Thursday, July 29, 2010

A review and interview in THE TWILIGHT ZONE

I may be a severed head with a sobriety challenge, but in many ways I'm a lucky man. For example, people send me free stuff all the time. Like no-budget independent films on dvd-r. These make wonderful shiny coasters for my highballs, and I like having shiny things around. Gotta have something to focus on after the third zombie and I can't see the TV so well.
But I digress. I have gotten some good movies and books for review, and earlier this year I scored a copy of Martin Gram's reference book The Twilight Zone: Unlocking the Door to a Television Classic. A winner of the 2008 Rondo Hatton Classic Horror Award for "Best Book of the Year," it is no longer in my "review" pile or my "giveaway/donate" pile, but on my shelves next to another indispensable reference book on classic genre TV, David J. Schow's The Outer Limits Companion.

I had wondered about the necessity of another reference book on the Twilight Zone series; Marc Scott Zicree's The Twilight Zone Companion is a well-known, well-respected and oft-reprinted tome on Serling's classic series. But Grams has contributed much new information on the show by his own research. This included conducting new interviews with some of TZ's actors and crew members, examining Serling's correspondence with a host of people, and doing other research from original sources such as the show's financial ledgers.

Besides plots, casts, and other facts on each episode, Grams details the costs of each, which surprisingly varied considerably from episode to episode. Importantly, for those readers who already have Zicree's book, Grams gives greater attention to the show's final two seasons of it's five year run, chronicling how Serling increasingly lost influence over the series' production after the third season.
The Twilight Zone: Unlocking the Door to a Television Classic is a book to consult, and/or dip into for a short spell. It isn't a critical review with expressed opinions by the author. Clearly, Grams DOES admire the series and Serling. But the book is a chronological history loaded with info. This makes the book not only scholarly but generally an enjoyable read as well. Sometimes the immense amount of info can be a bit of a slog, but for the most part the trip through the "Zone" is well-worth your time and the price of the book.

The book is most fascinating when it describes Rod Serling's relationships with executives, writers, and other people connected with the show. I particularly enjoyed reading about the friction (and a resultant falling out) between author Ray Bradbury and Serling.

Having been engrossed by The Twilight Zone as a kid, and enjoying it again as an adult, it was a real pleasure to read this informative look at the series. I recommend this book to all fans of The Twilight Zone and classic television. You can buy it here.

So I just had to pose a few questions to Martin Grams to share here. Here's my brief interview:

Why did this book need to be written?

I actually have a rule about not writing a book about a subject that has already been written about. There's been plenty of books written about THE TWILIGHT ZONE but after reading them I discovered there were errors that were being reprinted from one book to another. I realized that while cast and crew were interviewed (repeatedly over the years, I might add), with the exception of interviews, no one actually did any research, but instead they consulted previously published books and reprinted what was already in print. With a vast collection of sixty plus boxes of original Serling materials, I decided to break my rule and do a book that would clear up the mistakes and misunderstandings, set the record straight, and be the kick-butt book that TWILIGHT ZONE fans have been hoping for. Considering the response from fans, the book exceeded their expectations.

What is the first TZ episode you can remember? How did it affect you?

The first I saw was "Escape Clause," followed by "Perchance to Dream" but the third episode, 'Time Enough at Last," was the third and the one that captured me. I remember taking the video cassette to a friend's house and asking him to watch it and he too enjoyed the series. From that day on, I was hooked.

The original Twilight Zone flourished at a time (the late 1950s) of growing disenchantment with the status quo in America, and ended during the rise of the new--if brief-- optimism of the Kennedy years. How were American political and social currents reflected in Serling's Twilight Zone?

You're going to hate me but I won't comment. When I wrote the book, I decided to stick to the facts and leave opinions out, including social comments and the changing of the times. I felt (and still do) that opinions and interpretations are left up to the viewing audience. Only time I broke the rule is if I incorporated it into the plot [summary]. Example: In the plot of "Walking Distance, I always felt it was clever to have Martin Sloan's father give his son the wisdom he needs to accept the fact that he cannot go back to the good ol' days. His father has been dead for years but of all people, the wisdom comes from his father.

