TERROR FROM BEYOND THE DAVES is pleased to welcome Richard Church as a guest writer! Mr. Church generously agreed to not only share his personal experiences in collecting autographs, but photos from his amazing collection as well!
The Daves would like to thank Rob Dimension for this coverage of Monster Mania!
MonsterMania 20 has come and gone, leaving the usually peaceful Hunt Valley, MD in ruins…well, not exactly. The Horror Convention hosted some of the greatest Horror Icons and Movie stars with names like John Carpenter, Anthony Michael Hall, Norman Reedus, Jeffrey Combs and many more. The crowd was the best yet for the NJ based convention..plus, it was a great time had by all who attended.
A few weeks ago the United States braced itself for Hurricane Irene. Fearful it would cause the death and destruction seen by such notable storms as Andrew and Katrina, homes were evacuated and the 24 hour news shows talked about little else. Fortunately it was no where near as catastrophic as the aforementioned “monsters” but, every once in awhile, Mother Nature does let us know who’s boss. Despite man’s ability to fly into space, conquer disease, and his numerous other innovations, when push comes to shove we are still no match for our own planet.
This past weekend, fans of the original Jerry G. Bishop Svengoolie had reason to cheer! The work of this classic host who was recently entered into “Ripley’s Believe it or Not” Horror Host Hall of Fame and spotlighted on this site early last month (which you can see HERE) had a short run in Chicago and, with the exception of various clips offered via AMERICAN SCARY and YouTube, very little else surviving.
Thanks to the efforts of Rick Klein – President and Chief Curator of The Museum of Classic Chicago Television, three COMPLETE “Screaming Yellow Theater” shows have been discovered, digitally restored, and available for public viewing via the Fuzzy Memories TV site TODAY!
This is the labor of love for Klein who began the museum in 2007. In the four short years of its existence, it has amassed a treasure trove of classic Chicago TV footage as well as the largest online archive of Rich Koz/Son of Svengoolie clips. Many are available on YouTube (1100 according to Klein) with MANY more on the site itself.
TERROR FROM BEYOND THE DAVES, as you may know, is a horror host friendly site. Both Daves are grown up fans of Son of Svengoolie and, since early last year, have been enamored with the work of many hosts we scarcely knew existed. Jerry G. Bishop’s Svengoolie was a bit before our time but we salute the predecessor of our current Sven and are thrilled to have an opportunity to see complete examples of his work.
The work of Mr Klein and others around the country who selflessly work to preserve the work of their local classic TV hosts is a true gift! This being said, I’ve gone on long enough…
The time has come for scary things…like monsters, ghosts, and vampire wings…With horrible movies all drippy and drooly…and horrible hosts like me, Svengoolie!!!
SEE the Jerry G. Bishop Svengoolie shows HERE!
One thing the Daves have always had fun doing is interviewing as many of the great horror hosts as we can. The interviews have all been very popular on Terror From Beyond The Daves and we always try to ask questions that you don’t normally see in interviews. This time out, we present the one and only Roxsy Tyler, from Roxsy Tyler’s Carnival Of Horrors!
DAVID A: Were you a fan of horror movies growing up? If yes, what are some of your favorites?
ROXSY: Yes, I think 50 percent of the movies I watched as a child were all horror movies. I loved the HALLOWEEN movies, I couldn’t get enough of the NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET series, TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE, CHILD’S PLAY, and when I got a little bit older a lot of Bela Lugosi and Vincent Price films were added to the my mix of horror interest. My parents absolutely did not monitor the things I watched on television. They didn’t believe in doing that.
DAVID A: Did you have a local horror host when you were growing up? If yes, who was it?
ROXSY: I did, but I knew nothing about her at the time because I was a baby in diapers. We had Stella, the Maneater from Manayunk. I met Stella at MonsterMania in Cherry Hill, NJ last March and she’s one of the most wonderful people I ever had the pleasure of talking to. Her and Hives have been really supportive of me and my show. I want her to come back to TV so I can make up for lost time and actually watch her. Very wonderful woman and from what I have seen of her show Saturday Night Dead she was really talented and still is.
DAVID A: What made you become a horror host? Is it something you always wanted to do?
ROXSY: I actually decided at four years old that I wanted to be a writer. I went to three different writing schools, I published a book at 19, and I always intended to stay on course with that. I mean, you guys here at the Daves site know that because you let me write for your site sometimes (thank you!). I never intended to be a horror host. I flew out to Iowa to spend time and create some fun with Midnite Mausoleum and it took off from there. People started suggesting that I do my own show and I had the resources to do it so I gave it a try. Now it’s a big part of my life and it’s fun!
DAVID A: How did you come up with the character of Roxsy Tyler?
ROXSY: She’s been in my head since I was a little girl and then I wrote the three stories about her in my book. She’s a combination of my love of carnivals, top hats, rock and roll, super heroes and super villains. I combined every little thing I liked and Roxsy Tyler formed from it. Roxsy Tyler’s actual look is a different story. I’m a huge Aerosmith fan. In fact, I’m a third generation Aerosmith fan. I named my character after Steven Tyler and Aerosmith did a music video called “Sunshine” where Steven Tyler is dressed as the Mad Hatter. It’s a really cool video. Some people might think it’s weird but I think everything about that music video is so beautiful, including Steven Tyler’s clothes! I saw him in that video and said, “I really want to dress like that!” Other than that, I think of Roxsy as comparable to that clown at the dunk tank. The clown will antagonize you until you hit the bullseye and falls into the water. I wanted Roxsy to be that fun antagonist.
DAVID A: Using a carnival theme for the background of your show is pretty original. What made you decide to go with that?
ROXSY: My love of carnivals and my wanting something from my stories to carry on into the show. My second Roxsy Tyler story I wrote is called “House of Mirrors” and it takes place entirely at a carnival. Amongst the readers that second story was the favorite and it was my favorite as well. A carnival is the perfect combination of fun and fear. Some people are afraid of clowns whereas others find them joyful. Some people are scared of fast rides and upside down rides while others find thrill in them. The carnival is the perfect combo of fun and fear. I wanted that as a premise for my show.
DAVID A: If someone was unaware of ROXSY TYLER’S CARNIVAL OF HORRORS, what episode would you recommend as an introduction to your show?
ROXSY: Wow! What a great question! I would suggest starting with our very first episode but I think to get the best feel for our show the second episode is where you should start. We hosted BLUEBEARD and had a serial strangler on the carnival grounds whom we couldn’t identify. The writing was funny, the performances we gave were all top notch, it was the episode I had the most fun doing. I would even suggest for Carnival of Horrors fans who never saw our first four episodes to watch them. We had Tom Detrik and Bonnie Loev as part of our cast playing clowns. Tom and Bonnie are professional actors and they are actors that I very much look up to. Watch episode two and you’ll see why. For two people just doing it for fun they really brought it.
DAVID A: You have branched out into other acting avenues as of late, including Thomas Berdinski’s GIANT RUBBER MONSTER MOVIE, BOOLEY and the yet-to-be-released DEER CROSSING. Can we expect to see you in other similar projects in the future? If yes, is there anything you can share with us?
ROXSY: I really love acting. I really do. I hope to get more opportunities to be in more films. I’ll also be meeting up with the Zombie Hunters again to work on Season two of Zombie Hunters: City of the Dead with them. My character’s name is Cassandra Marx and they have me playing this character in my Roxsy Tyler garb which I think is very cool. I can’t say enough good things about those guys. I have a lot of love the group of people who make Zombie hunters possible. I’m also going to have a lead role next year in a movie called “White Balance”. I’ll be playing a demon. I’m very excited about it. If anyone else wants me in their movie… I’m available! Or I will make myself available! My entire cast love being involved in making movies.
DAVID A: Can you describe BOOLEY for us?
ROXSY: The story for BOOLEY is very fun. It stars Tom Detrik (who I previously mentioned played a clown on my show) as Angus Booley. He’s a normal guy who’s being pushed around in his life: He just got laid off, he suspects his wife (Raine Brown) is cheating on him, and his daughter is following in his passive footsteps as she is getting bullied by the most popular girl in school. He finds salvation in this motivational DVD but he starts taking its teachings way too far and starts killing people. The film is a very low budget. We had less resources than we do now but it’s a very entertaining film and the performances are great. I play Rose Booley, Angus’s daughter and I’m being bullied by Gina Lynn who’s actually an adult film star. Just to tell you right now… I’m not really acting in that film. I didn’t have to. I was Rose Booley back when I went to school. That’s why I don’t understand why some people who reviewed the film bashed my acting. The jokes on them because I wasn’t acting at all. It’s a fun film and you can really relate to Angus Booley. He’s doing what we only imagine we could do when life gets tough on us.
DAVID A: While filming DEER CROSSING, you got to work with Ernie Hudson (of THE CROW and GHOSTBUSTERS). What was that like?
