Thursday, August 30, 2007

Mary Shelley was born 210 years ago today!

Mary Shelley, the mother of the mightiest monster of all time, the author who penned a work as immortal as its nameless creature, was born on this date in 1797.
Here is my favorite portrait of Mary. It was the first I ever saw; it was in Don Glut's book The Frankenstein Legend.

I also found a color version of this portrait. Although it is a less detailed photo, it is in color.

By poking around for images of the Monster, I found a startling image in the Flickr photos of one DerrickT. It is a makeup meant to be the closest representation of the "demon" described in the novel. It is an amazing design and fantastic execution!

Since Mary Shelley cannot blow out the candles on her birthday cake anymore, my friend Coffin Ray and I had to do it ourselves.

Check out the Frankensteinia blog for its Mary Shelley birthday greeting!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007


I tried the drinks I posted recipes for yesterday. (Oh, and I had a few Pabst Blue Ribbon chasers.) I awakened to find myself lying in a litter box-- clean, thank god-- wearing an empty Cool Whip container as a sort of fez. I was near the entrance to a small grocery and bait shop just outside Duluth, Minnesota. I have no memory of how I got there.

Boy, was the Voodoo Queen pissed when she had to come and get me! Thankfully Jane had a lot of frequent flier miles, and I can fly in the cargo hold. So we saved on expenses that way.

I wonder if the band ELECTRIC FRANKENSTEIN named this album after the effect you get from a "Frankenstein" and a "Bride of Frankenstein"? Wouldn't surprise me!

Do you remember this TV bartender? I'll bet he served those concoctions all the time.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007


In Seattle, where the Mel Brooks musical "Young Frankenstein" is playing at Paramount Theatre through Sept. 1, there is a nightspot called the Union Station Grill. The Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports that the Grill serves a drink called the "Frankenstein", and they recently shared the recipe at their web site. For all you readers of The Drunken Severed Head, here's recipe reposted, sans any informative news context:


3/4 ounce vodka

3/4 ounce Midori

3/4 ounce ├žuracao

2 ounces orange juice

Splash of grenadine

Fill Collins glass with ice, mix ingredients in martini shaker, pour in Collins glass,
garnish with an orange slice.

What?! You say you need a sequel?


1 ounce Cognac

1 ounce Grand Marnier

1 ounce Hypnotiq

1/4 ounce Blue Curacao

1/4 ounce Midori

Splash of lime juice

Shake, then serve chilled in a martini glass garnished with a slice of lime.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Requiescat in pace, Bat Boy!

THE WEEKLY WORLD NEWS folded this week, sad to say. Back in the 1980s, when I had a late-night talk show on an AM station in Memphis, TN, I would read "news reports" from The National Enquirer and The Weekly World News ("The World's Only Reliable Newspaper").

American Media has suspended publication of both the print and web versions of The Weekly World News.

Its recurring character "Bat Boy" became popular enough to be the subject of his own musical play, which has been produced around the country.

Relevant links:
CD recording of BAT BOY (2001 original cast recording)

Weekly World News website

Friday, August 24, 2007

Frankensteinian News, reported somewhat tardily

First, all the news in science that can be called Frankensteinian:

Artificial living human brains are coming, zombies will need never go hungry

From the website The Register: "Israeli boffins [research scientists-- Max] may be on the road to building artificial, living human brains which can function without a body to support them. Honest.

"According to an article in yesterday's Scientific American, Tel Aviv university researchers led by biophysicist Eshel ben-Jacob have manipulated cultured human brain cells so as to 'imprint persisting multiple memories' on them.

"The research was revealed in a paper published last month by the American Physical Society, titled 'Towards [a] Neuro-memory-chip: Imprinting multiple memories in cultured neural networks'.

"Ben-Jacob and his fellow boffins apparently mounted their artificially-cultured brain tissue on "a polymer panel studded with electrodes." (Won't be long before they start using full-size brains in jars of bubbling transparent fluid, we reckon.) The scientists then injected the hapless culture with 'picrotoxin, a cocktail of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA).'"

To read the rest of the article, go here.

