Tuesday, August 31

This week's Creature Feature - The Untold

This week's movie on Creature Feature is the Sasquatch movie, The Untold! Saturday @ 1pm on Nashville's CW58!

Monday, August 30

Horror Hootenanny 7 Promo

Metal Monday Part2

The Murderdolls new CD "Women and Children Last" hits stores August 31 - wanna hear it in its entirety right now? Well then you're in luck - all 15 tracks are available to listen to free streaming at:

http://www.craveonline.com/entertainment/music/article/world-premiere-murderdolls-women-and-children-last-110415

The Murderdolls have reformed with Wednesday 13 on vocals and Joey Jordinson of slipknot on guitar! Awesome! This thing rocks!! Check it out now and go to:
http://www.murderdolls.com to order the CD

Sunday, August 29

Metal Monday – Rocktober Blood

I’ve decided to start a new segment here on the blog – Metal Mondays. Now every Monday may not be a Metal Monday, but when they are you’ll get some face melting metal big hair rockin’ turned up to eleven reviews, music, videos and more! To kick it off I’m going to review a movie from 1984, the most awesome year ever for hair bands. Rock on!!

Rocktober Blood
1984
Directed by: Fred and Beverly Sebastian

Rocktober Blood is the story of a heavy metal band of the same name fronted by singer Billy Eye. The movie opens in a recording studio with Billy letting loose with a killer heavy metal screeeeaaammm. Glorious. We are treated, in grand padding style, to the entire song here.


Billy Eye is played by actor Tray Loren. This guy looks about as metal as Donnie Osmond. Sporting curly black hair and a terrible fake laugh (that gets REALLY overused throughout this movie), Billy is a real dork. The rest of the band looks on as Billy records his vocals. Among them is band member Lynn Starling, whom we learn was once romantically involved with Billy... but he's too cool to be tied down to just one chick. He's a rocker - she shoulda known better. He leaves to get some strange as Lynn goes into the booth to sing the backup vocals for the latest track, "Rainbow Eyes," a tune that isn't bad until it gets to the chorus - that damn thing will painfully stick in your head for days afterwards.

After finishing laying down tracks Lynn heads to "take a Jacuzzi" - because all quality studios have Jacuzzis, right? Gratuitous lingering of the camera here as Lynn undresses slowly, followed by plenty of tub scenes, then more gratuitous lingering as she towel dries afterwards.

Meanwhile someone is stalking about the studio after hours with a knife, killing band members and studio hands one by one. We follow the feet of the murderer as he stalks his victims - one guy has his throat slit and falls dead across a pinball machine. A girl is grabbed by the hair and drug screaming and kicking into a back room where she is lifted into the air and shoved onto a wooden rack, a dowel jutting through her chest. She's left hanging there like a sack of dirty laundry.


Lynn, finished with her Jacuzzi now, is confronted by the killer, who it turns out is none other than Billy. He corners with a knife and is about to do her in when a security guard interrupts. The security guard, obviously intimidated by the awesome rock and roll prowess of the amazing Billy Eye, turns and high tails it outta there! Last thing we see is Billy chasing the security guard saying "come here you little fucker..."

************************


Cut jarringly to a guy on a stage in a monster mask and hood. Pop up captions explain what's going on... "Two years later - Rocktober Blood Press Party." Turns out Billy was arrested for the murder of 25 rock and rollers - quite the busy boy - and executed for the crime! The old band has since reformed with our girl Lynn as the lead singer, this time called "Head Mistress."

Dude in the monster mask is doing the robot and some lame break dancing moves to the band's music. A reporter and cameraman are there from MVTV doing a special on the band. We are treated to another entire song, "Rainbow Eyes," while folks dance along.

But once again it turns out there is a mysterious figure lurking in the shadows. Lynn soon meets him alone face to face and it is none other than Billy, this time with some dorky black makeup around his eyes. But he's dead, right? No one believes Lynn when she reveals that she saw Billy. They all know he's dead and assume the pressure is getting to her. Lynn is really upset, so they send her off to relax at her cabin at the lake.

Once there we get some standard b-movie padding as Lynn walks through the woods, trying to take her mind off her problems. Two other girls have accompanied Lynn there and are doing aerobic work outs while she’s off on her walk. They’re dressed in classic 80s spandex and leg warmers... we get even more padding with some gratuitous aerobic workout shots and close up butt shots.

Lynn returns from her walk and tells the girls she’s convinced Billy is lurking around the cabin, but the girls don't believe her. The phone rings and when Lynn answers the caller hangs up. This happens several times until the caller finally speaks and threatens Lynn with this line: "Blood. I want your hot steamy pussy blood all over my face..."

