Saturday, February 28, 2009

Old Time Radio Fun!

Are you a fan of old time radio broadcasts? I know I am - last year I got on a huge STRANGE DR. WEIRD kick. I must have listened to 30 or more episodes on my way back and forth to work - great fun old stuff.

Well, I found a site that has tons of Old Time Radio broadcasts all in one place. It is:

They have way more episodes than I have ever even heard of, in a ton of categories, too. I listed them below:

Adventure - British
Children - Comedy
Detective - Drama
Historical - Holiday
Musical - Mystery-Horror
Personality - Quiz
Rare - Sci Fi
Serials - Soaps
South African - Sports
Westerns - WWII

This site sells cds of the shows, but there is free stuff on there too. There is a sample episode of every show offered, so you can see if it's something you're really interested in. And there is an episode of the week section, too, where you can listen to more free offerings.

There are many places on the internet where you can find old time radio broadcasts, but the nice thing here is they are already all collected in one spot and the cds are cheap - just $5 per disc, and each offer hours of listening entertainment for a cheap price.

Fun stuff - so check them out, and remember...

Friday, February 27, 2009

I am such a dork!

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles at the Belcourt theater is NEXT month! DOH!

At least I caught it before I went down to the theater and was surprised with a showing of Half Baked instead!!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Ridin' out with Jonah Hex

I had a flat tire the other day... actually my wife did, but it was in my van... so the next morning I took it to the shop to get a new tire put on. I knew I would have a bit of a wait at the tire place, so I grabbed something off my bedside table to read. It was a little digest sized comic I've had laying around for years (4 and 7/8 by 6 and 3/4 inch size). I honestly can't tell you where I got it - it's just always been around - in a desk drawer, on a table top, under my dresser - it just always seemed to be there, and I never wanted to toss it. It isn't in great shape, but something made me hang onto it. I guess I figured one day I'd get around to reading it - and one day came this week.

It's a collection of western stories called JONAH HEX AND OTHER WESTERN TALES, and this is issue 3. It is edited by Ross Andru, whose name conjures up images of spider-man for me, as I remember reading many an issue of the webhead illustrated by Ross. But this time Ross put together a book of gunslingers, not webslingers, three of which featured the fiesty Jonah Hex (plus a one page strip featuring Hex, too). The other 5 stories were a random assortment of western tales.

These are all reprints from other books, and it's interesting to me that DC ever put these out to begin with. It cost 95 cents at the time of purchase, which was 1980. I can't imagine there was a big following of westerns in 1980, especially in this format. Wonder if they were sold in bookstores? After a bit of investigation I see that there were only three issues of this book released, so apparantly this is the final issue. The Jonah Hex stories in this book are:

Killers Die Alone from Weird Western Tales #14
Face Off with the Gallagher Brothers from Weird Western Tales #26
Hanging Woman from Weird Western Tales #17
Frontier Justice one page strip

I've always enjoyed a good western from time to time, and these stories somehow seemed appropriate as my iron horse was down and out and needed a new shoe. Thought I'd share the first story from that collection with you folks, as I enjoyed it quite a bit. Adios, amigos! Giddyup!












Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Heroes on a half shell

Teenage mutant midnight movie, Teenage mutant midnight movie, Teenage mutant midnight movie,
Heroes in a half shell - at the Belcourt.

Okay, sorry about that - but I am looking forward to another fun midnight movie at the Belcourt theater in Nashville this weekend. This is the original Ninja turtles movie from 1990. Leonardo, Michelangelo, Donatello, Raphael, Master Splinter, Casey Jones, April and the Shredder all in one movie. Bodacious!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Rue Morgue Radio Rules!

It's pretty typical of me to be late to the party.

Seems I'm always getting into things later than everyone else, whether it be movies, music, or books. But this time I'm still in time to catch the main event - and I have Jeano Roid from the Creeping Cruds to thank for it.

What I'm talking about is the Rue Morgue Radio Broadcast. I've been aware of this podcast for a long time, I just never took the time to seek it out. Now I've had a little experience with podcasts in my time, mostly through Cult Radio a Go-Go (winner of last year's best podcast category in the Rondo Awards) and the horror hosts who have their own shows on there. Heck, I even did my own podcast for a few episodes on Cult Radio a Go-Go - I think I did four in total, one a month. It was a lot more work than I was able to pull off at that time, but it was a fun experience. I also listen to several podcasts from, various shows featuring garage, punk and low-fi music (great stuff, btw).

Anyway, a few weeks back I was talking to Jeano about some projects we're working on and he asked me if I do podcasts? I said sure, some, but why? He mentioned that Rue Morgue had done a great interview with him about his band, the Creeping Cruds, and if I'm interested I should check it out. So I did. I found the archives section on their webpage and downloaded the podcast featuring the Cruds, and a couple other past episodes while I was at it.

After the first episode I was intrigued - after the second I wanted more - and now I'm hooked!

Rue Morgue Radio is a multimedia extension of their magazine, Rue Morgue Magazine, and is produced in Canada. It is a very professionally put together podcast, not just a bunch of songs slapped together like my podcasts were! They feature an eclectic mix of horror music from a variety of musicians, bands and movies, interviews with horror actors, directors and celebrities, and reviews of both modern and classic (and not so classic) horror movies, as well as trailers and clips from films, too. Being north of the US border gives them a unique outlook on the horror landscape, in my opinion, and definitely allows them to spotlight creators and events from that area.

