Tuesday, December 30

There's Triffids among us!

I just finished reading The Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham. It is a story about a spectacular meteor shower that rains over the earth, causing blindness in the inhabitants who watched it. The is also, simultaneously, a race of carnivorous plants called Triffids that seize upon the natural disaster and attack the now vunerable race of humans. The few remaining people with sight find themselves in a strange new world filled with threats not just from the Triffids but other humans as well.

I've seen the original movie version of this story, made in 1963 (though it's been a long time since I last watched it), but had never read the book until recently. It was really good, and now I plan to dig the movie out and give it another viewing for comparison. I understand the BBC aired a television version of the novel back in 1981 as well, and it's available on Amazon.com. It is supposed to be a pretty good adaptation, so I might just pick up a copy.

I also just read that a new Day of the Triffids series is being made for television, scheduled for a 2009 release. It is, again, a British production, and according to IMDB is supposed to air in August next year.

You know, all this talk about killer plants has me in the mood for some vegeterian food - think I'll go get me a big salad for lunch.

Monday, December 29

One Last Christmas Gift


I got one last Christmas gift yesterday when the Miami Dolphins beat the New York Jets and got a playoff berth in the process. Amazing - to go from 1-15 to 11-5 in one year is just incredible! AND, best of all, this win not only got them a playoff game next week, but also knocked both the Jets and Patriots out of the playoffs in the process! Go Phins!!

Wednesday, December 24

The 13 Days of Christmas - Christmas Day

One Christmas Day my blue ghoul gave to me...

One very scary comic - Santa Claus Conquers The Martians!
That's right - it's a comic book adaptation of this crappy old movie, from Dell Comics - now tell me this isn't scary! It came with a record version of this movie, which is pretty wacky to think of. Who thought THIS would be a big seller?



If you haven't seen the movie, then here you go - Scary Christmas!!

Tuesday, December 23

The 13 Days of Christmas - Christmas Eve

One the day before Christmas we have the infamous Crime Suspenstories #22, published May 1954 by EC comics. This is the one that was particularly focused on in the congressional witch hunt, er, hearings on comic books that effectively put EC and many other publishers out of business. When asked whether this lovely Johnny Craig cover was in bad taste, EC publisher William Gaines responded no. Bad taste would be showing the head a little higher with blood dripping. That's tellin' em, Bill!

Monday, December 22

The 13 Days of Christmas - Day 3

On the 3rd Day of Christmas we have a pair of young lovers - how sweet! Chamber of Chills Magazine #23, again 1954. These covers were simply awesome! Scary Christmas! 2 more days till the big Sandy Claws comes - He knows when you've been sleeping... He knows when you're awake. He knows when you've been bad or good... Geez, no wonder so many kids are screwed up - that's creepy as heck!!


Sunday, December 21

The 13 Days of Christmas - Day 4

On the 4th Day of Christmas, my blue ghoul gave to me...
a comic that's just crawling with suspense - this is Mister Mystery #11, from 1953. This is a book that really bugged some parents, I'm sure!

The 13 Days of Christmas - Day 5

I'm sure this comic made a big splash when published - On day 5 we have Tomb of Terror #16, published in 1954. This beautiful cover is by artist Lee Elias, who you can read more about HERE

Saturday, December 20

The 13 Days of Christmas - Day 6

On the 6th Day of Christmas, we have an explosive little cover - Tomb of Terror Number 15, from 1954, which seems to have been a really popular year for gruesome comic books. Awesome!

Thursday, December 18

The 13 Days of Christmas

On the 7th Day of Christmas, we have a fiend who obviously knows how to show a lady a good time! From 1954 this is Startling Terror Tales #10


Wednesday, December 17

13 Days of Christmas - Day 8

For day eight we have a delightfully violent entry - I had to give you something good, couldn't leave you hanging you know! You can always count on good ole EC comics, and they came through with Crime Suspenstories #20 from 1954! Love that Johnny Craig cover!

Tuesday, December 16

13 Days of Christmas - Day 9

On the 9th Day of Christmas, my grue love gave to me...
Black Cat Mystery #50, from 1954


Now THAT is an awesome cover!!

