Read the first 16 pages of August Dark, a new and exciting Urban Fantasy supernatural adventure for free.
Read the first 16 pages of this exciting, new urban fantasy.
August Dark: Legends free first chapters.
They sought adventure, but found the supernatural.
August Dark: Legends
What is something you’ve lied about?
Firstly – thanks for having me on your site today!
I don’t lie. Not because I’m Little Miss Perfect (or as a T-shirt I wore as a kid read: ‘Nobody’s Perfect’…then on the back, ‘My name’s Nobody’). But because I can’t lie. I mean I have a tongue. And lips… So physically I can. But I am so staggeringly bad at lying that I gave it up when I was tiny. It’s excruciating.
In Rebel Vampires my new fantasy series – both Blood Shackles and the first book in the series Blood Dragons – Light struggles with lies and conspiracies when he’s honest and loyal. And always keeps his promises. He’s an anti-hero, a rebel loner, who struggles in his redemptive journey to blood abstain, love and find family. But lying?
‘It’s our natural defence because either everyone must tell the truth or everyone must lie. Now I’d found myself in a land of falsehood and it was me with the serious design flaw.’
Blood Dragons (Rebel Vampires Volume 1)
Click here: http://viewbook.at/BloodDragons
Truth and lies: the ones we tell to others and ourselves. Society’s and humanity’s. Are central to Blood Shackles.
Who is the last person you hugged?
Easy this – my son. He doesn’t like it though – doing that teenage shrug of get off Mum… I’m a very huggy person. But I know the boundaries. Those bubbles we all have around us. Some people allow the single kiss. Others two. Some people go in for the full on hug. Others only the handshake, especially here in England… Sorry, stereotype alert.
The ability to have that though – the sensory touch and feel – is essential. To love and family. It’s one of the things, which is stripped from the Blood Lifers – like the layers of an onion – in Blood Shackles, when they’re reduced to slaves. The hunters become the hunted. Like Taken. But with vampires. Even down to their senses. To the ability to touch. Or feel.
That’s why the Blood Lifers fight back by finding their own families in their bondage. Their own ways to love. To feel. Because we gain our sense of home not from bricks and mortar but from that single hug. Even if your kids shrug your off!
What are you reading now?
The Magicians by Lev Grossman. Fantasy for grownups. Or kids, who have grown up… Like the best of urban fantasy, it looks at magic and sees how it would REALLY work in our world. Where people aren’t perfect. Where emotions are real. Where magic wands can’t fix everything. And it’s powerful because of it.
Rebel Vampires - even though there’s a hidden, paranormal world beneath our own – is still set emotionally very much in the real world. People (and vampires) make bad choices and mistakes. Because that’s life. Real life.
The daughter of the man, who has enslaved Light (Grayse) keeps him in one side of London. The human side. But Light’s London is the darker side. The side the tourists don’t see – and that’s when your eyes are truly open to the world.
‘Of course that suited me just fine because this was still your London. I wanted to explore its other face: the dark and the glory.’
Blood Shackles (Rebel Vampires Volume 2)
Click here: http://viewbook.at/BloodShackles
How do you come up with the titles to your books?
Two most important parts of a book? And I’m not counting the words because granted they’re the Soul… Book cover and title.
I find titles the hardest. Seriously. Blood, sweat and tears. I can’t decide on a title until after the book is fully planned out. Often until the book is entirely written.
With Rebel Vampires the titles get to the true heart of each book.
Blood – My vampires are called Blood Lifers. They’re a real species – the same as gorillas – or humans. Evolved alongside us, as the apex predator. But camouflaged and hidden. Up until now. They call humans First Lifers. They see being elected (or Authored) into Blood Life, as evolution.
The second word in each book in the series then gets to the heart of that book.
Blood Dragons – how they’re evolved and no, it’s not mythical dragons. The answer to this sets up the thriller plot, which threatens the world and survival of both species. Light has to risk his love and life to try and save them all – and redeem himself.
Blood Shackles – how the Blood Lifers have been defanged and enslaved. The why, how and the conspiracy behind it? You’ll have to read the book…
Share your dream cast for your book.
So dangerous. Creating a dream cast… The one rule of Writing Club? Don’t create a dream cast!
I like readers to be able to imagine the character however they want. So I’m only going to give one and if he doesn’t fit, feel free to rip the image up and fit your own in. So mine is for Light alone and he’s a mix of two actors from the 1950s and 1960s – Michael Caine when he was young (think Alfie), combined with James Dean of Rebel without a Cause. One gives the voice and attitude, the other the look. Although to finish it off I should add Marlon Brando in The Wild Ones for the leather and motorbike. Can I have all three? Although Light would object. There’s no one like him. He’s unique. ‘My name is Light.’
Blood Shackles is out now: http://viewbook.at/BloodShackles
Want to read Blood Dragons first? Click here: http://viewbook.at/BloodDragons
The last shivers of light from the setting sun slid behind the copious spread of trees about his mansion, settling his attic bedroom in a comfortable radiance of darkness. While vampires are immune to the effects of sunlight, they don't prefer it, instead preferring the more gentle light of the moon. As he slept upside down, his bare feet clinging to his favorite bed rafter, his eyelids slowly phased open, allowing more and more light to caress the weariness of the day before.
A nice visual tribute to a great actor of his time. Now what does Wikipedia say about the great Count!
Bela Lugosi From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Bela Lugosi in The Devil Bat (1940)
Born Béla Ferenc Dezső Blaskó
20 October 1882
Lugos, Kingdom of Hungary (now Lugoj, Romania) Died 16 August 1956 (aged 73)
Los Angeles, California, U.S. Cause of death Heart attack Resting place Holy Cross Cemetery Other names The King of Horror Occupation Actor Years active 1901 or 1902–1956 Height 6 ft 1 in (185 cm) Spouse(s) Ilona Szmick (m. 1917; div. 1920)
Ilona von Montagh (m. 1921; div. 1924)
Beatrice Weeks (m. 1929; div. 1929)
Lillian Arch (m. 1933; div. 1953)
Hope Lininger (m. 1955–56) Children Bela George Lugosi Parent(s) István Blaskó (father)
Paula de Vojnich (mother) Website www.belalugosi.com Signature Béla Ferenc Dezső Blaskó (20 October 1882 – 16 August 1956), better known as Bela Lugosi, was a Hungarian-American actor, famous for portraying Count Dracula in the original 1931 film and for his roles in various other horror films.
