Saturday, April 26, 2008

Woodland and Cemetery Visit, Part 2

This is an observation tower we found in a park, called North Park, which was located smack dab in the middle of the woods. Naturally, I imagined someone being thrown from the top of it. It sure looks haunted, and I certainly hope that it is. (Click on the photos to enlarge.)

We found an old German Lutheran cemetery. The old headstones and had interesting details and sculpture:

Names seen there were interesting, too.

I could not find "John B" among these graves:

I saw this family name and thought: Not any more! (Apologies to any readers with this appellation.)

The cemetery was open to all comers:

I love the art details sometimes found on gravestones. In the above picture, the engraving at the top resembles, to my mind, two tattooed tadpoles butting heads, with a flower caught between them.

Epitaphs are often interesting-- some are truly sad, and some are bathetic. Many are conventional, but a few are arrestingly original. The lines below are fall somewhere in the middle of these measures, I think:

The lines, badly worn, read "Thou wert a gift of love divine/ Thy genius, grace, and virtue shine/ In light serene/ We hope with thee to dwell/ Till then, Louisa, a dear farewell"

And I'm tired, so I'll say "Farewell" -- until the next post!

Invasion of the Penis Snatchers!

As a severed head, it's hard for me to feel as much sympathy as I should for the "victims" involved, but Reuters News Service reports a wave of "penis snatching" through black magic:


By Joe Bavier

KINSHASA (Reuters) - Police in Congo have arrested 13 suspected sorcerers accused of using black magic to steal or shrink men's penises after a wave of panic and attempted lynchings triggered by the alleged witchcraft.

Reports of so-called penis snatching are not uncommon in West Africa, where belief in traditional religions and witchcraft remains widespread, and where ritual killings to obtain blood or body parts still occur.

Rumors of penis theft began circulating last week in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo's sprawling capital of some 8 million inhabitants. They quickly dominated radio call-in shows, with listeners advised to beware of fellow passengers in communal taxis wearing gold rings.

Purported victims, 14 of whom were also detained by police, claimed that sorcerers simply touched them to make their genitals shrink or disappear, in what some residents said was an attempt to extort cash with the promise of a cure.

"You just have to be accused of that, and people come after you. We've had a number of attempted lynchings. ... You see them covered in marks after being beaten," Kinshasa's police chief, Jean-Dieudonne Oleko, told Reuters on Tuesday.

Police arrested the accused sorcerers and their victims in an effort to avoid the sort of bloodshed seen in Ghana a decade ago, when 12 suspected penis snatchers were beaten to death by angry mobs. The 27 men have since been released.

(Click HERE for the rest of the story)

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Oh, boy! It's Earth Day!

Check out this great commemorative banner by artist Kerry Gammil, and used at the Classic Horror Film Board (click to enlarge):

Used with permission.

Woodland and Cemetery Visit, Part 1

The Queen and I, celebrating the return of warm weather, went to the wild woods and to an old cemetery, just to see what we would see. I've brought back photos to share with you-- photos of weird forms in nature, and pics of old headstones.

We took snaps of various trees and vines with serpentine forms. The entangled forest we walked through fed our imagination with sights of snakes become wood; twisted fallen trees had changed into the form of dying brontosauruses. Tree trunks with bare roots were tentacled creatures.

It was like being a kid again.

I liked what I saw. Hope you do, too:

Friday, April 18, 2008

Ugly love

I loved Topp's "Ugly" stickers as a kid! Chthulhulian creatures and Basil Wolverton and Wally Wood weirdies in garish colors! Fairly common in the latter half of the '60s through the first half of the '70s, I thought they were the coolest. Even had some rubber finger puppet monsters based on the art.

The fact that they put common names on the sticker cracked me up as a kid. Back then, "Max" was anything but a common name. Do I remember wishing that they had one with my moniker on it!

Here are some photos that I found on the 'net; Ebay sales mostly, of my favorite stickers:

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Fewdio--do-dee-o do!

Recently, the old severed head got a pat on the dome from one of the creative talents behind Fewdio Entertainment (a new horror production company in L.A.), one Drew Daywalt. Drew turned my head by telling me that he loved my blog and was a huge fan! (I actually pivoted on the end of my neck!) He also wrote to say that he and the other members of the FE company had "a horror short right up your alley. The first of 15 that we just completed and will be releasing soon."

It's a pretty amusing but pretty gory short called "The Easter Bunny is Eating My Candy", and you can see it here. (Caution: t'aint safe for work or for kiddies.) It reminded me of one the old Night Gallery gag shorts that would appear on the Rod Serling-hosted show of the '70s.

