Thursday, March 21, 2019

Monsters from the Vault: The Final Issues!


WOW, hard to believe it's been 5-1/2 years since our last issue. Many of you may know those years have not been kind to me, healthwise. I just had my third surgery in less than 4 years, so my health has been my Number 1 concern! 

While I was dealing with my health issues, MONSTERS FROM THE VAULT ended up on the back burner. Sadly, the further removed I was from MFTV, the more my passion for the magazine began to wane. I feel bad about the very few MFTV status updates that came out during that period. I should have communicated better with our readers, for sure. However, I REALLY appreciate most people’s patience during this time. (I have to say "most"; unfortunately, I've received some pretty nasty e-mails from readers about the delay over the past 2 to 3 years.)

I commend the subscribers who are still owed money; not a peep from them. They will get a refund, before the final issue is published, to use that money toward their Amazon purchase (more on that below). The hate mail seemed to be from casual readers, or readers who just buy each new issue as it is published. But being called a crook, a scammer, a liar, and a really poor businessman, among other things, definitely stung. I won't even mention some of the nastier things that were said. Bottom-line: MONSTERS FROM THE VAULT is just a self-published monster magazine. While I appreciate our readers' passion for it, no one's life should revolve around it, including mine. But I did promise our loyal readers a final issue, and I plan to make good on that promise (times two, actually)!

While the initial plan was to go out with one huge, 200-plus-page issue, I've decided to divide the issue in half, mainly to expedite the process. Instead of laboring on one large issue, I can get the first one published and in your hands while completing work on the second one. Each issue will run approximately 128 pages, plus covers. Speaking of covers, each issue will have four cover variants to choose from.  Some of the covers are directly related to contents within that issue, while others are just because I've always wanted a cover by a particular person (Manuel Sanjulian), or because it related to a certain film (FROM HELL IT CAME, a guilty pleasure of mine) or franchise (PLANET OF THE APES) that I love. And, of course, I wanted a cover by everyone who ever contributed a cover during our soon to be 25 year run. Whatever the case, I LOVE them all! Because of the size and cover variants, plus my desire to avoid a HUGE printing bill, I've decided to go the print-on-demand route through Amazon's Kindle Direct Publishing (previously known as CreateSpace). Readers will be able to choose which cover they want, whether it be one, all eight, or somewhere in-between. I know this is not the preferred way to go for many of you (nor for me), but it's the best option at this time. I've been monitoring the quality of Kindle Direct Publishing's product, and it's GREATLY improved over the past few years. The price for each issue will be $12.98 (plus shipping; free shipping is available through Amazon Prime or by submitting an order exceeding $25). So, how will you get the final issues? For the majority, through Amazon.com. I've decided not to stock a large volume and deal with packing and shipping a ton of copies. This has always been the worst part of the job for me, so I'm going to leave the dirty work to Amazon. However, since each issue will premiere at the Monster Bash Convention, I will have copies of Issue #34 for sale (all four cover variants) at the October Monster Bash (October 18-20, 2019) and Issue #35 (all four cover variants) at next June's Monster Bash in (June 19-21, 2020), and at future Bashes or other conventions where I'm a vendor. You won't be able to order the final issues directly from me. PLEASE DO NOT SEND ANY FUNDS DIRECTLY TO ME, AS THEY WILL BE RETURNED! Again, if you have a subscription that's still current, I'll contact you about any refund you may be owed. At this time, I'm uncertain whether copies will be sold to Diamond Comics for comic book shop distribution. I plan to offer the final issue to various online sources such as Creepy Classics, My Movie Monsters, Creature Features, Oldies.com, and Hemlock Books in the U.K. More on this, and on when the issues will be available for order on Amazon, will be posted here and on my website and blog as the publication dates get closer.

So—let's move on to what you really care about—the contents and cover variants for each issue!


MONSTERS FROM THE VAULT #34 (Fall 2019):

The Contents (Subject to Transformation):

  • VIEW FROM THE VAULT
  • MEMORIES FROM THE VAULT: OUR CONTRIBUTORS: Recollections and Remembrances of Monsters from the Vault
  • THE MAGAZINE THAT CHANGED EVERYTHING by David Colton
  • MONSTER FIGHTERS' OFFSPRING: Her Father Fought the Creature and Her Mom Met the Wolf Man, The Daughter of Richard Denning and Evelyn Ankers Tells All! Interview by Tom Weaver
  • ONE HELL OF A RIDE!: The Monsters from the Vault Story, Part One by Jim & Marian Clatterbaugh 
  • THE HUMAN MONSTERS OF PARAMOUNT by Steven Thornton
  • THE LITTLE FELLOW WHO CRIED WOLFMAN…AND DRACULA…AND THE MONSTER by John Stell
  • A TALE OF THREE YGORS by Frank J. Dello Stritto
  • FILMS FROM THE VAULT
  • BOOKS FROM THE VAULT

The Covers (Slight Tweaking May Occur):


Manuel Sanjulian Variant


Mark Maddox Variant


Kerry Gammill Variant


George Chastain/Kerry Gammill Variant 
(3D Cover, Check It Out With 3D Glasses!)

