Thursday, October 29

New Dr. Gangrene Newspaper Article

The following article ran in a number of newspapers across Middle TN this week, including the Hendersonville Standard, The Gallatin Newspaper, Wilson Post, Williamson Herald, etc.. Just thought I'd post it here for your enjoyment, along with a few pics they took too -
Happy Halloween!!



Eerie things are going on in an old tool shed in a Hendersonville backyard.

By SCARY KEN BECK
Special to Main Street Media


It’s nothing new, because strange things have been brewing in the madcap mind of Nashville TV horror host Dr. Gangrene for 10 years.

Gangrene, who is host of “Chiller Cinema,” at 1 p.m. Saturdays on WNAB-Channel 58, tapes his show in his secret hidden lab, aka Gangrene Manor, in the midst of suburbia, but all normalcy ceases once mortals cross this threshold.

Turn to the right inside the tool shed turned studio and spy Styrofoam bricks painted to appear like a dungeon wall with curious laboratory equipment awaiting the doctor's maniacal touch. To the left looms a creepy Victorian-style mantelpiece with a pair of skulls, a fireplace, tattered old wallpaper and a midget knight in armor. And, if a visitor doesn’t watch his step, well, just beware of a trapdoor somewhere underfoot.

The mischief maker behind this mixture of hilarity and hauntedness is a nearly average guy by the name of Larry Underwood, whose day job for 15 years has been as a graphic designer for the V.A. Medical Center and veterans’ events in Nashville.

But on nights when the moon is full, or when it’s time to tape a show, Underwood transforms into the somewhere-between-the-goofy-and-the-ghastly Dr. Gangrene.

“Dr. Gangrene is mad scientist with a large ego who loves all things monster and Halloween,” says Underwood. “It’s his wish to make it Halloween all year long. He endeavors to do so by showing bad monster movies and cooking up strange experiments in his lab.

“Over the years Dr. Gangrene has become more like me. I’ve worn less makeup and the and costume has sort of changed,” said Underwood, who garbs his psychotic physician in white lab coat and black goggles.

The self-effacing TV show host concocted his character after tiring of writing and drawing comic books with creative partner Chuck Angell.



“I decided it would be neat to do a show of the type we had when I was growing up, a horror TV host that I remember, Cecil Creape and his ‘Creature Feature.’ I had a friend doing a cable access TV show at the time, and he suggested I give it a try,” Underwood recalled. “Chuck thought it would last three weeks, and here 10 years later, I’m still doing it.”

Doc Gangrene and his “Chiller Cinema” debuted July 1999 on the Hendersonville cable access channel and then hopped to the Nashville cable access channel and then to the UPN station before landing at The WB about three years ago.

His inspiration was a blend of two TV characters: Sir Cecil Creape, sort of his monster mentor, who was portrayed by the late Russ McCown, and Anthony Edwards, star of the now deceased NBC sitcom “E.R.”

“When ‘E.R.’ was popular, I was getting stopped by people and told, ‘You look like that guy from ‘E.R.’, Dr. Green (Edwards).’ I thought it would be funny to do a twisted version of medical doctor from Dr. Green to Dr. Gangrene,” said Underwood.

“I waned to do a show liked Sir Cecil Creape, who I met once when I was a Boy Scout. I got a patch that said ‘Sir Cecil’s Ghoul Patrol.’ The first thing I did when I started my show was sew his patch on my lab coat. It was real important to keep the show family friendly like Sir Cecil did.”

(McCown’s “Creature Feature” aired in the early 1970s on WSM-Channel 4 and was resurrected on The Nashville Network or TNN in the early 1980s.)

Nashville native Underwood graduated from Stratford High School before earning a degree in graphic design at Middle Tennessee State University. He and wife Karlee have three sons: Rob, 18, Ian, 17, and Luke, 12.