Artificially created life forms coming within a decade

From the Associated Press: "Around the world, a handful of scientists are trying to create life from scratch and they're getting closer.

"Experts expect an announcement within three to 10 years from someone in the now little-known field of "wet artificial life."

To read the rest of the article go here.

Now for news in the arts and entertainment sectors:

The musical play Young Frankenstein had its Off-Broadway opening this week in Seattle. To see brief interviews with the stars of the show, go here.

To the right is actor Shuler Hensley as he appears in the comedy musical. Hensley has previously played The Monster in a serious musical version of Shelley's story-- 2002's Frankenstein:The Musical, which was staged for investors and theatre industry folk only, but which is being revived and will open Off-Broadway on Nov. 1. Shuler Hensley also played The Monster in the 2004 film Van Helsing-- but the less said about that, the better.

To see more photos of Hensley being made up for the role, go to the site where this pic comes from, the website of The Seattle Times.

In other Frankenstein entertainment news
, a GREAT new Frankenstein website has debuted auspiciously. It's a dark and welcoming place I plan to visit often! It's named FRANKENSTEINIA, and I am insane with giddiness that "It's ALIVE!!"


Frankenstein and Dracula

Here's the true story of the fight between Dracula and Frankenstein:

Fight To The Death

Frankenstein Anniversary: Seventy-six years ago today, the Universal classic Frankenstein began shooting. Happy Birthday to one of the most influential horror films ever made. (Dracula , perhaps, follows it in second place for"most influential horror film" status.)

Monday, August 20, 2007

Candidate for "Most Likely To Return From The Dead"

This woman to the right-- a famous cousin to The Jeffersons star Sherman Helmsley [ ;^P]-- will likely have garlic and wolfsbane laid on her grave, rather than flowers.

Read about her extraordinary acts of audacity here.

Photo copyright New York Daily News

Friday, August 17, 2007

Bizarre and grisly news item

I don't normally link to the seamier reports on the subject of severed-headism, but THIS item (found by accident after Googling the name of this blog) was just too strange not to mention:

News item in 2006: Crash site with two bodies and three heads

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Severed head cake

Just the other day, at the store where I work, a man who was a regular customer came up and said he'd seen this blog. He added "I guess you can call me a fan." That amused and bemused me.

My Sitemeter report informs me that someone came to this site after viewing the results of a search for "severed head cake". Perhaps that was the same person who is a fan of this blog. Well, I want to please. So here are some pictures I found on the web some time ago-- and copied to my computer-- of severed head cakes. I don't remember where I found them. (I thought perhaps the Wilton(dot) com site, but failed to find them there tonight. I'd give credit if I could.)


Wednesday, August 15, 2007

The Naked Truth

Because it is in the same park as the tower shown in the previous post, (and because I love well-crafted representations of lovely mammaries), here's a picture of an interesting statue named "The Naked Truth". It is a memorial to three men who lived in St. Louis after the Civil War: Dr. Emil Preetorius, Carl Schurz and Carl Daenzer, all editors of the German-American newspaper, the St. Louis Westliche Post. From the official St. Louis government website:

"A jury selected a design by sculptor Wilhelm Wandschneider of Berlin. Busch was appalled by the jury’s selection and the controversy over the nudity in the statue prompted great debates. The sculptor refused [financial donor Adolphus] Busch’s request that the figure be draped.

"The jury voted 14 to 12 to accept the original design but said the nude figure should be made of a material other than white marble, to de-emphasize the nudity. The figure is made of bronze."

Unrelated to this post or this blog: Today I learned that you can find the naked truth about Wikipedia censoring at this website.

Ghostly lion and fairy tale tower

The last set of photos I want to share are more Grimm than grim, less frightening than fanciful. But here are more photos from St. Louis taken in 2005. At an entrance to Tower Grove Park (where one of the griffin photos comes from) rests this sleeping lion statue, which to my eye looks very ghostly:

After taking the leonine photo, I took pictures of the Compton Hill Water Tower, which looks like Rapunzel's castle:

Monday, August 13, 2007

Ornamental basilisks to die for

The basilisk, besides being the name of a genus of small lizards, is the name of a mythological monster, a reptile with features of a cock (the ROOSTER kind). Its glance and breath were said to be lethal. In 2005 in St. Louis' Central West End, I took some pictures of street lamps fashioned with basilisks. Today I post these. (Yesterday I added more pictures of griffin statues to the August 8th post.)

