Sunday, October 31

Tom Savini - The Ripper

This week I return with another Recommended Movie of the week, a straight to video stinker starring Tom Savini called THE RIPPER. For you lovers of bad movies this one's for you - from 1985, The Ripper.

Saturday, October 30

Still Psycho after all these Years!


STILL PSYCHO AFTER ALL THESE YEARS

By Scott Essman

WARNING: THIS ARTICLE CONTAINS NUMEROUS DESCRIPTIONS OF THE PLOT

Peripherally based on the real life character of Ed Gein, who killed two people in the 1950s and kept their body parts, the Alfred Hitchcock film Psycho still resonates as one of the greatest horror films of all time, even 50 years after its 1960 release.

Published shortly after the discovery of Gein’s misdeeds, Robert Bloch’s novel partly inspired Joseph Stefano’s screenplay which would become the basis for Alfred Hitchcock’s most controversial and ultimately notorious movie to that point in his career. To execute his particular vision, Hitchcock meticulously planned and storyboarded his films, Psycho being no exception, with Saul Bass’ input as a graphic designer and storyboard artist, giving the film its precision and edge. Not only is Psycho superbly photographed by John Russell and edited by George Tomasini, but also every level of Hitchcock’s production is first rate, from casting to costumes, makeup, and art direction. Of course, the finishing touch on Psycho is Bernard Herrmann’s iconic music, which is always effective but, in certain sections, reaches levels only achieved by few films in movie history. The total effect of Psycho is a film that is barely dated a half-century after its release.

Produced originally by Paramount but filmed on stages and the backlot at Universal Studios (in addition to locations around Los Angeles, in central California and in Phoenix), Hitchcock aimed to film the movie on a relatively low budget (reported at just over $800,000) and made what is, in the end, a very simple film, augmented by his choice to shoot in stark black-and-white. Later, Psycho was acquired by Universal itself, and the appearance of the Bates house on its famous backlot tour is still a staple of international tourism at Universal City. As such, though Psycho had modest ambitions, it went on to become one of Hitchcock’s most renowned projects.

Providing a subtle but memorable opening to the film are Saul Bass’ beginning titles. We are curious as to the “break” in the names as the lines cross the screen, foreshadowing the psychotic break of the main character. If Psycho has a flaw in light of the increased pacing of movies in the five decades since, it would be the opening half hour. Though we get to know the Marion Crane character, aptly played by Janet Leigh, these scenes are purely setup and do not hint as to the content of the remainder of the film. In 1960, the idea of Crane’s affair and subsequent appearance without a top in a bra alone must have shocked audiences, but this would be a minor shock compared to upcoming scenes. Leigh, 32 at the time of filming, is a fully natural beauty but plays the role of Crane in frustration with her life position, giving us empathy for her plight. When she absconds with $40,000, we root for her escape and are fooled into believing that the proceedings will be a manner of mystery, heist or noir film, and not a horror movie. In fact, in the opening scenes, there is scant evidence – especially for 1960s audiences who were admonished not to reveal the surprises in the film – that Psycho is in fact a horror film at all.

Of course, all of that changes when a fleeing Marion arrives at the Bates motel, whose combined cabins, office, and house are among the most famous exteriors in cinema of all stretches. With the extended row of 12 rooms, ending in an L-shape, with main office in the front, the motel is innocent enough save for the ominous lighted sign announcing its vacancies off of a main road. But it is the house atop a hill behind the motel that gave Psycho its truly unforgettable fa├žade. In fact, the house might be the most recognizable private home of its time, and certainly, with very few others, one of the most immediately identifiable house in all of horror.

When Marion signs in with a pseudonym, she meets Norman Bates, portrayed by a 27-year-old Anthony Perkins. Perfectly tall, thin, spindly, with an angular face that warms when he smiles, Bates is not immediately threatening to Marion until she affronts him in their motel office conversation over Marion’s sandwich that Norman prepares. Hitchcock has played his film notably straight until these scenes where he underlights Norman and his collection of taxidermied birds, giving him a brooding quality. Norman is clearly disturbed by Marion’s suggestion that he put his mother, who has been talked about and heard complaining up the hill in the motel, into an institution. Whether or not this sets off Norman is unclear at the time, though he clearly reveals a dark side in his reaction to Marion’s invasion into his personal life.