ROXSY: Oh man. Michael Madsen was supposed to play Ernie’s role in DEER CROSSING but Madsen disappeared and didn’t honor his commitment to the film. We were supposed to go on Radio shows with him that weekend and appear with him at the MonsterMania convention. Mr. Potent asked me who we could approach about playing the part that would be at MonsterMania. I immediately said Ernie Hudson. He accepted the role that weekend because he liked the script and we shot his scenes a week later. I was really nervous before Ernie came into the picture and then when he did I was very excited. THE CROW is one of my all-time favorite films and I grew up on GHOSTBUSTERS. I introduced myself to him after he expressed interest in doing the film and to my surprise I was shaking the entire time because I was so star-struck. Ernie Hudson is a great, down to earth guy. He’s extremely comfortable to be around. He does not at all act like he’s Hollywood and at the same time he’s extremely professional. I got to share screen time with someone I’ve admired since I was a child. To have that happen so early in my acting career is just amazing.
DAVID A: Who are some of your favorite horror hosts of today?
ROXSY: There’s so many I like. I love Midnite Mausoleum. I think Penny Dreadful is the best thing since sliced bread. Victor Von Scary I really admire and enjoy watching. The hosts I boast about the most are the guys in Atomic Age Cinema. I wish they put out a lot more stuff because I can’t get enough of them. Their show is hilarious! I haven’t really come across a horror host I don’t like. I like and respect all of them. They’re my peers through and through. One of my goals is to work with the Bone Jangler. I think that would be epic and the guy is so damn smooth how can you not want to work with him?
DAVID A: I remember first seeing your character in pictures with Marlena Midnite from MIDNITE MAUSOLEUM. Were you on an actual episode? How did that come about and can we expect to see other host cross-overs with you in the future?
ROXSY: I was in episode #116 I believe it was. We hosted Carnival of Souls. I had been friends with Blake Powell for many years before he started producing the show with Marlena Midnite. Blake’s read my book and he was familiar with the Roxsy Tyler stories. I said to him one day that it would be funny to see Roxsy Tyler on the show and he thought that wasn’t a bad idea. So, I flew out to Iowa and I did the show. Plus, I finally got to meet Blake in person. Before that we were only myspace buddies. It was very cool. I think we all worked together very well. Blake, Marlena, and Robyn were all very good to me and I have much love and respect for them. Of course none of us, including myself, expected that I would start doing my own show. It’s really cool that a door opened for me when I least expected it to and it’s way cool to see how successful Midnite Mausoleum is getting as time goes on. I do have a crossover show coming up with Victor Von Scary from Fright Night Cinema. It should be out by early October.
DAVID A: It was great to finally meet you this past March at HorrorHound in Indianapolis. Do you have more convention appearances scheduled where fans can meet you?
ROXSY: None unfortunately. I’m so busy with the filming of Deer Crossing ad everything else that I don’t think I’ll be around until MonsterMania next March. I do love conventions though. If I had the time and money I would visit every horror convention in the country.
DAVID A: Since most modern horror hosts are limited to showing public domain films, is there on non PD film you would absolutely love to show on CARNIVAL OF HORRORS?
ROXSY: There’s so many I would love to host! TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE, A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET, THEATRE OF BLOOD, and I don’t know if it was considered a horror but I would love to host ERNEST SCARED STUPID!
I would like to thank Roxsy Tyler for taking time to participate in this interview. The Daves would also like to thank her for being a guest blogger here! Here most recent piece was “Three Horror Hosts and a Zombie Hunter Invade New Potent Media Flick!” and it can be seen HERE! Prior to that she contributed with “Roxsy’s Recap Of Monster Mania 17″. Check out part 1 HERE and part 2 HERE!
If you would like to check out Roxsy Tyler online there are many ways you can! Check her out on Facebook HERE! You can watch her videos via Vimeo HERE and their YouTube channel is HERE! The main website is HERE and their Livestream channel is HERE! You can watch episodes of Carnival Of Horrors HERE!
I have a confession to make; before I threw myself into the world of horror and its hosts, I was a STAR WARS “fanboy.” Yes, its true, though I am pleased to say that I have been in recovery now for several years. While I didn’t dress up like the characters, nor get into online disputes with other fans regarding who the strongest Jedi was, I was still in pretty deep. This is illustrative of the fact that I have a son named Luke, a daughter named Leia, and a loft full of STAR WARS toys collected from the last 30+ years.
I also attended the first three STAR WARS CELEBRATIONS; the first being in Colorado where I stood in a rainy, mud bank for hours just to get in. In fact, every one of the those conventions required spending HOURS in line as the popularity of STAR WARS is “universal.” It commands a powerful hold on my generation as well as our popular culture in general. Those Kenner action figures literally defined my childhood play and, once my generation “grew up,” STAR WARS was ready for a comeback.
In the mid-1990′s a new line of action figures were released along with the news that the original movies would receive another big-screen release as well. This was to help finance the long awaited “New Trilogy” that gave fans such as myself a reason to live! And thus began the divide between us hard core STAR WARS fans and its creator. Lucas reissued his original trilogy with some added “bonuses” which, for many of us, was more like a “white elephant” gift. These would include Greedo shooting at Han Solo first (great bounty hunter – can’t even hit a target sitting two feet from him), goofy digital characters featured in a musical dance number at Jabba’s palace, and a CGI Jabba the Hutt added to “A New Hope” that reminded me of “Mr. Hankey” from South Park. There were other changes here and there but these, unfortunately, were the ones that stood out. Fortunately they gave Jabba another upgrade later on but, YUK!
This should also have been our first indication of trouble regarding the heralded “New Trilogy.” Instead, I and my geek brethren viewed the soon-to-be-released PHANTOM MENACE as the proverbial second coming. I remember receiving a copy of “Star Wars Insider” at my apartment featuring the face of the new Sith Lord, Darth Maul, on its cover and thinking, “This is going to be AWESOME!” Of course Darth Maul was awesome but he was also underused and overshadowed by the goofier CGI characters – the worst, of course, being the infamous Jar Jar Binks. If Lucas’ new CGI onslaught was a cancer than surely Jar Jar was its inoperable tumor as adult fans cringed in their seats. Oh boy, could I easily devote an entire series of posts regarding my disappointment with the New Trilogy….. For now, let’s stick with the original one…
There was also an entire scene filmed in RETURN OF THE JEDI that takes place after the destruction of Jabba’s sail barge; The crew of the Millennium Falcon attempt to board the ship amid a sandstorm and Han Solo is asked what it was like being frozen in carbonite. He reveals that he was conscious the entire time making the whole ordeal a waking nightmare. Lucas did add the scene with Luke talking to his friend, Biggs, at the end of “A New Hope” and fans had no trouble accepting that. Why? Because they featured HUMANS, which Lucas forgets was the core element responsible for giving heart to his films.
I am encouraged that these scenes will be included with the new blu-rays, though as bonus features only. I’ll have you know that, as I write this, I am fighting the urge to buy this set. I admit, it may be a losing battle. So fierce is my generation’s dedication to STAR WARS that we seem to pull out our credit cards despite muttering our disdain under our breaths. This is where George Lucas has us. As long as we spend money on his various upgrades, he has little motivation to stop. At least not until us fans start yelling “No-o-o-o-o-o-o-o!” and stop throwing our money down the chasm! Unfortunately my will is weak….and The Force of STAR WARS in my life still too strong.
Still reeling from the experience of sitting through SHARK NIGHT 3D, I felt it was time to immerse myself in something a little less CGI and more “old school.” I had read on article on the new film, CREATURE, in the latest FANGORIA while also enjoying a preview of it a few weeks back. This film has a limited release and played at only a few theaters in my native Chicagoland. Therefore, I was forced to forgo my favored big screen location in favor of a less savory one. In some ways, however, this added to the overall grindhouse feel of the film and I felt it actually enhanced the experience.
Like SHARK NIGHT 3D, the film deals with a group of college age kids headed for a vacation retreat in the swamplands of Louisiana. Note to self: Stay North of the Mason Dixon Line when seeking recreation. The young adventurers (a.k.a. victims) actually reminded me of a hillbilly version of The Scooby Gang, minus the talking dog. Unlike the loathsome SHARK NIGHT kids, however, I found this group quirky yet likeable. The gang makes the mistake of stopping off at a ramshackle, roadside store and encounter some of the less savory locals – most notably a man named “Chopper” played by the charismatic Sid Haig. Second note to self: If going to a rest stop you happen to see Sid Haig (in or out of a clown costume) turn around and hightail it the opposite direction!
Aside from pickled gator eggs and cold beer, the shop also has some rather unusual oddities for sale such as a cast of Bigfoot’s print and an old carnival flier featuring a half-man/half-alligator creature. This leads to the premise of the film; an inbred gator-man hunts the local swamps in search of its two-legged prey (there’s a lot more to the story but I’ll let you see that for yourself). The gang decides to follow a map, courtesy of Chopper, in search of an old house where the monster heralds from and thus begins the body count.