Nice. Later that night one of the other girls is alone in the house and thinks she hears something. She heads into a room with a Jacuzzi (man those things are everywhere), and as she leans over the tub a hand shoots up from within the water, grabs her by the throat and pulls her under, drowning her. The killer then drags her body into another room and stuffs her into a trunk.

Lynn returns with a basket of food from the grocery store. She heads into the bathroom to take a bath... lots of naked Lynn in the tub here and more padding shots as she towels herself off afterwards. As she turns to leave the bathroom - boo! - a jump scare of Billy, in her face with completely goofy makeup on. He REALLY looks like a super-dork now.



She screams and Billy chases her around for a bit, torturing her. He cuts the electricity and phone lines and is about to do her in when her manager shows up to check on her. Lynn attacks him in the dark, thinking he’s Billy, and stabs him in the shoulder.

************************
We cut back to the stage set where Headmistress is getting ready for the next evening's performance. Lynn is trying to convince everyone Billy is still alive and tried to kill her, but they don't believe her. She's the only one who has seen him. They agree someone's messing with her, but don't believe its Billy Eye. Oh ye of little rock n' roll faith!

Lynn decides she knows Billy is still alive, and she won't rest until she digs up his body to prove it to everyone. So after much argument with the manager and security man, she decides to go dig up Billy Eye's body.

Cut to my favorite movie element, a graveyard at night. Oh yeah! Lynn and one of her backup dancers pull into the graveyard to do the deed. No one else would help, so they decided to go it alone. After they dig down (to what appears to be a two feet deep grave) they quickly uncover the casket. Inside is Billy's corpse - a ridiculously fake skeleton, bleached white, obviously some cheap Halloween prop, with fake eyeballs in the sockets and giant earthworms crawling over it. Genius!


Back at the club the band is ready for the big show, but someone is sneaking around backstage in the shadows again. We see it’s Billy and he kills Lynn's hairdresser with a hot iron to the neck. Lynn heads upstairs to find her manager and instead finds Billy Eye again. This guy just lives to torture her! He chases her around laughing that stupid fake laugh, and corners her – and this is where the big twist ending is revealed.

It turns out Billy Eye was indeed executed, but it was the wrong Billy Eye - it was his TWIN brother. This guy's name is John, and he's the one who actually wrote all the music - he is also the one who actually did the killings two years ago, and framed his brother for the deed - and now he's here to finish the job with her.

He tells her they're going to put on the ultimate Rocktober Blood and gore show. He grabs her and there is an insert shot of a bottle of ether, with the word "ether" written in black marker on the bottle. Hilarious!


We then cut to Billy standing over Lynn in a purple lined casket – she’s obviously been drugged. He closes the coffin and it’s...

Showtime!


The big heavy metal rock moment!! Head Mistress onstage, striking metal poses and bringing the rock!


There are girls in chains and lingerie around the stage, and tons of smoke and lights.



A guy in costume wearing the monster mask we saw before comes out and sings the first song, “Killer on the Loose”.

As part of the act he kills the girls in lingerie, but this guy isn’t faking – he really does kill them with a blade that’s attached to the bottom of his mic stand - the band, thinking its part of the act, keeps playing!


There is a hilarious scene where this guy cuts the head off one of these girls then tosses it into the audience... and again, NO ONE NOTICES!!


At this point the coffin with Lynn in it rises onstage from below, in a cloud of smoke. Lynn comes out of the coffin, still groggy from the hand lettered ether, and tells the masked man that Billy Eye is there but he tells her, “Don't worry, he's dead. I took care of it...” So Lynn, in true rocker fashion, simply goes on to perform! We get to hear Rainbow Eyes one more time, in its entirety (they must have been really proud of that song), while the guy in the mask crouches and stalks around the stage acting as if he's going to attack the band while they're rockin’ out!

At this point the masked man pulls off the hood - and it IS Billy EYE! OMG - he grabs Lynn and handcuffs himself to her. The band, rather than help Lynn escape, decides to rock out, and we're treated to the first song we heard in the movie... again! In its entirety... again!

But, while Billy's singing Lynn is struggling with the cuffs and manages to work free, just as her manager sneaks up behind Billy and clubs him over the head with a guitar... thus Billy is defeated by rock and roll... but not before he finishes the song, hitting the final, piercing final note just as electricity from the smashed guitar courses through him!


*********************************
This movie has it all – an awesome title, great music, 80’s fashion, and a twist ending. The music in this movie is by the band Sorcery, and is pretty rockin’. You get lots of 80’s fashion here – legwarmers, spandex and big hair. It is a true 80’s video treasure that is so bad it’s good. It was directed by Beverly Sebastian and written and produced by Beverly and Ferd Sebastian. The Sebastians were a filmmaking couple who were responsible for such gems as this, Gator Bait, Delta Fox and Gator Bait 2. Definitely worth tracking down.

