Archive for AWESOME-tober-fest 2019

AWESOME-tober-fest 2019: The Forgotten Frankenstein and other lost cinema treasures

Posted in AWESOME-tober-fest, Blog Series, Fangoria, Frankenstein, Genres, Halloween, holiday, horror, magazine, monsters, movies, pop culture with tags , , , , , , , , , on October 22, 2019 by Paxton

Awesometoberfest 2019

In Fangoria #2 (1979), there was an article about Universal’s Frankenstein. But it wasn’t about the Boris Karloff movie. It was about the original incarnation of the movie that starred Bela Lugosi as the monster.  It was called The Forgotten Frankenstein. 

It started the article with a picture of the original poster that proclaimed Bela Lugosi as the star (click images to make them BIGGER).

The article says the initial development for Frankenstein was done by Robert Florey and in his development Lugosi was to be Dr Frankenstein, not the monster. However, when his treatment was approved by the studio, they insisted Lugosi be the monster.

As Florey was writing the script they brought in Lugosi, Karloff and several other actors to do a fully costumed test reel. Florey says they shot and edited two reels of footage which included the full Jack Pierce makeup. Lugosi was offered the role, but turned it down exclaiming the tall lumbering mute was beneath him. Karloff was ultimately given the role and then Florey was dropped from the director chair and replaced by James Whale.  After this, all the test reel footage and some of the development for Florey’s version of Frankenstein were lost.

This article reminded me that there is a series of books on similar subjects written by Phillip J Riley, which you can find on Amazon.  The series includes original shooting scripts for a ton of early Universal movies as well as “alternate history” exposes on some of those movies including the Lugosi Frankenstein, the Lon Chaney Dracula, the Boris Karloff Invisible Man, the Karloff Return of Frankenstein and even one on the lost Chaney London after Midnight film.  Lots of fun alternate film history out there to read!



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

AWESOME-tober-fest 2019: Fangoria Scream Greats – Beetlejuice

Posted in AWESOME-tober-fest, Blog Series, Fangoria, Halloween, holiday, magazine, movies with tags , , , , , , on October 21, 2019 by Paxton

Awesometoberfest 2019

It’s Monday, time for another Scream Greats poster. This one was inside Fangoria #76 from 1988 and it features a great image of Beetlejuice.

Just a few issues earlier, in Fangoria #74, also 1988, they featured a set visit to the movie.  The cover page to the article featured an alternate version of the Scream Greats photo.



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

AWESOME-tober-fest 2019: Fangoria Movie Friday: Christine

Posted in AWESOME-tober-fest, Blog Series, books, Fangoria, Genres, Halloween, holiday, horror, magazine, movies, pop culture, Stephen King with tags , , , , , , , , on October 18, 2019 by Paxton

Awesometoberfest 2019

Every year around Halloween I try to fill in the gaps in my Stephen King reading. I’d read a bunch of his books back in high school and in college, but then I lapsed for a while. So a few years ago I decided around Halloween each year I’d pick up a book I hadn’t read of his and read it for the spooky season. Over the last 10 years or so I’ve read the uncut The Stand, The Talisman, Salem’s Lot, The Shining and Needful Things. This year, I decided to finally read Christine. And since I’m reading the book, I thought I’d watch the movie as well, seeing as how I’d never seen it.

book movie

I was always fascinated by the idea of the story and was eager to dig in. I read the book first. And the book is actually a lot longer than I was expecting. The copy I read had over 500 pages. It’s typical early King, long on setup. But once you get past the halfway mark, things amp up considerably.  But don’t take that as a disparaging remark to the first half.  The fact that King takes the time to set up the concept and we get to live with the characters a little while, it makes the events in the end really affect the reader.  You know and care about the characters, so the horrific events at the end hit you hard. Since King is playing the long game we really get to know Arnie and when the changes start coming you can really see it.  Little events build up to bigger events until it all snowballs in the end to, honestly, catastrophic results.  And I like the motivations and explanations of Christine here in the novel.