He had been playing small parts on the stage in his native Hungary before making his first film in 1917, but had to leave the country after the failed Hungarian Revolution. He had roles in several films in Weimar Germany before arriving in America as a seaman on a merchant ship.
In 1927, he appeared as Count Dracula in a Broadway adaptation of Bram Stoker's novel, where he was talent-spotted as a character actor for the new Hollywood talkies. He later appeared in the classic 1931 Dracula talkie by Universal Pictures.
Through the 1930s, he occupied an important niche in popular horror films, with their East European setting, but his Hungarian accent limited his repertoire, and he tried unsuccessfully to avoid typecasting. Meanwhile, he was often paired with Boris Karloff, who was able to demand top billing. To his frustration, Lugosi was increasingly restricted to minor parts, kept employed by the studio principally for the sake of his name on the posters. Among his pairings with Karloff, only in The Black Cat (1934), The Raven (1935), and Son of Frankenstein (1939) did he perform major roles again, and even in The Raven Karloff received top billing despite Lugosi performing the lead role.
By this time, Lugosi had been receiving regular medication for sciatic neuritis, and he became addicted to morphine and methadone. This drug dependence was noted by producers, and the offers eventually dwindled down to a few parts in Ed Wood's low-budget movies, most notably Plan 9 from Outer Space.
Lugosi was married five times, and had one son, Bela George Lugosi.
Lugosi at age 18
Lugosi, the youngest of four children, was born Béla Ferenc Dezső Blaskó in Lugos, Kingdom of Hungary (now Lugoj, Romania), to Paula de Vojnich and István Blaskó, a banker. He later based his last name on his hometown. He and his sister Vilma were raised in a Roman Catholic family. At the age of 12, Lugosi dropped out of school. He began his acting career probably in 1901 or 1902. His earliest known performances are from provincial theatres in the 1903–1904 season, playing small roles in several plays and operettas. He went on to Shakespeare plays and other major roles. Moving to Budapest in 1911, he played dozens of roles with the National Theatre of Hungary in the period 1913–1919. Although Lugosi would later claim that he "became the leading actor of Hungary's Royal National Theatre", almost all his roles there were small or supporting parts.
During World War I, he served as an infantryman in the Austro-Hungarian Army from 1914 to 1916. There he rose to the rank of captain in the ski patrol and was awarded the Wound Medal for wounds he suffered while serving on the Russian front.
Due to his activism in the actors' union in Hungary during the time of the Hungarian Revolution of 1919, he was forced to flee his homeland. He first went to Vienna and then settled in Berlin in the Langestrasse where he continued acting. Eventually, he travelled to New Orleans, Louisiana, US as a crewman aboard a merchant ship. He took the name Lugosi, in 1903, to honor his birthplace Lugos in Transylvania.
Career Early films Lugosi's first film appearance was in the movie Az ezredes (The Colonel, 1917). When appearing in Hungarian silent films, he used the stage name Arisztid Olt. Lugosi made 12 films in Hungary between 1917 and 1918 before leaving for Germany. Following the collapse of Béla Kun's Hungarian Soviet Republic in 1919, leftists and trade unionists became vulnerable. Lugosi was proscribed from acting due to his participation in the formation of an actors’ union. In exile in Germany, he began appearing in a small number of well-received films, including adaptations of the Karl May novels, Auf den Trümmern des Paradieses (On the Brink of Paradise), and Die Todeskarawane (The Caravan of Death), opposite the Jewish actress Dora Gerson (who died in Auschwitz). Lugosi left Germany in October 1920, intending to emigrate to the United States, and entered the country at New Orleans in December 1920. He made his way to New York and was legally inspected for immigration at Ellis Island in March 1921. He declared his intention to become a U.S. citizen in 1928, and on June 26, 1931, he was naturalized.
On his arrival in America, the 6-foot-1-inch (1.85 m), 180 pounds (82 kg) Lugosi worked for some time as a laborer, then entered the theater in New York City's Hungarian immigrant colony. With fellow Hungarian actors he formed a small stock company that toured Eastern cities, playing for immigrant audiences. He acted in his first Broadway play, The Red Poppy, in 1922. Three more parts came in 1925–1926, including a five-month run in the comedy-fantasy The Devil in the Cheese. In 1925, he appeared as an Arab Sheik in Arabesque which premiered in Buffalo, New York at the Teck Theatre before moving to Broadway. His first American film role came in the 1923 melodrama The Silent Command. Several more silent roles followed, as villains or continental types, all in productions made in the New York area.
Lugosi in Dracula
Lugosi as Dracula
Lugosi was approached in the summer of 1927 to star in a Broadway production of Dracula adapted by Hamilton Deane and John L. Balderston from Bram Stoker's novel. The Horace Liveright production was successful, running 261 performances before touring. He was soon called to Hollywood for character parts in early talkies.
Despite his critically acclaimed performance on stage, Lugosi was not Universal Pictures’ first choice for the role of Dracula when the company optioned the rights to the Deane play and began production in 1930. A persistent rumor asserts that director Tod Browning's long-time collaborator, Lon Chaney, was Universal's first choice for the role, and that Lugosi was chosen only due to Chaney's death shortly before production. This is questionable, because Chaney had been under long-term contract to Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer since 1925, and had negotiated a lucrative new contract just before his death.
Chaney and Browning had worked together on several projects (including four of Chaney's final five releases), but Browning was only a last-minute choice to direct the movie version of Dracula after the death of director Paul Leni, who was originally slated to direct. In 1927, Lugosi accepted the eponymous role in the American theatrical run of Dracula, a play based on Bram Stoker's gothic novel of the same name.
