Creature or Blacky Lagoon; The Wolfman; and the slow-moving Mummy. This is not one of the many fine recordings made by actors associated with vintage horror films, such as Boris Karloff, Vincent Price, or Basil Rathbone, which were also distributed through Famous Monsters and certainly represented the most cultured material available from their mail order department. Gabriel Dell, a character actor mostly known for doing voices in Huckleberry Hound-era cartoons, takes on the whole fiendish cast of characters and does an admirable job, aided by a whole series of sound effects that border on the chintzy, as they should. The recording is supposed to be the result of a live press conference in which Dr. Victor Frankenstein -- the real Frankenstein, as every monster lover worth their fangs knows the dude with the bolts in his neck is really named The Monster -- announces to the entire world that the story of his monster is actually true. Furthermore, rare recordings actually exist of the monster speaking, which fans of the Universal films will remember he only really did in the classic Bride of Frankenstein. In that film, the monster really didn't have much to say, either, although in his choice of the words "smoke," "friend," "food," and "wine" he did manage to nail just about all the important words in the English language. On this album, the monster is much more chatty, groaning and pontificating about his ordeals in life as if he was a film noir character strapped to an operating table. Dell's vampire won't make anyone forget Bela Lugosi, but for the purposes of this production he does perfectly alright, even injecting a bit of menace into the grooves. What does a reviewer compare an album such as this to, anyway? It is simultaneously horrible but more interesting to listen to than anything recorded by the Grateful Dead, who are mentioned here because the band's name definitely reflects the monster's point of view, in the end. ~ Eugene Chadbourne
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famous monsters speak
Music Lover: steve cannon
-- October, 12, 2013
this is great fun to have and well done by gabriel dell who became a semi-regular on steve allen's various shows as "the count" the one thing the reviewer failed to recall was that this very capable character actor,and voice over talent, was infact one of the original "dead end" kids he was in the film "dead end" with joel mcrae,and humphrey bogart he may have been on broadway in the same piece, and he reappeared in the subsequent films at warner brothers,as well as the "east side kids" movies but but the time they all became "the bowery boys" he was long gone.check the cast lists of "angels with dirty faces","angels wash their faces" and even may have been in "they made me a criminal" with john garfield as one of the "dead end kids" i just saw him last week on "the fugitive" reruns on metv.the cd is great fun on this october scarefest or anytime.
- Sales Rank: 4,025
- UPC: 014381138122
- Shipping Weight: 0.25/lbs (approx)
- International Shipping: 1 item