Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The Great Monster Magazines

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The Great Monster Magazines
A Critical Study of the Black and White Publications of the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s
By Robert Michael “Bobb” Cotter

I talked about this great book a few Hauntcasts ago, and wanted to point it out again to all monster and comics kids out there. It was a really nice survey and history of the monster magazine, and definitely recommended.

The Official Johnny Thunder Scary Seal of Approval!

http://www.mcfarlandpub.com/book-2.php?id=978-0-7864-3389-6

Fangs for the memories

vampire Pictures, Images and Photos

Slate has a nifty little article entitled “The Garlic Years: When have we not been in the midst of a vampire craze?”

While it’s a little light in information, it’s a fun little observation about the hipness of the undead bloodsuckers in pop culture.

http://www.slate.com/id/2228717

Nevermore: An Evening With Edgar Allan Poe

"Nevermore: An Evening With Edgar Allan Poe," is a one man stage play starring Jeffrey Combs, directed by Stuart Gordon and written by Dennis Paoli.

Shows are every weekend from now until late October at the Steve Allen Theater located at 4773 Hollywood Blvd in Los Angeles.

http://www.steveallentheater.com/nevermore

I would love to catch this show!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Man Made Monster (1941)

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"The most amazing monster the world has ever known!"
Starring Lon Chaney Jr. and Lionel Atwill
Directed by George Waggner
From Universal Pictures

In my opinion, one of the lesser known and under-rated Universal efforts. Man Made Monster was, in fact, Lon Chaney Jr.'s first "true" horror film coming right before The Wolf Man. Shot in only three weeks, it was the cheapest done by Universal in 1941 despite some nifty glowing special effects. Like many other projects, this one was originally conceived as a vehicle for either Karloff and/or Lugosi but neither were destined to star.

The story begins when a bus hits a power line, killing all passengers on board, except for circus performer "Dynamo" Dan McCormick (Lon Chaney Jr.), who survives because he is immune to electricity, seemingly due to his carnie act. McCormick is taken in by the kindly Dr. John Lawrence (Samuel S. Hinds), a leading authority on electrobiology, and it would appear that he truly has Dan's best interests at heart. However, Dr. Lawrence's dodgy colleague - dare I say mad (are there any other kind?) scientist, Dr. Paul Rigas (Lionel Atwill) takes a shine to the prospect of using Dan as a guinea pig to test his ideas about electricity.

Dr. Rigas begins experimenting on Dan, giving him higher and higher doses of electricity, thereby turning Dan into a true Electric Man. After the experiments, Dan's touch kills anyone and anything by electrocution. Framed for Dr. Lawrence's murder by the evil Dr. Rigas, Dan is fully under the bad doctor's control. Soon, Dan is captured by the police and later sentenced to death.

Sending an Electric Man to the electric chair - not surprisingly - does not do away with Dan, and he escapes from prison. He has been supercharged and is living on borrowed time - and power.

He returns to the lab to not only confront Dr. Rigas but also in the process saves the young heroine June Lawrence (Anne Nagel) in the nick of time. Wearing a rubber suit, Dan takes young June into the countryside, only to be chased by the authorities and June's beau reporter. After dropping June, the Electric Man gets snagged on a barbed wire fence, thereby ripping his containment suit. As a result, he runs out of the electricity that has been keeping him alive, and he perishes.

The film was later re-released under various titles including Electric Man, The Mysterious Dr. R. and most notably The Atomic Monster.

I recommend it to all classic monster fans. It’s a solid little film and there’s no better time of year to check it out!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Scary Monsters Magazine #72

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What a treat it was to make my way down the drive of stately Thunder Manor to ye olde mail box and peek inside to discover a familiar manila envelope inside. Yes, that's right - the new issue of Scary Monsters Magazine was here and in my diabolical clutches.

It was doubly sweet since I had the day off from work. After traversing the scary landscape of the front yard (much shorter than going back up the drive), I ripped open the envelope to find the fangtastic werewolf cover by Terry Beatty staring up at me. So, I knew what I had to do. What any self-respecting monster kid would do.

