Dr. Gangrene's Cinetarium airs Saturday Nights at 9pm central on Nashville NECAT Arts CH9. It is also simulcast on the NECAT Roku channel (search for Necat). Or click to watch below.

Monday, January 28

Jack Pierce Deserves a Star

I received word today of another campaign to grant a star on the Hollywood walk of fame, and this one is much more deserving than some of late (see my previous post about this topic). This time the proposed star would honor make-up legend Jack Pierce, someone who had a huge hand in shaping the horror landscape as we know it today. Pierce created some truly iconic makeup designs, from Chaney's Wolfman to Karloff's Monster and many more. Universal owes a debt of gratitude to Jack Pierce, and there is a proposed campaign to make this happen.

Spearheading the effort is Scott Essman, who is a Jack Pierce expert, and in fact produced a documentary on Pierce that Universal will include in the soon to be released DVD of THE MUMMY. Universal came close to following through on raising funds for a star in the past, but for various reasons something has always arisen that was a “higher priority” for the Publicity department, and the money earmarked for Pierce’s star was shifted to other purposes.

Scott has offered a solution to raise the money for this star and is presenting it to Universal. Whatever the price set for the new MUMMY DVD, he suggests Universal increase the amount by $1.00, and earmark these funds for the well-deserved recognition of Jack Pierce. This would allow fans to show their appreciation for Pierce and the star would be funded by proceeds from a film that contains not one but TWO Pierce masterpieces – what could be more perfect?

So Universal, how about it? Without the artistry of Jack Pierce, Universal as we know it would not in all probability exist today. It’s time to say thank you to Jack. It’s time he had a star. (For more information, please go to http://www.jackpierce.com/, Scott Essman’s website.)

Saturday, January 26

Horror Host Dr. Shock Passes Away

I am sad to announce that TN horror host legend Dr. Shock passed away Sunday, Jan 20th.

Dr. Shock was played by Tommy Reynolds, a program director at WTVC Channel 9 in Chattanooga, TN. He hosted SHOCK Theater in the 1970s along with a puppet sidekick named Dingbat. His is still fondly remembered by fans in the Chattanooga area. You can read an obituary column here:


Here on Shackle Island Dr. Shock will always be fondly remembered. Long live Dr. Shock!

Thursday, January 24


I first posted this a few weeks back, but with the Rondos in full swing I thought I'd repost it.

In the DVD Company of the Year category, my personal selection is, and has been for several years now, ALPHA VIDEO. Alpha Video is best known for low priced public domain movies. They typically have no (or very few) extras on the discs. Why, you might ask, would I vote for a DVD company like Alpha for best video company when they don't even have extras on their discs? Well, let me tell you...

Alpha Video has done more to keep classic horror alive than most video companies out there. People who are willing purchase expensive films from companies such as Criterion, for instance, are genre fans – they would buy these movies regardless of the price. It’s the non-genre fans who are paid the biggest service from Alpha Video, and that is exactly the way in which Alpha is helping keep classic horror alive.

Now don’t get me wrong – I LOVE many of the films that Criterion puts out. They have a really terrific selection of DVDs. I just am not going to spend 30-40 dollars on movies like THE BLOB, or FIEND WITHOUT A FACE, as fond as I am of those movies (and believe me, I really, really like both of them). As much as I might like to buy these, I am a father of three boys, and my discretionary income for DVD purchases is severely limited. I won’t buy a $40 DVD, but I might just pick up a 5 or 6 dollar print of something like NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD, THE HOUSE ON HAUNTED HILL, SHOCK with Vincent Price, REEFER MADNESS, or any of a number of the fun films from their catalog. And I know there are many people out there just like me, folks who might otherwise not even think about buying an old horror movie, but for five bucks, why not?

Alpha has a terrific selection of movies in a variety of categories: Horror, Sci-fi, Exploitation, Serials, Silent Movies, old Television series, and more. Plus they’ve started distributing some newer material such as Mark Redfield’s terrific DR.JEKYLL & MR. HYDE, (which I highly recommend). Their covers are really top notch, and really make these DVDs stand out on the shelves.

So for these reasons I’m voting for Alpha Video for DVD Company of the Year in the Rondo Awards again this year. Good luck Alpha, and I hope all of you out there vote in the Rondo Awards this year.

And by the way, if anyone wants to get me THE BLOB or FIEND WITHOUT A FACE, feel free!!

Wednesday, January 23

Rondo Awards - Best Movie of 2007

One of my favorite things about the Rondo Awards is the fact that it reminds me of all the great work that was done in the previous year. I was recently reflecting on movies made in 2007 and could only recall a few. The complete list of nominees in the Rondo Awards is listed below.



Now, I didn't see all of these, and in fact only saw a handful. But looking at the entire list I can honestly say that 2007 saw some really great movies. 1408, SPIDER-MAN III , 30 DAYS OF NIGHT, 300, PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN - there are some heavy hitters in this bunch and some great horror movies, too.

