Tuesday, October 25, 2011


The Carry On comedies were produced in Great Britain from 1958 to 1978. It is interesting to see ads for these in the old Springfield Daily News and Springfield Leader & Press, which is a testament to their minor popularity in this country. I'll get into another example of their following in this country later on. I became familiar with the Carry On films when they were part of a syndicated movie package called "The Movie Greats Network." It was there that I first saw Carry On Screaming.
The Carry On films satirized various British institutions such as the military, hospitals, public transportation, temp agencies, public schools, cruise ships and law enforcement. Along the way, they began poked fun at movies too. Starting first with James Bond, then Cleopatra, pirate films, and American Westerns. It would only make sense for the Carry On gang to take on Britain's most popular film studio, Hammer Studios and horror films in general.
The film revolves around the search for a missing girl (Angela Douglas). The only clue left at scene of the crime was a large, hairy finger with a sharp, black claw. The finger belongs to a reanimated neanderthal named Oddbod.
The girl's boyfriend, Albert Potter (Jim Dale), goes to the police with the hairy finger. Sergeant Bung (Harry H. Corbett) and Constable Slobotham (Peter Butterworth) decide to investigate, since she is the sixth woman to disappear from that area. After Slobotham has a chance meeting with the monster, Bung decides to visit a near by Gothic manor, known as the Bide-a-Wee Rest Home. They are greeted by a stoic zombie-like butler named Sockett (Bernard Bresslaw), who tells them that the master of the house has been dead for fifteen years, "but if you come in, I'll ask him if he can see you."
Next, they meet Valeria (Fenella Fielding), a slinky Goth chick in a tight scarlet dress. She says that she will have to "wake" her brother, Dr. Orlando Watt. Dr. Watt is played by Carry On regular Kenneth Williams. The best way to explain Kenneth Williams to a person who isn't familiar with him would be a British version Paul Lynde.
We later find out that Oddbod kidnaps women, brings them to Dr. Watt, who then covers them with wax and sells them as mannequins to clothing stores.
A public men's room attendant (Charlie Hawtrey) attempts to inform Bung and Slobotham about the women being turned into mannequins, but Oddbod gives him a fatal swirly (off screen, of course).
A police scientist (Jon Pertwee) tries a galvanic experiment with the severed monster finger and accidentally creates causes another monster to grow at the end of the finger. The monster shows up at the manor and  Dr.Watt names him Junior.
Add to this, a mummy named King Rubatitti, Valeria turning Bung into a werewolf and more than enough double-entendres and bad puns to make this one of the best horror film parodies of all-time.

Some other interesting trivia to note about this film.
  • I mentioned that contrary to what some have suggested, the Carry On films did have a modest following in America. As a matter of fact, the American distributors asked that nerdy Charlie Hawtrey be included, because he tended to be very popular with the American audiences.
  • Jim Dale's character is named Albert Potter. These days Jim Dale records audio books of the Harry Potter series.
  • There is a tip of the hat to Abbot and Costello when Williams introduces himself. Slobotham says "Doctor who?" Williams replies "Not Who, Watt! Dr. Who is my uncle."  Jon Pertwee, who plays the police scientist, later played Dr. Who in the early 70s.
  • Actor Frank Thornton plays the manager of a clothing store in this film, later played the manager of a clothing store on the TV show Are You Being Served?

Check out Carry On Screaming. It is great ghoulish fun.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Carry On Screaming (1966) - Trailer


On Halloween 1990, KYTV aired a great TV special called "Night Diary." It was hosted by the late Fred Schweitzer. For those who don't remember Fred Schweitzer, he was a commercial producer at KYTV. He also was an actor and writer. Many remember his portrayal of Wild Bill Hickok on the Park Central Square. His other famous character was a vampire named Robert Barlow. It was this persona that he used when hosting "Night Diary." Sadly, Schweitzer died suddenly in 1996. "Night Diary" was a collection of spooky legends and ghost stories from the Ozarks. It was apparently quite popular, because KY 3 rerun the special in October of 1993 and October of 1995. According to this website, there was a "Night Diary 2" that aired on Halloween 1994. I wish KYTV would either rerun these TV specials or post them on You Tube. It would be great if another generation could see these superb local productions.

PS: For those of you who don't remember Fred Schweitzer, there is a photo of him and his oddly decorated office on the KY3 Website.

Thursday, October 20, 2011


There are two kinds of bad movies. One features a cast of unknowns, who are struggling to make it, and then there are the movies, which famous people on the way down. Al Adamson was a master of the second kind of film and Dracula vs Frankenstein is the one of the latter. This movie was J. Carol Nash and Lon Chaney Jr. last movie roles. It also features Freaks star Alberto Rossitto, Hawaiian Eye star Anthony Eisley, Famous Monster editor Forrest Akerman and MGM musical star Russ Tamblyn. The only person who became a bigger star after this movie was Jim Davis, who went on to be Jock Ewing on Dallas, and future director Greydon Clark.

This movie features a Dracula that looks like a cross between Frank Zappa and Jerry Seinfield and speaks with an echo effect on his voice, a Frankenstein monster with a face made of Bisquick, a gang of bikers on minibikes and J. Carol Nash’s clicking false teeth. Other than some violent murders and a glimpse of a bare breast, this film seems like it might have been made for children. It was even rated PG (GP back in those days).

