Saturday, October 31

Vincent Price Memories from Actor David Frankham

Happy Halloween fright fans!

Here's a special treat for all you monster kids, excerpts from an interview I did recently with actor David Frankham recalling memories of Vincent Price. He tells some wonderful stories of Price and what a generous, wonderful man he was both on and off set. David worked with Price on three films: Return of the Fly, Master of the World, and Tales of Terror. This is a lot of fun, give it a listen if you have a few minutes, you won't regret it...


Tuesday, October 27

12 hours of Terror Recap



The 5th Annual 12 Hours of Terror festival at the Belcourt Theater in Nashville was a smashing success! Over 200 people crammed into the historic 1966 Hall for twelve straight hours of fright and fun. The movies were an interesting mix this year, ranging from sci-fi to horror and schlock. My son Luke and I arrived early and a line quickly formed outside the theater that wound down the building and around the corner.


The festivities kicked off with something new this year, a short set from Nashville's own THE BOO DUDES, a costumed band comprised of a werewolf lead singer/guitarist, Dracula on keys, the Headless Horseman on drums, an alien guitarist, and a mad scientist on the mixing board. What's not to love?


 They were fun and funny, entertaining the audience before the first film of the night, John Carpenter's THE THING.


 The Boo Dudes then kept the fun rolling as they returned for a second set. Next up on the film-front was a totally insane foreign film called THE BOXER'S OMEN, introduced by the Nashville Scene's Jim Ridley.



Full of blood, vomit, martial arts and magic, this was the type of gonzo feature I've come to appreciate at these shows.


The third feature I had the pleasure to introduce - from 1979, TOURIST TRAP.



Starring Chuck Connors and Tanya Roberts, this is a pretty surreal movie that, while not as full-out insane as the previous film, is still equally-enjoyable for its own merits. Connors is great as a creepy owner of an abandoned tourist trap called Slauson's Lost Oasis and Western Town. Fun film.


 As we exited the theater after Tourist Trap we found the lobby completely transformed. The Belcourt ghouls had been busy, as the lobby was decorated with bats, blood, black lights and body parts.




The frights continued with a period piece called EYES OF FIRE.  Introduced by the Belcourt's Jason Shawhan, this one featured 1700s witchcraft on the American frontier.



Next up was another new feature - the Belcourt's Zack Hall brought his monthly feature WEEKNIGHT REWIND to the Hellcourt for a special segment they called SHRIEKNIGHT REWIND.



 Zack brought three films - on glorious VHS - and read the back of the box and showed a showed a short clip from each. Then it was up to the audience, as they voted on which film to see.





I was particularly happy, as one of my all-time favorite films won the day, TRICK OR TREAT, the rock n' roll masterpiece featuring music from Fastway. Great eye opener late in the evening/early morning.


This was followed by some 80s low-budget fun, DEADLY SPAWN. Once again introduced by Jim Ridley, I had always wanted to see this creature feature but never had the pleasure. Talk about getting a lot of bang for your buck, that's exactly the case with this film. Low budget, big effects. Big fun.



Last but certainly not least was the remake of THE BLOB from 1988. Definitely one of the more worthy remakes, I had forgotten just how fun this one is.


As the final moments of the splatacular feature played on the screen the Belcourt staff encouraged all those still there to gather in front of the theater for a group photo. As you can see, quite the collection of intrepid film-goers braved the night.


All of the films were on 35mm with the exception of The Blob and The Thing, which were DCP, and Trick or Treat, which was presented on VHS (VHS is Alive!!). A huge thanks to everyone who attended, and especially to the Belcourt staff who worked so hard to put this event together.


My son took this picture of me posing with Jim Ridley and Jason Shawhan after the final film. It was a great event, and I look forward to next year's event!

*Special thanks to Jason Shawhan for the loan of the photos!

Recommended Halloween Double-Feature

My fourth and final Halloween double-feature recommendation for this year is a couple of family-friendly classics. Thanks to the folks at the Stay Cool Geek podcast for asking me to be their 2015 Halloween Gore-spondant!


Wednesday, October 21

Recommended Halloween Double-Features

Kurt Larson, Kelly Dolan, and the fine folks at the Stay Cool Geek podcast asked me to do a segment for their podcast for the Halloween season. So I've been putting together a recommended double-feature, two quick reviews of films I love and think go well together. I have put together a Youtube video for each segment, and you can listen to them in the actual episodes at staycoolgeek.com.




Episode 1



Episode 2



Episode 3

Friday, October 16

12 Hours of Terror

The Belcourt Theater's 12 Hours of Terror movie marathon crawls from the crypt again next Saturday, October 24th, for the 5th annual event. 



