Wednesday, March 28, 2012


Look what's bubbling over in the cauldron here at the Mysterious Mansion -- the MONSTER MAGAZINE WORLD 2011 BLOG BOOK!

Not quite a Year Book, and not exactly a Fear Book -- it's an EEE! BOOK -- and it's all yours for just 99 cents and a few mouse clicks. That's right -- a measly 99 cents!

So what do you get for your hard-earned almost-a-buck, you may ask? Just check out these features:
  • Over 600 jam-packed monster-size pages!
  • Comes with every Blog post from 2011, in chronological order!
  • A vast storehouse of knowledge from some of the most brilliant minds and scholarly scholars in the known (and unknown) monsterverse!
  • The complete and unedited text is accompanied by all the scans, photos and illustrations from the original post!
  • Includes a Table of Contents with hyperlinks to each post title so you can easily search for and read any post without scrolling through screen after screen to find what you're looking for!
  • All in a convenient downloadable PDF format to read on your computer, tablet, or any other device that can read PDF files, whenever you want!

I'm sure you're asking by now: Wow! How do I get my copy of the MONSTER MAGAZINE WORLD 2011 BLOG BOOK? It's really easy! All you have to do is follow these simple steps:
  • Click on the "ORDER NOW" link shown below and open the email assistant.
  • Simply type in "Blog Book" in the subject line and send.
  • I'll email you back an electronic invoice that describes your payment options (PayPal or credit card).
  • Please be patient, folks -- I'm doing this low-tech, so it may take a little while for me to manually process your request.
  • After you send your payment, I will email you a link with easy instructions on how to download your EEE! BOOK from the file host. That's it!

By purchasing this EEE! BOOK you are also donating to the coffins . . . er, coffers of the Mysterious Mansion so that more monster stuff can be purchased for review and to be shared with readers of MONSTER MAGAZINE WORLD just like you!
But wait! That's not all -- 10% of all proceeds go to help support the Transylvanian Tourist Board (they are still in need of a new horse to pull the tour wagon)! 
IMPORTANT! Always use the latest version of Adobe Reader when viewing PDF files.

Thanks for supporting MONSTER MAGAZINE WORLD!


"I am not a horror actor and I wouldn't want to be compared with a Lugosi or Christopher Lee."  Jonathan Frid, Horror Actor

There was no shortage of coverage for the DARK SHADOWS (1966 - 1971) franchise in FAMOUS MONSTERS OF FILMLAND. Numerous issues covered material from the daytime drama series (okay, it was a soap opera already!) as well as the two feature films, HOUSE OF DARK SHADOWS and NIGHT OF DARK SHADOWS.

FAMOUS MONSTERS #59 (November 1969) featured not only a nice Basil Gogos depiction of Barnabas Collins on the front cover and a photo of Barnabas as the aging vampire on the inside front cover, there was also an article with Jonathan Frid chatting about his role in both DARK SHADOWS as well as his other film and stage work. Frid was the show's leading celebrity (although I have no problem admiting that first Alexandra Moltke, then Lara Parker had my eye more than Frid whenever they were onscreen!) and he did not seem to shy away from any opportunity to promote the show, especially emphasizing his acting career B.B. (Before Barnabas). Why is it that fine actors, when they finally hit the gravy train in the lucrative horror biz, that they almost seem apologetic? While Frid seemed to enjoy playing a vampire, he still made it a point to let everybody know that he was also a serious Shakespearean actor, almost like he was saying, "Okay, you guys, see how popular I am? Can I come back now and play some real roles?" It's not like the Great Acting Muse twists anybody's arm to sign on in a horror show or film. I have my suspicions that it probably has more to do with the Great Almighty Greenback.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012


I showed you the Creature bank a couple of days ago. Now, due out in October is the first in the series of Universal Monsters coin banks, the Frankenstein Monster.

When they say "series", I hope they mean more than just these two.

Here's the skinny from Diamond:

"Spinning out of DST's successful line of Star Wars bust banks comes the all-new Universal Monsters series! The most famous monster of all, Frankenstein, will kick off this new line of 8-inch vinyl banks, which features highly detailed sculpts and paint. From the front it just looks like a high-quality bust, but turn it around and there's a slot to keep your change in! Nobody will want to raid your savings when they're safe inside this resurrected giant!"

While the Creature likeness is spot on, the Frankenstein bust has but a passing resemblance to Boris Karloff -- which takes me to my deep thought of the day (well, at least I hope I don't have to go any deeper than this) -- if the Creature from the Black Lagoon were real, would he license his likeness for toys, models, and other stuff? And what would the unlicensed likeness look like? We've probably seen some already that were unintentional, don't you agree?

Despite what you might think, I'm sleeping just fine these days. . .

Monday, March 26, 2012


Rating very high on my personal excitement meter is the upcoming CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON plastic model kit from MOEBIUS. The two-figure kit (Creature and Kay Lawrence) is sculpted by the talented Adam Dougherty. He also worked on the Bela "Broadway Dracula" Lugosi kit on sale now.

Ain't this one a beaut, fellow monster modelers?

The Creature kit is planned to come with two sets of arms -- one set to carry Julie or the other for a solo, menacing pose.

Excellent bust -- and the Creature figure's very nice, too!