Monday, December 15

The 13 Days of Christmas - Day 10

On the 10th Day of Christmas, my grue love gave to me...
a hot poker to the eye with Mister Mystery #12, from 1953. Boy they just don't make em' like that any more, do they? Bet there were some parents out there in 1953 who didn't approve of this cover!


by the way, it just occured to me I'm doing this 13 days of Christmas countdown backwards, from 13 to one, but somehow it just seems appropriate that way.

The 13 Days of Christmas - Day 11

On the 11th Day of Christmas, my ghoul love gave to me...


Chamber of Chills from Marvel comics, 1976. This is one I remember reading as a kid, and I still have this comic today. The 70s Chamber of Chills featured reprints from the Chamber of Chills magazine published in the 50s.

Sunday, December 14

The 13 Days of Christmas

On the 12th Day of Christmas, my ghoul love gave to me...


Horrific Comic, issue 3 from 1951. Check out that Don Heck cover. Awesome!

Saturday, December 13

The 13 Days of Christmas!

We're in the home stretch now! For the next 13 days I'll be presenting a great old horror comic cover each day as a way of celebrating the Howl-idays. Enjoy - this one is a pre-code horror comic called Weird Mysteries #5 from 1953!


Friday, December 12

PSA Receives Accolade Award


Boy the awards keep rolling in!

The "Trash Day Of The Dead" PSA from the "Go Green With Dr. Gangrene" campaign has been honored with The Award of Merit from The Accolade Awards in La Jolla, California.

Here's the Press Release below:

Trash Day Of The Dead" was written & directed by Cameron McCasland and Produced by Michael Creason of New Valiant Productions. The Accolade is the latest in a host of honors poured upon the environmentally minded short which stars Dr. Gangrene (Larry Underwood) and his assistant Nurse Moan-Eek (Linda Wylie) as they battle against litter and zombies in downtown Nashville, TN.

"Trash Day Of The Dead" has gained notoriety nationally with wins at the Ava, AEGIS, Blingy, and Marcom awards this year, as well as receiving an Emmy nomination in writing for Cameron McCasland. The thirty second spot has also garnered praise from Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen, as well as other Tennessee lawmakers for it's call to arms in "Going Green With Dr. Gangrene".

The Accolade recognizes film, television and video professionals who demonstrate exceptional achievement in craft and creativity, and those who produce outstanding entertainment or contribute to profound social change. Information about the Accolade and a list of recent winners can be found at www. theaccolade. net.

Dr Gangrene, Physician of Fright, has haunted the scarewaves since 1999. Together with his faithful assistant Nurse Moan-Eek he continues to provide chills throughout Middle Tennessee on WNAB CW 58 Nashville, TN. For more information visit www. drgangrene. com

For more information on the Go Green With Dr. Gangrene campaign visit gogreencrusade. com

New Valiant Productions is based in Nashville, TN and is owned and operated by Michael Creason & Cameron McCasland. For more information go to www. newvaliant. com

Thursday, December 11

The Forgotten Horror Host - Vampirella!


Posting about Forest J. Ackerman yesterday got me thinking about Vampirella, a character he created that starred in her own magazine through Warren Publishing.

Vampirella is best known as the scantily clad vampire comic book character, the alien bloodsucker who haunted magazine racks for over 100 issues. But for the first 7 issues of that magazine, Vampirella joined the ranks of the horror hosts.

The magazine was patterned after fellow Warren Publishing books Eerie and Creepy, and Vampirella hosted an anthology of horror stories each issue, much like Uncle Creepy and Cousin Eerie did in THEIR magazines. The difference, however, was that Vampirella also starred in one of these stories, too.



It wasn't until Archie Goodwin took over editing that Vampirella became a regular headlining character, starting with issue 8. From that point on she starred in the magazine with feature length stories rather than hosting multiple short stories.

So here's to a little remembered Horror Host - Vampirella.