The film promises good old fashioned monster and gore FX and, I am happy to report, delivers on both counts! The SWAMP THING-like creature design might not make it the most inspired monster but, after years of CGI and Scy-Fy Channel bull crap, was enough to make me want to stand up in the theater and cheer! This film is NOT for kids and I noticed a few people in the theater spending a lot of time shielding their children’s eyes (while managing to keep their own square on the screen). Straight out of the gate there’s full female nudity (with close-ups) and plenty more eye-candy peppered throughout the movie. The beautiful yet eerie Cyprus swamps of Louisiana provide the perfect atmosphere for both the CREATURE and its grimy cast. You’ll definitely want to take a hot shower when you get home (after the female cast members have you taking a cold one).
I have to say I enjoyed this film and really liked that it was not only a throwback to vintage monster-making, but also those fun drive-in movies of the 70′s. I hope you’ll get a chance to see it on the big screen but, if its limited distribution makes this an impossibility, keep your eyes peeled for its home video release. Pick it up the day it comes out and save it for the weekend. Do as I did and treat yourself to a nice new monster movie on a Saturday night!
Welcome to part 2 of my overview of Halloween-themed novelty songs. If you missed part 1 you can see it HERE. Before I get down to my recommendations let me warn you about buying cd’s like this. When you see Halloween cd’s in stores ALWAYS look to make sure that the songs are by “original artists”. Many times these cd’s available in major retailers such as Wal-Mart and Target feature popular Halloween songs but done by people you have never heard of. If they don’t list the MONSTER MASH as being sung by Bobby “Boris” Pickett then guess what, it’s not! Even if it says by “various artists” it is probably done by artists you have never heard of. That’s the reason so many of these cd’s cost so little. All of the cd’s I present here feature songs by the original artists, unless noted otherwise.
First up is an interesting little cd called HALLOWEEN’S GRAVEST HITS, released in 2009 on Capital Records. This cd not only features a really cool looking cover but it also features a nice selection of Halloween party tunes AND sound effects! There are a total of 30 tracks, 12 of which are songs. One complaint about this disc is that MONSTER MASH is by Don Hinson and the Rigarmorticians and not Bobby Pickett. One nice rarity on this collection though is THE LURCH, featuring Ted Cassidy who actually played Lurch in THE ADDAMS FAMILY television show. Now before you purchase this cd, please keep this in mind! On Amazon they have this disc for sale as an MP3 expanded version, which features 46 tracks and only a few of them are sound effects! Some songs of note are SCARY MONSTERS (AND SUPER CREEPS) by David Bowie and D.O.A. by Bloodrock. I wish I had known about this MP3 release before buying the standard cd!
This cd is not a Halloween cd but it does feature one song of interest, “MONSTER RAP” by Bobby “Boris” Pickett. This song is an updated version of the MONSTER MASH and is a must have in any collection! Thankfully this cd is relatively cheap because it is the only good song on this compilation!
Another must-have in any Halloween music collection is this EP by the Dickies to their song “KILLER KLOWNS FROM OUTER SPACE”, from the 1988 cult classic film of the same name! New copies of this disc are insanely priced but used copies are very reasonable!
Next up is NEW WAVE HALLOWEEN (1998) on Rhino Records. This fun cd features 15 tracks, including 6 titled HALLOWEEN! Some great songs on this disc include “THE TIME WARP” from the Rocky Horror Picture Show, “PET SEMATARY” by The Ramones, “THE CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON” by Dave Edmunds and “CREATURE WITH THE ATOM BRAIN” by Roky Erickson & The Aliens. Rhino always seems to put out the best compilations discs…they are always cheap, offer a nice variety and they always feature original artists!
HALLOWEEN HOOTENANNY is an interesting collection put out by Zombie A Go-Go Records (Geffen Records). This 1998 release features 19 tracks, 3 of which are by legendary horror host Zacherley. It’s not often you see his songs on compilation discs! The songs are “HALLOWEEN HOOTENANNY”, “SINISTER PURPOSE” (with Southern Culture On The Skids) and “HAPPY HALLOWEEN”. If you are a fan of Rob Zombie, he also has a song on this disc called “HALLOWEEN (SHE GET SO MEAN)”. The overall appearance of the disc and the artwork are very similar to Rob Zombie’s own releases, making this a very fun package to go through (in fact all of the artwork is by Rob Zombie!). The remaining tracks are songs not found on any other compilations (that I have found anyway) so I highly recommend this disc.
This 2007 Wanda Records compilation, entitled HALLOWEEN FRIGHT NITE, is another disc that I highly recommend. The cover features a picture of The Munsters, with Lily, Herman and Marilyn having other faces then the original cast (only Grampa and Eddie feature Al Lewis and Butch Patrick). This disc features 27 tracks and as far as I can tell they are all by original artists. The only track I question is “THE MUNSTER’S THEME” as the artist is listed as “unknown” though it does sound like the actual theme, and not a re-record by someone else. This collection also features songs not found on any other compilations (an added bonus). Some of my favorite tracks include “THE NIGHT BEFORE HALLOWEEN” (a Halloween parody of “THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS”) by Bill Buchanan. Little Anthony and the Imperials sing a fun song called “TRICK OR TREAT” and Jessie Lee Turner has a song called “THE LITTLE SPACE GIRL”. One song that was always a favorite of mine from the Dr. Demento Show is “HALLOWEEN” by Heywood Banks (and it is included here). Another fun song is “TEENAGE BRAIN SURGEON” by The Mad Doctor Cappy’O and the last track is “SPOOKTACULAR FINALE” by Spike Jones And Friends. Buy this disc today!!!
A nice companion collection to HALLOWEEN FRIGHT NITE, also on Wanda Records, is the 2006 release called BOMP IN THE NIGHT. This disc features 30 tracks, again many not found anywhere else. The title track, “BOMP IN THE NIGHT” by Bruce And The Heartbreaks, is a catchy little tune and the Beatles parody “I WANT TO BITE YOUR HAND” by Gene Moss is a must have for any Halloween novelty song collection! Other great songs include “MONSTER SHINDIG” by Danny Hutton, “MONSTER HOP” by Bert Convy, “DRACULA DRAG” by Jekyll & Hyde, “MIDNIGHT MONSTERS HOP” by Jack And Jim, “IGOR’S PARTY” by Tony And The Monstrosities, “HOUSE OF HORRORS” by Merv Griffin and an interesting rendition of The Munsters theme called “MOCKINGBIRD HEIGHTS” (with an introduction by Grampa Munster himself, Al Lewis) by Henry J. Fregosi And The Transylvanians.
If you are just starting out with your Halloween music collection then this set is a great way to start! 100 HITS: HALLOWEEN (2009) is put out by Demon Music Group Ltd. It features 4 cd’s of music and a DVD that is a “scary sing-a-long karaoke party”. Though the DVD is poorly put together and doesn’t use original tracks, the other 4 cd’s more than make up for it! You cannot go wrong with this collection, hands down! Disc 1, 2 and 3 all feature classic tunes, most by the original artists, and some not appearing on any other compilations. Disc 4 features themes from many of your favorite horror movies…though these are not original recordings they are still nicely done and recommended. Here is the complete track listing for this amazing set:
DISC 1: 1. Ray Parker Jr. Ghostbusters 2. Bobby “Boris” Pickett & The Crypt-Kickers Monster Mash 3. Lovebug Starski Amityville (The House On The Hill) 4. Steve Miller Band Abracadabra 5. Blue Oyster Cult (Don’t Fear) The Reaper 6. Edgar Winter Group Frankenstein 7. Electric Light Orchestra Evil Woman 8. Alice Cooper Feed My Frankenstein 9. Beatfreakz Somebody’s Watching Me 10. Bloc Party Hunting For Witches 11. Japan Halloween 12. A Flock Of Seagulls Nightmares 13. Santana Black Magic Woman 14. Andy Williams Spooky 15. Screamin’ Jay Hawkins I Put A Spell On You 16. Johnny Cash Ghost Riders In The Sky 17. Marty Robbins Devil Woman 18. Kris Kristofferson To Beat The Devil 19. The Guess Who Clap For The Wolfman 20. Patti Smith Group Ghost Dance
DISC 2: 1. DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince A Nightmare On My Street 2. Run DMC Raising Hell 3. Bow Wow Wow I Want Candy 4. Damian The Time Warp 5. The Grid Swamp Thing 6. Steps Better The Devil You Know 7. Super Furry Animals Demons 8. Alice Cooper Poison 9. Judas Priest Deal With The Devil 10. Sweet Hellraiser 11. The Cult Lil’ Devil 12. Gun Race With The Devil 13. Redbone The Witch Queen Of New Orleans 14. Kula Shaker Grateful When You’re Dead 15. Landscape Norman Bates 16. Crash Test Dummies The Ballad Of Peter Pumpkinhead 17. The Charlie Daniels Band The Devil Went Down To Georgia 18. Jumpin’ Gene Simmons Haunted House 19. Beth Orton Devil Song 20. Robert Johnson Me And The Devil Blues
