Thursday, April 29

Celebrating Films for the Right Reason...

Howdy all - just want to say right off the bat that I’m not singling out anyone in particular with the following post, simply throwing this out as a little food for thought and speaking my mind…

I’ve been reading posts lately from various bloggers celebrating women in horror cinema. There have been some pretty cool posts raising some interesting points that I never considered before, which is great… If you can make someone think while simultaneously entertaining them, you’ve done your job.

There is, however, a disturbing trend I see from some bloggers that I just don’t get at all. It’s something I first noticed around Rondo Award time and now again with the Golden Cob Awards – and that is urging people to vote for people or projects simply because they are women or are created by women.
Excuse me? You’re really voting for a movie just because the filmmaker is a woman? If so you’re doing an injustice to both that filmmaker and the nominees they’re up against. Unless it’s a category like best actor or actress, gender shouldn’t be a factor. That is just as bad as voting against a movie simply because a woman made it, or voting for a movie simply because a man made it. Makes no sense at all.

The same thing could be said for any particular group, not just women - Black, Asian, male, White, Hispanic – If you’re only watching films or voting for them because one certain type of filmmaker made them, then that is racist and/or sexist.

Don’t bother calling me misogynistic, this isn’t about hating on women. I’m for celebrating PEOPLE who make great movies and turn in awesome performances regardless of gender or ethnicity. I was thrilled to see Kathryn Bigelow whip James Cameron’s ass in the Oscars this year – not because she is a woman, but because her film was better and honestly, I think she’s a better filmmaker than James Cameron. I’d put NEAR DARK and POINT BREAK up against anything Cameron has done. Those movies rock.

This post is about celebrating creative achievements on their artistic merits, not because of the physical makeup of the filmmaker. Its common sense here, folks - a penis or vagina does not make a movie bad or good, and neither does skin color.

Interestingly, chiming in on this very topic recently was none other than Sigourney Weaver. Speaking about why Cameron and AVATAR didn't win Best Picture or Director, "Jim didn't have breasts, and I think that was the reason (he lost)," she told told Folha Online, a Brazilian news site. "He should have taken home that Oscar."

Uh, you know Sigourney, that really sounds like sour grapes to me. This statement wouldn’t have anything to do with the fact that you play a LEADING ROLE in AVATAR, would it? If it were true I'd agree with you, but the honest truth is boobs have nothing to do with Cameron not winning. AVATAR won Oscars for Art Direction, Cinematography, and Visual Effects – in essence all the technical categories, which is where AVATAR shined. AVATAR's story just is not very good - notice it was NOT nominated for screenplay. This was simply a case of the Academy voting for best picture, NOT best boobs. Sorry Sigourney, you are wrong and the Academy got it right.




Finally, here is a perfect example of why Kathryn Bigelow rocks...
"I've spent a fair amount of time thinking about what my aptitude is, and I really think it's to explore and push the medium. It's not about breaking gender roles or genre traditions."
- Kathryn Bigelow, 2009

You go Kathryn. Pushing the medium and making the best damn movies you can is what it’s all about.

Wednesday, April 28

Lookin back at TARANTULA


In the 1950’s the threat of atomic warfare was all too real. This caused a sense of uneasiness and downright fear in many folks, and as is often the case, the fears of the day were reflected on the silver screen. This rang true in the 50’s with tales of atomic mutations and science run amuck. Perhaps the best example of this is the 1955 creature feature, TARANTULA.


Directed by Jack Arnold, TARANTULA tells the story of a scientist named Professor Deemer, played by Leo G. Carroll, who, while perhaps a bit misguided, is not a mad scientist in the traditional sense. His intentions are purely altruistic – he is harnessing atomic power to create a serum containing a nutrient that causes animals to grow to gigantic proportions. Through this he hopes to solve the world’s growing food shortage – gigantic animals equal gigantic food sources, right? Now what’s mad about that?

In the lab are several specimens which have been given this nutrient – among these are rabbits, rodents, and a tarantula. Not sure what food shortages would be solved with an oversized tarantula, but perhaps Deemer was just curious of the effects on insects. Ok, so maybe that’s a little mad.
Unfortunately a couple of the researchers couldn’t leave well enough alone with animals and insects; they decided to try this nutrient on human subjects – themselves. This resulted in an advanced form of Acromegaly, a glandular disorder causing severe face and body disfigurations. This is the same disorder that actor Rondo Hatton suffered from. But the form of the disorder caused by this serum is a Super-Acromegaly, disfiguring the victim in a matter of days as severely as someone who had suffered this disorder a lifetime. Alright, we’re definitely veering into mad science territory now.


When a severely disfigured man stumbles into town and collapses dead he is discovered by Sherriff Andrews, played by Nestor Paiva.  Nestor had previously worked with director Jack Arnold on the Universal classics CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON and REVENGE OF THE CREATURE. He recognizes the man as a town local, but just barely. His disfiguration is so severe he is almost unrecognizable. Sherriff Andrews turns to town doctor Matt Hastings, played by John Agar, for an explanation. Hastings is equally stumped and heads out to Deemer’s lab to find out what was going on there. He meets the doctor’s new assistant, “Steve” Clayton, played by Mara Corday, and the two begin to fall for one another.


Mara would go on to star in a couple of other giant creature films in the 1950s. One has to wonder if perhaps the filmmakers were trying to duplicate the successful formula of this movie by casting her in those films. Both films were made, interestingly enough, in 1957, but couldn’t have been further apart in their effectiveness - THE GIANT CLAW and THE BLACK SCORPION. Mara sort of became the 50’s go-to girl for giant monster movies for a short while, before breaking back into mainstream movie roles.

Meanwhile turns out all is not well back at the lab – Deemer is attacked and injected with the serum by a crazed, disfigured assistant, and in the scuffle the tarantula escapes its cage. It crawls out of the lab and into the desert where it grows to gigantic proportions. Local livestock begin disappearing, and Sherriff Andrews, Steve and Doc Hastings quickly put two and two together to add up to eight – legs that is.

They attempt to stop the creature with dynamite to no effect before calling in the big guns – Clint Eastwood. In one of his earliest roles (his first being another Jack Arnold film, REVENGE OF THE CREATURE) Clint plays an Air Force squadron leader. The Air Force jets roar in and drop napalm on the rampaging creature just before it tramples the city – which is a shame, as I’d like to have seen a giant tarantula smashing buildings. The day is saved and John Agar gets the girl, natch. The End.