In shots of the Bates house to this point, we never see Mrs. Bates other than a possible silhouette in the upstairs window. But we clearly know that Hitchcock is keeping some aspect of her situation from the audience as she remains a cloistered figure who neither Marion, nor other characters, ever sees in person. And, to this point in the story, we are never given Norman’s point-of-view in the house. But, after Marion goes to her room – in cabin one adjacent to the motel office – we take Norman’s perspective and learn more about him. For one, he is a voyeur who views Marion undressing through a hole in the wall hidden by a mounted painting. A great side shot of Norman’s eye peering into the hole is recalled by the closeup of Marion’s eye in the next sequence. Of course, all of this material builds to the next sequence, which certainly vaulted the movie into the status of an all-time classic.

Set-up as an innocent shower but ending in the most viscerally brutal murder that had been onscreen to the date of its release, Psycho’s “shower scene” is, in its purest sense, presented as a short film within the context of the overall larger film. The scene contains 52 individual shots and was masterfully storyboarded by Bass, directed by Hitchcock, photographed by Russell, assembled by Tomasini, and certainly scored by Herrmann. The first eight shots are innocent enough, providing Marion in several positions enjoying her shower. Only the second shot, of her point-of-view looking up at the shower head, provides any hint that anything unpredictable is to come, but the cutting together of these seven shots, combined in such a way as to construct a buildup to some unknown future event, is self-evident.

Then, the eighth shot in the scene is the one that kept women out of the shower – and ostensibly into the bathtub – in the early 1960s across the globe. Marion is screen right inside of the shower, while screen left, behind her and in back of the translucent shower curtain, a figure emerges through the door. The first part of this shot is startling enough, but as the figure approaches the shower in the same shot and opens the curtain, to the staccato hits of Herrmann’s often-imitated but never equaled murderous theme, we see a shadowy figure in the appearance of a woman with a long knife. And suddenly, what was a relatively slow and mannered film shocks, outrages, upsets, scares, and engrosses the audience into the story.

The next shots in the sequence exploit the moment by providing numerous angles on the murder, though we never see a knife actually penetrate Marion’s skin. In fact, though there are several cuts to Leigh’s face, a number of cuts do not feature her face, but various body parts, instead, of Leigh’s body double, Marli Renfro. Born in 1938, native Los Angeleno Renfro had modeled and performed as a showgirl from shortly after her 1955 high school graduation, and one of her photographers had recommended her to the production as a suitable double for Leigh. After interviewing with both Leigh and Hitchcock, Renfro joined the production and filmed for seven days in December of 1959 to complete the shots necessary as Leigh’s double for the shower scene and its brief aftermath. A nudist at the time, Renfro appeared fully nude save her underpants, and played as such through the filming in the shower. However, thanks to Hitchcock’s immaculate production techniques, every angle in which Renfro was used was very carefully staged from Bass’ storyboards. At various times, we see Renfro’s arm, legs, navel, and most of her body from an overhead shot, though her breasts are mostly blocked by one or both of her arms. Intercut with shots of Leigh’s face, and the silhouetted figure and hand which is committing the stabbing, Renfro’s shots must be viewed slowly and deliberately to detect them.

Among the most interesting of these shots is the 30th in the scene, where the knife appears to plunge from above into Marion’s stomach area. However, a close review of this shot reveals only eight frames of action, and no actual penetration of the skin. In fact, this shot was filmed in reverse, with the knife pressed against Renfro’s navel and drawn upward so as to provide accuracy but no danger to the model. Though the shower water is moving up instead of down in the final film, at only eight frames, being exactly one-third of a second, it is barely detectable. In concert with the scene’s cringing sound effects of a stabbing knife, the illusion is complete.

By the 41st shot in the scene, the murderer leaves the room, but Hitchcock and his team prolong the agony of the scene and provide its complete impact in the succeeding shots where a severely wounded Marion, with no other recourse, reaches for the shower curtain, and, with a quick cut to Renfro on the bottom of the shower base where Marion has slipped, pulls it off of its rings. But, as Marion drops with her upper body outside of the shower, Hitchcock closes out the proceedings with several more cuts, including a shot which follows Renfro’s legs with a trail of blood – albeit Hershey’s chocolate syrup mixed with water – down the drain, dissolving to Leigh’s eye in a perfect match from the drain hole. The raised eyebrows and hollow, still shocked look on Leigh’s face as Hitchcock’s camera pulls back is a surrogate for the now stunned audience at having one of the biggest movie stars of the time killed off so early into a film in such a violent onscreen manner.

