Monday, February 19, 2018

RARE FILM! PAUL BLAISDELL AND BOB BURNS' 'THE CLIFF MONSTER'


Paul Blaisdell and Bob Burns were best of friends. When they weren't on location bringing their latest special effects creations to life for the silver screen, they were at Blaisdell's home in Topanga Canyon, CA concocting more monster goodies.

One of their plans turned into the magazine, FANTASTIC MONSTERS OF THE FILMS, and was intended to be another in a long line of publications out to best the reigning King Kong of monster 'zines, FAMOUS MONSTERS OF FILMLAND. Lasting for only 7 issues (Black Shield Publications 1962-1963), FMOF was a mixed bag of film reviews and pictorials, fiction stories and how-to's straight from Blaisdell's own "Devil's Workshop".

Tucked in among the back pages was an ad for two films, one a compilation of Blaisdell's "Filmland Monsters", and another title, mysteriously not seen for sale in any other magazine or store.

Turns out it was 50 feet (in the 8 mm version) and 100 feet (in the 16 mm version) of a "home movie" that Blaisdell and Burns made called "The Cliff Monster". Blaisdell supplied the "monster" and filmed it in stop-motion animation, and Burns and Blaisdell's wife, Jackie were the "stars".

The movies were advertised in every issue of FMOF, but oddly enough they were only promoted in a full-page ad just once, in issue #1. In issue #3 was a contest to name the Cliff Monster (something other than the Cliff Monster, obviously), but I have not been able to ascertain what the outcome of the contest was, as yet.

Any word of "The Cliff Monster" and its companion short, "Filmland Monsters" disappeared after the last issue of FMOF, which was destroyed in a suspicious fire at the printer, along with many of the stills and other production material used to make the magazine. It seems the films were destined to languish among the many obscure and nearly-forgotten relics from the Golden Age of Monster Magazines.

The full-page ad in issue #1 of FMOF.
Ad seen in the other issues of FMOF.

Add for 35 mm slides of Blaisdell's monsters.

The "Name the Cliff Monster" Contest in issue #3 of FMOF.
That is, until just recently, when a collector shared his copy of the acquired reel and posted it on YouTube! Thanks to Donald Deveau for sharing a classic monster treasure!

The version available for viewing here is the 8 mm version.




BONUS! MONSTERAMA episode "Paul Blaisdell's Monsters", hosted by Elvira.

4 comments:

Ronald Christopher Merchant said...

WOW! I din't know the film still existed! I have a few of those old Fantastic Monster mags with the ad! This is great! THANKS for posting!

Rip Jagger said...

Thanks for sharing this little gem. Enjoyed it thoroughly.

Rip Off

John said...

Imagine my surprise when I stumbled across this rarity!

Anacho said...

Fantastic ! Vraiement une trouvaille énorme ! Bravo John !!!!

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