Monday, April 25, 2011

Out of Commission!


Just a note to anyone placing an order for issues of Monsters from the Vault between now and May 9th, I'll be out of town on business for my real job during this period so no orders will be processed until I return. However, I will be blogging from my hotel while I'm on the road so keep checking back!

Also, I picked up the painting for the cover of Monsters from the Vault #29 from Daniel Horne before I left on my trip and scanned it and sent it to Sorko to finalize the cover. I'll be posting the cover here the week of May 9th so check back then to get your first look at his latest creation!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Home Cooking HAMMER Style!

In the fall of 2003 Gary and Svehla, publishers of Midnight Marquee decided to publish an all new, full color magazine called Movie Mystique. The focus of the magazine was women in horror films, both old and new (something similar to the once popular Femme Fatales published by the gang behind Cinefantastique).


While the magazine was in the planning stages I attended the Monster Mania Convention (the first one I believe, if not the first, the second) in Cherry Hill, NJ with Gary and Sue and several other fans from the Baltimore area. One of the ideas Sue had for the magazine was to feature a star's favorite recipe in each issue with a photo of the star to accompany it. As luck would have it, several of the stars from Hammer were there that weekend and Sue convinced them to pose for photos (which I took) for the new magazine. Unfortunately, the magazine folded after two issues and most of the photos weren't used. Fortunately, while going through some old files on my back up hard drive I came across the folder with the photos. So below for your view pleasure are a few of the shots I took. While the ladies have gotten older they're still all beautiful and extremely nice!

Caroline Munro
Veronica Carlson
Suzanna Leigh
Yvonne Monlaur


Monday, April 18, 2011

The Hideous Sun Demon!


From Tom Weaver and Bear Manor Media comes the first edition their new book series, Tom Weaver Presents the Scripts from the Crypt Collection. The first book as you can see by the cover (designed by The Astounding B Monster's Marty Baumann) is on The Hideous Sun Demon. Here's more from Bear Manor Media's Web site:

In this one-of-a-kind volume, you'll learn everything under the sun about producer-director-star Robert Clarke's 1959 monster classic: Clarke's in-depth account of the making of his low-budget independent movie; reprints of TWO versions of the script, the first set in the jungles of Guatemala; the full story of Sun Demon's world premiere at a Texas drive-in; anecdotal memories of the frantic filmmaking process from nearly a dozen cast-and-crew participants; the original "Showmanship Manual"; an outline for a follow-up Sun Demon film proposed by Clarke in the 1970s; scores of rare and never-seen photographs; even an afterword from sexquisite co-star Nan Peterson! This is the first in a series of such books from longtime genre fan and chronicler Tom Weaver.

So hid over to Bear Manor Media and order your copy today. The book is just $24.95 plus postage and it ships in May! Look for info in the next book in the series soon right here.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Two Favorites From the Web's Early Days

In the late 1990s when I got online with my home computer for the first time, two places I frequented were Marty Baumann's The Astounding B Monster Web site, and Universal Studio's new Universal's Online Horror Channel (created by Joe Sena). Both published all new editions monthly filled with tons of fun stuff. While the The Astounding B Monster focused more on the horror, sci-fi, and schlock films of the 1950s, Universal's Online Horror Channel focused on a different theme (actor, film, film series, etc.) each month. Of course, everything Universal's Online Horror Channel covered was from Universal's film catalog. Marty's B Monster continued on until  January 2006 and you can still view most of the stuff that appeared on his site by going to www.bmonster.com, unfortunately, Universal's Online Horror Channel ended in 1998 after a brief but memorable run. I have fond memories of both, and waited with great excited for the first of each month to arrive to check out the newest issues of both. During my earliest days of the internet, these were my Famous Monsters of Filmland and Castle of Frankenstein of my youth. I'd love to see both return as I still believe they could provide hours of entertainment, even now when there's a ton of other sites providing the same types of things. Does anyone reading this have the same fond memories as me? If so I'd love to hear from you. I'd also love to track down the remaining cover images for the other issues of Universal's Online Horror Channel. If anyone reading has them, please send them my way.













Also, if you haven't already done so pick up a copy of Marty's book, The Astounding B Monster. The books features tons of profiles, interviews and reviews that were first published on The Astounding B Monster Web site. You can pick up your copy at Amazon.com.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Jack Pierce Cartoon

Jack Pierce Cartoon Signed by Pierce to Boris Karloff

Halloween Comes Early!



My two favorite active horror hosts have a new DVD coming your way and I highly recommend it! Here's the press release:

Alpha Video has announced that it has obtained U.S. home video distribution rights to the 2010 made for television movie The Dreadful Hallowgreen Special. After winning rave reviews following its broadcast last Halloween, the film will be released on DVD April 26, 2011.

The Dreadful Hallowgreen Special pairs TV horror hosts Penny Dreadful and Dr. Gangrene together. The duo finds themselves readying for the upcoming Halloween season when suddenly all things go awry. It’s up to the physician of fright, Dr. Gangrene, and the eerie enchantress, Penny Dreadful, to set things right and save Halloween for everyone in this half hour special. Narrated by Washington DC’s legendary horror host Count Gore De Vol, this Halloween treat is packed with fright.

The DVD retails at $7.99 and will include the extended cut of the film with footage not aired in the original half hour broadcast version. In addition to The Dreadful Hallowgreen Special the DVD will include an all new half hour special entitled Trailer Terror hosted by Penny Dreadful and Dr. Gangrene, which has the hosts introducing some of their favorite classic horror film trailers.

Dr. Gangrene said "It is a privilege to work with Alpha Video, a favorite of mine for a very long time, so I was glad we could make this happen. We can now reach a larger audience with the Dreadful Hallowgreen Special at an affordable price for our fans."

DVD bonus features include a gallery of artwork, trailers, bios, shorts, bloopers, and outtakes. In addition the dvd will contain rarely seen Penny Dreadful footage from her live Holiday Specials and eight public service short films from the Emmy nominated series Go Green With Dr. Gangrene.

The Dreadful Hallowgreen Special is a co-production of Shackle Island Studios and Peculiar Productions. Cast and crew members from Dr. Gangrene's Creature Feature, and Penny Dreadful's Shilling Shockers produced segments in both Massachusetts and Tennessee, as well as California and Washington D.C.. The film was co-directed by Cameron McCasland and Rebecca Paiva.

In celebration of the DVD release The Dreadful Hallowgreen Special will be making a special big screen appearance at this years Wonderfest during the Saturday Night Chiller Cinema Live Event hosted live by Dr. Gangrene and Penny Dreadful on May 15, 2011.

Alpha Video is an entertainment company based near Philadelphia, PA specializing in the release of Classic Hollywood films from the Golden age, as well as interesting and unusual contemporary motion pictures and television productions. For more information please visit www.Oldies.com.

Wonderfest will be held may 14-15th 2011 in Louisville, KY. Wonderfest is an international hobby event now in its 22nd year that celebrates the art of movie monster artists, and model makers. For more information please visit www.wonderfest.com.

Penny Dreadful and the Shilling Shockers Gang!
Penny Dreadful's Shilling Shockers, set to premiere it's 8th season, is based in New England and airs in over 150 cities. Penny Dreadful is portrayed by Danielle Gelehrter, two time recipient of the Rondo Hatton Classic Horror Award for Favorite Horror Host.

Dr. Gangrene's Creature Feature airs on its home station WNAB CW58 in Nashville, TN. Dr. Gangrene is portrayed by Larry Underwood. The Good Doctor has been shocking the Scare-waves since 1999. His programs have won countless praise and have been nominated for two Emmy Awards for Public Service.



For more information on the good Dr. and Penny, please visit www.drgangrene.com and www.shillingshockers.com.

Photo of the Week!

The Lovely Mara Corday Takes a Break on the Set of Tarantula

Poster of the Week!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

FANEX Through the Years—Thanks for the Memories!


This was originally posted on the Classic Horror Film Board back in 2005, but today when Tom Weaver asked me about one of the shows I was feeling nostalgic so I decided to post it here. Also, Gary and Sue Svehla (sponsors of FANEX) have just released the first of hopefully many DVDs (artwork for the DVD is shown above) containing interviews and guest talks from the many years of FANEX. You can order from their Web site (www.midmar.com).

Recently, I was checking out Dick Klemensen’s Web site for his wonderful magazine, Little Shoppe of Horrors, when I noticed he had recently added a whole section of photos taken throughout the years. What struck me and set off numerous fond memories were all the photos taken at FANEX over the years. While I know many of the people who frequent the Classic Horror Film Board know about FANEX and may have attended at least one show throughout the years, many of you might not be all that familiar with it. So I decided to share some of my thoughts on the convention and to provide a list of all the shows and the guests who have appeared over the years.

The first time I ever heard of FANEX was in the summer of 1992; I had recently been stationed at Andrews AFB in Maryland (I'm a 20-year Air Force man), and while checking out the latest issue of Filmfax I saw a small ad for a convention being held in Baltimore called FANEX. Having previously attended several West Coast Fangoria Conventions (run by Creation), I decided to call the number and find out more about the show. Little did I know that I would be talking to Gary Svehla, Editor-Publisher of Midnight Marquee magazine (a publication I had read and thoroughly enjoyed for several years since discovering it, along with Little Shoppe of Horrors and Video Watchdog, at my local comic book shop in the late 1980s and early 1990s). After talking to Gary for well over a half hour about the show, I decided to give it a try. Unfortunately, the hotel was sold out, but I managed to find one nearby, so off I went for the weekend to my first FANEX Convention (FANEX 6).


FANEX 6 Program Guide (My First FANEX)
If you think you have a hard time deciding what events to check out when you go to Monster Bash or Monster Mania, FANEX had them all topped: a dealer's room; two movie rooms (one running 16mm, the other video projection) with films running non-stop to the wee hours of the morning, sometimes even all night; a room where all the guest talks took place; and two or three panel discussion rooms where many of the genre's best writers held court over a captive audience discussing a wide variety of topics (it was FANEX 6 that I first learned about McFarland books). "So much to see, so little time" was never truer than at FANEX.

Unfortunately, I thought my first FANEX might be my last, as organizers Gary and Sue Svehla announced that they were getting burned out and that this would most like be the last show. However, thanks to an infusion of new blood (including my own) into the Horror and Fantasy Film Society of Baltimore (who staffed FANEX), a decision was made to carry on. First up was 1993’s Nostalgia Vision (Classic TV Convention), which took place in February. As luck would have it, a snowstorm struck Baltimore that weekend; thus, attendance was low, causing severe financial losses. However, even with a small budget Gary and Sue managed to pull off FANEX 7 (a salute to drive-in horror films), which included a dusk-to-dawn show at the Bengie’s Drive-in Theatre. Thanks to the success of that show, it was full-steam-ahead with FANEX 8 (one of the two Hammer Tribute shows they held). It was at this time that I became one of the chairpersons for FANEX (a title I held through FANEX 11) and actually learned how much hard work, time and money (Gary and Sue's) goes into putting on a convention (hats off to everyone who's ever filled those shoes). It was during this period that I met Michael and Steve Kronenberg, and with the guidance of Gary Svehla, Monsters from the Vault was hatched and premiered at FANEX 9 in the summer of 1995. It was also at FANEX where I met most, if not all, of my longtime regular contributors to the magazine. In short, without FANEX there would be no Monsters from the Vault. It was also because of the success of MFTV (which was originally planned as a one-shot) and the time I needed to commit to the magazine that I was forced to step down as a chairperson after FANEX 11 (the second Hammer Tribute show). However, over the years I continued to help out in any way I could with what free time I had. And I haven't missed a show since my first.

FANEX 8 Program Guide (My First as a Chairperson)
Another reason FANEX and the Horror and Fantasy Film Society will always hold a special place in my heart is that I met my lovely wife, Marian, because of them. I also know of several other couples who met because of FANEX. Because of FANEX, I get to spend the rest of my life with my soul mate, one I would have never met if it wasn't for the efforts of Gary and Sue, and for that I'm most grateful!

Influence? Yes FANEX has been a major influence over the years for many. Even if you've never been to a FANEX but have attended other conventions, you probably owe Gary and Sue a debt of gratitude. The organizers of some of today's best conventions got their start at FANEX as dealers: Ron Adams (Monster Bash), Kevin Clement (Horrorthon and Chiller Theatre), Dave Hagen (Monster Mania), and Ken and Pam Kish (Cinema Wasteland), so FANEX's influence is obvious. Without FANEX, none of those shows might exist. Even Ray Ferry consulted Gary and Sue about pros and cons before organizing his 1993 Famous Monsters of Filmland Convention in Crystal City, Virginia. They gave him numerous pointers (many of which I'm sure he'd deny today), and he even promoted the show at my first FANEX. As a matter of fact, everyone in the Horror and Fantasy Film Society received free admission to the FM Con because of the help Gary and Sue offered Ferry. So, yes, whether you've ever been to a FANEX or not, if you’ve attended a horror-related convention in the past 24 years, FANEX probably had some influence on it.

Through the years, FANEX also prided itself on being one of the conventions (if not the only convention) where the guests didn't charge for autographs. This was the norm from the beginning, until after FANEX 12. While I never had a problem if guests charged for their autograph (for many it's their sole source of income in their later years), I do find it disturbing that so many charge such excessive amounts these days. Much of this has to do with demand and the large number of conventions being held today, but I see so many shows where the fans come for the weekend and after paying for autographs on Friday night they find themselves broke for the rest of the weekend and often have to pass up movies, magazines, books, etc. I truly feel it's gotten out of hand, and sometimes I wish we could go back to the days of FANEX when the guests were just happy someone remembered them for their work. Many of those guests even gave away signed photos. Unfortunately, those days are a thing of the past.

Cortlandt Hull's Wonderful Monster Rally Artwork
FANEX peaked in 1999 and 2000 with Monster Rally and Classic Filmfest, respectively. Both shows featured a guest list that could easily rival the FM Cons of the 1970s and the FM Con of 1993, yet fandom didn't turn out in the large numbers like they did at the latter shows (a fact that still amazes me, considering who was there); therefore, Gary and Sue encountered large losses financially, which forced them to scale back on future FANEX Conventions. But even with large losses, they continued to press on, and their first show after Classic Filmfest featured one of the most sought-after guests, in my opinion, Barbara Shelley. Just like Frankenstein's creation, FANEX had become a Monster that couldn't be stopped no matter what! Yes, just like in life, friendships have been lost and egos have been bruised, but thanks to new friendships and the support of fans like the members of the CHFB, FANEX lives and will continue to do so in the future. Even though there was no FANEX in 2004, the show returned in 2005 with a new format, one that featured no guests, just a place for horror and sci-fi film fans to hang out and discuss the films they love so much and the people who made them. And believe me everyone who attended had a great time! For sure, whether FANEX returns in the future or not (there's been rumors), we all owe a debt of gratitude to Gary and Sue Svehla for all the great memories!

So, as you glance at the guest lists (names in alphabetical order) over the years, you'll certainly realize how amazing a feat Gary and Sue have pulled off over the years, one that can never be duplicated in a time when so many of our favorites have passed on or have reached an age that a convention appearance is no longer possible. But I'm happy to say that I'm a part of FANEX, past and hopefully future, and I have a lifetime of wonderful memories because of FANEX!

FANEX 1 (September 1987):
Greg Mank

FANEX 2 (November 1988):
John Agar
Fred Olen Ray & Ted Bohus (who attended most FANEX Conventions)

FANEX 3 (September 1989):
Forrest J Ackerman
Conrad Brooks
Jeff Morrow
Linnea Quigley
Brinke Stevens

FANEX 4 (August 1990):
Conrad Brooks
Veronica Carlson
Ray Harryhausen
Elizabeth Russell

FANEX 5 (August 1991):
Forrest J Ackerman
John Agar
William K. Everson
Lisa Gaye (Troma star)
Richard Gordon
Count Gore De Vol
Janie Howard Hanky (daughter of Curly Howard)
Yvette Vickers

FANEX 6 (August 1992):
Acquanetta
Veronica Carlson
Jim Danforth
Russ Tamblyn

Nostalgia Vision (Classic TV Convention, February 1993):
Richard Dix (Baltimore Horror Host, Dr. Lucifer
Beverly Garland
Russell Johnson
George Lewis (Baltimore Horror Host, The Ghost Host)

FANEX 7 (July-August 1993):
Robert Clarke
Sam Sherman

FANEX 8 (July 1994):
James Bernard
Martine Beswick
Veronica Carlson
Yolande Donlan (The Devil Bat)
Val Guest
Ingrid Pitt

FANEX 9 (July 1995):
Jane Adams
Richard Gordon
Lucille Lund
William Marshall
Robert Quarry
Greta Thyssen
Elena Verdugo

FANEX 10 (July 1996):
Forrest J Ackerman
Conrad Brooks
Robert Clarke
Kathleen Crowley
Dolores Fuller
Linda Harrison
Val Lewton, Jr.
Anne Robinson
William Schallert
Robert Wise

FANEX 11 (July 1997):
Veronica Carlson
Freddie Francis
Val Guest
Caroline Munro
Jimmy Sangster
Virginia Wetherell

FANEX 12 (July 1998):
Karolyn Grimes
Peggy Moran
Betsy Jones-Moreland
Kevin McCarthy
Lori Nelson
Mala Powers
Dee Wallace

*FOR ALL THE ABOVE FANEX CONVENTIONS, THE GUESTS SIGNED AUTOGRAPHS FOR FREE!

Monster Rally (August 1999):
Forrest J Ackerman
Jane Adams
Conrad Brooks
Veronica Carlson
Ron Chaney
Anne Francis
Basil Gogos
Count Gore De Vol
Coleen Gray
Linda Harrison
Ray Harryhausen
Cortlandt Hull
Sara Karloff
Ed Kemmer
Carla Laemmle
Christopher Lee
Susanna Leigh
Val Lewton, Jr.
Bela Lugosi, Jr.
Terry Moore
Victoria Price
Ingrid Pitt
Rex Reason
Michael Ripper
Yutte Stensgaard
Bob Tinnell
Elena Verdugo
Yvette Vickers

Classic Filmfest (July 2000):
Samuel Z. Arkoff
Veronica Carlson
Roger Corman
Robert Dwan
Linda Harrison
Jonathan Haze
Dorothy Herrmann
Candace Hilligoss
Pat Hitchcock
Betsy Jones-Moreland
Janet Leigh
Kevin McCarthy
IB Melchior
Yvonne Monlaur
Paul Naschy
Margaret O’Brien
Jessica Rains
Robert Skotak
Elena Verdugo

FANEX 15 (July 2001):
Forrest J Ackerman
Veronica Carlson
Curtis Harrington
Jonathan Haze
Jackie Joseph
Yvonne Monlaur
Michael J. Pollard
Barbara Shelley

FANEX 16 (August 2002):
Susanna Leigh
Carol Lynley
John Saxon

SON OF FANEX (April 2003):
Edward de Sousa
Susan Gordon

FANEX 17 (August 2003):
Carol Cleveland (Monty Python)
Hank Garrett
Francis Matthews
Beverly Washburn

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Photo of the Week!

Can you name the three Universal beauties shown?

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Undying Monsters #1 Available Now!


Longtime Monsters from the Vault reader David Davey began corresponding with me about three years ago about his desire to publish his own monster magazine. We've exchanged e-mails on and off since then, with me offering pointers and help whenever I could. He sent me several drafts of the first issue, I'd offer some advice, and he would work on it some more and send another draft. A few times during that period, he put the project on the back burner and even thought about giving up the idea a few times. But I always encouraged him to do it, even if it turned out to be one-shot wonder (hey, that's how MFTV started). So finally, the first issue, called the Limited Edition, premiered at the Chiller Theatre Convention in October 2010. Dave printed only 500 copies of it, and nearly 20% of the copies were damaged during shipping from the printer he used and were never replaced. So by early 2011, the issue was sold out.


Undying Monsters Limited Edition
After the success of the Limited Edition, Dave decided to press on with a full-fledged magazine. I hooked Dave up with the company near my house that prints Monsters from the Vault and offered a little help with getting the issue printed,  since when it was ready for press, Dave was relocating from California to New Jersey. The issue was printed last week and is now available for order from Dave directly on his Web site (www.undyingmonsters.com); just click on the Sales & Contact tab when you get there. You can order an individual copy or start a subscription (Dave plans to publish quarterly).
Undying Monsters #1 (Originally Planned Cover)

Undying Monsters #1 (Actual Cover)
Also, the Limited Edition will be reprinted soon, to be called the UnLimited Edition, Issue #0. So if you missed out on the Limited Edition, you'll soon be able to grab a copy. The interior will be the same, and the cover will change only slightly.

Undying Monsters UnLimited Edition #0
For those of you who like to pick up your monster mags at your local comic book shop, Undying Monsters #1 (and future issues) will be distributed by Diamond Comic Distributors, so ask your local shop to get a copy for you. The issue should be in stores in 2-3 weeks, at the latest. Undying Monsters will also be stocked by your usual online monster sources (Creepy Classics, Scary Monsters, My Movie Monsters, Oldies.com, etc.). If you live in Europe, visit www.hemlockbooks.co.uk to order a copy and save on the high cost of shipping from the US. Dave will also be at Chiller Theatre later this month and at Monster Bash in June.

I highly recommend that if you like Monsters from the Vault, you give Undying Monsters a shot. While Dave's approach is a little different than MFTV's, I definitely think our fans will dig UM. As David says on his Web site:
"...each issue offers a trove of never-before-seen stills, an in-depth Film Book review of a 'classic' monster movie, and a host of regular features such as Brain Busters, Digital Screams, Ghoulish Games, and The Horror Of It All (originally Monster Musing). We have no plans (or desire) to cover current or future horror films (except for occasional Blu-ray/DVD releases). Our focus will always be classic horror, sci-fi, and fantasy related items, including (but not limited to) video games, models and figures, interviews, attractions, biographies, tutorials (such as do-it-yourself props and makeup), and of course films. We hope you find the format both nostalgic and entertaining."
As you can see, monster magazines in print are still alive and well, so go over to www.undyingmonsters.com and order your copy todayand remember, "Old Monsters Never Die!"