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Showing posts from October, 2012

I've taken her to where she wished to go... To meet the man she came here to meet.

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'Salem's Lot' (1979) was the first television mini-series (and the second film) to be based on the writings of author Stephen King. King was inspired to write the book when he had his English class read 'Dracula', and became curious about what would happen if vampires came to America, specifically in a small town. The original novel established many motifs that Stephen King would use in his subsequent novels. It takes place in a small town in Maine, and many later stories took place in the small towns of Derry or Castle Rock. It features a much larger cast of characters than Carrie did, and most of his later books had a large cast. The main character, Ben Mears, is a professional writer, and another major character, Jason Burke, is a schoolteacher. Many of his subsequent characters were either or both. King himself also held both jobs. The biggest issue that divides fans of the novel and film is the fact that Barlow is depicted as a hissing Nosferatu-like monste

You play a good game boy, but the game is finished, now you die.

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The infamous "ball" scenes in the movie 'Phantasm' (1979) were simple special effects. The sphere was being guided around a corner by a fishing line. The sphere was thrown from behind the camera by a baseball pitcher and then the shot was printed in reverse. The ball attaching itself to the man's head was filmed by sticking it on his head, then pulling it off, and printing the shot in reverse. The spheres were designed by craftsman Willard Green who charged the production a little over $1,100 for his services. Sadly, he died just after production completed at the end of 1977, and never saw his work on the big screen. - IMDB

Dummy nothin'. It was smart enough to scare me.

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Even though actors Bela Lugosi, Lon Chaney Jr. and Glenn Strange all reprise their roles from earlier films 'Bud Abbott Lou Costello Meet Frankenstein' (1948) is not considered to be part of the continued storyline set forth previously. The reason why is so that no explanation would be needed to explain, for example, why Larry Talbot is still a werewolf after being cured in 'House of Dracula.' Glenn Strange was playing the Frankenstein monster, but during shooting one day he tripped over a camera cable and broke his ankle. Lon Chaney Jr. (playing the Wolf Man) wasn't working that day, so he put on the Frankenstein makeup/outfit and filled in for Strange in one scene where Dr. Mornay gets thrown through the window. So Chaney wound up playing two monsters in this movie. Boris Karloff was never approached to play the monster, but as a favor to Universal, he agreed to do publicity work for this film as long as he didn't have to see the film. In several photos

You've just crossed over into the Dinosaurus Zone

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Special effects wizard Marcel Delgado was given less than half the time originally agreed upon to create the dinosaur models for the 1960 movie 'Dinosaurus!.' The studio initially agreed to give him five to six weeks, as he requested, but two weeks later he was told that they would begin production on Tuesday. As a result the stop-motion animation crew used their brontosaurus model and miniature jungle set to film a shot for an episode of TV's Twilight Zone, "The Odyssey of Flight 33."

Warmed Over Monster Leftovers

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Willis O'Brien and Pete Peterson began filming the special effects for 'The Black Scorpion' (1957) in a large remodeled dressing room at the Tepeac Studios in Mexico City with the aide of Ralph Hammeras, who was at the same studio filming the visual effects for 'The Giant Claw.' When the money started to run out they finished the picture in Peterson's garage in Encino, California. To help cut the costs O'Brien dipped into his collection of critters from the 1933 classic 'King Kong.' The trapdoor spider that attacks Juanito in the scorpions' underground home is one of the original models left over from the famous deleted spider sequence, as was the giant worm with the "octopus-like arms" seen in the film. The money problems actually got so bad that the special effects team couldn't even add the stop motion scorpions to the scenes. When the giant scorpions appear as totally black silhouettes, it is because only the black backin

Really Bitchin Monster Posters From Mondo

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The Austin, Texas based graphic arts company Mondo has just produced an absolutly amazing set of new posters based on the classic Universal horror movies "Creature from the Black Lagoon", "Frankenstein", "The Mummy", "Dracula", "Phantom of the Opera" and "The Bride of Frankenstein." This great works of art will be for sale soon through their website, though they are not up as of yet. Any movie fan would be thrilled to own one of these incredible posters which in many repects put their original counterparts to shame! Mondo has also created a stunning collection of pop culture inspired T-shirts and posters inspired by both film and television icons. Check out the Mondo website HERE Or visit their gallery located at 4115 Guadalupe St. Austin TX 78751 Check out those amazing monster movie posters below:  

LETS GET READY TO RUMBLE!