A long Hitchcock pan from the bathroom to the newspaper containing the $40,000 serves as a refractory period from the unnerving of the shower scene, though by this point, we do not surmise that Marion has been killed for money, and believe the killer to be a jealous mother of a woman who intrigued her lonely son.

Hitchcock pulls back from the heavy murder scene with a somewhat overlong scene of Norman cleaning up the shower and bathroom, wrapping Marion’s body inside the shower curtain, dragging it all outside, disposing the body and Marion’s belongings into her car, and driving it all into a nearby swamp. Perhaps Hitchcock brings this scene in at a certain length both to provide distance from the shower scene and to instill in the audience that Norman is actually covering up the crime for his mother, who Norman calls to in the house above. But the true identity of the killer still remains a mystery to the audience.

Scenes following Marion’s disappearance with her friends and family interested in her whereabouts are augmented by the appearance of Martin Balsam, whose kindly but gruff detective Arbogast grounds the film in a new hero who we hope will unravel the mystery of Marion’s location. Clever detective work leads him to the Bates motel, and a tense though non-threatening encounter with Norman ensues, ending with Norman declining to answer more questions when Arbogast deduces that Marion has been at the motel, though his belief of Norman’s motive of money we now know to be something of a red herring. And, at the time, Arbogast is fully unaware of Norman’s – or his mother’s – true intentions.

In fact, though Arbogast is on Norman’s trail and believes Marion to possibly still be on the Bates premises, his naivety about Bates’ true character lead to a sense of his endangerment, though we still have faith in his heroic capabilities. However, when he finally enters the Bates home and heads up the stairs, Hitchcock’s overhead shot of Balsam reaching the second floor still provides a terrific moment of fright despite the chance of a letdown from the previous murder. When the female figure emerges from an upstairs room to attack Arbogast, it remains nearly as effective as the eight shot from the shower scene. Then, Hitchcock’s unusual choice to have his camera follow Balsam’s bloodied figure as he fluidly falls down the stairs is yet another iconic movie moment though we are spared the full murder when a fallen Arbogast is again attacked at the bottom of the steps.

With two vividly photographed murders having already appeared onscreen, how could Hitchcock top that in the ending of Psycho? As Marion’s two followers arrive at the motel – Vera Miles as Marion’s sister Lila, and John Gavin as Marion’s somewhat secretive lover, Sam Loomis – we fear for them encountering a similar fate to Marion and Arbogast. By this point, Lila and Sam are fully onto Norman’s keeping information hidden, and they intend to unveil the truth about him and his mother, eventually leading Lila into the Bates home. Hiding below the stairs, she finally enters the basement, leading to Psycho’s final surprise, the reveal of Mrs. Bates as a ten-year-old corpse who Norman has kept in their home. This scene, with Miles flipping over the seated corpse and screaming while hitting a hanging basement light bulb, has also been long mimicked through the years by other moviemakers. We finally see Norman in a woman’s dress and wig, coming to attack Lila but being subdued by Sam, ending the mystery of Norman having a split personality, among other defects.

One of Psycho’s few truly dated scenes, the epilogue of the film, could only be classified as anticlimactic exposition. Delivered primarily by a psychiatrist, played by Simon Oakland, Norman’s various life dilemmas and psychoses are disseminated before we finally see a distraught befuddled Norman sitting in a holding cell. We lastly see a final shot of Marion’s car being towed out of the swamp to close the film.

109 minutes of pure horror glee, Psycho ushered in an uncountable number of films about serial killers and mysteriously disturbed leading characters, not to mention several unnecessary sequels and a boggling 1998 remake. And even 50 years later, the film stands as a classically conceived and created project in the genre. One of Hitchcock’s best and certainly among his most famous, Psycho began one of cinema’s great creative periods with a fully realized vision by one of its best filmmakers.


Friday, October 29

Bela Lugosi, Dracula

Wanted to share a couple of cool Bela Lugosi pics today. The first is a pic of Bela in full Dracula regalia. Nothing goes better with Halloween than Bela Lugosi Dracula!


Next up is an oil painting of Lugosi that was owned by Bela himself. This sold for over 86 thousand dollars at Heritage auctions back in 2004! Here is the description of this painting - pretty amazing...

Portrait of Bela Lugosi by Geza Kende - Oil on Canvas - 47" x 61" (ca. 1932).