This year's event promises more frightening features, although the Belcourt is playing coy about this year's lineup, offering only hints. Here's what they've teased so far:

Join us for 12 solid hours of quivering matter, cheap-o splatter, walking heads, the plastic dead, grisly ghosts and horrible hosts—not to mention the phantasmagorical rediscovery that's been blowing minds across the U.S.! All that, plus crazy antics, awesome vintage grindhouse trailers, live encounters with sinister forces, and the moment of truth where you the viewer must CHOOSE THE HORROR ABOUT TO UNFOLD—capped by one of the coolest scare-cinema finds you've never seen!


Interesting...! Out of curiosity, I decided to go back and make a list of all the films they showed at the fest over the years. The following list is pretty impressive!!


2011:
Night of the Creeps
Abby
Anguish
Zombie
Squirm
Lady Terminator
Return of the Living Dead



2012
THE BURNING - Noon
MESSIAH OF EVIL - 1:45 pm
AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON -  3:25 pm
BAY OF BLOOD/TWITCH OF THE DEATH NERVE (Reazione a Catena) -  5:15 pm
SOCIETY - 6:50 pm
DEMONS - 8:45 pm
DETENTION - 10:30 pm









2013
 The Belcourt truly brought it this year. They changed up the format - showed double-features every weekend.

Oct 4th-5th Rosemary's Baby/Let's Scare Jessica to Death
Oct 11th Deep Red/Gates of Hell
Oct 12th Creepers (Phenomena)/Shakma
Oct 18th - 19th - Wickerman Final Cut
Oct. 25th Chopping Mall/Basket Case
Oct 26th Evilspeak/The Craft


PLUS they showed Vincent Price movies at various times throughout the month:
THE TINGLER, THEATRE OF BLOOD, MASQUE OF THE RED DEATH, and HOUSE OF WAX (2d).




2014
SHAUN OF THE DEAD
The Babadook
Ninja III: The Domination
Inside
Neon Maniacs
Just Before Dawn
UNSANE

Thursday, October 15

Halloween Spooktacular 2004

In celebration of the Halloween season I just posted another vintage Dr. Gangrene episode, this time the Chiller Cinema Halloween Spooktacular 2004, which features the world's first program ever broadcast entirely by pumpkin-light! We also do a Bela Lugosi tribute, travel to the Nashville Zoo at Grassmere to take a look at the bat exhibit, and show a music video from the 3D Invisibles for a song called I Want to Dig Up Bela Lugosi.


Monday, October 5

Dr. Gangrene Halloween Safety PSA

We just released out latest PSA, a retro-style Halloween Safety short featuring kids in classic Halloween costumes. We are all really happy with how it turned out, and hope you all like it.




PRESS RELEASE

Shackle Island Studios and Red Headed Revolution Pictures have unveiled their newest Public Safety Film titled ‘Happy Halloween With Dr. Gangrene.’ The new short film features Larry Underwood as Dr. Gangrene listing a number of safety tips to pint sized trick-or-treaters. Check out the PSA below.
The safety film was written by Larry Underwood and directed by Cameron McCasland. It was filmed in Middle Tennessee and features McCasland’s young children Roxie & Marie McCasland as well as Jessica and Joseph Auguon Drake Jr. whom McCasland had previously worked with on other projects. The poster for the short was designed by J. Kyle Kelly at Villain Place in Nashville, TN. Kelly also shared shooting duties and editing on the project. The cartoon image of Dr. Gangrene is courtesy of artist Jeff Carlson.



Underwood said of the project “Halloween is a magical time of year, and we want kids to have fun and be safe out there. You know what they say, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, or candy, as the case may be.”

2015 has been a banner year for the horror film making duo. Underwood’s Dr. Gangrene was inducted into the Horror Host Hall of Fame during Horrorhound Weekend in Cincinnati, Ohio. His new series ‘The Fantastic Films of Vincent Price‘ just completed its 44th episode, and he picked up his third Rondo Statuette this time for his ‘Tales From The Lab‘ blog.

McCasland was named Indie Director Of The Year at the 2015 Indieville TV Awards. His feature length slasher film ‘The Lashman’ was the recipient of a Matchflick Flicker Award for Best Throwback film. His newly released short film Tailypo recently picked up honors at the Imaginarium Film Festival. And he has also picked up hardware for his video producing work on several music industry related projects including a Communicator award for his documentary ‘I Heard The Devil Say My Name Out Loud’.

This new public safety film follows in a long line of shorts from collaborators McCasland & Underwood. Their ‘Go Green With Dr. Gangrene’ series ran for several years and received praise from the governor of Tennessee and the Nashville City Council. It also garnered national attention, picking up awards from the AEGIS awards, Ava Awards, MarCom Awards, Blingy Awards, The Accolade Competition, The DV Awards, a Public Service award from the Rondo Hatton Classic Horror Awards, and four Emmy nominations from the Midsouth Chapter of the National Television Academy of Arts & Sciences.