Arnold used a real tarantula and matting effects for much of the movie, using models for only the close up shots. This worked really well, and the shots of the oversized animals in the cages at Deemer’s lab are especially convincing. Arnold maintains a foreboding atmosphere throughout the movie, with the ever enlarging arachnid kept hidden off-screen for much of the film, skulking just behind a rock formation or scuttling about the desert in the dark. But when it does show up it has a striking impact.



Arnold must have had a thing for spiders. In 1957 he directed THE INCREDIBLE SHRINKING MAN and again used a spider to great effect. In this one instead of a spider growing to gigantic proportions the same effect is achieved in reverse – a man shrinks to tiny proportions and is attacked by a regular sized spider. This is the high point of that film, and Arnold again used a real spider and matting effects for this scene, no doubt drawing on his experience in TARANTULA to shoot the spider scenes in that one.

The crew on TARANTULA was top notch – the previously mentioned Director Jack Arnold, Producer William Alland (producer for CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON, REVENGE OF THE CREATURE, THE MOLE PEOPLE), makeup by Bud Westmore (THE MOLE PEOPLE, THE CREATURE WALKS AMONG US, ABBOTT AND COSTELLO MEET FRANKENSTEIN), cinematography by George Robinson (DRACULA’S DAUGHTER, FRANKENSTEIN MEETS THE WOLFMAN) and according to IMDB, tarantula puppet effects by Wah Chang (THE BLACK SCORPION - uncredited).


The acting is all top notch in TARANTULA - John Agar was the perfect leading man, and Mara Corday a great leading lady, and their screen chemistry really worked well. Nestor Paiva is one of the most memorable character actors of fifties cinema, and turns in another great performance here, as well as Leo G. Carroll as the scientist whose experiments run out of control.
This film is the prototypical fifties science-fiction film and set a benchmark for other films to come. It has it all: a handsome leading man, beautiful leading lady, mad scientist, quirky sheriff, atomic radiation, mystery, murder, mayhem - plus Clint Eastwood and a giant tarantula – what more could a guy ask for?

TARANTULA was finally released on DVD in the Universal Sci-fi Classics box set. I would still like to see it get a proper individual DVD release, complete with commentaries (perhaps with someone like Tom Weaver along with surviving cast or crew members) and documentaries on Jack Arnold and the making of this movie. Come on Universal, what are you waiting for? Stop repackaging the classic monster movies (which I LOVE but hell, how many copies of Frankenstein do I need?) and step into the atomic age!!

Tarantula 1955
4.5 out of 5 skulls

Tuesday, April 27

You got a good head on yer shoulder there boy!

Ok, I don't just want these, I NEED them! Swamp Zombie, Vault Keeper, Crypt Keeper, and the Old Witch. How cool are these? EC comics are the BEST!

Monday, April 26

Spookhand - Gettin Spooky

Had a late night band practice tonight as we prepare for Saturday's gig. We decided to go ahead and add 3 new tunes to the set list - hoo boy, this ought to be interesting, especially since this was the first time we've all 4 played them together - haha.

Good thing is two of the songs, Bloody Murder and Jekyll and Hyde, the guitarists and I had all worked on together already and it was just a matter of showing it to Brian, our drummer. The other song, I drink Blood, was a new one I wrote and showed to the other guys for the first time tonight. But as it's a simple tune, we decided to go ahead and add it, too.

Sunday, April 25

I Wanna Rock

I met Dee Snider at the Nashville Full Moon Tattoo Festival today. Super nice guy and I got a great interview with him. We talked about his movies, music, Pee Wee Herman and more! Look for it here soon...

Saturday, April 24

Recommended Movie of the Week - Planet of the Apes

It's all monkey business this week with my recommended movie of the week - the 1968 Planet of the Apes. This is actually my favorite all time movie. I love this film. Definitely a true sci-fi classic.

I had such a crush on Nova (Linda Harrison) when I was younger - in fact, I think I still do! I saw her at Wonderfest a couple years back and she still looks terrific!

Friday, April 23

Next Creature Feature...

Okay, I told you guys the wrong movie for next Saturday. We'll actually be showing THE HOLLOW, from 2004, starring Kaley Cuoko (Big Bang Theory) and Nick Carter (Back Street Boys). As I said, this is one we shot last October but which never aired due to technical difficulties. Pretty good little movie - kind of a teen headless horseman movie.

Alien Resurrection reviewed

I have avoided watching Alien Resurrection for years – twelve years, to be exact...now I know why. This movie, to quote my 12 year old son, "is terrible."

There are gonna be spoilers in this review – if you've not seen the Alien movies, be warned.

In Alien 3 we discovered Ripley has an alien growing inside her body. She takes the Nestea plunge into a fiery vat just as the alien erupts from her chest. Thus ends the tortured life of Ellen Ripley.

But not so fast – the powers that be apparently thought you couldn't have an Alien movie without Sigourney Weaver, so they concocted an explanation for her inclusion in Alien 4 – cloning. Thank god they didn't use the other obvious answer, time travel. That would have been even more ridiculous than this sequel…but I'm getting ahead of myself.

Alien Resurrection takes place 200 years in the future from Alien 3, onboard a spaceship called the Auriga. On it, a team of scientists have successfully cloned a new Ripley from a blood sample recovered on the prison colony where she became Shake and Bake in the last film. This time around the scientists aren't part of The Company as in previous installments – no, in the past 200 years the Company was bought up by Walmart (no lie) and no longer exists. These scientists are part of the military, and are interested in studying the aliens for weapon research

Enter the first unbelievable plot device, and it's the crux of the entire film. Not only did they clone Ripley, but somehow that drop of blood also contained the DNA of the alien parasite inside her. So when they cloned her they also got the alien as well. You know, I'm no expert on cloning, but I think if someone had a parasite like, say, a tick or a tapeworm, and they were cloned from a sample of their DNA, that parasite wouldn't be included in that clone. But in this film that is exactly what happens. AND not only that, but somehow the DNA from both parasite and host intermingled in the cloning process, resulting in an alien with some human characteristics (more on that later) and a human with alien characteristics.

As a result of this intermingling of DNA Ripley gains a host of new abilities, including lightning reflexes, enhanced strength, advanced fighting abilities, and acid blood to name a few (including shooting basketball like an NBA star). AND best of all, she is able to somehow regain a lifetime of learning within 4 days!! This is another gift from the Xenomorph blood now coursing through her body.

Much like the magic plot device of Batman's utility belt or MacGyver's handyman-itude, cloning is the catch-all for any plot problems in this movie. Why does Ripley have superhuman abilities? Cloning. How can she suddenly learn a lifetime of abilities and processes (from basics like walking, talking, thinking, and processing emotions to regaining full-blown memories of Ripley's former life) within days? Cloning. How does Ripley have an empathic link with the Aliens enabling her to sense where they are, what they are doing, and even smell if someone has a parasitic chest-burster growing inside them? Oh yeah, cloning.

