Tuesday, October 1, 2019

View-Masters of Horror (PART ONE)

View-Master is one of my all time favorite, and most cherished childhood toys. I can't even begin to count the hours spent staring into my viewer and being whisked away into other realms of fun and fantasy. A very simple, but none the less brilliant concept from the age of innocence, made all the more magical by the gorgeous artistry put into the tiny sets and sculptures (in particular the mind bending work of Florence Thomas and Joe Liptak.) So that of course brings me to the point of this post: I've heard people describe the ones that utilized this more puppety look as "creepy" or some nonsense, though aside from the Dracula, Frankenstein, and Wolfman reels (and maybe Casper the Friendly Ghost), I can't really think of any other examples where View-Master actually did delve into the ACTUAL realm of "creepy." And then I recently saw someone online having a fun time making View-Masters that don't really exist for films and shows that definitely deserve the 3D TRU-VUE treatment, and I decided to buckle down and make a few myself.













CLICK HERE for PART TWO: Talking View-Master Reels

And speaking of spooky View-Master scenes, some of my favorite imagery actually comes from a Christmas VM-- that being the bone-chilling spectres from A Christmas Carol (aka Scrooge) set. So what's a guy to do when putting the reels on a scanner doesn't really work for me as it apparently does for others? I aim my iPhone camera into the viewer and take a handful of not totally great, but surprisingly halfway decent shots. Enjoy!











Happy holidays, everyone! Lots more spooky stuff on the way...

10 comments:

Caffeinated Joe said...

The weird 3D-ness of some view master reels always threw me, a bit. A little jarring and like, not perfect versions of the source. Not sure if that makes sense.

I would have bought some of these had they been real. And I think they would have had a hit with at least the Abbott and Costello set!

Tom said...

I'd love to have an "Abbott & Costello Meets Frankenstein" Viewmaster reel! Add "The Ghost and Mr. Chicken" too! I've never seen the "A Christmas Carol" reel. Looks like a good one.

Bob Johns said...

Holy crap I never knew these existed I must find some!!

Mestiere said...

I remember that as a child I especially liked it when they showed water in those dioramas.

Mr. Cavin said...

Sweet. When I was reading the intro I anticipated you'd do one about THE CAR, but I am also delighted to see you've included CITY OF THE DEAD. And I would sell a pinkie toe to get my hands on a View-Master version of CURSE OF THE DEMON, the titular effect of which would look just super duper in stereoscopic 3D. Man, what a dream.

I love this Christmas Carol stuff too. I like the way that's flipping tradition on its head, looking over spooky Christmas stories at Halloween instead of the other way around.

JMR777 said...

View-Master horror fun for the monster kid in all of us.
View-Master missed a large market by not tapping into the little horror fans back then.

Deadpan Flook said...

I've still got a few Viewmaster reels kicking around...my favourites being some Tom Baker era Doctor Who ones and some Dukes of Hazard ones!

Would have loved some more spooky themed feels though! Those Christmas Carol ones are awesome!

Mr. Karswell said...

Glad every one enjoyed these fictional reels, I have a handful of talking reel versions up next-- stay tombed!

Brother Bill said...

Those viewmasters frames look surprisingly good. Now---if I could convince you to take a picture from each eye, and line them up side by side.... ;)

Guillaume said...

I don't know these View-Master things.

On a side note, I watched Hotel Horror last year. Not a great movie by any stretch of the imagination, but great fun all the same.