Saturday, October 31, 2015

GHOST THE GAME

I found this photo on another website of a Ghost game. Ghost is a word game. I had heard of Ghost because of a trivia book I had as a child. That book spawned my interest in trivia. There was a section of trivia having to do with ghost. It mentioned a TV game show called Super Ghost, hosted by someone name Bergen Evans. I did some quick research on line about both after seeing this game.

Here is the best explanation I could find of how to play Ghost and Super Ghost. From some other photos I've seen, this came with letters and score cards.


There is wealth of information about Dr. Bergen Evans (above). He was a professor of English at Northwestern University. He hosted another game show called Down You Go, as well as two other shows called Of Many Things and The Last Word. He also wrote several popular reference books and newspaper columns, many aimed at increasing peoples vocabulary. While you can find information about Dr. Evans, two other things are hard too find: a photo of Bergen Evans with out a watermark and video of his TV shows. I managed to swipe this photo and enlarge it. Archive-dot-org has one of the only known copies of Down You Go in existence.

Ghost has gone modern too. You can find Ghost game apps on Google Play and online.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

HALLOWEEN MUSIC PODCAST RECAP


I had fun this year putting together the Halloween music podcast. I have mentioned on this blog (and to some people I know) that I would love to write a book about this music that could be used in Halloween celebrations or for radio programmers who want to add music for Halloween to their playlist.

Here are the links to the post containing my podcast. Feel free to subscribe to the podcast as well. You can listen to the music while trick or treating or eating you Halloween candy.

Halloween podcast 1
Halloween podcast 2
Halloween podcast 3
Halloween podcast 4

I didn't have a chance to list the music on the special, hour long, forth podcast. Here it is:
  • "Welcome to My Nightmare" - Alice Cooper
  • "The Mummy" - Bob McFadden & Dor
  • "The Walls Keep Talking" - Gene Krupa Orchestra with Anita O'Day
  • "Midnight Monster Hop" - Jack and Jim
  • "Boris the Spider" - The Who
  • "The Spider & The Fly" - The Monocles
  • "Alligator Wine" - Screaming Jay Hawkins
  • "Dinner With Drac" - John Zacherly
  • "She's Fallen In Love With A Monster Man" - Lord Sutch & his Savages
  • "Ghost Town" - The Specials
  • "Children of the Grave" - Black Sabbath
  • "Midnight Stroll" - The Revells
  • "Mr. Were-Wolf" - The Kac-Ties
  • "The Witch Queen of New Orleans" - Redbone
  • "Monster Mash" - Bobby Boris Pickett & The Crypt Kickers
  • "Nightmare" - Artie Shaw Orchestra
I apologize if the sound level varies at times. I'm using equipment that is used by several people over the course of a week and month. They change the settings from time to time.

SCARY RANDOM HORROR TRIVIA



Stuntman Alex Stevens was the werewolf (top photo) on Dark Shadows. He also was the clumsy baker (bottom photo) at the end of the counting sequences on Sesame Street. On Dark Shadows, they used a sound effects for the growl (sometimes badly slip cued). On Sesame Street, they overdubbed the voice of Jim Henson, announcing the number of fancy pastries he was going to drop on the way down the stairs.

Speaking of baking, Vincent Price's grandfather invented baking powder.

At the time he was making Night of the Living Dead, George Romero and his Image Ten production company was also making the "Picture Picture" sequences for Mister Rogers Neighborhood.

The mid-60s British horror film The Deadly Bees, features an uncredited appearance by the British band The Birds (referred to on MST3K as "The Skinnys") which featured guitarist Ron Wood, later of the Jeff Beck Group, The Faces and the Rolling Stones.

Actor/director Paul Naschy wrote several paperback Western's under the name Jack Mills.

Donnie Dunagan, who played Basil Rathbone's son in Son of Frankenstein, was also the voice of Bambi.


At the time she made The Brain That Wouldn't Die, actress Virginia Leith (above), who played "Jan in the Pan," was married to actor Donald Harron, best known as KORN newscaster Charlie Farquharson on Hee Haw.

Actor David Hess, who played Krugg in the original Last House On the Left, wrote Pat Boone's hit song, "Speedy Gonzales."

Lon Chaney Sr. made more than 150 movies in his lifetime, but only 40 of them survive intact. One of the lost films is London After Midnight, which was remade as Mark of the Vampire.

The 70s Ghost Busters

The 70s Monster Squad

Besides being cult horror comedies of the 80s, Ghost Busters and The Monster Squad both share their names with live action Saturday morning TV shows of the 70s.

Wes Craven named Freddy Kruger after a kid that used to beat him up in school.

The term "horror" as a movie genre was not used until 1934.

To make his face appear sunken, Boris Karloff took out his bridge work, while playing the Frankenstein monster.