In this film Ripley becomes a cartoon character, a bad comic book superhero with little resemblance to the Dan O'Bannon creation of the original film. Makes me wonder why they even needed her if they just wanted to change her so much. Why not use a less contrived storyline, one that didn't struggle so obviously to find a hokey method of resurrecting Ripley. There are a whole host of ways you could include her and still be true to her character - have the characters watch recorded messages of Ripley from the past, or listen to ship's logs, or use flashbacks – hell, a creative script writer could have come up with tons of great ideas. But. alas, that was not to be.

As we learned in Alien 3 (a whole other set of problems there), the alien inside Ripley wasn't just any alien – it was a queen alien. So the scientists on the Auriga have themselves a queen that they keep trapped in an isolation chamber for study. It quickly grows to giant size and begins laying eggs.

This is where the plot gets confusing time-wise. Ripley’s parasite was removed and she regained her memories and full capacities within 4 days. But by that time the queen is fully grown as well, plus there are also other fully grown aliens running around too. Thirteen of them, we later learn.


From here I can just imagine the script writer's next thoughts - Okay, so we've resurrected Ripley – brought the aliens onboard - what next? Oh yeah, a cyborg. That was cool in the first two movies. We need to have that. Except this time the twist will be it'll be a woman cyborg – cool!

This time around the cyborg is played by Wynona Ryder (whose character is named Call). She lands onto the Auriga with a crew of mercenaries onboard a space ship named The Betty. They are delivering cargo (humans, actually, who are in cryosleep). Turns out these folks are to be human hosts for the eggs the queen has laid. It isn't clear whether these humans are the same ones that become a meat-house for what ultimately grows into the 13 rampant aliens previously mentioned, or are in addition to those, but it doesn't matter – The aliens are onboard and replicating, that's all that is important. Here there be aliens.

Okay, from here you can probably guess what happens – the aliens escape, start killing humans, and it's up to the mercenaries and Ripley to defeat the aliens.

The twist is that the Mother alien, as I mentioned before, has gained new abilities from Ripley too, and she not only lays eggs but actually gives birth to an alien/human hybrid through a human-type womb.

What I love about this scene is how they add a commentary to keep the viewer up to date on just what the heck is happening. There is a conscious human, one of the lead scientists on the ship, in some sort of cocoon along the wall, very similar to what we see at the end of the first movie. There are several other humans in cocoons spread about there as well.

This lead scientist for some reason has taken on a sort of symbiosis with the mother – unlike similarly cocooned humans in previous movies who screamed in terror, this dude is really, really into it. He is in tune with the queen alien and keeps prattling on about how beautiful everything is, and gives a nice convenient running commentary explaining what's happening. Honestly it is a good thing he is there, because otherwise the audience would have no fucking clue what is happening. Basic storytelling 101 says show, don't tell – but when you have a turd of a script like this, you have to tell.

Well, the baby tears its way out of a skin sack, which is connected to mama's belly. Her offspring turns out to be a pink, fleshy alien with somewhat human facial characteristics. It is unintentionally hilarious looking, and when this thing appeared onscreen my son laughed out loud. It spots Ripley, who has conveniently fallen into the pit with the mamma alien just as it gives birth to this hybrid, and turns toward her. It advances and stops inches from her face (now where have I seen this scene before?). It then begins to rub its face over hers, licking and caressing her.

We are told by our boy in the cocoon that the baby has now accepted Ripley as its mother. Still dripping with embryonic ooze, this baby then turns on mamma alien and kills it. The queen was a badass in Aliens, but in this film the newborn baby easily and quickly dispatches her.

Ripley runs away and she and the surviving mercenaries board the Betty and launch into space, away from the larger ship, which is on a collision course with a desolate part of Earth. But, and I know you'll find this to be a surprise, guess what? The alien baby snuck onboard and there is a fight to the finish between it and Ripley and the android, Call (again, where have I seen this scene before?).

In what I have to admit is the single coolest scene in the entire movie, the alien is defeated by being sucked through a hole in the ship's window. It is ripped into shreds of meat and ejected into space in pieces. The ship conveniently gains Earth's atmosphere just in time to save Ripley and Call from a similar fate, and we see the larger military vessel, the Auriga, crash into Earth and explode. The Betty lands on Earth and we see it is a wasteland, in complete ruins. Earth has been destroyed and apparently abandoned.

I have to admit I am a fan of the Alien franchise. The first film was a masterpiece, blending science fiction and horror and creating one of the scariest movie monsters ever. The second is more of an action film, true, but it still maintains the spirit of the original and expands the storyline in an interesting direction. The third has problems – the biggest of which is the arbitrary extermination of Hicks and Newt (who survived in Aliens). An early draft of this script called for Hicks to be the main character, with Ripley as a support character, (plans were for her to return in the 4th installment as the lead character). What a great movie that could have been. Despite its flaws Alien 3 still has one consistent element – Ripley. She is still the same Ripley, right to the end where she sacrifices herself to destroy the alien inside her.

This 4th installment pisses all over the previous alien films. There are silly plot points, (such as the mercenary who, hands up at gun point, ricochets a bullet off a ceiling - bouncing twice, no less - to hit his captor in the head and escape), that would be more at home in a B-western. Clich̩ one liners from Ripley ("Who do I have to fuck to get off this boat?" or "There's a monster in you, and I'm its mother" or in answer to "I thought you were dead" Р"I get that a lot") that sound like they're straight from a corny Schwarzenegger action flick.

Not only did the filmmakers wreck Ripley's character (insisting on including her yet changing her – what's the point?), dismantle The Company (the real villain behind all three previous Alien movies), and reinvent the aliens (which were the coolest movie monster ever and didn't need reinventing), they also did away with the entire population of Earth.

Writer Joss Whedon is the creator of Buffy the Vampire Slayer – which pretty much explains a lot of the cartoon silliness that, while it worked perfectly in that series, has no place in an Alien movie. Director Jean-Pierre Jeunet is a Frenchman, which explains why the ruins of the Eiffel Tower are seen among the ruins of the city in the final shot. Looks like Jean-Paul was paving the way for a possible future sequel with super-hero Ripley and her cyborg sidekick Call in a post-apocalyptic France. That might make for an interesting movie, but it doesn't have any place in the Alien franchise. I hope that movie never gets made. Far as I am concerned, Ripley died in Alien 3 and that is the end of her character.