Tuesday, December 9

Dr. Gangrene Interview with Forrey Ackerman - Rivercon 2000

The recent passing of sci-fi icon Forrey Ackerman got me thinking about the time I met him. It was at Rivercon, in Louisville, KY back in 2000. This was actually the final Rivercon convention, and Forrey was the guest of honor. I had always wanted to meet Forrey, so I wrote him ahead of time and introduced myself, and asked if he'd mind spending some time with me doing an interview. He agreed, and Saturday morning at the show my wife and I met Forrey in the lobby and we had breakfast together at the hotel restaurant.

Before I go any further I have to mention that I had only been doing my show for a couple of years at this point, and was still pretty green around the gills. I got so excited about the interview and meeting Forrey that I actually drove all the way to Louisville before I discovered that I had left my camera at home! I was sick to my stomach - the main reason I decided to come to this show was to meet Forrey, and I really, really wanted to get an interview with him.

Well, I asked around Friday evening at the show and managed to find someone who graciously loaned me the use of his camera. So after we ate breakfast I found a quiet room in the hotel and the four of us, (Forrey, myself, my wife and the cameraman), all stepped inside to do the interview.
The cameraman (whose name I don't remember - but if you happen to read this blog please write me and remind me your name - I am very grateful) had a tripod as well as a camera, which was a good thing, since as soon as Forrey started talking he sat enthralled and didn't work the camera one bit - not a single zoom in the shoot, cut, camera movement, nothing. But you know what? I didn't care, I was just glad to get the interview.

It is amazing how much healthier he looked a mere 8 years ago. He really went downhill fast once he got sick. At 84 he was still spry enough to flirt with my wife and speak Esperanto to her when I left the table to head back to the breakfast bar. Forrey did two interviews with me that morning, and I just sort of let him talk and tell some of his favorite stories. He was still full of puns and Forrey-isms, and you just get the feeling that some of these stories were ones he had told a thousand times before.

But I thought you guys might like to hear them once more time, so I dug out this interview and posted it on youtube. Here it is below ...


Ghoul's Night Out rocks!


Here's a pic of me and the gals from Ghoul's Night out that I ran across on the web recently - this is from a show at The End a couple of years back. They are a terrific band out of the New England, MA area. They really need to put out a second cd - their first one rocks! Myra, guitarist/singer for GNO, also plays in one of my favorite surf bands, Gein and the Graverobbers, who have also played here in Nashville too, a couple of times. http://www.ghoulsnightout.com/ for more info.


Friday, December 5

Farewell Forrest J. Ackerman

It has been confirmed that Forrey Ackerman, Mr. Sci-fi himself, has passed away at the age of 92. Forrey was the founder of Famous Monsters Magazine and an inspiration to legions of horror and science fiction fans worldwide. I had the pleasure of interviewing Forrey for my show back in 2000 - he did two separate interviews with me where he sat down and told some of his favorite old stories. I think I'll dig up that interview and post it online sometime soon. Goodbye Forrey, and thanks for the inspiration!

here's a link to a story about Forrey's passing:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081205/ap_en_ot/obit_ackerman_7

Thursday, December 4

Trash Day Of The Dead Takes Top Prize At Ava Awards

Received some good news last night - Our multi award winning PSA, "Trash Day Of The Dead" received top honors at the International Ava Awards! The PSA from the "Go Green With Dr. Gangrene" campaign took home the Platinum Ava Award in the Television/Public Service Announcements category.

"Trash Day Of The Dead" has been on a roll with wins at the AEGIS, Blingy, and Marcom awards this year, as well as an Emmy nomination for writing for Director Cameron McCasland.

The Ava Awards are administered and judged by the Association of Marketing and Communication Professionals. The international organization consists of several thousand creative professionals. The Association oversees awards and recognition programs, provides judges and sets standards for excellence. For more information visit avaawards.com

Wednesday, December 3

Doc Gangrene mentioned in Nashville Scene article


Doc Gangrene was mentioned in the Nashville Scene newspaper today in an article about the Batpoet telethon that took place at the CH19 studio last Saturday evening. The article was written by the one and only Jim Ridley - Doc G. is mentioned several times throughout the article, most especially here:

"If you mention 19 to someone, they go, 'You mean The Bat Poet Channel?', " says Larry Underwood, who, as horror host Dr. Gangrene, is regarded with awe by fellow Channel 19 vets for landing a Saturday-afternoon slot on The CW—the equivalent of a sandlot player getting called to the bigs.

here's the link to the entire story on the Nashville Scene website...

http://www.nashvillescene.com/2008-12-04/news/health-woes-have-the-bat-poet-down-but-he-s-not-forgotten/

By the way, Jim modestly refers to himself here:

the only "civic luminary" the show could dredge up was a visiting drudge from the Scene.