MONSTERS FROM THE VAULT #35 (Summer 2020):


The Contents (Subject to Transformation)

  • VIEW FROM THE VAULT
  • MEMORIES FROM THE VAULT: OUR READERS: Recollections and Remembrances of Monsters from the Vault
  • THE 10 MOST IMPORTANT THINGS I LEARNED FROM CLASSIC HORROR FILMS by Steve Kronenberg
  • THE CENSORSHIP SAGA AND STUDIO POLITICS OF BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN by Greg Mank
  • ONE HELL OF A RIDE!: The Monsters from the Vault Story, Part Two by Jim & Marian Clatterbaugh
  • THE CAT CREEPS (1930) WHILE THE CANARY SLEEPS by Gary Rhodes
  • OF LOBOS AND HOMBRES: Mexican Werewolf Cinema, 1958-1976 by Bryan Senn
  • ATOMIC GOTHIC: Horror Movies Didn't Die in the 1950s, They Went Into Disguise by Mark Clark
  • FILMS FROM THE VAULT
  • BOOKS FROM THE VAULT
   
The Covers (Slight Tweaking May Occur):


Joe "Sorko" Schovitz Variant


Jason Edmiston Variant


Daniel R. Horne Variant


Michael Kronenberg Variant

Saturday, July 16, 2016

The Final Issue...

...is not out yet. Look for an update here soon with three, maybe four more cover variants. I know the publication keeps getting pushed and I have no idea at this time when it will be published, but it will be published eventually. I'm no longer predicting when, but it will eventually happen and it will be worth the wait!

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

They Came from the Swamp DVD Review





The following review will be featured in Monsters from the Vault #34 when published later this year, however, I wanted to spread the word about this EXCELLENT documentary from director Daniel Griffith as soon as possible. I encourage everyone to pick up a copy before it sells out!

They Came from the Swamp: The Films of William Grefé (2016; Ballyhoo Home Entertainment, Two DVD Collector's Set). Available from Ballyhoo Motion Pictures (www.ballyhoomotionpictures.com), $29.99 SRP.

Reviewed by Bryan Senn

"SNAKES! SHARKS! SHATNER! OH, MY!"

So announces the colorful flyer for this colorful new documentary about the unsung godfather of Florida-based drive-in filmmaking, William Grefé. In the 1960s and '70s, Grefé supplied Southern drive-ins (and, in some cases, cinemas around the country) with crowd-pleasing exploitation fare like the swampland double bill Sting of Death (the first—and only—film about a jellyfish-man!) and Death Curse of Tartu, the Willardesque snake-fright flick Stanley, and the Willard-meets-Jaws variation Mako: The Jaws of Death.

Before watching this documentary, I had seen only a handful of Grefé's films. While I'd enjoyed them to varying degrees (particularly the cheesy entertainment of the jellyfish-man delivering the Sting of Death, and the creepy-crawly ooginess of Stanley), I never thought of Grefé as being a maverick auteur. Hell, I hardly ever thought of Grefé at all. But after getting to know the man and his swampy oeuvre through this thoroughly engaging overview of his career, I was eager to seek out more of his films.

Unpretentious, soft-spoken, self-effacing, patient, and overall a heck of a nice guy (according to those who worked with him), Grefé admittedly is not the most dynamic of speakers. Fortunately, the stories he tells (such as one involving the disastrous meeting of a valuable 1,000-year-old Chinese vase and a clumsy film crew) keeps interest high. And Daniel Griffith, They Came from the Swamp's director/producer/photographer/editor, livens up Grefé's on-camera presence by interspersing pertinent comments and stories from a plethora of interviewees. Thankfully, apart from a few bon mots by film historian Chris Poggiali, and some general comments from later indy filmmakers Frank Henenlotter and Fred Olen Ray, the documentary keeps to actual Grefé personnel—from actors and contemporaries (like fellow exploitation pioneers David Friedman and H.G. Lewis), to cameramen, sound men, and even Grefé's long-time script girl—making this a engrossingly up-close-and-personal bio-doc.

Organized as a career overview, They Came from the Swamp charts Grefé's moviemaking year by year, beginning with 1963's The Checkered Flag, and going through I Eat Your Skin (which Grefé worked on as second unit director), Racing Fever, Sting of Death, Death Curse of Tartu (shot in just seven days in the Everglades), The Devil's Sisters (shot in ten), The Wild Rebels, The Hooked Generation, The Naked Zoo (starring Rita Hayworth), Live and Let Die (more second unit work, complete with gators), Stanley, The Godmothers, Impulse (starring William Shatner), Mako: The Jaws of Death (with Richard Jaeckel), Whiskey Mountain (his final film as director), and 1985's Cease Fire (as producer).