If you build model kits, I strongly suggest you advance order your Creature kit from Steve over at CULT TVman. Steve's a really nice guy and he's way into monster models, so I highly recommend you get your monster stuff from him!

Also at CULT TVman is the exclusive "Ghostly Green" Munsters House model kit coming soon. The regular kit will be the usual drab color, but Steve's will be cast in "ghostly" green. I love it! More info is HERE.

Here is a description of the kit:

"The GHOSTLY GREEN limited edition is a CultTVman Exclusive in the US. This is molded in clear transparent green, much like the old Luminators. (This is NOT a glow kit!) This will be available at the same time as the standard kit, for the same price, but there will be a limited number produced and you can only purchase this in the US from CultTVman! All new styrene plastic kit of 1313 Mockingbird Lane from Moebius Modes. This new kit is in scale with the Aurora Addams Family House and the Polar Lights Psycho House. Approximately 1:87 HO Scale. Kit will be the house only. You'll have to add the trees and stone fence yourself. Kit is expected in stock in mid-2012 Image shows actual studio set. This is not the actual model or box art."

Note: Pictures of the Creature kit prototype are copyrighted by Steve Iverson and are used with his permission. Got it?


Sunday, March 25, 2012


Coming our way this October is a line of super cool monster coin banks. At a list price of about 20 bucks, these are sure to be hot sellers. Here's the 411 from Diamond:

"A Diamond Select Release! The second release [the first is the Frankenstein monster] in DST's new line of vinyl banks was a no-brainer. After all, if you were going to make an 8-inch bust featuring highly detailed sculpts and paint, what monster would you want to see done right? The Creature from the Black Lagoon, of course! The scaly mer-monster has never looked better than in this detailed bank, and if you turn him around you can insert your loose change in a slot behind his gills. He's the next evolution in banks!"


Saturday, March 24, 2012


"Never trim a mask while wearing it." - Don Post

Few icons from the "Ghoulden Age" of the 60's Monster Craze has transfixed a generation of Monster Kids like the ubiquitous image of the "Shock Monster". Designed and created by Keith Ward, a popular ad man and children's book illustrator of the day, the Topstone  company unleashed an entire line of affordable costume masks that found sales traction in the back pages of magazines like FAMOUS MONSTERS OF FILMLAND, and were quickly propelled into legendary status. If you could spare the allowance money, here were one or two dollar items that could turn you into a ghoul, a vampire, a witch -- even a "Gooney", a "Battered Pug" (deep-fried dog?), a "Spasm", or how about a "Ubangi"? When they announced their "over the top" mask line -- man, did they ever mean it!

A Topstone catalogue page.

While the image itself (drawn by Ward for the Topstone catalogue) was indelible, the Shock Monster went by a few different names, like "Horor Zombie", or just plain "Horror", depending on which 'zine or catalogue was selling it. The name seemed to eventually settle into Shock Monster, and that's what we know it by today.

The Shock Monster mask has been resurrected by industrious garage and pro sculptors who either couldn't find an original to own, or just couldn't afford one to begin with. Some versions aim for authenticity while some amplify some of the more outrageous details that the mask is famous for.

THE MONSTER TIMES Vol. 1. No. 6 (April 1972).

In 2011, Don Post Studios released their own version of the Shock Monster mask. Now, for about 25 bucks, you can have one of the better versions of this Monster Craze legend. It's also made from a lot more durable material than the original so it can remain proudly displayed on a shelf for years to come.

The mask is up for a Rondo Award in the "Best Toy, Model or Collectible" category. As soon as I heard about it, I was on the Amazon website buying one. The results are shown here. But -- be forwarned -- and prepare yourself to be shocked!

The mask arrived with the obligatory care and safety tag. What bummed me out was the statement that it should be worn by adults only. Who are they kidding? And to anybody silly enough to try, they also warn against swimming with it!

Friday, March 23, 2012



Cover art by Ken Kelly.
'DARK SHADOWS ... is an oasis in the wasteland of TV's daytime programmed mental retardation."        - Joe Dante

Other supernatural creatures stalked the environs of Collinsport back in the days of Dan Curtis' daytime drama, DARK SHADOWS. The character, Chris Jennings played by Don Briscoe is by night a werewolf when the moon is full and bright (played in full makeup by stuntman Alex Stevens). This and other opinions about the show were reported in a short article in CASTLE OF FRANKENSTEIN #16 (July 1971). Don't miss the surprise by-line at the end.

Thursday, March 22, 2012


Hey, while you're at it, don't forget to top off your Barnabas Collins ensemble with an authentic vampire ring. Sold at your local Internet storefront costume shop for around $4.99 (that's cheaper'n the sales tax on the Wolf's Head Walking Stick)!


Just one of the many things that Barnabas Collins brought back with him when he was released from his tomb by Willie Loomis, was his sense of 18th Century style. Barnabas retained his evening suit, replete with Inverness cape and puffy shirt. Included in the ensemble was his menacing wolf's-head walking stick.

Now, aspiring dapper wing-flappers and fanged fashionistas can have their own wolf's-head prop cane. Be on the lookout at the end of May for the "Dark Shadows Delux Barnabas Collins Cane". For a mere 80 bucks, the 31" shtick can be all yours.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012


Here is the conclusion to the Jonathan Frid interview begun yesterday from Marvel Comics' MONSTERS OF THE MOVIES #8, August 1975 issue.