While Rue Morgue Radio is billed as a blood splattered guide to all things horror. It is funny and irreverent, modern and hip, yet still manages to maintain a sort of classic horror vibe with tributes and segments honoring legends of horror such as Vincent Price and Zacherley the Cool Ghoul. Rue Morgue Radio has been nominated for a Rondo Award for Best Podcast again this year. Definitely a worthy candidate, and a podcast I will be tuning in to every week! Now excuse me, I have to go download some past episodes of Rue Morgue now...

Monday, February 23, 2009

The Goon turns 10

There is an upcoming event taking place next month that I am very excited about - it is the Tenth Anniversary Celebration of The Goon.

The Goon is an comic book published by a good friend of mine, Eric Powell. It started off as an independent comic, and Dark Horse picked it up along the way.

To help celebrate this milestone Eric has booked two of my very favorite bands - Ghoultown and Calabrese.

WOW! If I were to set up my own show to celebrate my tenth anniversary (which is this year, too, btw) I would very likely have booked these very same bands. The only thing that would make it better is if he had The Creeping Cruds open the show.

The event is being held at the Cannery Ballroom in Nashville, Friday March 13th 2009, 8:00pm

The Cannery is located at 1 Cannery Row
Nashville, TN

To find out more about the Goon go here

To find out more about Ghoultown go here

To find out more about Calabrese go here


Friday the 13th (March) 2009 at the Cannery Ballroom in Nashville. With musical guests Calabrese, Ghoultown, and DJ Fat Andy. Special guests include yours truly, Ruby Rocket, Miss Lolly Pop and Lux-O-Matic, the Nashville Rollergirls & Toad.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

He wouldn't even hurt a fly...

I finally sat down and read Psycho.

I've wanted to read this 1959 Robert Bloch novel for quite a while, but never made time for it. I should have. Psycho was just as entertaining as I had hoped, and I see why Hitchcock chose to adapt it to the big screen.

The Universal film is actually very, very close to the source material. There are a few differences, of course, but the majority of what you see on the screen is straight from the book.

One of the major differences is the character of Norman Bates himself. In the book he's a middle-aged, overweight bookworm - a recluse who still lives at home with his mother while running a shabby motel located at the bottom of the hill below their house.

In the movie the part is played by Anthony Perkins, who is much younger (and leaner) than the character described in the book. Bloch was asked what he thought about this change in the screen version of the character. Here's what he had to say in an interview with Randy and Jean-Marc Lofficier when asked what he thought of the movie adaptation (you can read the entire interview at:

"I was absolutely delighted. You know, it's generally the case that they take a title and the book and change it radically. But, in this case, it was about ninety percent from my book. He made only two drastic changes. He downgraded the age of Norman Bates, which was necessary visually. If they had presented a middle-aged man on the screen at that time, you'd automatically suspect that he must be the villain. So, that was a brilliant stroke on his part. The other thing he did was take a large segment of scenes that were in the book, but didn't describe fully. But the rest of it, the characters, the setting, various devices, all came from the book, right down to the last line."

There are several theories of where the character of Norman Bates might have originated, and one of these lies with real life serial killer Ed Gein. The Gein murders happened just a few miles from the small Wisconsin town where Bloch lived, and it certainly played a part in influencing the development of the character. But it was more of an inspiration, a kicking off-point, than a blueprint. Bloch also addressed this in interviews and mentioned the ideas of the murders themselves being influential to Psycho, but not so much the man Ed Gein himself.

Another very interesting theory is that Bates was based on real life magazine publisher Calvin Beck, best known for his ground breaking magazine CASTLE OF FRANKENSTEIN. Science Fiction writer Tom Weaver explored this connection in an article that is reprinted on the terrific B-Monster website .
Like Bates, Beck also lived with his mother and was dominated by her overbearing personality. Bloch knew Beck, and the idea that he based Norman Bates on Calvin Beck is more than plausible. Give that article a good read - it is fascinating and is just another example of the fine research that Tom Weaver has done over the years.

I wondered how well the book would hold up, given the fame of the movie adaptation. Psycho met all my expectations, and is a really good read. Of course, I expected no less from one of Bloch's lineage – he comes from the Weird Tales line of writers. Anyone who had work published alongside the likes of Robert Howard, H.P. Lovecraft, Henry Kuttner, Ray Bradbury and Clark Ashton Smith is in the company of the finest horror writers of all time, and indeed is rightly considered one himself.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Dark Shadows, The Night Stalker and Other Productions

I ran into my good buddy Jeff Thompson the other day at the PLANET OF THE APES screening at the Belcourt Theater. As I entered the theater I recognized a familiar face, so I went over and sat with Jeff. Before the film started we had a chance to chat and catch up a bit, and Jeff told me about an exciting new book he has coming out through McFarland Publications. It's called Dark Shadows, The Night Stalker and Other Productions, 1966–2006. Here is the McFarland website description:

The award-winning and innovative director Dan Curtis was known for helming epic war movies, but before that he darkened the small screen with the horror genre’s most famous soap opera. Curtis directed the groundbreaking daytime television serial Dark Shadows from 1966 to 1971 and then turned his lens to numerous made-for-TV horror movies. This book examines 16 horror films that Curtis produced, co-wrote, or directed, as well as the cultural impact of Dark Shadows and its various incarnations. The book features 69 photographs and a foreword by Jim Pierson of Dan Curtis Productions.