Here's the big rock scene at the end - Headmistress singing "Killer on the Loose"


Paranormal Scarefest

Saturday I did an appearance at the Paranormal Scarefest in Murfreesboro, TN. I saw a lot of old friends there and made a lot of new ones as well, including some fellow horror hosts in attendance who I had not had the pleasure of meeting. Marlena Midnight and her director Blake Powell, Dr. Sigmund Zoid, Evelle LeChat, Woody The Clown and Captain Crypt and Fenriz Fatal.

Me and Marlena Midnite, who is every bit as friendly as she is beautiful.


Me and Blake Powell, director of Midnite Mausoleum, one super cool dude.

Friday, August 27

Vampire Blood

A friend of mine (Mike Curtis, a.k.a. fellow horror host Count Basil from Memphis) recently pointed me to a pretty cool website:

http://theimaginaryworld.com

On there I found an item that I remember oh too well from my Halloweens as a kid. It is one thing I always wanted from the store and usually got, because it was such a cheap item. I'm talking about the ever popular VAMPIRE BLOOD.

I don't remember the packaging as much as the tube itself. That design, with the dripping blood and the word vampire blood in it, is as clear in my mind as any other Halloween item. I always loved playing with the fake blood.

Of course if you had vampire blood you had to have fangs. Here is a cool piece of packaging from that same site with some vintage plastic teeth in it:

Ooh, EVIL TEETH. I love it! Don't remember necessarily having glow in the dark fangs, but that packaging is ultra cool so I had to put it on here.

So you got your blood, you got your fangs - you have to put it all together with a vampire costume. That's exactly what I did the Halloween this photo was taken. I am not sure how old I am here, but I'm going to guess around ten.


Just check out that hypnotic stare. I was totally digging this costume. I always did have a thing for the monsters. They were always my favorite costumes, and the homemade costumes were the best.

Thursday, August 26

Blood Feast - but not the H. G. Lewis one

I stumbled across this little treasure on VHS recently at The Great Escape, our local comic book and memorabilia store. The cover features a drawing of a cat under blood scrawled letters reading Blood Feast. It caught my eye because it obviously wasn't the H.G. Lewis version. I had to see what this film was about. I took it home and a little investigation on the internet led me to the discovery of its alternate title - Night of 1000 Cats, which explained the cat on the cover.








This is a Mexican film by director Rene Cordona Jr., and this version is dubbed in English. It tells the story of a rich playboy named Hugo (played ironically by Hugo Stiglitz) who owns a huge vacant monastery. He lives there with his mute butler Dorgo, who resembles Tor Johnson and walks with a limp. Turns out he's something of a collector and has a very unique collection in his basement... the severed heads of past lovers that are kept in glass boxes. He also has a huge collection of cats he keeps as pets in a special fenced off room of the monastery. He feeds them a unique diet - the ground up bodies of these lovers. In addition he also dabbles in a bit of cannibalism, as we see when Drago warms up some fresh lady-meat and feeds it to Hugo. Mmm mmm.



Brief aside here - I realize this was made in 1972 and there were little to no regulations regarding animal cruelty, but the way they treat the cats in this movie is shocking. Just check out the way Hugo manhandles the poor cat in the scene below before chucking it over what is at the very least a 20 foot fence.



There’s lots of gratuitous helicopter footage in this movie as our boy spends his days flying around in a private helicopter stalking beautiful sunbathers from the air until finding one that is susceptible to his oh so smooth charms. The helicopter scene goes on for close to 10 minutes with some groovy bongo and Latin guitar music playing underneath. Incredible.

We get a back story to why Hugo is murdering women and collecting their heads, but like much of the movie it doesn’t really make sense. Told in flashback, it turns out his henchman Dorgo murdered his first true love, and this drove Hugo to kill other women and collect their heads (The head of his first love is among these trophies, too). You see, Hugo's family were both collectors and taxidermists, so naturally he followed in the family footsteps, combining the two hobbies with a little good old fashioned murder.

The scene below is my favorite one of the movie, the moment where Hugo first reveals his collection to his current girlfriend (who unknowingly is soon to become cat food).



I love the organ music in the background of these clips. Great stuff.

This movie is high on atmosphere but not so much on plot. It sets up these bizarre scenarios and lets the story run its course with little thought to logic. Despite this it is a pretty entertaining movie if only because of the sheer bizarreness of it. This is the type film you have to see to believe – they don’t make ‘em like this anymore.

Here's the Trailer for Night of 1000 Cats:

Wednesday, August 25

DIABLOCAST!!