The Fewdio website is still under construction but you can register for updates.

Uncle Lancifer of the Kindertrauma blog had the brilliant idea to ask the folks of Fewdio what scares them, and they responded with some interesting answers, including one that surprised me! I'll never be able to look at construction equipment again in the same way. Recommended reading!

Monday, April 14, 2008

The Voodoo Queen on BLADE RUNNER

My wife, Voodoo Queen Jane, recently attended a revival of the 1982 movie Bladerunner. Below are her thoughts on the event and the film itself.

The Pittsburgh Film Makers media arts center has given me hope. Maybe it’s because we are here in Zombie Town, or maybe it’s something in the water; but the organization regularly shows horror and sci-fi classics! Other theaters seem to follow suit.

I’ve gone to some screenings in town of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
(1920), The Incredible Shrinking Man, The Tingler, and, through PFM, a really fun double feature of Frankenstein and
Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein. [At the Byham Theater; interior seen right-- click to enlarge. Max]

I attended a PFM screening of Blade Runner recently. I’ve seen Blade Runner probably a dozen times, in all of its incarnations. I went with a friend who has never seen the film, which is like going to Disneyworld with someone who has never been there. You get to experience the thrill of a first viewing of a truly great film vicariously.

This time it was the “final cut”. My companion, a twenty-something friend, was not old enough to have seen the original in the theater, with the Sam Spade-like narration, so I had to fill her in on the different versions. The narration was absent in this release, which is to the relief of most film fans. Although not mine-- I always thought it added to the noirish quality of the film.

This screening came with an introduction, by one of the Filmmakers members who loves the film as much as I do. His main admonition to us was to “pay attention to the light.”


The lights went down.

So this will be about light, and often the lack of it, in this case. It’s supposed to be Los Angeles, but there is never any sun.

The interiors are dark as well, the brightest scene in the film is in Tyrell’s place, with the setting sun.

I remember that when I first saw the film, I was dumbstruck by how this future seemed so plausible. It wasn’t the shiny, streamlined future that as a Baby Boomer I grew up with. It was grungy and diverse and hard. I have often felt I would like to spend some time in this dark, neon lit, rainy world.

There was a discussion after the film. Most of us talked at length about the darkness, the constant rain.

We also discussed the plight of the replicants, and I got to speak of the parallels with Frankenstein. One of my favorite scenes is when Roy confronts Dr. Tyrell. He gets to confront his creator, which is a rare thing indeed, as the Monster did with Victor Frankenstein.

And the result is much the same, rage and destruction. But then that is a spoiler I will not divulge, for those like my friend who have not seen the movie.

It was really a joy to share that thought with other fans, and find that a few of them really appreciated the insight.

There are so many things to say about the film, things to love about it. The music, the realistically dingy and diverse sets, the retro clothing styles.

The music is by Vangelis, and it has aged well. It’s very electronic, but not dated. It has an atmospheric international "techno" quality that I love.

My love for the costume work and art direction of this film is deep. The sets, the props, and in particular the clothing with it’s throwbacks to the 40's, but with some very modern fabrics, just fits the neo-noir attitude of the characters so well.

All in all, it was a fantastic opportunity to see a true classic, in my opinion.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Act NOW to meet Jim Warren!

Jim Warren, the founder and publisher of Warren magazines (Famous Monsters, Creepy, Eerie, Vampirella, The Spirit, etc.) is going to appear at the Abington Free Library in Abington, PA on May 4th. That is, if enough people say they are going to be there. Right now, the response is not what the library was hoping for. So contact them today!

Here's all the info you need short of directions to get there:

Comic Magazine Publisher
Sunday, May 4 at 3 p.m.
Abington Free Library, Community Room

Register for this free program:
Library Office, Abington Free Library
1030 Old York Road, Abington, PA 19001

Call 215-885-5180, ext. 15, or email kburnham(at)

Related link:

Jim Warren Event

Often imitated but never equaled leader of the Horror/Science Fiction comics industry, Warren published Famous Monsters, Creepy, Eerie, Vampirella, and Blazing Combat for which he hired the finest illustration artists.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

The King!

I see that news sites are reporting that new photos from the '60s of Elvis Presley have been found; fans are all a-buzz.

But you should click HERE if you want to see the newest photo of Elvis...

In related news, at one "Leyton Orient Message Board", a poster named "Spice Albert" posted the following photo and photo about Elvis:

"For a while during the mid-60s, Elvis gave up music and got a job as a faceless bureaucrat."