Valarie Hobson, who was in Werewolf of London and Bride of Frankenstein, was later married to British politician John Profumo, who was involved in the sex scandal that was the subject of the 1989 film Scandal.

Mexican actor German Robles was the first movie vampire to have fangs. This was in the 1957 film The Vampire. The second was Christopher Lee in 1958's Horror of Dracula.

Fredric March was the first actor to win an Oscar for a horror movie for the 1931 version of Dr. Jeckyll & Mr. Hyde.

Speaking of Fredric March: A play by Alberto Casella, "La Morte in vacanza," was filmed twice. First as Death Takes a Holiday (1934) with Fredric March and Meet Joe Black (1998) with Brad Pitt. Brad Pitt also lived in a mansion March had built while he was making Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde.

The 1932 film The Mummy was not based on a fictional work but an original idea from Universal Pictures. Much of the film was parallel to the 1931 movie Dracula. The ankh was used a substitute for the crucifix. Edward Van Sloan's character, Dr. Muller, is similar to Dr. Van Helsing, which he also played in Dracula. Both use Swan Lake as their opening theme song.


The original design of the Creature from the Black Lagoon was based on the Oscar statue. The final design was created by a woman named Millicent Patrick (above), who was also an artist for Disney. She was not given credit for the design.


In an interview, actress Lenore Aubert (left) said making Abbott & Costello Meets Frankenstein was stressful because she was suffering from stomach flu and most of her wardrobe for the film consisted of white dresses.

The human characters from Scooby Doo were originally designed for a cartoon based on the TV series The Many Loves of Dobbie Gillis, to cash in on the success of the Archie cartoon series.

Bette Davis was unavailable to overdub some of her dialog in the made for TV horror film, The Dark Secret of Harvest Home. She asked for it to be overdubbed by actor/comedian Michael Greer, who stared in the horror film The Messiah of Evil. She had seen his imitation of her on the Tonight Show.



Artist Gene Colan based the look of the Marvel Comics Dracula on actor Jack Palance. One year later, in 1973, Palance played Dracula in a made for TV movie. 







 
  


Sunday, October 25, 2015

MOVIE REVIEW: THE UNDERTAKER & HIS PALS

The original posters make this look much scarier than it is.

Here is a question for you: What kind of movie do you get when you mix the funeral home jokes of The Loved One, the bikers of The Wild Angels, the blood, gore and cannibalism of Blood Feast, with the campy melodrama of Batman? You get The Undertaker and His Pals.

This movie was promoted as a dark and gruesome horror film from the moment of its release in 1966. Watching it now, it has both lost its shock value and comes across as an attempt to be trendy. With that said, this is definitely one of those "so bad, it's good" movies.

The movie opens with a biker gang invading the home of a beautiful blond named Sally Lamb, who sits around the house in a long sleeved, pull over, sweater and a pair of panties. They murder her. I should point out this upsets her sailor boyfriend's photo. Yes, he is not there, but his photo gets very upset at his sexy girlfriend's death (see photo below).


Next, we see Sally Lamb's funeral, presided over by the bald and creepy Mort the mortician (Ray Dannis). Mort has made up Sally with makeup like a clown and charges her parents extra for a pair of artificial legs he attached, because her legs had been removed by her killers. He also has a sign out front that he gives trading stamps.

From there were meet Harry Glass, a private eye with an attractive secretary name Ann Poultry. He takes her to lunch a greasy spoon called The Greasy Spoon, that is run by the bikers. The special of the day is "Leg of Lamb." The bikers are delighted to find out that Ann's last name is Poultry ("Like chicken"). You can figure out where this is going. The next special of the day is "Breast of chicken" after Ann is impaled on a fence in her yard.

Mort directs Ann's funeral, which is so cheap that Ann is placed in a wooden packing crate. Harry begins to look into whether Ann's death was connected to some other deaths, while trying to find a new secretary.

I'm too cute to be in this stupid movie.
A beautiful woman named Friday (Warrene Ott) applies for the job. She gets the job but makes the mistake of eating at The Greasy Spoon. She winds up in a meat grinder and is sold as "hambur-ger."

My question, being a native Ozarker is that odd spelling on the Greasy Spoon chalk board a tip of the hat to Springfield, Missouri's Route 66 icon Red's Giant Hamburg sign (below). One wonders.


Harry is worried about Friday, but then is surprised when her twin sister, Thursday (also Warrene Ott) shows up. I'll not go into the rest of the film because it would spoil it, other than to say that Mort and Thursday engage in a goofy chase scene. When we see Thursday running away, we hear silent movie chase music. Then we see Mort creeping after her, accompanied by a funeral organ.