My personal favorite of 2007, though, had to be Grindhouse. I went to see it with a big group of friends and it was just so much fun in the theater. It was a real experience - the fake trailers were a hoot and the double feature felt just like sitting at a drive in or, well, grindhouse watching some movies pulled straight from the 70s.

The fact they intentionally aged the film, complete with pops, scratches, hiss and even missing film reels made it a real treat. I'm not sure general audiences knew how to take it, but my friends and I sure did, and howled through the entire thing. Here's to Grindhouse - my choice for best movie of 2007!

Tuesday, January 22

Dr. Gangrene nominated for 2 Rondo Awards!

The Rondo Awards for 2007 have been announced, and I'm proud to announce Dr. Gangrene and the crew of Creature Feature have been nominated for two awards: Best Fan Event, for the live show at Wonderfest last year, and in a brand new category, Best Horror Host!

The Rondo Awards are a yearly award recognizing excellence in the field of horror. The voting is online and done entirely by fans. The website for the Rondo Awards is: http://www.rondoaward.com/

In honor of the Rondos I'll be spending the week talking a bit about the awards, their origins, and my personal take on various topics.

Make a point to go by rondoaward.com and cast your vote for the best of 2007. There are a ton of great categories including movie of the year, best magazine, best website, and many more! It really is fun and you can vote in as many or few categories as you like.

So spread the word, and here's to the Rondos! Long Live the Rondos!!

Friday, January 18

Wonderfest Update

The details for the 2008 WONDERFEST convention are now online.

Go to http://www.wonderfest.com/ to check it out!

It takes place in Louisville, KY at The Executive West Hotel

The date has been moved back this year. It is:
Saturday, July 19th & Sunday July 20th -
10 a.m. until 5 p.m. both days

This year they are doing things slightly differently. The hotel is under new management as there are renovations being made to the hotel, so while we will still be staying at the Executive West the show itself will be across the street at the convention center. There will be a shuttle to take people back and forth from the hotel, so overall it shouldn't be too inconvenient. This is just a temporary fix, and next year things should be back to normal.

Our live show is still a go, and as far as I know it is still going to be held in the hotel after hours. More on this as I confirm details. We have a REALLY fun show lined up this year!! Details soon!

Friday, January 11

Farewell Vampira

The world's first television horror host passed away this week. Maila Nurmi, better known to the world as Vampira, passed away this week at the age of 87. Thanks to Tom Weaver and the CLASSIC HORROR FILMBOARD for passing along this news. A small bit of footage survives of her show - she was creepy, slinky, dark and seductive, the predecessor of all the rest of the horror hosts. Here's to Vampira - her memory will survive forever!

Five deadly filming date...

We're planning to shoot the footage for the FIVE DEADLY VENOMS episode next Saturday, January 19th. Seems this year is going to be a busy one for us, production-wise. Got lots of plans for the upcoming season and several projects we've begun work on already. More updates here as they develop. Stay tuned!!

Thursday, January 10


We have our next movie lined up - we'll be hosting the Kung-fu classic Five Deadly Venoms. This film is on Entertainment Weekly's list of Top 50 Cult Movies of all time, coming in at number 11!

It airs Saturday,
Feburary 2nd at 3pm
on Nashville's CW58 -
so makes plans to catch it!!

Wednesday, January 9

New article in Mondo Cult Magazine

Just got the word from Mondo Cult Magazine editor Jessie Lilley that the latest issue of her magazine is on the stands and features an article with your gruely! It is mainly about the Wonderfest live show we hosted last year featuring the film "The Tingler," but features a little behind the scenes info on the Doc as well. The article turned out terror-ific and I want to encourage all of you to go pick up a copy of Mondo Cult at a bookstore near you - for a list of stores that carry it in your area go to http://www.mondocult.com/ - for those in the Nashville area I'll save you some time - it is carried at Books-a-Million!

Huge thanks to everyone who helped pull off a successful show in Louisville last year - Nurse Moan-eek, Bob Burns, John Goodwin, Frank Dietz, The Exotic Ones, J. Sorrels, Eathen Allen, Genny Shannon, and all the Wonderfest Crew (and anyone else I may have forgotten in a mad scientific haze). Here's looking forward to another great show in 2008!

Tuesday, January 1

Starting out the new year right...

Talk about ringing in the new year right - here's a picture of my new treasure. I just picked this baby up after work last night. It's a Univox UC-2 guitar, made in either 1965 or 1966 - basically a copy of a Fender Jaguar. It sounds terrific, plays great, and looks really cool! Has it's share of dings and scratches, but I think that just gives it character and is expected for an over-40 guitar. I like to think it's a 1966 model, so I can say it was made the same year as me (going to try and track down an official date though)! For more information on Univox guitars and basses go to http://www.univox.org/ - Rock on!!