Saturday, April 5, 2008


(Previously posted, with a correction: HOW TO CARE FOR YOUR MONSTER)

You can see Geof Smith's ode to Norman Bridwell's classic book for creepy kids not only at the fantastic Frankensteinia site (see my links), but at Geof's interesting blog, The Connoissewer. It covers a range of topics, all with better commentary than you're going to read here at my little corner of the 'Net.

But first-- take a look at some photos of the Bridwell book never before seen on any blog!
(S' far's I know, anyway.)

I have yet to see a copy of this book that is in good shape; it's a sign, I think, that this book was well-loved and often read by its owners.

Friday, April 4, 2008


The above sounds like the title of some sexually-oriented spam that might arrive in my junk e-mail, but it's actually the name of a charming and wonderfully illustrated Scholastic kid's book from 1970-- one I cherished when I was a young 'un. The ever-excellent FRANKENSTEINIA blog has a guest post about the book by writer and children's book editor Geof Smith, who apparently loved the book as much as I did. Click here to read a perceptive, funny, nostalgic appreciation of this classic macabre kid's book.

Then come back here in the days to come, because I'll be adding some illustrations from the book not used in Mr. Smith's post. I'd been independently planning for a while to praise this book myself, but Frankensteinia beat me to it! Well, I couldn't have written as good an appreciation as Mr. Smith, anyway!

Today, I'll show you the cover of a 1988 Scholastic reprint of "How to Care for Your Monster" (offered under their Lucky Star imprint). New art by Bridwell on the cover seemed to promise new art inside, but unfortunately the 1988 edition has tracings of the 1970 illustrations; these lack the edgy, sketchy style of the first edition pictures. (Also, the lines of the original art were printed in olive and black; the lines of the tracings are in black only.)

[Correction, April 7th: I looked over the inside art of my 1988 reprint of "How to Care for Your Monster", and found that the drawings are not tracings of the original pictures, but are are new drawings based on the originals. Most are, however, poorly done compared to the originals.]

Stay tuned to this same channel for more monster art from this merry monster-maintenance manual!

Click on the image above to enlarge. (I love the gag "Sandy or Lord Ashton" on the werewolf's bowl!)

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Live radio interview with the Drunken Severed Head April 12th!

That's right! Internet radio has reached moral and aesthetic rock
bottom, as YOURS TRULY will be a guest on "The NEW Live Show" at
CULT RADIO A-GO-GO on April 12th! In case you want to hear the almost certain disaster that will result-- or if you want to cure your insomnia-- go to this link on Saturday, April 12th at 8:30 p.m. PDT (That's 7:30 p.m AKDT, 9:30 p.m. MDT, 10:30 CDT, 11:30 p.m. EDT, and Sunday April 13th 3:30 UTC/GMT.)

Hosted by Terry and Tiffany Dufoe, Cult Radio A-Go-Go is a 24/7 cult genre internet radio station. CRAGG programming can be heard on both dial-up and broadband, so tune in!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Lost photo of Lugosi Frankenstein test found!

Bela Lugosi, star of the 1931 film DRACULA and a hot new star at Universal studios following the release of that film, was to play the part of the Monster in Universal's FRANKENSTEIN. He was even in some preliminary footage made for the studio.

How he appeared no one living today knows for sure. No footage or pictures have ever turned up. UNTIL NOW! The Drunken Severed Head has uncovered a photo of Lugosi during his FRANKENSTEIN makeup test, and you can see this amazing artifact of cinema history by clicking here.

New Sideshow Movie Figure!

Sideshow Toys, which specializes in figures and collectables for movie and comic book nerds (I am a nerd and proud of it, so don't send hate mail), has announced that they releasing a 1:1 (lifesize) figure of the classic H.G. Wells character, the Invisible Man. Fans of the 1933 film will be pleased! And though the item is expensive, Sideshow has waived its usual shipping and handling charges.

Click on the link below to see this amazing model:

New Invisible Man Figure

Wonderful Wonderblog: Frankenstein View-Master Part II

If you enjoyed Viewmaster reels as a kid, or like dioramas of monster scenes, or are a just a big Frankenstein buff like I am, then head over to "Wonderful Wonderblog" and check out some scans of a Viewmaster Frankenstein reel from 1976. Nicely nostalgic stuff!

Interestingly, most of the scenes included for this toy for children were taken from the novel rather than the famous 1931 film, even though the sculpt of the Monster is a copy of the movie monster. But in this reel the Monster is seen saving the life of Frankenstein's son, rather than taking it, as in Shelly's classic. Viewmaster must have figured parents would be outraged otherwise.

Wonderful Wonderblog: Frankenstein View-Master Part II


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