This stunning, large and famous portrait of the legendary Bela Lugosi stands as a lasting tribute to a great actor. Apparently painted in the early 1930s at the height of Lugosi's fame (he became a household name in 1931 with the premiere of Universal's Dracula, directed by Tod Browning), Kende's work reveals an urbane, debonair Lugosi at the peak of his creative powers; bold and confident, yet utterly charming.

The artist was a Hungarian immigrant, like Lugosi, and became an important painter of portraits and landscapes. Born in 1889, Kende studied at the Nati Academy of Art in Budapest, as well as in Italy and France before settling in Los Angeles in 1932, where he would live until his death in 1952. It was undoubtedly the Hungarian connection that drew these two talented artists together, an alliance that produced the great work offered here.

Kende has captured the essence of Lugosi, Hollywood's "Master of the Macabre", in this wonderful portrait, particularly the penetrating, almost hypnotic, quality of the actor's eyes. Slim and handsome -- the epitome of the iconic leading man -- was the way Bela longed to be seen by Hollywood, which insisted on casting him as one monster/mad scientist after another, and by his fans, who, for many years, saw him as only Dracula.

This portrait hung in a place of honor in Lugosi's home for many years, until his death; Arthur Lennig, in his definitive Lugosi biography, The Immortal Count, shows the actor with this painting at two very different times of his life, and says, "Before the unchanging portrait on the wall, the actor - unlike Dorian Gray - aged." On the back of the canvas Bela Lugosi has signed his name in pencil with an illegible inscription above the signature.

This painting, which is offered in its original frame, has had some expert conservation work performed upon it, and is beautifully preserved. It will make a marvelous centerpiece to any film aficionado's collection.

(Note: Also offered with this painting is the original funeral plaque, which was displayed at Lugosi's funeral. The painted crescent board measures 18" X 12", with "In Loving Memory Bela Lugosi 1882-1956" is painted on it. The board is in very nice condition with some chipping in the upper right corner.)

Thursday, October 28

Happy Birthday to Elsa Lanchester







Born 108 years ago today, the bride of Frankenstein herself, Elsa Lanchester.



Heigh-Ho for Halloween


I went to a fall festival at my son’s school last weekend. It was a wonderful warm fall day and we had a great time. They had game booths set up, kids inflatable jump stations, vender’s booths, and prizes and candy for the kids. It was all a fundraiser for his school, and overall a pretty successful event, I think.

One of the other events they had there was a book sale. They were apparently selling books that had been donated by a local library, because they had thousands of old books lined up on tables in the gymnasium. I walked over and immediately stumbled onto the little gem below…

It is a kid’s Halloween book from 1948 called Heigh-Ho for Halloween. It features Halloween stories, poems, plays, games and party ideas. It also has an interesting little section at the end of the book called “Halloween Today, The Community’s Responsibility” that is an interesting insight into the holiday of Halloween in 1948. It basically is about how the activities of pranksters had gotten out of hand and that something had to be done or else Halloween was in danger of abolishment for acts of lawlessness that occur during “mischief night.”

Neat little book that I did not expect to stumble upon! I found it in the first box I looked in, and despite scouring the place I was unable to find anything else of interest. But I’m glad I found this one. Heigh-Ho for Halloween indeed!!



Wednesday, October 27

More Beistle Halloween Decorations

Halloween is fast approaching - hard to believe Sunday is the big day already! Thought I'd share a few more of these wonderful Beistle cutouts. I think I had every one of these at one time or another, and I'm sure a lot of you did too. I especially remember that skeleton directly below. I spent a lot of time moving and rearranging those bony limbs. haha!












Tuesday, October 26

My favorite Halloween decorations

I was looking around online recently and came across some of these Halloween cutouts from the 1970s. These were made by the Beistle company, and they are probably my favorite Halloween collectable of all time. They're not really all that valuable, but I love them because they scream Halloween to me. I have a few of these, and remember many of the others from when I was a kid. Takes me right back to my childhood.



















Monday, October 25

The Monster Squad @ The Nashville Public Library

I had the pleasure of introducing the 1987 Fred Dekker classic THE MONSTER SQUAD live at The Nashville Library this past Saturday afternoon. Thanks to everyone who came out to enjoy the movie. It is a fantastic film and I had a great time introducing it. Thought I'd share a few photos with you folks, which were sent along to me by the library's on-hand photographer, Frank Keesee.

