The blog of author Dennis Cooper

Lon Chaney Jr. Day

 

‘Creighton Tull Chaney was born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, the son of silent film star Lon Chaney and Frances Cleveland Creighton Chaney, a singing stage performer who traveled in road shows across the country with Creighton. His parents’ troubled marriage ended in divorce in 1913 following his mother’s scandalous public suicide attempt in Los Angeles. Young Creighton lived in various homes and boarding schools until 1916, when his father (now employed in films) married Hazel Hastings and could provide a stable home. Many articles and biographies over the years report that Creighton was led to believe his mother had died while he was a boy, and was only made aware she lived after his father’s death in 1930. Lon always maintained he had a tough childhood.

‘From an early age, he worked hard to get out of his famous father’s shadow. In young adulthood, his father discouraged him from show business, and he attended business college and became successful in a Los Angeles appliance corporation.

‘It was only after his father’s death that Chaney started acting in movies, beginning with an uncredited role in the 1932 film Girl Crazy. He appeared in films under his real name until 1935, when he began to be billed as “Lon Chaney, Jr.” (and would appear as “Lon Chaney” later in his career). Chaney was asked to test for the role of Quasimodo for the 1939 remake of The Hunchback of Notre Dame. The role went to Charles Laughton. In 1962 Chaney would get a brief chance to play Quasimodo, and return to the roles of the Mummy and the Wolfman on the television series Route 66 with friends Boris Karloff and Peter Lorre.

‘Chaney first achieved stardom and critical acclaim in the 1939 feature film version of Of Mice and Men, in which he played Lennie Small.

‘In 1941, Chaney starred in the title role of The Wolf Man for Universal Pictures Co. Inc., a role which would typecast him for the rest of his life. He maintained a career at Universal horror movies over the next few years, replaying the Wolf Man in Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man, House of Frankenstein, House of Dracula, Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein, Frankenstein’s monster in The Ghost of Frankenstein, Kharis the mummy in The Mummy’s Tomb, The Mummy’s Ghost and The Mummy’s Curse. He also played the title character in Son of Dracula. Chaney is thus the only actor to portray all four of Universal’s major monsters: the Wolf Man, Frankenstein’s Monster, the Mummy, and the vampire son of Count Dracula. Universal also starred him in a series of psychological mysteries associated with the Inner Sanctum radio series. He also played western heroes, such as in the serial Overland Mail, but the imposing 6-foot 2-inch, 220-pound actor often appeared as heavies. After leaving Universal Studios, where he made 30 films, he worked primarily in character roles in low-budget films.

‘He also established himself as a favorite of producer Stanley Kramer, taking key supporting roles in the western High Noon (1952) (starring Gary Cooper), Not as a Stranger (1955), a hospital melodrama featuring Robert Mitchum and Frank Sinatra, and The Defiant Ones (1958, starring Tony Curtis and Sidney Poitier). Kramer told the press at the time that whenever a script came in with a role too difficult for most actors in Hollywood, he called Chaney.

‘One of his most talked about roles was a live television version of Frankenstein on the anthology series Tales of Tomorrow, for which he showed up drunk. During the live broadcast, Chaney, playing the Monster, was so drunk that he thought it was just a rehearsal and he would pick up furniture that he was supposed to break only to gingerly put it back down while muttering, “Break later.”

‘He became quite popular with baby boomers after Universal released its back catalog of horror films to television in 1957 and Famous Monsters of Filmland magazine regularly focused on his films. In 1957, Chaney went to Ontario, Canada, to costar in the first ever American-Canadian television production, as Chingachgook in Hawkeye and the Last of the Mohicans, suggested by James Fenimore Cooper’s stories. The series ended after 39 episodes.