According to Jeff the 69 photographs are rare and some never before published photos of Dan Curtis. Jeff is a lifelong Dark Shadows aficionado. I've been to his house and it is a veritable museum of Dark Shadows and other fantastic memorabilia. (Tennessee Crossroads did a segment for a Halloween episode there, focusing on Jeff's enormous collection of memorabilia).

Jeff is an English professor at Tennessee State University and incorporates his love of horror films into his courses, even screening various movies for his students. He has written articles on Dan Curtis and Dark Shadows and attends conventions as a guest on Dark Shadows and horror cinema.

His new book will be available starting Friday, March 13th on the McFarland website,

and you can also order it through

Monday, February 16, 2009

The 7th Annual Rondo Awards have begun!

It's official - the Rondo awards have begun - the ballot was announced last night, and Dr. Gangrene was nominated for 2 Rondos -

Best Horrorhost
Best Fan Event
(for the Wonderfest Live Show)

It is an honor to be nominated, and I'd just like to say thanks to Dave Colton for putting these awards together. This is the 7th annual Rondo Award season, and there are some new categories this year such as Best Blog - so take some time and visit the websites and blogs - there are some really cool ones nominated.

I will put the entire ballot below - make your selections and mail them to





This year's awards are dedicated to the memory and legacy of Forrest J Ackerman,

the World's No. 1 Monster Fan


1. Best Movie of 2008 (Pick one)


-- Or write in another choice:

2. Best Television Presentation

-- BATTLESTAR GALACTICA, 'Guess Who's Coming to Dinner?' Sci-Fi Channel, 5.16.08. Adama and fleet consider an alliance with Cylon rebels. 'The one human flaw, mortality, is the one thing that makes you whole.'

-- DOCTOR WHO, 'Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead,' BBC, 5.31.08-6.6.08. A 51st Century library has every book ever written. 'Look at me, I'm old and thick, head's too full of stuff. I need a bigger head.'

-- FRINGE, 'The Arrival,' Fox, 9.30.08. A large cylinder, and an Observer, emerge from beneath the streets of New York City. 'You still think just because someone's dead, they're gone?'

-- HEROES, 'The Eclipse, Parts 1 and 2,' NBC, 11.24.08-12.1.08. Solar mayhem causes heroes and villains to lose their powers. 'I never thought I'd be able to hurt again. It sucks but it's wonderful.'

-- LOST, 'There's No Place Like Home, Parts 1 and 2,' ABC, 5.15.08-5.29.08. Time twists as six escape and Ben 'moves' the island. 'We have to go back.'

-- SUPERNATURAL, 'In the Beginning,' WB, 10.2.08. Dean goes back in time to warn his mother of death in her future. 'No matter what you hear or see, promise me you won't get out of bed.'

-- TERMINATOR: THE SARAH CONNOR CHRONICLES, Fox, 3.3.08. Birthdays and family complicate the battle to stop the future. 'You fool yourself. Then you remember what this place'll look like when it's on fire.'

-- TORCHWOOD, 'Exit Wounds,' BBC, 4.4.08. Death and time travel as the team saves the city. 'Give me one good reason why I shouldn't keep bloody screaming.'

-- TRUE BLOOD, 'Cold Ground,' HBO, 10.12.08. Escape from the blood proves elusive. “Our killer seems to be targeting women who have associated with vampires.'

-- Or write in another choice:

3. Best Classic DVD

-- THE HAUNTED CASTLE (Murnau; Alpha version)
-- THE MUMMY (75th Anniversary)
-- PHASE IV (Saul Bass insect fear)

-- 7th VOYAGE OF SINBAD (DVD and Blu-Ray)
-- STANLEY (Special edition)
-- VAMPYR (Criterion)

-- Or write in another choice:

4. Best Classic DVD Collection

-- CHARLIE CHAN COLLECTION Vol. 4 and 5 (Sidney Toler era)
-- FOX HORROR CLASSICS Vol. 2 (Chandu the Magician, Dragonwyck, Dr. Renault's Secret)
-- HOUDINI THE MOVIE STAR (Kino collection of films and serials)
-- ICONS OF ADVENTURE: Stranglers of Bombay, Terror of Tongs, Pirates of Blood River, Devil- Ship Pirates
-- ICONS OF HORROR: THE HAMMER COLLECTION: Two Faces of Dr. Jekyll, Scream of Fear, The Gorgon, Curse of Mummy's Tomb
-- MAGIC OF MELIES (Kino collection of his films)
-- PLANET OF THE APES (First five films, Blu-Ray set)
-- RAY HARRYHAUSEN COLLECTIBLE DVD GIFT SET (Colorized and B/W of It Came from Beneath the Sea, Earth vs. Flying Saucers, 20 Million Miles to Earth)

-- Or write in another selection:

5. Best DVD TV Collection

-- DOCTOR WHO: The Complete Fourth Series
-- HILARIOUS HOUSE OF FRIGHTENSTEIN: Gory Gory Transylvania. Vol. 2 (nine more episodes)
-- THE INVADERS (Season One)

-- NIGHT GALLERY: Season Two (Rod Serling's classic)
-- THE STARLOST (Rare 1973 series with Keir Dullea)
-- SUSPENSE: THE LOST EPISODES (Vol. 1 of early TV anthology)
-- TORCHWOOD: Complete Second Season.