Tonight I want to tell you ghouls about a podcast that is sure to get your rotting toes tapping and those devil horns raised high – it’s called the DIABLOCAST and is run by a guy named Shane Dee. Shane also happens to be the drummer for a kick ass punk band called DieMonsterDie, so he’s a guy who knows the horror punk scene well.

The Diablocast is an all music podcast. It features the best of horror punk and metal ranging from classics such as The Cramps and The Misfits to current bands such as Diemonsterdie, Calabrese, Blitzkid, and many, many more. Diablocast has been on the web since December 2007, and I’ve listened to several of the older podcasts and always enjoyed them. They’re now listed on itunes so hopefully that’ll mean more frequent podcasts! He occasionally posts interviews with bands as well, such as the one he did with Calabrese in Episode 7.

So where can you find the DIABLOCAST? Glad you asked. Go to:

http://diablocast.blogspot.com/ to check out the blog where all the older episodes are archived, or go to itunes to subscribe (there is also a subscribe button right there on the blog).

Tuesday, August 24

This Week's Creature Feature - The Hollow

This week's Creature Feature is one that will get you in the Halloween spirit early - it's the 2004 film The Hollow. It stars Kevin Zegers, Kaley Cuoco (The Big Bang theory), Nick Carter (Backstreet Boys), Judge Reinhold and Stacy Keach. Sat at 1p on Nashville's CW58

Monday, August 23

Charmin Charles' Haunted House walk-through attraction


This video is of a now abandoned walk-through style haunted attraction located in southern Kentucky in an area named Cave City. It is still standing, but closed to the public - it was in a bad state of disrepair when I took these pictures back in 1993, and finally just fell completely into a state of disrepair.

It was a classic walk-through funhouse style attraction, and in it's heyday was probably pretty darn cool. I still found it awesome, even though it had obviously seen better days. As you worked your way through the house various props would spin around, light up, or pop up at you. Or at least they were supposed to - about half of them were no longer functioning. They charged us a dollar each to walk through as many times as we liked that day - and we had fun going through over and over. I'd love to buy that thing and restore it to it's former glory... but I'm afraid one of these trips through Kentucky I'll see it demolished. So here is a video to preserve it for all posterity - Our trip through Charmin' Charles Haunted House!



To learn more about Charmin' Charles and see more photos go to:
http://www.laffinthedark.com/articles/gunmountain/gunmountain.htm

Saturday, August 21

The Dead Matter Review

I finally had a chance to sit down and watch The Dead Matter, the new movie by Midnight Syndicate's Ed Douglas, and have to say I really enjoyed it. This is Ed's first feature length movie - it is basically an expanded version of a short film he made years earlier. Ed wrote, directed, produced and edited this movie, so I think it's safe to say it's a real labor of love.

Director Ed Douglas with actor Andrew Divoff

This movie basically tells two stories that intertwine. One is the story of a vampire and vampire hunter who are both seeking an ancient relic (a scarab amulet) that has the power to control the dead - One to control it, the other to destroy it. The second story is about a group of friends who unwittingly stumble across this amulet and are drawn into this conflict, and in the process find themselves in a world of the supernatural.


** Spoiler Alert**



There are walking dead in this movie but they are not zombies by Romero standards – they don’t bite people and pass on some contagious virus. Nope, they’re just good ole shambling mounds of flesh. Very refreshing in this age of Romero remakes and rehashes.

The amulet is an interesting plot device in and of itself and my very favorite scene happens when the protagonist, Gretchen, played by actress Sean Serino, first learns the amulet has special powers. She is awakened by a strange sound and the amulet glowing. The sounds are coming from her refrigerator. When she opens the fridge she finds all the meat inside writhing and pulsating, as if trying to come back to life. Very cool scene here.


** End Spoiler Alert**

The cinematography is really beautiful – this is one great looking movie. There are cameos by two of my fellow horror hosts, Count Gore DeVol and Big Chuck Schodowski, which I was really glad to see. Veteran makeup guru turned actor Tom Savini is in this one as well. But Jason Carter steals the show in the role of Vampire hunter McCalister. He's great in every scene and really does a terrific job.


The Dead Matter has plenty of violence and gore but no nudity, and not much in the way of language that I remember, so it is a pretty family friendly horror film. The music is all by Midnight Syndicate, of course, and is their usual terrific spooky stuff. I would love to host this one on the air one day, as I think it would really go over well on television, especially around Halloween time.


This movie is available for a limited time at Hot Topic stores nationwide. It is packaged with two Midnight Syndicate CDs as well, so it is quite a deal. Pick it up while the getting is good!


Thursday, August 19

This Week's Creature Feature - Dark Descent


This week's Creature Feature is the 2002 film Dark Descent a.k.a. descent into Darkness. starring Dean Cain.



Saturday at 1pm on Nashville's CW58.

Zombie Ants - in real life!