Through interviews and clips, augmented by fascinating behind-the-scenes footage (someone seemingly always brought along an 8mm camera to his shoots), we learn such intriguing tidbits like how Christopher George, not Burt Reynolds, was the first choice to play the lead role in Deliverance; and how just before shooting was scheduled to start, Grefé simply transformed his script about stock-car racers into one about bikers when Corman's The Wild Angels became a huge indy hit. (The result: The Wild Rebels.)

Augmenting the exceptional documentary is a cornucopia of bonus features: The usual still gallery (with an unusually excellent assortment of behind-the-scenes photographs), a trailer collection (covering most of Grefé's oeuvre), a tantalizing docu-short on Crown International (who aspired to be the "new AIP") that just begs to be expanded to feature length, a ten-minute "Mako: Jaws of Death" promo piece, and two Bacardi Rum industrial films directed by Grefé, including a seventeen-minute pirate-themed promo short called "Barcardi: The Mixable One" that stars... William Shatner! But the most gratifying extra of all is the complete, rare, 1977 Grefé feature film Whiskey Mountain, starring Christopher George (the first time it has been issued on DVD). Yes, one of the many extras on this two-disc set is a full feature film! Being a Christopher George fan (who can forget the backwoods exploitation classic Grizzly?) made me appreciate the icing on this Whiskey cake even more, as this heretofore obscure effort (shot in the same area as Deliverance) proved to be an entertaining—and sometimes hard-hitting—hicksploitation winner. Talk about bang for your buck…

Smoothly edited to keep things lively and interest high, and featuring some wonderful clips and behind-the-scenes footage, this exhaustive (but by no means exhausting—I could easily have continued on for twice its length) capsule of a fringe filmmaker remains both edifying (at least for those interested in vintage exploitation moviemaking) and entertaining. And like the best filmmaker documentaries, They Came from the Swamp makes one want to view more of this intrepid moviemaker's work.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Seasons Greetings from MFTV!


Marian and I Wish
You and Your Families a 
Merry Christmas and 
Happy New Year!

Thursday, November 12, 2015

The Final Issue Coming Eventually!


In case you haven't already heard elsewhere, the publication of the final issue has once again been pushed back. This is due to several reasons, but the biggest one is my slow recovery from back surgery. I just returned to work last week and I'll once again find free time to work on the issue hard to come by. That along with the fact that I still don't have all of the contributions for the issue, made the delay unavoidable. So please be patient, the issue will eventually be published. My new target date is July 2016. If all goes as planned, the issue will premiere at Ron Adams' Monster Bash Convention being held in Mars, PA, July 8-10, 2016. And while you will be able to pick up the issue from me at the convention, if you are not attending, you'll have to purchase it from Amazon.com. A couple of things about that:

1. The issue (all cover variants) will NOT sellout on Amazon (it's print-on-demand), so don't worry that you might miss out, you won't! Be patient and don't constantly look for it there and contact me when you don't see it available for order. It won't show up on Amazon until the issue is published (around July). It won't be available for preorder. I'll post here when it's available.

2. PLEASE DO NOT SEND ME FUNDS FOR THE FINAL ISSUE!!! Several people have sent me money for it and I now have to return their payment. I thought I made it clear that the issue would only be available from Amazon.com when I posted here back in May, but I guess there was some confusion in regards to that. I really would rather not have the added expense of returning payments, so again, please do NOT send any funds for the final issue directly to me.

While I know this news is not what most of you wanted to hear, but as always, I do the best I can to publish each issue in a timely manner, but unfortunately, it doesn't always happen. But I truly believe the final issue will be worth the wait. So please be patient, July will be here before you know it.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

MFTV #34---The Final Issue!