I will tell you that the film's end credits are goofy. Everyone makes a sort of curtain call, even those that are dead, while a New Orleans style rock & roll song, called "A Devil Like Me", plays. Sally Lamb rises from her coffin with her legs intact and Mort's bad makeup gone. Ann pops out of her packing crate wearing only a fur coat. Friday is sitting in front of the Greasy Spoon slate, which reads "Hambur-ger Get it" eating a hamburger and winking at the audience.


This is the only film ever directed by Tom Swicegood. Legend has it that the film, originally, contained scenes of actual operations and autopsies, but those were cut out (excuse the pun) by independent movie maker Ted. V. Mikels, who distributed it as a second feature to his horror films. Those edits left this movie with a running time of just over an hour. Still, The Undertaker and His Pals is at number seven on "The Goriest Films Ever Made" in the The Signet Book of Movie List by Jeff Rovin. Of course, this book was written in 1979 and Rovin's description sounds like he may have watched a different film. He says there was a "cleaving in two of a delivery boy's skull." This scene is not as bad as he makes it sound, besides the delivery boy is laughing in the end credits (with a band aid on his head). I'm not saying there is some gore, but nothing compared to what we would see in the 70s and 80s.

If you read many on-line reviews of this film, you realize that the people who hate this movie the most are people who want more gore and less humor in their horror films. They also don't understand that this is, as the saying goes, a product of its times. I mentioned that it is a mish mash of hot movie and TV properties of the day at the beginning of this review.

If you are looking for a fun "bad" horror movie for Halloween. This is a fun choice.     
 






 

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Thursday, October 22, 2015

1977 HALLOWEEN SAFETY FILM SHOWS WHY I BELIEVE SOME PEOPLE MY AGE ARE SCREWED UP

I almost posted this first, but decided to post the 50s Halloween film first, so that watching this will be a jarring example of how attitudes changes toward kids and Halloween in over the course of two decades. The 50s film portrays Halloween as fun and games, while the 70s film portrays it as a dark and sinister world of multiple, suburban death traps.

Another thing to notice is that in the 50s film, the dog causes the problem, but is forgiven in the end. From the very beginning of the 1977 Halloween Safety film, the kids are relentlessly portrayed as the cause of countless problems, for drivers of large, gas guzzling cars, with their little Halloween antics and costumes. Of course, there are people who poison in the treats, so just have your parents throw all your candy away. The basic gist of this film is DON'T HAVE FUN.

This was an attitude that permeated my childhood in Missouri: FUN IS BAD. I mentioned it before, but the elementary school I attended in Lebanon, Missouri, only allowed the kindergartners to dress up or have any fun on Halloween, because "Halloween is a man made holiday" and "mature children don't trick or treat."

This was drilled into us as children, along with "You don't want to be like the previous generation." (Baby Boomers) My thought was "Why? They are having all the fun. I'm stuck here doing this worthless arithmetic junk." That usually got me slapped by the teacher (I'm against discipline and violence to children, but that is a topic for another time). 

What I'm seeing now is some people my age getting in trouble for various crimes and I think, "Wait a minute, these were the 'positive peer pressure - Just Say No' group. They signed contracts that said they would abstain from rock music, drugs and sex. What happened?"

My theory is these people tried to conform to the rigid ideas the adults of the community had about what a "good, responsible, mature kid" was supposed to be, that they eventually just snapped and broke the rules. Cranky adults robbed them of a fun and happy childhood by trying to force them into some idea of a perfect adult at a young age. On the other hand, I thought adults were full of BS, broke all the little rules and I've stayed out of trouble. As I always say, I hate adults, I'm ashamed I grew up to be one.

Another thing this rigid attitude by adults caused others of my generation to have a deep resentment towards today's kids. Every day I see this on Facebook with memes claiming that "In my day, we cured ADHD by beating kids with belts." Not only is advocating child abuse not funny, but the truth was they tried to cure ADHD by not allowing kids to drink any red Kool-Aid. The NO-FUN adult factor strikes again. Facebook has become a constant barrage of "kids are stupid" garbage that should have died out several years ago, but is rearing its ugly head with my "do-gooder" classmates.

Speaking of the previous generation, I have been forced to work with several of the talk radio ilk, who are proud that they were not part of the counter culture or into that rebellious stuff that other Baby Boomers did. These are people are not only bitter, cranky, little people, but they will stab you in the back and leave you for dead. I believe the proper word for that behavior is conniving.

So watch this film and realize that most of this is part of the "cranky adult" attitude that I've been fighting and thumbing my nose at since I was a kid. Following the rules laid out in this film, will make you have a boring Halloween and screw up a generation. Of course, this opinion is why I'm considered the SUPER-VILLAIN OF THE OZARKS! Mwu-HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!