-- Or write in another selection:

6. Best Restoration (or video upgrade)

-- CHANDU THE MAGICIAN (Bright and detailed, Fox Horror Classics Vol. 2)
-- DEAD MEN TELL (Much improved version in Charlie Chan set, Vol. 5)
-- THE GREEN ARCHER (Restored Serials version)
-- HOUDINI: THE MAN FROM BEYOND (Restored Serials version, also on Blu-Ray)

-- THE PICTURE OF DORIAN GRAY (Technicolor sequences sparkle, splices gone)
-- RODAN (Japanese version)
-- THE SKULL (finally widescreen)
-- TWO FACES OF DR. JEKYLL (uncensored)
-- VAMPYR (Criterion)
-- WORLD WITHOUT END (Cinemascope)

-- Or write in another choice:

7. Best DVD Extra

-- ADVENTURES IN SPACE: Space Patrol's Ralston Rocket Giveaway promotional film from 1954.
-- CHARLIE CHAN COLLECTION Vol. 4: Chan's Killer Actress: Feature on Kay Linaker.
-- THE MUMMY (1932): 'He Who made Monsters,' documentary on Jack Pierce.
-- NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD 40th Anniversary Edition: 'One for the Fire' documentary brings cast members back to cemetery.
-- PSYCHO SPECIAL EDITION: Episode of Alfred Hitchcock Presents: 'Lamb to the Slaughter.'
-- 7th VOYAGE OF SINBAD: 'Remembering the 7th Voyage of Sinbad,' Harryhausen talks about the special effects.

-- STANLEY: 'The Dark Side of Eden: The Making of Stanley.' Includes new interviews, behind-scenes footage.

-- Or write in another choice:

8. Best DVD Commentary

-- Rick Baker, Scott Essman, Bob Burns, Steve Haberman, Brent Armstrong, THE MUMMY (1932)
-- Bill Condon, Michael Murphy, Dan Shor, STRANGE BEHAVIOR Special Edition.
-- Ray Harryhausen, Phil Tippett, Steven Smith, Arnold Kunert, Randall Cook, 7th VOYAGE OF SINBAD
-- Angela Lansbury with Steve Haberman, THE PICTURE OF DORIAN GRAY
-- John Morgan, Steven Smith, William Stromberg, and Nick Redman on Bernard Herrmann, DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL (Blu-Ray)

-- Jeff Miller, HOLD THAT GHOST (Universal box set)
-- Tony Rayns, VAMPYR (Criterion)
-- James K. Shea, Fred Olen Ray, three animators, PLANET OF DINOSAURS 30th Anniversary Edition
-- Tom Weaver, Richard Scrivani, ABBOTT & COSTELLO MEET DR. JEKYLL AND MR. HYDE (Universal box set)

-- Or write in another choice:

9. Best Independent Production (film, documentary or short)

- BLIND DATE OF COFFIN JOE (Ray Castile uncannily channels the unholy one in search of the superior woman)
-- CARTOON ADVENTURES OF MAJOR MARS (Bob Burns' cartoon series as it might have been)
-- THE DUNGEON OF DR. DRECK (Horror hosts abound in this fun look at a TV station takeover).
-- EDGAR ALLAN POE'S THE RAVEN (Christopher Walken reads, Gustave Dore decorates in this Len Hart animated short)
-- FANEX FILES: SAMUEL Z. ARKOFF (Documentary and interview with AIP's no-nonsense vice president)

-- SPINE-TINGLER: THE WILLIAM CASTLE STORY (Feature-length documentary about the maestro of ballyhoo)
-- TERROR IN THE PHAROAH'S TOMB (Latest sendup of public domain footage by Sue Svehla)
-- THIRTY SECOND DOOM (Short parody of sci-fi serials, Rocketman and all)
-- TRAIL OF THE SCREAMING FOREHEAD (Sci-fi lunacy from Larry Blamire, Dan Roebuck and gang)
-- WATCH HORROR FILMS: Keep America Strong (Documentary about San Francisco's Creature Features)
-- ZOMBIE HUNTERS: CITY OF THE DEAD (Crispy online episodes)

-- Or write in another choice:

10. Best Book of 2008

-- THE BOOK OF LISTS: HORROR, edited by Amy Wallace, Del Howison and Scott Bradley. Notables including Stephen King, Ray Bradbury, Tim Lucas and others pick bests and worsts.

-- THE CINEMA OF TOD BROWNING, edited by Bernd Herzogenrath. Scholars dissect the director's work.

-- CLAUDE RAINS: An Actor's Voice, by David J. Skal with Jessica Rains. Based on unrevealed interviews and a daughter's recollections, a look at one of horror's finest.

-- THE GREAT MONSTER MAGAZINES, by 'Bobb' Cotter. A look at the black-and-white monster and comic magazines of the 50s, 60s, 70s.

-- HOMEMADE HOLLYWOOD: Fans Behind the Camera, by Clive Young. From fake Little Rascals in the 20s to backyard Batman, a look at the tribute film craze.

-- HORROR 101, edited by Aaron Christensen. The essentials and more outlined by 78 writers.

-- I TALKED WITH A ZOMBIE, by Tom Weaver. Interviews with 23 horror and science fiction personalities, including Ann Carter, Eric Braeden and Lee Meriwether.

-- THE MONSTER HUNTER IN MODERN POPULAR CULTURE, Heather L. Duda. From Van Helsing to Buffy, a look at those who fight back.

-- 100 EUROPEAN HORROR FILMS, by Stephen Jay Schneider. A screen guide for films from Caligari to today.

-- RAY HARRYHAUSEN: MASTER OF THE MAJICKS, Volume 2: The American Films, by Mike Hankin. From Mighty Joe to the Cyclops.