‘In the 1960s, Chaney’s career ran the gamut from horror productions, such as Roger Corman’s The Haunted Palace and big-studio Westerns such as 1967’s Welcome to Hard Times, to such bottom-of-the-barrel fodder as Hillbillys in a Haunted House and Dr. Terror’s Gallery of Horrors (both 1967). His bread-and-butter work during this decade was television — where he made guest appearances on everything from Wagon Train to The Monkees — and in a string of supporting roles in low-budget Westerns produced by A. C. Lyles for Paramount. During this era, he starred in Jack Hill’s Spider Baby (filmed 1964, released 1968), for which he also sang the title song. He appeared in a 1958 episode of the western series Tombstone Territory titled “The Black Marshal from Deadwood”.

‘In later years he battled throat cancer and chronic heart disease among other aliments after decades of heavy drinking and smoking. In his final horror film, Dracula vs. Frankenstein (1971), directed by Al Adamson, he played Groton, Dr. Frankenstein’s mute henchman. He filmed his part in the spring of 1969, and shortly thereafter filmed his final film role, also for Adamson, in The Female Bunch. Due to illness he retired from acting to concentrate on a book about the Chaney family legacy, A Century of Chaneys, which remains to date unpublished in any form. His grandson, Ron Chaney, was working on completing this project.’ — Universal Monsters Wiki

 

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Further

Lon Chaney Jr. @ IMDb
Lon Chaney Jr., Actor, Is Dead at 67
Lon Chaney Jr. Is the Perfect Movie Monster for Our Era of Large Adult Sons
REPAIRING LON CHANEY JR.’S LEGACY
Lon Chaney Jr. @ MUBI
MEET THE MONSTERS: LON CHANEY, JR.
Lon Chaney Jr. @ instagram
Lon Chaney Jr.: A Monster of a Star
Attention Must Be Paid: Lon Chaney, Jr.
Lady Killer: Remembering Lon Chaney Jr.
Lon Chaney Jr. @ Letterboxd
Trivially Speaking: Lon Chaney Jr. had a monstrous hold on movie roles

 

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Extras


Lon Chaney Jr Documentary


Lon Chaney Jr – Rare 1951 TV Interview


Lon Chaney’s Live TV Blunder on “Tales of Tomorrow: Frankenstein” (1952)


The Life and Sad Ending of Lon Chaney Jr.

 

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Interview (1965)

 

Who is Lon Chaney Jr.?

“I was all black and not breathing when I was born,” tells Lon Chaney Jr., the star of the 1941 “The Wolf Man” movie. “My father ran out of the house with me and broke a hole in the ice in a nearby lake, and dunked me in time after time until he revived me.” (The son of actor Lon Chaney was born Feb. 10, 1906, in Oklahoma City.)

“By the time I was 6 months old, my father had exercised me so much that I was appearing in vaudeville acts with him because I was so strong and agile for my age,” says Chaney during an interview between performances for the March of Dimes benefit show at Municipal Auditorium on April 17, 1965.

The actor’s monster show drew thousands to the auditorium and he personally greeted each child at the door. The benefit is raising funds for the Tennessee Division of the National Foundation that is building two birth defect centers, one in Memphis and another in Chattanooga. There are already two operating centers in Chattanooga and at Vanderbilt University Hospital.

Chaney’s father was one of the most famous personalities of his day and created the first role of “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” for the movies. “He was an artist, whereas I’m an actor,” said Chaney.

His father was not his only teacher. “My grandparents were both deaf-mutes, and I was with them a lot, which meant that I had to learn to do a lot of acting to get things across, and to talk with my hands and my face.”

Chaney, who said he has done 467 movies, says his favorite role was Lennie in “Of Mice and Men” from the famous novel by John Steinbeck. He earned a Critics Award for his creation of the role of a mentally disabled psychopathic killer. “In order to play that role, I lived incognito in a mental hospital for several weeks,” said Chaney, adding, “I wasn’t committed, you understand.”

“Of all the monster movies, my favorite is ‘The Wolf Man’ because he is the most sensible, the one who is closest to the truth and also the one who is closest to an actual historical fact,” explained Chaney. “I still watch ‘The Wolf Man” when I get a chance. I have sort of gotten attached to him.

