Archive for the AWESOME-tober-fest Category

AWESOME-tober-fest 2019: The One and Only Vampira

Posted in AWESOME-tober-fest, Blog Series, Fangoria, Halloween, holiday, magazine with tags , , , , , on September 30, 2019 by Paxton

Awesometoberfest 2019

Okay, I took last year off from doing AWESOME-tober-fest.  It was a nice break and I enjoyed reading other people’s Halloween countdowns without having to worry about doing my own.

Now, this year, I decided to come back.  I currently plan on doing updates every weekday in October, but if I miss one here or there, I’m sorry.  And this year, for the first time, I’m going to do a sequel to one of my previous themes.  I’m going back into the well and do Bloody Best of Fangoria ALL MONTH.  Articles, posters, covers, ads, all from the pages of the greatest of horror magazines, FANGORIA.

Should be a lot of fun, let’s get it started.

For this first week of AWESOME-tober-fest, I want to cover one of my favorite horror personalities, Elvira.  I discovered her within the pages of Fangoria and I want to take this week to celebrate the Mistress of the Dark.

BUT FIRST, before I get to Elvira, I want to showcase one of Elvira’s predecessors.  Back in the early 80s Fangoria did a series of interviews in successive issues talking about famous horror TV show hosts.  They were very prevalent, especially on local TV stations, in the 60s and 70s.  One of the interviews in this series was with Maila Nurmi, who portrayed Vampira.  Vampira was one of the very first TV horror hosts in the 50s.  She also was an actress and appeared in Ed Wood’s Plan 9 from Outer Space.

Here’s the article:

Vampira 1 Vampira 2

I’m not going to lie, this is a *weird* interview. It’s ostensibly an interview with Nurmi about being Vampira, but it’s told almost stream of consciousness style by Nurmi, and it feels like it’s in character as Vampira. WEIRD.

We learn she originally dressed as Morticia Addams for a costume party and won first place. She was such a hit that a station manager wanted to hire her to liven up their late night movies. So she had to alter her costume a bit to differentiate it from Morticia and became Vampira. She went on the air in May 1954. And then, according to her in the article, she was off the air in December 1954. I guess she was too risque? Nurmi doesn’t really lay it all out nice and neat for you in the article.

Vampira 3 Vampira 4

What Nurmi *does* lay out all nice and neat for you in the article are her thoughts on Elvira. She said in 1981 she was in talks with the TV studio to train a new Vampira. Actually, she said the studio *insisted* that she play Vampira in a new show. Nurmi claims to have turned that down several times and said that she convinced them to let her find and train a new performer as Vampira. However, she claims, the TV station went behind her back and hired Cassandra Peterson and then created Elvira when she wouldn’t lease them the name Vampira. And then she makes it clear that she does *not* like Cassandra Peterson. As a person, or as a performer.

Fangoria, after printing Nurmi’s version of these events, then went to the TV station, KHJ-TV, and asked them their side. The program director, Walt Baker, said that yes, they did consult her for a new Vampira show. He said Ms Nurmi was to be a consultant, give them pictures, consult on constructing sets, and let them see any of the original Vampira scripts, but it was always up to the station to hire the new girl. Baker also said that he never intended Ms Nurmi to play Vampira. The person they hired was going to be the new Vampira and that Nurmi would have guest spots as Vampira’s mother.

So, as you can see, this was a pretty sticky, but interesting situation. And a few issues later, it came to a head based on the things Ms Nurmi said about Cassandra Peterson and Elvira.  Fangoria received a letter from Elvira herself. All it contained was a little poem directed at Ms Nurmi written in classic Elvira style.



Also, check out the blog Countdown to Halloween for more Halloween-y, bloggy AWESOMEness.

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AWESOME-tober-fest Returns!

Posted in AWESOME-tober-fest, Blog Series, Fangoria, Halloween, holiday, magazine, movies, pop culture with tags , , , , , , on September 9, 2019 by Paxton

Okay, I took a long hiatus. I took off Halloween last year. I had done AWESOME-tober-fest for 10 years in a row and really wanted to take a break. I hadn’t fully intended to do it again this year, but I got started and now I want to do it. So, expect AWESOME-tober-fest this year. In three weeks, to be exact.

This year’s theme will be a return to Bloody Best of Fangoria.

Awesometoberfest 2019

I first did Bloody Best of Fangoria back in 2014. I still have a bunch of unused Fangorias laying around so I thought I’d revisit the topic and use up some of that horrific content. However, the first two weeks of October will also have a second, more specific theme. Elvira.