-- SHADOWS OVER NEW ENGLAND by David and Scott T. Goudsward. A guide to the locales of the region's scariest legends, Dark Shadows included.

-- TWILIGHT ZONE: Unlocking The Door to a Television Classic, by Martin Grams. Through interviews and production notes, every episode submitted for your approval.

-- VIDEODROME, by Tim Lucas. Finding the secrets hidden behind the knobs of David Cronenberg's classic.

-- YOU'RE NEXT: Loss of Identity in the Horror Film, edited by Anthony Ambrogio. From alien takeovers to brain-swaps, who's next?

-- Or write in another choice:

11. Best Magazine of 2008

-- Famous Monsters of Filmland
-- Filmfax
-- G-FAN
-- Horror Hound
-- Little Shoppe of Horrors
-- Mad Scientist
-- Monster Bash
-- Monsters from the Vault
-- Phantom of the Movies' VideoScope
-- Rue Morgue
-- Scarlet
-- Scary Monsters
-- Screem
-- Shock Cinema
-- Starlog
-- Video Watchdog

-- Or write in another choice:

12. Best Article of 2008 (PLEASE PICK TWO)

-- 'Amy and Her Friends: The Ann Carter Interview,' by Tom Weaver, VIDEO WATCHDOG #137. A career retrospective with the young star of a Val Lewton classic.

-- 'Beverly Washburn: from Superman to Spider Baby,' by Donald Vaughan, VIDEOSCOPE #68. Interview with actress who appeared with George Reeves, Old Yeller, Lon Chaney and Captain Kirk.

-- 'Bewitching Hazel,' by David Del Valle, VIDEO WATCHDOG #140. Remembrance of late Hammer star Hazel Court.

-- 'California Gothic: The Corman/Haller Collaboration,' roundtable with Roger Corman, Daniel Haller, Joe Dante, moderated by Lawrence French, VIDEO WATCHDOG #138. Tales from the sets of the Poe films and more.

-- 'Cinematographer Gary Graver: The Man Who Shot Everything,' by Gary Graves, PENNY BLOOD #11 (online). One of last interviews with man behind the lens of Dracula vs. Frankenstein and Naschy films.

-- 'Coffin Joe Resurrected.' by Scott Gabbey and Jovanka Vuckovic, RUE MORGUE #85. Career retrospective on notorious Brazilian filmmaker Jose Mojica Marins.

-- 'Color Them Monsters,' by Mark Thompsen, STARLOG #370. Four pages of colorized Universal stills, from the Phantom to the Creature.

-- 'The Curse of the Cat People: A Production Diary,' by Greg Mank, MONSTERS FROM THE VAULT #25. Everything about the haunting Robert Wise classic.

-- 'El Vampiro Speaks,' by Bryan Senn, Richard Sheffield and Jim Clatterbaugh, MONSTERS FROM THE VAULT #24. Rare interview with Mexican horror star German Robles.

-- 'A Eulogy for Charles B. Griffith,' by Justin Humphreys, VIDEO WATCHDOG #141. A friend remembers the touching final days of the eccentric writer behind AIP classics.

-- 'Harry Redmond Jr.: Last Survivor of Skull Island,' by Mark F. Berry, VIDEO WATCHDOG #146. Interview and revelations from last remaining production member of Willis O'Brien's films.

-- 'Head Scratchers Explained,' by Prof. Anton Griffin, SCARY MONSTERS #66. Filling in some of the monstrous plot holes in Universal's classic films.

-- 'Intruding on William Shatner,' by Dan Lybarger, FILMFAX #117. Insights into the controversial 1962 Roger Corman film.

-- 'Jamie Lee Curtis and the Virginity Myth,' by Mark Allan Gunnells, MIDNIGHT MARQUEE #76 (online). Retracing Curtis' gritty heroines in Halloween, The Fog and other films.

-- 'Lost Nightmare: The Mystery of the Missing Spider Pit Sequence,' by Gary Vehar. FILMFAX #118-119. Rounding up everything known about King Kong's lost scene.

-- 'Manly P. Hall: Dracula and the Complexities of the Classic Horror Film Sequel,' by Gary Don Rhodes, MONSTERS FROM THE VAULT #25. How the sequel to Dracula might have been very different.

-- 'Of Dogs and Monsters,' by Deborah Painter, SCARY MONSTERS #65. Sniffing out the hounds of hell and heroism in the monster movies.

-- 'The Prisoner: A New Order,' by Tim Lucas, VIDEO WATCHDOG #142. Making new sense of the village by reshuffling the episodes.

-- 'Remembering John Brahm,' by Marty Baumann, MONSTERS FROM THE VAULT #24. Director's daughter recalls his work on The Lodger, Outer Limits and more.

-- 'Scare News,' by John Skerchock, SCARY MONSTERS. Fandom's insider column, appearing regularly.

-- 'Scream and Scream Again: The Uncensored History of Amicus Productions,' by Philip Nutman, LITTLE SHOPPE OF HORRORS #20. Deep examination of the studio that emerged from Hammer's shadows.

-- 'Special Effects Wizard John P. Fulton,' by daughter Joanne Fulton Schaeffer as told to Tom Weaver, MONSTERS FROM THE VAULT #24. Growing up with the genius behind Universal's horrors.

-- 'Spine Tingler,' by Greg Goodsell, SCREEM #16. A ghost-viewer look at William Castle's career through the new documentary.