“Being the Wolf Man of the movies, I scare a lot of people, but still I get a certain amount of sympathy and love and respect from the youth of each generation,” he said.

“And when those kids grow up, they usually like for their children to see the same movies they enjoyed, and aren’t longhaired about it. But there is a difference between the horror movies and the movies they put out today, which have horror in them just for the sake of horror.”

“All these movies do is kill, kill, kill. In the old horror movies, all the monsters did was scare people. And occasionally someone would get killed, but that was not usually the monster’s fault.”

 

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24 of Lon Chaney Jr.’s 195 roles

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George Waggner Man Made Monster (1941)
‘A tragic accident occurs when a bus hits a high power line. The incident has claimed the lives of all on board, except for one Dan McCormick (Lon Chaney, Jr.), who survives because he is, surprisingly, immune to the deadly electricity. McCormick does a sideshow exhibit as Dynamo Dan, the Electric Man and is taken in by Dr. John Lawrence (Samuel S. Hinds), who wants to study him. Dr. Lawrence’s colleague, mad scientist Dr. Paul Rigas (Lionel Atwill) has something else in mind, though. He wants to create an army of electrobiologically-driven zombies. He gives McCormick progressively higher doses of electricity until his mind is ruined and left dependent on the addicting electrical charges. This temporarily gives McCormick the touch of death, making him capable of killing anyone he touches by electrocution. After accidentally killing Lawrence, Rigas insures McCormick’s conviction to see what will happen if he is sent to the electric chair. McCormick survives, and with a super charge in his glowing body he kills several people, including Rigas, before running out of electricity and dying.’ — IMDb

the entirety

 

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George Waggner The Wolf Man (1941)
‘It’s been almost 80 years since the release of Lon Chaney Jr.’s The Wolf Man, but the iconic werewolf movie has never been topped. One of the classic Universal monster movies, 1941’s The Wolf Man was actually Universal’s second attempt at a werewolf feature, coming six years after the much less successful Werewolf of London. It was this second effort that formed the template for future cinematic adaptations of the werewolf myth. Recognized for its inventive visuals and commanding lead performance, The Wolf Man was a big success. In the years since werewolves have become a mainstay of the horror genre. Star Lon Chaney Jr. went on to reprise the Wolf Man role in four sequels, providing inspiration for countless movies to come.’ — Ma PLainview


Excerpt


Excerpt

 

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Erle C. Kenton The Ghost Of Frankenstein (1942)
‘Dr. Frankenstein’s plans to replace the brain of his monster are hijacked by his scheming and malevolent assistant Ygor.’ — IMDb


Trailer

 

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Harold Young The Mummy’s Tomb (1942)
The Mummy’s Tomb is the 1942 horror film sequel to The Mummy’s Hand (1940). Lon Chaney, Jr. disliked the role of Kharis the mummy. Make-up artist Jack Pierce spent up to eight hours to wrap Chaney. A rubber mask was used for long shots. For unknown reasons, Wallace Ford’s character’s name is changed from Jenson from the previous film to Hanson in this film.’ — Monsters Wiki


Trailer

 

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Roy William Neill Frankenstein Meets The Wolf Man (1943)
‘The only Universal Monster who had not been given a sequel by 1943 was the Wolf Man although his portrayer Lon Chaney, Jr. had by this time played Frankenstein’s Monster, The Mummy and a few other not-so-human beings. It was in this type of highly competitive horror environment that the monster mash-ups began, a then revolutionary idea that came from a script written by the dependable Curt Siodmak called Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man.’ — Once Upon a Screen


Trailer


Excerpt

 