Awesometoberfest 2019

I’m a huge fan of the goth, horror host and have been for years.  There’s a lot of Fangoria content featuring Elvira as well as a wealth of other pop culture things I can talk about specifically related to the Mistress of the Dark.  I’ve been having fun compiling the article so I hope you guys have fun reading it.

Expect AWESOME-tober-fest 2019 to start on Monday September 30, 2019.

Until then, UNpleasant dreams!



Also, check out the blog Countdown to Halloween for more Halloween-y, bloggy AWESOMEness.

AWESOME-tober-fest 2016 is near!

Posted in AWESOME-tober-fest, Genres, Halloween, holiday, horror, monsters, movies, mummy, pop culture with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on September 12, 2016 by Paxton

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It’s early September. The days are growing short. The spooky season is fast approaching. Some, like my good friends Matt and Jay, have already begun. It’s Countdown to Halloween time!

And yes, I’ll be doing AWESOME-tober-fest this year.  And my theme will be The Mummy!  So expect to see lots of ancient, bandage wrapped awesomeness popping up here starting, officially, on Monday Oct 3.  I’ll be covering lots of pop culture mummy things like books, comics, movies and even a few cartoons!  So mark your calendar, starting Monday October 3 I’ll be redressing the Cavalcade for the entire month of October and starting daily weekday updates featuring The Mummy!  Plus a few other surprises.

And I guarantee you, at some point during AWESOME-tober-fest, the below cartoon depiction of Alcatraz Island will show up.

alcatraz

AWESOME-tober-fest 2009: Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein book review

Posted in AWESOME-tober-fest, books, Classic literature, Frankenstein, Halloween, pop culture, reviews with tags , , , , , , , , on October 19, 2009 by Paxton

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Today, I review the book that started it all, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein.

Shelley Frankenstein cover
Mary Shelley’s tale of the Frankenstein monster is perhaps one of the most classic and iconic horror tales of all time.  Shelley’s book has spawned not only other books, but movies, TV shows, plays, satire and short stories. It’s a veritable horror franchise in and of itself.  Her book, along with Bram Stoker’s Dracula, helped ground the incredibly popular Universal Monster stable of monster movies in the ’30s. Famously played by Boris Karloff in the Universal movies and by David Prowse (Darth Vader in the Star Wars movies) in the cult favorite Hammer films, the monstrous green, lumbering Frankenstein monster created by a mad scientist looking to create artificial life is what is most popularly known by the public at large.  Is this basically what the original book is about?  Are the events in the book different?  Before this article, I had no idea.

Having never read the original Frankenstein novel by Shelley, I couldn’t answer that question.  So I picked up the classic novel for this year’s AWESOME-tober-fest and read the original novel. I had no prior knowledge of Shelley’s book (other than it existed) and all of my imagery of Frankenstein and the monster pretty much come from the Universal movies as well as cheesy ’70s and ’80s adaptations like The Monster Squad, The Munsters and The Groovie Goolies. Let’s see how different the original novel is from the image burned into our collective pop consciousness.

Frankenstein cover 2

Published in 1818, Frankenstein by Mary Shelley is considered a horror classic. Having written the book when she was only 18, Shelley originally published the book anonymously. It wasn’t until 1831 that the book was first published with her name on it.  The genesis of this novel began one night when Mary Shelley, her husband Percy and Lord Byron were at Byron’s villa telling ghost stories.  They all decided they should each write their own supernatural story.  Byron began to research a vampire story that would eventually be written by another author.  Percy Shelley would die before he could write his story. Mary came up with her story after a vivid dream.  Subsequently, hers would be the only one published as originally intended.  The gist of the story centers on Victor Frankenstein and his creation of a monster from dead body parts.

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AWESOME-tober-fest 2008!!! Costume and Candy!!

Posted in AWESOME-tober-fest, candy, costumes, Halloween, holiday with tags , , , , , on October 31, 2008 by Paxton

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It’s H-day, baby!! All Hallow’s Day. Halloween. Sam Hain Day. Black and Orange. Spooky Time. Creepy Crawlies. Dress up like a nutball and drink yourself into a blind stupor and wind up disoriented and bleeding on the back porch of some stranger’s house…with no pants (you have no pants, not the stranger, who may or may not have pants). I love Halloween!

Want to see my costume for today?  Here it is:

Sav-Rite nerd

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AWESOME-tober-fest 2008!!! A Look Back at the Crestwood Monster books

Posted in AWESOME-tober-fest, books, Halloween, holiday, movies, pop culture, reviews with tags , , , , , on October 30, 2008 by Paxton

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Welcome to AWESOME-tober-fest Week 5!!! I revealed yesterday that there will be an article a day starting yesterday, so here’s today’s installment.   FYI…I got sick yesterday afternoon.  So  I want you to know the Herculean effort it took to get this article out.  That’s the kind of sacrifice I do for you, my readers.