Lugosi's Dracula was unlike any previous portrayals of the role. Handsome and mysterious, Lugosi's Dracula was at once so alluring and so dreadful that audiences gasped when he first opened his mouth to speak. After a half-year run on Broadway, Dracula toured the United States to much fanfare and critical acclaim throughout 1928 and 1929.
His portrayal of Dracula was so successful that Universal decided to make a movie of Dracula starring Lugosi. The film, Dracula, was a considerable hit and forever immortalized Lugosi's portrayal of Dracula.
Although countless actors have played Dracula since, to this date vampire enthusiasts idolize Lugosi as synonymous with the character—not least because the actor was actually born in Transylvania. Lugosi's body of work established him as a star of the horror genre, with Boris Karloff and Peter Lorre as his only real rivals in Hollywood. Nevertheless, throughout his entire career Lugosi was frustrated by his inability to break through into other types of films. "I am definitely typed, doomed to be an exponent of evil," he said. In the 1940s, when he worked as Dracula, he spoke as much about his personal tradition as about his character when he uttered the immortal phrase "I am Dracula".
Irene Ware and Lugosi in Chandu The Magician (1932)
Through his association with Dracula (in which he appeared with minimal makeup, using his natural, heavily accented voice), Lugosi found himself typecast as a horror villain in such movies as Murders in the Rue Morgue, The Raven, and Son of Frankenstein for Universal, and the independent White Zombie. His accent, while a part of his image, limited the roles he could play.
Lugosi did attempt to break type by auditioning for other roles. He lost out to Lionel Barrymore for the role of Rasputin in Rasputin and the Empress; C. Henry Gordon for the role of Surat Khan in Charge of the Light Brigade; Basil Rathbone for the role of Commissar Dimitri Gorotchenko in Tovarich (a role Lugosi had played on stage). He did play the elegant, somewhat hot-tempered Gen. Nicholas Strenovsky-Petronovich in International House, an ensemble comedy also featuring W. C. Fields, George Burns, Gracie Allen, Cab Calloway and Baby Rose Marie.
Regardless of controversy, five films at Universal — The Black Cat, The Raven, The Invisible Ray, Son of Frankenstein, Black Friday (plus minor cameo performances in 1934's Gift of Gab) and two at RKO Pictures, You'll Find Out and The Body Snatcher — paired Lugosi with Boris Karloff. Despite the relative size of their roles, Lugosi inevitably got second billing, below Karloff. Lugosi's attitude toward Karloff is the subject of contradictory reports, some claiming that he was openly resentful of Karloff's long-term success and ability to get good roles beyond the horror arena, while others suggested the two actors were — for a time, at least — good friends. Karloff himself in interviews suggested that Lugosi was initially mistrustful of him when they acted together, believing that the Englishman would attempt to upstage him. When this proved not to be the case, according to Karloff, Lugosi settled down and they worked together amicably (though some have further commented that Karloff's on-set demand to break from filming for mid-afternoon tea annoyed Lugosi). Karloff also insinuated that his iconic rival could not act, claiming that Lugosi "never learned his trade."
Universal did wind up giving Lugosi a couple of heroic parts, as in The Black Cat after Karloff had been accorded the more colorful role of the villain, The Invisible Ray, and a romantic role in the adventure serial The Return of Chandu, but his typecasting problem appears to have been too entrenched to be alleviated by those films.
Lugosi addressed his plea to be cast in non-horror roles directly to casting directors through his listing in the 1937 Players Directory, published by the Motion Picture Academy, in which he (or his agent) calls the idea that he is only fit for horror films "an error."
Lugosi (center) with Polly Ann Young and Clarence Muse in The Invisible Ghost
A number of factors worked against Lugosi's career in the mid-1930s. Universal changed management in 1936, and because of a British ban on horror films, dropped them from their production schedule; Lugosi found himself consigned to Universal's non-horror B-film unit, at times in small roles where he was obviously used for "name value" only. Throughout the 1930s, Lugosi, experiencing a severe career decline despite popularity with audiences (Universal executives always preferred his rival Karloff), accepted many leading roles from independent producers like Nat Levine, Sol Lesser, and Sam Katzman. These low-budget thrillers indicate that Lugosi was less discriminating than Karloff in selecting screen vehicles, but the exposure helped Lugosi financially if not artistically. Lugosi tried to keep busy with stage work, but had to borrow money from the Actors' Fund to pay hospital bills when his only child, Bela George Lugosi, was born in 1938.
Historian John McElwee reports, in his 2013 book Showmen, Sell It Hot!, that Bela Lugosi's popularity received a much-needed boost in August 1938, when California theater owner Emil Umann revived Dracula and Frankenstein as a special double feature. The combination was so successful that Umann scheduled extra shows to accommodate the capacity crowds, and invited Lugosi to appear in person, which thrilled new audiences that had never seen Lugosi's classic performance. "I owe it all to that little man at the Regina Theatre," said Lugosi of exhibitor Umann. "I was dead, and he brought me back to life." Universal took notice of the tremendous business and launched its own national re-release of the same two horror favorites. The studio then rehired Lugosi to star in new films.
The first was Universal's Son of Frankenstein (1939), when he played the character role of Ygor, who uses the Monster for his own revenge, in heavy makeup and beard. The same year saw Lugosi playing a straight character role in a major motion picture: he was a stern commissar in Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer's comedy Ninotchka, starring Greta Garbo. This small but prestigious role could have been a turning point for the actor, but within the year he was back on Hollywood's Poverty Row, playing leads for Sam Katzman. These horror, comedy and mystery B-films were released by Monogram Pictures. At Universal, he often received star billing for what amounted to a supporting part. The Gorilla (1939) had him playing straight man to Patsy Kelly.
Lugosi in The Devil Bat
Ostensibly due to injuries received during military service, Lugosi developed severe, chronic sciatica. Though at first he was treated with pain remedies such as asparagus juice, doctors increased the medication to opiates. The growth of his dependence on pain-killers, particularly morphine and, after 1947 when it became available in America, methadone, was directly proportional to the dwindling of screen offers. He was finally cast in the role of Frankenstein's monster for Universal's Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man (1943), but Lugosi had no dialogue. Lugosi's voice had been dubbed over that of Lon Chaney, Jr., from line readings at the end of The Ghost of Frankenstein (1942). Lugosi played Dracula for a second and last time on film in Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948). By this time, Lugosi's drug use was so notorious that the producers were not even aware that Lugosi was still alive, and had penciled in actor Ian Keith for the role.
Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein was Bela Lugosi's last "A" movie. For the remainder of his life he appeared — less and less frequently — in obscure, low-budget features. From 1947 to 1950, he performed in summer stock, often in productions of Dracula or Arsenic and Old Lace, and during the rest of the year made personal appearances in a touring "spook show" and on early commercial television. In September 1949 Milton Berle invited Lugosi to appear in a sketch on Texaco Star Theater. Lugosi memorized the script for the skit, but became confused on the air when Berle began to ad lib. His only television dramatic role was on the anthology series Suspense on October 11, 1949 in the episode The Cask of Amontillado.
In 1951, while in England to play a six-month tour of Dracula, he co-starred in a lowbrow movie comedy, Mother Riley Meets the Vampire (also known as Vampire over London and My Son, the Vampire). Following his return to America, Lugosi was interviewed for television, and reflected wistfully on his typecasting in horror parts: "Now I am the boogie man." In the same interview he expressed a desire to play more comedy, as he had in the Mother Riley farce. Independent producer Jack Broder took Lugosi at his word, casting him in a jungle-themed comedy, Bela Lugosi Meets a Brooklyn Gorilla co-starring nightclub comedians Duke Mitchell and Sammy Petrillo, whose act closely resembled that of Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis.
Ed Wood and final projects
Lugosi in Ed Wood's Plan 9 from Outer Space, 1959
Late in his life, Bela Lugosi again received star billing in movies when ambitious filmmaker Ed Wood, a fan of Lugosi, found him living in obscurity and near-poverty and offered him roles in his films, such as an anonymous narrator in Glen or Glenda and a Dr. Frankenstein-like mad scientist in Bride of the Monster. During post-production of the latter, Lugosi decided to seek treatment for his drug addiction, and the premiere of the film was said to be intended to help pay for his hospital expenses. According to Kitty Kelley's biography of Frank Sinatra, when the entertainer heard of Lugosi's problems, he helped with expenses and visited at the hospital. Lugosi would recall his amazement, since he did not even know Sinatra.
During an impromptu interview upon his exit from the treatment center in 1955, Lugosi stated that he was about to go to work on a new Ed Wood film, The Ghoul Goes West. This was one of several projects proposed by Wood, including The Phantom Ghoul and Dr. Acula. With Lugosi in his famed Dracula cape, Wood shot impromptu test footage, with no storyline in mind, in front of Tor Johnson's home, a suburban graveyard and in front of Lugosi's apartment building on Carlton Way. This footage ended up in Plan 9 from Outer Space, which was mostly filmed after Lugosi's death. Wood hired Tom Mason, his wife's chiropractor, to double for Lugosi in additional shots. Mason was noticeably taller and thinner than Lugosi, and had the lower half of his face covered with his cape in every shot, as Lugosi sometimes did in Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein.
Following his treatment, Lugosi made one final film, in late 1955, The Black Sleep, for Bel-Air Pictures, which was released in the summer of 1956 through United Artists with a promotional campaign that included several personal appearances. To his disappointment, however, his role in this film was of a mute, with no dialogue.
With Angelo Rossitto in Scared to Death (1947)
In 1917, Lugosi married Ilona Szmik. The couple divorced in 1920, reputedly over political differences with her parents.
In 1929, Lugosi took his place in Hollywood society and scandal when he married wealthy San Francisco widow Beatrice Weeks, but she filed for divorce four months later. Weeks cited actress Clara Bow as the "other woman".
In 1933 he married 19-year-old Lillian Arch, the daughter of Hungarian immigrants. They had a child, Bela G. Lugosi, in 1938.
Lillian and Bela, as well as his mother, vacationed on their lake property in the Southern California community of Lake Elsinore (then called Elsinore) on two lots between 1944 and 1953. Bela Lugosi Jr., attended the Elsinore Naval & Military School in Lake Elsinore. Lillian and Béla divorced in 1953, at least partially because of Béla's jealousy over Lillian taking a full-time job as an assistant to Brian Donlevy on the sets and studios for Donlevy's radio and television series Dangerous Assignment — Lillian eventually did marry Brian Donlevy, in 1966.
Lugosi married Hope Lininger, his fifth wife, in 1955. She had been a fan of his, writing letters to him when he was in the hospital recovering from addiction to Demerol. She would sign her letters 'A dash of Hope'. She was his widow, and died in 1997 at age 77.
Lugosi's grave at Holy Cross Cemetery, Culver City, California
Lugosi died of a heart attack on August 16, 1956, while lying on a couch in his Los Angeles home. He was 73. The rumor that Lugosi was clutching the script for The Final Curtain, a planned Ed Wood project, at the time of his death is not true.
Lugosi was buried wearing one of the Dracula Cape costumes, per the request of his son and fifth wife, in the Holy Cross Cemetery in Culver City, California. Contrary to popular belief, Lugosi never requested to be buried in his cloak; Bela G. Lugosi confirmed on numerous occasions that he and his mother, Lillian, actually made the decision but believed that it is what his father would have wanted.
Legacy In 1979, the Lugosi v. Universal Pictures decision by the California Supreme Court held that Bela Lugosi's personality rights could not pass to his heirs, as a copyright would have. The court ruled that under California law any rights of publicity, including the right to his image, terminated with Lugosi's death.
Statue of Bela Lugosi in Budapest
In Tim Burton's Ed Wood, Lugosi is played by Martin Landau, who received the 1994 Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. According to Bela G. Lugosi (his son), Forrest Ackerman, Dolores Fuller and Richard Sheffield, the film's portrayal of Lugosi is inaccurate: In real life, he never used profanity, owned small dogs, or slept in coffins. And contrary to this film, Bela didn't struggle performing on The Red Skelton Show which also features Vampira and Lon Chaney, Jr.
