In the Seventies, I would buy the latest issue of FAMOUS MONSTERS OF FILMLAND off the pharmacy’s magazine rack nearly every month. One of the best parts of the magazine were the mail order pages where tons of awesome monster-related and scifi-related items were advertised by the Captain Company of New York, New York. There was a multitude of monster merchandise, both common and uncommon, and in 1976 my eye caught sight of Item #21279 and I had to have it.
I was never able to send away for anything from the Captain Company, but thanks to the local Waldenbooks store in my NJ mall, I was able to get my 8yo hands on a copy of the book MOVIE MONSTER MAZES.
It was a great thrill to score something which I’ve stared at all month long, month after month, in the back pages of FAMOUS MONSTERS magazine. MOVIE MONSTER MAZES did not disappoint this young monster movie fan. Not only were the mazes themselves challenging with an actual time limit assigned to each one, but the artist/author Vladimir Koziakin illustrated a wide and deep range of cinematic creatures most of whom are hardly ever utilized in merchandise.
For every classic monster in this book, such as THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA…
…there was a more obscure character, such as the Vampire from the lost silent movie LONDON AFTER MIDNIGHT.
There is a maze made out of the classic FRANKENSTEIN’S MONSTER…
…and the less-than-classic FRANKENSTEIN’S DAUGHTER from the 1958 B-movie!
A maze you can do by the light of the full moon, THE WOLFMAN.
A maze to do as you rock around the clock, I WAS A TEENAGE WOLFMAN.
It is the inclusion of these B-Movie monsters that makes this book that much more special to any monster fan. Here is a small sample of them from the fifty mazes you can do.
Even the sub-genre of monster movies I love most of all, the giant monster movie, is well represented too.
Koziakin, the illustrator, is not without a sense of humor in creating these mazes.
As an 8 yo I always thought it was funny that you entered THE INVISIBLE MAN maze via his nose.
This book was published in 1976 and the monsters of modern horror were included as mazes as well.
But out of all fifty of these monstrous mazes, the creepiest one is the maze where you’re forced to stare at the hideous visage while trying to beat its five minute limit, THE PICTURE OF DORIAN GRAY.
Even though I’ve had this book for 40 years, only a select few of the mazes have been completed. It is not that the mazes were an activity not worth the time, but rather the probable reason was that the idea of being lost in a maze within one of these monsters is a bit…creepy!
I like to look back at our collectively-shared Pop Culture history and write about it, but mostly I try to buy it all back off eBay.