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The Two Mightiest Monsters Of All Time! The most colossal conflict the screen has ever known! The Battle of the Century!! Now an all-mighty all-new motion picture brings them together for the first time in the colossal class of all time! Mighty King Kong! Mighty Godzilla! What is all the hoopla? Well both King Kong and Godzilla have reached the filnals of the San Jose News' "Monster Mash" which pitted monster against monster in a bracket competion similar to the NCAA basketball championship. Fans got their chance to vote for their favorites and now only Kong and Big G are left standing! Now way back in 1962 Toho pitted these two titans against each other in the film "King Kong vs Godzilla". That time Kong came out on top. Back in 2010 we here at MIN came up with our own "Top 100" list based on fan input and Godzilla came out on top. Frankenstein (aka The Monster) took the silver and Kong the bronze. The victor this time is in your hand

What's Black And White And Red All Over?

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One of the reasons Alfred Hitchcock shot 'Psycho' (1960) in black and white was he thought it would be too gory in color. But the main reason was that he wanted to make the film as inexpensively as possible (under $1 million). He also wondered if so many bad, inexpensively made, b/w "B" movies did so well at the box office, what would happen if a really good, inexpensively made, b/w movie was made. But thant's not where the use of both black and white stopped. In the opening scene, Marion Crane (Janet Leigh) is wearing a white bra because Alfred Hitchcock wanted to show her as being "angelic". After she has taken the money, the following scene has her in a black bra because now she has done something wrong and evil. Similarly, before she steals the money, she has a white purse; after she's stolen the money, her purse is black. It's kinda like having the good guys in westerns wearing white hats while the bad guys wear black hats. Oh and by t

Get Haruo Nakajima A Monster Kid Hall of Fame Rondo

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by Armand Vaquer Above, Haruo Nakajima.  Photo by Armand Vaquer. We are now more than half way into October and, before we know it, it will be voting time for the annual Rondo Hatton Classic Horror Awards. Earlier this year, during the voting for the Rondo Awards for 2011, a controversy arose involving some prominent Godzilla fans.  (I'm not going into the controversy, you can look it up at the Classic Horror Film Board.)   But an idea was floated by Stuart Galbraith IV about starting a campaign to have the original Godzilla suit-actor, Haruo Nakajima awarded a Rondo Award for his work as Godzilla, Rodan, King Kong, a Gargantua and many other Japanese giant monsters. At his blog, Galbraith wrote: “If you’re a fan of Mr. Nakajima’s and would like to see him presented with a Rondo, I say let’s start a campaign now to ensure Mr. Nakajima receives a Lifetime Achievement Award at next year’s ceremony.” I agree. Therefore, I am proposing that fans of Japan

Comic Book Superheroes Unmasked

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Written By: Terri Pressley Where does a documentary about superheroes and comics begin? With Superman himself of course! Superman, created in 1938 by Jerry Siegel and Joel Shuster, both 18 years old, combined parts of Hercules, a scientific Moses, and Jerry Siegel's confidence issues. He always had crushes on girls that didn't seem to know that he was alive, so he created a character that everyone would look up to one that women would want and men would want to be. Unfortunately, for Siegel and Shuster, nobody wanted Superman. Comic strips were huge in daily newspapers, but every syndicated newspaper in the country turned them down. There was still hope though in the form of comic books. A book filled with comics was a relatively new idea back then. Their only purpose was to make a few quick cents by recycling old comic strips collected from newspapers. However, Malcolm Wheeler-Nicholson had an idea - comic books with all new material! He knew that, in order to make it work