I really enjoyed Christine as a horror novel and a King novel.  Is it my favorite?  No, but I’m glad I read it.  The next King book I’m going to tackle will probably be The Dark Half.

So after reading the book, I watched the movie.  Directed by John Carpenter, who was originally supposed to direct an adaptation of King’s Firestarter a few years earlier but it fell through.  After reading the book, I was a bit disappointed with the slightness of the movie.  I get it, it only has like 2 hours to do what King did in 500+ pages, I totally acknowledge that.  Carpenter’s directing is pretty great.  The movie is shot fantastically.  The car looks awesome.  I love the burning car sequence.  It’s just so relentless and horrific looking.  Honestly, I’m a bit disappointed with how the movie answers the motivations of Christine.  It’s different than the book and it just feels so…bleh.  It was evil from the day it was made?  Really?  Huh.  I didn’t love that, but I really liked the kids in the movie and overall I’m happy with how it turned out, but not surprisingly, I prefer the book.

Fangoria did cover Christine a few times.  With several articles.  The movie got a cover story in Fangoria #32 in 1984.

Fango 32 cover Fango 32 article

King’s novel would get a review in Fango’s Nightmare library a few issues earlier, Fangoria #30, in 1983.

Christine novel review 1 Christine novel review 2

It’s a positive review, for the most part, but the author uses so many metaphors it’s tough to really say for sure.



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

AWESOME-tober-fest 2019: Fangoria’s Monster Invasion column

Posted in AWESOME-tober-fest, Blog Series, Fangoria, Genres, Halloween, holiday, horror, magazine, movies, pop culture with tags , , , , , on October 17, 2019 by Paxton

Awesometoberfest 2019

Let’s talk about Fangoria’s Monster Invasion.

Fangoria ran the Monster Invasion column for years. It was a collection of rumors and up-and-coming news for movies, TV shows, books, etc. Most of the news revolved in some way around the horror genre, but it would occasionally cross over into sci-fi, fantasy, etc. Actually, many of the Fangoria family of magazines would run a similar column. One of my other favorites was Comics Scene’s “Comic Screen”.

Anyway, I combed through a few choice issues and found some neat news tidbits from within the Monster Invasion column.


Here’s an item from Fangoria 23, 1982.  It mentions Stanley Kubrick’s next movie.  He had directed The Shining in 1980 and everyone was speculating what would be his next movie.  This says that Arthur C Clarke’s 2010, the sequel to Kubrick’s 2001, is on his production slate.  That movie would get made, in 1982, with Peter Hyams as director.  It also mentions that John Milius (Conan, Dirty Harry) just finished an original script that would be Kubrick’s next.  I’m not sure what that Milius project was supposed to be, but Kubrick’s next movie wouldn’t be released until 1987, FIVE years after this article.  And it would be Full Metal Jacket.


This one jumped out at me mostly because, as I write this, I’m reading Stephen King’s Christine for the first time. This article starts off telling us that Universal has canceled their plans for a John Carpenter directed adaptation of King’s Firestarter. Which I would’ve loved to have seen.  The article then mentions that this cancellation may have been initiated by the poor box office returns of Carpenter’s The Thing!  Which seems absurd now because The Thing is considered a horror classic.  Anyway, the article goes on saying that Carpenter has another King adaptation in the works, for the upcoming novel Christine which, at the time this article was written, hadn’t come out yet.  But we now know that Carpenter’s Christine would indeed come out the very next year in 1983.


A few issues later we get some followup on Firestarter. Universal is moving forward with Firestarter and Mark Lester was picked as the director. And that is how the movie would actually move forward. The screenplay would be written by Stanley Mann and it would be released in 1984.


