Friday, May 18

Metal Morgue - Dissecting Trick or Treat

On this week's podcast I dissect the 1986 rock n roll film TRICK OR TREAT, giving it a thorough post-mortem. Available now on Episode 30 of the 6ftplus podcast:



Tuesday, May 15

The Consortium of Genius invade Nashville

One week from today, 5-22-12, Nashville becomes Nash-VILLAIN, as that group of mad science rockers the C.O.G. - aka The Consortium of Genius, invade music city. Dr. Gangrene will be on hand to host the event, and local rockers The Exotic Ones and Dirty Dee and the Sweaty Meat will rock the house too. Show starts at 8pm. Be there or die!!


It Follows!

Trailer for my buddy Joe Bannerman's upcoming anthology novel. Damn fine writer. You guys are gonna enjoy his stuff. Coming soon!

Monday, May 14

Classic Memphis Horror Host, SIVAD!


 Sivad
Fantastic Feature
September, 1962 -
February 5, 1972
Channel 13, WHBQ
Watson Davis
  

Memphis Tennessee had more frightening figures in it's local legend than just a certain white leather clad rock musician fond of a certain soft blue pair of shoes - in the sixties and early seventies the Memphis airwaves were ruled by Sivad and his program, Fantastic Features!
 
Sivad was played by Watson Davis, who got his host name by spelling Davis backward. One of the most popular local performers of his day, Sivad hosted two shows a week and appeared live at almost every type event imaginable - From county fairs to city parades, Sivad was there to spread ghoulish cheer and meet his adoring fans. Sivad, "Your Monster of Ceremonies, " was always dressed in undertaker garb with black cape and top hat, wearing heavy vampirish makeup and fake looking fangs.

(mask of Sivad available through fan club - thanks to
Egor's Chamber of Horror Hosts for this pic)


Fantastic Features originally aired at 6pm, but later moved to 10:30, and a second show later was added at 11:30 on Saturdays.

click HERE to read a GREAT article by Harris Lentz for fantastic Features.
Sivad also recorded a 45 record called Sivad Buries Rock and Roll.


 The tracks on this record were:

(right click to download songs - special thanks to www.horrorhostgraveyard.com for posting these tracks)


Below is an article that ran in a Memphis newspaper about a possible Sivad return to hosting which, unfortunately, didn't work out.

  click to enlarge






 Vincent Price and Watson Davis


Friday, May 11

Joe Bob Briggs, Horror Host Extraordinaire






Joe Bob Briggs
(John I. Bloom)


Hosted Monstervision,
on Saturdays
TNT,
Cable - 12:30 am EST.
 



 Joe Bob Briggs on the set of Monstervision.
Picture by Mark Hill.
 
I've added Joe Bob to this list of Nashville Horror Hosts for one simple reason . . .
John Bloom is a graduate of Vanderbilt University!

That's right, John Bloom, BA'74, College of Arts and Science. He actually won a sports writing scholarship, the Fred Russell-Grantland Rice Scholarship at Vanderbilt, and served as managing editor of the Hustler, Vanderbilt's campus magazine. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa in 1974.
With a southern accent, quick wit , and unique sense of humor, Joe Bob hosted drive in movies every Saturday night on TNT's Monstervision. He regularly gave out what are probably the best facts on movies offered by any horror host, focusing on behind the scenes stories and production facts unknown to most viewers.



His most popular feature, besides Rusty the Mail Girl, was probably his ratings section, where he listed the drive-in totals of every movie, from the cheapest grade B flick to the highest grossing films - if Joe Bob showed 'em, Joe Bob rated 'em, using a scale that's all Joe Bob -

Example (here's Joe Bob's Drive In Totals for "Return of the Living Dead," one of my favorite zombie flicks):
"Let's do those drive-in totals. We have:
Nineteen dead bodies (plus fragments).
Ten breasts (shame on you, TNT censors).
Two zombie breasts.
One-hundred twenty-five zombies.
Mummy dogs.
One-half zombie dog.
Ten gallons blood.
Brain-eating.
Gratuitous embalming.
Nekkid punk-rocker fondue.
Gratuitous midget zombie.
Torso S&M.
One motor vehicle chase (totaled by zombies).
Heads roll.
Brains roll.
Arms roll.
Hands roll."

As you can see, always lots of fun.



