Wednesday, February 28, 2018

CINEFANTASTIQUE AND THE RETURN OF DARK SHADOWS (PART 1)


CINEFANTASTIQUE
Vol. 21 No. 3
December 1990
Publisher and Editor: Frederick S. Clarke
Managing Editor: Avis L. Weathersbee
Cover: David Voigt
Pages: 64

By the time this issue rolled around, CINEFANTASTIQUE was a well-established, well-respected journal of (mostly) contemporary Horror/Sci-Fi/Fantasy films. Long, in-depth articles, lavish retrospectives, and copious reviews were the hallmarks of this once-reigning print magazine.

The lead story in this issue is the much-anticipated return of the beloved sinister soap opera, DARK SHADOWS. This incarnation was to be a prime time TV series produced by NBC instead of the show's original network, ABC.

There were high hopes for another smash hit, and reports after the first episode laid claim to the cast of Collinwood being watched by 25% if American households. Unfortunately, the Gulf War hit the airwaves, and after being preempted numerous times, ratings took a tumble and the show was cancelled.

Also notable in this issue is a preview of a certain Stephen King story, made into a TV mini-series, starring a certain murderous clown...




























Tuesday, February 27, 2018

'TOMB OF THE TOPSTONES' VIDEO SERIES


Up for a Rondo Award in the "Documentary" category (and rightly so) is Ray Castile's informative series of YouTube posts covering the history of Topstone masks. Mr. Castile is a noted collector of monster memorabilia and his trove of Topstones are a small, but historically important part of it. He has put together a thoughtful series here, and anyone with an interest in vintage monster masks, and vintage monster history, is urged to take a look. Let's hope he continues the series, and maybe even compiles them into a DVD. In the meantime, here are the first of them for your viewing pleasure.

Good job, Ray, and good luck in the Rondo's!







Monday, February 26, 2018

REPTILICUS MOVIE ADAPTATION (CHARLTON COMICS)


One of the weirdest giant monster movies ever was washed ashore in the US from -- of all places -- Denmark, in 1962. It was originally filmed in Denmark and released there first in 1961.

REPTILICUS received mostly negative reviews from the critics. If you've ever watched it, you know that the comment is justified. Famed movie critic Leonard Maltin gave it a BOMB, the lowest rating that he could give a film. In his review, Maltin wrote that it was "only good for laughs as [the] script hits every conceivable monster-movie cliché, right to the final shot." TV GUIDE similarly "awarded" it only one out of a possible four stars calling it, "a fair-to-poor monster film". Ugh! 

All criticism of the movie aside, the story nevertheless lended itself well to a comic book adaptation, and it was always a good idea to promote movies to kids using the universal language of sequential art. The big boys, Marvel and DC didn't bother much in the way of movie adaptations until the 1970s, mainly because they were too busy taking the world by storm with their superhero titles.

It was up to the little comic book company in Danbury, CT that could -- Charlton. Their optimistic plans for an on-going series lasted for two issues. When the copyright on the film title expired, they brought the monster back to life as the redundantly named, "Reptisaurus", and the revived title petered out after just a few more issues.

The cover for this first issue is by sometimes CREEPY artist Rocco "Rocke" Mastroserio. The script is by the prolific Joe Gill. Pencils are by Bill Moino with inks by Vincent Alascia. There is a text story, "Mind Over Matter" (probably written by Gill) and a back-up comic story by Gill and Mastroserio. Enjoy REPTILICUS, lizard warts and all!






































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