February 14, 2022

Monsters Crash the Valentine's Day Party

Once upon a time, the relentless marketing campaign we call Valentine’s Day was not content to just colonize the adult world, but insinuated its way deep into the nation’s schoolrooms.

At my elementary school, as Valentine’s Day got closer, paper cut-out hearts would proliferate on the classroom bulletin board, and the whole place seemed to be infused with various shades of red and pink.

When the day rolled around (or the Friday before if the holiday fell on a weekend), the unthinkable happened. Kids came to class with the cardboard shoe boxes they (or their moms) had decorated the night before and plopped them down on their desks, ready for the Great Valentine Exchange.

At the appointed time, we’d shuffle around the room, stuffing cheap five-and-dime tear-off valentines into each other’s boxes. Some kids got shorted, some popular kids got fancy hand-made cards, and there was always a kid or two who forgot to bring anything. But we liked it. (Of course, trying to do something like that today would result in apoplectic parents, tumultuous school board meetings, lawsuits, firings and all kinds of social chaos.)

Being a monster kid, I took the opportunity to turn Valentine’s Day into Halloween-lite, and was always on the look-out for monster-themed cards. Fortunately in the ‘60s, the popularity of local TV Creature Features meant that there were numerous choices. Like these:

Universal Monster valentines by Norman Saunders, circa 1966.

In honor of those wonderfully gaudy, cheap monster valentines of yesteryear, Films From Beyond presents a new line, updated for the times we live in (sort of).

"Whoa! Ever heard of a breath mint?" Atom Age Vampire, 1960

"Call me when you're over the conjunctivitis." Horror of Dracula, 1958

Godzilla and King Kong decided to move in together, but all the places they looked at were too small. King Kong vs. Godzilla, 1963

Ted tried to impress Isabel with his mastery of shadow puppetry. The Mad Ghoul, 1943

"Come here, Mummy needs a hug." The Mummy's Curse, 1944