Talking to one of the young attendees in the front row...

This young lady asked me to sign the bill of her baseball cap - now THAT'S cool!

The awesome staff of the Nashville public library!
From Left: the Wolfman, Bill Chamberlain, Clint Tatum, Dr. G, Crystal Deane, and Sharra Goslin

Saturday, October 23

The Dreadful HallowGreen Special - trailer



here's the trailer for our upcoming Halloween Special - THE DREADFUL HALLOWGREEN SPECIAL. It is a crossover event between myself and fellow Horror Host Penny Dreadful! Coming Halloween Night across America.

Stations that will broadcast THE DREADFUL HALLOWGREEN SPECIAL
Airtimes and days vary – check local listings or go to: www.shillingshockers.com

CONNECTICUT:
New Haven,
West Haven,
Hamden:

Citizens Television Channel 27

New London,
Waterford,
Montville,
East Lyme,
Sterling,
Griswold,
Killingly,
Plainfield,
Putnam,
Niantic,
Jewett City, Danielson:

MetroCast Community TV Channel 24,

Norwalk,
Greenwich,
Stamford,
Darien,
New Canaan,
Wilton,
Weston,
Westport,
Easton,
Redding:

Cablevision Channel 77


KENTUCKY:
Southern section of the state:
Southern region of KY -
Channel 58 on antenna & DirectTV, Channel 18 on Comcast


MAINE:
Belfast: BCTV Channel 2
Gorham: GOCAT Channel 2

Hollis,
Buxton,
Limerick,
Limington,
Standish,
Waterboro:
SRC-TV channel 2

Norway,
Paris,
Waterford:

NPC-TV Channel 11

Portland: Channel 5

South Portland: SPC-TV Channel 2

Washington County
(Eastport, Machias, Lubec and numerous smaller towns):
Washington County TV Channel 2

MASSACHUSETTS:
Abington: Comcast Channel 13
Andover:
Comcast Channel 8
Athol, Orange: AOTV Channel 13
Attleboro: Comcast AACS Channel 15
Boston (BNN): Comcast BNN Channel 23 / RCN Channel 83
Brookline: BATV Channel 3
Cambridge: CCTV Channel 10
East Bridgewater: EBCTV Channel 9
Easton: Comcast Channel 9
Fall River: FRCTV Channel 95
Freetown/Lakeville/Middleboro: Comcast Channels 9 and 95
Gloucester, Rockport, Essex, Manchester-by-the-Sea: CATV Channel 67
Haverhill: HCTV Channel 22
Melrose: MMTV Comcast Channel 3 or Verizon Channel 39
Mattapoisett, Marion, Rochester: ORCTV Channel 9
New Bedford: NBTV Channel 95
North Adams, Adams, Clarksburg and Cheshire: NBCTC Channel 15,
North Dartmouth: Comcast Channel 95
North Reading: NORCAM Comcast Channel 10 and Verizon Channel 26
Peabody: PAT Channel 10
Plymouth: PACTV Comcast Channel 13 / Verizon Channel 43
Raynham: RayCAM Channel 9
Quincy: QATV Channel 8
Salem: SATV Channel 3
Seekonk: Channel 9
Somerset: TV9 Channel 9
Stoughton: Comcast Channel 9
Swansea: Channel 98
Taunton: TCAM TV Comcast Channel 15 and Verizon Channel 22
Wareham: WCTV Comcast Channel 9
West Brookfield: WBTV Channel 11
Westford: CAT Channel 8
Westport: Charter Channel 17
Winthrop: WCAT Channel 3
Woburn: WPMC Comcast Channel 9, Verizon Channel 42 & RCN Channel 3
Worcester: WCCA-TV Channel 13
Wrentham: Channel 8


MISSOURI
Kansas City:
KCEN Channel 18

NEW HAMPSHIRE:

Amherst: ACTV channel 20
Bedford: BCTV Channel 16
Charlestown: SAPA-TV Channel 8
Chester: CTV Channel 21
Claremont: CCTV Channel 8
Derry: CTV Channel 17

Laconia,
Alton,
Belmont,
Bristol,
Deerfield,
Franklin,
Gilford,
Gilmanton,
Meredith,
Northfield,
Northwood,
Tilton:
LRPA-TV Channel 25
Manchester: MCAM Channel 23
Newmarket, Durham: Newmarket Channel 13