-- 'Stan Winston Remembered,' by Scott Essman, FANGORIA #276. Tribute to the late makeup master.

-- 'Sullivan's Travels in Hollywood,' by Paul and Donna Parla, additional material by Anthony DiSalvo and Lawrence Fultz Jr., SCARY MONSTERS #67. Career retrospective on the man who tamed the Gila Monster.

-- 'Suspense: The Lost Episodes,' reviewed by Kim Newman, VIDEO WATCHDOG #140. Episodes from dawn of TV described in kinoscopic detail.

-- 'The Ubiquitous Dabbs Greer,' by M.J. Simpson, VIDEO WATCHDOG #144. The character actor interviewed about House of Wax, body snatchers and more.

-- 'Video Invasion,' by Matt Moore, HORROR HOUND #12-14. Reconstructing the gory-movie VHS boom of the 80s, clamshell boxes and all.

-- -- 'Who Saved Hitler's Brain: The Making and Re-Making of Madman of Mandoras,' by Brian Albright, FILMFAX #118. Proof that every picture has a backstory.

-- Or write in another choice:

Remember, please pick TWO articles from the list above. One will win.

13. Best Magazine Cover


By Harley Brown

G-FAN #85

By Matt Harris


By Ed Repka


Alternate cover by Bruce Timm


By Don Marquez


By Lorraine Bush


By Daniel Horne


By Basil Gogos

By Michael Wilk


By Terry Beatty


By Bill Chancellor


By Kevin Hein


By Charles Largent

Or write in another cover choice:

14. Best Website (Online magazine, message board or tribute site)

Classic Horror Film Board, sponsor of Rondos, is not eligible

-- (Fun look at 50s scifi)

-- Creepy Classics (Monster Bash and latest product news)

-- (A rich multimedia serial based on the sci-fi series)

-- Eccentric-cinema (One of earliest cult sites)

-- E-gor's Chamber of TV Horror Hosts (amazing)

-- Film Noir Foundation (For fans of long inky shadows)

-- Gallery of Monster Toys (The source)

-- (Home of horror host rebirth)

-- Latarnia: Fantastique International (all things Euro and more)

-- Lugosiphilia Yahoo Group (Just Bela)

-- The Many Faces of the Frankenstein Monster (like it says)

-- Midnight Marquee (online magazine)

-- Monster Kid Online Magazine

-- Monster-Mania Forum (monster conventions)

-- (Cliffhangers, restored serials and talk)

-- Shriekfreak Quarterly (online magazine)

-- (Still excited about monsters and thrills)

-- (Online magazine)

-- Trailers from Hell (Joe Dante, pros comment on trailers)

-- Universal Monster Army (Toys, masks and more)

-- Witch's Dungeon (Home of the monstrous Hollywood tributes)

-- Or write in another website:

15. Best Horror Blog

-- Blogue Macabre (Strange musings with Gary D.)

-- Cinema Dave (Quick-footed movie blog)

-- Cinema-suicide (Smart look at modern films; soundtracks, too)

-- The Drunken Severed Head (Max Cheney's unique blog about it all)

-- Final Girl (A voice that must be heard)

-- Frankensteinia (If it didn't exist it would have to be invented)

-- Gary's Blog (Gary Svelha's cinema musings at

-- The Good, the Bad, and Godzilla (August Ragone's G-blog)

-- (Blog goes ape)

-- Groovy Age of Horror (Not for faint-hearted)

-- (All host news, all the time)

-- The Horrors of it All (Horror in the comics and more)

-- (Friendly creeps from Jay Stevens)

-- (Music is just the start)

-- Obscure Hollow (The look of horror)

-- Secret Fun Blog (childhood reveries from creator of Flip!)

-- Vault of Horror (Blog for every era of horror)

-- Video Watchblog (Tim Lucas goes deeper than even his magazine dares)

-- Zombos' Closet of Horror Blog (John Cozzoli's generation next)

-- Or write in another blog of your choice:

16. Best Convention of 2008

-- B-MOVIE CELEBRATION (Franklin, Ind.)
-- CHILLER (Meadowlands)
-- DRAGONCON (Atlanta)
-- G-FEST (Chicago)
-- HORROR-FIND (Baltimore)

-- HORROR HOUND WEEKEND (Indianapolis)
-- IT'S ALIVE ZOMBIE FEST (Pittsburgh)
-- MONSTER BASH (Pittsburgh)
-- MONSTER FEST (Chesapeake, Va.)
-- MONSTER-MANIA (Cherry Hill, N.J.)
-- SERIAL FEST (Pennsylvania)

-- SCHLOCKTOBER (NYC film fest)
-- SCREAMFEST (Orlando)

-- SPOOKY MOVIE: International Horror Film Festival (Washington, D.C.)
-- WONDERFEST (Louisville)

-- Or write in another choice:

17. Best Fan Event

-- Addams Family Meets the Munsters: Q&A with Lisa Loring, Pat Priest, Felix Silla and surprise visit from Grandpa Munster (Ron Chamberlain), at Monster Bash.

-- Blob panic reenactment of moviegoers fleeing, held at actual theater where movie was filmed in Phoenixville, Pa. (Blobfest)

-- Dr. Gangrene's Chiller Theater Live! at WonderFest features midnight madness with Bob Burns, John Goodwin, Frank Dietz and Nurse Moan-Eek!

-- Godzilla-suit actor Haruo Nakajima receives 'Mangled Skyscraper Award' at G-FEST XV.