In retrospect, perhaps time travel would be better than this cartoon monster flick.

Wednesday, April 21

Catching Up


Can we talk? Seems like it’s been a while
since I just chatted here about stuff in general…








  • The comments section of my blog was disabled for a few days. I had experimented with another comment program called Disqus – for you bloggers out there, a friendly word of warning. I HATED that program. It took over my comments, was difficult to use, ugly to look at, and a pain to uninstall. When I finally did manage to get it off here it disabled my comments and I had to reinstall my template, which was yet another pain. I lost a few comments that were made from folks in the interim. All in all, not a good experience.


  • So far this year I’ve managed to blog every day. In the past this was a real chore. This time around I’ve managed to not only find time to do this but have really enjoyed writing about whatever crosses my mind, posting pictures, links, reviews and interviews, etc...


  • This weekend is the Lone Wolf Full Moon Tattoo Festival in Nashville. I am going to try and make it out there one day this weekend. Hope to see you there. They have some great guests and you can see the entire list here.


  • I have another Creature Feature airing next week. The movie I’m hosting this time around is THEY CRAWL. It is a pretty awful movie about genetically mutated killer cockroaches. Features some really terrible computer generated roaches which have to be seen to be believed – at one point they al form together into one giant roach – yes! It airs on the Nashville CW58 at 1pm, Saturday, May 1st. This was one of the movies we shot host bits for back in October but due to technical difficulties it never aired. I figured now was as good a time as any, so May 1st it is.


  • Speaking of May 1st, that is the date of the next Spookhand show, too. It takes place at The Muse and features 4 bands: Spookhand, Alucard, Uncle Skunkle, and Dirty Dee and the Sweaty Meat. We’ll be playing a couple of new songs, so should be good - or a disaster, one or the other – but one thing’s for certain, we’ll have fun either way.


  • I missed a movie at the Nashville Film Festival last night that I had fully intended to see. Vampire Girl vs. Frankenstein Girl. A Japanese fright fest featuring exactly what it sounds like, monster femme fatales fighting... Should drive the fan boys wild! Hate to miss a good old fashioned monster flick like that, seeing as they don’t come to the big screen that often. I’m proud of the Nashville Film Fest for including this one. It isn’t often they show horror movies, and certainly not ones as purely exploitative as this.


  • I’ve been feeling a little down and nostalgic lately. My middle son Ian is graduating high school this year. Man it seems like only yesterday he was 8 years old and dressing as Dr. Gangrene for Halloween. That was one of the biggest thrills since doing this show – how many dads get to say their son dressed as them for Halloween? Now he’s 18 and about to head to college in the fall. Sigh. Time really does pass too quickly – but he’ll always be my little buddy.

Well that’s all for now. I have a bunch of other good stuff coming in the near future – more original artwork, more interviews, more reviews and more videos - so stay tuned!!

Tuesday, April 20

Recommended Movie of the Week - Tarantula

This week's recommend movie is one that is at the top of my favorite sci-fi movie list, and one I voted for each year in the Rondos as most deserving of a dvd release - I'm talking about the 1955 8-legged classic, Tarantula. Directed masterfully by Jack Arnold and starring my favorite actor, John Agar, this one is a true Universal classic.

I almost got to host this one last year, as my program director was offered a Universal package of horror films for me to host. Unfortunately, the funding wasn't in place to purchase the rights, so we had to pass. But Tarantula was in the list of films I'd have gotten to host... oh well, as Max Smart would say, "Missed it by that much!

Monday, April 19

13 Hosts - Horror Host Guidebook

I opened my scaremail this morning to find a creepy little package containing something I've been looking forward to for some time. It was a comic book called 13 HOSTS -  HORROR HOST GUIDEBOOK.

I was first approached by a guy named Brian Maze last year about this project. Brian is the brains behind this project, and it was his idea to do a comic book spotlighting various horror hosts. The title is obviously a play on words off the William Castle movie 13 GHOSTS. Brian wanted to know if I'd be interested in being one of the hosts spotlighted in the first issue, and I told him I'd be honored.

Brian is an amazingly talented artist - I LOVE his art. He has a cartoony style reminiscent of Bruce Timm that is clean and expressive. All the hosts' likenesses are captured perfectly, and the art is definitely the strong point of this project. In fact, the the full-length Dr. Gangrene caricature in the menu to the right of this blog is the drawing from my entry in this book.

The book itself is exactly what the title suggests, a guidebook to 13 individual horror hosts. Each host has one page dedicated to them, with a brief description of who they are and what their show is about. There are also several fake movie posters scattered throughout the book, along with two short one page comic strips and wrap around bookend pieces hosting the hosts, so to speak.

The cover features a woman in a tight red costume with dark hair holding a skull. I think this is a fictional horror host that Brian Maze created... but there is no mention in the book of who she is. Stranger still, she doesn't host the wrap around segments, which I found really odd. It would have made more sense to have the host on the cover host these segments too.

Each host has a number at the top of the page, starting with Penny Dreadful at #1 and ending with Count Gore DeVol at #13. My host page is featured on # 9, which actually suits me perfectly. I'm not really the superstitious type, but 9 has always been my lucky number - I was born September 9th (9-9) and that number just sort of seems to generally fall into place around me quite often. Kinda spooooky.

The final wrap up host bit is a two page instructional guide to how to be a horror host. It basically states that anyone can be a horror host and horror hosts have become the spooky equivalent of karaoke. Slap on a little makeup, pick a silly name and you too can be a horror host. I really couldn't disagree more. There is a lot more to horror hosting than singing along to other people's music. By making this comparison it basically cheapens all the hard work and hours and hours of writing, acting, editing, and producing a show that so many dedicated hosts put out there. .  I think this was intended as an inspirational pep talk for aspiring hosts, but they really missed the mark here. Totally discounts the part about talent, drive, dedication, and hard work and comes off kind of insulting, honestly.




This book is slightly smaller than a comic book and printed with a nice glossy cover. It has black and white interior art and a color cover, and overall turned out very nicely. It is definitely worth picking up for Brian Maze's art alone, and is the sort of unique project fans of horror hosts will really enjoy. There is possibly a second issue in the works, and it will be interesting to see which hosts it spotlights.

If you would like to order a copy go to:
www.monkeygoatboy.com

Sunday, April 18

It Conquered the World - but not DVD

This year at Wonderfest the movie I'll be hosting for our Chiller Theater live show is the Roger Corman classic, IT CONQUERED THE WORLD. In looking for a print of the movie it quickly became apparant that it had never been released on DVD.