Wolfeboro,
New Durham:
WCTV Channel 26

PENNSYLVANIA:
York: WCRT Channel 18


RHODE ISLAND:
Throughout the Entire state on Halloween - Channel 13

plus

Providence & North Providence:
Cox Channel 18 & Verizon Channel 39
Barrington,
Bristol,
Warren
:
Full Channel Cable Channel 9

TENNESSEE:
Entire Middle section of the state on Halloween:

Channel 58 on antenna & DirectTV, Channel 18 on Comcast

VERMONT:
Burlington: VCAM Channel 15
Greater Northshire -
Arlington,
Dorset,
Manchester,
Peru, Stratton,
Sunderland or
Winhall:

GNAT-TV Channel 15
Hyde Park,
Johnson,
Morristown:
GMATV Channel 15
Ludlow,
Plymouth,
Cavendish,
Mount Holly:
LPCTV Channel 8,
Montpelier,
Waterbury,
Berlin,
Randolph:
ORCA Channel 15
Springfield,
Chester,
Weathersfield
& Reading:

SAPA-TV Channel 8

WASHINGTON DC
Possible Washington DC airings

WEST VIRGINIA:

Huntington: Comcast Channel 20

STREAMING ONLINE:
Alternative Realities TV on Halloween: ARTV

Thursday, October 21

Bride of Frankenstein One Sheet


The Bride of Frankenstein (Universal, 1935). Teaser One Sheet (27" X 41")

Look at this beauty for sale at Heritage Auctions this week - estimated at over $300,000 bucks. Wow!



Wednesday, October 20

Happy Birthday Bela


Today, Oct. 20th, is the birthday of the one and only Bela Lugosi. In honor of the day I've attached a playbill from a spookshow appearance Bela did in the late 40s. "the Master of Horror Live on the Stage..." How much fun would this show have been?


Monday, October 18

Psycho sreeening with Special Guest Marli Renfro

Friends of the Pomona Fox
SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT
October 17, 2010

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Special Guest added to Oct. 24 Show

Friends of the Pomona Fox
Sunday, October 24 - 2PM Screening
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Marli Renfro Peterson to Appear In-Person

Marli Renfro Peterson, known as "The Girl In Hitchcock's Shower" has agreed to appear at our October 24 screening of Psycho. Ms. Peterson, as Marli Renfro, was a model who was hired by Universal to do be Janet Leigh's body double for the nude shots in the infamous shower sequence. She will be available to answer questions and to sign autographed copies of the book, The Girl in Hitchcock's Shower.

Thanks to Universal, our raffle this month will include the chance to win a copy of the 50th Anniversary Blu-Ray DVD of Psycho. We'll also be giving a DVD to the best costume.
Prices: Adults $5.00

Children 12 and under $3.00

We'll have popcorn, sodas, and candy available. Food and "adult" beverages will be available at Drink (direct entrance from the theater lobby). Food and beverages purchased at Drink may be brought into the theater!Online Ticket sales. Tickets purchased online include a $1 per ticket convenience fee. All tickets will be available at will-call on the day of the screening. Online sales will cease as of 10/22/2010:

http://www.pomonafox.org/

Wednesday, October 13

Creature From the Black Lagoon French Pressbook




This is something VERY cool I ran across a couple months back - it's a French pressbook for the Universal film, The Creature From the Black Lagoon. LOVE the artwork on the cover - Universal was definitely justifiably proud of this movie. They just don't make em like this anymore. A true classic.




Tuesday, October 12

Pre-code horror


Here's an old pre-code horror comic I ran across lately. Man they knew how to make covers back then! Just look at how lurid that thing is - I DEFINITELY would have bought this comic - hell, I still would! Awesome! This is the final issue of this series, (dated April 1, 1952), which started out as a romance book but shifted gears later on, no doubt to capitalize on the EC comics horror craze. The comics code was adopted in 1954, but no doubt the publisher could have already been feeling the heat by April 52. Damn you to hell, Frederick Wertham!

Friday, October 8

The Time Machine


Ran across this cool poster for The Time Machine today. They don't make poster art like they used to, do they? Magnificent!

Thursday, October 7

AMC Fearfest 2010

The Halloween season is here and you know what that means - time for the Halloween programming to hit the small screens! AMC today announced a teaser for their upcoming Halloween Fearfest 2010 lineup - looks great and culminates withthe 90 min world premiere af the original live action made for tv zombie movie, THE WALKING DEAD at 10pm ET, 9pm central Halloween night!



