Monday, January 31, 2011

A war of D words

The "D words," class, are "dick," and "decadent."

I've never opened a post with a synonym for penis* before, but I was pushed into it.

In my "zombies versus vampires battle" with Melissa Castro of the swooning Edge of Forever blog (over which monster is best), Melissa has tossed out the first dick joke. And one without a punchline, I might add. Let's call it "high concept." (Which really means "low brow," which I suppose is appropriate since she's talking to me.)

I'm surprised she didn't run this cartoon. I guess she's too delicate to do any hard googling. Probably has a case of the vapors whenever she sees a photo of Grandpa Munster. ;)

Melissa is of the opinion that vampires are victorious over zombies in the zeitgeist.

Sigh. Her critical abilities must be headed downhill! And speaking of decline, we have our next "D word" to consider--"decadence." (A favorite word of vampire fans.) According to the dictionary, "decadence" is synonymous with "decline."

If you are in any doubt that the monstrous power of the vampire is in decline, take a look at Exhibits A through D:

Has anyone ever seen Romero-style zombies in candy colors marketed to little kids?


No, I didn't think so. Vampires, you should pardon the expression, are long in the tooth!.

But I have to feel sorry for Ms. Castro. (I just realized that this is a "Cheney vs. Castro" war! OMG, the apt strangeness of that.) Her mental acuity is clearly hampered, and therefore her opinions aren't really a fair target. She keeps referring to me and my blog as "Severed Drunken Head," which indicates a poor memory at the very least. Possibly dain bramage.

Well, I guess she's never noticed that "Melissa" is just "lame sis" rearranged.

Really, can she argue that ANY vampire has rocked it as well as THIS zombie:

Can she show a vampire face as scary as THESE?

The answer is no.

: Max and the zombies 3, Melissa and the hemoglobin gulpers 1. (I'll give her "one" just for the ever-lastin' vampiric image of Bela Lugosi, a really cool ghoul.)

* Willie, weiner, schlong, dong, and johnson! (Sounds like a law firm--which we all know are run by bloodsuckers, not flesh eaters!)

**But might as well be!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

It's WAR!

I've just had a gauntlet slapped across my face, my friends.

You see, this blogger, Melissa, of Edge of Forever, wrote to tell me that this Psychology Today article proves zombies are merely "posers" in monster pop culture. She feels zombies are mere diversions from the enduring symbolic power of vampires-- and adds these links to further her argument.

Lotta gas and shiny ideas with no weight, says me.

Yeah, okay, vampires are cool monsters, sure. They deserve the same respect that all senior citizens deserve. But c'mon. ZOMBIES are today. Zombies look you in the eye and they are in your face. Vampires, when they aren't moping, are on your neck. (Kinda like my boss at work.)

Melissa has posted that zombies are "media whores." (That's it, she's crossed a line!) She has also challenged me (representing Pittsburgh, the zombie capital of the world) to a battle of wits! (Why would she pick on an unarmed man?)

Hah. I'll show her! She doesn't fight with just me, she fights with all my zombie-loving readers. (My friends who are vampire chauvinists please sit on the sidelines.) So let's dump out the big bag o' snark hammers and administer some lumps.

Off the top of my severed head I can name half-o'-dozen reasons why zombies are better...

Six Reasons Why Zombies Are Superior to Vampires

1. Zombies
EAT. Vampires suck.

Really, can a vampire defeat a zombie when all it subsists on is a liquid diet?

2. Zombies, being mindless or nearly so, are immune to a vampire's hypnotic powers.

Let's see Dracula wiggle his fingers and enthrall a zombie! Not gonna happen.

3. Zombies can attack in the daytime.

A vampire in his coffin during the daylight hours would be just one more source of brain food for a zombie. Zombies don't even need sunblock.

4. Zombies aren't fussy about their appearance.

Vampires worry about having clothes that will give them a look of dapper decadence, which is SO 19th century.)

5. Zombies don't sparkle.

You'll never see a zombie called "cute", "twee", or "emo", either.

6. Zombies accept themselves as they are.

Zombies are proud and are always trying to kick ass. Vampires are often ashamed and are often trying to kick the habit.