DISC 3: 1. Halloween 2. A Nightmare On Elm Street 3. The Exorcist – Tubular Bells 4. The Shining 5. The Thing 6. The Omen – Ave Satani 7. The Fog 8. Poltergeist 9. Psycho 10. Nosferatu Overture – Omens Of Nosferatu 11. Bram Stoker’s Dracula 12. Village Of The Damned – March Of The Children 13. Sleepy Hollow 14. The Addams Family 15. The Munsters 16. The Outer Limits 17. The Twilight Zone 18. The X Files 19. Twin Peaks 20. Tales Of The Unexpected
DISC 4: 1. David Seville Witch Doctor 2. Sheb Wooley The Purple People Eater 3. Gene Vincent Race With The Devil 4. Frank Sinatra Witchcraft 5. Chet Baker Quartet Old Devil Moon 6. The Clovers Devil Or Angel 7. Howlin’ Wolf Evil (Is Going On) 8. Roy Orbison Devil Doll 9. Thelonious Monk Quartet Misteriosa 10. LaVerne Baker Voodoo, Voodoo 11. Dinah Washington Mean And Evil Blues 12. Carmen Cavallaro (Enlloro) Voodoo Moon 13. Sarah Vaughan With Hal Mooney And His Orchestra Bewitched 14. Tony Martin With George Siravo And His Orchestra It’s Magic 15. Sister Rosetta Tharpe The Devil Has Thrown Him Down 16. Pete Johnson Death Ray Boogie 17. Otis Spann I’d Rather Be The Devil 18. Louis Jordan And His Tympani Five Up Jumped The Devil In A White Nightgown 19. Frankie Laine With Carl Fischer And His Orchestra Satan Wears A Satin Gown 20. Glenn Miller And His Orchestra Featuring Marion Hutton Ding Dong! The Witch Is Dead
Another must have complilation is a neat import cd called MOSTLY GHSOTLY: MORE HORROR FOR HALLOWEEN. This collection came out in 2010 on the Ace Records label. There are 24 tracks in all and if you can find it, the $18 retail price is well worth it! Though some of the tracks can be found on other compilations, there are enough songs here not found elsewhere to make it worthwhile! Here is the complete track listing: (1) “DRACULA’S THEME” – The Ghouls (2) “TIL’ THE FOLLOWING NIGHT” – Screaming Lord Sutch & The Savages (3) “DO THE ZOMBIE” – The Symbols (4) “HAUNTED HOUSE” – Jumpin’ Gene Simmons (5) “DINNER WITH DRAC” – Zacherley (6) “THE GOO GOO MUCK” – Ronnie Cook And The Gaylads (7) “THE MAD SCIENTIST” – Zanies (8) “THE CAVE” – Chuck Holden (9) “SPOOKY MOVIES” – Roy Clark (10) “THEY’RE HERE” – Boots Walker (11) “BLACK AND HAIRY” – Screaming Lord Sutch (12) “THE HEARSE” - Terry Teen (13) “TERRIBLE IVAN” – Art Roberts (14) “NIGHT OF THE VAMPIRE” – The Moon Trekkers (15) “THE MUMMY” – The Naturals (16) I WAS A TEENAGE CREATURE” – Lord Luther (17) “THE CAVE” – Gary “Spider” Webb (18) “THE CAT” – Rod Willis (19) “ZOMBI” – The Monotones (20) “ALLIGATOR WINE” – Screamin’ Jay Hawkins (21) “MORGUS THE MAGNIFICENT” – Morgus & The Three Ghouls (22) “SLEEPY HOLLOW” – The Last Word (23) “ROCKIN’ ZOMBIE” – The Crewnecks (24) “I WANT TO BITE YOUR HAND” – Gene Moss & The Monsters.
A great collection to seek out is THE ZOMBIE HORROR CD COLLECTION. At first glance you may think that this cd is made up of themes from various zombie movies but it is actually a great collection of songs with a zombie theme. There are 30 tracks in all and the $13 retail price makes this quite the deal! This cd came out in October of 2010 on the Chrome Dreams label. The track listing is as follows: 1. “Zombie” – Harlem Wildcats 2.”Abercrombie Had A Zombie” – Fats Waller 3. “Zombie Lou” – Johnson Brothers 4. “Casting A Spell” – Johnson Brothers 5. “Zombi” – The Monotones 6. “Voodoo Women” – Smiley Smith 7. “Rockin’ The Graveyard” – Jackie Morningstar 8. “Midnight Monsters Hop” – Jack & Jim 9. “Wombie Zombie” – Billy Taylor 10. “Zombie Jamboree” – King Flash & The Calypso Carnival 11. “Vampira” – Bobby Bare 12. “Frankenstein’s Den” – The Hollywood Flames 13. “Rockin’ Zombie” – The Crew Necks 14. “Rock N Bones” – Elroy Dietzel 15. “Little Demon” – Screamin’ Jay Hawkins 16. “I Dig You Baby” – Bob McFadden & Dor 17. “Screamin’ Ball (At Dracula Hall)” – The Duponts 18.”Voodoo Man” – The Del-Vikings 19. “Purple People Eater Meets The Witch Doctor” – The Big Bopper 20. “Monster Party” – Bill Doggett 21. “Legend Of Sleepy Hollow” – The Monotones 22. “Hoodoo Women” – Johnnie Temple 23. “Hoodoo Lady Blues” – Arthur Crudup 24. “Hoo-Doo-Say” – Sly Fox 25. “Voodoo” – Chaino 26. “Frankenstein’s Party” – The Swingin’ Phillies 27. “The Night Prowler” – Billy Gayle 28. “Monster Hop” – Bert Convy 29. “The Monster” – Bobby Please & The Pleasers 30. “The Graveyard” – Leroy Bowman
COMING UP NEXT: PART 3 FEATURING THE COOL GHOUL ZACHERLEY AND SOME MORE GREAT IMPORTS!!!
By: Jamie Lee Cortese
Horror hosts can truly pop up anywhere. A fan of horror hosts would probably expect to see them on the guest list for a convention, would not be too shocked to see them appearing at a haunted house or other horror-themed attraction, and would only be mildly surprised to see one in another’s show.
Last year, I must admit that I was very surprised when I found out that Svengoolie would be appearing at a western-themed event: The Little Boots Rodeo in Elk Grove Village, Illinois.
Upon Sven’s arrival that day, he and the mayor of Elk Grove Village faced off in a mechanical bull-riding contest. Some rooted for Sven, some for the mayor, but all were definitely having fun! The mayor ended up falling off of his bucking bronco, and for a moment it looked like Svengoolie was the winner; then, however, some good-natured “protests” began, with the mayor pointing out that Sven had held onto the bull with both hands, instead of just one, but the validity of Mr. Goolie’s extra “edge” being questioned by the fact that he was holding a rubber chicken in that hand. The eventual “final call” was hard to discern (I remember someone calling it a tie), but according to Mr. Goolie himself, the mayor apparently won.
After the daring duel, Sven made his way over to the table that had been set up for him, where a line of fans waiting to meet him face-to-face was already forming. Meeting Svengoolie was, of course, fun, exciting, and definitely a highlight of last year’s event! Although there were certainly so many attractions set up that day, it was just that: One day, which left hardly enough time to see and experience anywhere near all of them. The weather didn’t help much, either; it was a clear, bright, sunny day, but it was hot! Of course, this was completely out of the Rodeo’s control, and most people dressed for the weather. But even as all of us fans took the term literally and fanned ourselves (and sometimes each other) while waiting in line, the heat suddenly seemed much less intense as we all realized: Svengoolie must be roasting!
Despite the heat, however, everyone I saw that day was having a good time, including Sven! Maybe all of his “fans” cooled him off! (Yes, I know, that was horrible––– please stop throwing the rubber chickens!)
This year, The Little Boots Rodeo was expanded to a two-day event (instead of just one), held on June 25 and 26. Many attractions and events that made the previous summer’s Rodeo so much fun returned (thankfully, the heat and humidity did not), including Sven, who was slated to appear both days that weekend. He and the mayor had arranged a rematch, although not on the two mechanical bucking broncos that had also returned this year. Instead, they would face off in a… duck race!
The way this worked was that each human contestant was given a live duck to hold in his or her hands, then assigned to one of four lanes that stretched across a tank of water that was probably only about a foot deep. When the supervisor/referee sounded, appropriately enough, a duck call, they would release the ducks, and the fast fowl would then half swim, half fly across the pool. The first one across the finish line, of course, was the winner. The ducks were then collected and returned to their holding area. The actual length of each race was only a few short seconds, so you could literally blink and completely miss it.
Just before their big competition, Sven and the mayor made some introductory remarks. Svengoolie’s comments were particularly witty and certainly pleased and entertained the crowd.
“You know, I’m most of the time used to chickens, so I’m not real well acquainted with ducks. But you know what, if I lose, you can put it on my bill!” he quipped. “No money down!” he continued. “You ever watch Me-TV? We have shows with Jack Webb.” He probably could’ve gone on like that forever (and we all would have stayed without a second thought), but after the joke about Jack Webb, he sighed, “Okay…” and handed the microphone over to the mayor.
“I’m always glad to get down with Svengoolie, and we’ll see who the real man is today with the ducks! So Svengoolie, we’ll go Round Two!” He and Svengoolie shook hands, and received their designated ducks.