**TUNE IN ALERT**

AMC FEARFEST KICKS OFF THE COUNTDOWN TO THE
WORLD PREMEIRE OF “THE WALKING DEAD”

AMC FEARFEST ALSO FEATURES:
The 30th Anniversary of Friday the 13th and AMC Premieres of
28 Days Later, Dawn of the Dead and More

“Killer Conversations” with Directors Frank Darabont, West Craven and More
“New Blood” Profiling New and Influential Horror Filmmakers

NEW YORK, NY – October 5, 2010 – This month, AMC presents its annual AMC FEARFEST, the most highly anticipated horror movie marathon of the Halloween season. A celebration of the best in contemporary and classic horror genre films, this year’s AMC FEARFEST will kick off a countdown to the Halloween premiere of AMC’s newest original series “The Walking Dead,” written and executive produced by Oscar nominee Frank Darabont (The Shawshank Redemption, The Green Mile). The two-week marathon will also feature AMC premieres of such films as 28 Days Later and Dawn of the Dead as well as interviews with both established and upcoming horror filmmakers and actors with “Killer Conversations” and “New Blood” segments airing throughout each night’s primetime film. With nearly 300 hours of Halloween themed programming, including more than 60 films, AMC FEARFEST airs Monday night, October 18 through Sunday, October 31, culminating with the 90-minute world premiere of “The Walking Dead” on Sunday, October 31 at 10pm ET.

AMC FEARFEST’s programming specials include :

AMC PREMIERE EVENTS
Among a vast library of horror favorites, AMC FEARFEST will present premieres of the following:
• House of Wax and debuting October 22, 10pm ET
• Dead Silence debuting October 23, 12 :30am ET
• 28 Days Later debuting October 24, 8pm ET
• Jeepers Creepers 2 debuting October 24, 10 :30pm ET
• Evil Dead II debuting October 30, 10pm ET
• Dawn of the Dead debuting October 31, 8pm ET
• From Dusk Till Dawn debuting October 31, 8pm ET

In addition to the AMC Premieres events, AMC FEARFEST will feature horror favorites from the vintage to the contemporary including :
• Friday the 13th parts 1-9 airing together for the first time, in celebration of the franchise’s 30th Anniversary airing primetime, October 18-22
• Halloween I-V airing primetime, October 25-27
• Stephen King classics Cujo, Pet Sematary, The Shining, Sleepwalkers and Graveyard Shift airing throughout the day on October 9
• Night of the Living Dead (1968), Frankenstein (1931), Dracula (1931), The Wolf Man (1941), and many others

“KILLER CONVERSATIONS”
Throughout AMC FEARFEST, the network will feature conversations between celebrated horror filmmakers including Darabont and award-winning makeup artist Greg Nicotero (“The Walking Dead, “ Inglorious Bastards); Wes Craven (A Nightmare of Elm Street, Scream 3) and Mick Garris (Batteries Not Included, Hocus Pocus) and more. Each pair will talk candidly about their experience with the genre and what it takes to make a great horror film.

“NEW BLOOD”
AMC FEARFEST will profile new and upcoming filmmakers and actors who are creating waves in and transforming the horror genre. Included are Shawnee Smith (actress, Saw), James Gunn (director/writer, Slither), and Alexandra Aja (director, The Hills Have Eyes), among others. “New Blood” segments airs throughout the primetime AMC Fearfest movies.

FANBOY IMAGE SHORTS
Airing during AMC FEARFEST, the network will feature a series of ten comedic shorts, which showcase two fanboys parodying horror film classics from Friday the 13th and Pet Sematary to The Shining and Halloween.

B-MOVIE CLASSICS ON AMCTV.COM
In anticipation of the Halloween premiere of “The Walking Dead,” AMCTV.COM features five new zombie classics including King of the Zombies (1941 Oscar nominee for Best Music, Scoring of a Dramatic Picture), Revolt of the Zombies (1936), Teenage Zombies (1959), White Zombie (1932) and The Last Man on Earth (1964). Additional horror B-movies being shown online include Asylum (starring Peter Cushing and Charlotte Rampling), Corridors of Blood (starring Boris Karloff and Christopher Lee), What a Carve Up (starring Donald Pleasance) and The Undead (directed by Roger Corman). Each of these films will be available on AMCtv.com until December 31st.