-- Klaatu Barada Ohio: Patricia Neal speaks at 25th Annual Ohio Sci-Fi Film Festival, a 24-hour marathon held outside Columbus.

-- Paul's Brain Trust charity event at Dark Delicacies in L.A., featuring Blade Runner reunion with Ridley Scott to benefit producer and video store legend Prischman.

-- Spellbound: Reunion of Ray Bradbury's 'The Jar' on Alfred Hitchcock Presents with director Norman Lloyd, cast members and Bradbury by phone at the University of Northern Alabama. Hosted by Terry Pace.

-- Universal Monster Army monster toy exhibit, including rare toys from 50s and 60s, at WonderFest.

-- Witches' Dungeon Classic Movie Museum. Startling recreations of full-sized classic monsters, open at Halloween in Bristol, Conn.

-- World Zombie Day included zombie walks and charity events in Monroeville, Pa., Grand Rapids, Mich., and 40 cities.

-- Or write in another choice:

18. Favorite Horror Host of 2008

Who is following in the tradition of Vampira and Zacherley? It is of course impossible to list them all, but here are ghostly hosts to choose from. If your favorite is missing, please write them in.

-- A. GHASTLEE GHOUL (Ohio and Internet radio)
-- THE BONE JANGLER. (Illinois, afternoons too)
-- KARLOS BORLOFF (Suburban Washington, D.C.)
-- COUNT GORE DE VOL (Washington, D.C. area)
-- DR. GANGRENE (Nashville)
-- DR. PUREBLOOD (Smyrna, Tenn.)
-- GHOUL A GO GO (NYC area)
-- GRAVELY MacCABRE and GRIZELDA. (Pennsylvania, West Virginia)

-- MR. LOBO (California)
-- ORMON GRIMSBY (North Carolina)
-- PENNY DREADFUL (New England)
-- REMO D (California)

-- SON OF GHOUL (Ohio)
-- SVENGOOLIE (Rich Koz; Chicago)

-- There are plenty of others, so if your favorite isn't listed, write in another choice:

19. Best Audio Horror Site or Podcast (Web only)

-- Cult Radio a Go-Go. Talk, reviews, interviews.
-- Bloody talk.
-- The Monster Club's Old Time Horror Radio: Horror stories and more.
-- Monster Movie Music 1950-1969 (A blog, too)
-- Old Time Radio Network at Podshow
-- Guide to the spooky voices of the past.

-- Rotting Flesh Radio: The Haunt Industry's Top Podcast
-- Rue Morgue Radio. Latest from the splatter world.
-- Science Monster Radio Library. Being rebuilt, but a prime resource.
-- Uncanny Radio, talk for the paranormal.

-- Universal Horror Sounds. Essentials are here.
-- Voices-in-the-Dark: Devoted to audio from Price, Lorre, Karloff, Lugosi and others.
-- Without Your Head Horror Radio: genre talk shows and more.

-- Or dial in another choice:

20. Best CD (Soundtrack, novelty or band)

-- THE BLOB (and other scifi), score by Ralph Carmichael, production by David Schecter. (Monstrous Movie Music)
-- CREEPING CRUDS: Tennessee Bloodbath (horror rock)
-- THE DEAD MATTER: Cemetery Gates (Sounds of horror, based on film)
-- DEATHMOBILE: Deathmobile (horror rock)
-- DRACULA VS. FRANKENSTEIN, William Lava score (Elysee)
-- THE HORRORPOPS: Kiss Kiss Kill Kill (Horror rock)
-- GHOULTOWN: Life After Sundown (western/horror rock)
-- THE GOLDEN VOYAGE OF SINBAD by Miklos Rozsa (Prometheus)

-- MAD DOCTOR OF BLOOD ISLAND, original 1969 tapes by Tito Arevalo. (Elysee Productions)
-- THE MOON-RAYS, 'Swingin' at the Seance' (horror rock)
-- NIGHTMARE REVISITED, tribute to 'Nightmare Before Christmas'
-- THE OUTER LIMITS, by Dominic Frontiere, 3-CD set from La-La Land
-- SHE, Max Steiner soundtrack by John Morgan, William Stromberg, Anna Bonn (Tribute)

-- Or write in another choice:

21. Best Horror Comic Book

-- ASTOUNDING SPACE THRILLS (Collecting stories by Steve Conley)
-- ASTOUNDING WOLF-MAN. Robert Kirkman.
-- CITY OF OTHERS. Steve Niles and Bernie Wrightson.
-- THE GOON. Eric Powell.
-- GRAPHIC CLASSICS: AMBROSE BIERCE. Revised with 70 new pages.
-- HELLBOY: In the Chapel of Moloch, by Mike Mignola.

-- LOCKE AND KEY: WELCOME TO LOVECRAFT (Joe Hill, Gabriel Rodriguez)
-- THE TRAP-DOOR MAKER (Collecting Peter Bregman Phantom prequel; new cover by Gogos).
-- WULF AND BATSY (Bryan Baugh)

-- Or write in another choice:

22. Best Toy, Model or Collectible
Nominees developed with help from the Universal Monster Army!

Hitchcock's 'The Birds' Barbie (Mattel)

Creature Premium Format (Sideshow)

The Exorcist, Regan spider-walk (NECA)

Big Frankie' (Moebius)

Invasion of the Saucer Men


Rondo Hatton 12-inch collectible figure

(Amok Time)

-- Or write in another choice:

23. Count Alucard's Controversy of the Year

-- Is classic horror Blu? Classic monsters and science fiction are missing in the excitement over the new Blu-Ray format.