I immediately discarded all plans for yard work and errands, and instead popped in some classic Universal flicks into the ole DVD player, curled up with a fine beverage, and dove right into SMM #72! With the likes of Frankenstein, House of Frankenstein, Werewolf of London and The Invisible Man keeping me company all afternoon, I took in the spooktacular goodness that is Scary Monsters Magazine.

Here is a sample of the snarling scarepieces in this ish:

- A Tribute to Oliver Reed by Tom Triman
- The Curse of the Werewolf Movie Preview pictoral
- Famous Monsters Calendar Masks by Marck C. Glassy, Ph.D.
- The Cosmic Drive-In: 1980s Scare-Style Part 2 by Robert Freese
- Trick 'N Treat Memories of Little Lulu by Rod Labbe
- It's been Nice....Decomposing With You! (a spotlight on horror host Grimsley) by Jim Fetters
- A Look Inside Bela Lugoi's Personal Scrapbook Volume 3 - Bela Lugosi Drawings and Movie Theatre displays by Dennis L. Phelps
- The Many Faces of Frankenstein Part Two by Tom Triman
- How You Sven? (Spotlight on the delightful horror host Svengoolie) by Mancow
- The Wolf Man's Destiny by Jack Kelleher
- Scare-eviews by David Alex Nahmod
- Scare-News by Dr. Johnny Scareshock
- Scary DVD Headline Grues by Ron Adams

All in all, another monsterously "Beast issue ever" of A Real Monster Magazine!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

House of the Wolf Man

Calling all monster kids and cool ghouls!

I first talked about this spooktacular looking gem a few Hauntcast shows ago, and I cannot wait to see it.


Check out the new poster:

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....and trailer:

The premiere of the fright flick will be October 1st in Los Angeles, CA:

Thursday, Oct. 1st, 2009 at 9:30pm.

Vista Theatre
4473 Sunset Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90027

Doors open at 9:00 p.m.


There is also word of a show in Pittsburgh, PA:

One Show Only: Saturday, October 24th, 7:30 p.m.
Ligonier Theatre
Route 30
Ligonier, PA
Limited Seating.
I will be sure to let everyone know if I hear of any other showings. Yet another great Halloween present for all the classic monster fans out there!

Hauntcast 11 Now Playing!


Hauntcast 11 :: K'Oktoberfest

Rated R for foul language, idiocy, and lewd behavior.

Revenant, Johnny Thunder, Shelley, Steve-O & Geoff will bring it while Chris gets Extreme with Tom Nardone of Extreme Pumkins.com as well as music, mayhem and more!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Universal Studios Monsters: A Legacy of Horror

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Calling all monster kids!

If you're a fan of the classic Universal flicks like me, this new book may be of interest to you. It is titled "Universal Studios Monsters: A Legacy of Horror," written by Michael Mallory and is 252 pages of monster-iffic goodness.

And just in time for Halloween!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The "creepiest stuff" on the web

Well, I don't know about that, but some of this stuff is a bit on the weird or creepy side. Check it out.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/howaboutthat/6204929/The-most-creepy-stuff-on-the-web.html

Happy Autumn!

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I know we’re a few hours away from the equinox, but I thought I’d get a jump on the fun Fall well wishes.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/livescience/whyautumnbeginstuesday

Monday, September 21, 2009

Halloween 2009

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Uhm, it's really less than 40 days away? Wow. This is indeed the best time of the year, just as we leave Summer and enter Autumn, but still have days in the 70s and sometimes 80s clear through Halloween itself.

The nights have been so wonderfully cool and you can feel Halloween in the air. Visits to the local orchard and farm, along with my first cup of apple cider last night, only add to the excitement!

Ah, 'tis good to be alive!

Hauntcast

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So, yeah, like I said - and, if you're reading this, you probably already know - I enthrall the home haunting and Halloween enthusiast crowd with my all star, superspectacular, extra-fantastical Fright Flick and Horror Review segments on the one, the only - Hauntcast!!!!!

As you can tell, Chris and I have a lot of fun doing the segment. It's fun to just talk about what's going on in horror and highlight what I think is of interest to the cool folk from the haunt and Halloween boards. Hopefully everyone has as much fun listening as I do putting it together and doing it each month. Of course, my G/Host makes me sound a lot better than I do given his wizard-like editing skills! It has been an absolute pleasure and privilege being part of the show for the past almost year.