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Robert Siodmak Son of Dracula (1943)
‘It’s been written and said that Lon Chaney Jr. was terribly miscast in the role of Count Alucard/Dracula in the 1943 picture. While there is some truth to that as he was the first actor to very much step into the role post Bela Lugosi, Chaney did make the role very much his own. In many ways, I felt that it was Chaney’s understated, suave, and menacing gentleman performance that really laid the groundwork for future performers that would step into the role of Bram Stoker’s iconic vampire. In Tod Browning’s classic, we see The Count roaming the streets and engaging with people in a way that is almost unsettling when you understand that this is the Count. But there’s nothing quite like the scene in Son of Dracula that finds Alucard and Katherine driving in a car, on their way to get married. There are quite a few moments like this in Son of Dracula that while they may seem inconsequential or silly to the overall movie, these are major moments in the ultimate path of revitalizing the character of Dracula in a then contemporary setting. Mind you, Lon Chaney delivers a performance that not once hints at or uses the famous accent many have come to associate with Dracula. Heading over to a review of the film by Sam Tweedle on Confessions of a Pop Culture Addict, he wrote “physically wrong for the role, and sprouting a thin “Clark Gablesque” moustache, Chaney doesn’t even bother to make any attempt at doing a European accent. Chaney is clumsy and looks depressed in the role of Dracula, and it is obvious that he is having a miserable time.”’ — Steven Biscotti


the entirety

 

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Reginald Le Borg The Mummy’s Ghost (1944)
‘In the scene where Kharis trashes the Scripps Museum, Lon Chaney Jr. drove his fist through real glass–it was supposed to be breakaway glass, but the prop man forgot to replace it before shooting started–and a shard of it flew up and cut him through his mummy mask in his chin. In this scene, Kharis can be seen bleeding, and it’s real blood.’ — IMDb


the entirety

 

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Erle C. Kenton House of Frankenstein (1944)
’71 incomprehensible minutes of the very worst Universal had to offer. Incidentally, there’s not a single person named Frankenstein anywhere in this film, although there are a couple scenes in the ruins of Ludwig Frankenstein’s castle, so I guess that nearly justifies the title.’ — Tim Brayton


Trailer

 

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Leslie Goodwins The Mummy’s Curse (1944)
The Mummy’s Curse is the 1944 horror film follow-up to The Mummy’s Ghost. This film marks Lon Chaney, Jr.’s final appearance as Kharis, the Egyptian mummy. The Universal Mummy series boasts of a parallel-earth kind of timeline. The Mummy’s Hand was made and set in 1940; The Mummy’s Tomb takes place 30 years later in 1970; The Mummy’s Ghost is also set in 1970, and The Mummy’s Curse twenty-five years after “Ghost.” That means if the timeline is taken seriously, this film is set in 1995. Although the previous two films in the series take place in New England, with no explanation being given for the change, The Mummy’s Curse moves the action to Louisiana.’ — Universal Monsters Fandom


the entirety

 

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Harold Young The Frozen Ghost (1945)
‘When famous radio hypnotist Alex Gregor (Lon Chaney Jr.) accidentally causes the death of an audience member during a broadcast, his guilt leads him to break off his engagement to Maura Daniel (Evelyn Ankers) and take a job at a wax museum. Jealousy over the attention paid to his new co-worker causes mentally unbalanced sculptor Rudi Poldan (Martin Kosleck) to lash out at museum owner Valerie Monet (Tala Birell) and her niece Nina (Elena Verdugo) in a horrifying fashion.’ — RT


the entirety

 

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Erle C. Kenton House Of Dracula (1945)
‘This monster movie focuses on the vampire, Count Dracula (John Carradine), and Lawrence Talbot (Lon Chaney), better known as the Wolf Man. Both beings of the night are tired of their supernatural afflictions, so they seek out Dr. Franz Edelmann (Onslow Stevens) for cures for their respective curses. While trying to aid the imposing creatures, Edelmann himself develops a transformative condition, adding to the many ghouls lurking around the foreboding landscape.’ — Dream Classic Movies


the entirety

 

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Charles Barton Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948)
‘Lon Chaney Jr. as the lycanthropic Lawrence Talbot, Bela Lugosi in his final appearance as Dracula and Glenn Strange as the Monster all play their roles perfectly straight as Bud and Lou stumble around them.’ — Gafke


Trailer

 

