Conor Timmis, director, producer of KREATING KARLOFF:
“My expectations were surpassed! I couldn’t have gotten a better cast and crew even if I had millions of dollars at my disposal. The stars were in alignment for this.”
KREATING KARLOFF, a brainchild of Timmis’, sets out to faithfully recreate (and document) scenes from the actor’s classic FRANKENSTEIN (1931) and THE MUMMY (1932). Timmis, who portrays Karloff’s creations (pictured above and below in makeup) states that for the MUMMY tribute, “We shot Im-Ho-Tep’s confrontation with Muller, his meeting with Helen and Helen’s visit to the Mummy’s psychic pool before and after the ancient Egypt flashback.” He and his crew also restaged moments from both FRANKESTEIN (“The creature reaching for sunlight”) and BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN (“Breaking the chains, and the dungeon escape”). “The recreated scenes look fantastic,” the director says of the footage, shot by director of photography Scott Sniffen on a Sony CineAlta HDW-F900. “The lighting was superb. We were able to nail the classic shot of the Mummy’s eyes lighting up, which will really get fans excited. The documentary team, led by director Vatche Arabian, logged 13 hours of footage and got some great interviews!”
Handling the transformation process was special makeup artist Norman Bryn. “It was a privilege to be turned into the best Karloff recreations attempted in 75 years since Boris donned the greasepaint in 1931,” Timmis says. “Norman is our modern-day Jack Pierce. He’s the world’s foremost expert on the likeness of Boris Karloff, and a true master of his craft. [It took] four and a half hours for the Im-Ho-Tep makeup and six and a half for Frankenstein’s Monster, with a one-hour repair [during production] when my headpiece loosened due to sweat and simulated sunlight. I loved every minute of it, though!” (The latter creature’s neck bolts were molded from the late SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE comedian Phil Hartman’s Frankenstein Monster costume!)
Joining Timmis on KREATING KARLOFF were actress Liesl Ehardt (cousin of the late Zita Johann, who played Princess Anckesen-Amon in THE MUMMY), essaying a similar role to Johann—that of the woman who awakens Im-Ho-Tep from his slumber. “I was lucky to [have her on board],” says Timmis of Ehardt. “She looks exactly like Zita, but with blonde hair. It really made me feel that Zita was sitting by the (psychic) pool. It was very spooky! The fans will go nuts when they see her photos with the Mummy.”
KREATING KARLOFF is currently in postproduction, with an eye toward distribution this October. Once completed, “the recreated scenes will be taken to Sara Karloff, and hopefully Universal Studios soon after. The intention is to use it to pitch a Boris Karloff biopic, in which I would play Boris.” The documentary DVD “will be finished later this summer and will cover the entire evolution of this project. It will contain extensive cast and crew interviews, bloopers, commentary, behind-the-scenes footage, a mini-bio covering the life of Boris Karloff and of course the black-and-white screen tests for the fans.”
Timmis concludes, “Karloff is King of the Monsters. His Frankenstein’s Monster and Mummy characterizations will never be surpassed. I hope this project creates renewed interest in his work, and he’ll be recognized as one of the greatest film actors of all time.” —Sean Decker
Check out the pictures at Fangoria.
As a Karloff fan i'm quite curious about Kreating Karloff.
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