By - Stephen Mezo
The Story Behind The Monster Toy Collection of Daniel White
Part One The Introduction
I would like to start this article with a huge thank you to Daniel White for sharing the photos of his amazing collection with us and for typing in his own words the history behind it with all of us fellow Monster Kids.
Daniel said his love of Monsters started in the city of Chicago on Monroe Street with his father Alfred and uncle Richard's love of the "Shock Theater" horror show. And Daniel says Uncle Richard was into the horror show hosted by Terry Bennett as "(Mad) Marvin" even more.
Richard and Alfred White
Monster movie host Terry Bennett as "Marvin" from the Shock Theater Television show
Daniel: I can really remember it all started when my brother Alan and I were very young I was only 3 and he was 4 and we were in the same baby crib, my uncle came through our bed room door as The Mummy and scared the living s*** out of my brother and me too.
Uncle Richard as The Mummy
"And why would uncle Richard be dressed as a mummy?" you ask. Well about that time Daniel's uncle Richard was making one of many home monster movies complete with a set built in Alfred's basement.
Uncle Richard on set.
Daniel: The mummy set that my Uncle made was right in the basement where we lived. And I was told to stay out of it, but there was no way that I could. I was always down there and man as soon as that mummy came around I was gone. I thought all the movies I saw on Shock Theater were the movies my dad and uncle were making, but to tell you the truth I loved it and still do. My uncle used to give me gifts signed from The Mummy and I believed it too, I still kind of do to this day.
Alfred White as The Vampire 1960's
Alfred's fangs in Daniel's collection 2015
I remember when our uncle Pete was blown up in a gas pit explosion and was injured really bad that year. He was unable to finish his part in the movie, but when he came home I thought he was the mummy the way they had him wrapped up. It became part of why I like monsters and on top of that my dad always walked around like Frankenstein in our house all the time. No wonder why I ended up loving monsters so much. And I remember when we moved to the Burbs in 1963 my Dad made me up as Dr. Satan's robot. He used card board, masking tape and silver spray paint I remember it like it was yesterday.
The Man of Steel Robot from the "Mysterious Dr. Satan" Serials
My dad was awesome and The White brothers really had their s*** together artistically I wish I was half as good as them but I will carry on in their names trust me....
Alfred White on Halloween in the 1960's
*Note* Daniel's father Alfred and his uncle Richard were artist for the Bally Pinball company score board glass, and I have a separate showcase for Uncle Richard's works. One of which is the pinball machine in Arnolds Drive - In on the Television show Happy Days.
Daniel: 1964 came rolling around and I got my AJ Renzi Monster Car and my Horrorscope for Christmas I love them now even more then I did back then. My brother and I had the best Christmases.
Halloween of that same year (sorry for the time jump) my dad made a Zorro costume for my brother then I asked him what I was going to be? So he said "Let's go to the drug store". It was Friday night and Halloween was Saturday the next day, so he bought two boxes of cotton and three packs of brown dye. We got home and he started boiling water, he put the die in then the cotton and made my mask that night. He put the brown wet cotton in the dryer grabbed my Ben Cooper Frankenstein mask and some plastic fangs. Then glued the dyed and dried cotton onto it. The rest of the costume was made with masking tape, rubber bands, work gloves, old shoes and card board for finger nails. The mask was in two parts and he made that thing in a few hours My best Halloween ever never to be matched.
Alan as Zorro and Daniel as The Wolfman Halloween 1965
in costumes made by their father Alfred White.
I was always by my Uncles house and he kept me out of so much trouble it's not even funny.
I got real sick in 1969 and almost died, nobody wanted anything to do with me and not one friend came to see me, but my monsters never left me and there still here for me today. My dad, my uncle and me moved on to better things like watching Castle Films Super 8 Sound Monster Movies together. Before there were any sound on them my Dad and Uncle used to put the sound to those movies, then sent them out to have them sound striped. And I was there every foot of the way, boy did I have fun watching those guys do that stuff and I still have them all. Matter of fact when my uncle worked on his art work for Bally's Pinball in his house nobody was allowed near him, but I was there and he let me watch him. We were like Bro's and he would let me have anything I wanted.
Even now as people come to see him fading away slowly he tells them to go, even family. But when I go over there to visit him he holds my hand and tells me he Loves me.
Little back tracking again, I remember playing with all the Marx monsters in my uncle's drive way with my cousin Susan that would be 63-64. Then at all the birthday parties we would play the monster old maid game.
Daniel, Susan, Linda and Alan
I used love to go by my Uncles house when he was painting those monster models in enamels oh that smell it's still in my brain.
I can remember my Aunt and Uncle making this Zorro suit for my cousin's Ken doll, wow I wanted that thing so bad but then G.I. Joe came out and that is a whole other story. My uncle would always have a monster movie playing on his reel to reel tape player that I still have. My dad had one too and I have that one as well with all of the tapes. My Uncle's house always smelled like enamels and Testors glue. Oh man between the glue fumes back when my Dad made that wolf man costume combined with my mom's hair spray that he finished it with was my first high! HA HA HA Wow...
Well I can remember when my Uncle made my cousins Susan and Linda up as Frankenstein and the wolf man and even made my brother up as the mummy and that took 4 hours alone itself. My Dad made me up as a zombie and I'll be damned, my brother came home and my Dad was trying to take home movies of him. Well he was crying and yelling "I have to pee!" and he ripped that whole costume off. Wow my dad, my uncle and me were really mad and my uncle told him "I will never make you up again!" My dad wanted to kill him but my cousins and me stayed dressed up and did our thing and that was in 1970. By the time 1972 came rolling around the Spooktacular was getting ready to roll.
One day I was over by my uncle's house in 1972 and he asked me if I wanted to make a monster musical and I said yes. He put all the songs down on paper for me to practice acting in "Monster Movie Ball". Everything happens to me as the two headed beat nick monster and I practiced at home and his house all the time. I helped with the recordings right after dinner and also helped my uncle make all the backdrop bricks with news paper, masking tape, poster board, gray, white and black spray paint. And he even made a full skeleton by hand with wire, paper and tape. I sat there and watched him make that thing. I let everything else go in my life just to be with my Uncle this stuff. It took a couple of years to do just about everything on that set because it was all made by hand. And I remember trying to get that damn make-up off of myself. I would go to school the next day everyone would make fun of me and laugh at me, even the teachers. But I didn't care about that s*** I just wanted to make that movie with my Uncle and I would do anything for him.
Daniel on set in 1972 with Uncle Richard's prop head.
Uncle Richard's prop head in Daniel's collection 2015
Everybody used to call me a girl because it looked like I had eye shadow on and that went on for a long time. It didn't bother me at all and the reason the movie was finished in 74 was because my Uncle had a lot of problems with the sound. Yep it was Bell & Howell camera so he had to trash that. Then the movie got put on hold and it didn't even process right so my cousin and me made that Frankenstein movie instead.
A lot of work went into that one as well like my cousin trying to make the torch's for our Frankenstein movie and she said she would take care of that. But every time we lit that thing it would fall apart and go all over the place so I told her I would take care it. So I got some wire wrapped it around the rag and a broom stick. Then soaked in some kerosene and ran across the street to my Uncles house with a lit torch made. And many of them and they burned along time.
Then I remember when we were filming a part in that Frankenstein movie where I was lifting my hand up. I was laying on the table on my back and my cousin slammed my hand so hard on that table I had four black and blue finger nails after, my eyes were closed and I never said a word. And in a coffin shot when I ran my hand across the top of the coffin lid there were small rocks in the clay that cut the hell out of hand ...
There was actually a much bigger set in my Uncles front room but that got taken down by time 74 came rolling around. We were all set to go and I can remember my uncle making my aunt up as the mummy while I was making my cousin up as the wolf man then my Uncle had to make me up as Frankenstein. Man that was a long night but it is was a lot of fun and it was a Saturday night and I didn't get home till Sunday morning. My uncle sent the film out to get it striped and added the sound later. It was a lot of work and he had the Eumig camera when we got done.
We all went out for dinner that night and he gave me a nice card with some cash in it. The other set got put up in the garage and we did that wolf man footage during the shutdown. I made that wolf man cane out of poster board Elmer's glue silver Testors enamels and a old broom stick. I used flower and water with news paper and put it on my face, then used a hair dryer to start the wolf man mask. I was in my bed room a lot doing monster things and I was the weird guy at the end of the street!
And that "Weird guy on the street" wound up in
Famous Monsters Magazine issue #92
In Part Two of Daniel White's monster collection history and story you'll get to see his museum of monsters and find out how he landed some of the Grails of Vintage Monster Collecting and more.