Yesterday on AOL News an absolutely amazing news article appeared. It is about a plant that takes over the mind and bodies of ants, causing them to latch onto the stalk of a plant with their mandibles in a death grip. A plant stem then erupts from the back of their head, like something from a gruesome science fiction story. Amazing. read the entire story here, and watch the video below. Fact is scarier than fiction!

http://www.aolnews.com/surge-desk/article/zombie-ants-taken-over-by-ancient-parasitic-fungus/19598309


Wednesday, August 18

Star Costumes 2010 Horror Scholarship



Yesterday's guest Blogger Camiele White clued me in to something very cool going on at the website she works for, Star Costumes. They are giving out a $1000 scholarship to student studying to work in the horror film industry. Here's what they say about the award:

Why a Horror Scholarship?

We love horror! We make our living selling scary costumes, makeup and masks, and we owe a lot of our success to the creative output of the horror industry. This scholarship is our way to give back, and to help the horror industry continue to terrify us in the years to come.

Currently, there are no other scholarships designed specifically for students planning to enter the horror industry. Our goal is provide assistance to help the brightest and most creative students meet their expenses and help launch their career in horror cinema.


To find out more about the Horror scholarship including details and requirements to enter go to:

http://www.starcostumes.com/horror-scholarship/

Tuesday, August 17

Guest Blogger Camiele White - The First Class Genius and Bad Taste of Peter Jackson

Greetings Fright Fans - I've got a special treat for you readers tonight (funny how I keep wanting to "say" viewers... years of hosting shows on TV have that habit ingrained, I suppose). Tonight's post is written by guest blogger Camielle White. Camiele is a freelance writer who loves all things horror and Halloween in nature - which makes her okay in my book! She writes regularly for Star Costumes and occasionally writes articles for other websites as well. She tackles the films of Peter Jackson tonight, in particular a couple of his early classics, Bad Taste and Dead Alive. Enjoy!


The First Class Genius and Bad Taste of Peter Jackson

It’s a pleasure to know that with the advent of maturity a director is still capable of displaying the full strength of his creative muscle. Peter Jackson has shown that though budgets and production may have grown, despite “prestigious” accolades having intensified the amount of expectation and pressure, his keen eye for gross detail and subtle ostentation (if there is such a thing) has never wavered. In fact, given his access to millions of dollars and some of the sharpest minds in cinematography, his lust for all things earth-shattering has been quenched from here to Christmas.

As with most directors, Jackson’s big screen aspirations were humble. Unlike many of his contemporaries, however, he came on to the film scene with absolutely no fear in his green second before the dawn of worldwide notoriety. Two films in particular stood out as examples of the complex wealth of creativity that dripped from Jackson’s psyche. I’m, of course, referring to Dead Alive and Bad Taste --films that exploited the glamour and calamity of gore while giving horror a more gratuitous pool of hilarity from which to drink. What Jackson did effectively in these two films was stretch the palette of the audience, pushing them to the limits of their capacity for madness and over the top nasty.

Firstly, Bad Taste. In the context of cult horror, Bad Taste is a film that definitely earns its honours for being truly one of the most original and ridiculous films ever made. With aliens that eat their own vomit for supper, an unsuspecting collections agent simmering in a pot of vegetables and herbs, and a protagonist who, when his skull is cracked, continues to stuff random brain matter back into his head, it’s no wonder the film is heralded as one of Peter Jackson’s most remarkable. It’s gratuitous and filthy, qualities that shouldn’t shock true Jackson fans. It’s this fearlessness that woke Hollywood up to the potential of someone truly twisted and magnificently brilliant. The gory nonsense of the film should be lauded for its overall creativity --albeit, the acting was nothing short of film school mediocre. What’s impressive is the early hints of genius that shone through as Jackson, who directed, produced, and wrote the film, managed create a zombie/alien gore fest without the aid of any real money. This creativity is also glaringly obvious in the manner in which he chooses to shock the audience --sipping “chuck” (vomit, for the uninitiated), eating the brains of a corpse with a soup spoon, and keeping one’s skull from falling apart with a leather belt --all nods to having the mind of a mad scientist with the budget made up of maxed out credit cards. Seeing as the film was shot on week-ends over the course of four years, it’s truly incredible that the film got any air time at all. But the cult fanaticism of the film allowed Jackson to go on to bigger and better things.

Which leads us, of course, to Dead Alive. This is one of those films that defies all logic and manages to become truly magnificent. It also does an incredible job of highlighting the untapped potential of its director. Jackson ventures further in terms of plot and classic horror fright whilst still maintaining his unyielding desire to stretch the scope of gore. His humour becomes increasingly evident with every film that he produces --making references to porn films starring a chambermaid and a donkey, tap-dancing on the perverse with a zombie table fuck, and explicitly exploring the slightly incestial with a jolting “rebirth” (with our protagonist being sucked back into his zombie-alien mother’s womb). It’s no wonder that people began knocking down Jackson’s door when the film saw daylight. It’s a marvel of cinematic simplicity and elegance --if nothing else, it managed to scare the hell out of Hollywood who would’ve probably preferred paying Jackson to create instead of letting his madness run rampant in the streets.

