Famous Monsters magazine introduced me to the classic monster borne of science and madness. Sadly, the actual films were scarce before VHS and rarely played on late night TV around here.
The Groovie Goolies and The Munsters had him as a fun-lovin’ tall guy on Saturday mornings, but thanks to Forry Ackerman, I knew there was more to him than quips and drumsticks.
I had witnessed Hammer’s darker and bloodier take on the tale on late-night TV horror marathons and there were conflicting emotions in my young, monster-fan mind.
Who’s the hero in the Frankenstein stories? The Monster? He starts out as an innocent, but becomes more of a sociopathic outcast as he is denied a normal life
Is Victor Frankenstein a hero? He certainly has visionary zeal, but disregards his moral compass to suit his needs, until things get out of hand. Turns out everyone’s a victim in these adventures, and that’s why they got under my skin as true horror stories.
So ultimately, when Halloween came around one year and I spotted a full-headed Frankenstein mask, I begged for it.
Such is the universal appeal of the monster that everyone knew who he was and, once I found a furry vest and heavy boots for that proper Karloff imagery, I was the happiest monster on the block.
This became my go-to costume for remaining Halloween runs. Some extra scoops of treats may have been received for bringing a classic monster to the doorsteps of folks who knew him from their childhood nightmares. I knew he was just misunderstood. We both were simply looking for friends.
Ah, I may have been on the lookout for chocolate, as well.