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Curt Siodmak Bride of the Gorilla (1951)
‘Raymond Burr is a plantation owner who changes into a gorilla and terrorizes his wife, baffling the local authorities. Lon Chaney, Jr. plays the good guy for a change.’ — jeffsstuff8oqi


the entirety

 

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Nathan Juran The Black Castle (1952)
‘The kind of vintage horror film that packs the cliches in so tight it verges on parody. Karloff has very little to do but does it well. Chaney has even less to do and you can’t help feeling a bit sorry for him and what he had come to by this point.’ — Tristan P


Excerpt

 

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Jack Pollexfen Indestructible Man (1956)
‘A scientific experiment involving subjecting a corpse to an extreme charge of electricity accidentally revives an executed criminal and makes him impervious to harm, allowing him to seek revenge on his former partners, and deal similarly with anyone else who gets in his way.’ — Letterboxd


the entirety

 

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Bert I. Gordon The Cyclops (1957)
‘Lovely Susan Winter organizes an expedition deep into the wilds of Mexico. She hopes to find her aviator fiancé, lost after his plane crashed. Instead, she and her three male companions find behemoth bugs, giant battling lizards, mountains practically glowing with uranium and a 25-foot-tall human beast with a single eye, a melted-cheese-sandwich face and a very scary attitude. If you like nifty ’50s horror, The Cyclops is the kind of over-the-top frightfest that’ll have you spilling your popcorn. Among the cast: Lon Chaney (The Wolf Man) as a manipulative wheeler-dealer who’d just love to become a uranium millionaire…no matter the danger to the rest of the expedition. Writer/director Bert I. Gordon (Beginning of the End, The Amazing Colossal Man) masterminds the menace.’ — High Digest


Trailer

 

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Roy Del Ruth The Alligator People (1959)
‘A young wife (Beverly Garland) is abandoned by her husband (Richard Crane) on their wedding day. Distraught, she tracks him down to his ancestral home in the bayous of Louisiana, where, amid the swamps and the deadly undergrowth, she discovers a terrible secret. Her husband was saved from death by an experimental medical procedure involving serum derived from alligators … and now he’s developing horrifying side effects. She’ll face any danger to help him – including a brute with a hook for a hand (Lon Chaney Jr.) – but soon discovers her love may not be enough.’ — Los Feliz 3


the entirety

 

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Herbert L.Strock The Devil’s Messenger (1961)
‘Edited out of three distinctive episodes, The Photograph (1959), The Girl in the Glacier (1959) and Condemned in the Crystal (1959), all of which were directed by Curt Siodmak, for the Swedish/US TV series 13 Demon Street (1959), shot in English but originally aired with Swedish subtitles. Lon Chaney Jr. was brought to Sweden to film a framing story for the sake of continuity.’ — IMDb


the entirety

 

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Roger Corman The Haunted Palace (1963)
The Haunted Palace is a 1963 horror film by American International Pictures directed by Roger Corman and starring Vincent Price, Lon Chaney Jr. and Debra Paget. Though it was marketed as Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Haunted Palace”, the film actually is based more on the plot of the H. P. Lovecraft novella The Case of Charles Dexter Ward, to the point where it can be considered a straight-up adaptation.’ — TV Tropes


Trailer

 

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Don Sharp Witchcraft (1964)
‘When her grave is disturbed by modern-day land developers, a 300-year-old witch is accidentally resurrected and terrorizes an English village.’ — Letterboxd


the entirety

 

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Jean Yarbrough Hillbillys in a Haunted House (1967)
‘This movie is insane — about 60% awkwardly-inserted, totally inappropriate musical numbers (including a few by Merle fucking Haggard?), 15% ghosts, 20% international spy thriller(?!), and 5% man-in-a-gorilla-suit horror film… y’know, just for shits and gigs.’ — dagarabedian


Trailer

 

