Growing up, I was easily impressed by talent. I had so many crushes on female performers as a preteen and beyond. I mean, I loved Laurel & Hardy and the Three Stooges, but I’d get starry eyed watching Mary Tyler Moore or Jane Curtin. Funny ladies definitely helped fuel my growing desire to write comedy. The culmination of my wayward crushes occurred in my 16th year watching Carol Burnett.
Look, I’m sorry “The Mummy” tanked…oh, who am I kidding, I’m not. I was angry about it since they announced it and the start of this whole Universal Monster “Dark Universe.” I’ve been mad about this stuff since “Van Helsing” came out. I grew up loving the monster movies of Universal Studios. From “Frankenstein” right up to “Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein” (if you don’t know it’s one of the most solid Universal horror movies done in the Forties, I pity you), the movies were scary, funny, thrilling, and hokey. Sure, continuity is off, this was back before “franchises” existed and each movie kinda started from scratch, but they were fun and not calculated. Even the first time the idea of two monsters existing in the same universe occurred (“Frankenstein Meets the Wolfman”), it started off a joke idea that people grew to like.
But it was a train wreck of a movie, whose only acknowledgment of previous Universal monster movies was the vague notion that werewolves can kill vampires, which was first implied at the conclusion of “Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein.”
Anyway, the film got me angry. So angry, I wrote the sequel to the last Universal monster movie they SHOULD HAVE done. I brought it into modern times, I managed to explain why we haven’t heard from the monster is decades, and I folded in every bit of folklore from the movies I could PLUS give it a sense of humor about itself. It was a tale of thrills, revenge and villainy. Naturally, as soon as I started showing it around, Universal started floating the idea of a “Dark Universe” to compete with Marvel movies or DC.
Sure, I tried to do a rewrite, and convert the monsters into the more public domain versions of themselves, but the same reaction was had. Apparently you can’t pitch a movie called “Island of Frankenstein” without triggering those connections. Oh, well. I’m very happy with it and I love the big finale. So, I park it here, on my website. Enjoy.
I have a new comedy bit posted over at The Big Jewel; Internet Ratings of Escape Rooms.
I've been looking back on my adventure in Hollywood, culling pages from my journal...
As August 1991 drew to a close, things were still tumbling around. My Hollywood connection, Kevin, wanted a progress report on the re-write of “Jingle Bell Blues” (the old title of the now-former Pee-Wee Herman script) as he had a pitch meeting with William Morris coming up. He also wanted to pitch a cable comedy featuring comedy troupes (like Style Without Substance), which came out of that comedy festival he attended with me a year earlier. He wanted me to put together a list of groups for him.
Freelance writer, still hacking away.