Tune in this Friday, September 25th for Episode 11!

http://www.hauntcast.net/

Scary Monsters Magazine

Hands down - this is my favorite monster mag currently being published. Each issue is an obvious labor of love, not only for publisher Dennis Druktenis, but also for all his monsterously awesome contributors as well.

The focus is, as you monster kids would expect, the classic flicks mostly from the '30s through the '70s, with a particular love for the Universal gang and other wonderful memories of the past. There is also a terrific concentration on another passion of mine - that's right, horror hosts. The magazine does a wonderful job reminiscing about the hosts of old, as well as the new crop that has surfaced the past few years.

All in all a fang-tastic mag that is well worth the money and your time! Go check it out.

Now! I mean it!

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http://www.scarymonstersmag.com/

Blackenstein (1973)

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"Not since Frankenstein has stalked the earth
Has the world known so terrifying a day...or night!"
Starring Joe De Sue, John Hart and Ivory Stone
Directed by William A. Levey
From Frisco Productions Limited

A lot of people have probably figured out by now that one of my favorite guilty pleasure horror flicks is the one, the only -
Blackenstein.

My favorite film of the Blaxploitation flicks, simply for the fact that it is so inept, so poorly written, directed and acted, nonsensical - so bad that it is a classic.

Yes, it is none other than Blackenstein - the Black Frankenstein! Even the title makes no sense, given that the "mad doctor" in the flick is white! But that might be the least of the film's problems.

The plot (what of one there is) centers around beautiful young Dr. Winnifred Walker (Ivory Stone), whose fiance Eddie (Joe De Sue - try looking him up on IMDB, kids) was blown to bits in Vietnam. Poor Eddie has returned home to a VA hospital with no arms and no legs.

Hoping to find some sort of treatment for her true love, Dr. Walker seeks out her old mentor, Dr. Stein (John Hart). You see, the amazing Dr. Stein (get it, Dr. "Stein".....see, they dropped off the...oh, never mind....) supposedly just won the Nobel Peace Prize for "solving the DNA genetic code." No, you are not reading that incorrectly, nor am I completely drunk. Yes, it's so insanely awful that you can't look away.

Dr. Stein agrees to help Eddie by using his "DNA formula" which will help reattach limbs and rehabilitate the poor vet. No explanation where the good doctor just happened to find a pair of arms and legs laying around, but who cares? He has DNA! And it is stored in mayonaise jars with masking tape labels, so you know it will work.

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During Eddie's course of treatment, Dr. Stein's creepy butler/assitant/cook named Malcom sabotages the DNA medicine. Why you ask? Well, of course after knowing her for oh something like two days, Malcom is comlpetely head over heals in love with Dr. Walker! Didn't see that one coming!

As a result, Eddie is transformed into - wait for it....wait for it.........Blackenstein!!! Although Eddie was last seen in a hospital gown, he now suddenly is wearing a too small black suit coat and matching pants, grey shirt and giant platform boots. Not to mention a snazzy new square afro!

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Like all good monsters, Blackenstein escapes his hospital cell (Eddie's deluxe treatment includes a stay in what appears to be a wine cellar) at night and wantonly murders with no rhyme or reason (why would you expect anything more from this film?).

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Blackenstein attacks many a scantily clad woman, rips off people's heads, pulls out intestines, kills an annoying dog, and is ultimately cornered by the police in a warehouse. There, Blackenstein is mauled by police dogs and we are treated to an extraoridnary sequence of watching the hounds rip his newly attached limbs assunder, and making a nice meal out of his innards.

The End.

Yes, it is as bad as it sounds, but such a guilty pleasure. Truly one of the most low budget inane flicks you will ever sit through, but so worth it.

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Blackenstein - The Black Frankenstein. Your life will never be the same again.