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Jack Hill Spider Baby or, The Maddest Story Ever Told (1967)
‘The cackle of Lon Chaney Jr. shatters the silence, and so begins Spider Baby or, The Maddest Story Ever Told. Cute cartoon caricatures begin to pop up, smiling ear-to-ear like they were made for a bubblegum wrapper. Chaney sings about cannibal spiders, ghouls and skeletons, the song lilting up and down like a bumpy forest road. Illustrations of hearses, spiders, and creepy kids start to pull this parade into Addams Family territory, but even the Addams’ classic jingle doesn’t include the line, “This cannibal orgy is strange to behold in the maddest story ever told!” Cannibal Orgy happened to be the film’s original title, because director Jack Hill thought that sounded funny. In stark contrast to these cartoon cavalcades, a man is stabbed in the eyes in the very first scene, two kitchen knives plunged into his skull by a little girl.’ — Art of the Title


the entirety

 

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Al Adamson Dracula vs. Frankenstein (1971)
‘For some people, Dracula vs. Frankenstein is mindless, lowbrow dreck without artisticmerit. For the rest of us, it’s time to party! Let’s head back to 1971 and bask in the badly lit glow Dracula vs. Frankenstein on the big screen! Come one, come all! Behold the twisted visions of fabled schlockmeister Al Adamson! See legendary Lon Chaney, Jr., as Groton the mute man-boy, clumsily wield an ax! Witness the strangest Count Dracula of all time, Zandor Vorkov, recite his dialogue through an echo box! Watch brain-dead hippies, a drugged-up lounge singer, and a wild-eyed mad scientist (J. Carrol Naish) try to explain what the hell is happening around them! Who needs coherence, polish, and subtlety when every line of semi-philosophical dialogue mixes with random shots of miscellaneous objects and locations to create nonstop giddiness, unexpected hilarity, and overwhelming wonder? This is unadulterated Z-movie euphoria.’ — Mill Valley Film Festival


Trailer

 

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Jerry Warren, Harold Daniels House of the Black Death (1965)
‘So it kinda starts enjoyably B-movie but then slows it’s pace down to the point where you’re like “you’re the most boring Satanists”. Some people get stuck at a villa I guess with babushka Lon Chaney Jr hobbling around getting called out for a fraud of a cult leader, there’s the threat of a werewolf who turns into a (chimp?!!!) during the the climatic scene only to have a weird edit and then he’s dead?? There’s a lot of unrealized scenes and overall bad effects which gives it a real Ed Wood feeling without the charm. Several belly dancing scenes while at the alter of Satan. John Carradine as the most loyal Satanist working with the guy with the magical cross to defeat babushka Lon Chaney Jr. I dunno guys, this was a mess.’ — Bob McQueen

the entirety

 

 