Three Lugosi projects were featured on the television show Mystery Science Theater 3000. The Corpse Vanishes appeared in episode 105, the serial The Phantom Creeps throughout season two and the Ed Wood production Bride of the Monster in episode 423. An episode of Sledge Hammer! titled "Last of the Red Hot Vampires" was a homage to Bela Lugosi; at the end of the episode, it was dedicated to "Mr. Blasko".
In 2001, BBC Radio 4 broadcast There Are Such Things by Steven McNicoll and Mark McDonnell. Focusing on Lugosi and his well-documented struggle to escape from the role that had typecast him, the play went on to receive the Hamilton Dean Award for best dramatic presentation from the Dracula Society in 2002.
A statue of Lugosi can be seen today on one of the corners of the Vajdahunyad Castle in Budapest.
The Ellis Island Immigration Museum in New York City features a live, 30-minute play that focuses on Lugosi's illegal entry into the country and then his arrival at Ellis Island to enter the country legally.
Bela Lugosi's star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
The cape Lugosi wore in Dracula (1931) still survives today in the ownership of Universal Studios.
The theatrical play Lugosi - a vámpír árnyéka (Lugosi - the Shadow of the Vampire, in Hungarian) is based on Lugosi's life, telling the story of his life as he became typecast as Dracula and as his drug addiction worsened. He was played by one of Hungary's most renowned actors, Ivan Darvas.
Andy Warhol's 1963 silkscreen The Kiss depicts Lugosi from Dracula about to bite into the neck of co-star Helen Chandler, who played Mina Harker. A copy sold for $798,000 at Christie's in May 2000.
Lugosi was also the subject of "Bela Lugosi's Dead", the first single by Bauhaus, released in August 1979 it is often considered to be the first gothic rock record. Bela Lugosi's star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame is mentioned in "Celluloid Heroes", a song performed by The Kinks and written by their lead vocalist and principal songwriter, Ray Davies. It debuted on their 1972 album Everybody's in Show-Biz.
Bela Lugosi was a charter member of the American Screen Actors Guild.
Filmography Main article: Bela Lugosi filmography
The Dark City
"A Professor Challenger Story"
By John Pirillo
It's this way."
He followed the voice in the dark, making sure to leave a chalk mark every few feet to mark directions. He wasn't going to get caught a thousand feet underground without knowing a way back. He'd been there, done that. His beard was driving him nuts though, the sweat from the heated passage dribbling from his jungle hat on his mop of thick red hair down across his eyebrows, cheeks and mouth, then neck and chest. He could live with the sweat; it was the dratted gnat bugs that were landing in his beard and sucking up the moisture, no surprise to him, just weren't in abundance.
"I'd appreciate a light."
"Not yet." The voice returned, steady and certain.
How in God's name and the name of Queen Mary of Scots had he gotten himself into this deplorable expedition, so far away from his friends? He could just see himself telling his tale to his friends on their usual night together. Sundays. They would talk about their sleuthing, explorations, experiments, and the souls they'd saved, or seen damned. Sometimes it was more of the first and less of the latter, and sometimes...far darker days in his mind...more of the latter. He might have a temper, he might be impulsive and compulsive at times, but his moral compass was tried and true. No life was worthless. None!
Even that dratted...
"Owww!" He cursed as the top of his head scraped the roof of the passage, knocking his helmet off and taking a hefty bite into his scalp.
"Shorty!" He roared angrily, feeling the blood now adding to the sweat in his blood. He mopped it away with what he was sure was now a blood stained, dirt stained, moss stained, and sweat stained coarse shirt he always wore on such expeditions. Good for warmth and cold.
"Challenger, if you insist on being insulting, I will have no recourse, but to leave you in the darkness."
"Go ahead, Batwings!" Challenger roared back. "See if I care. You've kept me in the dark the past six hours, what's another six going back."
"Your humor is most distasteful. You know I don't have batwings."
"No, but I would expect better eyesight from you."
The man ahead of him sighed. "I'm a Dracula, not a bat, and I have neither high pitched sounds to guide my path, nor wings to fly."
"And yet you can see in the dark." Accused Challenger.
"True enough. A small gift from..."
"Are we close or not, you buffoon!" Roared Challenger, his temper getting the best of him at that moment yet once more.
Suddenly, the floor vanished from beneath him and he plummeted helplessly in the dark to an uncertain fate.
"And it is my belief that the Draculas come from a subterranean civilization that once lived beneath the lands of Scotland." Professor Challenger announced to the assemblage of fellow scientists and philosophers.
Were it not for his personal notoriety as an explorer of great accomplishment, he would have been laughed off the platform; instead he was given a tolerant clap of hands.
He sighed inwardly, but bravely went on. "I am announcing an expedition to the highlands to explore a little known cavern, which I have every reason to believe, has a series of tunnels that lead directly to the lost kingdom of the Draculas.
A sturdy older man, Deputy Prime Minster Calloway, stood up. "Professor, am I to believe then that you think the entire vampire race stems from the Draculas?"
"Yes. I do."
The assemblage went wild with shouts and angry disavowals. He waited for it to crest, and then raised his hands for quiet. "And furthermore, I have a brave champion of our Victorian London, and an honored friend of Queen Mary of Scots, here to affirm my thoughts, as well as to help on the mission of exploration."
He turned slowly to the side and a dark and elegantly dressed man swept onto stage and joined him. The assemblage grew so silent you could hear a fly's wings.
"Count. If you will?"
"It is my pleasure, Professor Challenger." The Count replied, then swept his cape over his right shoulder and eyed the men and women gathered before him.
He smiled. "Ah, I can see the Vampire Clan of Easterbury is here tonight."
A group of men and women to his right suddenly tried to look small in their chairs. He turned to the middle and smiled again. "And the Clan of Brighton."
Another group of men and women looked suddenly busy.
Professor Challenger's eyes widened. He'd had no idea so many of the dark ones had assembled to listen to him. Had he thought that would be the case, he might have approached his speech a bit more carefully.
The Count started to expose another group, but shrugged. "It's enough to say that if my friends of the night are interested, then where there's smoke, surely there might be....fire?"
The assemblage stopped squirming in their chairs and examining each other and looked forward again.