The Twilight Zone has been around in one form or another (three television incarnations, a comic book, a theatrical movie, a magazine and a radio series) for almost fifty years. Why has it been able to flourish in so many forms?

The fans. Without them, the series would not be as popular today. Reruns on TV contribute. Very few black and white programs air on TV and without the exposure, even the younger audience would not get into the series. And I do believe anything that exposes the younger crowd to The Twilight Zone will ensure the series' longevity. You have to remember that a large percentage of the fan base grew up with the series when it first aired and today, we're dealing with an aging fan base.

Describe something you discovered about the life of Rod Serling or the events behind the scenes on The Twilight Zone that surprised you.

I was truly surprised by the decisions Rod Serling made to ensure the series was high quality. "To Serve Man," "I Sing the Body Electric" and "The Mighty Casey" were filmed twice and then compiled from two separate filmings (at Serling's expense) to ensure they would not reflect a bad judgment in directing or filming. He also replied to his fan letters up to the third season where he discovered that replying to the letters was time consuming and then had his secretary reply to the letters with generic responses. But to take time to answer the letters personally was impressive when you compare the numerous things he was obligated to do as an Associate Producer. My favorite is the young lady on the East Coast who wanted to come out to California and be on the set to see how set design and art design was applied, as she was majoring in the subject and hoped to have a career in Hollywood. Serling responded personally in a letter with his personal phone number, telling her that he discussed this with his crew and when she arrives to call him so he can arrange for her to visit the set.

Could Serling thrive as a writer today?

Oh definitely. While we all might think it would be cool for Serling to have his own anthology again, the networks might not consider giving him carte blanche as it's extremely rare. But with the limits and restraints of network television more relaxed than years prior, I suspect he'd have the ultimate TV anthology today if he was still around.

Martin Grams Jr. is an expert on classic radio and television, and is the author of the books Suspense: Twenty Years of Thrills and Chills, Inner Sanctum Mysteries: Behind the Creaking Door , and The Alfred Hitchcock Presents Companion, among others. My thanks to him for sharing his time with The Drunken Severed Head.

Above: Rod Serling with what appears to be a terminal case of "arrow through the head."

Relevant links: Other reviews of The Twilight Zone: Unlocking the Door to a Television Classic appear here and here.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Hey! Where'd everybody go?

This blog is now NOT on hiatus, lo-atus, or any other atus. I'll catch you up on the l'atus about me soon!

I think the gals in my new banner have been drinking... probably that crystal clear beverage distilled from potatus...

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

"A dyslexic walks into a bra..." an old joke.

But there is a bar-related bra every red-blooded straight man and lesbian woman, dyslexic or not, might want to walk smack into:

Looking rather like a human hookah, this model is showing off the new bra called "the Wine Rack" that holds a whole bottle of wine and inflates a gal's upper figure up to two cup sizes!

Isn't technology amazing? Although it seems to lack the double frontal nozzles for sharing the wine with a friend, it is still a big step forward in party apparel progress!

Click here to read more about it, and here to order one!

Friday, July 16, 2010


Some of the posts I'll be making over the next few days will be about the Famous Monsters Convention that the Voodoo Queen and I just attended-- because we're jazzed about it, as both spectators and volunteers.

In a previous post, Famous Monsters Convene-- and SUCK!, I posted about vampires I saw at the con. I meant to include a picture of the Son of Dracula-- I met him there!
Above is Bela G. Lugosi, the sole son of screen star Bela "Dracula" Lugosi. In front of a banner featuring the vampiric visage of his dad (as rendered by the famous monster artist, Basil Gogos), he meets the new publisher of FM, Phillip Kim. Bela brought bottles of his new line of "Bela Lugosi Wines" with him for the winners of the first "Famous Monsters Lifetime Achievement Awards." (More on that in another post.) Jane and I talked with Bela and his wife in the con's green room about the wine. Jane asked if he would be marketing an Egri Bikaver ( or "Bull's Blood"--Hungary's most famous red wine), which was his father's favorite. Bela G.'s eyes got as big as saucers, and he asked us with a smile, "How did you know about that?" I said, "We're big fans of your father's--we know these things!" (Which sounded a bit egotistical, but I didn't mean it that way.)