I couldn't believe it - but it's true. But thanks to Donnie Waddell the day was saved - he had a dvd-r copy which I am going to trim down to a shortened, streamlined version for the show.

Next year for the Rondo Awards I definitely know what I'm putting down for classic most in need of a DVD release. IT CONQUERED THE WORLD needs a proppa release, and Buelah's not happy about it! It's just a shame that Beverly Garland isn't around to do a commentary track for it any longer.

Talkin Rondo with David Colton


David Colton is the creator of the Rondo Hatton Classic Horror Awards, and one of the nicest guys you'll ever meet. He graciously agreed to do an interview with me to talk all things Rondo, which turned out to be a pretty fun one - I think you guys will really enjoy this…

 






Doc G - Hi David – thanks so much for spending some time with us. I want to congratulate you on another excellent Rondo Award season. This was the 8th annual Rondo Award – pretty impressive..

DC: Thanks, Doc. I think back to the first Rondo Award voting way back in early 2003, when we were thrilled -- literally thrilled! -- to have 186 votes come in. And now to routinely have almost 3,000 votes a year, yes, we've come a long way. Eight years is a long time and there's no sign of Rondo stopping.

 
Doc G - How would you explain the Rondo Awards to someone who had never heard of them?

DC: The Rondo Awards are an effort to honor and recognize those people and projects that keep the classic horror genre alive and vibrant. It is not so much about 'favorite actor' or 'favorite monster' but about the latest scholarship in books and magazines, the fun and creativity in writing, art, music, special events and horror hosts like yourself, and in the efforts to preserve the classic films.

Every vote is our attempt to thank and recognize all the creative people -- fans and pros alike -- who work so hard, often without any pay at all -- to keep the classic monster genre young and vital.

   As a journalist, I was especially struck by the in-depth research that went into the books and articles exploring the background stories of the classic horror films.

   The voluminous and meticulous research surrounding Bela Lugosi, as just one example, from his roots in Budapest to his tragic final years, by people like Gary Rhodes, Richard Cremer, Gregory Mank, Arthur Lennig, David Skal, Tom Weaver, Frank Dello Stritto, Leonard Kohl, Richard Sheffield, Richard Bojarski and so many other writers and historians ranks right up there with the Kennedy assassination in attention to detail and passion -- and obsession!

   It was my feeling that recognizing that kind of 'monster' journalism  was long overdue.
 

Doc G - Any other horror icons you considered naming the award after before deciding on Rondo?
 
DC: Back in 2003 on the old horror board at AOL, a bunch of us, people like Gary Prange, Kerry Gammill, Tom Weaver, Tim Lucas, John Clymer, Mirek Lipinski, a bunch of us, were wondering if the horror board should give out awards. Gary and Susan Svehla had been giving out "Laemmle Awards,'' named after the legendary Universal producer, at their Fanex conventions, and that was clearly an inspiration for our more fan-based idea.

   So we kicked around a bunch of possible names -- the Fritzes, the Ygors (I still like that one), the Belas, the Dwight Fryes, but none seemed right. We wanted it to be obscure and not so obvious. Someone (maybe me, but I'm not really sure), mentioned Rondo Hatton, then someone said 'the Rondos,' and wow, it sounded absolutely perfect!


    And then when we realized that in 'House of Horrors,' mad sculptor Martin Kosleck makes a giant bust of Hatton, that felt right, too. 

  Still, it was all just fanboy talk until Kerry Gammill -- a terrific artist who has drawn Superman for DC, Star Wars art and lots more -- e-mailed a sketch of what a miniature version of that bust would look like.
 
  I remember e-mailing back, 'You can do this?' A week or so later he e-mailed photos of the prototype busts and it was like, 'Wow. We HAVE to do this now.'

   And I have to say that I have believed from Day One that the true allure of the Rondos is to a very large degree that wonderful Rondo Hatton statuette.  You hold it and it just looks and feels perfect, and even people who have won Oscars and Hugo awards are eager to have one. So all props (as the kids used to say!), to Kerry Gammill for making a crazy idea real.

   And thanks, too to Tim Lindsey and Byron Salisbury, two very talented model makers and artists who have cast the more than 150 Rondo statuettes that will be out there by the end of this awards season. It is no small task and they do a great job (as does my wife, Eileen, who paints them one by one!)

 
Doc G -  I was pleasantly surprised to see District 9 win Best Movie this year (although I personally voted for Drag Me to Hell). D9 was a great movie, but I really didn’t expect it to win. Every year seems to bring about surprise results – what category surprised you the most this year?

DC: I was surprised that Avatar only ranked fifth in the voting (I voted for Star Trek, myself; yes, I get a vote!), and more than surprised that Monsters from the Vault's cover by Daniel Horne won even though MFTV had two covers entered. The beauty of Horne's work just captured voters when they saw it on the ballot.

Doc G - The focus of the Rondo Awards has always been classic horror first and foremost. But of course we live in the current age, so more modern genre entries are naturally going to creep into the ballot, and even win in some cases. Case in point was Rob Zombie’s Halloween winning best movie a few years back. How do you balance this juxtaposition of old vs. new, classic vs. current, in an award named the Classic Horror Awards?

DC: That's probably the toughest thing we have to face every year.
    Because, let's face it, to most of the fan base today, FRIDAY THE 13TH and the original HALLOWEEN and Freddie and Chucky and most of the '80s splatter horror cycle are as "classic'' to them as Frankenstein and Dracula were to us growing up.

   After all, Halloween came out in 1978, 32 years ago! In 1960, when I was mesmerized by Zacherley on TV in New York, Frankenstein had come out only 29 years earlier.  So classic depends on when you're looking, I suppose.

   Still, we have tried to keep a 'classic' feel to the awards. We recognize the HALLOWEEN remakes and the like, but things like the SAW sequels and some of the rougher stuff we don't include. It's controversial, but FANGORIA, a fine magazine, is no longer nominated because there is almost no classic horror content anymore, as opposed to RUE MORGUE and HORROR HOUND, two modern magazines that do salute the classics each issue so they are included. It's not perfect, that's for sure.


   But I guess my best answer is that "classic horror" -- which can also include sci fi and fantasy -- is a feeling, a sensibility, a common thread that stretches from NOSFERATU to DISTRICT 9.   It's a shared collective, a nod and a wink that every nominee, even if blood-filled or CGI-based, nonetheless have a Saturday afternoon at the movies, "monster kid" soul, deep down.

Classic means it has to have a good heart, in my view. 



 Doc G - Every year there are new categories added to the Rondo Awards. This year was the “Fan Artist of the Year “category. What prompted this new category, and what exactly differentiates a “fan” artist from a “pro” artist?