The Road To Elected Office Runs Through The Predator

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Two of the actors portraying commandos besieged by the "Predator" (1987) have been elected to state governorships: Jesse Ventura (Independent) was elected Governor of Minnesota in 1998, and Arnold Schwarzenegger (Republican) was elected Governor of California in a hotly-contested recall election in 2003. In addition, Sonny Landham (Republican) ran an unsuccessful campaign for Governor of Kentucky in 2003. Both Landham and Ventura also sought to enter the Senate in 2008 in their states as, respectively, a Libertarian and an Independent. Both dropped out. - IMDB "Bunch of slack-jawed faggots around here. This stuff will make you a god damned sexual Tyrannosaurus, just like me." - Blain aka govenor Ventura If only Obama or Romney could belt out lines like that! "You're one... *ugly* motherfucker! " - Dutch aka govenor Schwarzenegger Now your talking ... maybe California would have been better off if they had elected that porn star? The Predat

Better tyke a stress pill, Dyve

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In "2001: A Space Odyssey" (1968), HAL was to be called Athena and have a female voice. According to Keir Dullea (Dave Bowman), Nigel Davenport and Martin Balsam were hired and later replaced before Douglas Rain finally landed the role of HAL. Davenport was actually on-set in England during filming, reading HAL's lines off-camera so that Dullea and Gary Lockwood could react to them. Apparently, Stanley Kubrick thought that Davenport's English accent was too distracting, so after a few weeks he dismissed him and for the remainder of the shoot HAL's lines were read by an assistant director who, according to Dullea, had a Cockney accent so thick that lines like "Better take a stress pill, Dave" came out like "Better tyke a stress pill, Dyve". Later Balsam was hired and recorded HAL's voice in New York, but again when Kubrick heard his lines he wasn't satisfied, so he finally got Rain to re-record everything during post-production. Rain re

King Kong Censored For Your Protection!

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'King Kong' (1933) was successfully reissued worldwide numerous times; some claim it was the first ever re-released film. In the 1938 reissue, several scenes of excessive violence and sex were cut to comply with the Production Code enforced in 1934. Scenes cut over the years of release and re-release: Kong chewing on the natives of Skull Island; two scenes with Kong squashing one native each with his giant foot; the brontosaurus biting and throwing the men in the water; Kong putting a New Yorker in his mouth then throwing him down to the ground; a scene where Kong climbs a building, pulls out a sleeping woman with his giant hand, examines her, and when he finds it's not Ann Darrow, tosses her down to the sidewalk below; and, of course, Fay Wray's clothing being peeled off. The censor committee once stated that this was at least six minutes of editing. Though many of the censored scenes were restored by Janus Films in 1971 (including the censored sequence in which Kon

Oh Cut The Re-Incarnation Crap!

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A lengthy and complicated re-incarnation scene, so important to the plot, never made it into 'The Mummy' (1932). This upset many people, including the film's leading actress, Zita Johann, who was a firm believer in re-incarnation. - IMDB "Don't you think I've had enough excitement for one evening, without the additional thrill of a strange man making love to me?" - Helen Grosvenor

Now I know what it's like to BE God!

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After bringing the monster to life, Dr. Frankenstein uttered the famous line, "Now I know what it's like to BE God!" The movie 'Frankenstein' (1931) was originally released with this line of dialogue, but when it was re-released in the late '30s, censors demanded it be removed on the grounds that it was blasphemy. A loud clap of thunder was substituted on the soundtrack. The dialogue was partially restored on the video release, but since no decent recording of the dialogue could be found, it still appears garbled and indistinct. The censored dialog was partially returned to the soundtrack in the initial "restored version" releases. Further restoration has now completely brought back this line of missing dialog. A clean recording of the missing dialog was reportedly found on a Vitaphone disc (similar to a large phonograph record). Modern audio technology had to be used to insert the dialog back into the film without any detectable change in the aud

Marvel Comics The Untold Story .... Nuff Said!

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Source: Harper Collins In the early 1960s, Marvel Comics introduced a series of bright-costumed superhero characters—including Iron Man, the Hulk, Thor, the X-Men, the Fantastic Four, Daredevil, and the Amazing Spider-Man—that would evolve into a modern American mythology for millions of readers. Over the last half-century, these characters have been passed along among generations of brilliant editors, artists, and writers who struggled with commercial mandates, a fickle audience, and, over matters of credit and control, one another. Written by Sean Howe, former comic book reviewer and editor at Entertainment Weekly, Marvel Comics: The Untold Story is a gripping narrative of one of the most extraordinary, beloved, and beleaguered pop cultural entities in America’s history. An unvarnished, unauthorized, behind-the-scenes account of one of the most dominant pop cultural forces in contemporary America. Operating out of a tiny office on Madison Avenue in the early 1960s, a strug