Anyway--now here's where the "To Catch a Thief" part comes in. Sadly, someone stole that banner on the Saturday night/Sunday morning of the convention. But the doofus was caught on tape-- and if you know who the guy in this video is, please contact me or the FM site.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Wm. Forsythe, FM and me: Hot summer/ cool movie

Recently I was approached by TDSH reader Brenda Hineman about the idea of doing a guest post. She suggested a post on We All Scream For Ice Cream, a movie starring William Forsythe. She didn't enjoy Forsythe's performance as much as I did (he's great!), and I enjoyed the direction by Tom Holland and script by David J. Schow very much. But everyone's mileage will vary.

So this past weekend I chatted with William Forsythe at the FAMOUS MONSTERS CONVENTION! We talked about his best roles where he wasn't a bad guy. He was very gracious and warm. He even let me get a picture with him gratis:

Well, since serendipity's beckoned I'm heeding the call. Brenda's guest post follows my pic of my pick for "Top Ten List of Nicest Guys Least Like Their Screen Personas."

We All Scream for Ice Cream (2007)

Stop into any Dairy Queen and you can get Buster bar for a couple of bucks, tops. When the kids in the Masters of Horror episode of We All Scream for Ice Cream get a Buster bar, however, they wind up paying a much higher price. But I'm getting a little ahead of myself.

The basic premise of We All Scream for Ice Cream is this. William Forsythe (The Devil's Rejects) plays a mentally challenged man who turns his disability into an advantage by dressing up as Buster the Clown and selling ice cream to kids from the Cheery Tyme truck. He does other tricks and is generally a highlight of most kids' day. Of course, some kids have to go and wreck everything. And in a prank gone wrong, a local pack of kids release the parking brake on Buster's truck when he's behind it and it crushes him.

Fast forward about 20 years when a couple members of the old gang have been killed in a most mysterious fashion, leaving behind nothing but their clothes and a big pile of goo. Of course, for some reason, nobody ever seems to talk about the goo at the crime.

At night, Buster returns in his Cheery Tyme truck to deliver ice cream to all the kids of the gang who killed him. And they come from their beds like zombies with quarters in hands to get Buster's voodoo doll ice cream cones. As soon as a kid takes a bite, their dad turns into a big pile of goo and clothes.

We All Scream for Ice Cream has all the makings of great horror: Evil clowns, zombie children, and voodoo ice cream! Sure, it's on the campy, cheesy, cliche side of horror, but most good horror has moments that make you say, "That is so corny. No one would ever do that!"

If you don't mind low-budget horror flicks with mediocre acting, We All Scream for Ice Cream is worth checking out. Of course if you LOVE low-budget horror flicks with mediocre acting, We All Scream for Ice Cream is a can't miss! If you don't get anything else from this movie, hearing Forsythe's voice say, "You were the first to call me by my name, so yours is free" over and over again will be enough to haunt you long after the credits have stopped rolling.

Brenda Hineman is a horror movie aficionado. When she's not watching zombies and slashers, she writes about Halloween costumes at

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

FM Convention promo with Mark Redfield!

My friend Mark Redfield, the actor (Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, The Death of Poe) and I were seen in a local news video the opening day of the Famous Monsters con. It was shot around 7:00 a.m., long before the convention opened. I was amazed at how smooth Mark was after having gotten very little sleep the night before. But here, see for yourself:

I'm even seen at the end. (I was there only because I had my android body on and had volunteered to help drive people over to the TV station.)

Mark is an amazing talent. He acts, directs and writes-- and paints cartoons! It's a fresh way to do cartoon work-- most are drawn and inked, or painted by airbrush. Or, increasingly, colored with a computer program. I don't see anyone cartooning with paint and brush, and I like what Mark is doing. Here's a link to more of his stuff.

I love my new blog banner-- and it's by Mark (with text and a wee bit o' modification by me.) I am very proud to feature it.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Famous Monsters Convene-- And SUCK!

Some of my best friends are monsters, and I was anxious that the Famous Monsters of Filmland convention this past weekend would be of a high enough caliber for them to want to attend this inaugural gathering in Indianapolis named in their honor.

I had nothing to worry about, as I realized as soon as I got to the hotel:

Godzilla (or maybe it's Gigantis?) and King Kong are very famous monsters, and very BIG celebrities in filmland! (Hey-- G-fest, the Godzilla convention, was taking place the same weekend near Chicago! And with it and a Twilight con happening at the same days in Indy, I was surprised at how well-attended the FMOF event was.)