Sunday, October 18, 2015

DESDINOVA'S HALLOWEEN PODCAST 3 (Pitney Bowes worst nightmare)

Another podcast and I still have more than enough music for another podcast before Halloween. This one such great Halloween jams as:
  • "Black Juju" - Alice Cooper
  • "She's My Witch" - Kip Tyler
  • "Vampire Rock" - Fabulous Poodles
  • "I'm In Love With Dracula's Daughter" - Screaming Lord Sutch
  • "Igor's Party" - Tony's Monstrosities
  • "Frankenstein" - New York Dolls
  • "Plan 9, Channel 7" - The Damned
Along with appearances from Torgo, the Monty Pythons, Criswell, Colin Clive, Bela Lugosi, and a hot babe that was married to Frankie Lane. Also I'll continue to make fun of that STL Cardinal fan, who chewed me out at work over a commercial that had a screaming woman in it. Oh yeah, Elmo & Patsy get theirs.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

DESDINOVA'S HALLOWEEN PODCAST 2

Here it is! Halloween podcast number 2 with more creepy musical favorites including:
  • Til The Following Night- Lord Sutch
  • Voodoo Walk-  Cindy & Misty with Sonny Richard's Panics
  • Mr. Ghost Goes To Town - The 5 Jones Boys
  • Soul Dracula - Hot Blood
  • Frankenstein's Den - The Hollywood Flames
  • Season of the Witch - Donovan
  • Bark At The Moon - Ozzy Osbourne
  • The Munsters Theme - The Comateens



Thursday, October 15, 2015

Halloween Party (1953)


I found this educational film from 1953 about a kids celebrating Halloween in the 50s. I plan to post a 70's Halloween safety later to show how attitudes toward the holiday changed. This revolves around a boy name Peter making a mask for his class Halloween party. The dog tears the mask up while they are out of the house, as revenge for Peter trying to scare him with it on. Actually, Peter looks better with the mask on. Peter's mother consoles Peter by dressing him as a "lady scarecrow."

Sunday, October 11, 2015

HALLOWEEN PINUPS OF ANN MILLER












Last week, I posted a Halloween pinup of Morgan Fairchild and this week it is several of dancer Ann Miller. People my age remember Ann Miller as an older lady, who would be on TV shows dancing. Her trademarks were great looking legs (even in her advanced age) and big, stiff hair. She also appeared in the movie, Mulholland Drive, and a Stan Freburg produced commercial for a short-lived product called Great American Soups as a tap dancing housewife. I've found several pinups of Ann Miller with a Halloween theme.  I'll have too say that when Ann Miller made these photos, she was not only smoking hot, but darn cute.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

DESDINOVA'S HALLOWEEN PODCAST 1

I love Halloween oriented music and think it should be on the radio for at least a week before Halloween. Many of the big corporate radio stations will probably start playing Christmas music this month. I've decided to give you more than one podcast this month. They will be filled with Halloween music and horror movie trailers. Enjoy!


BTW: This podcast contains the following:
  • "In the Hall of the Mountain King" - Sounds Inc.
  • "Halloween Mary" - P. F. Sloan
  • "The Pumpkin Man" - The Little Golden Records Orchestra
  • "My Girlfriend Is a Witch" - October Country
  • "The Monster Hop" - Bert Convey
  • "Werewolves of London" - Warren Zevon
  • "Creature with the Atom Brain" - Roky Erickson
  • "Batman, Wolfman, Frankenstein and Dracula" - The Diamonds
  • "Barnabas Theme from Dark Shadows" - The First Theremin Era

 

Friday, October 9, 2015

Van Beuren's Magic Mummy Cartoon

I've said on this blog before that the Van Beuren Studios made some of the worst cartoons ever. This is one of the few good ones.

I mentioned on an earlier post about Van Beuren's Milton Mouse that got them a lawsuit from Walt Disney. This is Van Beuren's ripoff of the popular Mutt & Jeff comic strip and cartoon characters named Tom & Jerry. These cartoons have been used in many budget compilations of cartoons because they are in public domain and they have the same name as the more popular cat & mouse team from MGM.

This has a Phantom of the Opera type character and dancing skeletons. The mummy is more of a Goth chick/zombie, who sings in a Betty Boop-like voice. Oh yeah, also Tom & Jerry are cops at a gay precient. There are two singing cops wearing eye shadow and lipstick. The other cops spend their time dancing with the jails inmates. Enjoy this bit of strangeness.
   


Wednesday, October 7, 2015

MONSTER PHOTO FUN 2015

Click to enlarge
I decided to create some more of these little creations for your entertainment. These are inspired by the Cracked magazine "For Monsters Only" issues. They say great minds think alike. Gilligan over a Retrospace has a similar post. Check it out.




Okay, the last two have nothing to do with monsters, but I saw those photos and could not resist. Those jokes just wrote themselves.
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