“The more you splash them, the faster they go,” one announcer hinted.
Finally, it was time for the moment of truth! At the sound of the duck call, the ducks were released, and off they went! It was definitely a very close call, but there could still be little doubt that Svengoolie’s duck had come out ahead by just a fraction of a bill. Just like the previous year, both Sven and the mayor were very good sports, and the ducks were surprisingly cooperative. I saw a few races before Sven had arrived, and was genuinely impressed by the ducks’ good behavior: There were no attempts to bite their handlers, whether supervisors or contestants, and they remained calm and relatively still while being held; so much so that even the youngest of cowpokes could hold them safely and securely without worry of injury or accidentally allowing the birds to fly off into the clouds. The dexterous ducks also never attempted to “fly the coop” during or after any of the races I witnessed.
Svengoolie’s table and tent were thankfully set up in the shade, and he made his way over there to sign autographs and take pictures soon after the big race had concluded. Of course, a line was already forming. Waiting in line can actually be quite fun if you take the time to take in your surroundings, especially the people waiting in line with you. It’s always fun for my family and me to overhear fan’s stories about Svengoolie, and since The Little Boots Rodeo attracts so many, shall we say, “little boots”, we heard more stories than at most other appearances as so many enthusiastic parents excitedly explained to their little buckaroos just whom they were waiting in line to see. Some told tales about growing up watching Screaming Yellow Theater and/or Son of Svengoolie, while some attempted to help them comprehend that they were going to meet the man they watch on TV every week. It was also amusing when, while waiting in line once more on Sunday morning, two men behind us became deeply involved in a conversation/debate with each other about the history of Sven, what years each incarnation aired on television, and whether he was a ghoul, a vampire, or something else entirely.
My family did actually visit him both days that weekend, and on Sunday, in a rare and unusual occurrence, the length of the line actually seemed to alternate from growing exponentially to suddenly stopping. Strangely enough, it stopped shortly after we arrived in line (maybe word spread that I was there…), leaving only the two aforementioned men locked in intense discussion waiting patiently behind us.
For some reason, it still throws me for a loop whenever Svengoolie recognizes me in line. According to my parents, it surprised the two men behind us as well. At any rate, due to the sudden halt in the growth of the line, we were able to chat with Svengoolie for a little bit longer than usual, which was a nice and unexpected treat. Thank you again, Mr. Goolie, for my family’s and my day!
After meeting Svengoolie each morning, we were able to trail blaze through the rest of the rodeo. Now, The Little Boots Rodeo is primarily geared toward just that: Those with little boots. On the upside, there are practically endless activities for the junior sheriffs to participate in, including a cowpoke costume contest, but rest assured, there’s still plenty to do for those of us with bigger boot sizes.
Of course, there are various vendors selling a wide variety of items. If you don’t prefer to shop around, there are also the aforementioned duck races and mechanical bucking broncos. However, a bit of warning for fully-grown cowpokes who have a hankering for trying their luck on this last one: Sure, it may be wild enough to successfully buck a rustler who’s knee-high to a grasshopper to the inflated terrain below, but for pretty much anyone who’s tall enough to not need help saddling up for the challenge, it’s not much more than a nice ride found inside your friendly neighborhood mall.
If you want to sit down and rest your tired dogs for a bit while still having a Western experience, there is also a horse-drawn covered wagon at the edge of the grounds that periodically departs and takes passengers on a leisurely ride along a few local roads before returning to the Rodeo once again to reload.
For something a little more interactive, cowpokes of all ages and boot sizes can go into the petting zoo. It had many of the typical animals one would expect to see at such an attraction: Chickens, goats, etc. There were a few llamas, one of whom was very quick to grab any and all food, and who startled many people, from small children to their parents. There was also a very docile donkey, as well as a spunky young one.
Ah yes, there were a great many animals to interact with at the petting zoo, including…
And before you ask: No, we were not allowed to pet the tiger! (Cue Svengoolie sound effect: “Oh, darn!”) When I first heard them interrupt the country music that set the atmosphere during the entire event (or, at least, for as long as we were there) to announce that there was a real, live tiger in the petting zoo, I thought for sure that they were joking. Although curiosity quickly got the better of me and had me making a beeline for the attraction in question, I figured I’d see a person in some sort of amusing tiger costume, or perhaps a tiny cub held by a professional handler in the same way that you might see a lizard, snake, or small alligator at a zoo. What I found once I arrived there, however, was nothing of the sort.
Quite frankly, I was surprised that more people weren’t coming over to see the tiger. Perhaps it was because there were just so many other things to do.
For those who want to watch more animal races, at set times during the day, “Hot Dog Pig Races” were held. This is a slight misnomer, however, as at certain points during the series of races, the contestants would be Dachshund hounds instead. Each race had a “theme”, such as “celebrities” or “superheroes”, and the racers were given appropriate nicknames, as well as a colored flag on their backs to help you keep track of your favorite contestant. For instance, during the “celebrity” race, two of the pigs were dubbed “Kevin Bacon” and “Jerry Swinefeld”; during the “superhero” race (done by the dogs), one racer’s designated secret identity was “Underdog”.
One of my personal favorite parts of the event (besides, of course, meeting Sven) was Professor Grifter’s Traveling Medicine Show. Basically, it was a magic show with a Western theme; he would “demonstrate” how one of his many elixirs worked through magic tricks. I have to admit that I had seen some of the tricks before at other magic shows performing at community events, but quite a few were new to me as well. He did have a unique spin on the act by masking it as a “medicine show”, his accompanying shtick was, as would be expected of a magician, corny yet still very funny, and he performed all of the tricks adeptly and without a hitch.
After select shows, he would showcase a bonus “flea circus”, with such flea talent as Fleavil Kenevil (the daredevil flea) and Herculfleas (the strongest flea in the world). At one point during the show, Professor Grifter announced that Hercufleas would now carry a rubber chicken up a rubber band. (Ironic, seeing as how Svengoolie was there…)
Professor Grifter and his medicine show and flea circus were, admittedly, kind of hard to ignore, as the performer had a pretty loud microphone that he was consistently shouting into, allowing his voice to be heard throughout the grounds of the Rodeo.
My final verdict on the Little Boots Rodeo? While it may not keep the entire family occupied for the whole day, it is definitely worth a stop for anyone in the area! As the name suggests, the “little boots” in your roundup gang will probably find the most to do, as the majority of the activities are tailored specifically towards the younger set of cowpokes, but those of us who have long outgrown our “little boots” can certainly find plenty to do (after you meet Svengoolie, of course)!
The recent release of John Carpenter’s first theatrical feature in ten years, THE WARD, left many film goers crying deja vu! So similar to the more mainstream SHUTTER ISLAND, many wondered if perhaps Carpenter was working from the same script. According to Carpenter, he had no idea at the time he was making the same film as production overlapped and, at the recent FRIGHT NIGHT FILM FEST convention in Kentucky, urged fans not to even bother seeing his entry.
Now, now John. It really isn’t all that bad. Let’s give you a nice glass of warm milk and see you off to bed. Here is a comparative summary of the two films and we’ll let YOU decide which is best. Of course I’ll tell you which one I prefer but first things first…
THE WARD – Directed by John Carpenter
SHUTTER ISLAND – Directed by Martin Scorsese
THE WARD – Features an inmate at a 1960′s mental hospital seeking answers regarding missing patients.
SHUTTER ISLAND – Features an investigator at a 1950′s mental hospital seeking answers regarding a missing patient.
THE WARD – Features an innovative psychiatrist who approaches health care differently than the norm.
SHUTTER ISLAND – Features an innovative psychiatrist who approaches health care differently than the norm.
THE WARD – Limited budget features familiar faces but no big name celebrities.
SHUTTER ISLAND – Boasts bigger budget and A-list celebs such as Leonardo DiCaprio, Ben Kingsley, Michelle Williams, and Max von Sydow.
THE WARD – Inmates are attractive teen gals
SHUTTER ISLAND – Inmates = yuk!
SHUTTER ISLAND – Patients questioned aren’t helpful and clearly hiding something.
THE WARD – Main character can’t escape THE WARD despite numerous attempts.
SHUTTER ISLAND – Main character can’t leave SHUTTER ISLAND despite attempts.
THE WARD – features a scene with the characters listening to a phonograph while go-go dancing – soon interspersed with horrific images of a walking corpse!
SHUTTER ISLAND – Features a scene with the characters listening to a phonograph amid scenes of the real-life horrors of a Nazi death camp.
THE WARD – Lead female character (played by Amber Heard) seems more suited in 2011 and is not totally convincing as a child of the 60′s.
SHUTTER ISLAND – DiCaprio’s New England accent is not only unconvincing, its cringe-worthy!
I am not going to give away the twist endings here but, suffice it to say, they are VERY similar. SHUTTER ISLAND is more like a psychological thriller and waking nightmare not unlike JACOB’S LADDER. There is beautiful cinematography heavy with symbolism and flashback scenes that may, or may not, represent reality. The ending in SHUTTER ISLAND had more impact than THE WARD but this film is more artistic than terrifying. In contrast, THE WARD, is much more of a true horror film. It features a rotting corpse committing murders on the inmates one by one and was easier to follow. I can’t see myself ever watching SHUTTER ISLAND again, but THE WARD is worth a spot in your collection!