There was some real suckage at this show, though-- because vampires were there:

This vampirette was the first monster I saw hanging around. (She was in bat form at the time.) She didn't glitter in the daylight, so I knew why she was here-- she wanted to see REAL vampires! And though I wished she would have sucked my neck, the convention certainly didn't suck. Jane and I have been to many cons and this was one of our top con experiences.

Another famous figure of folklore that attended was also a fanger-- Santa Claus!

Who knew Kris Kringle was a blood drinker? But there he was, aroused with blood lust!

Sunlight may trouble nosferatu folk, but camera flashes apparently don't:

He gave this devilette the coolest present of all-- eternal life-in-death!

Sadly, the police later had to be called to the convention. Seems Santa Claus (or Claws, as the case may be) started an altercation when he altered the daughter of the mayor! The mayor of Indianapolis was there to officially kick off the con, and one simply doesn't mess with the city's main man when the police are present. I was happy no children were present to see this sad sight:

Thankfully, though St. Nick was nicked, his lead elf stayed behind to meet and greet fans and celebrities like Tony Todd:

Okay, okay, okay-- I can hear you scoffing right through the monitor! So that MAY not have been Santa but instead actor Sal Lizard (The Box), posing for the photo with two cooperative policemen, and the elf MAY be actor and stunt man Ed Gale (The Polar Express, many others.)

Had there been any children present when Santa had the cuffs slapped on, I'm sure the sight of a circus clown would have calmed the little buggers--I mean darlings--down:

It calmed me down-- I fainted when I saw him!

In the next day or two or three, I'll share the REAL poop about the convention, describing what I saw and did, heard about, etc. And share LOTS more pics! Keep checkin' in!


Now home after spending four days in Indianapolis at the Famous Monsters of Filmland convention. Tomorrow I'll be posting pics and memories.

I was among friends, all of whom were eager to learn about the care and feeding of a drunken severed head:

Famous Monsters magazine editor Jessie Lilley was there to see no severed heads were abused during this event, and here she is helping my friends Ray, Rich and Gus see to it I was properly sloshed-- I mean hydrated. No-- I mean HIGHdrated!

BTW, the baggie on the table is filled with homemade cookies I brought to share-- I brought five dozen in all. I knew I'd see a lot of friends and that the staff would want munchies. They seemed to go over well.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Here at the FM con hotel

I'm here now in Indianapolis, and I'm surprised how large the FAMOUS MONSTERS convention is going to be. If I understand correctly, the Mayor of Indy is cutting a ribbon for it, the local TV stations are all coming out, lotsa vendors and 96 guests! For a first time show, this is very impressive.

Got here last night, and already I've sat and drank with Joe Pilato from DAY OF THE DEAD, and we talked over what's scary in films. Happy to report he's a big fan of Universal horrors (SON OF FRANKENSTEIN and DRACULA in particular and the silent NOSFERATU. Loves black and white films, and prefers horror films that create "dread" rather than "disgust." Another horror film he mentioned as scaring him was THE OMEN. A really engaging, passionate, easy to talk to guy!

Also discovered I'll be helping with THREE panels! Wow!


Wednesday, July 7, 2010

A PREVIEW OF FM 251 - Part 2

[Part 2 of my exclusive sneak peek at the "new" Famous Monsters magazine. It's jam-packed with stuff! Films! TV! Art! Fiction! Ray Bradbury would be proud of the enthusiasm on display! I'm enthused too! This FM will be educational for youthful readers like the old FM, and I believe make more "normal" adults into horror film geeks like me! Mwah ha ha ha!...Here's the rest of the articles not previewed in Part 1.]


This look by April Snelling at upcoming releases from Dark Sky Films is an FM exclusive, with photos that won't be seen elsewhere. So I can't post 'em here!

