A few years ago I had the honor of covering THING-FEST at Days of the Dead Indianapolis where Canadian super-fan, Joe Hart, brought his immense assortment of props and collectibles associated with John Carpenter’s The Thing. Joe has a heart of gold and his enthusiasm for the movie, coupled with his enviable collection, made for one unforgettable weekend! Many of the actors from the film were on hand as well and one of my favorite moments was getting a photo with Thomas G. Waites (“Windows”) along with the actual microphone prop he’d used in the movie. I’ll always be grateful to Days of the Dead for hosting Mr. Hart as it was the magnetic pull of his collection that inspired me to cross state lines and attend!
When author, and friend of the Daves, Nicholas Cara approached us to do a review of his book, “The Grey Ghost: The Shadow That Walks,” we had no idea what to expect. First off, the majority of our book reviews have to do with horror or monster movies so doing one on a work of fiction was going to be something we were not used to. Second, the story was a little off the beaten path for what we normally cover. It wasn’t horror and it wasn’t science fiction. So what was it?
Terror from Beyond the Daves is pleased to welcome guest writer, William Taylor, sharing memories of his childhood horror host.
He debuted on the New Orleans airwaves in the late 1940s on WWL radio before transitioning to WWL-TV on January 3, 1959 as a scientist “of the higher order” whose weekly experiments (wrapped around the horror movie presentation) in his laboratory would potentially revolutionize the world as we knew it…maybe. His name is Momus Alexander Morgus and he worked out of the Old City Ice House in the Crescent City and is assisted by Chopsley who always wore a hood because the good doctor once tried to do dental surgery on him but Chopsley inhaled too much laughing gas & his face collapsed, but there’s still hope one day it can be properly reconstructed. He was further assisted by his talking skull computer E.R.I.C. (Eon Research Infinity Computer).
The Daves would again like to welcome guest writer Brandon Engel with yet another of his insightful blogs!
Zombie movies are plenty scary, and horror films featuring psychos on a rampage are horrific, but there’s one thing that’s even worse: when mother nature gets fed up and doles out some hellish comeuppance. Such movies are increasingly referred to as climate fiction, which combines the horror and sci-fi genres. The scariness lies in the fact that the scenarios presented in these films aren’t far off from becoming reality – ENMAX estimates that in the US alone, only about 20% of our energy needs are met by renewables or cleaner fossil fuels like natural gas; mostly we’re still using energy sources that have been linked to climate change. Here are some cli-fi movies that imagine the consequences of nature truly going wild.
Much like some of the climate phenomena that the world is witnessing today, the villain in the 1982 movie The Thing is hard to describe. This sci-fi thriller starring Kurt Russell was a hit because it maintained its mystery right through to its conclusion. What, exactly, is this thing? Where did it come from? How does it keep turning random guys and dogs into terrifying monsters? No one could answer those questions, but what the survivors did know at the movie’s end is that The Thing would eventually be how they met their end.
Before we officially begin looking forward at the big horror/thriller films 2016 has in store for us, we thought we’d take some time to look back at which films of the genre earned a permanent spot in our home video libraries last year. Most of these never made it to our local theaters so we thought we’d share our Top Ten Choices; possibly calling attention to some you may have missed. Before delving into them, we’d be remiss not giving a special Terror Dave ‘shout out’ to our friend, Jason Schoolcraft. He’s responsible for bringing most of these to our attention and his love of cinema made him the ideal person for helping us sift through the riff raff and directing us straight over to the good stuff! The following films represent our ten favorites. We’re not saying they’re critically the “best,” just that we liked them a lot and deemed them worthy of multiple viewings. Please feel free to share YOUR favorites of 2015 in the comments below!
Backcountry: I love a good “man vs. nature” film but finding a decent one can be pretty daunting. Sure there are plenty of them out there but, unfortunately, for every JAWS there’s about a hundred Sharknados. Personally, I like the ones where the animals aren’t super-sized, riding tornadoes, or boasting multiple heads. Despite our complacency, the fact is we humans are fairly easy prey items for plenty of real creatures living today. Two great examples are the Australian films, The Reef (2010) involving a shark and Black Water (2007) featuring a crocodile. Canada added another great entry to the mix this past year with a rather minimalistic story featuring two people, the great outdoors, and a marauding black bear. The tension between the main couple is occasionally reminiscent of Strangers and makes the viewer almost as quick to ignore the signs of a lurking bear as they are. By the time the animal actually does materialize, tension gives way to terror and you’ll think twice before ever veering off a forest trail again. Dave F.
It was just over three years ago when the Rondo Award winning Penny Dreadful (Danielle Gelehrter) released her eighth season of Shilling Shockers. Long before she’d share a name with a hit Showtime series, this New England horror hostess was presenting scary movies while treating fans to some rather hex-cellent sketch comedy. Penny Dreadful XIII is also one Salem witch that doesn’t shy away from a challenge either. This was never more apparent than during the aforementioned Season Eight when she shattered conventional wisdom by featuring all silent films; not something today’s viewers generally clamor for. Nevertheless, with an unholy mix of sweat, spells, and skill she’d pull it off with the help of her director, Rebecca Paiva, who worked tirelessly updating the scratchy Public Domain offerings with new “title cards” along with a vibrant storyline that had the host and her feral sidekick, Garou (played by real life husband, Magoo Gelehrter) hilariously venturing into different time periods.
But despite her character’s ability to tread into the future, no one could have predicted the real-life heartbreak that would follow. In late 2012, Magoo was diagnosed with cancer and, despite a courageous battle, would succumb to the disease less than two years later. It was a shattering blow to both Danielle as well as her alter ego and left a legion of shocked fans in mourning while silently pondering the fate of Penny Dreadful’s Shilling Shockers. It was a valid if not morbid question.
If the old adage about the great loves of this world existing between those who “share the love of many things” is true then there could be few better examples than Magoo and Danielle. Their mutual love of classic horror and vintage physical comedy (Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, etc) would inspire them to expand their fandom into the realm of horror hosting. Garou’s comedic skills, though brilliant, never upstaged the host and made him an essential part of the success of Shilling Shockers. He even inspired us Daves to do an Ode to Horror Host Sidekicks blog and interview with him during our earlier days.
However, abruptly ending the show was not an option as, prior to this tragedy ,a successful kick-starter campaign had been waged to raise money for a ninth season. This meant that Penny Dreadful had no choice but to continue whether Danielle was emotionally ready or not.
Richard Braden is a name that fans of Terror From Beyond The Daves may or may not be aware of (and if you’re not, then you should be). Richard has been a friend of the Daves since day one and was instrumental, even as a teenager, in getting our website off the ground. The Daves may know horror but tend to know less about being tech-savvy (though we are learning). If it wasn’t for Richard, who knows how the site would’ve looked when we originally went live as not only did he help with the overall appearance of the site originally but he helped design our logo and he taught us so much when it comes to WordPress. In 2010 we did a bit of an expose on Richard (seen HERE) and now it’s time for everyone to know what he has been up to in the past 5 years, and it has been a lot.
We couldn’t be more proud of Richard, not only with what he has done for us but with also what he is accomplishing now. He is pursuing his dream and both Daves cannot wish him enough luck and happiness. Recently I caught up with Richard and he agreed to do an interview with me letting the world know what he has been doing.