Professor Challenger was not one to be fearful of death and dying, and rather than plunge to certain death, he reached to his right hip and slung loose a hook ended rope and flung it outwards. It scraped the walls of his plunge, and then with a huge jerk and a loud crunching sound, he was flung forward into the shaft's wall he had been falling into.
Then a funny thing occurred. He felt someone breathing at his left.
"I had you."
"You let me fall sixty meters to what seemed certain death..."
"Oh Challenger, stop being so dramatic."
Count Dracula used his strength to lower Challenger the rest of the way.
"I was prepared to catch you."
"You might have told me there was a shaft in front of me."
"What! And miss out on all the fun of seeing your face as you fell?"
"I hate you!" Challenger snorted in anger and derision.
Before he could say more a bright light flared, revealing he stood at the doorway of an immense cavern. Inside was a city like none other he had ever seen. It glowed with an eerie green luminescence.
"The home of our forefathers."
"You mean yours!"
"No, actually I mean ours. Man was not always a topside dweller. And he was not always...well, human as you appear."
Challenger gave the Count a scowl. "Have you been holding out on me, Count?"
"Let's just say, I've been dancing around the truth somewhat."
Challenger would've said more, but the lure of exploration overrode his anger. He strode through the immense doorway and stood on the crest of a small rise that descended into the city. "Just imagine what treasures must still remain here."
"I thought you were a man of science."
"I am. A man of science who needs to pay his bills just like any other man. Treasure pays for my next expedition."
The Count nodded. "In that case, let's explore."
They finally reached the last structure of the ancient underground city. It was carved from the rock of the cavern. It had scrollings and depictions all about its walls, inside and out. Challenger was cooing like a happy baby, when he finished examining the chamber inside. It had a huge dais with a throne the size of a giant.
"In those days Dracula's were giants, Professor."
"As now. Cattle."
"Cattle. Good lord, man, how can you be so callous?"
The Count shrugged. "What was, is not now, what is, could not have been then. My ancestors were the first to go against the laws of the ruling Draculas. They were shunned and sent to the earth above, where they lost much of their height over time as they intermingled with the masses of men above."
"You sound sad."
"That's because we should have risen as a society to greater heights than raising humans as cattle to slake our hunger."
Count Dracula flung down the backpack he was carrying. "I intend to wipe out every visage of this civilization that ever existed so no other vampire can ever again use this place to gain power and position."
He opened his backpack and revealed String bombs. "Tesla made these for me."
"Dear Lord, what are they?"
"The cleansing of history."
"Run! Run!" The Count hollered.
Professor Challenger was running behind him, the marks on the walls now luminous and glowing as he knew they would be.
"Why...run?" He gasped.
Then the world behind them shook them to the floor and a hammer of air pressure flung their bodies like balloons through the air.
Count Dracula caught Professor Challenger in his arms and ran faster, then leaped with all the strength he had as the very passage behind them began collapsing.
They tumbled into the high grassy knoll and its rocky fields as the short mountain behind them began to collapse.
"Run!" Count Dracula yelled.
"I've already run!" Professor Challenger shouted.
Then he saw the mountain began to collapse.
"Okay!" He agreed, and then began running again, his lungs and legs aching from the stress of his exertion.
Finally, they reached about twenty yards away from the collapse and it tumbled to a stop, leaving a huge smoking heap of rubble and an odd colored, green luminescent smoke that glittered and glowed in the dying sun of the highlands of Scotland.
"We made it." Professor Challenger sighed with relief. "But I had no time to get any treasure."
"Oh, but you did, my dear friend."
"The greatest treasure of all....your life!"
The Legions of Tomorrow
His swarthy complexion always confused anyone who first met him, as they always assumed that the undead were...undead looking. He would take their stares with good grace and let them off easy with the words..."I do not drink...blood!" A direct contradiction to those who had seen the once famous Bela Lugosi movies that had been perpetrated on the masses to scare and frighten them. The aging actor had been a distant cousin of the Count and had to apologize to him for the bad press, but he needed the work at the time and the Count had encouraged him to take the work. He didn't care about superstitious people's beliefs. Everyone knew there were good and bad in anything, good wolves bad, bad wolves; good vampires, bad vampires; ghosts that meant well, ghosts that had no such intention of every doing anything well for anyone. Demons who rocked the foundations of the earth to destroy it and demons who were working on getting their angel wings.
So what others believed...he really didn't care or mind. Take your pick. Had he been featured in a vampire movie, he would be more like that famous Latin actor who had made Dracula a dancing hero. He also loved to dance, thought at this particular moment, as he hung upside down from his bedroom beam, thinking about what he had in store for the morrow, he had no particular juice on any kind of dancing, except dancing to the bathroom as soon as possible. He had drunk a lot of blueberry wine the last night and his bladders...yes, he had two...his bladders, as strong as they were were screaming to be emptied.
So he dropped from the beam, flipping over nimbly midflight, and landed lightly on his feet. He yawned, then stretched and stumbled. Yes, even vampires wake up slowly and sluggishly. He stumbled into the lavatory to relieve his bladders. His eyes felt like they were going to pop until he was able to empty them. So many there was some truth to the eyes floating in...well, you know.
He took out his favorite razor, lathered it with a fine soap he had imported from the India Isles, and began drawing it delicately across his chin, then throat, until the fine mist of hair he was growing had been mown down like a savage forest trying to overtake a city.
He yawned again, revealing his two largish front incisors, which had given him and his father their legendary appearance in most modern horror tales of fanged monsters. The fangs could indeed suck blood through them, but never by force, always by free will. They never took what wasn't freely offered, and many friends would offer them a drink in exchange for the favors done for them, not because the Count or his father demanded them, but as a showing of appreciation and gratitude.
"Now what?" He thought as the huge bat knocker on his front door clanged loudly, making a shrieking noise up and down the hallways of his two story mansion. He smiled. Any guests were always startled by the joke he had installed, but after another visit or two caught onto his sense of humor and came to appreciate it.