Dark Sky Films was created six years ago by MPI, one of the first and largest home video distributors in the world. Dark Sky is the dvd arm of MPI, succeeding the old Gorgon Video. Dark Sky, has released a number of lesser known or forgotten genre indies like the 1964 schlocker Horror of Party Beach, Horror Hospital, the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre and others. Now they're expanding into production, teaming with indie company Glass Eye Pix. Famous Monsters 251 gives us a look at their upcoming Creature From the Black Lagoon-inspired film Hypothermia, old school-slasher Hatchet 2, and a vampire road movie, Stakeland.

RAY BRADBURY: Interview by Steve Weintz

In this interview Bradbury describes friendships with many famous people, talks of his love for the great genre art of Hannes Bok, and recounts his experiences writing musical versions of his stories. It's very touching to see that the old master of dark fantasy and sci-fi is just as enthusiastic at age 89 as ever. The interview is followed by--


An exclusive NEW story by Ray Bradbury! (This is a major coup for the magazine, IMHO.) It's a short-short that in just one examples explores the emotional importance of imagination, a theme Bradbury never fails to find some new way of expressing.


This article by Joe Nazzaro at the hit TV series (and my wife's favorite show) is sure to please the fans of the series' bayou bloodsuckers. It begins with a look at the special fx and makeup for the series, Also included is Dark Times in Bon Temps: An Interview with Charlaine Harris by Jeff Marriette, and Almost True Confessions: Season Three Teasers from TRUE BLOOD’s Alexander Woo, by April Snellings. Color the fans blood red with happiness.

A modest Bridgette Helm proves to be too far away from Rotwang's hand in this shot from METROPOLIS.


An examination by David A. Nalmod of the life and work of Karl Freund, the great cinematographer and director who worked on many German silent classics like Metropolis. He also shot or directed important American horror films like Dracula and The Mummy.

Yay! Black and white photography! Gothic film classicism! Now I'm happier than ever! Toss the fantastic film monsters of yore into a mag and I'm beyond pleased, I'm ecstatic! Woo hoo!

See more of this banana-peel ghoul in Famous Monsters #251.


FM Editor Jessie Lilley examines the entries in this popular Resident Evil film series (based on the equally-popular video game), and tells us what to expect from the next chapter, Resident Evil: Afterlife. Some surprises and nice photos. Also includes some surprising history on 3D films and clears up misconceptions about the stereoscopic process. Informative-- and now I want to see more of this series.


This auspicious "debut" issue of the revived magazine made famous by Forry ends movingly. Showcasing nearly 50 beautiful, informative and even funny tributes to FM's First Deaditor by fans of "Uncle 4E" and the original incarnation of Famous Monsters, these contributions come from young and old fans from all walks of life. (I also sent in a piece as well for the section, but I believe I sent it too late to be considered-- darn!) You'll smile at these touching remembrances.

As very classy coda to an impressive new beginning for Famous Monsters of Filmland. As Dracula (or even Ackula) might say, "I wish it every suck-cess."

Somewhere, somehow, I hope that Forrest J Ackerman is reading issue 251 of "Famous Monsters 3.0" and grinning from ear to eternity...

Tuesday, July 6, 2010


As you know, o loyal TDSH reader, I'm very excited about the re-birth of a venerable brand in horror fandom-- Famous Monsters of Filmland.

It's returned as a website and is on the verge of of its latest magazine incarnation. I've seen issue #251, the official launch issue for the revived rag (and I say "rag" with affection; mummies wear rags!), and I was very encouraged by what I saw! Makes me wanna roll around in a happy frenzy! (But I live in a house with no AC, so I'm staying as still and cool as I can.) Here's a preview of the premiere issue of the new Famous Monsters, which officially debuts this Friday.

The issue begins with an inside cover greeting from the late Forrest J Ackerman titled "Welcome back, monster lovers!" One of the last things Forry wrote-- he knew he was in his last days when composed it--it's funny, upbeat and moving. He tells us the pages are printed with glue instead of ink: "You have taken your fingers off of your computer keyboards long enough to get them stuck to this magazine!"

Right: Forry's Final Formal Foto


Then we see a feature titled "Opening Wounds" where publisher Phil Kim and Editor-in-Chief Michael Heisler address the readers. Phil Kim:

"Even those who never had the fortune to enjoy Famous Monsters of Filmland in its heyday unknowingly benefited from its impact on pop culture...Our mission has not changed much from 1958 which is to be a conduit for undiscovered talent and future giants while never forgetting the history and people that brought us here."