Well, that dredge was Jim himself, who was the highlight of the evening in a rant about why the batpoet should return to the airwaves and what has happened to the streets of Nashville in his absence. Hilarious stuff, Jim!!

Dan the Man Johnson

Wanted to take a minute and point viewers to Creature Feature staff writer Dan Johnson's homepage.

Dan is a busy guy - in addition to his writing duties for us here, he also is a professional comic book writer. At left is his latest graphic novel, Herc and Thor, from Antartic Press. He also writes for various magazines and other projects.


Dan also writes strips for the Dennis the Menace cartoon. I have posted one of the most recent below.
Thanks again Dan, for all your hard work!





Tuesday, December 2

PSA recognized by City Council

I went to a Nashville City council meeting last night along with Nurse Moan-eek (Linda Wylie) and director Cameron McCasland. This was a local district 28 meeting held at the police precinct on Harding Rd. in Nashville. At this meeting the District 28 Councilmember Duane Dominy (pictured here) presented the Go Green with Dr. Gangrene psa and showed the "Trash Day of the Dead" psa videoprojected on a large screen there. They wanted to recognize the campaign, and councilman Dominy plans to present this to the entire Nashville Metro City Council at the next meeting for special recognition there. Thanks so much, Councilman Dominy!

Sunday, November 30

Helping out The Bat Poet

I made an appearance on CH19 Cable Access TV Saturday night... A long time producer of Nashville public access, Joey Bowker, a.k.a. The Bat Poet, has had a number of medical procedures including open heart surgery, and has even found out he has Diabetes, to top it off. Worse yet, Joey has no health insurance.

Well, Joey is one of the longest tenured members of CATV, Nashville's Public Access channel. He is best known for his crazy show, The Bat Poet.


If you aren't familiar with the Bat Poet, it's an insane public access show where anything can and does happen - a fly by the seat of the pants show that is sort of like a train wreck - you can't turn away. Joey appears in a batman mask, and does pretty much whatever comes to mind onscreen. It's nuts.

Well, after so many years of performing onscreen for free, providing entertainment for the people of Nashville, the station decided to hold a telethon to help raise money for Joey. I offered my services to help out in the event, as I started on access, and am glad to help out a long time producer.

If you'd like to help, it's easy -

Checks made out to Joey Bowker should go to:
Joey Bowker Fund
c/o CAC & MEAC
120 White Bridge Rd. #45
Nashville, TN 37209

here's a Nashville scene newspaper article about Joey and the telethon:
http://blogs.nashvillescene.com/pitw/2008/10/the_bat_poet_needs_your_help.php

AND, here's a quick youtube video to make you familiar with this crazy man and his insane show!! Long live The Bat!

Friday, November 28

GREAT new dvd!

Below is a flier for a great looking new dvd from the fine folks at Alpha Video - it is released on their new imprint, Smash Vision. This dvd is called Dark Dreamers - it's a series of interviews with over 30 of the most influential writers, artists, filmmakers and special effects artists. Just take a look at the list of interviewees - amazing! Everyone from writers like Richard Matheson and Harlan Ellison, to directors such as John Landis and Wes Craven, to fan favorites Forrey Ackerman and Bob Burns - this looks like a real treat!!

It's a 4-dvd set, and I can't wait to get my hands on this one and watch it!!





Wednesday, November 26

Go Green PSA gets Emmy Nod

The “Trash Day Of The Dead” PSA from the “Go Green With Dr. Gangrene” campaign has been nominated for an Emmy by the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences at the 23rd Annual Midsouth Emmy Awards.