Space Shuttle "Endeavour" In Inglewood

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Text and Photos by Armand Vaquer Above, my first view of Endeavour on Manchester Blvd. in Inglewood.  Photo by Armand Vaquer. My alarm was set for 2:50 AM, but I woke up about seven minutes before. I decided to make the trek down to Inglewood, California (about 25 miles away) to view the Space Shuttle Endeavour on Manchester Blvd. as it is being hauled to the California Science Center. Above, Endeavour is still an impresive sight!  Photo by Armand Vaquer. It is scheduled to be at a viewing area at the Forum's parking lot at 8:00 this morning, but I heard one of the police in Inglewood say that it is two hours behind schedule.   Endeavour is supposed to arrive at the California Science Center tonight (good luck!). Above, the crew section of Endeavour.  Photo by Armand Vaquer. I got down to Inglewood and found that it was nowhere near the Forum.  I located it about 2-3 miles west on Manchester.  I found a parking space (surprisingly fast) in front of Inglewo

Dynamite Baby, Grindhouse Dynamite!

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Written By: Terri Pressley Grindhouse is an American term for a theater that mainly shows exploitation films. Named after the defunct burlesque theaters located on 42nd Street in New York City where 'bump n' grind' or striptease was featured. Grindhouse films characteristically contain large amounts of sex, violence or bizarre subject matter. One genre of film featured were "roughies" or sexploitation, a mix of sex, violence and sadism. Quality varied, but low budget production values and poor print quality were common. Critical opinions varied regarding typical grindhouse fare, but many films acquired cult following and critical praise. Double, triple, and "all night" bills on a single admission charge often encouraged patrons to spend a long time in the theater. The environment was faithfully captured at the time by the magazine ‘Sleazoid Express’. By the 1980s, home video and cable threatened to make grindhouse obsolete. By the end of the

Turhan Bey Dies At 90

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Above, Lon Chaney Jr. (left) and Turhan Bey in "The Mummy's Tomb." Actor Turhan Bey, who starred opposite of Lon Chaney Jr. in The Mummy's Tomb (1942), died at age 90. Fox News reported: Turhan Bey, who starred in Hollywood escapist fantasies with the likes of Errol Flynn and Katherine Hepburn, has died at age 90.  His death in Vienna was announced Tuesday by Marita Ruiter, a close acquaintance who has exhibited his photos in her Luxembourg gallery.  She told the Austria Press Agency that Bey died on Sept. 30 after a long struggle with Parkinson's disease and was cremated on Monday.  Born Gilbert Selahettin Schultavey as the son of a Turkish diplomat, Bey assumed his stage name shortly after emigrating to the U.S in 1938 with his Jewish Czech mother to escape the Nazis and being discovered by talent scouts from Warner Bros Studios. Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/world/2012/10/09/turhan-bey-actor-who-performed-with-katherine-hepbur

Monster Yakety Yak

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"When I was nine I played the demon king in Cinderella and it launched me on a long and happy life of being a monster." - Boris Karloff "I'd like to quit the supernatural roles and play just an interesting, down-to-earth person." - Bela Lugosi "The film makers were scratching their heads wondering who they could get to put on the (Godzilla) suit, then the remembered my stunt. They thought hey let's get that guy we set on fire last year." - Haruo Nakajima "My father would be horrified if he knew I was making it in the pictures and that I'm not billed as Creighton Chaney." - Lon Chaney Jr. "No matter what you do, you can act your heart out, but people will always say, "Oh, Julie Adams - Creature from the Black Lagoon." - Julie Adams "Often we'd secretly like to do the very things we discipline ourselves against. Isn't that true? Well, here in the movies I can be as mean, as wicked as I want to - and