He has had four sidekicks over the decade as Linda Wylie currently fills the bill as Nurse Moan-eek. Gangrene’s henchmen included Oogsley and Lump, while Karlee used to portray Nurse Deadbody and fortune teller Madame Fortune.
Larry and Karlee celebrate their 15th wedding anniversary on Oct. 29.

“We were gonna get married on Halloween at a bonfire, but my parents found out,” said Karlee. “They wanted us to have a church wedding.

“Larry’s a natural as Dr. Gangrene. I was proud to see how far he’s come with it from cable access TV to regular commercial television on The WB. All of the boys grew up around it. The oldest two are more athletic, but our youngest one loves it.”


Underwood’s “Chiller Cinema” can take as much time as 40 hours to tape and edit an episode. For his efforts, he was nominated for a local Emmy Award and has captured two Rondo Awards (for classic horror excellence) for best Web site and for public service announcements that he has done for the state of Tennessee on littering and a fasten-seatbelts campaign.

He also has met many stars of classic horror films at conventions while taping interviews for his show. Those include director George Romero (“Night of the Living Dead”) and actors Gunnar Hansen (the original “Texas Chainsaw Massacre”), Michael Berryman (“The Hills Have Eyes”), and Ben Chapman and Julie Adams (“The Creature From the Black Lagoon”).

Recently, he has taken his horror hobby one step further as a vocalist with the horror punk Band Spookhand as he warbles about monsters and blood, etc.

“I do Dr. Gangrene for the fun of it. I haven’t really made any money at it but do it just for love of the genre. I have to have a creative outlet of some sort and this is it,” says Hendersonville’s only dad who moonlights as a mad scientist on TV.

Tuesday, October 27

Spookhand Show last Fri Night!


This pic was taken backstage at THE MUSE during the Punk Rock Halloween party last week right before we hit the stage. It's the only shot I have from the night, as none of my group brought a camera. Jeano from the Creeping Cruds took this with his cell phone... as you can see, my costume was very much inspired by Ash from Army of Darkness... but then my momma always told me I had a good head on my shoulders - and two heads are better than one, right! Hey, scoff if you like, but you should hear my harmonies!

Top Ten Vincent Price Film # 6


The number 6 film on my Top Ten Vincent Price Film Countdown is the William Castle classic House on Haunted Hill! Check out the Youtube video below and let me know what you think about this one!


Monday, October 26

Ghost and Mr. Chicken pics


Got a few pictures from the Ghost and Mr. Chicken hosting at the Nashville Library this past Saturday (October 24th) - It went really well and the staff said they had about 3 times their normal turnout for the event! Thanks to Frank Keesee for taking these pics, and thanks to eceryone who showed up for the event!! The theater was full of kids and they all laughed and had a great time with the movie. Long live Don Knotts! I dedicated the movie to the memory of Vic Mizzy.






Sunday, October 25

Top Ten Vincent Price Films countdown - #7


We continue the Halloween countdown of the TOP TEN VINCENT PRICE FILMS - This week's entry is the #7 film in our countdown, the Roger Corman movie "The Pit and The Pendulum"


Friday, October 23

Spookhand - Tonight live @ The Muse



Tonight we're performing live and undead at the MUSE in Nashville at the Punk Rock Party Halloween Bash!! Be there or be scared!!

You can tune in live at their website to see us: we are the first band and go on at 7pm :

www.themusenashville.com/

Fri. October 23rd @ THE MUSE, Nashville

featuring:

Spookhand

The Creeping Cruds

Dirty Dee And The Sweaty Meat

The Loose Screws

Monday, October 12

Top 10 Vincent Price Movies Countdown


For the Halloween season I thought I'd do a series of youtube videos with a countdown of my favorite Vincent Price movies. I'll be posting these over the month of October... Let me know what you think.








Monday, October 5

The Ghost and Mr. Chicken



I'll be hosting the classic movie THE GHOST AND MR. CHICKEN live at the Nashville Public Library on Sat October 24th at 2pm. It's the thirs and final movie of the Halloween season that they're showing at the library - make plans to join me there!!

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