Thursday, November 24, 2011

Encore post: "The Executioner"

From Marvel's WHERE MONSTERS DWELL #26, cover date January 1974. Originally appeared in UNCANNY TALES #9, cover date June 1953. Art by Myron Fass.

Click on each image to see the larger version.


Happy Thanksgiving 2011!

Nothing says "Thanksgiving" like an astronaut puppet made from household junk:

My Thanksgiving wish for all of you: "Get stuffed!"

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Recommended: "The Presence of Price"

Maybe I'm a turkey for promoting/applauding something I had a hand in (but it's Thanksgiving, so eat me.) But I'm really, truly pleased to share a heart-warming article today that celebrates this Vincent Price birthday centennial year.

Journalist Raymond Castile and I have co-authored an article sharing the thoughts and experiences of a number of Price's fans (including the ever-thoughtful Tim Lucas of Video Watchdog and the never-thoughtful me) and those of Price co-stars David Hedison, Brett Halsey, Charles Herbert & Terry Moore. Raymond and I attended the impressive St. Louis Vincentennial, and he did some great interviews there. I attended the Monster Bash Octoberfest later, and I did some interviews about Vincent Price there.

If that's not enough, Famous Monsters of Filmland issue #254 celebrates the Vincent Price centennial and can be ordered here.

Art by R.J. Shay for the Vincentennial at the Star Clipper gallery in St. Louis.

More of Raymond’s acclaimed reportage and photography is found in the fine first issue of Monsterpalooza magazine, which has very nice work by a number of writers and artists. Order it here.

And I should add that the impressive second issue of Undying Monsters commemorates well 100 years of Vincent Price. Find it here.

I love what Vincentennial organizer Tom Stockman accomplished. I loved Ron Adam's Monster Bash (where Price's co-stars appeared.) And my Rondo-winning friend Raymond is a talented, perceptive reporter and writer. I'm grateful to all of them!

And of course, any spotlight on Vincent Price is welcome to my eyes. Yours too, I'm guessing. Happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 18, 2011

8 Horror Movies and the Real Crimes that Copied Them

Below is an article sent to me for use here under the title 8 Horror Movies That Inspired Real-Life Crimes. Since the degree that movies can "inspire" criminal behavior is a debatable topic, I changed the title for its appearance here. It was compiled and authored by Jay Smith  for the website Criminal Justice Degrees Guide. (I wonder if Jay knew I used to work in plainclothes security for the Loss Prevention department of a large retail chain?) Here for your vicarious titillation (I love that word!) is the article.
Horror movies are meant to entertain and excite audiences, but by no means are they intended to be taken off the screen and acted out in real life. In some rare cases, horror movies give mentally ill people creative, yet twisted ideas that they feel compelled to repeat. Here are eight horror movies that inspired real-life crimes:
  1. Natural Born Killers

    Natural Born Killers has inspired some of the most gruesome copycat killings in history. The film has been associated with several serial killers, including the homicidal couple Sarah Edmonson and Benjamin Darras. In 1995, the murderous duo dropped LSD and watched Natural Born Killers repeatedly before going on a drug-fueled crime spree of robbing and shooting a convenience store clerk that left her a quadriplegic. During the crime spree, Darras shot and killed a Mississippi businessman. Edmonson was sentenced to 35 years in prison and Darras is doing life.
  2. Scream

    Wes Craven’s slasher movie series Scream was the inspiration behind the murder of Gina Castillo by her 16-year-old son and his 15-year-old cousin, Samuel Ramirez. The two teenagers confessed to the gruesome murder of Castillo and admitted that they did it because they needed money to fund a murder spree that would reenact the story line of the first two Hollywood Scream movies. In order to follow the Scream story line, the teenage boys planned to buy the ghost-face mask and electronic voice boxes that are seen in the movie.
  3. A Clockwork Orange

    Stanley Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange has been the inspiration for many twisted real-life crimes, specifically throughout Britain. The crimes have exhibited similarities with the film, but one of the most bizarre cases involved a man named John Ricketts who was dressed up as a droog from A Clockwork Orange and assaulted a woman dressed as Little Britain‘s Vicky Pollard at an office party. The violent movie was banned from UK cinemas because of the increase in violent crimes following its release.
  4. Queen of the Damned

    In 2002, Allan Menzies murdered his longtime friend, Thomas McKendrick, because he claimed a character in the vampire movie, Queen of the Damned, told him to do it and promised to make him a vampire in the next life. After watching the film about 100 times and receiving a visit from the female vampire Akasha in the middle of the night, he decided to murder people. Menzies also believed that McKendrick and another friend were plotting to kill him, but he turned on McKendrick first. Menzies stabbed his friend to death, drank his blood, and ate part of his head before burying him in a shallow grave. The "vampire killer" was later found dead in his prison cell from an apparent suicide.
  5. Child’s Play 3

    Robert Thompson and Jon Venables were 10 years old when they kidnapped and brutally murdered two-year-old James Bulger in Liverpool. In 1993, Thompson and Venables snatched the toddler from a shopping mall and took him to a railway line where they beat and sexually assaulted the young boy. They left Bulger’s mutilated body on the railway tracks to die. Thompson and Venables were supposedly inspired by the horror film Child’s Play 3. The killer doll movies caused a great deal of controversy in the United Kingdom, as well as a public outcry for tightening "video nasties."
  6. American Psycho

    In 2004, Michael Hernandez, 14, stabbed his middle school classmate to death and admitted to modeling his behavior after the serial killers in American Psycho and The Silence of the Lambs. The South Florida teen said he identified with the horror movie murderers and wanted to act out their roles in his real-life plan to become a serial killer. Hernandez believed God gave him special powers and agreed with his decision to kill his classmate. The teen boy was found guilty of first-degree murder in 2008.
  7. Nightmare on Elm Street

    The famous ’80s horror film, Nightmare on Elm Street, was the inspiration for Daniel Gonzalez’s killing spree. In 2004, the paranoid schizophrenic went on a drug-fueled rampage and murdered four random people, including a doctor and his wife. Gonzalez armed himself with several knives and acted out a Freddy Krueger-like spree. Official reports claimed that Gonzalez did not receive proper treatment for his mental condition. He was given six life sentences for the four murders, as well as two attempted murders throughout England. In 2007, Gonzalez committed suicide in his cell.
  8. Saw

    The Saw horror movie series was the inspiration behind a cruel prank that turned into a serious matter for two teenage girls in Winchester, Tenn. The teenagers used theSaw plot of making victims play games to stay alive by leaving a gruesome message on 52-year-old Beverly Dickson’s phone. They told Dickson that one of her friends was hidden in her house and it would be filled with toxic gas shortly. They asked if she wanted to live or die. Dickson got the message while attending a funeral and suffered a stroke from the frightening incident. The two 13-year-old


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