SOTA FX’s ROY KNYRIM RE-ANIMATES THE MAN-MADE MONSTER FOR THE FIRST ANNUAL BLOOD-O-RAMA SHOCK FESTIVAL AT THE CIRCLE DRIVE-IN IN SCRANTON, PA. ON OCTOBER 22ND
50TH ANNIVERSARY SCREENING TO CO-INCIDE WITH THE PUBLICATION OF SHERMAN’S NEW MOVIE MEMOIR, “WHEN DRACULA MET FRANKENSTEIN.”
(Freehold, New Jersey) OCT. 7, 2021 – After a precedent-setting 60-year career, writer, producer, distributor, marketing maven, SAM SHERMAN, shares recollections, industry advice and movie biz war stories in, WHEN DRACULA MET FRANKENSTEIN just released from Murania Press.
An oversized 377-page book, profusely illustrated with behind-the-scenes photos (many never before published), WHEN DRACULA MET FRANKENSTEIN is the story of a kid from the Bronx who grew up a horror fan and became one of the industry’s most successful independent exploitation showmen of the 1960s and 1970s. With a thick skin and a keen sense of humor, ballyhoo and showmanship, Sherman could literally turn a trashy film into a hit. Sherman and his partner and best-friend, writer/director Al Adamson formed Independent-International Pictures in 1968, releasing dozens of films over the next 20 years. From a motorcycle gang thriller (Satan’s Sadists) and a biker girls gone bad flick (Angels’ Wild Women) to kung fu action (Dynamite Brothers) & blaxploitation (Murder Gang & Mean Mother ) to cheeky sex romps (The Naughty Stewardesses, Cinderella 2000); whatever the current movie taste was, IIP would create product for it. Most films get their own chapter, including their most famous release, Dracula vs Frankenstein, which started out as an unreleasable dud that Sam Sherman expanded and revised into IIP’s biggest hit. The casting alone is the stuff of Hollywood legend like finding a record store employee named Roger Engel, who looked like Frank Zappa, and renaming him Zandor Vorkov to create some mystery for the Dracula role to casting a 7- foot accountant named John Bloom to portray the Frankenstein Monster! Sam and Al worked with many odd characters including porn stars like Georgina Spelvin to fast food icon, Colonel Sanders, of Kentucky Fried Chicken fame. They even had runs ins with Charles Manson and the Family while filming at The Spahn Ranch. In addition, Sam and Al sought out Hollywood’s Golden Age stars in the twilight of their careers – John Carradine, Broderick Crawford, Lon Chaney, Kent Taylor, Angelo Rossitto, The Ritz Brothers, Lawrence Tierney and others, always coaxing one last performance from the aging pros. To complement the fading stars, Sam and Al made an “It-Girl” out of statuesque former Vegas dancer Regina Carrol who became Al’s wife and was featured in many of his films until her untimely death.
Sam also perfected the art of re-releasing the same film with different titles and scenes, promoting them with lurid posters and crazy publicity stunts – innovative ways to coin money from the same project (eg. DRACULA VS FRANKENSTEIN became TEENAGE DRACULA). Along with hardcore business tales, the book chronicles Sam’s heartbreak when Al Adamson, his partner and “brother I never had” was brutally murdered.
WHEN DRACULA MET FRANKENSTEIN offers a unique look and playbook on independent filmmaking, marketing and distribution from an unsung pioneer of the exploitation film business. Like his films with Al Adamson, Sherman’s memoir is wild beyond belief with tales that will take the reader back to the crazy heyday and zenith of the drive-in and grind house era – once upon a time in Hollywood. The stories behind Sherman’s and Adamson’s pulpy films are the stuff of legend. Their legacy clearly inspired and paved the way for filmmakers like Quentin Tarantino, RobertRodriguez, Tobe Hooper, George Miller and even Monty Python’s
Terry Gilliam, who once shared an office with Sherman at Warren Publishing.
Mr. Sherman’s drive-in ballyhoo, showmanship and over-the-top films from Hemisphere Pictures and Independent-International Pictures Corp. will be resurrected on THE CIRCLE DRIVE-IN’S 5000-square-foot screen for the FIRST ANNUAL BLOOD-O-RAMA SHOCK FESTIVAL in Scranton, Pennsylvania on October 22nd, complete with a drive-in blood drive and a live appearance by the Frankenstein monster, re-created by Roy Knyrim of SOTA FX Studios (Toxic Avenger 2 & 3; Ed Wood; Gods & Monsters; Sinister 2). Knyrim jumped at the opportunity to tackle the Monster of Frankenstein and sought out whatever reference material he could find. Since the original latex Frankenstein Monster headpiece and appliances from the 1971 film had deteriorated beyond repair, Knyrim took on the task of re-sculpting the monster after studying the film and rare, behind the scenes photos taken during the production. Knyrim remembers DRACULA VS FRANKENSTEIN as, “One of my childhood favorites! Having the opportunity to re create the Frankenstein Monster from DRACULA VS FRANKENSTEIN was a childhood dream come true for me. I have great memories of this movie on the Saturday afternoon Creature Features in NY. Knyrim added “We are trying our best to make the Monster as accurate as possible using traditional sculpture and mold making techniques. The same way it was made back in the day. What an honor to be able to be a part of this!”