For more information, visit AMC’s press website, http://press.amctv.com/.

About AMC
AMC reigns as the only cable network in history to ever win the Emmy® Award for Outstanding Drama Series three years in a row, as well as the Golden Globe® Award for Best Television Series - Drama for three consecutive years. Whether commemorating favorite films from every genre and decade or creating acclaimed original programming, the AMC experience is an uncompromising celebration of great stories. AMC's original stories include the Emmy® Award-winning dramas Mad Men and Breaking Bad, and entertaining non-scripted programming such as AMC News. AMC further demonstrates its commitment to the art of storytelling with curated movie franchises like AMC Hollywood Icon and AMC Complete Collection. Available in more than 96 million homes (Source: Nielsen Media Research), AMC is a subsidiary of Rainbow Media Holdings LLC, which includes sister networks IFC, Sundance Channel, WE tv and Wedding Central. AMC is available across all platforms, including on-air, online, on demand and mobile. AMC: Story Matters HereSM.

Tuesday, October 5

The Dreadful HallowGreen Special

This year for Halloween I'm proud to announce a special Halloween crossover event with New England's finest horror host, that wicked witch herself, Penny Dreadful. The Eerie Enchantress and Physician of Fright teamed up for an all new half-hour special called The Dreadful HallowGreen Special - Dr Gangrene and Penny Dreadful save Halloween.

It's science and sorcery combined to save the holiday of halloween in this all-new half-hour event.

Penny Dreadful and Dr. Gangrene Scare In New Halloween TV Special

For Immediate Release:Horror Hosts Collaborate For Hex-Cellent Halloween TV Special (10.05.10)

Hallowed horror hosts Penny Dreadful and Dr. Gangrene are teaming up to save Halloween in an all new half hour television special entitled “The Dreadful HallowGreen Special” premiering in October on stations around the country.

From his secret hidden laboratory on the mysterious Shackle Island Dr. Gangrene issued the following quote, “Penny Dreadful is a tremendous talent and her show is a really first rate program. Despite the fact she dabbles in such an unscientific area of study, it was my pleasure to collaborate with Penny on this Halloween special, combining science and magic to save the greatest holiday of all, Halloween! Now that’s what I call a mad monster party!”

The duo finds themselves readying for the upcoming Halloween season when suddenly all things go awry. It’s up to the physician of fright, Dr. Gangrene, and the eerie enchantress, Penny Dreadful, to set things right and save Halloween for everyone in a brand new television special.

While sipping hemlock brew from a smoking goblet Penny Dreadful related, "I was very hex-cited to join forces with that quack..er.. I mean esteemed mad scientist and horror host, Dr. Gangrene! Not only am I a fan of the Doctor's fine program, but we also happen to see eye to bloodshot eye on most subjects - especially the subject of Halloween. I hope this TV Special becomes staple All Hallows Eve viewing for monster movie fans both living and dead."

Penny Dreadful's Shilling Shockers, now in its 8th season, is based in New England and airs in over 150 cities. Penny Dreadful is portrayed by Danielle Gelehrter who, in 2007, was awarded the prize for Favorite Horror Host by the Rondo Hatton Classic Horror Awards.

Dr. Gangrene's Creature Feature airs on its home station WNAB CW58 in Nashville TN. Dr. Gangrene is portrayed by Larry Underwood. The Good Doctor has been shocking the Scare-waves since 1999. His programs have won countless praise and have been nominated for two Emmy Awards for Public Service.

The Dreadful HallowGreen Special premieres Halloween weekend 2010 on finer television stations. Check local listings for show times. For more information on Dr Gangrene or Penny Dreadful please visit www.drgangrene.com and www.shillingshockers.com

Friday, October 1

Horror Hootenanny 7

You can always tell when I'm extremely busy because the output of posts on the blog here slows waaay down! The past couple of weeks have been a whirlwind as I prepared for the Horror Hootenanny 7 show and did promotions for it, wrapped up the last couple of episodes of Creature Feature and began editing on my Halloween special.

More on those last two topics shortly - in the meantime here is a quick bit from the Nashville Horror Hootenanny. It was a fantastic evening and a great crowd. All the bands really rocked and we pulled off a little shock rock bit with Spookhand, lopping off the hand of an obnoxious "fan" who ran onstage... with a little help from some Spookhand henchmen...


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