Saturday, October 3

Cemetery Plots #2

The comic book anthology Cemetery Plots produced by Dan Johnson, long-time friend and former writer for the Dr. Gangrene Creature Feature show, is planning a second issue. They have started a Kickstarter campaign, and I wanted to share with you ghouls. Check it out, it's got some great incentives, and any help would be appreciated!

Here's a brief message from Editor Dan Johnson.

Hello, kids! Dan Johnson, editor of Cemetery Plots here again. Week one of Empire Comics Lab’s Kickstarter has gone really well. Right now, 10% of the amount we need has been raised, but we still have a way to go to meet our final goal of $3,500.
I want to take a moment to remind you all that we’re holding a special ‘Thank You for Pledging’ drawing. If you pledge any amount to the Kickstarter between now and 11:59 PM Sunday, October 4, you will be put into a drawing for a signed first edition of Cemetery Plots #1 and a one-of-a-kind Thank You sketch of the book’s host, D.O. Mann, by ECL’s head honcho, Dave Hearn. Now, I do want to remind you all that we are sold out of first edition copies of Cemetery Plots #1. They are all gone except for a stash that I have for upcoming convention appearances. This drawing is going to be your last chance to get one for yourself. Also, the sketch that Dave is working on is going to be unique. There will not be another one like it offered at any time.
Also, I did want to take a moment to remind you all that pledging to the Kickstarter is a real bargain. For example, if you pledge just $3.00, you’ll get a copy of Cemetery Plots #1 when we go back and print the second edition, as well as a Thank You in an upcoming issue of the book. Now think about that. You’re going to get a heck of a horror comic book for a mere $3.00. Who else is offering a comic for that price these days? Some of the major publishes are talking about going as high as $5.00 PER BOOK. That’s insane! It’s almost as crazy as passing on a book that $2.00 cheaper. And heck, we’re even throwing in the cost of mailing it to you as well! Again, this is a bargain you can’t afford to pass up.
So! Give what you can and help us make our dream of making the best damn comic books a reality. Thank you.

Friday, October 2

Scary Monsters Magazine #98 - Bradley Beard Interview

For this issue's column (June 2015) Doc Gangrene interviewed artist Bradley beard, who has been doing an amazing series of portraits - one a day - featuring horror hosts. Click to enlarge.

Thursday, October 1

Scary Monsters Magazine #97

In my column for issue #97 of Scary Monsters Magazine I sat down with artist Jeff Carlson and discussed his art, career, influences and more, especially the Mani-Yack style tribute pieces he's been doing.

Click to enlarge pages

Sunday, September 27

The Fantastic Films of Vincent Price #44 - House of Usher

In this episode Dr. Gangrene takes a look at the 1960 film House of Usher, directed by Roger Corman. Price plays Roderick Usher, who lives with his sister in their crumbling mansion, a place cursed by the wickedness of the Usher ancestors...

About this series:
Dr. Gangrene, Physician of Fright and Award-winning Nashville-based TV Horror Host (aka writer/film historian Larry Underwood) explores the films of the merchant of menace, Vincent Price, in chronological order from first to last, approaching them from a scholarly perspective, offering commentary, review and criticism.

Dr. Gangrene's Horror Hootenanny 12

The premiere Halloween event of the Middle Tennessee area, DR. GANGRENE'S HORROR HOOTENANNY 12, is taking place this year on Friday, October 9th at THE POND in Franklin, TN. Hosted as always by the Physician of Fright, this year's lineup features Opossum Holler (Bowling Green, KY), The Creeping Cruds (Nashville, TN) and The Vamptones (Murfreesboro, TN).

This is the 12th annual Hootenanny, and as always will feature a huge costume contest with prizes from an array of sponsors including EVIL PUMPKINS, LONE WOLF BODY ART/SLAUGHTERHOUSE, UNCANNY VALLEY PRODUCTIONS, PERFORMANCE STUDIOS, UNHOLY APPAREL, WOLFDEN PRODUCTIONS, and more.

And to top it all off there will also be a late-night movie screening of EVIL DEAD - so if you're in the mid-south area make plans now to come join the music city madman, Dr. Gangrene, for this night of music, monsters, and mayhem.

595 Hillsboro Rd, Franklin TN
8:00pm - until, $7 ($6 in costume), 21+

Thursday, September 24

Halloween Triple-Feature hosted by Dr. Gangrene

It's a Halloween triple-feature at the Franklin Drive-in, in Franklin KY on Saturday, October 17th.

In honor of the late Wes Craven, we are showing his 1984 masterpiece NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET, along with the 1985 classic THE GOONIES and director Cameron McCasland's short film TAILYPO.

The event is hosted by Nashville Horror Host Dr. Gangrene, and director McCasland will be appearing as well to discuss his film. There will also be a costume contest for kids and adults with prizes, and more. Make plans now, or Freddy will getcha!