John Bloom has also had a very active career outside of Monstervision. He was an award winning investigative journalist, (even infiltrating the Ku Klux Klan at one point), a film critic for the Dallas Times Herald, and a movie host on The Movie Channel (where he won two ACE awards, the highest award TMC gives) before starting Monstervision.
He is also an author of such books as
Iron Joe Bob,
Joe Bob Goes to the Drive-In,
Joe Bob Goes Back to the Drive-In,
A Guide to Western Civilization, or My Story, and The Cosmic Wisdom of Joe Bob Briggs.

In addition he also wrote a true crime book called Evidence of Love, co-authored by Jim Atkinson, that became the ABC movie of the week Killing in a Small Town.
John Bloom has also appeared in several movies.
Click here to see a list of his films on the Internet Movie Database.
Born January 27, 1953,
Dallas, Texas, USA
 
Joe Bob Briggs and Monstervision copyright John Bloom and TNT, respectively, all rights reserved.

Wednesday, May 9

Humphrey the Hunchback, 1990s Nashville Horror Host



Humphrey the Hunchback
"TheWNAB Saturday Night Horror Movie," 
later called "Frightmare Theater".
Saturday nights at 10 p.m., 
opposite Saturday Night Live.


Humphrey the Hunchback was played by actor Barry McAlister on Nashville's WNAB, Ch58.  Barry's show ran for close to two years, from 1994 - 1996, until the station eventually made the decision to pull all their local programming. I got the chance to talk to Barry and he described the show to me a bit:

"I did my show for about two years before they decided to stop doing
any local production at all. The station put the word out that they were
looking for someone to be host. At the time I had a manager for my acting
endeavors and she knew right away the opportunity was for me! I had created
the character of Humphry for a KT Oslin video a few years earlier and I am
an Improvisational comedian. So I shot a tape at Two Rivers Mansion and got
the gig!

I was all comedy based and mostly improvised. I had facts and info.
about the actors, the director and the film, plus other works the players
had done. But I improvised and did physical bits all around the
information. I never, ever got to see the films ahead of time.
I had a puppet of a small "creature" that I used off and on. He
spoke in a garbled gibberish only I could understand (I did ventriloquism
with him). Then toward the end I had a puppeteer friend who brought in with
his rat puppet. There was also a giant rubber spider named Renfield that
"dropped" in now and then.

The budget was almost nothing, and we shot everything in weird
places. We couldn't use the studio (because they would have to rent it from
Speer Communications) so we shot in their mechanical room a lot. We did
cheat and get in a corner of a studio some. But the best stuff we shot in
Fort Nashborough downtown. There was a giant trap door and everything!"

Humphrey the Hunchback quick facts:
Humphrey the Hunchback - "TheWNAB Saturday Night Horror Movie," 
later called "Frightmare Theater"
WNAB-TV Channel 30 (Nashville, TN)

Movies hosted: "C.H.U.D.", 
"Jason Goes to Hell", 
"Piranha", "Halloween II"

Monday, May 7

The Count of Five - 1970s Nashville Horror Host

The Count of Five

Suspense Theater - Bob McGehee
WTVF CH5
Nashville, TN 1977-1982



Haunting the airwaves in the late seventies was Suspense Theater, hosted by The Count of Five. The Count was, of course, a vampire, and he appeared, appropriately enough, on WTVF Ch5. He was played by Bob McGehee, who worked at the station at the time. He had a co-host named Goro, who was a shirt-less monster, played by Stan Hunter. The two would do bits in breaks between the movie they would show, usually either a horror show or a suspense movie of some type, such as Sherlock Holmes.


Read Dr. Gangrene's in depth interview with the Count from Scary Monsters Magazine #79 here

visit the Count on Facebook here: http://www.facebook.com/countoffive

Friday, May 4

Evil Dead - Sam Raimi Sues!

Evil Dead director Sam Raimi is suing to retain rights to the Evil Dead property. AWARD PICTURES had planned to make a sequel to the franchise, but Raimi and RENAISSANCE Pictures also plan to make their own sequel and the case is now in the US Courts to decide who owns the rights. It will be interesting to see how this fight turns out, and who, ultimately, will retain rights to continue the undead storyline.

For what it's worth, I hope Raimi and Renaissance retain rights and make their own sequel. It is, after all, their creation...