So let me summarize: BOTH films have merit but, if you are wondering which to choose, I’d go with THE WARD all the way!
…despite what John Carpenter says!
With the end of Labor Day weekend also unofficially signifies the end of summer (even if the calendar says otherwise). This is actually my favorite time of year. The cooler nights, shorter days and Halloween decorations galore in every store. Yes…Halloween is my favorite holiday, even at my age. Growing up has many fond memories for me, especially at Halloween…carving pumpkins, dressing up as one of my favorite monsters, trick or treating and even listening to the Dr. Demento Show with his annual Halloween special. It’s a real shame that kids these days make little effort to keep the Halloween traditions alive (perhaps they should watch the movie TRICK ‘R TREAT to see what can happen!). Kids rarely dress up as scary things anymore. Witches, vampires and ghosts are a thing of the past, replaced with super-heroes, princesses and whatever top 40 music star is popular that year (or my favorite costume, wearing army fatigues and painting your face black…ooooh scaary! Could you tell that I was just extremely sarcastic?). Also missing these days is the Dr. Demento Show, at least in my area. According to the good doctor’s website he is in fact still broadcasting every week, just in more of a limited capacity. It’s too bad that Sirius/XM wouldn’t pick up his weekly show.
For those of you of a more recent generation who may not know, Dr. Demento is a radio DJ who has a weekly program devoted to novelty songs (like what you would hear from “Weird Al” Yankovic). Annually he would do a one or two-week tribute to Halloween, depending on what day of the week Halloween actually fell on. The songs he would play were priceless, and very often hard to find. Thankfully over the years I have been able to track down many of these songs on album and cd so I now have an extensive library of Halloween-themed novelty songs. If you are planning a Halloween bash this year (or just like to listen to weird music) then these cd’s and lp’s are a must have for your music collection!
First up is an actual Dr. Demento Halloween release, called SPOOKY TUNES & SCARY MELODIES. This disc, put out by Rhino Records, came out in 1994 and features 9 relatively easy-to-find Halloween party songs, all featured at one time or another on Dr. Demento’s show. This is the track listing: 1. “WEREWOLVES OF LONDON” – Warren Zevon 2. “A NIGHTMARE ON MY STREET” – D.J. Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince 3. “THE HAUNTED HOUSE OF ROCK” – Whodini 4. “ATTACK OF THE FIFTY FOOT WOMAN” – Tubes 5. “CASTIN’ MY SPELL” – The Johnny Otis Show 6. “HALLOWEEN SPOOKS” – Lambert, Hendricks & Ross 7. “BO MEETS THE MONSTER” – Bo Diddley 8. “MY SON, THE VAMPIRE” – Allan Sherman 9. “NATURE TRAIL TO HELL” – “Weird Al” Yankovic
This cd is a great disc to start with as it contains a good assortment of good songs. “A NIGHTMARE ON MY STREET” is probably one of the harder to find songs since at the time of its release D.J. Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince were sued by New Line Cinema for using the theme from their very popular movie A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET without permission.
Elvira is basically synonymous with Halloween and she is no stranger to releasing her own brand of humor into song. In addition to three official cd releases and two LP releases (see below) you can also download ELVIRA’S GRAVEST HITS off of iTunes. It is pretty much a “best of” compilation of her three cd releases, featuring all of the songs that she sung herself, plus some other great musical additions to your Halloween music collection. The track listing is as follows: (1) “ELVIRA’S THEME” (to my knowledge this has never been available other than on the LP ELVIRA’S VINYL MACABRE), (2) “ONCE BITTEN, TWICE SHY” by Lori Chacko, (3) “3D TV” (previously only available on an EP by the same name) by Elvira, (4) “FULL MOON” by Elvira, (5) “MONSTA’ RAP” by Elvira, (6) “ZOMBIE STOMP” by Elvira, (7) “HAUNTED HOUSE” by Elvira, (8) “HERE COMES THE BRIDE” by Elvira, (9) “HERE I AM” by Elvira, (10) “LE MUSIC HALL” by Elvira, (11) “ZOMBIE KILLER” by Leslie And The Lys, (12) “MISTRESS OF THE DARK” by Ghoultown and (13) “ONCE BITTEN, TWICE SHY” by Lori Chacko. This compilation is interesting because it includes music from Elvira’s 1987 film ELVIRA, MISTRESS OF THE DARK, most of which include voice-over work by Elvira herself. The only thing that would’ve made this collection perfect was if it had included the song “TRICK OR TREAT” that she did in the 80′s…I have only heard this song on The Dr. Demento Show and it is one of her best!
This long out-of-print LP, ELVIRA’S VINYL MACABRE, was actually one of the first Halloween-themed albums I ever bought (and I really wish they would release it on cd). It is a great collection and features intro’s and outro’s at the beginning and end of each side of the record by Elvira herself! Here is the track listing: (1) “INTRO” by Elvira, (2) “MONSTER MASH” by Bobby “Boris” Pickett, (3) “HAUNTED HOUSE” by Jumpin’ Gene Simmons, (4) “THE MUNSTERS” by The Comateens, (5) “HORROR MOVIES” by The Bollock Brothers, (6) “PURPLE PEOPLE EATER” by Sheb Wooley, (7)” IT’S HALLOWEEN” by The Shaggs, (8) “END OF SIDE ONE” by Elvira, (9) “BEGINNING OF SIDE TWO” by Elvira, (10) “TWILIGHT ZONE” by Neil Norman & His Cosmic Organ, (11) “THE VEGAS VAMPIRE” by Jim Parker, (12) “OUT OF LIMITS” by The Challengers, (13) “HORROR MOVIES” by Dickie Goodman, (14) “DRAC’S BACK” by Red Lipstique, (15) “OUTRO” by Elvira. Even though the album cover says it is Volume 1, there were no subsequent releases unfortunately.
Rhino Records released ELVIRA’S HAUNTED HITS in 1999. This cd, shorter than the lp release by a few songs, features 17 songs including one by the Mistress of the Dark herself! Some of the highlights on this collection feature “THE MONSTER MASH” by Bobby “Boris” Pickett (a must have for any Halloween party), “GHOSTBUSTERS” by Ray Parker Jr., “THE CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON”, a hard-to-find song by Dave Edmunds, “DEAD MAN’S PARTY” by Oingo Boingo and Elvira’s song “FULL MOON”. Speaking of Elvira, she has since had two more cd releases, both also on the Rhino label. First up is ELVIRA PRESENTS MONSTER HITS!
This cd, from 1994, features two songs by Elvira (as well as five others). There is also an intro and outro by Elvira. My favorite song on this cd by far is Elvira’s “MONSTA’ RAP”. I wish I could include a snippet here but that infringes on copyright. Let me just say that it’s a must hear song and you will quickly find yourself singing it also! Other songs on the disc include “LITTLE DEMON” by Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, “FEED MY FRANKENSTEIN” by Alice Cooper, “MONSTER MASH” by Bobby “Boris” Pickett, “A NIGHTMARE ON MY STREET” by D.J. Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince, “THE ADDAMS FAMILY” by Joey Gaynor and the 2nd Elvira track “HERE COMES THE BRIDE (THE BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN)” This cd is worth buying just for the two Elvira tracks!
The next release in this Elvira series is ELVIRA PRESENTS: REVENGE OF MONSTER HITS (1995). This disc also features two brand new songs by Elvira (“HAUNTED HOUSE” and a catchy little tune called “ZOMBIE STOMP”) as well as 5 other songs and new intros and outros. Besides the Elvira songs (worth the price of admission alone) three songs that stand out in rarity are “IT’S YOUR VOODOO WORKING” by Charles Sheffield, “MONSTERS’ HOLIDAY” (a monster Christmas song by Bobby “Boris” Pickett) and “WEIRD SCIENCE” by Oingo Boingo.
Since we are on the subject of Rhino Records, there are two more releases that should be noted:
HALLOWEEN HITS (1991) offers 10 songs, most of which can be found on other compilations. Two songs of note are “ATTACK OF THE KILLER TOMATOES” by Lewis Lee and “MARTIAN HOP” by The Ran-Dells. BILLBOARD PRESENTS FAMILY SCARYTIME CLASSICS (1996) features 10 memorable songs from film and television. The tracks on this disc are “THE ADDAMS FAMILY: MAIN THEME” by Vic Mizzy and His Orchestra, “ATTACK OF THE KILLER TOMATOES” by Lewis Lee, “(THEME FROM) THE MUNSTERS” by Billy Strange, His Guitar and Orchestra, “THE HEADLESS HORSEMAN” by Kay Star, “THE BLOB” by The Five Blobs, “DARK SHADOWS THEME” by The Robert Cobert Orchestra, “BEWITCHED” by Peggy Lee, “CASPER, THE FRIENDLY GHOST” by The Peter Pan Players and Orchestra, “THIS IS HALLOWEEN” from the soundtrack of TIM BURTON’S A NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS and “TWILIGHT ZONE” by John Williams and the Boston Pops Orchestra.
