Powdered Frankenstein: part I



It was the Holy of Holies… possibly the most elusive collectible in the realm of horror memorabilia, although to call such a thing memorabilia was to grossly mislabel the substance, as well as greatly undervalue its worth.

Daniel was thirty-eight and had been hearing about Powdered Frankenstein at least since his twenties. It was almost the equivalent of an urban myth in his circles- his circles being rabid collectors of the ephemera of old monster films. He and his peers (whom he privately considered to be his competitors as well) were solitary ghouls by nature- largely divorced from so-called ‘conventional’ family and romantic ties- haunting annual horror conventions, skulking around estate sales in the heat of Los Angeles summers, even known to borough through movie studio dumpsters to find those rarities whose true value others could not see.

His was a discerning lot, not content with the usual replicas or latter-day mementos from 80’s slasher films like many collectors. Daniel and his kind were dedicated to a grander era of moviemaking before the rise of gimmicks like Cinemascope and Technicolor, when caped figures and misshapen silhouettes stalked across black and white screens. Their prizes were therefore all the more valuable- and harder to find: Prosthetic forehead pieces worn by Glenn Strange, Charles Laughton’s bullwhip from Island of Lost Souls, Lon Chaney Jr.’s furry slippers from The Wolf Man. Each was an invaluable relic from an age of classic cinema long-since dead. These specimens did not come cheap, and fakes were notoriously prevalent, but Daniel’s kind were experts at spotting contemporary forgeries and fabrications.

None of the above, however- not even Bela Lugosi’s Dracula Cape- were on the same plane as Powdered Frankenstein.

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