Here in Fangoria #9 (1980), Fango is calling out a 3-D revival!  They are hearing rumors all over the place of upcoming movies planning to use 3-D including Halloween 2, Creepshow, and a possible Friday the 13th sequel!  Only one of those things eventually got the 3-D treatment.


Here’s a 3-D followup from Fangoria #15 (1981).  Last time, they are speculating about a revival, this time they are talking about an actual revival of 3-D movies in the wake of the success of the comedy western, Comin’ At Ya!.  It even predicts that studios should start cranking out 3-D movies very soon to capitalize on the success of this movie.  They also mention that John Landis is prepping a Creature from the Black Lagoon remake and they hope he plans on using 3-D when filming it.  And I would have watched the sh*t out of that.  At the end of the piece, Fangoria wonders how long this 3-D revival will last after the flood of sub par 3-D junk studios will undoubtedly put out wears out the format’s welcome.  It’s funny how Comin’ At Ya! is name dropped as the progenitor of 3-D success here in this article when NO ONE today remembers that movie.  Everyone remembers Friday the 13th Part 3 and Jaws 3, but literally no one remembers Comin’ At Ya!


Here’s the final 3-D followup from Fangoria #32 (1984).  The previous article is called “3-D Revival”.  This new item is called “3-D Dead?”.  Which pretty much sums it up.  Fangoria, having called the revival, is now calling the death.  They say the technology itself is the reason for the demise.  It’s just not up to snuff.  And all the crap studios put out with sub par 3-D just killed the format.



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

AWESOME-tober-fest 2019: Fangoria Mail Order VHS ads

Posted in AWESOME-tober-fest, Blog Series, Fangoria, Halloween, holiday, magazine, movies, pop culture with tags , , , , on October 16, 2019 by Paxton

Awesometoberfest 2019

It doesn’t get much more 80s than mail order horror VHS tapes.  And Fangoria magazine is rife with all kinds of awesome mail order VHS ads. Here are a few.


From Fangoria 21 (1982).  Driller Killer!  Snuff!  I’ve never heard of Snuff.  I’m going to have to look that up.  Look at the prices.  $44.95 for ONE tape (plus $3 s/h, of course).  That was the sell through price!  Before that studios used rental pricing and it was over a hundred bucks!


From Fangoria #23 (1982).  An Unholy 9.  I love that.  A few gems in here too.  The original Texas Chainsaw Massacre.  Fulci’s Zombie.  Man, that I Spit on Your Grave is a tough watch.


From Fangoria #54 (1986). I love the art on this Mail Order Nightmares! from Mail Box Video.  Silent Night, Deadly Night is a classic.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen Make Them Die Slowly, but it sounds AWESOME.


This is from Fangoria #49 (1985). It’s not a mail order ad, per se, it’s actually a call in phone order.  It’s still a pretty great ad.  I *totally* remember that Doctor Gore VHS cover.  I never got to get it, but I remember it in Fangoria a lot and I think it showed up at my local video store.



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

AWESOME-tober-fest 2019: Looking back at the history of the Nerd Lunch Halloween Episodes

Posted in AWESOME-tober-fest, Blog Series, Halloween, holiday, movies, podcast, pop culture with tags , , , , , , on October 15, 2019 by Paxton

Awesometoberfest 2019

I’m going to break with the Fangoria theme here for just a second.

As you may, or may not, know, the Nerd Lunch Podcast is winding down. We only have a few more months before it ends. Today, is the final installment of the Nerd Lunch Halloween Special.  Our Halloween episode has a long and storied tradition, so let’s take a walk down memory lane and see all the previous Nerd Lunch Halloween Specials leading up to today’s final entry.

Click the titles to go listen to the episodes one final time.

Paul Lynde
Nerd Lunch Episode 59: Halloween Specials (2012)
We didn’t do a Halloween special our very first year, 2011. Our themed Halloween episodes started with episode 59 in October 2012. We had Jay and Shawn on to discuss two Halloween specials, the 1976 Paul Lynde Halloween Special and 1986’s The Worst Witch starring Fairuza Balk, Charlotte Rae, Diana Rigg and Tim Curry.