TCM for October '09

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If you're a big fan of the classics like me, you will definitely want to check out TCM this month! Here are the highlights of the movies showing this October:

October 3
White Zombie (1932)
I Walked With A Zombie (1943)

October 4

The Beast With Five Fingers (1946)
Mad Love (1935)
Earth Vs. The Flying Saucers (1956)

October 8
Black Moon (1934)

October 9

Evil Dead 2: Dead By Dawn (1987)
Horror House (1969)

October 10
Tales Of Terror (1962)
Pit And The Pendulum (1961)


October 11

Body Snatcher, The (1945)
Isle Of The Dead (1945)
Unknown, The (1927)
Unholy Three (1925)

October 15
Son Of Kong (1933)
I Married A Monster From Outer Space (1958
War Of The Worlds, The (1953)

October 16

Picture of Dorian Gray, The (1945)
Videodrome (1982)
TerrorVision (1986)

October 17
Freaks (1932)
Devil Doll, The (1936)
Time Machine, The (1960)
20 Million Miles To Earth (1957)
Ghost Ship, The (1943)

October 18
Ghost Ship, The (1943)
Walking Dead, The (1936)
Bedlam (1946)
Phantom of the Opera, The (1925)
Vampyr - Der Traum des Allan Grey (1932)
Fearless Vampire Killers, The (1967)

October 20
Mr. Sardonicus (1961)
Strait-Jacket (1964)
Tingler, The (1959)
13 Ghosts (1960)
Old Dark House, The (1963
Old Dark House, The (1932)
Festival of Shorts #11 The Tell-Tale Heart (1942)

October 23

Dragonwyck (1946)

October 24
Corpse Vanishes, The (1942)
Mark Of The Vampire (1935)
Twonky, The (1953)
Son Of Kong (1933)
Land That Time Forgot, The (1975
Poltergeist (1982
Hound Of The Baskervilles, The (1959)


October 25

Doctor X (1932)
Mystery Of The Wax Museum, The (1933)
Blob, The (1958)
Die, Monster, Die ! (1965)
Riders To The Stars (1954)
Nosferatu (1922)


October 27

Poltergeist (1982)
Power, The (1968)
Haunting, The (1963)
Village Of The Damned (1960)
Escape to Witch Mountain (1975)

October 30
Mask Of Fu Manchu, The (1932)
Ghoul, The (1933)
Black Room, The (1935)
Walking Dead, The (1936)
Man They Could Not Hang, The (1939)
Man With Nine Lives, The (1940)
Before I Hang (1940)
Ape, The (1940)
Devil Commands, The (1941)
Isle Of The Dead (1945)
Psycho (1960)
Zaat (1972)
Swamp Thing (1982)

October 31

Dead of Night (1945)
Haunting, The (1963)
Abominable Dr. Phibes, The (1971)
Diary of a Madman (1963)
Cat People (1942)
Curse of the Cat People, The (1944)
Dr. Jekyll And Mr. Hyde (1941)
Murders in the Zoo (1933
Body Snatcher, The (1945)
Circus of Horrors (1960)
Dr. Jekyll And Mr. Hyde (1932)
Son of Dr. Jekyll, The (1951)

http://www.tcm.com/schedule/index.js...zone=EST&cid=N

Frankenstein: A Cultural History

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I just finished this great book by author Susan Tyler Hitchcock. It came out a couple of years ago (2007) and is a great history of the Frankenstein story, from the classic Gothic novel, through the Universal film up to present day.

It's a quick read and while I didn't learn a lot of new information about the book or films, it was quite enjoyable. If you can find it in your local library, defnitely check it out one of these cool Fall afternoons.

Welcome!

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Hey all you cool ghouls, welcome to my Midnite Spook Frolic! I hope to share some of my thoughts and interests about horror, Halloween and above all - have some fun. I'm not one of those "know it alls" who thinks my opinion is the only one - I just like to talk about horror and chill with like minded folk.

Special thanks (and apologies!) to Scary Monsters' Cosmic Drive In for the use of the "Monsters, Martians and Madmen!" subtitle. I always just loved that!

Currently I am a member of the awesome Scream Team on Hauntcast where I do the Fright Flicks & Horror Reviews segment. Shout out to my G/Host Chris Baker for asking me to join his merry band of freaks and for keeping me for - what? - almost a year now? Props also to Revenant, The Prop Guys and Shellhawk for their great segments.

I also pop in and out of HauntForum, HalloweenForum and the Florida Home Haunters board.

So, sit back, grab your cold beverage of choice - and stay scary!