He leaped from the second floor landing to the floor below, ignoring the beautifully carpeted steps and opened the front door. His good friend, and servant, Charlie Fritz, was not in the house at that time. He had been given leave and a good sum of money to fly back to Rome in one of the new fangled Tesla dirigibles to stay with his family for a month. The Count was not afraid of a little housework and since he only needed a few hours a night or day to refresh himself, he never had too little time to take care of the details of household chores.
"Ah!" He said as he looked at Sherlock, resplendent in a tux with Watson next to him, and James Moriarity, their mutual friend.
"Come in! Come in!" He said, motioning them inside. He glanced outside. It was a full moon. He expected more guests and one in particular.
"I've had the table prepared since this morning for our repast. I hope you don't mind Charlie not being here. I shall happily serve you just as well. Or at least as well as I am capable."
Sherlock smiled. "It is not the service we have come to visit, my dear Count."
He stepped inside, throw his over cloak onto a hanger by the door, allowing Watson to do the same and they headed into the dining room.
"Good doctor, how's your fiancée?"
"Marvelous. She sends her regrets for not coming, but was struck by one of those obnoxious colds that strike this time of year. I prescribed some sleeping potion to help her rest. By this time she should be comfortably between her sheets and covers and resting well."
"Very good. This way." The Count said, guiding them the rest of the way into the dining room. Inside was a very large table that shone like glass with settings for twelve.
"When will the others be coming?" Sherlock asked, seating himself at the near end of the table.
Watson sat on the corner near him and looked at the Count.
"I would imagine they'll all trickle in as usual."
The door bat slammed home again, sending shrieks through the home.
"Excuse me. I think we have more guests."
He went to the door and let in Lord Graystone and Lady Shareen, who were followed by Professor Challenger and Conan.
"Harry's on his way with Tesla and Edison." Conan explained as he and Challenger set their hats and cloaks on the hanger by the door.
"Very good." The Count said, then led them into the dining room.
He began bringing out food and drink for everyone, who all insisted that he wait for the others, but he insisted he had more than enough for everyone several times over and they shouldn't wait for one more minute.
Watson and Challenger tucked in immediately, their bellies almost screaming for food, they were such stout men.
James went into the kitchen with the Count and helped him bring more food out.
"You look good, James. The sea life must have agreed with you."
"Very much so."
He helped the Count set out the last of the food and drink as the Count went to answer the next shriek of the Bat ringer.
Tesla, Harry and Edison came in chatting up a storm.
Everyone sat down and after hurried greetings began eating.
Sherlock looked up. "We're missing a guest."
The Count looked at the empty chair. "I suspect there's a good reason."
A loud bang came from the door.
The Count smiled. "I think our guest has arrived."
He sniffed the air, then smiled.
He went to the door and opened it. Larry was there, his hat in hand. "I hope I didn't keep you. The moon has made me miserable. It's almost full."
"Don't worry, I have a nice room for you to stay in if you want to wait for the moon to pass."
"Thank you, Count. You're a great host. As always."
After everyone had eaten to their heart's content, the Count rose and held up his glass. "A toast to our brotherhood. To each other, our friends, and to those whom we serve."
"Here, here!" They all joined and drank their toasts.
They set down their glasses and looked at him expectantly.
"The reason why I've invited you all here this evening is not only for the companionship we all enjoy and share with each other, but to give you warning."
Sherlock tensed for a moment, then relaxed.
Conan cocked an eye on the Count.
Watson shook his head. "Always something to sour the milk, isn't there Holmes."
James leaned over and whispered into Watson's ear. "No one drinks milk here."
"I do." Watson declared.
Everyone broke into laughter.
The Count waited for the laughter to subside, then spoke again. "We all know that the Hollow Man for quite some time now has been amassing an army."
Lord Greystone nodded. "I spotted some of his forces on my last patrol of the Isles of the Behemoth."
"Aye." James agreed. "Captain Nemo has spotted them as well."
"The Count nodded, then eyed his friends.
"My warning is the Legions of Tomorrow are on their way!"
The room became deathly silent.
"Have Wells and Verne confirmed this?"Sherlock demanded.
"Yes. And it's a very real threat. But that threat is still some time away. For tonight..." He said, raising his glass again in a toast. "Let us rejoice in our friendship and pray that we can continue to protect the innocent from the hordes that surely will soon be storming our gates."
"Here, here!" Everyone said and joined in the new toast.
Their jollity filled the ancient hallways of Count Dracula's home, but coming nearer and more near were the hordes. The Legions of Tomorrow, who had a more deadly agenda in mind.
Well, it took a lot of sweat and tears, but it's done and it's worth it! Not only do you have the regular edition of the Gazette, but I've doubled the amount of space for most of the stories. You now get twice as much pleasure for the same cost...a bit of your time.
You will notice right off the bat that the colors have changed to reflect the season we're approaching, which is not St. Patrick's Day, for those of you who love that green.
I've tried to slant the stories in the seasonal direction, and will continue to do so as they peak to a closure, but some may not, depends on how the story can flex with the changes.
Hope you enjoy this week's double edition as much as I had fun putting it together. Please remember, I'm just one person, doing the job of many. So I think I'm doing pretty darn good, all things considered...which is that I'm the Editor, the Writers, the Illustrators, the Publisher and on and on.
Anyway, enjoy and have a great weekend, what's left of it.
San Francisco is struck by a tsunami and earthquake that level the city and kill millions. The Golden Gate Bridge collapses.
London's Tower of London, Big Ben and many other historical areas are flattened by a massive earthquake.
Delhi, India is destroyed.
Moscow, Russia is turned to rubble.
Beijing, China is swallowed by the earth opening up beneath it.
Billions die in a matter of minutes.
The earth is no longer the safe place humans assumed it was.
As new nations are formed and old ones reconstruct they learn that the Big One that caused the death of billions was intentional.
Hurriedly, they gather together a crack team of scientists and military personnel called the Hollow Earth Special Forces Team.
The Team must journey to the center of the earth and stop an event that will mean the end of all life on our planet.
Journey to the Center of the Earth is an epic adventure of brave men and women who must overcome monsters, sabotage and beings with a hidden agenda intent on stopping their success.