While it's much later than planned, the time has finally come to reveal the contents and covers for the final issue of Monsters from the Vault. The issue was initially set to premiere at Monster Bash in June 2015, but due to a couple of medical setbacks that required both me and my wife to have surgery, the issue will now premiere at Monster Bash on the weekend of July 8-10, 2016 (much later than I had planned). First, the issue is going to be huge (over 200-plus pages). Second, the issue will have 5 cover variants. Because of the size and cover variants, plus my desire to not rack up a HUGE printing bill for my final issue, I've decided to go the print-on-demand route through Amazon's CreateSpace. This will enable readers to choose which cover they want, whether it be one, all, or somewhere in between. However, no matter which cover(s) you choose for the front, the other covers will be shown smaller on the back cover of that issue. I know this is not the preferred way to go for many of you (nor for me), but it’s the best option at this time. I've been monitoring the quality of Amazon's product, and it's GREATLY improved over the past few years. Also, the final price is not yet set in stone (even though the covers show $19.98), but it most likely will be in the $20 range (plus shipping, unless you get free shipping through Amazon Prime or your order exceeds $35, which also gets you free shipping). So how do you get the final issue? For the majority, through Amazon.com. I've decided not to stock a large amount, or to deal with packing up and shipping a ton of copies. This has always been the worst part of the job for me, so I’m going to leave the dirty work to Amazon. However, I will have copies for sale (of all cover variants) at the October Bash, and at future Bashes or any other conventions where I'm a vendor, but you won't be able to order it directly from me. PLEASE DO NOT SEND ANY FUNDS DIRECTLY TO ME AS THEY WILL BE RETURNED! If you have a subscription that's still current, I’ll contact you via mail in January or February 2016 about the final issue and any refund you may be owed. At this time, it's uncertain as to whether copies will be sold to Diamond Comics for comic book shop distribution or to various online sources (Creepy Classics, Scary Monsters, Creature Features, Oldies.com, Hemlock Books in the U.K., etc.). More on this, and when the issue will be available for preorder on Amazon, will be posted here and on my Web site and blog as the publication date gets closer.

That's enough rambling from me—let's move on to what you really care about, Monsters from the Vault #34!

The Contents
(Subject to Transformation)

  • ONE HELL OF A RIDE!: The Monsters from the Vault Story by Jim Clatterbaugh & Marian Owens
  • THE MAGAZINE THAT CHANGED EVERYTHING by David Colton
  • THE CENSORSHIP SAGA AND STUDIO POLITICS OF BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN by Greg Mank
  • THE 10 MOST IMPORTANT THINGS I LEARNED FROM CLASSIC HORROR FILMS by Steve Kronenberg
  • THE LITTLE FELLOW WHO CRIED WOLFMAN…AND DRACULA…AND THE MONSTER by John Stell
  • A TALE OF THREE YGORS by Frank J. Dello Stritto
  • MONSTER FIGHTERS' OFFSPRING: Her Father Fought the Creature and Her Mom Met the Wolf Man, The Daughter of Richard Denning and Evelyn Ankers Tells All! Interview by Tom Weaver
  • OF LOBOS AND HOMBRES: Mexican Werewolf Cinema, 1958-1976 by Bryan Senn
  • ATOMIC GOTHIC: Horror Movies Didn't Die in the 1950s, They Went Into Disguise by Mark Clark
  • THE CAT CREEPS (1930) WHILE THE CANARY SLEEPS by Gary Rhodes
  • THE HUMAN MONSTERS OF PARAMOUNT by Steven Thornton
  • OUR READERS AND CONTRIBUTORS SPEAK!: Recollections and Remembrances of Monsters from the Vault
  • FILMS FROM THE VAULT
  • BOOKS FROM THE VAULT
    The Covers
    (Slight Tweaking May Occur)

Michael Kronenberg Variant
Joe "Sorko" Schovitz Variant
Daniel R. Horne Variant
Kerry Gammill Variant
Manuel Sanjulian Variant
Sample Back Cover


I look forward to bringing you “The Best in Classic Horror” one more time, and I appreciate everyone’s contributions and support over the past 20 years. Monsters from the Vault, All Classic, All the Time!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

MFTV OUT OF COMMISSION UNTIL JUNE!


Be advised that starting April 30, 2015, I’ll be out of commission until mid-June due to back surgery. During this time no orders will be filled. If you place an order during this period, I won't be able to respond. Also, if you e-mail to ask a question it may be a while before I respond. So please be patient if you don’t get an e-mail response or receive your quickly. Once I’m able to get around and do a little more, I’ll start catching up on all things Monsters from the Vault-related.

My recovery period is between 4 - 6 months and my physical activity during this time will be very limited. Therefore, the final issue of Monsters from the Vault will not premiere at the June Monster Bash as planned. The issue will now premiere at the October Monster Bash instead. Believe me, it will be worth the wait!

I hope to be able to post the final issue contents and covers here before my surgery; however, I’m still waiting on a few things before doing so. If it doesn’t happen, it’ll be posted in late May.

Once again, thanks for your patience and understanding during this period.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

All Copies of MFTV #33 Shipped!

All subscriber copies and single issue orders have now shipped. Any orders received in past week or so will ship this coming week. One thing I noticed while going through the boxes of magazines is that every copy has s small crease on the spine. It's located in the same spot on every copy and most likely occurred when the issue was binded. Everyone here knows what a perfectionist I am so this is disheartening, but that's how it goes. This is the first issue in nearly 20 years that there are NO mint copies. Finally, I'm sorry for the long delay in getting everything shipped out, hopefully everyone is enjoying our next to last issue. Look for info on our final issue to be posted here in early 2015.