Michael Heisler: "For fans old and new, our challenge is to fire up that enthusiasm once again – not only for the movies that we love, but for imaginative flights in all their forms. There will never be another Forry Ackerman, but the spirit he awakened will always be with us, and you’ll always find it here."


The issue begins with scholarly article by Robert Aragon, "The Importance of Fear." It's a history of images of death and the macabre in Western culture, as presented in paintings and literature as far back as the 13th Century, and continuing into the horror films of the 20th.. It's a surprisingly serious opening, but it sets up vividly how Famous Monsters will celebrate Michael Heisler's " imaginative flights in all their forms." It's a choice that no doubt will bring respect for the magazine's gravitas; I hope it doesn't make younger, casual skimmers of the magazine in stores think that Famous Monsters is going to be all about the past. But is a very fine read, richly illustrated.


The next two articles kick the magazine into high monster mode!

Like the original PREDATOR movie? Looking forward to the coming sequel with Adrien Brody and Larry Fishburne? The next two articles will make you happy. The first one ( by Jenna Busch) is a detailed preview of what the latest Predator followup is all about, with quotes from sfx master and Predator designer Greg Nicotero, as well as actors Derek Mears and Carey Jones. Production stills and pictures of concept art provide visuals.

The second PREDATOR article looks at the original 1984 film that was both a great action movie and thrilling horror film. Written by Steve Buncho, it's a great reminder why you should re-watch this classic with Schwarzenegger battling monsters instead of California legislators he fights today.

DINOSAURS, BLUES, AND ROCK 'N' ROLL: An Interview with William Stout

FM Editor Jessie Lilley has an in-depth conversation with famous artist, illustrator, and film production designer William Stout. Man oh man, it is so well illustrated with Stout's art that by itself, this article makes this debut issue of FM a must buy. And Stout talks not only about films he worked on such as Return of the Living Dead, but also on a Godzilla film he started work on that never saw completion.

Not in FM #251 and the issue is better for it: Wm. Stout meets The Drunken Severed Head at Wonderfest, 2010.

Link to Part 2.

Related post on the new FM: O lucky monster-lovin' me!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

An Ackermansion book is coming!

From the Classic Horror Film Board comes this bit of good news for Boomer-age Monster Kids and those Gen Xers who knew of Famous Monsters magazine and the Ackermansion:


HOUSE OF ACKERMAN, 142 pages (8.25 by 10.5 inches) in FULL COLOR, presents a faithful representation of what it was like to tour any of Forrest J Ackerman's three primary "Ackermansions, " filled to the max with horror, science fiction and fantasy memorabilia. This is primarily a photo book with relevant text. As you enter each of the rooms, photos displayed show exactly what fans would see. As you descend down a staircase, photos show what you saw while climbing down that stairwell. The book is printed on extra thick white opaque stock that makes the photo reproductions POP.

For fans, not only of Forry Ackerman, but for fans of his memorabilia collection, this is the ultimate collector's guide. The book sells for $35 plus shipping and is ready to ship today. Check out our website to see some examples of the interior design and photos used.

For any Monster Kid who Walks Among Us, HOUSE OF ACKERMAN is essential. We accept all credit cards, money orders and PayPal.

We at Midnight Marquee Press feel very proud to be presenting this labor of love, created by Al Astrella and James Greene.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

O lucky monster-lovin' me!

Being at the right place at the right time, I was the very FIRST person (outside of Famous Monsters staff and the printer) to see a printed copy of issue #251! Phil Kim slid it out of the shipping box he had just received it in, and gave the honor of getting the first gander at it. I felt pretty lucky.

Issue #250 is is a fun and nostalgic issue, a transitional publication between old and new. It has the same graphic design, style and fonts as traditional FM, it's wonderful tribute to the man most responsible for making FM a cherished part of so many childhoods, Forrest J Ackerman.

Issue #251, however, points to a debut of an FM meant for both older kids and adults, and with much more content. Much heavier- and better-- paper than than FM has ever enjoyed before, with a heavy cardstock cover and a far greater number of pages. As someone who loves the original FM, I was nervous about how FM 3.0 would turn out, but I liked what I saw and am looking forward to future issues.