Without a doubt, Peter Jackson is one of the most astounding directors of the last 25 years. Never mind his increasing number Hollywood shout-outs, horror owes him a big debt of gratitude for injecting some fearless stupidity into a genre that preys on its audience --instead of big, boisterous shocks, you get disgusting and creative killing sprees and all manner of fluid ingestion. If you ask me, his horror career is something that’s still completely underrated and overlooked by those new to his genius. You’ll always have those fools who only know of Jackson’s relationship to elves, orcs, and wizards. But, what can you do? As Peter Jackson has shown us, there’s absolutely no accounting for bad taste.


Article writer by day, renegade poet by night, Camiele White loves any and everything film. She chases only the original (or incredibly funny) and has been known to talk for hours about subjects that most people just don’t care about. Right now, she gets her jabberjaw jollies writing about Halloween costumes. If you want to give her a buzz, she can be reached at cmlewhite at gmail.com.

Monday, August 16

Talkin to the big Goon himself...

Greetings Fright Fans – tonight it’s my pleasure to welcome to the lab a man who has been working in the field of comic books for over a decade, churning out more monster bashin’ fun than you can shake a severed limb at. It’s my pleasure to welcome my friend and fellow Middle Tennessean Eric Powell in to the lab tonight



Welcome back to the lab, Eric. I wasn’t sure if you’d agree to come back again, after that unfortunate accident last time that left you with three arms…

Eh, I can draw faster now.


Since the last time we spoke you have become a multi-Eisner award winner - congratulations! For those readers who aren’t familiar with the Eisner awards, they’re like the Academy Awards for comic books. Talk about winning the Eisner Award and what it meant tp you, if you would…

It meant a lot to me. Not only is it the award named after one of my idols in comics, it was nice to be recognized by fellow creators in the industry. It's always nice when anyone tells you, "good Job." And I have special memories about receiving the awards. The first one I won I was actually able to receive from Will Eisner himself. The last time he attended before passing. The next time I received one was from Jeff Smith, who was one of my inspirations to attempt to do a creator owned project.


Describe your comic, The Goon, to my readers who may not be familiar with it…

It's a bunch of silly crap about a big thug that lives in a depression era like world full of monsters and he punches stuff.





You began The Goon as a self-publishing venture, and the book is now published through Dark Horse Comics. Does Dark Horse give you the same creative freedom you had self-publishing?

Yeah, I do whatever I want with the Goon. They never try to attempt to move me in any direction creatively.


Congratulations on a decade of fist fightin’ fun with the Goon. That is quite an achievement, especially in today’s market. At the tenth anniversary celebration party you brought Calabrese and Ghoultown to Nashville play at The Cannery. I just have to say thank you for the opportunity to finally see two of my favorite horror punk bands live!

I love those guys! I saw both of them play at Dragon-con and I couldn't think of anyone else better to provide music for our 10th anniversary party.


You also announced a very cool project at the event, a crossover event between The Goon and Metalocalypse! Talk about that venture and how it turned out.

I'm pretty happy with how it turned out. I think it was as weird as we intended it to be. The whole thing came about just because I was a fan of the show and wanted to do a crossover that made no sense. Think we accomplished that.


At the San Diego Comic Con this year you announced another exciting chapter in The Goon saga – an animated Goon movie! Talk about this project and how it came about, if you would.

Blur animation and David Fincher approached Dark Horse and I with the idea of an animated Goon film. We had one meeting with them and I said, "Sounds good to me." Since then we've been slowly getting all of our ducks in a row. Writing the script, production art, test animation, etc. At San Diego we showed off a test short and pretty much started our pitch to the studios.


You have some amazing actors in this movie too. Tell my readers who are playing the leads in your movie.

Clancy Brown will be voicing the Goon, and Paul Giamatti will be voicing Franky.


Did you get to meet Clancy or Paul yet?

Yeah, I was there at the recording sessions for the test animation. And Paul made a surprise appearance at our panel at comic-con.

So where can folks go on the web to see the trailer for The Goon?

Pretty sure it's floating around youtube, but you can see it at the DH entertainment website. http://www.dhentertainment.com/


Think there’ll ever be a live action Goon, and who would be your dream director?

I don't know, i'd have to be pretty lucky to have the character be successful enough to get an animated film AND a live action film. But I don't think David Fincher or Frank Darabont would do such a bad job.



