This Rebel Without a Brain image was created by Jonathan Lapper (actually Greg Ferrara... see update below) — host of the extraordinary Cinema Styles blog — as part of his October Kill Fest series, a month-long celebration of horror films that is absolute required reading. Then again, Cinema Styles is required reading year-round, not just during Halloween season.
Cinema Styles careens through the ages of film, alighting here and there, isolating and observing a scene, a moment, reflecting on a genre, an actor, a filmmaker, taking notes, analyzing, considering and cogitating. Lapper is passionate and knowledgeable about movies, his observations are always fascinating, sometimes revelatory — and often funny, because they are honest and delightfully bang-on.
This month, just for eye candy Photoshop fun, Lapper turned a number of Hollywood stars into monsters. Alan Ladd is Bat Boy, there’s Marlon From The Black Lagoon, and Montgomery Clift makes a fine Wolfman. Turning the troubled James Dean into The Frankenstein Monster was inspired. In fact, Dean once played The Monster!
According to David J. Skal’s The Monster Show: A Cultural History of Horror, Dean appeared as The Monster in a high-school comedy revue called Goon With The Wind. The surviving photograph shows the young actor not as a hulking menace, or goofing off in makeup, but in character, channeling the sensitive, bewildered Monster as played by Karloff.
Dean certainly shows a familiarity, perhaps a love, for the classic movie Monster.
And speaking of love, Jonathan Lapper edited together a short, two minute montage of scenes from Dracula, Frankenstein, The Mummy and The Bride of Frankenstein, set to music, as a heartfelt tribute to the classic monsters. It’s called The Beautiful Monsters. Go look, it’s a real Halloween treat.
Update: Some time after this was posted, Greg Ferrara dropped his “Jonathan Lapper” pseudonym for what we presume to be his true identity.