The Rich Corben cover is far more detailed than I thought from seeing on the internet. And thanks to editor Michael Heisler, who pointed out to me that the name "Famous Monsters" isn't a name of the utmost seriousness, but something whimsical, I realized that the Corben cover was a good inaugural image for establishing the tone of the magazine. The nosferatu-with-a-cute-rat image has been criticized by some (me included), but the slightly goofy look is just about right. It says "This is going to be FUN." That's the tone I've always striven for with my blog-- so I'm surprised I didn't "get it" sooner! (I've always been proud of the fact that the site Cool Ass Cinema has compared my blog to to the original Famous Monsters, but with "an adult-oriented sense of humor.")

I'm looking forward to reading this magazine, which I know will be featuring some top-notch artists and writers-- I talked to some of them at the Monster Bash convention!-- but who some of them are you'll just have to wait to find out. I see FM introducing some strong talent to monster kid readers, and that the list of names in future Rondo nominations for Best Article, Best Cover and Best Pro Artist will be an expanded one.

Sorry to sound like a commercial, but I am very happy with what I saw and want to share my excitement. Forgive me if you see this cross-post elsewhere.

For MORE on what I saw and did at this same event, visit this thread at the Universal Monster Army. And more more info on the coming FAMOUS MONSTERS convention (July 9th-11th), see the post just prior to this one.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Famous Monsters gather together!

From the Famous Monsters Noose Department:

With only about a week until monsters and mayhem take over Indianapolis, IN for the Famous Monsters Convention, FM is proud to announce some new additions to the guest lineup. Veteran horror actress Danielle Harris (the Halloween franchise) will be on hand at FM Con. Besides appearing in Halloween 4 and 5 as Jamie Lloyd, and in the Halloween reboot as the ill-fated Annie Brackett, Danielle will soon appear in the films Hatchet II and Stake Land (both of which will be covered in the upcoming FM #251) as well as William Forsythe directed vampire flick New Blood.

Real-life paranormal investigators and Ghost Hunters International alumni Shannon Sylvia and Brian Joseph Harnois will also be making an appearance, as will Michael Nicolosi, voice of the fan favorite character Clown on HBO's 1997-1999 Spawn animated series.

Harry Knowles, Steve "Capone" Prokopy and Jarrell Jay "Father Geek" Knowles of movie megasite Ain't It Cool News will be among the attendees. Harry's nephew, who played The Kid Zombie from the movie Pathogen will be in attendance and it will be his first con. (It's a time-honored male rite of passage!)

Above right: FM Con guest HARRY KNOWLES sees Max the Drunken Severed Head for the first time.

Unfortunately, due to scheduling conflicts, actresses Margot Kidder, Lori Cardille, and Kim Myers will be unable to make the convention. We here at FM wish them the best and hope to see them next year.

The city of Indianapolis has shown Famous Monsters great affection spearheaded by the mayor, who will be performing the ribbon cutting ceremony to start this year's FMCon. Guests will be arriving Thursday and into Friday afternoon escorted by a police motorcade from the airport to the Wyndham Hotel. Want to be on TV? Come to the Wyndham at 6:30, 7:40, and 8:40 AM Friday July 9th. The local morning show on FOX TV will be at the convention before it opens to air three live segments to kick off the con.

At the convention you will have the opportunity to register to win door prizes from Sideshow Collectibles all throughout the weekend.

Don't forget, it's not too late to avoid lines at the ticket booth. Preorder your FM Con tickets from today!

"When there's no more room in Hell, the dead will walk Indianapolis."

Thursday, July 1, 2010

VAMPIRA article resurrected!

Thanks to the kindness of my friend Fritz of the Headless Hearseman site, I can share scans of a 1955 "People Today" article about the new TV sensation, Vampira! (In real life, Vampira was actress Maila Nurmi.) Enjoy this contemporary look at the boob tube's first horror hostess ever-- I think you'll learn a few details about Ms. Nurmi you didn't know before (I did, anyway!):

Above: Mara Corday of TARANTULA, etc. fame.

Thanks to friend Elizabeth Haney, for pointing out that Maila's niece has a Facebook page! There she shares some of her aunt's artwork, prints of which (witch?) will soon be available!!/album.php?aid=167661&id=42296997567


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