Any idea when the movie will be completed, if it’ll get any theatrical release? I just have to say if you do have a screening in Nashville it would be pretty awesome if you brought Calabrese or Ghoultown back to play again, too. I’m just sayin…!

No release date yet. It will be a theatrical release.


I watch The Big Bang theory pretty regularly and always get a smile on my face whenever I see your Goon poster at the comic book shop. Someone on that show must be a big fan of your work.

Or they just plaster the set with random comic stuff. :)


There has been a ton of merchandise made of the Goon, from action figures and busts to t-shirts and buttons and everything in between… do you have copies of all that stuff, and if so where do you keep it?

I try to keep one copy at least. It just piles up on the shelves in my office.


Got your Eisners displayed proudly?

Yeah, there on a shelf, too.




Ok – fun question. You’re obviously a fan of horror movies.
Name five of your favorite horror films.

Uhm, that's hard...

The Exorcist
The Shining
Bride of Frankenstein
The Old Dark House
The Changeling (the George C. Scott movie, not the Clint Eastwood movie. Which is good, too, though.)


Thanks again for spending some time talking with me, Eric. Congrats on all the success of the Goon – not bad for a Middle Tennessee boy! Here’s to the next decade and bigger and better things – (including the live action Goon I still think would be amazing!

To Find out more about Eric and keep up with all things Goon in nature, go to:
http://www.thegoon.com


Friday, August 13

Pioneers of Horror Rock – “Bobby Boris Pickett”

Greetings Fright Fans – it’s time to continue our look at the pioneers of horror rock and roll.
Before I begin with our latest nominee into the Horror Rock timeline I thought I’d post links to all the entrants so far:

Screamin Jay Hawkins

John Zacherley 

Sheb Wooley 

Johnny Kidd and the Pirates
The Sonics 

Screaming Lord Sutch

Pretty impressive list! Our latest entrant recorded what is arguably the most recognizable spooky song ever recorded. It is a song that is loved universally and has been covered by tons of artists throughout the years as diverse as Zacherly and The Misfits. The man I’m talking about is Bobby “Boris” Pickett, the man who did the Monster Mash.

Zacherley and Bobby Boris Pickett

Much like previous entrant Sheb Wooley, Bobby makes my list because of the sheer importance and impact the Monster Mash had. Born February 11, 1938 in Somerville, Massachusetts as Robert George Pickett, Bobby was the son of a theater manager. This allowed him to see many horror movies on the big screen growing up, and left a lasting impression on young Bobby. He mentions in interviews seeing all the Universal classics in the theater and being greatly influenced by them. This would carry through to his later creative endeavors.

He went into the military and served in the Korean War in the US Army. It was there that he started singing with a doo-wop group entertaining troops. Once out of the military he worked as a stand-up comic. Here his classic monster roots began to show, as he worked up a special bit in the middle of his routine featuring impressions of Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi.

In 1962 Bobby co-wrote The Monster Mash with record producer Lenny Capizzi. There had been many novelty songs recorded previous to The Monster Mash, so they weren’t breaking new ground here. But what was different about The Monster Mash was the level of success it attained.

The song invents a new dance, the Monster Mash. Bobby sings the song using an impression of Boris Karloff (and Bela Lugosi in the line “Whatever happened to my Transylvania Twist) as the monster’s maker, reprising the voices he used in his stand-up routine years earlier. The song was written quickly by Bobby and Lenny, and was more popular than either ever imagined. Bobby would go on to perform live on a variety of shows including American Bandstand, the Steve Allen Show and The Dating Game.

Funny thing is it was initially turned down by every major label. Producer Gary Paxton - who also did all the sound effects on the song, by the way – pressed 500 copies of the song on his own label, Garpax – and drove around to individual radio stations handing them out. It became a huge cult success, and London Records called wanting to sign Bobby and release the Monster Mash, which became a number 1 hit. The record was called “The Monster Mash” by Bobby Boris Picket and the Crypt Kickers.

Bobby recorded other novelty records including Monster’s Holiday, Graduation Day, and The Monster Rap among others. He went on to do some acting on TV in such shows as Bonanza, Petticoat Junction, The Beverly Hillbillies, T.J. Hooker and others, and in a number of films such as Deathmaster, Strange Invaders and Lobster Man from Mars. However, it was for The Monster Mash that he was forever best remembered. Bobby passed away on April 25, 2007, after a battle with leukemia.

My Halloween


I was interviewed over at by John Cozzoli over at Zombo's Closet about my past Halloweens and why the holiday is so important to me. Fun stuff - if you aren't reading Zombo's Closet regularly you're missing out. Check it out here:

http://www.zomboscloset.com/zombos_closet_of_horror_b/2010/08/my-halloween-dr-gangrene.html

Thursday, August 12

This week's Creature Feature


This week's creature Feature is a movie that'll really bug you - it's a story about a high rise building with a major ant infestation. These ants aren't just any old ants though - they're radioactive killer ants!