DC: At the Classic Horror Film Board we have an art folder and some amazing fan art has been posted there. I noticed in previous Rondos these artists received a lot of write-in votes, so it seemed a good way to recognize them.

   There was some bleed over in the two categories -- some fan artists were voted as pros, as vice versa -- so we're still sorting that out.  You kind of know it when you see it (though I fear a pro artist objecting if they win a fan category!)

  We've kicked around having a pro panel of artists nominate five or 10 fan artists for the ballot rather than a free-for-all write-in category so we may tweak the category a bit.

  

Doc G - I thought it was a very nice gesture to name the Fan Artist Category after Linda Miller. Can you tell me a little more about who Linda Miller is?

DC: Linda Miller was a fan artist who painted black-and-white watercolors of all the classic monsters, many in unusual poses taken from stills and off moments from the films. Her faces and especially eyes had an intensity that was quite striking. She died last year at the age of only 48. People may remember her online name: Meek. Naming the category after her seemed the right way to honor her memory, and the category.

 
Doc G - Any new categories we can look forward to next year?

DC: Hah. People say there are TOO MANY categories already. But we're open to suggestions. There's been talk of horror fiction novels, but I'd need a lot of help on that since I don't read many. 

 
Doc G - Unlike most awards of this type, the Rondo Awards are a fan voted Award, and have been from day one. I’m sure when you began this award you must have weighed whether to open it to voting. What was the ultimate reason that made you decide to go this route?

DC: I think having fans vote, as imperfect as it might be, remains another key to Rondo's success. The results aren't always what one would expect, but no system is perfect. It has truly become a fan's award, and the nominees and winners respect that. A lot.

We initially kicked around a different system: have fans e-mail nominations, and then have a panel of 5-10 "experts" decide who wins. Given the internecine warfare that too often infects fandom, I can guarantee that "bestowing" awards in some closed-door star chamber would be far more controversial than any other method! So having an open vote seems the fairest. And the most fun!

 
Doc G - This voting method sometimes leads to controversy. I know you have a policy against open campaigning from nominees in an attempt to keep the awards fair. Early on you even rescinded an award from one winner who had openly solicited votes in a blatantly unfair fashion. However, people are naturally competitive, especially creative folks - I see candidates campaigning every year, sometimes in not so subtle ways. I have mixed feelings about this - On the one hand it brings more notice to the awards and more votes and voters, which is the ultimate goal. On the other hand, it goes against the spirit of the award. How do you balance these two aspects of campaigning, and what steps if any do you take to ensure the voting process is fair?

DC: Every year it's a challenge.

   There are two ways to go at it: Have it just be a free-for-all, American Idol style, whoever can round up the most votes wins.

   Or very strictly monitor each and every vote to avoid duplication and the like.
   I've chosen a middle ground. I rarely throw out any votes (only when the same person starts voting more than once, or obvious duped votes that make no sense). But it's rare. The vote is the vote, you know?

  Some categories are unavoidably open to campaigning, truth be told.  Any time a Horror Band is nominated, they get their fans to vote, Myspace-style. Similarly with horror hosts, various write-in campaigns.  That's all fine, and as you say, it does boost the totals and spread the word, and that's good too.

   At the same time, I do step in every so often if I see an effort going too far. Usually a gentle e-mail to a nominee saying, I don't know if you know this but I'm getting 20 votes an hour from the same basement in Boise (or whatever), is enough to calm the waters.

  The downside is when people go too far. We've had entire ballots filled out, in every category, then e-mailed to people to then send to me as a vote. We've had dozens of AOL ballots come in (which are impossible to trace and easy to change names), all in the same font and typeface.  We count them all, but it's obvious to see what's happening.

     It's one thing to get an "I vote for Crabby Appleton" as best band (obscure 60s reference), but another to have that vote carry along 29 other categories, from some voter who doesn't know any of it. That's unfair across the board.

   So I always prefer that anyone who wants a vote to say, "hey, I'm nominated, please vote for me. To do so, go to the rondoaward.com site and get a ballot there."

    That's all fine, and it spreads awareness and hey, it's a popular vote so why wouldn't someone ask a friend to vote for them? Just try to keep it real, people.

 
Doc G - Speaking of voting, you currently have folks email their ballots in. Are there any plans in the near future to use an online ballot with radio buttons voters can click to vote to make the process easier, or will it continue as an email voting process.

DC: I think we'd all agree that it is amazing, literally amazing, that almost 3,000 people actually cut and paste and make check marks or highlight or type in names or otherwise wrangle with the impossibly long, furshlugginer ballot every year. You have to be a REAL fan to do that, and maybe that's why I kind of like it.

There's no doubt we'd get double, maybe three or four times the number of votes if it was read and click, read and click, More than 30,000 visits were made to rondoward.com in the last seven weeks.

As for automated voting, as you know, Doc, we experimented over the summer with that, using a variety of automated voting programs. Even with the huge size of the ballot, it does seem possible. I remain reluctant, though.

While those programs do prevent you from voting twice from the same machine with the same name, it's easy to vote many times from other people's machines or whatever. And maybe easier to convince a friend to click and vote than convincing a friend to e-mail me a ballot.

What I do know is that when I can actually see each e-mail, it's way friendlier, I have a much better idea of what's going on, and I also think the clumsy system we use now prevents fraud or skullduggery better than an automated system.

But again, a vote is a vote, and maybe opening it up all the way through automated voting is worth a test one year.  The folks at People's Choice or American Idol WANT people to vote as many times as possible. Maybe Rondo should too? Nah, I don't think mass numbers are worth losing the feel of a classic horror community coming together and voting.

But I struggle with this all the time and would love to hear what other folks think.

 
Doc G - How did the counting process go this year as opposed to previous ones? It seemed like you announced the winners quicker than before.

DC: I was able to keep up with the count better than in past years, so except for the final crazed weekend, I was usually current with the count. There can be 250 or more votes on the heaviest days. Not all are full ballots, though, so that helps. I count a few at work (shhh), and finish up at home each night or morning,

The biggest delay is just getting the winner's list ready, downloading art, etc. But we closed on Saturday and announced on Monday night. Then I slept.


Doc G - Your wife Eileen is a real trouper to put up with this craziness. How does she feel about this and how much time it consumes?

DC: She's the best. She jokes every year that this is the last year she'll paint the awards (it takes at least three coats), or at least I think she's joking, but yes, she's been incredibly supportive. She's a photographer, so her photos of the ceremony at Wonderfest are always a highlight. 

