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After seeing these five reissued motion pictures in theaters during the mid-1950s, Don was inspired to make
his own series of amateur movies featuring Frankenstein's Monster , Count Dracula and the Wolf Man.

      “Many of the amateur horror movies I made as a kid in Chicago in the 1950s were patterned after the horror pictures made during the 1930s and ‘40s by Universal Pictures and during the late 1950s by Hammer Films . I had seen some of the Universal movies in neighborhood theaters (as Realart reissues) or on local TV’s Shock Theater (as part of Screen Gems’ ‘Shock’ package of films), introduced by horror host Marvin ( Terry Bennett ).

      "The Hammer movies, of course, were then something ‘different,’ even though they featured some of the same famous monsters. What especially intrigued me was Universal’s teaming up of their monster characters (as in House of Frankenstein). Consequently, most of these amateur productions featured the Frankenstein Monster, Dracula and the Wolf Man. Like the Universals, my movies had continuity, one picking up from where the previous entry had left off. Often certain scenes in my films betrayed what movie I had seen the previous Saturday night on Shock Theater. All of these films included my amateur attempts at duplicating what I’d seen in those ‘real’ movies, including mad laboratories and transformations (man into werewolf, bat, etc.).

      “The first of this series of movies, shot in color in 1957, had the obvious title Frankenstein Meets Dracula. I played the Monster wearing a standard over-the-head Don Post ‘custom’ Frankenstein Monster mask (which sold back then for a whopping $3.50) and my friend Victor Fabian was Dracula. My family’s basement, decked out with various ‘scientific’ props, became the laboratory.   As I then wore braces on my teeth, I tried steering away from playing characters whose open mouths would be seen on camera. In early 1958, I experimented with an improved werewolf make-up, shooting a 16mm test scene of myself as the lycanthrope (braces included) from WereWolf of London, which I'd recently seen on Shock Theater. That same year, braces and all, I -- inspired by Christopher Lee's recent debut performance as the Count in The Horror of Dracula -- played the title role in The Revenge of Dracula. Following Return of the Monster Maker (largely inspired by the recent Frankenstein 1970), in The Teenage Frankenstein (also inspired by the recent Hammer Film The Revenge of Frankenstein, and shot in black and white, like some of the movies I’d seen in theaters and on TV), I played the Monster again, but this time attempting a fairly successful make-up instead of again donning that hot rubber mask.

Don (left) with hero Terry "Marvin" Bennett and friends Dan McCarthy and Joe Kampf in 1958, about the time he made "The Revenge of Dracula," in which Joe played a victim. Dan later appeared in "I Was a Teenage Vampire," "Return of the Teenage Werewolf," "The Teenage Frankenstein Meets the Teenage Werewolf" and "Revenge of the Teenage Werewolf."

      “Slave of the Vampire" (1959), inspired by Columbia Pictures’ Return of the Vampire (which I’d recently seen on Shock Theater), was one of my most ‘polished’ in this series. It proved to be the last of my films based primarily on the old ‘classic horrors.’ Also, it was the first of my movies for which I started shooting still photographs “on set.” Following Slave of the Vampire my horror output tended to be more in the vein of ‘teenage’ versions of those venerable fright characters (although the original Dr. Frankenstein, Monster, Ygor and Wolf Man would appear again in my 1961 teenage monster rally Monster Rumble).

Don (center, top row) in "Marvin" mode at his 14th birthday "Shocktail Party" (Feb., 1958) in his Chicago basement.
Guests (clockwise from left) Joe Kampf, Bert Ott, Jim Neveau, Victor Fabian (cut off), Wayne Moretti (cut off),
Gene Gronemeyer, Ray Genovaldi, Paul Klug and Bob Genovaldi all acted in Don's amateur movies.

      "Sometimes I had basement screenings of my movies, accompanied by a live 'horror' or 'spook' show (with yours truly impersonating Marvin), patterned after those I'd seen during the late 1950s in Chicago movie houses, like Dr. Silkini's Asylum of Horrors, complete with magic tricks and a blackout, during which the classic monsters stalked into the audience...

      “There were two intended Frankenstein movies I never made – Frankenstein vs. the Wolf Man and To Be Frank, the latter planned as a University of Southern California film-school project.
      "Below are the plots of all these amateur horror films (for more information, see my books:

The Frankenstein Catalog and The Frankenstein Archive, both published by "McFarland & Company, in 1984 and 2002, respectively).”

      “FRANKENSTEIN MEETS DRACULA” (color, 1957):
In the laboratory at Castle Frankenstein, Count Dracula (Victor Fabian) revives the Frankenstein Monster (Don Glut) and puts him under his hypnotic control. After the Monster commits a murder, someone enters the lab and drives a stake through Dracula’s heart. The Monster attacks the intruder, who then bludgeons knocks the Monster down with a hammer.