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p.s.Hey. ** Dominik, Hi!!! It was big fun, thanks. We basically just rode rides all day the whole time we were there and crashed in their crazy theme hotel. Our room looked like this. Yeah, I only skipped the Warhol ‘cos I figured everybody knows that, but sometimes I guess wrong. The Null Stern Hotel is, like, in the Alps, and what are the chances there’s ever a night without rain or snow? Weird. But, yes, I would stay there anyway, and thank you! Love giving you a free ride on Phantasialand’s Taron, maybe the world’s greatest roller coaster, G. ** David Ehrenstein, Hi. Jacob Collier makes my skin crawl. Faithful and Warhol, of course, don’t. Thank you. ** Bill, Hi. Oh, you know people today, such wusses. I’m perked up, at least temporarily, so it worked, thanks! ** _Black_Acrylic, Welcome home, pal, although I suppose you’re pretty settled in by this point. Yes, yes, may your toenail meet its doom ASAP. I hope you’re getting distracted in the good way in the meantime. ** l@rst, Hi, buddy. Ooh, nice, a ‘Nightmare’ play, not a shabby idea. Good to see you! ** CAUTIVOS, Hey, there! Good to see you! It’s been ages! There was a publisher there who proposed reprinting the Cycle novels and publishing/translating ‘Period’ for the first time as part of that, but nothing has ever come of the plan. It’s always up to a publisher wanting and asking. Would be great. Thank you, thank you, and I hope you’re doing really well! ** Steve Erickson, Hi. I had huge fun at Phantasialand, thanks. Highly recommended. I’ve only been to four German amusement parks, and they were all quite different from one another, so I don’t know. Three of the four are top notch. Everyone, Steve Erickson says … ‘Here’s my May music roundup for Gay City News, on Syd, Gloria Groove & 700 Bliss. ** RYAN, Hi, R. I’m good, revved up thanks to an extended amusement park jaunt. Excellent news on your festival preparedness! As someone trying to figure out every way possible way to make sure a film I’m going to make soon has its funding, I hear you. Cool too about your friend River. Let me get through a little (I hope) spate of extreme film preparedness concentration, and that sounds fun. I’m just busy and taxed out by the preparedness search I just mentioned, but I’m generally right as rain as people say for inexplicable reasons. Later! ** Misanthrope, Bernard’s loveable aspect is almost always his dominant force and fully on display. It’s raining and thundering and lightning here as I type, which, in my case, equals bliss. I like being mortal, it’s just the lifespan problem that comes with it. ** John Newton, Hi, John. Excellent to see you, sir! Insomnia is my idea of hell, so I’m so sorry you’re afflicted. I have these little mental tricks to distract myself from whatever is usually stressing me out, and they usually work, and I’m one of those people that melatonin works on. I take it every night. I’m a stomach sleeper, which I guess is not so good, but I don’t feel like I have a choice. If I don’t get at 8 hours off sleep, I’m a bit of a wreck. I’ve always been like that, although I think the wreckage has gotten worse with time. Yes, of, course, Larry was a great friend of mine. That’s fantastic news about the resurgence of interest. I will definitely get that book you edited. Wow, congratulations! Larry did a really nice painting of my bf of the early 80s that seems to have gone missing, sadly, as far as I know. All I have is an old Polaroid that shows it hanging on a wall. Take care! ** Right. Today’s post is sort of a follow-up to Werewolf Day of last week, although I didn’t intend that. Not so interesting, but, as I mentioned here to Bernard, again last week, Lon Chaney Jr. lived in my neighborhood when I was a kid, and I was close friends with his grandson, which may have something to do with why I gave him a Day. Not that he doesn’t deserve one in any case. See you tomorrow.

10 Comments

  1. Misanthrope

    Dennis, Lon Chaney Jr.! Nothing more to say. I’ll let the exclamation point speak for itself. Wait, I just said more. Eek.

    Glad you had a great time.

    So, it looks like we have to go back into the office on June 27. Just one day a week. That’s very doable. Though my one co-worker is freaking out. He said it’s lethal with the ‘ro still around. He may be resigning. We’ll see.

    Me mum is having all sorts of problems with her teeth. We finally got her to go to the dentist and she has eight abscessed teeth on the bottom. Thing is, she only has eight teeth there. They put her on an antibiotic and now she has tons of pain. It’s obviously the antibiotic fighting the infection. Looks like we might get all of them removed before she goes for the basal cell carcinoma surgery on June 7. She told me last night that she wants to die. Ugh.

    Other than that, things are fine. Kayla is in Alabama at that big music festival they have there every year. Doja Cat, Halsey, Megan Thee Stallion, etc. You probably don’t recognize those artists because they’re young-people artists. 😉 😀 But yeah, she does that festival every year. So far, she’s having a good time.

    Have a great weekend. I shall do my best to have one too. 91 here today, 95 Saturday, 91 Sunday, and then 73 Monday. Typical MD spring weather, hahaha.

  2. David Ehrenstein

    Creighton Chney had quite a career. His Wolman is genuinely iconic (a word used far too frequently these days) ad I rather like his”Son of Dracula” too. “Spider Baby” is of course a classic.

    J’Adore Jacob Xollier. Especially his verson of Moon River</A.