“Trash Day Of The Dead” Writer & Director Cameron McCasland was nominated for writing in the “Advanced Media Writing” category announced earlier this evening at The BMI headquarters on Music Row in Nashville, TN. This is the first Emmy nomination for McCasland, and his production company, New Valiant Productions. New Valiant founders Michael Creason and Cameron McCasland were on hand for the event. When asked about the nomination McCasland stated. “I’m elated! This project has been a love affair from the start for everyone involved. And I’m honored to be in such great company thanks you to everyone at the NATAS.”

“Trash Day Of The Dead” stars Creature Feature's Dr. Gangrene (Larry Underwood) and his faithful assistant Nurse Moan-Eek (Linda Wylie) as they battle against littering zombies on the streets of downtown Nashville. The short has gained multiple honors this year both nationally and locally for its environmentally minded message, including a special honor from Tennessee State Governor Phil Bredesen. The short was shot on location in downtown Nashville, TN. The 23rd Annual Midsouth Emmy Awards will be announced in Nashville on January 24, 2009 at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center. The show will be hosted by Country Music Legend Hal Ketchum. For a full list of this years nominees please visit http://nashville.emmyonline.org/The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences is a non-profit, professional organization dedicated to fostering excellence in television. The academy has 19 chapters with 15,000 members nationwide.



New Valiant Productions is based in Nashville, TN and is owned and operated by Michael Creason & Cameron McCasland. For more information go to http://www.newvaliant.com/

Sunday, November 23

Happy Birthday Boris


Today is the birthday anniversary of the one and only Boris Karloff - 121 years ago William Henry Pratt was born, better known to the world as his stage name, Boris Karloff. Here's to the King of horror films, a true icon of horror cinema. I'm gonna celebrate by watching some Thriller episodes tonight!

Thursday, November 20

Blitzkid show

Tues night I got out to THE END in Nashville and caught the Blitzkid show. Had a great time - opening for them was The Creeping Cruds, (of which I just caught a few songs but were terrific nonetheless, as always), and The Rock and Roll Hooligans. I had heard of the Rock and Roll Hooligans before but never got a chance to catch them, and was glad to finally do so. They are a great band who really kick ass.

Blitzkid came on last and brought the horror tunes aplenty. There was a good sized crowd for a Tuesday night, and the folks there were diggin it. They played a set of horror tunes and had a misfits kind of vibe working - especially as Dr. Chud from the American Psycho days of the Misfits was playing drums. Great show!

Saturday, November 15

for the record...

I rewatched Spider-man 3, and just have one thing to say...


infuriating.

That is all. I feel better now

Thursday, November 13

Horror Host Graveyard


My good buddy Chris Corpse over at the Horror Host Graveyard blog wrote a nice entry on us today:


Chris does a great job with daily entries on horror hosts past and present. His is one of the few sites I look at daily. I especially like when he digs up clips of retired hosts or presents info on some long gone but not forgotten TV personality. Great job, Chris, and thanks for including us in the Horror Host Graveyard!!

Wednesday, November 12

PSAs Mentioned in Tennessean newspaper

The Tennessean newspaper had a nice write-up this morning about the PSA campaign we've run recently... Here's the text below...



Local filmmakers win award

Nashville-based New Valiant Productions filmmakers Michael Creason and Cameron McCasland were awarded the Sapphire Blingy Award for environmental excellence at the 2008 Blingy Awards.

The New Valiant Public Service short Trash Day Of The Dead from the "Go Green With Dr. Gangrene" campaign was honored.

This is the second award for Trash Day Of The Dead as it was also named a 2008 finalist in the AEGIS video & film production awards.

The 30-second spot stars WNAB CW 58's Dr. Gangrene, portrayed by Larry Underwood, and his assistant Nurse Moan-Eek, played by Linda Wylie as they do battle against litter on the streets of downtown Nashville.

The Blingy Awards is a cutting-edge design competition honoring the best of video, film, print and Web.

For more information about the Nashville film company, visit online at www.newvaliant.com.

Tuesday, November 11

Creature Feature recognized by GOVERNOR of Tennessee

The Governor of Tennessee, Governor Phil Bredeson, has awarded the staff of Creature Feature and New Valiant Pictures a special award for service to the state of Tennessee in conjunction with the Go Green Campaign and PSAs. This is a tremendous honor, and it's been my priveledge to bring horror to the citizens of Tennessee the past decade,and the PSAs have been a really great way to spread environmental awareness. Thanks to New Valiant Pictures for their past producing these public service announcements,and look for another batch of psas soon!!