Okay, readers, this is where YOU come in. (You got my back, right? Back o' my head, anyway...) You can add to these six reasons in "comments" until we overwhelm and CRUSH this silly "oooh, vampires are just the bestest" mindset! Make Melissa surrender!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Cosplay ball!

I got sent an ad by Spirit, the Halloween division of Spencer's Gifts. I was amazed to see them trying to sell COSTUMES to people pumped up by the coming Super Bowl. So I copied photos of their ad to share here. (Here's a link to that page.) Anything that spreads the festivity and masquerade of Halloween or Mardi Gras to other days is a good thing!

Maybe THIS isn't such a bad jack o' lantern as I thought back in 2007:

Friday, January 28, 2011


In late 2009 an eminent film expert wrote the following article about the rumored, suppressed COLOR version of the black-and-white sci-fi classic Quatermass 2 (known here in the U.S. as Enemy From Space.) The author sent it (and the accompanying photos with it) to me first, along with a request for my editing comments. He wanted it to be shared here at TDSH. However, he then went ahead and posted it elsewhere without heeding the editing suggestions of myself and a noted script writer that I had shared it with.

Originally a highly detailed but rambling, almost novella-length history of the film production, I adapted it for use here, shortening it with the written and verbal permission of the author, who subsequently wanted me to credit him as "Joe Btslftyk."
(Now working as a prominent parodist, Joe is currently living in the far, steamy regions of Hollywoodland, USA.) If you saw the longer version elsewhere, I'd like to know what you think of this post; I think of it as the "feature" versus "serial" version. (BTW, "Joe" has seen this intro and laughed.)

I'm running it now because I've been on a Hammer dvd bender lately, and ran into a young Hammer fan at a dvd store today, so I thought I'd offer a Hammer-related post for a change.

Warning: There are some NSFW photos found in this post. Don't scroll down if bare breasts offend you.

* * * *

Hammer Films' top-secret color version of Quatermass 2.

* * * *
Quatermass 2, a/k/a Enemy from Space, is a fine example of 1950s science fiction, with intelligent dialogue, brisk action, atmospheric music and eerie photography. It's especially admired for its moody, low-key, black and white photography.

Weirdly, no one ever comments that Enemy from Space was originally shot in color!

“Nobody ever asked,” chuckled director Val Guest in retirement in Palm Springs, when questioned in 2006.

The highly-praised look of Quatermass 2 was entirely accidental. The “moody” imagery of the film was predominantly the result of the film being printed colorless. As color release prints were three times more expensive as black and white then, producers often saw their color productions tossed away as black and white second-features, as happened to films like The Vulture, Dr. Blood's Coffin, and Hammer's remake of The Old Dark House, directed by William Castle. But the strange Q 2 saga involved more than simple distributor cheapness.

Even today, most fans do not realize what they are seeing is only a gray shadow of the original brilliant visual feast. Now, with the sole color negative of Enemy From Space digitally transferred to tape for the first time and frame captures available, the entire unbelievable story can be told.
* * * *

Quatermass 2/Enemy from Space was shot in the AnscoColor process, developed by the German company Agfa. In 1957, the AnscoColor palate was limited compared to the more lush Technicolor or Eastmancolor processes, but was less expensive. Hammer was pleased with the color dailies of their sequel to their hit The Quatermass Xperiment, but not writer Nigel Kneale. "Hammer always degraded great works, adding unnecessary nonsense, like their remaking Nosferatu with dialogue and music", said Kneale. "It was perfectly fine without it, in my opinion. And Frankenstein? Well, Christopher Lee is certainly no Charles Ogle!”

“The key is, I wasn't writing science fiction,” explained Kneale. “I can scarcely bear to watch that cheapjack nonsense about body-snatching vegetable things from forbidden planets. My work is serious. When we did special effects at the BBC, we did them the proper way, where you could bloody well tell they were miniatures the moment you looked at them. The viewer knows they're just little toy rockets and things, and forgets about them. That way, those shots don't get in the way of the drama.”