Another fun and recommended cd is called GHASTLY GROOVES (1994) and it features 12 songs, many of which have not been released on other compilations but are great additions to your Halloween music collection. Some of my favorite songs off of this cd are “SEASON OF THE WITCH” by Donovan, “NOSFERATU” by Blue Oyster Cult and “NIGHT OF THE VAMPIRE” by Roky Erickson.
HAUNTED MOTEL (1989) is a rare and out of print treasure released by a company called Boffo Records. None of these songs can be found on any other compilation and some of them are just…well, a lot of fun. Songs of note are “I DON’T BELIEVE IN GHOSTS” by Tyri Schiek, “MY BABY LOVES MONSTER MOVIES” by The R.S. Fieldtrip, the title track “HAUNTED MOTEL” by Suzy Elkins and my favorite, “WERECOW” by Flippy T. Fishead with The Mighty Ground Beeves. It took me 15 years to find a copy of the cd but it was worth the wait!
Another gem worth seeking out is MONSTER ROCK ‘N ROLL SHOW (1990) on DCC Compact Classics, Inc. discs. This compilation features 29 tracks, half of which are the audio of actual monster movie trailers. This is one of those discs that can be played from start to finish and you will enjoy every minute of it. Though some of the songs on here can be found on other compilations (like “MONSTER MASH” by Bobby “Boris” Picket and “THE PURPLE PEOPLE EATER” by Sheb Wooley), this disc also features some nice rarities! Among them are “MIDNIGHT STROLL” by The Revels, “WEREWOLF” by The Five Man Electrical Band, “THE GREEN SLIME” by The Green Slime (the main theme from the 1969 film), “LIL’ RED RIDING HOOD” by Sam The Sham And The Pharoahs, and my favorite, “MORGUS THE MAGNIFICENT” by Morgus And The Ghouls (a song about one of my favorite horror hosts).
A song of interest I found thanks to the Dr. Demento song is called “I’M A VAMPIRE” by Future Bible Heroes on their 2002 cd ETERNAL YOUTH. I would recommend downloading the single off of either iTunes or Amazon.
One last disc of mention is called WAVE GOODBYE TO THE 80′S (1995). This compilation is put out by a company called Risky Business, who also released the cd GHASTLY GROOVES covered earlier. Though this is basically just a compilation of popular pop songs from the 80′s, it does feature one rarity that stands out called “BATES MOTEL” by The Hitmen. This disc is worth buying just for this song!
Oh man, I just returned from seeing SHARK NIGHT 3D and need to swallow two aspirin with a whiskey chaser! Now, mind you, I didn’t walk into this film expecting GONE WITH THE WIND but, after viewing the trailer, was hoping for a fun film like last year’s PIRANHA 3D. Instead of laughter and entertainment, I can only compare this experience to being stabbed to death with a butter knife; long, drawn out….and PAINFUL!
A group of buff college kids spend a weekend at a friend’s Louisiana estate. Its the perfect party pad overlooking a salt water lake and complete with private pool, drinking games, and nobody over the age of 25. The proud owner is an attractive gal named Sara (Sara Paxton) who shies away from boys in favor of bonding with her pet dog instead. Of course her behavior is later explained as we are introduced to some of the local yokels who give hillbillies a bad name. These folks, are anything but your typical country bumpkins. Somehow they’ve managed to not only obtain some of the most expensive and state-of-the-art technology imaginable, but also acquire a legion of hungry pet sharks to do their bidding.
The boys have themselves quite the assortment of man-eaters with even tiny “cookie-cutter sharks” getting a shot at big screen mayhem. It isn’t long before the happy go lucky gang starts becoming fish food, leading to some of the most ridiculous scenes imaginable. To say these CGI fish are aggressive would be a gross understatement. These sharks seem to be everywhere at once and travel at such super sonic speeds you half expect to see smoke coming out of their dorsal fins. Of course, I fully expected this based on the trailer and it was not my main source of contention.
Peppered throughout the film are “intense” dramatic scenes, usually played between the male characters. In one scene, two GQ looking guys are having a cry-fest that made me shudder in my seat. When one of them learns that his girlfriend has just been killed, the two men bawl as he yells, “You don’t understand!!! She was the ONLY thing in my life that mattered!!!” Seriously? After it was revealed in the first scene that you’re not only graduating from college but are on the fast track to becoming a millionaire sportsman? The majority of the movie revolves around the characters trying to get help and away from their paradise-turned-prison. Apparently that lush mansion of theirs has everything… but a telephone!
The most ridiculous source of drama, however, revolved around the mysterious Sara and one the of the scarred locals, Dennis. After she thanks her “ex” and sends two of her pals off with him and his crony (who redefines bad oral hygiene) to get help, she sits on the dock and reveals all to one of her potential suitors. I’m telling you, after she gets through sharing her history with Dennis (in a back-story so convoluted you’d expect to see it on a daytime soap opera), you want to literally smack her upside the head for gleefully sending her friends with him!
At this point I was texting my co-blogger and revealing my desire to walk out of the theater. My only obstacle was my bringing my young, shark-obsessed son along with me who loved every minute. So I stayed to the end, even enduring one of the villains’ monologues regarding the motivation for their actions. For this I have but four letters; OMFG!
As for the 3D there were some good underwater scenes with the seaweed appearing close enough for you to reach out and grab it. There were also a few explosions that worked well with the format. Unfortunately, all the parlor tricks up Hollywood’s sleeve couldn’t make this movie even remotely watchable! Save your money (and your sanity) and avoid this one at all costs!
If you are a fan of horror hosts, then unless you have been living under a rock, you should be fully aware of the show MIDNITE MAUSOLEUM, hosted by Marlena Midnite and Robyn Graves. The show, available on over 50 channels across the United States has become a favorite among fans and fellow hosts and even if it is not shown in your area, there are places online you can check it out (like on THE MONSTER CHANNEL every Friday night at 10 PM EST)! Both Marlena and Robyn were nice enough to take some time out of their busy schedule of filming new shows and convention appearances to sit down with me and answer some questions.
DAVE A: Were you a fan of monster movies growing up? If so, what are some of your favorites?
MARLENA: When I was really young I liked GREMLINS a lot. as I got a bit older I became a fan of the Corman Poe flicks and my interest in other horror movies grew from there.
ROBYN: I was absolutely terrified of monster movies growing up. I was the kid who couldn’t go into a dark room until someone turned on the light for me. THE BIRDS, CHILD’S PLAY and CANDYMAN tormented my nightmares as a wee little lad.
DAVE A: Did you follow any horror hosts growing up? If so, who?
MARLENA: From a VERY Early age I can remember watching (Son Of) Svengoolie on cable so I saw more of his stuff than anybody elses and about 5 years ago they did a short-lived revival of The ACRI Creature Feature who were our local hosts. The original run of that show was before my time but I have seen bits and pieces through video I have collected over the years. Of all the stuff I have collected and seen I am particularly fond of The Ghoul and Sammy Terry.
ROBYN: My dad made me watch HBO’s TALES FROM THE CRYPT with him a lot but other than that I never was exposed to any sort of horror hosting until I was older.
DAVE A: What made you decide to be a horror host?
MARLENA: Blake and I were always fans of various hosts and were in the first stages of developing our store idea (now MIDNITE’S COMICS, CARDS and COLLECTABLES) and we came up with the idea of doing our own horror host S\show to promote it and hopefully run on a local channel. The show would promote the store and the store would promote the show but the show grew into something else entirely.
ROBYN: The stars aligned at just the right moment I suppose. This whole opportunity just popped up out of no where, but I’m so happy & grateful that it did. I think the horror community is such a warm and welcoming family, it’s really comforting to find a place surrounded by such talented and fun people.
DAVE A: What was your inspiration for your character?
MARLENA: Well Blake and I had already come up with several titles for the show and all of them had the word Midnite (Midnite Hour…etc ) but I eventually thought of Mausoleum and within an hour I had a character sketch drawn up and we had a whole premise for the show. Making the show take place inside a mausoleum I instantly became Marlena Midnite, who was a resident of the Mausoleum.
ROBYN: Robyn is a more carefree, PG rated, dumbed down version of myself. I like to think of Robyn like Gir from Invader Zim.
DAVE A: This one is directed at Marlena. Two of your characters, Wolfred and Franklin, are puppets. Were you always interested in puppetry?
MARLENA: The puppets and making them are my FAVORITE part of the whole show. I was always interested in puppetry but Wolfred and Franklin were the first 2 I ever made. We also have a newer one called Cleo she is a mummified cat. With season 4 there will be ALL NEW puppets (New Wolfred, New Franklin).
DAVE A: Will we be seeing any new puppet characters in the future?
MARLENA: Cleo will have an occasional appearance,and Thaddeous Bones returns in season 4. Soon we will have 2 new puppet characters that I want to keep under wraps for now but I can tell you that they are a plant and a snail.
DAVID A: Was it difficult getting MIDNITE MAUSOLEUM off the ground?