Monday, November 10

The Creeping Cruds - Tennessee Bloodbath

The Creeping Cruds, Nashville's premiere horror band, has released their second CD, "Tennessee Bloodbath". This cd features 12 high energy tunes filled with blood, monsters, and kick ass guitar licks. Released in October (naturally) of 2008, this one is a terror-ific followup to their first CD, "The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living and Became The Creeping Cruds."

On the first CD Jeano Roid did all the singing as well as the lead guitar - This CD features a different singer, Wolfie, who also does a fine job bringing the horror, freeing Jeano up to concentrate on the guitar work. There is also a different bassist this time around, Handsome Jimmy, and a new drummer too, Boomer (who is a long time collaborator with Jeano from previous bands in the past). The final member of the horror troop is McNasty, who was a member of the band from day one and once again provides guitar and vocals.

They all come together to bring a slightly different sound to the Cruds this time around - slightly more polished, I suppose, while retaining the same energy and horror themes fans have come to expect from their live shows.

Tracks:

Blood At The Door

Tennessee Bloodbath

I Was A Teenage Werewolf

I Kicked Dracula's Ass

The Blob

Best Friend's Girl

Chainsaw A Go-Go

Meat And Three

Mosquitos

Hellhounds

I Killed Santa Clause

Come Out Neville

My favorite song on the CD is one based on the Richard Matheson novel "I Am Legend" - it's called "Come Out Neville" and is especially fun live. All the songs on the CD have little intros or spoken bits between the tracks, adding to the ambiance. This is nice follow up to the first CD and one well worth picking up. Go to www.creepingcruds.com to get your copy today! Tell em' Doc Gangrene sent ya!

Ps – I lied about one thing. There is actually a special hidden track on this cd – but you'll have to pick up your own copy to find out what it is!!

Sunday, November 9

Hey Abbott!

My good pal Scott Essman over at Universal Studios posted this fantastic Abbott and Costello animation on Youtube. Scott spearheaded this creation, writing, directing and producing it.

Scott is my choice for Monsterkid of the Year in the Rondo Awards - Scott has consistently pushed the classic monster genre year after year, both in his job there at Universal as well as his personal pet projects, such as this. Check it out, and take a look at some of Scott's other videos on youtube and you'll understand why he's my choice for Monster Kid of the Year!

Thursday, November 6

2008 Horror Hootenanny 5 pics



Big round of applause to Ray and Wendy for posting pics of the Horror Hootenenny South - it took place at The Pond in Franklin. Thanks to everyone who came out to see a kick ass show - Dave and the Country Rebels, The Creeping Cruds, Psychocharger and the Coffin Burys - fun stuff!!




See all the pics HERE:
http://raywen.org/concert/hoot102508/








Tanya Roid, in Wolf Costume!



















Psychocharger hits the stage!














The Coffin Burys in action

Wednesday, November 5

100th post - Woo Hoo!!


This is the 100th post here on the Gangrene blog!

Way cool - I've been very sporadic with this thing, the first post being way back on 10-26-06. But the way I see it is it's here for me when I feel in the mood or have time to write about stuff.

With Halloween over things have slowed down a bit, so I feel a bit more energy for some side activities. Speaking of which...

There are pictures up from the Horror Hootenanny now at:

http://raywen.org/concert/hoot101808/index.html



The Exotic ones rockin THE BASEMENT

Some of the costumes at the Hootenanny

Ray and Wendy, regulars at the Hootenanny shows, as well as many other events around town, took these and posted them online. This was the first Horror Hootenanny this year, October 18th 2008 at The Basement - and featured The Exotic Ones, The Creeping Cruds, The Coffin Burys and Daikaiju.

Rockin' with the Creeping Cruds

Unfortunately Ray had to leave before Daikaiju or the Coffin Burys came on, but he took some terrific shots of the Cruds and the Exotic Ones. Thanks Ray, and thanks to everyone who came out!!

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