Kneale's vitriol not withstanding, preliminary promotional materials pushed the color aspect, although the Agfa advertising catchphrase was perhaps ill-advised: “AnscoColor-- It's Just As Good.” (Which replaced an even more ill-advised motto: "AnscoColor by Agfa--They had hardly anything to do with the Nazi war effort.") Plus, Donlevy's name was continuously misspelled on the early posters.

As was commonplace in the 1950s, Hammer filmed a racier “Continental" version. Nigel Kneale objected that it was entirely out of place-- not to mention far too colorful-- to have a topless waitress in a village pub. Hammer studios head James Carreras treated Kneale's objection seriously, sending the writer an explanatory telegram: “Rest assured there will be no trace of colour whatsoever in the nude scenes, which will be handled with the utmost taste.” Carreras then told Val Guest to carry on exactly as planned.

Focal point in the publicity was 22-year-old pin-up Vera Day, Day's topless scene was reportedly a highpoint in the sole public screening in Berlin, on April 1, 1957. “One might not think twice about a topless barmaid today,” mused Guest. “Maybe we started a trend. I never understood his problems with that. It's not as if we painted her blue and green. Her color was quite natural. Rather like Forrest Tucker, really."

Stateside, distributor United Artists killed the Vera Day campaign, dooming her nude scene to film-vault obscurity. Though she would go on to classics such as Them Nice Americans and Watch It, Sailor, she never again played another topless barmaid in a color science fiction film.

Then Agfa pulled its trump card. With possession of the original AnscoColor negative in their Argentine facility, they insisted Hammer cede the Sudentenland and arrange for unification of East Germany with West Germany under the joint control of Gert Frobe and Curt Jurgens.

But cinematographer Gerald Gibbs came to the rescue. He had secretly ordered a dupe negative struck and vaulted. It was monochrome, but this protection saved the day. The studio ignored Agfa's coercive demand, and the Agfa logo was wiped from the credits and the posters.

James Carreras put an effusively optimistic spin on the whole affair in a press release: “Our new film is going into cinemas in old-fashioned British black and white, as colorless as a typical day in England." From that point on, no one mentioned color, forbidden by the Official Secrets Act.

The debacle pleased only Nigel Kneale. “That's why I can only bear Hammer's last movie of the three, because it's in black and white,” he said late in life. Informed that Quatermass and the Pit (Five Million Miles to Earth in the U.S.) was indeed shot and released in color, Kneale disagreed. “I saw it on the telly, and Brain Donlevy was in black and white. I'm 80 years old. Don't give me any rubbish.”

Another newly-uncovered Hammer film secret is the fact that actor Brian Donlevy returned to his signature role in the third entry in the series, the color film Quatermass and the Pit, with newcomer Ingrid Pitt in the titular role. Unfortunately, three days into production, Peter Cushing's wife Helen became desperately ill, and Donlevy was replaced.

But that is another story.

[An amazing story, eh kids? How unfortunate that Donlevy left the production-- but he did, and his shoes were filled by Andrew Keir and several layers of Dr. Scholl's inserts.-- Max]

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

More links, awards, votes, etc. etc.

The image below has nothing to do with this post, but this entry needed some cool pics, so I put one up top and two at the bottom!

So this post is a continuation of my last post. I left off noting that The Cobwebbed Room gave me a "You make me SCREAM" award. Thank you, Paul! This image badge-and-compliment was created by Memoirs of a Scream Queen.

There are usually rules with these things, like linking to other blogs and passing on the award. Seems's only fair--highlights more blogs and bloggers. Helps both bloggers and readers. Combination of a chain letter and an "attaboy!" (Or an attagrrl/girl/ghoul, as the case may be.)

For the hell of it, I created my own "award," and I dare anyone linked to on this page to post it. (I'll respect you far less, but I'll be amused!)

I often break the rules when I get these, 'cause I hate combining a compliment with an obligation. So I ain't asking anyone to pass on this award. But, in the spirit of these things, I will recommend you take a look at the blogs and websites below. These are all ones I have not plugged before:

Peel the Paint

The blog of talented portrait painter Mike Bennett, whose images in oil are usually of the actors and monsters found in classic horror films.


"A geek girl's guide to life." Yep, and more: a breezy look at geeky films, geeky celebrities, and geeky aspects of pop culture. Embrace it. (I especially liked this post, which surprised the chocolate mousse outta me.) Mmmm, mousse.