Don't look too hard-- perhaps it will be fatal!

A special thanks to Raymond Castile for loaning me his camera to take photos of the sights of St. Louis before I moved away.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Frankenstein - Burger King

Frankenstein - Burger King
Originally uploaded by Tomitheos
Why can't all food places have giant monsters like this one? I'd eat a fast food grease bomb just be able to patronize such wacky promotions!

(Click on photo to see larger.)

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Cool photos to ease the heat

This week I am sharing photos of some architectural griffins, ornamental basilisks, a ghostly lion sculpture and a fairy-tale tower that I snapped in St. Louis, Missouri in 2005. St. Louis is being parboiled right now (along with the rest of the Midwest, and the South), and my thoughts are with my friends back there.

Here are some griffin photos to start out with.

All photos copyright Max Cheney 2005.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Frightening Flier Richard Olson and I created

Just to give the drunken severed head gainful employment, I was asked to create a flier for the Universal Monster Army's display at this weekend's Archon sci-fi/fantasy/comic convention, held in the St. Louis metro area. Naturally, I turned to super-talented pal and blog partner Richard Olson for help. Here's what we came up with (somewhat reduced in size, even after you click on the image):

Top photo-- Front

Bottom photo-- Back

Special thanks to Raymond Castile for printing the flier on green paper (to make Frankenstein look ghastly) and for distributing it at Archon.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Art of The Voodoo Queen

The Voodoo Queen (my wife Jane) has taken up her drawing pencils after a very long time away from them. Working from photographs, She* recently completed a portrait of an elderly Christopher and a young Peter Lorre. Here they are for your ocular delectation. **

A photo of the artist is below the portraits.

* The capital S is used on purpose!

** My, what big words I use at this blog!

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Bill Tuttle - King of the Duplicators

A mini-documentary about Bill Tuttle. Unfortunately, the audio portion is not in sync with the video, and races ahead of what is seen onscreen.

Makeup maestro Bill Tuttle dies

The first man to be given an honorary Oscar for achievement in makeup (in 1965; the category of "Best Makeup" was not established until 1981), William Tuttle, has died at age 95. He worked most often for MGM. His credits in horror, fantasy, and otherwise psychotronic films are amazing:

Mark Of The Vampire
The Wizard Of Oz
Angels In The Outfield
The Glass Slipper
Forbidden Planet
Lust For Life
Jailhouse Rock
The World, The Flesh, And The Devil
Tarzan, the Ape Man (1959)
The Time Machine
7 Faces Of Dr. Lao (for which he was given his Oscar)
What's The Matter With Helen?
Young Frankenstein
Logan's Run
Silver Streak
The Fury
Love At First Bite

His television credits included work on the programs One Step Beyond, Twilight Zone, and the television movies Moon Of The Wolf, The Night Strangler and The Phantom Of Hollywood. The photo above is of Tuttle working on Yvette Mimeux during the production of 1960's The Time Machine. Below are photos from 7 Faces Of Dr. Lao, showing Tuttle's work on actor Tony Randall:

Rest in peace, William Tuttle, and thanks for the work that impressed us all.

(A recent photo of Bill Tuttle with makeup artist Tom Savini can be seen here.)

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Monster Mini-Golf: the next big thing?

Want to be your own boss? Want to care for large sculptures coated with phosphorescent paint? Want to hand out little pencils to people for eight to ten hours a day? Want to be stand out and be DIFFERENT in the local Chamber of Commerce meetings? Then YOU should check into THIS opportunity: Monster Mini-Golf!

Even though I'm giving this franchise a free plug, I have no connection to it whatsoever. I just came across their site and thought the idea was a novel one, and made for good fodder here!

The photos I found on Flickr, and were in a photostream set by s_a_r_a_h_k.


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