Today, I want to talk about the the keystone topic I’ve wanted to talk about all month. It’s a series of books I remember vividly from elementary school. I finally acquired copies of the first six books in the series late last year. It was late enough that I didn’t really get a chance to talk about them last Halloween. However, now I’ve had a year to look at them so let’s take a stroll down memory lane at the Crestwood House Monster Series.

Crestwood Monsters cover

I have a very vivid memory of checking these books out from the HW Gwin Elementary school library. The vibrant orange color of the cover and the cool monster subjects made them a popular choice amongst my friends. Each book focused on a monster or creature from a movie or series of movies. The first six books included Dracula, Frankenstein, Wolf Man, King Kong, Godzilla and Mad Scientists. Most were published in the late ’70s and early ’80s. As you can see, they are also the inspiration for my blog header this Halloween.

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AWESOME-tober-fest 2008!! Halloween Countdown Links

Posted in AWESOME-tober-fest, blogging, Halloween, holiday with tags , , , , on October 29, 2008 by Paxton

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Happy Halloween

Okay, we’ve hit the home stretch.  Halloween is on Friday.  In honor of the final three day slide into All Hallows Eve (and the final days of AWESOME-tober-fest) I’ve decided to do an article a day.  Yes, you heard me right.  AN.  ARTICLE.  A.  DAY.  Did I just blow your f%*@ing mind?  I’ll just pause a sec for you to recover your faculties…

…so, we good?  Okay, like I said, today, tomorrow and Friday are all going to have articles to finish off the home stretch of this year’s AWESOME-tober-fest!!!!!  I’m excited, I hope you are too.

Having said that, today is going to be a cheat.  Today I’m going the lazy blogger’s route and list a bunch of other blogs! Yay! Seriously, I wanted to acknowledge a bunch of other blogs that are also going through their own version of the AWESOME-tober-fest.  It’s a huge network of blogs having one giant Halloween Countdown. Many of these blogs have linked to me and many I myself visit on a daily basis.  They are all kick-ass blogs that have some really good content for you to check out.  So much Halloween stuff it’ll drive you batty (how about that appropriately Halloween-y adjective?  Yes, it was bad ass.  Thank you).

Here are the other blogs in this giant blogosphere-wide Halloween Countdown. Check out a few of them if you have the time and get ready for a new article tomorrow.

Azathoth’s Abode on the Plateau of Leng: The Dungeon
All Eyes and Ears
Armagideon Time
The Armchair Chef
Art by Bubba Shelby
Branded in the 80s
Cavalcade of Awesome
Comic Coverage
Cool-Mo-Dee
Creepy Los Angeles
Dave Lowe Design!
Digital Meltd0wn Music Blogroll
Digital Meltd0wn
Diversions of the Groovy Kind
Distinctly Jamaican Sounds
Dr. K’s 100-Page Super Spectacular
Dr. Squid’s Smorgasbord of Terror!
Drunken Severed Head
Frankensteinia
Franklin Mint Blog
Geek Orthodox
Geektarded
Gothtober
Halloween Addict
Halloween in the Time of Cholera
The Hallowe’en Tree
Harvey’s Midnight Hour
The Holiday Queen
Houses of Wax
The Horrors of it All
Horror Host Graveyard
Idle Minds Inc.
I-Mockery
John Rozum.com
Magic Carpet Burn
Mark Harvey’s World
Mike Segretto
Monsters and More
Monster Crazy
Monster Memories
Monster Rally
Monsterama
Monsters and More
Moongem Comics
Mostly Ghostly
Mother Firefly’s Faster Pussycats
Music From the Monster Movies 1950-69
Music You (Possibly) Won’t Hear Anywhere Else
Musty TV
Neato Coolville
Needcoffee
Negative Pleasure
Nostalgia Factory
A Nostalgic Halloween
Oh the Horror
Orange and Black
Para Abnormal
Plaid Stallions
Plastic Pumpkins
Pumpkin Hollow
Pumpkinrot
Random Acts of Geekery
The Retropolitan
Sailormoms
The Sexy Armpit
Skull a Day
Sweet Skulls
13 Visions
Tales to Astonish
Tikiranch Hallows
Trixie’s Treats
Universal Horror Sounds
Valhella
Vinnie Ratolle’s Records
Weird Hollow
Wonderful Wonderblog
X Entertainment