Thursday, 8 April 2010
Welcome Mariposa Cruz!! With all the paranormal fascination and the emerging vampire/werewolf leading men, Mariposa blogs how these latest heartthrobs are far from a new phenomenon...
Monster Leading Men
Long before Twilight’s Team Edward and Team Jacob, movie audiences were captivated by Bela Lugosi’s aristocratic portrayal of Dracula and Lon Chaney Jr.’s piercing gaze as the Wolf Man. Their performances propelled an emerging genre into an enduring fan favorite.
"Listen to them, children of the night. What music they make," Bela Lugosi as Dracula (1931)
The man, who would personify the legendary count, was born near the Western border of Transylvania in 1882. Known for his versatility, Lugosi toured with the National Theater of Budapest until political unrest forced him to flee the country in 1919. Lugosi got his big break in the 1927 Broadway production of Dracula. The Hungarian actor learned his lines phonetically. Lugosi honed his characterization during his 500 Broadway performances. He even did his own make-up for the 1931 film version. He entranced audiences with his European accent and regal presence. At one point during the mid-1930's, Lugosi received as much mail from female fans as Clark Gable. He would go on to appear in more than 100 films primarily in the roles of vampires, werewolves, ghouls and mad scientists.
"Even a man who is pure in heart
and says his prayers by night
May become a wolf when the wolfsbane blooms
and the autumn moon is bright" The Wolf Man (1941)
Chaney Jr. arrived in the world in 1906 nearly stillborn after a difficult delivery. His father revived his infant son by plunging him into the icy waters of Belle Isle Lake. Chaney Jr. debuted at the age of six months as a prop in his father's stage act. As the Wolf Man, Chaney Jr.'s transformation from man to beast was an arduous four-hour process. He had to sit in a chair with his chin in a brace while gradual alterations were made in his make-up were made and filmed. The removal of the layers of make-up and yak hair took 45 painful minutes. With a career that spanned nearly four decades, Chaney Jr. was the only actor to play the Wolf Man, Dracula, Frankenstein and the Mummy.
I’ve loved monster movies since childhood and longed to tell those stories from a woman’s point of view. Here’s a blurb from Howl now available from The Wild Rose Press.
As if Kate Owens doesn't have enough problems as a struggling single mom and paralegal, a brutal animal attack outside her office plunges her into turmoil. At work, she is attracted to her rescuer, Jack Walker, an attorney wary of commitment. Every morning after the attack she awakes drenched in blood beside the body of a mangled stray. Kate's days become a battle to maintain control while her nights are a disturbing blur of dreams. Will Kate's nightly madness harm her young daughter?
Lone wolf attorney, Jack Walker understands the reason for his paralegal's exhaustion and haunted demeanor. Jack has pursued the beast since law school graduation and he knows the creature's relentless thirst for revenge. Can Jack save Kate from her attacker and her own savage nature?
Rachel thanks for inviting me to chat about some of my favorite leading men. For more information about Howl please click here: http://www.thewildrosepress.com/howl-p-3921.html
Great post, Mariposa! Looking forward to reading your comments...
Posted by Rachel Brimble at 01:47