For full details on this story go here:
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/thr-esq/sam-raimi-sues-rights-evil-dead-sequel-320375

Frankenstein 80th Anniversary ebook


    My good pal Scott Essman's 80th anniversary Frankenstein article is now available on google as an ebook. It features a beautiful digital illustration of the monster by artist extrordinaire Rick Baker, as well as a color illustration of the creature by Ray Spooky Santoleri. A well researched and written piece on one of the greatest monsters of the silver screen. Go get yours at:

http://books.google.com/books?id=ivDrKV1riE8C&printsec=frontcover&dq=scott+essman&hl=en&sa=X&ei=zQujT_fPHsSbiALU_tnfDA&ved=0CE8Q6AEwBA#v=onepage&q=scott%20essman&f=false

Wednesday, May 2

Daughters of Satan/Superbeast half-sheet

Here's an awesome half-sheet from 1972 for the double bill of Daughters of Satan and Superbeast. Gotta love the advertising campaign - "A secret cult of lust craved witches torturing their victims with fire and desire" and "See a half-man half-monster ripping helpless victims to shreds in his mad hunger for human flesh."

No movie could ever live up to that awesome description!!


Sir Cecil Creape - 1970s Nashville Horror Host

Sir Cecil Creape
a.k.a. The Phantom of the Opry


Before starting his own venture into horror hosting Dr. Gangrene joined Sir Cecil's Ghoul Patrol, in 1974 in the Boy Scouts. It was part of his uniform then, and it is part of his uniform once again, on the mad doctor's lab coat!!





   
"Did Someone Call?"
Nashville's best known horror host,
Sir Cecil Creape, terrorized the
Nashville airwaves throughout the
early 70's and 80's.


CREATURE FEATURE
SIR CECIL CREAPE, aka THE PHANTOM OF THE OPRY was played by Russ McCown, and was perhaps Nashville's best known horror host. His show originated on WSMV, channel 4 Nashville, and was called Creature Feature. It aired on Saturday evenings, at 10:30pm and ran from 1971-1973. During that time Sir Cecil hosted a bevy of movies and always had lots of skits in between breaks. The set was a dungeon, with stone walls and fireplace which always had a picture of Floyd Kephart, local political analyst, on it.

In the 1980s Russ revived the character of Sir Cecil on a national stage on TNN, The Nashville Network, on cable TV. TNN would eventually become SpikeTV.

Sir Cecil Creape quick facts:

Creature Feature
Saturday, 10:30 p.m.
WSM-TV, Channel 4 (Nashville, Tennessee)
September 1971 - 1973

The Phantom of the Opry
?day afternoon
The Nashville Network (cable TNN)
(Nashville, Tennessee)
1983 - 1985


 

This is a picture of Sir Cecil that ran in the Showcase, the entertainment section of the Tennessean newspaper. The main picture is of Sir Cecil, and in the bottom corner is Russ McCown out of makeup.






Click Here to Read
Outre Magazine article on Sir Cecil Creape,
written by Chiller Cinema producer Larry Underwood
 "Good Night, Sleep Tight, and Don't Let the Beddie Bugs Bite!"


Tuesday, May 1

The Raven Review

 

I went to see THE RAVEN this past weekend, starring John Cusack, and afterwards I kind of had mixed feelings about it. The sets and costumes all looked good but Cusack's performance as Poe was lacking.  I must admit I am a bit jaded, however... after seeing the Jeffrey Combs one man play NEVERMORE, in which Combs channeled the poet so completely he all but disappeared, not many actors could match up to such an incredible performance.


 No attempt was made on the part of this film to even try and make Cusack resemble Poe, makeup wise, other than tussling his hair a bit and adding a goatee - and even that seems off, as in every photograph or illustration of Poe I've ever seen he sports a mustache but no beard of any type. Cusack didn't attempt to affect a southern accent either. He was simply Cusack in a period piece with facial hair.


The story was exactly what I expected from the trailer but I felt they could have had the murders tie into the stories better in some cases. The first couple were good, but they missed out on some real opportunities later on. The film also takes major liberties with the character of Poe, and that was to be expected, although turning him into an action hero instead of an alcoholic poet suffering from mental health issues was a bit much. The ending of the story used a lame gimmick that was unnecessary and silly.

Overall not a bad movie, still enjoyable, but it fell well short of what could have been. Just imagine if they had cast Combs in this role, made it a mystery instead of action thriller, and had him truly battle his inner demons and alcoholism instead of merely paying lip service to these issues at the beginning of the film then tossing them aside for the conclusion. Three out of 5 skulls.






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