‘Happy Halloween With Dr. Gangrene‘ will air on The CW network as well as the NECAT network locally in Nashville, which currently airs re-reruns of the television program Dr. Gangrene Presents. It will also be screening at a number of Halloween themed events in October hosted by Dr. Gangrene, These include the rock n’ roll extravaganza ‘Dr. Gangrene’s Horror Hootenanny.’ A long standing tradition in Nashville now in its twelfth year. You can also catch it on the big screen, and under the stars, at the Franklin Drive-In in Franklin, KY for a terrifying triple feature of A Nightmare on Elm Street, The Goonies, and McCasland’s Tailypo. Tailypo will also be screening this October at Chattanooga’s Frightening Ass Film Fest and in Nashville at the Yazoo brewery with ‘Cabin In The Woods’ for Monster Sundays presented by Something About Zombies.

In addition to this new short film, Underwood & McCasland are helping fans celebrate Halloween by making their 2010 Emmy nominated made for television movie ‘The Dreadful Hallowgreen Special‘ available to stream for free during the month of October on the Dr. Gangrene YouTube channel. The half hour comedy also features New England’s Penny Dreadful and the legendary Count Gore DeVol. Fans of the show will also find a number of other classic episodes and special content available for the Halloween season.

Larry Underwood has portrayed horror host Dr. Gangrene in Nashville since 1999. He follows a long tradition of horror hosts in Music City including Russ McCown as Sir Cecil Creape and Ken Bramming as Dr. Lucifer. In addition to his duties as a television mad scientist he has a regular column in Scary Monsters Magazine and has published a number of short stories, comic books, and articles for various publications.

Cameron McCasland is an Emmy nominated writer and film producer. Currently his feature length produced film Paternity Leave and short film Tailypo are touring the film festival circuit. The Texas-born film maker lives in Nashville, TN with his wife Jamie, and two daughters.

Saturday, October 3

Cemetery Plots #2




The comic book anthology Cemetery Plots produced by Dan Johnson, long-time friend and former writer for the Dr. Gangrene Creature Feature show, is planning a second issue. They have started a Kickstarter campaign, and I wanted to share with you ghouls. Check it out, it's got some great incentives, and any help would be appreciated!

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/633579500/empire-comics-lab?ref=thanks_share


Here's a brief message from Editor Dan Johnson.


Hello, kids! Dan Johnson, editor of Cemetery Plots here again. Week one of Empire Comics Lab’s Kickstarter has gone really well. Right now, 10% of the amount we need has been raised, but we still have a way to go to meet our final goal of $3,500.
I want to take a moment to remind you all that we’re holding a special ‘Thank You for Pledging’ drawing. If you pledge any amount to the Kickstarter between now and 11:59 PM Sunday, October 4, you will be put into a drawing for a signed first edition of Cemetery Plots #1 and a one-of-a-kind Thank You sketch of the book’s host, D.O. Mann, by ECL’s head honcho, Dave Hearn. Now, I do want to remind you all that we are sold out of first edition copies of Cemetery Plots #1. They are all gone except for a stash that I have for upcoming convention appearances. This drawing is going to be your last chance to get one for yourself. Also, the sketch that Dave is working on is going to be unique. There will not be another one like it offered at any time.
Also, I did want to take a moment to remind you all that pledging to the Kickstarter is a real bargain. For example, if you pledge just $3.00, you’ll get a copy of Cemetery Plots #1 when we go back and print the second edition, as well as a Thank You in an upcoming issue of the book. Now think about that. You’re going to get a heck of a horror comic book for a mere $3.00. Who else is offering a comic for that price these days? Some of the major publishes are talking about going as high as $5.00 PER BOOK. That’s insane! It’s almost as crazy as passing on a book that $2.00 cheaper. And heck, we’re even throwing in the cost of mailing it to you as well! Again, this is a bargain you can’t afford to pass up.
So! Give what you can and help us make our dream of making the best damn comic books a reality. Thank you.

Friday, October 2

Scary Monsters Magazine #98 - Bradley Beard Interview

For this issue's column (June 2015) Doc Gangrene interviewed artist Bradley beard, who has been doing an amazing series of portraits - one a day - featuring horror hosts. Click to enlarge.





Thursday, October 1

Scary Monsters Magazine #97

In my column for issue #97 of Scary Monsters Magazine I sat down with artist Jeff Carlson and discussed his art, career, influences and more, especially the Mani-Yack style tribute pieces he's been doing.

Click to enlarge pages





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