Universal Monsters Creature from the Black Lagoon Bust Bank

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Source: Entertainment Earth Universal Monsters Creature from the Black Lagoon Bust Bank: Store all your precious coins in Gill-Man's gills with the Universal Monsters Creature from the Black Lagoon Bust Bank! Just like the mer-monster seen in the 1954 horror film Creature from the Black Lagoon. Pose him as a high-quality bust, use him as a cool-looking bank, or both! If you were going to make an 8-inch tall bust featuring highly detailed sculpts and paint, what monster would you want to see done right? The Creature from the Black Lagoon, of course! The scaly mer-monster Gill-Man has never looked better than in this Universal Monsters Creature from the Black Lagoon Bust Bank. One of the cooler features of the bust bank is the ability to pose the figure as a high-quality bust while using him as a fully functional bank at the same time, because the coin slot is hidden away on the back behind his gills. That's right, store all your precious coins in Gill-Man's gills! A

Classic Horror Every Wednesday In October On TCM

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Source: Turner Classic Movies Once again, in the month culminating with Halloween, TCM offers up a spooktacular scarefest of fright films, showcasing some of the genre's great actors, themes and studios-including Universal, the film company most closely associated with classic horror. Each Wednesday features a different theme. We begin with a salute to Lionel Atwill, the English actor who was a stalwart of horror movies of the 1930s and '40s, including Mystery of the Wax Museum (1933) and Doctor X (1932), co-starring Fay Wray, one of the great "scream queens" of Hollywood horror. Hauntings would be incomplete without The Innocents (1961), with Deborah Kerr in a brilliant turn as a turn-of-the-century governess who is either haunted or deluded--you be the judge! Hammer Horror celebrates the deliciously macabre offerings of the 1950s and '60s from Hammer Films including Curse of Frankenstein (1957), Horror of Dracula (1958) and The Devil's Bride (1968, aka

"Godzilla vs. Biollante" Coming December 4

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by Armand Vaquer Since the late 1990s, whenever I wanted to watch Godzilla vs. Biollante (1989), my only recourse was to pop in the HBO VHS tape.  It has some of the silliest dialog in a modern Godzilla movie ("Godziller" and "Eggs is eggs"). That's about to change as Godzilla vs. Biollante is about to be released on DVD ($6.99) and Blu-ray ($14.99) by Echo Bridge on December 4. Godzilla vs. Biollante is the follow-up to Return of Godzilla (1984) (a.k.a., Godzilla 1985 (1985)).  In the previous movie, our hero fell into the cauldron of Mt. Mihara on Oshima Island.  In Biollante , he is released from his confinement and goes on a rampage into Osaka, Japan.  Meanwhile, a grieving scientist mixes cells from a rose bush, his late daughter and Godzilla to create (unintentionally) a giant plant monster. The movie also introduces psychic Miki Saegusa (Megumi Odaka) into the series. Godzilla vs. Biollante contains the best special effects work done by Koi

My dear old monster. I owe everything to him. He's my best friend

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During the production of Frankenstein (1931) there was some concern that seven-year-old Marilyn Harris, who played Maria, the little girl thrown into the lake by the creature, would be overly frightened by the sight of Boris Karloff in costume and make-up when it came time to shoot the scene. When the cast was assembled to travel to the location, Marilyn ran from her car directly up to Karloff, who was in full make-up and costume, took his hand and asked "May I drive with you?" Delighted, and in typical Karloff fashion, he responded, "Would you, darling?" She then rode to the location with "The Monster.". "One always hears of actors complaining of being typed - if he's young, he's typed as a juvenile; if he's handsome, he's typed as a leading man. I was lucky. Whereas bootmakers have to spend millions to establish a trademark, I was handed a trademark free of charge. When an actor gets in a position to select his own roles, he'

Haruo Nakajima At Mad Monster Party Convention

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by Armand Vaquer Above, Armand with Haruo and Sonoe Nakajima. East Coast Godzilla fans are in for a treat! The Mad Monster Party Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina will be hosting Haruo "Mr. Godzilla" Nakajima at the March 22-24, 2013 event. Above, Armand with David Hedison. Other guests include David Hedison ( The Fly , Voyage To The Bottom of the Sea , Live and Let Die , License To Kill ), Linnea Quigley, David Naughton and more.  I will also be on hand for the panel discussions with Mr. Nakajima. The convention will be held at the Blake Hotel in downtown Charlotte. For more information, go to Mad Monster Party.com .