Based on Sherman’s successful packaging and marketing campaigns during the early 1970s, THE BLOOD-O-RAMA SHOCK FESTIVAL will also feature a number of the films Mr. Sherman worked on that emphasized the word “Blood” in the title including BRAIN OF BLOOD, MAD DOCTOR OF BLOOD ISLAND and BEAST OF BLOOD. Some of the other film campaigns and titles Sherman worked on during his drive-in salad days include BLOOD CREATURE, THE BLOOD DRINKERS, BRIDES OF BLOOD, BLOOD OF DRACULA’S CASTLE, HORROR OF THE BLOOD MONSTERS, HELL’S BLOODY DEVILS, and BLOOD OF GHASTLY HORROR. In fact, it was Mr. Sherman who was the brains behind the classic drive-in campaign and audience-participation gimmick called “THE OATH OF GREEN BLOOD” for the Tiki creature feature, THE MAD DOCTOR OF BLOOD ISLAND (1968), which is part of the festival.
Also on a bloody note, the film DRACULA VS FRANKENSTEIN was
originally conceived with the crimson fluid in titles like SATAN’S BLOOD FREAKS, THE BLOOD SEEKERS and even BLOOD OF FRANKENSTEIN before Sam Sherman decided to add and exploit a classic monster match- up plot with the immortal characters of the King of the Vampires, Dracula, and the man-made Frankenstein Monster.
WHEN DRACULA MET FRANKENSTEIN is published by Murania Press –www.muraniapress.com
ABOUT SAM SHERMAN, PRESIDENT, INDEPENDENT- INTERNATIONAL PICTURES CORP.
Sam Sherman is New York’s own Drive-In and Grind house movie maverick. Known as one of the masters of exploitation, his over-the-top style of wild marketing campaigns, ballyhoo, and gimmicks are largely attached to cult classic horror, biker, and blaxploitation films.
Sherman was born in New York City in the 1940s. He was an early fan of Horror Comic Books, Horror Dramatic Radio Programs, and eventually Horror Movies in Theatres and on Television. In 1958 he started working for James Warren’s Warren Publishing as a writer and advertising specialist on FAMOUS MONSTERS OF FILMLAND MAGAZINE. At the same time, Sherman attended the Film Institute of the City College of New York, graduating with a BA in Motion Picture film Techniques.
Sherman went on to work for Hemisphere Pictures to do their marketing of Horror films, including reviewing screenplays, creating Movie Trailers,
TV and Radio spot commercials, and special graphics and copy for print advertising and posters. Sherman eventually went on to write and produce one of Hemisphere’s Horror films – BRAIN OF BLOOD.
In 1968, Sam Sherman and partner Al Adamson started their own film production/distribution company, Independent-International Pictures Corp., with former theatre owner Dan Kennis.
The company specialized in films for drive-in theatres in the US. The company eventually started its own Home Video label, Super Video Inc., and its own television sales company. Some of the company’s well-known films include PSYCHO A GO-GO, SATAN’S SADISTS, THE DYNAMITE BROTHERS, CINDERELLA 2000, and NURSE SHERRI, and many more.
The films of Al Adamson and Sam Sherman have become cult favorites, with many comparing their exploitation film legacy to that of Ed Wood with their bewildering low-budget fare, weird subject matter, and the inclusion of “has-been” Hollywood actors. Unfortunately, when Adamson and Sherman were working on their last film, BEYOND THIS EARTH, a docu-drama on UFO sightings and alien abductions, Al Adamson was tragically murdered in 1995. Mr. Sherman was left to carry on their film legacy with Independent-International and the memory of his friend and partner. Their films are still popular with Mondo movie and drive-in lovers worldwide.
Mr. Sherman could be described as New York’s “Drive-In” Danny Rose. A true character with chutzpah with a never-say-die attitude. He is one of the few surviving B-Movie film mavericks that can tell the story of the waning drive-in and grind house days, the strange and bizarre marketplace of that influential era of independent filmmaking. Sadly, the murder of his business partner and friend — Al Adamson — parallels the end of this unique period of filmmaking.
Sam Sherman is still going strong at 81-years-young. Besides completing his memoir, Sam is working with David Sehring of Drive-In-Sanity Films on a proposed sequel to DRACULA VS FRANKENSTEIN and a re-boot of the BLOOD ISLAND film franchise which is currently in development with producer/director Brian Yuzna as a comic book and film series. In addition, Sherman continues to tour his Drive-In Cult Classics around the country with recently restored and re- mastered versions of the films he made with Al Adamson, including DRACULA VS FRANKENSTEIN and BRAIN OF BLOOD. Adamson’s life and tragic death, as well as the films he made with Sam Sherman, were celebrated in the recent documentary BLOOD & FLESH: THE REEL LIFE & GHASTLY DEATH OF AL ADAMSON by director David Gregory for Severin Films.