-- London After Midnight, or on the LAM? An L.A. fan claims to have held the missing Chaney classic in his hands, igniting a firestorm that would have made MGM proud.

-- Too many Famous Monsters? Legal battles multiply as two publishers insist they own the Famous Monsters trademark.

-- Can monster mags survive? Chain stores closing, mags go online, Diamond Distributors cuts back.

-- What would Jason do? Endless remakes draw big receipts but ...

-- Or add your own dispute:


24. Classic Most in Need of Restoration

Which classic horror film, either released or unreleased, do you think most deserves a restoration?

25. Writer of the Year (for 2008)

Who do you think did the best published (or online) work in 2008 to advance the state of classic horror research?

26. Artist of the Year (for 2008)

Not your favorite all-time artist (although they might be the same), but which painter, illustrator, sculptor, model-maker or designer did the best published (or online), work in 2008?

27. Favorite DVD reviewer

A new category. Which DVD reviewers are most engaging, most reliable? This is a way to honor some of the genre's critical heroes. Who is your favorite?

28. Monster Kid of the Year

Who deserves to be named 'Monster Kid of the Year' for efforts beyond the call of duty to build a better world of gods and monsters?

29. Monster Kid Hall of Fame

Who should be this year's inductees into the Monster Kid Hall of Fame?

Past inductees: Bob and Kathy Burns, Forrest J Ackerman and James Warren, Zacherley and Vampira, Ray Harryhausen, Ray Bradbury, Alex and Richard Gordon, William K. Everson, Rick Baker, Basil Gogos, Roger Corman, Dick Klemensen, Gary and Sue Svehla, James Bama, Bobby 'Boris' Pickett, Paul and Jackie Blaisdell, Joe Dante, Don Glut, Jack Davis, German Robles and Frank Frazetta. And last year: Bernie Wrightson, Ben Chapman, Cortlandt Hull and Dennis Vincent, Ed 'Big Daddy Roth, Archie Goodwin and Ghoulardi.

Tell us your suggestions. We'll pick six more.

Whew! That's it!!!



TO VOTE: Simply cut-and-paste, check or highlight your picks, or type out your

selections to

You do not have to vote on everything. And one vote per monster. Thanks everyone!


And remember, even the Creeper himself can't stop Rondo VII!

Want more information about the Rondos?

Email david colton at

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine's day everyone - hope you're all having a good one. I went to the grocery store this morning and was amused at the crowd of men all buying last minute items for their sweeties. I had to push my way through the floral section and there had to be at least ten guys in there.

Got a couple of pics from last night's Friday the 13th part 4 showing at the Belcourt. Thanks to Belcourt photographer Frank Keesee for sending me these shots!!

Me and Robin and Bryan Pelfrey before the show started.

Sparing no expense, the Belcourt even had
the star of the movie on hand!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Werewolf of Paris

I recently watched the 1961 Hammer film CURSE OF THE WEREWOLF with my youngest son, Luke, and we had a good time with it. I've always liked this movie, and since Luke is such a fan of the Universal Wolfman movie, I figured he'd enjoy this movie, too, and I was right. He thought it was pretty good and that the werewolf looked "cool".

I had never really paid attention to the opening credits, but this time one particular credit caught my eye…”Based on the novel THE WEREWOLF OF PARIS by Guy Endore”.

Interesting! I was curious how close to the source material the movie was, so I tracked down a copy at the Nashville Public Library. After a little investigation it turns out Endore also wrote the screenplays for MARK OF THE VAMPIRE, MAD LOVE, and THE DEVIL DOLL. I am a big fan of MAD LOVE, which stars Peter Lorre, so I became that much more anxious to read this novel.

The Werewolf of Paris was written in 1933, and tells the tragic story of Bertrand Caillet, who was born with the curse of lycanthropy. His werewolfism is the culmination of a variety of events... His mother was raped by a priest who came from a twisted family with a tainted bloodline (brought on by decades of decadent and immoral behavior). Bertrand was born on Christmas Day, at the hour of Christ’s birth. He was a blasphemy and born with this dread curse. Tragedy, if not death, eventually befall all who come in contact with Bertrand.

The Hammer film actually follows the source material fairly faithfully, at first, but leaves out many details, and alters several others. The ending definitely strays from the book, but the bare bones of the story are taken directly from Endore's novel. I have to say in my mind's eye Bertrand (in the book) looked exactly like Oliver Reed.

It's a good book and at times I couldn't believe it was penned in 1933. Compared to the cinema of the day, it is much more shocking, with equal amounts of sex, violence and gore to go around.

The following is a quick excerpt from a scene where Bertrand, under the spell of lycanthropy, attacks and murders his childhood friend…

"Though a moment before Bertrand's hands had itched to be at the man's throat, they made no move to seize and hold his prey. The tension was not in his limbs but in his face, in the masseter muscles of his jaws. His mouth had opened wide. His teeth had dug through cloth and flesh. His face was inundated with a warm fountain, which he licked at greedily..."

Endore explores both the disease of werewolfism and the conflicted nature of poor Bertrand, who fights a losing battle against his malady. It is as much of a social commentary on the wolves of society and man's violent nature as it is a story about the mystical monster, all set within the backdrop of a war entrenched France. For anyone who enjoys classic horror literature, this is one not to be overlooked.

Here's the trailer for CURSE OF THE WEREWOLF: