Tuesday, May 31, 2011

OLDIES THAT ARE FAR FROM MOLDY


When I received a catalogue from the venerable OLDIES.COM a while back, I almost couldn't believe my eyes. Here was a chunky printed mail-order catalogue that was crammed to the gills with not only all sorts of, well, "old" horror and sci-fi DVD movies, but -- are you ready for this -- a huge selection of monster magazines and books!

Among the deep selection of DVD's you'll find such vintage films as THE BRAIN THAT WOULDN'T DIE, HORROR OF THE BLOOD MONSTERS, INVISIBLE GHOST, and THE NIGHT EVELYN CAME OUT OF THE GRAVE, as well as all sorts of books on horror films (and other genres such as my second favorite topic, music), and . . . one of the largest -- if not the largest -- one-stop shopping places for just about every monster and fantasy film mag being published today. That includes a list of back issues from every title!


Since I noticed monster mag maker extraordinaire Jim Clatterbaugh's MONSTERS FROM THE VAULT among the listed tomes of terror, I thought I'd ask him "What's a mild mannered monster magazine maker's magazine doing in a 'mainstream' mail order catalogue"?

Jim was kind enough to offer up this exlanation:

"Steve Kaplan who runs Alpha Video Classics is a longtime MFTV reader and friend who I first met at the FANEX Conventions in Baltimore. Alpha is owned by Oldies.com which specializes in 50s and 60s music. For years their catalog only sold their DVDs and CDs, then they began selling other DVDs (mostly classic stuff). Then a few years ago they published Gary Rhodes' book, BELA LUGOSI: DREAMS AND NIGHTMARES. After that they began selling McFarland books and titles from other publishers (including MIDNIGHT MARQUEE PRESS). Finally, after Tower Records went out of business, Steve began contacting publishers of various genre publications offering to sell their magazines. Now next to Diamond Comics, they probably purchase more genre magazines for resale than anyone else. They definitely are my number two customer.

They print their catalog monthly and ship around a million copies so the word is getting out about our publications. Lucky for me, MFTV is constantly one of their top sellers. The other good thing is they pay in 30 days, no returns. Steve is one of the good guys and a true fan of classic horror and sci-fi films along with vintage television."

Now, folks, this sounds to me like besides ordering directly from the publisher, OLDIES.COM is the best place to shop for your fix of monster stuff.

Check 'em out. Today's the last day of a huge Memorial Day Sale.


Click HERE for a link to the 'zines in the catalogue or go HERE for the front of the catalogue.


Happy shopping and don't forget to tell 'em MONSTER MAGAZINE WORLD sent you!

Monday, May 30, 2011

RUE MORGUE: PAST, PRESENT, AND FUTURE







FILMFAX 127 SNEAK PEEK

FILMFAX PLUS mag has finally begun to redesign their website. Looks like some of the pages are still under construction. For too long has this excellent publication suffered with a ho-hum website. It's shaping up to be looking a lot better. Way to go, guys!

Below is a sneak peek of the upcoming issue. As indicated cover and contents are subject to change until publication. Plus, more Mamie! Wooo Hooo!!

MONSTER CARD MONDAY





EXTRA SPECIAL BONUS! CREATURE FEATURE STICKER

Sunday, May 29, 2011

MONSTERS UNLEASHED! NEW AND RECENTLY RELEASED



THE END OF THE UNIVERSAL MONSTER LEGACY?

While performing my occasional check on links here at the MYSTERIOUS MANSION's MONSTER MAGAZINE WORLD blog, I came across one dead link that I was hoping I wouldn't ever see. Sadly, the Universal Monsters Legacy at www.monsterlegacy.com has apparently met its demise. For what reason, I cannot say. What's left is a trailer and promo shots for THE WOLFMAN movie on a rather boring-looking page.

Perhaps they were tracking site visits and the the hit count dropped off. Perhaps they thought it wasn't timely enough or newsworthy enough. I can't imagine that it cost them much to run it.


Included in the path of the webmaster's scythe is the "Official Wolfman Site". It is directed to the same new page mentioned.

One can hold out hope that they are going for a re-design. All I can say at this point is that it is heartening to know that Universal, despite it's obvious designs on remaining a viable commodity in the current market, still has the sense to occasionally resurrect its classic monster line in some form or another, in recognition of its humble beginnings -- and in no small part -- to the reasons that got them to where they are today.

SUNDAY MORNING MACABRE



[Art by Jack Davis]

Saturday, May 28, 2011

WHAT SCARED FORRY?

Forry would occasionally wax nostaglic about his favorite monster movies. In FAMOUS MONSTERS OF FILMLAND #118 (August 1975) he published his 5 favorites. King Kong' a shoe-in but I'm surprised that he didn't include METROPOLIS.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

VINCENTENNIAL WEEK (DAY 3)

I remember a day when a place in Buena Park, California called "Knott's Berry Farm" was a nothing but a ghost town. That's right, adjacent to the rows of dark-purply, lusciously sweet boysenberries was a place that, once you stepped across the street from the parking lot, you also stepped back in time.

Those of you who recognize the name Knott's Berry Farm, may also know that the Buena Park boysenberry farmers/entertainment entrepeneurs Walter and Cordelia Knott turned part of their berry patch into America's first theme park!

Now a Gorgo-sized theme park and resort that remains one of the top SoCal tourist destinations, it was originally nothing more than a recreated wild west ghost town that charged -- are you sitting down? -- free admission!

That's right. Going to Knott's Berry Farm on a lazy weekend day was a cheap trip for the family. Once you entered the "ghost town", there was plenty to spend your money on, but they didn't get you coming through the turnstyles like they do now. There was a passenger train ride (complete with armed robbery where the bandits got it big time with a sawed-off shotgun from the Marshall after they tried escaping off train at the depot), a stagecoach ride (complete with armed bandits who got shagged off by the guy riding shotgun, who fired off his shotgun at them), and the Bird Cage Theatre, complete with Can-Can dancers "imported" from Paris. For this little gunslinger, Knott's was a total blast.

The trip wasn't complete, however, without lunch at either Mrs. Knott's Chicken Dinner Restaurant (I'll never forget the delicious rhubarb compote side dish), or the Ghost Town Grill, where they served up a great bowl of "Miner's Stew" with the best biscuits and boysenberry jam in the universe.

It wasn't until quite a few years later when I finally got to go to a place down the street from Knott's that I'd had my eye on for a long time -- the Movieland Wax Museum. It was a lot of fun walking along and seeing all the great stars, life-like and life-sized. And, what was that just up ahead . . . Bela Lugosi as Dracula! And then here's Vincent Price in a scene from HOUSE OF WAX. Ironic, isn't it? A figure of Vincent Price made from wax from the movie HOUSE OF WAX.

I managed to dig this postcard up from deep within the bowels of the MYSTERIOUS MANSION a while back and have been saving it for just the right time. Vincentennial Week seemed like there wouldn't be a better one, so here it is -- one souvenier from my trip to the Buena Park Movieland Wax Museum!




So, you may be wondering: Just what is this thing called a boysenberry, anyway? Well, it's a cross between a raspberry, a blackberry, and a loganberry. And boy, are they good!

Monday, May 23, 2011

VINCENTENNIAL WEEK (DAY 1)

Unless you've been stuck underground in an oblong box for the last 6 or so months, you'll know that this week marks an auspicious occasion in Monsterdom -- the celebration of the 100th birth year of one of our most beloved, the one and only Vincent Price.

In one monster's opinion, Vincent Price did a lot to give monster movies a kind of acting pedigree that many others could not. Through no fault of their acting ability, many of our favorite monster players were typecast as horror actors even though they did work outside the field. Vinnie was a bit different as he came from a string of A-list, sophisticated films, then began a kind of second career as a horror film actor. I would go so far as to say that Price lended a bit of Shakespearean theatrics to many of his roles that never seemed hammy.

In his honor, I will be posting Vincent Price-related topics all week. Since this is MONSTER MAGAZINE WORLD, I'll pretty much stick with 'zines in which Mr. Price appeared in over the years. Today is a post from Charlton Publications' HORROR MONSTERS #10 from the Winter of 1964-1965.





MONSTER CARD MONDAY



Sunday, May 22, 2011

DO YOU READ MONSTER MAGAZINES? POLL RESULTS


The second MONSTER MAGAZINE WORLD poll closed last Sunday with a total of 55 votes cast. Thanks to everyone who participated. Besides the fun factor, these polls are designed to gain insight on just who it is that reads this blog and what people are thinking about when it comes to their favorite monster mags and monster 'zines in general. Be on the lookout for another poll coming soon!

Here are the results:

Option 1: I buy one monster 'zine a month - 15 votes, 27%
Option 2: I buy 2-3 monster 'zines a month - 14 votes, 26%
Option 3: I buy as many monster 'zines as I can get my claws on! - 10 votes, 18%
Option 4: In addition to buying off the stands, I also subscribe to one or more monster 'zines - 5 votes, 9%
Option 5: I only subscribe to one or more monster 'zines - 4 votes, 7%
Option 6: Right now, I'm not buying any monster 'zines - 7 votes, 13%

By the looks of it, 87% of the respondents are currently purchasing monster magazines. I hope that by regularly reading MONSTER MAGAZINE WORLD, the other 13% find them interesting enough to give 'em a try!

Thanks again to everyone who took the time to click a mouse button -- I really appreciate your participation!

SUNDAY MORNING MACABRE


Saturday, May 21, 2011

CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL: "PREPARE FOR ZOMBIE INVASION!"

Hey, I told you a couple of days ago that zombies are huge right now. Jumping on the walking dead bandwagon is, of all things, a government agency! Yep, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has just used zombies as the topic on their BlogSpot for -- get this -- promoting disaster preparedness! Can you believe it? The government has a sense of humor! My head's off to these guys!

Click on the CDC badge to the right of this blogroll for all the details.





WHAT SCARED ME


A while back I showed you a pic from the Mexi-monster movie LADRON DE CADAVERES (a.k.a. THE BODY SNATCHERS) where I first saw it in Uncle Forry's FAMOUS MONSTERS OF FILMLAND #1 (and then in a few subsequent reprints). The gawd-awful looking creature that was Lobo Negro creeped the crap outta me as a young and impressionable monster kid.



Well, even before that life-scarring event, I had another indelible image or two that found themselves wiggling into my head like an insatiable family of earwigs looking to feed off my gray matter right down to the brain pan. It was a collection of images, all courtesy of Robert Wise's 1963 production of Shirley Jackson's THE HAUNTING OF HILL HOUSE that done did it. With the title truncated for maximum spooky effect to simply THE HAUNTING, the family went and saw this one fine Saturday night at the (now lamentably gone) Torrance Drive-In.

It was dusk when the cartoons came on and dark when the movie started. Then the masterful prologue began that set the mood for the rest of what surely must be the greatest haunted house story every filmed.

The first image that got me was the doomed "2nd Mrs. Crane", after she fell down the stairs and broke her neck . . . or had she died of fright first? That shot, from slightly below camera angle, with her cold, dead eyes staring out of the screen transfixed me for the rest of the film's running time. There would be no falling asleep during this one.


The next creep-out came during the time lapse shot of Abigail Crane as she turned from young girl to old invalid in just a few short seconds. Hey, I wasn't the only one. Even LIFE magazine had a page on what they thought was a pretty scary scene. Then, there was the later sequence with the ghostly booming of her cane against the halls and walls of Hill House.  This little monster kid in the making was terrified!






The next day, I made the big mistake of telling my older sister what scared me from the previous night's movie. She wasted no time in getting me baited into the garage. She then managed to slam the door down on me . . . and proceeded to pound on the garage door just like the disembodied Abigail Crane did in the movie! Trapped inside that dark garage, helpless, with the BOOM! BOOM! BOOM! from my sister's malicious fists, I screamed and blubbered at the top of my little lungs! Folks, I have never been so scared in my life to pee my pants, but this was about as close as it ever came.

After a while, the "Dickens" finally came back to me. A couple hours later, a strange sensation came over me. I realized that . . . I liked getting scared! Of course, I would not let my sister know until years later!

The 1,200 car capacity Torrance Drive-In Theatre, located at 5501 Torrance Boulevard in what was known as the "South Bay" area of Los Angeles, was opened for business in June of 1955. It was independently owned and operated at first, but in later years it was sold off to the conglomerate called Pacific Theatres due to financial difficulties. I remember it having a great snack bar and I no doubt started rotting many a' tooth chomping on candy bars and slurping down cokes from its hallowed counters. Like so many other iconic American structures -- and one I will remember with a bit of sentimental fondness for the rest of my days -- the Torrance Drive-In was finally closed up in 1988. It was later torn down and demolished.



Would it be any surprise if I told you that Condos were built on it's sacred ground?

If you want to watch the legendary prologue to THE HAUNTING, I have it posted above behind the 'WATCH MONSTER MOVIES' tab.

Today's post brought to you by:



The end of the road.



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