      “RETURN OF THE WOLF MAN” (1957, color):
While robbing Dracula’s castle, Lawrence Talbot (Wayne Moretti) removes the stake from the vampire’s skeleton. Dracula (Victor Fabian) revives, bites Talbot, and then, using an electrical device, summons the still-living Frankenstein Monster (Don Glut). After being re-energized, the Monster leaves the building. Later, Talbot asks Dracula to cure his werewolf curse, then transforms into the Wolf Man. The Monster returns and fights the Wolf Man. Becoming human again, Talbot shoots the Monster, who falls, and then stakes Dracula.

      “THE REVENGE OF DRACULA” (1958, black & white):
Count Dracula (Don Glut) returns to life, then finds and proceeds to revive the Frankenstein Monster (Charles Martinka). Needing blood, the vampire leaves the castle, seeking a victim even though it is near dawn. Two of the victim’s friends track Dracula back to the castle, only to be attacked there by the Monster. A fuse is inadvertently set off that sets the castle on fire, while the morning sun reduces Dracula to a skeleton.

      “THE FRANKENSTEIN STORY” (1958, black & white):
(A “flashback” to the Monster’s creation) Dr. Frankenstein (Charles Martinka), helped by hunchbacked assistant Ygor (Wayne Moretti), finishes creating the Monster (Don Glut), finally bringing the creature to life. Ygor befriends the Monster and orders him to attack the doctor. Leaving Dr. Frankenstein for dead, Ygor and Monster set off into the world. A teenager also makes friends with the Monster; but when the boy ridicules Ygor, the hunchback has the Monster kill him. Ygor and the Monster return to the castle, finding the scientist still alive. The murder victim’s brother comes to the castle for revenge, fighting Ygor, then setting fire to the place. He escapes, trapping the three fiends inside.

      “RETURN OF THE MONSTER MAKER” (1958, black & white):
Dr. Frankenstein (Charles Martinka) returns from his supposed “death” and immediately decides to create a new monster. Ygor (Wayne Moretti) and the Frankenstein Monster (Bert Ott) go off to get the raw materials -- from the gallows and even from the living. The scientist brings the new creation (Don Glut) to life, a monster with a half-decayed face. The new monster goes on a killing spree, attacking Dr. Frankenstein and Ygor, finally fighting the original Monster. The scientist, seemingly dying, turns on the gas that apparently kills them all.

      “THE TEENAGE FRANKENSTEIN” (1959, black & white):
Dr. Frankenstein (Charles Martinka), about to be hanged for his crimes, is saved by a desperate stranger (Victor Fabian). Suddenly the Monster (Don Glut) appears, and Frankenstein and the stranger flee. The stranger turns out to be Lawrence Talbot, admitting that he saved Frankenstein so that the doctor could cure him of his werewolf affliction. Talbot relates (in flashback) his earlier experience with Dracula (Gene Gronemeyer). Meanwhile, the Monster comes to a blind hermit’s hut. The man teaches him how to speak, but when he lights a pipe, the Monster – afraid of fire – kills him. Returning to the castle, the Monster demands that Dr. Frankenstein create a friend for him. The threatened doctor agrees and will only continue helping Talbot if the latter goes out and brings back some body parts for the new creation. Dr. Frankenstein finally brings the new monster -- a Teenage Frankenstein (played by Bert Ott; the character apparently possessing the recycled face of Dr. Frankenstein's previous creation) -- to life, while Talbot changes into the Wolf Man and fights the original Monster. In the climax the Teenage Frankenstein, seeing his ugly reflection in a mirror, kills his maker and blows up the castle.

      “SLAVE OF THE VAMPIRE” (1959, black & white):
(Adapted from a short story submitted to a Boys Life magazine writing contest.) A vampire bat flapping in Castle Frankenstein transforms into Count Dracula (Victor Fabian). Via telepathy and hypnotic control the vampire summons Lawrence Talbot (Don Glut), now Dracula’s servant. Talbot becomes the Wolf Man and goes out to attack a victim, bringing the body back to the castle so that his master, the Count, can feast on his blood. When the Wolf Man demands but does not get his freedom from this arrangement, he attacks Dracula and a battle ensues between them. Finally the Wolf Man forms a cross with two wooden sticks, rendering Dracula powerless, then rams one of them into the vampire’s heart. The Wolf Man becomes human again and Dracula is reduced to a skeleton.

Don Glut's Classic Monster Movies Frankenstein Meets Dracula   Return Of The Wolf Man     Revenge Of Dracula
The Frankenstein Story    Return Of The Monster Maker   Slave Of The Vampire     Sitemap

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