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You've probably seen the TV version of Moriarity, but you haven't known Moriarity at all until you read this novel! Buy it now at Amazon.Com for $12.18 in a very handsomely bound paperback or purchase the thrifty digital version for $2.99.
Professor Moriarity has finally murdered Sherlock Holmes and now he has all of the Great Detective's friends hot on his tail. Knowing he faces certain death if caught, he abandons his London to leap across time and space to an alternate London where no one knows of him. In a crazy twist of fate on the other side, the alternate London, James Moriarity, a duplicate of Professor Moriarity is trying to avoid the London police at the same time. He rushes to escape the scene of the crime and accidentally runs over Professor Moriarity and kills him. Facing certain death by guillotine or hanging James hurls himself through the Portal that the evil Professor Moriarity just came through. Moriarity is a sweeping epic filled with suspense, invention, excitement and tales of mystery. You will laugh, cry and cheer as all the characters we've grown fond of in Arthur Conan Doyle's stories...from Doctor Watson to Professor Challenger come alive as never before.
The battle of wits is on between two different versions of Moriarity. Who will win and who will lose?
You've probably seen the TV version of Moriarity, but you haven't known Moriarity at all until you read this novel! Buy it now at Amazon.Com for $12.18 in a very handsomely bound paperback or purchase the thrifty digital version for $2.99.
You can purchase this very nicely bound copy of The Baker Street Adventures at Amazon.Com for a mere $12.59 or as a digital book for $2.99 for the digital version.
It is Victorian England. Filled with the mists of fog, villagers of a range of emotions and types. This London is not the London we know across the ocean, nor the one that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle so assiduously described, but rather a more advanced one in some ways and a more barbaric one in others. It is a Baker Street World where all the heroes and villains we've come to know and love in fiction and fact have their existence. It is part of a series of stories and novels I've written that take the reader to a world and worlds where fantasy is real, where fictional characters live and breathe, and where villains are as dark and real as Jack the Ripper once was in our own world. Sherlock Holmes is the greatest detective alive in this realm and is partnered by Doctor John Watson, a hero from the wars with China. Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson form the hub of a group of fellow adventurers and travelers, who deliver justice when needed, and seek to right the imbalances, created by evil wherever it might appear. In this London there is much evil, not even including the rather mundane evil of thefts and murders. In this London there exist things that go bump in the night, creatures that shift swiftly past the edge of our vision, that tiptoe into our bedrooms at night and peer into our faces when we are sleeping; monsters that seek to rearrange reality into hell on earth; Monsters that must be investigated, discovered, found and destroyed at any cost. Follow Sherlock Holmes, Doctor Watson, a reborn from the dead Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Professor Challenger, the Invisible Man, Count Dracula, Jungle Lord, Captain Nemo, Harry Houdini, Nicolas Tesla, the Invisible Man, the Wolf Man and Madame Curie as they seek justice, truth and the Victorian Way!
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The Baker Street Adventures Gazette, Volume One, Edition 9 is now posted online at www.johnpirillo.com
Chapter Sixty-Two, the conclusion of "Things that go bump in the NIght," a Sherlock Holmes Baker Street Adventure is now posted.
"Things that go bump in the Night"
by John Pirillo
Inspector Blackstone sat ramrod straight between Holmes and Watson, both of whom seemed to be in an incredibly positive mood, despite the outcome of the day.
"I just don't see how you two can be so cavalier about all of this." Blackstone commented.
"Have a scone dear." Mrs. Hudson urged him. "I'm sure it will improve your outlook remarkably."
Watson nudged Blackstone slightly. "She added a little extra to it for tonight."
Mrs. Hudson gave Watson a warm smile and Blackstone a wink, then began serving the other friends gathered about the sitting room, which was usually quite large enough, but was quite crowded now.
Challenger and Conan sat near the window, commisserating with Dracula over the hole in his shoulder and back.
"I'm sure a vampire as young as yourself will grow back the missing pieces soon enough." Challenger said kindly.
"I will help in any way I can." Conan reassured the Count.
Dracula sighed. He looked over at Madame Curie and Shareen. "If only..."
Challenger nudged him. "Don't even think it!"
Dracula gave him a nasty look. "I was merely thinking that if I had remembered to bring my rain coat with me, I wouldn't have to worry about getting water inside my body tonight."
"Oh!" Challenger said contritely.
Madame Curie and Lady Shareen sat with Professor Langston and Larry Talbot, who were joking like long time friends.
"You know what the werewolf said to the other werewolf who had just got run down by a Tesla truck?" Langston asked with a smile.
"Now there's a hairy situation if ever I saw one." Larry said with a vague smile, having heard that one a hundred times before.
Lady Shareen got up. Madame Curie looked at her. "Going so soon?"
"I've got a women's liberation meeting tomorrow in London Square. Mustn't be late and this has been much too long of a day...and night."
Madame Curie got up as well. "In that case let us share a cab, there's a few more things I'd like to discuss with you on the way home."
"Surely." Lady Shareen said with good grace.
They turned to Mrs. Hudson. "Do give Holmes and Watson our best and thanks for the evening." Lady Shareen said with utmost sincerity.
"I will." Mrs. Hudson said, leading them down the steps to the front of the flat.
A Tesla Cab was parked directly outside the door. She looked to her right and there was a long line of them. She smiled. "It never hurts to be prepared." She said to her friends with a wink.
The other two women laughed, shook her hand and headed to the Cab.
Upstairs Blackstone was still remorseful, but now he was nibbling on a scone. His third to be exact. His cheeks were getting a bit ruddy. "Not that I wanted a beheading. That would be unsportsmanlike of me."
"Undoubtedly." Holmes remarked, taking a puff of his pipe.
"Only thing that really bothers me about all of this, is how all the serial killings were tied to just one man." He finally said after his fourth scone.
Holmes looked to Watson, who took a sip of his tea, then sighed. "You see, Professor Moriarity never works alone. He never does his own dirty business, except in the torture of James, of course. But the serial murders he used a very nefarious gang of thieves known as the Bloody Hand Gang."
"Dear God! Do you know what you're saying then?"
"Yes." Watson replied. "The game is still afoot!"