Author Topic: Lost at DPS  (Read 380 times)

The Maskahuna

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Lost at DPS
« on: January 14, 2018, 12:56:29 AM »
There's no better place on earth where any of us would want to get lost.
However, when molds go missing there, that's no fun at all!
I've chosen to shine my searchlight on three long lost rubber relics from
DP's golden age. Not only are there any known existing copies, it's believed
that none of the molds even survived beyond the 1960s.

The 800 line DRACULA was an early casualty of the Bela Lugosi Estate vs
Universal Studios litigation, along with all other products bearing the
horror star's likeness ~



I asked Verne Langdon about this lost Dracula mask once but he didn't
really comment specifically, outside of remarking about the lawsuit that
halted its production and praising Ellis Burman's sculptural style.
Vintage images of old DP Dracula masks have been posted on various
forums but I was never sure if they depicted this version or others from
an even earlier series.




Don Post Sr's rendition of UNCLE CREEPY is perhaps the most hopelessly
lost mask of all ~



It appeared in old magazine ads but anyone who ordered it
received the alternate version instead ~



Verne Langdon confirmed that it never went into production:

"I don't think we sold any. It needed foam in the top which is why
it was impractical. There was only one mold. I really wasn't happy
with it. I don't think Jim (Warren) was happy with it either although
we sent him a gag shot of it with a Santa Claus hat for Christmas
and he used it on one of his magazines."








As a boy my father used to drive me over to Hollywood Blvd so I could
visit shops like Bert Wheeler magic and try on monster masks. I distinctly
remember ducking into a copy of our third lost DP artifact:
the first retail GORILLA ~



A paper version I made of the mask afterwards shows my childhood interpretation
of its finish: orange stipple over dark base with brown hair ~



I only have two other photographs of this lost Gorilla mask,
both taken at retail shops in the 1960s ~

     

The hands (more like mittens) for this version really appealed to my unsophisticated tastes.
There was no separation between the fingers and the texture was quite rough. I haven't
seen a pair since 1967 but would sure like to again. The things boys remember ...  ::)
Not long before he passed away, Verne had autograph cards printed up
to hand out at conventions ~



The images are DP promotional portraits familiar to us all but included is
a surprise shot of Verne sculpting this lost Gorilla! As an extra bonus
the Karloff armature on which the "Universal Horrors" were sculpted can
be seen as well ~



Upon asking Verne why production ceased on this Gorilla mask, he said
it "didn't finish well" with other characters in the custom line; plus, it was
missing an important sculptural element: "the Gemora muzzle" ~



Post Studios had just come into possession of a face cast, actually a working
master, of Charles Gemora's screen-used ape mask which was later clay-pressed
and worked into other DP gorillas. Verne hinted that the second retail version,
now known as "The Hollywood Gorilla", may well feature that "Gemora muzzle"
he so wanted to include originally ~



To say more would only confuse the issue so let's close here on the hope
that one or more of these lost DP masks will someday reappear in this
21st century ... or better yet the master molds on them. Considering what
shows up on eBay, you just never know ...



palservy

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Re: Lost at DPS
« Reply #1 on: January 14, 2018, 06:19:30 AM »
I'm diggin' that Creepy! Got to enjoy those old photos also

Josh

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Re: Lost at DPS
« Reply #2 on: January 14, 2018, 11:54:39 AM »
The unproduced 800 line Lugosi Drac (and Igor) are probably my top 2 dream masks.

Adding to the mystery around the unproduced Creepy is this photo of one of the Beach Boys wearing a copy


jupiter2

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Re: Lost at DPS
« Reply #3 on: January 14, 2018, 12:17:50 PM »
What a great post, Maskahuna. Like a history lesson! Thank you!

prestonjjrtr

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Re: Lost at DPS
« Reply #4 on: January 14, 2018, 02:20:13 PM »
Thanks Maskahuna, it would be a monster kids dream come true to come up with some of these lost treasures.   

Kidagain

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Re: Lost at DPS
« Reply #5 on: January 14, 2018, 03:40:37 PM »
Always love your trips down memory lane Huna,informative and most of the time photos rarely seen before.Thank you so much.

Gory Glenn

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Re: Lost at DPS
« Reply #6 on: January 14, 2018, 07:00:53 PM »
Great stuff 'huna! What the hell are we gonna do after January? Maybe we could convince you to register over at the UMA? Huh? Please? Maybe?  ;) ;D

Kidagain

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Re: Lost at DPS
« Reply #7 on: January 15, 2018, 12:55:20 PM »
I second that motion,everyone here can move on over to the Universal Monster Army website.Plenty to see and do with masks,toys and all monster memorabilia. All are welcome and we are pretty nice too.

Doh!

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Re: Lost at DPS
« Reply #8 on: January 16, 2018, 01:03:00 AM »
I third the motion...

Motion carried!
"You're dead, son.  Get yourself buried."
--J.J. Hunsecker

Rezman777

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Re: Lost at DPS
« Reply #9 on: January 17, 2018, 10:38:47 AM »
Hopefully the mighty Kahuna will make us all happy and take up residence at the UMA, as requested .  We, as well as our hobby would otherwise be greatly deminished!  Please mighty one, dont leave us as latex orphans!

Gory Glenn

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Re: Lost at DPS
« Reply #10 on: January 17, 2018, 11:31:51 AM »
Please mighty one, dont leave us as latex orphans!

Kidagain

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Re: Lost at DPS
« Reply #11 on: January 17, 2018, 02:11:14 PM »
I hope that tugs on his heart strings,it did mine and I'm already a member over there!

FRANKENSTEIN

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Re: Lost at DPS
« Reply #12 on: January 17, 2018, 08:14:10 PM »
Thanks so much Huna - what great and interesting information.  I am so going to miss these fantastic postings!  :'(