MARLENA: We spent a month preparing. We built sets in the basement, I built the puppets and Blake and I both scripted. We shot our original 12 web episodes over a 4 day period in March of 2009 and put a short preview video on the web. We were lucky and got a radio interview right away thanks to Beth Davis from the Dwyer and Michaels Morning Show on 97X radio. By the time our web episodes came out on a weekly basis they would have hundreds of views each week. It only expanded from there.
When we decided to go with full length episodes we added Robyn (Episode #113) as the mail girl. Corpse S. Chris from HORROR HOST GRAVEYARD got our first TV episode run on an access station in NY on September 5th 2009 and by December of that year we were running on 10 stations. That is a much simplified version, it was not easy because we did and still do nearly everything ourselves, but we also got a couple of lucky breaks. We also got tons of help from TackFu and everyone at PATV 18 in Iowa City and Leon Worden from SCVTV 20 in Santa Clarita, CA. There are too many people to list who have helped out in so many ways.
DAVE A: In an industry dominated by male hosts, did you experience any problems getting accepted?
MARLENA: We have been very fortunate, it doesn’t seem like we have had any problems being accepted. We currently run on tons of stations across the U.S. so if there IS someone out there NOT accepting us, I guess I would not know the difference. There will always be emails slamming the show, or me or Robyn occasionally but that’s what the delete button is for.. focus on the positive!
DAVE A: Do you watch any of today’s host shows regularly?
MARLENA: Dr. Gangrene, Ormsby, Eerie Shivers… anyone who sends DVD’s to the store for us to play. Outside of that we really don’t watch a lot of current hosts because of lack of time and because our show developed in a vacuum (we figured at the time that there were about 10 active hosts out there) and we want to keep it that way. There are quite a few hosts out there but we just like to continue down the road we started and so I guess we kind of keep to ourselves more
than some others because it keeps us on track.
ROBYN: . I love Uncle Eerie’s show! I try to keep up with everything that he posts online. And The Atomic Age Cinema monsters make really fun DVDs that always make me giggle. All of the horror hosts are doing a really amazing job right now. I try to take time to appreciate all of their work….but it’s hard! THERE’S SO MANY OF US!
DAVE A: Today’s hosts are usually limited to public domain films to show on their programs. If you could choose just one movie, no matter what it was to show, which movie would it be and why?
MARLENA: DUNE (the David Lynch version). I am a big David Lynch Fan and DUNE is one of my faves.
DAVE A: This past year you had an “adults only” DVD called Eurosleaze that sold really well. Do you have any other big plans for the future? Anything you can share with us?
MARLENA: The “adults only” DVDs allow us to do movies with too much nudity, etc that we could never do on television. Our bits in those feature very adult humor as well. It was a lot of fun and a change from doing our TV show which we like to keep strictly PG rated. We are always working on new items such as t-shirts and DVD releases of our seasons. You can check out what we have to offer HERE!
DAVE A: Recently you and Robyn had hilarious parts in Thomas Berdinski’s GIANT RUBBER MONSTER MOVIE. How did this come about?
MARLENA: We have kept involved with Thom Berdinski ever since we met him at HorrorHound Indianapolis 2010. We shot the summer camp episodes with him plus he’s in 2 other MM episodes. He wrote a part for us in the script and we shot it in December of last year. We actually will be much more involved with Thom in the future with MANY crossover and stand alone projects.
DAVE A: Do you plan on making any other cameos in similar projects in the future?
MARLENA: We are in another short film that he is doing that will be out soon, but can’t really give any details about it.
DAVE A: Let’s talk about you being a comic book store owner. What made you do this and how is the business venture going?
MARLENA: The store is a lot of fun and business is doing fine actually, especially lately. It does create a problem we didn’t foresee though. We are gone a LOT of weekends (take October for example , EVERY weekend we are at some other event) so in my opinion, we are simply GONE too much to run a store so we might see if another local wants to take it over or something similar.
If you haven’t checked out MIDNITE MAUSOLEUM, definitely give it a try…you will not be disappointed!
On July 29th, Potent Media began to embark on a sick and twisted journey known as their new film DEER CROSSING. The horrific crime drama starring Christopher Mann, Laura Lynn Cottrel, K.J. Linhein, Ernie Hudson (GHOSTBUSTERS and THE CROW), and Doug Bradley (HELLRAISER series) generated lots of media interest not to mention having a disturbing teaser up on youtube that is collecting more complaints than praise. “I want it to make people uncomfortable,” says writer and director Christian Jude Grillo also known under alias Mr. Potent.
In short, DEER CROSSING is a disturbing crime drama with no limits and no apologies. The story is wrapped around retired cop Derrick Stanswood (Christopher Mann) who is called by a wealthy doctor to re-open a cold case from eight years ago. Stanswood finds himself in a backwards rural town in search of Maggie Chancellor (Laura Lynn Cottrel) and her son Cole (Kevin Fennell) who have actually been held captive for the last eight years by a maniacal farmer (K.J. Linhein) who’s been torturing Maggie and raising Cole to be his son. Also in DEER CROSSING, are some memorable cameos from three horror hosts and zombie hunter!
Carmela Hayslett (Roxsy Tyler), Scott Maus (Count Victor Von Scary), Christopher Inlow (Slo Frank) and Patrick Devaney (ZOMBIE HUNTERS: CITY OF THE DEAD) all remove their well-known alter egos to take turns stealing the spotlight in the upcoming Potent Media film.
Patrick Devaney, known as Billy Cassidy on ZOMBIE HUNTERS: CITY OF THE DEAD joined our crew early morning in Pipersville, PA on the very first day of shooting. Christian decided randomly one day to add a little side role just for Patrick. Patrick then made the three-hour trip down from New York to be a part of the film. “My character is the diner’s short-order cook, who doesn’t take too kindly to Christopher Mann’s character wanting to dine at his establishment,” says Devaney. “After confirming with the REAL waitstaff that my outfit looked the part, I asked one of them for their dish rag so I could have something to do with my hands. As the camera crew pulled focus for the scene, Mann approached me and we got into a little bit of a heated debate (in character) about why he couldn’t get any service! This went on for a while until (Director) Grillo called us all to order. Which was probably good, seeing as the other half of the set was still open and serving to the public!” Devaney continued.
As a horror hostess, I think it’s natural to want to branch out into acting outside of our shows. A lot of us would be actors use our shows as outlets for our need to entertain. I was very vocal when the idea came to notion to put horror hosts in serious roles for Deer Crossing. I surely didn’t want to be the only one. After directing “Marxed for the Occasion” (a Marx Bros. tribute containing over 20 different horror hosts) at HorrorHound last March I was convinced that a lot of us are more than just hosts, we’re entertainers and… we surprisingly take direction very well. We may be out of control on our shows but when it comes to other things we can be quite professional.
Most of the Deer Crossing cast was hand-picked by director Christian Jude Grillo. Nearly no auditions or casting calls were held. Every character in the script already had a face and the face of Muzzy belonged to Christopher Inlow. Inlow is beloved in our horror hosting sub-culture as Slo Frank from Monster Madhouse. He’s so convincing as Slo Frank that there are people out there convinced that he’s a mental deficient and overgrown child underneath the make-up.
“Christian’s directing was very focused. He knew exactly what he wanted and he allowed me to take the character in the direction I wanted it go. The way the script read made it a joy and challenge to step into the very creepy shoes of Muzzy,” says Inlow whose character shows up in the third act of the story during a repulsive birthday party sequence. “Muzzy is not someone I would like to ever run into,” Inlow adds and you will easily find that most of the cast and crew agreed!
Scott Maus, better known as Count Victor Von Scary from Fright Night Cinema flew himself into Philadelphia straight from Hell, Michigan just to be a part of the film. Scott has a small cameo in Deer Crossing as a gas station attendant. “Even though it was a smaller role it was huge to me and I took it very seriously. The cast and crew were always friendly and supportive and I made a lot of new friends while filming. I was lucky enough to watch Mr.Potent edit and score some of the film and it looked amazing! I cant wait to see the finished product!”
Now we come to my role. I play Olivia Brice, a special interrogator called in to get answers out of Cole about what happened to him at the farm. I was very nervous about playing this role because Olivia is different from any other character I’ve played. I’m used to being the goth girl or nerdy girl. This was my chance to really challenge myself. “Olivia Brice is a person who proves herself by her actions and not her looks,” says Grillo. “Carmela gave Olivia the confidence that the character needed.”
I had the opportunity to share screen time with Ernie Hudson. My God, I had a Winston Zedmore action figure when I was a little girl. I’ve been watching this man since I was in diapers and now I’m in a movie with him. It was a fantastic experience! Ernie was a very down to earth guy and very supportive of what Potent Media is trying to accomplish with this film. My favorite thing about Ernie was that you might think of him as a movie star but he doesn’t treat you like he’s a movie star. He’s very kind, very approachable, and very easy to feel comfortable around. Ernie was gold and he treated us like gold. I was very happy to work with him on this film.
DEER CROSSING is currently still in production and will be released next year.