It's called GLASS TRAP and believe me, it ain't no Empire of the Ants - schlocky fun Fred Olen Ray style. It stars C. Thomas Howell, the Soul man himself, and a horde of enlarged and enraged ants.

I tell ya, something about this movie just crawls all over me...





Wednesday, August 11

Buck Rogers vs. Space Nosferatu

Or something like that - the episode is actually called Space Vampire, and I just watched it on Netflix. It's from season One of the old 70's TV series Buck Rogers. Now I used to watch Buck Rogers religiously when I was a kid - hell, back then we only had 4 channels, so anything even remotely science fiction in nature was a treat. But I don't ever recall this episode.

In it Buck and Wilma are out on a nice little space cruise in a small spaceship. They stop in at a space station to drop twiggy, the robot, off for repairs so they can get a little alone time at a nearby space resort planet. Yowza! Wilma is looking extra fine, as usual, in skin tight spandex - this particular suit has a bare midriff to boot.

Soon after they land a derelict ship crashes into the station. It is The Demeter, and all the crew onboard are dead, their life force having been drained from their bodies. Unbeknownst to Buck and Wilma, however, the bodies aren't the only thing onboard this craft - there is also an alien entity onboard that is now loose on the station. It first takes the shape of a glowing red ball of light, looking like something from the 60's Star Trek series. It later materializes and shows itself as the Space Vampire it is - a being called the Vorvon. Upon further investigation the ship doctor discovers there are two strange markings on each of the dead crew member's necks. This futuristic sawbones has no clue what could have caused it, but Buck, with his superstitious 20th century mind, begins to suspect the truth. He phones home to Earth and has them do some investigation on the ship. Turns out the Demeter was formerly owned by a Captain Helsin, a bounty hunter. Turns out the Vorvon killed his parents and Helsin was chasing him seeking vengeance. But apparently things didn't quite go as planned and the Vorvon got the better of Helsin. Silly vampire hunter - I mean, bounty hunter.


The Vorvon, as any hot blooded male, alien or otherwise, would, immediately sets its sights on Wilma. it must have her! Along the way it drains a few humans until it finally gets Wilma alone - but wait! It doesn't just suck the blood from her neck. Oh no - this vampire is way too cool for that. He uses the devil horns a-la Ronnie James Dio, like some satanic vamp rocker, placing his fingers on either side of her neck to drain her energy.

He raises the dead members of his crew and they come back to life to do his bidding, They are, honestly, very little help. Like the zombies in Night of the Living Dead they're slow moving and all messed up - they kind of slow Buck down but don't stop him. The Vorvon decides to hightail it out of the station with his new Vorvon bride. He highjacks the nearest craft and flies off the station, but turns out Buck has a surprise in store - he has sabotaged the ship. He got word from Earth that the Vorvon can be destroyed by an overload of power, as Buck phrases it "Just like Dracula couldn't stand the light of day." Buck has reprogrammed the ship to fly into a fiery planet, and Wilma escapes just in the nick of time.

The neat thing about this episode is the obvious ode to Nosferatu and vampire movies in general. The vampire is bald like Nosferatu, and has similar (but somewhat more goofy) looking features. The ship is the Demeter, which is the same name as the ship in Nosferatu that also sailed into port with a cargo of dead crew members and a thirsty vampire. There is the a fore mentioned Dracula reference as well as the Bounty/vampire hunter Helsin, which is only one letter and a Van removed from vampire hunter Van Helsing of the original Stoker novel.

All in all a goofy but fun episode - Don't know how I missed this one, or if perhaps I saw it and just don't remember - Either way it was great to see it this time around.

Here's the trailer for the episode:


Tuesday, August 10

My most hated movie

I posted this quick review on IMDB recently, and just thought I'd share the hatred here as well...


Psycho 1998

This is without a doubt the single worst "remake" movie ever, and in fact one of the worst films I've ever seen, period.


Van Sant took everything that was great about the original and bastardized it. Billed as a "shot for shot remake" Gus amateurishly apes the Hitchock film, poorly imitating the original. But that not being bad enough, he also occasionally adds scenes that weren't in the original film - like Norman Bates masturbating while looking through the peep hole at Marion undressing, complete with gratuitous sounds to fully illustrate his not-so subtle action.

This is a ham-fisted clumsy attempt to parrot a much more talented director's work. It isn't art, it isn't clever - it is plagiarism and badly done at that. It adds nothing to the original except color and tacky scenes, and that certainly ain't an improvement.

BOMB.

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