Few people would associate Boris Karloff’s Frankenstein monster, the possession of Carole Lombard and Peter Cushing’s creepy depiction of Count Dracula with the word “beautiful.” Yet the chilling horror films they made famous produced some the most beautiful and captivating works of poster art ever created. These kings and queens of spook are represented in five special vintage posters offered in Heritage’s July 29-30 Movie Poster auction.
Simply drenched in dread, Carol Lombard’s haunting visage on the poster from 1933’s Supernatural (Paramount, 1933) perfectly captures the face of a woman possessed by the spirit of a killer. Heritage is offering one of just three posters known to exist from this 1933 classic and marks the first of any paper Heritage ever has offered for this ghost story (est. $45,000-90,000).
The 1931 vehicle that made Karloff a household name also produced a poster that all but tells the full tale of Frankenstein. Lush portraits of the “Mad Scientist,” the “damsel in distress” and the struggling monster himself come together in dramatic fashion. The poster shown here is one of only six copies known to exist (est. $80,000-160,000).
Following the success of Frankenstein, Karloff would return to the role two years later in a sequel that promised to give the monster a touch of humanity in the form of a bride. The rare French Grande poster for Universal’s The Bride of Frankenstein nearly gives away the thrilling climax of the screaming She-Creature. Nevertheless, the image is emblazoned in our minds from a sequel that was as big a hit as its predecessor (est. $40,000-80,000).
Actor Peter Cushing’s downright eerie depiction solidified Count Dracula’s reputation as a blood-sucking vampire when Horror of Dracula debuted in 1958. (est. $10,000-20,000). Never offered before by Heritage, this Italian 4 – fogli is the first of two different style posters printed for the film.
A personal favorite, this lobby card from King Kong – the tour de force of all monster films – treats us to two images of Skull Island’s colossus ($8,000-16,000). On the left, a peaceful Kong approaches the lovely Fay Wray who he plucked from the ground and placed at eye level. On the right, the king of monsters battles airplanes perched atop the Empire State Building. This original lobby card poses the immortal question: Was it the airplanes or beauty that killed the beast?
Written by: Eric Bradley