Dead Lunch
The next year, 2013, we did a whole month of Halloween shows. It was called BRUCE-tober and it celebrated the man, the myth, the legend, Bruce Campbell.  This is the only time Jay didn’t join us for a Halloween episode.

Here’s what we did all 4 weeks of BRUCE-tober 2013.
Week 1- 102 – Give that Bruce Campbell Guy Some Work – We all come up with the perfect movie/TV project for Bruce to work on.
Week 2- 103 – Bubba Ho-Tep drill down – We review Bubba Ho-Tep
Week 3- 104 – Nerd Lunch reads Make Love the Bruce Campbell Way – We all read Campbell’s farcical book about Hollywood.
Week 4- 105 – Evil Dead drill down – We watch and review the very first Evil Dead movie.

NL Halloween 2014
Episode 152 – 2014 Halloween Episode
For the 2014 Halloween episode, we were joined by Halloween guest stalwart Jay as well as, for the first time anywhere, Matt from Dinosaur Dracula. This is where their Purple Stuff Podcast got started.  For this episode we talked about Halloween-ized retail products and we even made up a few things of our own. Also, that Halloween, we did an Extra Helping where Jay joined us to review the awesomely bonkers 1978 movie KISS Meets the Phantom of the Park.


Episode 202 – 2015 Halloween Episode
For this episode we were again joined by Jay and Matt, this time to talk about two Rankin Bass Halloween specials; 1972’s Jack O’Lantern and 1962’s Mad Monster Party.

NL Halloween 2016
Episode 249 – 2016 Halloween Episode
In 2016 we were joined by Jay and newcomer Will (aka @veggiemacabre on Twitter) to do a spooky version of our franchise topic Movie Menus.  We were each assigned a scary movie and a fast food restaurant and had to come up with a themed menu.

Halloween 2017
Episode 289 – Halloween Horror Show 2017
For the Halloween episode in 2017, Matt and Jay came back to talk all about Elvira’s 1986 MTV Halloween Special.

Halloween 2018
Episode 316 – 2018 Halloween Episode
Last year Jay came back and we were also joined by my good friend Mr Michael May. We did a Sweet 16 of Movie Monsters to determine who is the best Movie Monster out there.


Episode 340 – The Final Halloween Episode
And that leads us to this year. 2019. This will ultimately be the final Nerd Lunch Halloween Special. I’m not going to lie, it’s a bittersweet ending. We are again joined by Jay as well as Robert Zerbe and we are doing a spin off of Movie Menus.  We are all assigned spooky pop culture characters or movies and we have to build a restaurant from the ground up around our assignment.  So we come up with the name, the building, how it’s decorated, how the servers are dressed, any onsite entertainment, and even a few of the menu items.  It’s a lot of fun and I want to eat at all of these places.

And that’s it.  That should be all for the Nerd Lunch Halloween episode.  It’s been a blast doing these every year.  I hope you guys have enjoyed listening.

 



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

AWESOME-tober-fest 2019: Fangoria Scream Greats: Ghostbusters

Posted in AWESOME-tober-fest, Blog Series, Fangoria, Ghostbusters, Halloween, holiday, magazine, movies with tags , , , , , on October 14, 2019 by Paxton

Awesometoberfest 2019

Okay, here we go with the third week of AWESOME-tober-fest.  Now I’m going to switch over from Elvira to a more general Fangoria focus and we’ll look at posters, pin-ups, interviews, articles and ads from all eras of Fangoria.

One of the best things about Fangoria are the Scream Greats posters.  I showed you one of Elvira’s last week.  This week, here’s a pretty great Ghostbusters poster featuring Slimer that appeared in issue #40 from 1984.

And just a few issues earlier, in Fangoria #36, they did a whole article on the ghosts in Ghostbusters.





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