El Bizarro Mundo Nihilista

This blog is in Spanish, and it looks at bizarre or macabre exploitation, nudie and softcore films. Lots of NSFW pictures. GgggrRRRrroowll! There's also a Google button at the top that will allow you to translate the text into English. Awkward, unintentionally funny English!

Monster Magazine World

For readers of horror film mags, natch!

Fright Club

A new blog that I think will be pitting horror bloggers against each other at some point. Right now, it seems to be a blog where poll votes--and possibly comments--decide a victorious character or film from the realm of film and TV horror. Looks like a blog to keep an eye on.

Triumph of a Man Called Dada

An often whimsical, nonsensical and rambling blog, I'd like to recommend it just for this drink recipe post and this hand game post. Go poking around 'til sumpthin' catches your eye.

Oh, hell, it's nearly five AM. Gotta wrap this up. Here's more blogs I look at and like: Monster Magazines, Cyberschizoid, The Bloody Pulp, A Rockabilly View, Pop Cereal, Sew Misunderstood: Fat-shion for Wayward Girls, Looks Like Taylor Hicks, Meowlissa the Domesticated, The Angry Lurker, Fukitor, Ornament and Excrement, Rotting Pumpkins. I could go on for fifty more.

But real quick, go vote now in the 2011 Total Film Movie Blog Awards.

Oh, and read Regretsy. It's a horror site--if really bad crafts and the WTF obliviousness of some on-line sellers terrify you, as they do me!

Incredible Shrinking Man image by Richard Olson.

Links, awards, votes, etc.

The Drunken Severed Head is going to be FOUR years old in less than a month, and in that time the blog hasn't been "monetized," as Blogger describes adding ads to one's blog. But I made a sort of exception last October and put up a small ad for, after they contacted me and offered to swap text and links. So I put up this, a link to a site where gift baskets for Halloween could be found--

and they put up a link to TDSH. Not on the page where the link they provided took you to-- nooooo. Instead, you had to do a lot of scrolling and click twice to see my text and link:

Don't see it? Well, you have to go down further and look closely. Here, I've circled it:

I'm STILL laughing that they chose to put a "Drunken Severed Head" link on a kiddie costume page!

Well, I may have the last laugh, as they're still running my link (hard as it is to find from their main Halloween page), but I stopped using theirs a few weeks ago. I DO like to keep the spirit of Halloween all year 'round, but who wants ads for the spooky day's merchandise 24/7/365! Seeing Halloween knick-knacks in stores in July already makes me wanna scream!

Which reminds me-- TDSH makes Paul at The Cobwebbed Room want to SCREAM! (Whatta shame. He's got one of my fav-o-rite blogs!)

Even so, he recently complimented me and gave me this nice image of a woman about to eat a really big, jumbo-size hot dog:

Nice. A "You make me scream" award. Sweet!

More on who makes me wanna scream and holla, votes in contests, and recommended sites, coming tomorrow.

Friday, January 21, 2011

By the numbers!


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Happy Birthday to POE!

He'd have been 202 today!

Here's the Academy Award-nominated 1953 adaptation of "The Tell-Tale Heart" by UPA Studios, and narrated by James Mason:

Here's a recent, well done video adaptation of "Annabel Lee," though the word "sepulcher" is consistently mispronounced.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Hot zombies for a cool reader

TDSH readers The Angry Lurker, Fester, and Meowlissa commented on my most recent post about "WILFs." As always, I'm grateful. So, since Meowlissa said she wished she could see a "ZILF," I thought I'd look around to help her out. Here's the best three images I found:

Image source here.

Image source here.

Original image found here.

This guy is demonstrating a reversible zombie t-shirt that Capcom gave away to promote a Resident Evil video game at the 2009 Comic-Con.

Any other things ya wanna see, kids?

Monday, January 10, 2011

WILFS, baby!

Not being a knowledgeable sports guy, when I saw this Yahoo News link last week-

Wilfs say Frazier brings harmony

-I couldn't figure out what WILFS stood for. ("Witches I'd like to...?)

Image source here

Image source here.


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