Two of my favorite photos from the ceremonies are you, Doc, looking at your Rondo with admiration, and of Zacherley holding his Rondo in triumph. Eileen took them both, so thanks for mentioning her. 

 Doc G - My favorite aspect of the Rondo Awards is the fact it spotlights many deserving websites and creative individuals. Every year I discover something new on the ballot. This has to make you feel proud as well.

DC: Yup. Many people complain about the length of the ballot, and every year I try to trim it.

But I also want the Rondo ballot to be a true representation of what is happening out there. I get many e-mails from even the most obscure nominees saying they don't expect to win but they've noticed an uptick in clicks to their website, in book or magazine orders and or just plain interest in whatever their project happened to be.  That really makes me feel good because it means the Rondos are helping lift all boats, or trying to.

 
Doc G - Every year the Rondo Awards grow larger and attract more media attention. I see this as both good and bad. It is good in that it grows the awards and brings more voters; bad in that the larger it gets the more difficult it is for the little guys to win. You see that with Rue Morgue sweeping the categories it’s nominated in, and I foresee the same thing with Famous Monsters Magazine once it gets cranking up full steam - anything with Forry Ackerman’s name attached to it seems to be an automatic win. What are your thoughts on this?

DC: As I type up the ballot I sometimes have an instinct on what will win. Yes, anything with Harryhausen, Ackerman, Bob Burns, Lugosi attached to it always has a better chance out of the box. But name recognition isn't enough, the project truly has to be worthy, too.

As for the "little guys" being overwhelmed, that's something to deal with at some point. There's no doubt that Rue Morgue and Horror Hound, coming out so regularly and appearing so prominently on magazine racks, have a built in fan base, but nothing wrong with that. Their support is earned by the work they are doing. Rue Morgue has been on a particular roll (Horror Hound has yet to break through but has become a real factor).

But Monsters from the Vault, Scary Monsters, Filmfax, Screem and the rest still draw very sizable numbers from what I like to call the "classic horror electorate.'' And then there's Video Watchdog's fans. So I think it evens out.

We've kicked around splitting the magazine category: Modern vs. classic, perhaps, and maybe now that there are more, not fewer as people believe, magazines out there, that's a possibilty. But I kinda like the simplicity of 'Best magazine' so I dunno.

In the end, I think the way to keep the "little guys" in the game is to keep the awards as intensely "classic" and wonderfully crazy as we can. That's where the little guys have an advantage!

 
Doc G - One of my favorite categories is the Hall of Fame. This category is a bit different from all the rest, in that it accepts six new entries every year. It is sort of a lifetime achievement award for promoting classic horror. I have to admit though that I am a bit confused on the criteria for acceptance. On the one hand fan favorite actors such as Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi are not in the HOF, but on the other hand German Robles (Mexican actor) and Ben Chapman (Creature from the Black Lagoon land creature) are. Can you explain this category and the criteria for inclusion?

DC: The Monster Kid Hall of Fame selections are bestowed based only partly on votes, but also the opinions of a few of us at the CHFB.

   The idea is not to include folks like Lugosi, Karloff and James Whale, but to honor the second and third generation of pros and fans who kept the "Monster Kid" in all of us alive.

   So it includes people like Ackerman, Zacherley, Ed "Big Daddy" Roth, Basil Gogos, Don Glut, the Svehlas, Dick and Nancy Klemensen, William K. Everson, Joe Dante, the sculptors of the Aurora models, etc. -- those folks who helped inspire or craft horror fandom into what it is today.

   It also includes some pros -- Ben Chapman, for example -- who became part of the fabric of fandom by attending conventions, cooperating with biographers and the rest. And on a few rare occasions -- the aging Mexican vampire portrayer German Robles, for example, on his rare visit to Monster Bash -- it's a chance to honor someone for taking the time to meet fans.

   It's a truly impressive list. I hope to build an online area at the Rondo site when I get a chance, and some help, to honor all the inductees.

  Funny sidenote: A few years back we got a flood of write-in votes as Monster Kid of the Year and Monster Kid Hall of Fame for young Daeg Faerch, who was in Rob Zombie's HALLOWEEN. He was a true monster kid, after all.

   I had to explain that Monster Kid is not an age, but a state of mind. But even this year he got some votes. Probably someday he'll get in. When he's old enough!

 
Doc G - The controversy of the year category is obviously a joke, like the old Marvel no-prize they would give away in their comics. I heard one group that “won” got upset they didn’t receive a statue. Any thoughts on that and I assume this is one category that will continue to stay on the ballot?

DC: Last year's controversy "winner'' was the claim by Sid Terror that he had once held in the 1970s or 80s a reel of LONDON AFTER MIDNIGHT in his hands.

And yes, his website angrily denounced the Rondos for not giving Sid a statuette. But that's not that kind of category, obviously.  Yes, it's a "no prize."

  Happily, I ran into Sid at Monsterpalooza a few weeks ago and he asked about it, saying even he didn't think it was that kind of category, and I explained that he was right. He seemed satisfied.

Just shows how coveted the little heads are!

  
Doc G - I’ve heard you mention before that you would love to see the Rondos televised. A live webcast of the award ceremony at Wonderfest could easily be arranged. Is this something you’d be interested in?

DC: If possible, yes. We'd probably have to work on the lighting, but the Wonderfest people have just been great, so one of these years.


Doc G - In your day job you are the front page editor for USA Today. Are your coworkers there aware of the Rondo Awards and your involvement with it, and if so what is their reaction to it?

DC: Yes, they know and it's fine, professionally. There are no conflicts and I don't use USA TODAY to push the awards or anything (although our Pop Candy online columnist Whitney Matheson has happily taken to mentioning when the voting begins).

As for colleagues and such, it's like anyplace else. Some people get it totally, vote, ask me when the ballot will be out, reminisce about horror films, think it's cool. Others look at me like I'm nuts.  The same reaction we all get, I suppose, wherever we work and we bring up, um, monsters.


Doc G - There is no way one person could possibly know about every worthy nominee for every category, so you naturally rely on fan input for more information. Tell my readers about the nomination process and how they can nominate their favorites. 

DC: One of the recurring questions I get is, do you read and see all that stuff? And no, of course I don't, no one could possibly have seen or read or own everything on the ballot.

That's why nominations and suggestions are so important so I can at least check them out, see what other people have said about a suggestion, before deciding if it makes the ballot or not. As Doc knows, I ask dozens of fans before the voting begins to take a look at certain categories, give me input, help out. So it's just not me.

Anyhow, if you want to suggest something for next year's Rondo ballot (Rondo IX!!!), you can make a nomination in the Rondo folder at classichorrorfilmboard.com, or, easier, you can e-mail me at taraco@aol.com.