    I'm working on a piece about Renaud Camus. He horrifies me. A light-spirited gay Dr.Jekyll bwith a racist anti-semite Hyde inside.
    I there no endto French Anti-Semitism ? This is one of the reasons Proust fascinates me. He was jew who looked it right in the face and dealt with it in complex ways

    • Bernard

      Rénaud Camus has worked my nerves for decades now. If he weren’t so smug . . . But they all are . . .

  3. Bernard

    Wait, how is a *gorilla* scarier than the actual Raymond Burr? Ha.
    I am so impressed by Steven Biscotti’s note on the undervalued Son of Dracula; I think he’s totally got it, and how Lon Jr was very interesting before he became a ruin. And I’ve already declared my allegiance to Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man. Months from now I’ll come back to this and want to rewatch Man Made Monster and The Frozen Ghost, which I remember as being pretty cool.
    Here is a link to the lovely double portrait of Dennis and Donald Britton from Larry Stanton, as John Newton referred to: https://catalogue.swanngalleries.com/Lots/auction-lot/LARRY-STANTON–1947-1984–Donald-Britton-Dennis-Cooper
    My last trip to New York — that blip last year before Delta (remember Delta), when people traveled again–I missed a Larry Stanton show by one day. Sad. Larry was the first person I ever visited during a decline for AIDS, and the first I knew who died, and he was a lovely man.
    Which I certainly am not. Lovable? Maybe to very generous spirits. I console myself by noting that even so, I am cranky and an old bore.
    And from those days: Court Green has published a link to Tim Dlugos interviewed by Terri Gross in the early days of Fresh Air. Knock me over with a feather.
    https://courtgreen.net/issue-20/tim-dlugos-interview
    If I ever knew this existed, I’d long since forgotten. Tim’s collected is one of 3 or 4 actual books I’ve brought here with me; I look in it often for inspiration.
    Hey, I’m working super fast on some poetry *and* prose to hit end of May submission deadlines. Really fun.
    Bad allergy week; rain is good. Let’s maybe meet and you get James’ book and you sign my copies of I Wished and J’ai fait un voeux, n’est-ce pas? I am so very happy to be in this beautiful city, where today I was given a free coffee! Coffee! For free! Imagine! Amazing

  4. _Black_Acrylic

    Growing up in LA sure gave you some interesting neighbours! Lon Chaney Jr. is quite a character and I too love Spider Baby very much indeed.

    I saw this low-budget horror film the other night that wound up being quite good, with good performances from the 2 kids in the lead roles.

  5. Dominik

    Hi!!

    Welcome back! Riding roller coasters and other attractions all day sounds like a dream vacation. And your room! Honestly, I had no idea you could actually stay at big amusement parks – that they had hotels. You didn’t have to step out of the experience for a second. I really like this idea.

    Fuck, Taron is impressive! I’d probably scream my head off, but I’d try it anyway. Thank you! Love creating a dating app where people can only communicate by sending songs to each other, Od.

  6. Nick Toti

    Dennis — The blog is spookily tapped into my brain lately. I’m currently working on a project about Lon Chaney Jr. / The Wolf Man. I started on it right before your werewolf day the other week, and now there’s this!

  7. David Ehrenstein

    My monetary needs are acute as they never have been before. Please contribute what you cam

    httcom/d/folders/1/messages/22039
    https://www.gofundme.com/f/fundraising-for-our-friend-david-ehrenstein?member=15151553&utm_campaign=p_cp+share-sheet&utm_medium=copy_link_all&utm_source=customerps://mail.yahoo.

  8. David Ehrenstein

    TEAC reel-to-real tape recorder
    A-33009X-2T
    $200.00
    David Ehrenstein
    1462 S. Shenandoah St. #7
    Los Angeles, Ca. 90035

  9. Bill

    Lon Chaney Jr, ah! I’ve only seen a tiny handful of his movies, of course.

    Good to hear the trip went well, Dennis.

    Just got back from a screening of a gorgeous 35mm print of Eraserhead at the Roxie. So beautiful. They’re doing this silly David Lynch vs. David Cronenberg mini-series. I do plan on revisiting Videodrome there next week.

    Bill

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