Thursday, September 10

Big Developments at the Belcourt

Big news was announced today from my favorite theater, the historic Belcourt Theatre in Nashville. They will begin renovations starting in January to add a third screen, increase bathroom size, and update and repair the facility. The Belcourt is a building rich in Nashville history. It once housed the Grand Ole Opry. It has been in existence for 90 years, and is sorely in need of updates and repairs. The HVAC, plumbing, and electric all need updating, the structure needs repair, and the 1923 hall, the main screen, needs repair work. Most of all the bathrooms, which are notoriously small, currently are not wheelchair accessible. In addition to repairs, the outside of the building is getting a makeover.

Construction will begin in January, and the Belcourt will be completely closed for six months. They will not lose the parking lot - the new third screen, which will seat 45 people, will be located on the second floor. The second screen, the 1966 hall, will go from 366 seats to 254 seats.

Already on facebook there has been the predictable complaining and gnashing of teeth. look, people, change in inevitable. The place is in serious need of repair. Unfortunately nothing stays the same forever. If the Belcourt is to survive and thrive, it needs to be updated. This will make it a viable theater to be enjoyed for the next 90 years. The plan is to preserve as much of the existing look of the Belcourt as possible, including the arches above the current entrance. I for one am excited about the news, and happy for the Belcourt, which is one of the premiere indy theaters in the country and a true Nashville gem.

 Dr. Gangrene PSA shot in the Belcourt

Below is the press release below, spelling out in greater detail some of the changes that will be coming.  
Dear Belcourt friends,
This morning, we share some very exciting news for the Belcourt and its future. Today, we are publicly announcing the Belcourt Campaign, a $4.5 million fundraising effort to restore, refurbish and preserve our 90-year-old building.
It’s been over 50 years since any major work was done on the Belcourt’s building. Resources have certainly been devoted to our programming and our education and engagement work. We’ve invested in exhibition, with new seats, draping, carpeting, and aisle lighting—and the installation of 4K digital cinema projection systems in both halls. And again and again, we’ve patched and repaired old HVAC, plumbing systems and roof leaks (fixes that have been increasingly expensive). At the same time, however, audiences are growing for all our programming, membership is at an all-time high, and the Belcourt is recognized regionally and nationally.
Now, it is time to meet the responsibilities of caring for the Belcourt’s aging structure—and making sure this vital part of Nashville’s past can continue to serve film fans for decades to come. 
For example...
  • The theatre’s historic gem, the 1925 Hall, needs preservation and renovation—including the original proscenium arch and wooden fly loft.
  • Our restrooms. As you know firsthand, they’re too small. But even worse, they are inaccessible to our patrons who use wheelchairs. We must address that.
  • Given its age, the building lacks key accessibility and safety features—and core systems like HVAC and plumbing need replacement and upgrades.
  • A new 2nd floor classroom/meeting space and a small screening room are part of the plans. This flexible screening room (with seating capacity of about 45) will be outfitted with a digital projection system and used for public screenings—as well as Belcourt classes and education programs, private screenings, and test screenings for local filmmakers.
  • This plan will not change the Belcourt's current footprint or parking.

Friday, September 4

Going Attractions - the Definitive Story of the American Drive-in Movie

I got a DVD in the mail that I have been meaning to tell you all about for some time now. It is called "Going Attractions - the Definitive Story of the American Drive-in Movie," and it is fantastic!

Going Attractions is a documentary that takes a look at the time-honored tradition of the Drive-in movie theater. Tracing the roots back to its beginning and following it through its decline and near-extinction in the 80s, all the way to the recent revival and digital revolution, this is a really well made and entertaining documentary.

I had the pleasure of seeing it projected on a drive-in screen back in 2013, when it was shown at the Stardust Drive-in in Watertown, TN. Director April Wright was there too, and she was super friendly and a pleasure to talk with. The documentary features a plethora of drive-in ads, memorabilia, and footage as well as interviews with owners across the country, and even segments with director Roger Corman. Definitely a DVD you will want in your collection. AND she is working on a new series - not sure where this will air, but this promo popped up on her Youtube channel recently, and promises to be fun. I'm a huge Joe Bob fan, and he is the perfect host for a series spotlighting drive-ins. Keep an eye out for this one, and I'll post more info as I get it!

Thursday, September 3

Vincent Price Personal Memorabilia

I was talking with my friend Robert Taylor recently, and the topic of some of Price's personal memorabilia came up. Robert owns a ton of personal items that were owned by Vincent himself, and the following pictures are some I thought I'd share - with Robert's permission.

Below you see a collection of books -the ones in back were all owned by Vincent Price, and are mostly art books. According to Robert, Vincent signed the inside of every book he owned. The ones in front are Robert's own books by, or about, Vincent.

We were talking specifically about the book that Vincent wrote, THE BOOK OF JOE, dedicated to his favorite pet, his beloved dog Joe. Below is Price's personal copy of that book, as well as a few other books that WERE CHEWED BY JOE. The pup was cutting his teeth, and apparently chose to do so on Vincent's books. I can't imagine he was really upset about it, though!

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