3 New Intriguing Factoids From the Sci-Fi/Horror/Mystery Genre

Most serials had an edited-down film version. Vincent Price's fave film was Theatre of Blood. Groucho Marx's TV quiz show host co-starred in The Thing.

Virtually every serial produced was also released at some point as an edited-down feature-length version retaining most of the action sequences. In 1966, many of the Republic serials were released to television in an edited format with picturesque new tiles: "The Purple Monster Strikes" became "D-Day on Mars," "Radar Men From The Moon" became "Retik, The Moon Menace," "The Crimson Ghost" became "Cyclotrode X, "The Invisible Monster" became "Slaves of the Invisible Monster," "Federal Agents Vs Underworld Incorporated " became "The Golden Hands of Kurigal," "The Black Widow" became "Sombra, The Spider Woman, " and "Zombies of the Stratosphere" became "Satan's Satellites."

Ruehl Fact: The 1934 Bela Lugosi serial, "The Return of Chandu," was released as two separate re-edited films in 1935: one retained the original title, "The Return of Chandu," while the other was entitled "Chandu on the Magic Isle." Ironically, Lugosi was Chandu's arch enemy Roxor in 1932's "Chandu, the Magician," which starred Edmund Lowe in the title role, before assuming the part himself!

Vincent Price's personal favorite film was 1973's "Theatre of Blood," wherein he portrayed an actor rejected for the theater critics' award who stylishly kills off those critics one-by-one in replicated Shakespearean death scenes. Both his regular and Shakespearean renditions were marvelous, and of Oscar quality.

But, true to form, his exquisite performance was ignored by the critics, mirroring his character in the movie. However, he did meet and marry cast member Coral Browne. On a fascinating, note, 6 gallons on artificial blood were employed for the film's 8 gruesome death scenes!

Ruehl Fact: Price was heard, but not seen or listed in the credits, as the Invisible Man at the end of 1948's "Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein." He was in a rowboat with the comedic duo, in a reprise of his starring role in 1940's "The Invisible Man Returns."

While Christian Nyby received screen credit for 1951s' sci-fi classic, "The Thing" (aka "The Thing From Another World"), producer Howard Hawks was reportedly in full charge of the direction, as evinced by the inclusion of some of his distinctive touches, such as overlapping dialogue.

Co-stars Kenneth Tobey and Dewey Martin confirmed this while Nyby stated that Hawks did allow him to occasionally visit the set. Conceivably, Hawks declined directorial credit because sci-fi flicks were regarded as second-rate "B" films.

Ruehl Fact: George Fenneman, who portrayed a scientist in the film, later gained renown as the host and straight man on Groucho Marx's popular TV quiz show, "You Bet Your Life" (1956-61).