The Rondos really do depend on everyone, so all help is appreciated!


Doc G - Well David, thanks again for agreeing to do this interview. This was a lot of fun. I look forward to seeing you again at Wonderfest next month.

DC: Yes, and I look forward to the return of your Chiller Theater Live this year! And Nurse Moan-eek, your beautiful and blood-challenged co-host. Thanks so much for taking the time to ask about...Rondo.



To find out more about the Rondo Awards and a complete list of winners from previous season go to: http://www.facebook.com/l/1bf63;www.rondoaward.com





Friday, April 16

Gettin Cruddy - interview with Jeano Roid of the Creeping Cruds

Nashville, Tennessee may be the home of country music, but for the better part of a decade one band has kept the horror flag flying high in Music City. I am of course talking about The Creeping Cruds, widely known as Nashville’s Scariest Band. I recently sat down with Jeano Roid, Cruds lead guitar shredder (sometime vocalist) and monster-kid extraordinaire and discussed his horror influences, background and generally all things horror in the Middle Tennessee area.

Doc G - So Jeano – thanks for rapping with me a bit. You’re not originally from the Nashville area – where did you grow up and when did the horror bug first bite you?

Jeano - I grew up in West Palm Beach, Florida and started my obsession with Horror at around 7 or 8 years after seeing the original The Fly. I scoured TV Guide to make sure nothing was aired that I would miss. By the time I was 12 I had seen tons of old Horror and amassed a large collection of Famous Monsters mags and other Horror books.

Doc G - I understand you had a horror host in your area growing up… who was it and were you a fan of his show?

Jeano - Actually we had two Creature Feature shows - one in WPB and one in Ft. Lauderdale. Neither had a host but the WPB show had a super-creepy intro with a narrator who was never shown. Saturday nights at 11:30pm! I missed Saturday Night Live for a decade over that time-slot!

Doc G - When did you first pick up a guitar and were you in many bands in your youth?

Jeano - I got my first guitar at around 18. It wasn't like it is today where every kid at school has a bin-account at Guitar Center. We scoured pawn shops and bought old beaters. I was in several long-lived bands and a few side projects.

Doc G - You later moved to Florida and were in a couple of other bands down there, the best known of which was The Roidz, (which is where the moniker Jeano Roid comes from). Tell me about The Roids.

Jeano - The Roidz was a ultra-nerdy hardcore band that challenged the world! It was the 80's and we blew up right as the SoFlo hardcore scene peaked. Boomer (who was also in The Roidz) have discussed doing a new Roidz record in the near future - time permitting.

Doc G - So when did you first move to Nashville and how long before you formed the Creeping Cruds? How did you meet your fellow Crudsters? Was the band a horror band from day one?

Jeano - I moved to Nashville in 02, but I had already met McNasty and the original bass player Manthon prior to moving. Once we came up with the band name it was a consensus to go all-horror, which is something I had always wanted to do..

Doc G - Are the rest of the Cruds big horror movie buffs too?

Jeano - Yes, to varying degrees. We all love Horror flicks but I'm definitely the most obsessed..  

Doc G - I know you’re a huge horror fan like me, so it’s hard to narrow down a favorite film – but if you had to choose, what are a couple of your favorite horror movies?

Jeano - Night of the Living Dead, The Evil Dead and Texas Chainsaw are my top three, but I'm a major fan of Karloff and Vincent Price as well. I could make a list but it would be LONG!

Doc G - Your first CD was called “The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who stopped Living and Became the Creeping Cruds.” You sang lead vocals on that one in addition to playing lead guitar. Is singing something you like to do or do you prefer to focus mainly on playing guitar?

Jeano - Actually our original frontman Travis left the band in the middle of recording so I had pretty much no choice but to do the vox myself. Finding a singer was a priority after the CD was done - and we were lucky to find Wolfie almost immediately. I like writing lyrics and recording, but live vocals are best left to someone else!

Doc G - It’s been a couple of years now since the second Cruds CD, “Tennessee Bloodbath.” Any chance of a new album anytime soon?

Jeano - It's been a little over a year now and we're crawling in that direction. We have some new music but we don't usually add new things to the set unless it's tunes and are having fun with covers etc.. We'll wait until the fans just can't take it anymore!


Doc G - I know you are always working on a variety of projects. Tell me about the music you recently did for a Herschell Gordon Lewis movie.

Jeano - It's actually Tim Sullivan's second sequel to HGL's 2000 Maniacs called 2001 Maniacs - Field of Screams. The latest update to the infamous "The South Will Rise Again" theme from the original movie. Psychocharger from NYC, who I work with from time to time cut the track and at the time their main man Jimmy Psycho was physically unable to play guitar so I laid down several guitar and vocal tracks and mixed the song for the band. My wife Tanya did some evil screams for the track as well.. The movie comes out this summer..


Doc G - What are the future plans for the Creeping Cruds?

Jeano - We're gonna bring the Rock and bring the Horror! Maybe a Creeping Cruds movie should be made.. who knows..


Doc G - I want to salute you for your years of dead-icated service bringing horror to the music city capitol of the world. Long live the Cruds.

Jeano - Thanks Dr. Gangrene! We owe ALOT to you - so thanks a bunch! Come on down to The Lone Wolf Horror Con and visit the Creeping Cruds table!

Doc G - Thanks again for hanging out in my lab for a bit. It’s time to go feed the bats down in the catacombs now, so I must be going. To find out more about The Creeping Cruds visit www.creepingcruds.com and be sure to buy some CDs and tshirts and other goodies while you’re there. Support your local ghouls, that’s my motto!You can meet them live at the Lone Wolf Full Moon Tattoo Festival in Nashville April 24-26 at the Nashville Airport Marriott hotel.

Thursday, April 15

Frazetta's Warrior with Ball and Chain

This gorgeous piece of art by Frank Frazetta just popped up for auction at heritage auctions. Got a spare 120,000? If so it could be yours - That's the next bid price.

I was always a fan of Frazetta - he has such an other worldly quality to his work. I think it is in the colors he uses and the way he lays them on the canvas. When I was an early teenager my uncle took me to a record store for my birthday and told me to pick any album I wanted and he would buy it for me. So I chose Molly Hatchet's "Flirtin' with Disaster." I'd never heard them before, I just picked it solely for the cover art. At that time I didn't know Frank Frazetta from Frank Zappa, but I did know that was some kick ass art on that cover.


I took it home and listened to the album and really dug the band too. Score! It was only after staring at the thing for a very long time that I realized the dude's ball is hanging out. Too funny!

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