This is one of those bad movies that is fun to watch. What makes it fun is that it keeps moving at a brisk pace and the people in it are a mixture of good actors on the way down and incredibly bad actors. The slowest this film gets is when Anthony Eisley and actress Regina Carrol make out to some generic 70s soft rock song. It is actually less of a movie and more like a living horror comic book.

Dracula vs Frankenstein is crap, but it is good, fun crap.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011



My sister, Villanova, gave me this when I was in Kindergarten. I loved the It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown TV special when I was small. I thought this card was wonderful. I'm sure there will be some nitwit here in Springfield and the Ozarks that will be offended by this because this is a take-off on Christmas carols, but I don't care.I prefer Halloween to Christmas.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


I have been planning to write a review of the 1964/68 cult film Spider Baby for quite some time. What better time to do it than Halloween.

My first exposure to this film was in some clips that were incorporated into a Goodtimes home video compilation Horrible Horror, hosted by Zacherley. Those scenes are taken out of context make this film look like a bad proto-slasher film with goofy characters. The complete film is an underrated classic, which has only become popular in the last few years thanks to cable TV and home video.

It is interesting that this film was made in 1964, when the three most popular TV sitcoms featured Halloweenish subject manner. Spider Baby was sort of a darker and more warped cousin of Bewitched, The Addams Family and The Munsters. One of the few comedy horror films that isn't a parody or send up of other horror films.

Unfortunately, it was not released to theaters until 1968, due to the distributor filing for bankruptcy. It changed hands (and titles a few times). Originally it was called The Maddest Story Ever Told, as a parody of The Greatest Story Ever Told. At one point the film also went by Cannibal Orgy and The Liver Eaters.

The film is built around the concept of a fictional condition called Merrye Syndrome, which inflected the Merrye family. The Merrye family was rich and powerful at one point but liked to inbreed. The condition caused the members of the family to regress into childlike behavior before reverting into violent inhuman cannibals.

The last surviving members of the Merrye family are contacted by the Howes, two long lost cousins and their sleazy lawyer, Mr. Schlocker (Karl Schanzer). The cousins include Peter (Quinn Redeker), who acts like he might also by the long lost cousin of Dick Van Dyke, and Emily (Carol Ohmart), a greedy, blonde bitch. Peter also provides an introduction to the film.

The Merryes are three young adults that behave like small children. Elizabeth (Beverly Washburn) is a bratty older sister who wears a party dress, Virginia (Jill Banner) pretends she is a spider and Ralph (Sid Haig) is a large, bald toddler. They are all cared for by a soft-hearted caretaker Bruno, played by Lon Chaney Junior.

The family learns of the impending visit by Emily and Peter, after Virginia kills a messenger, played by African-American comedian Mantan Moreland, while pretending to be a spider. Emily and the lawyer insist on staying the night, even though Bruno tries to persuade them to go to the inn at the nearby village. Peter, not rally wanting to be involved with Emily's effort to commit the "children" and take control of the Merrye fortune, says he will stay in town with the lawyer's attractive young secretary (Mary Mitchell).

The lawyer insist on Bruno serving dinner for Emily, Peter, the secretary and himself. Virginia gathers mushrooms and greens for a salad and Ralph kills a cat, which is roasted and served (although Bruno never tells the guest what it is).

The "children" overhear Emily and Schlocker plotting to institutionalize them and get her hands on the Merrye family fortune. Elizabeth talks Virginia into getting back at the "bad people" with a little help from the some of the other remaining Merrye relatives, who live in a boarded up room in the basement.

Spider Baby was directed and written by Jack Hill, who later directed Switchblade Sisters, Coffy and Foxy Brown. It was filmed in seven days at a mansion once owned by a former judge who wrote occult books. Whoever is responsible for the lighting, should get some recognition (I couldn't find it on IMDB). The dark and light contrast add to the atmosphere of the film. This film features a great cast. This would have to be the last great role Lon Chaney Jr. had. He appeared in other films but was not very good, due to his poor health. As Bruno, he plays a kindhearted father figure, trying to instill in the children morals and protect them from the people on the outside who would harm them.

Washburn, Banner and Haig are great as the three children. I have come to see Haig's role as Ralph in a different light recently, after watching my eighteen month old great-nephew. Haig has the mannerisms of a toddler down and incorporates them into the role. Beverly Washburn gives us this great switch toward the end of the film. She goes from being the pretty, tattletale bratty to raving psycho. I love when she screams "KILL HIM!" at the sight of the weaselly lawyer Schlocker.

Jill Banner, as Virginia, pretty much steals the show from the moment she hacks off Mantan Moreland's ear with a butcher knife. She gives Virginia both childlike and erotic qualities. She and Washburn are great in the scene where they overhear Emily's and Schlocker's plans. The way Banner answers Washburn with the phrase "I know" is creepy and humorous.

This is a movie that you have to see at least once. It is a fun experience. Some people would hate this movie, but remember what Bruno says "Children, we shouldn't hate."

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Der Wienerschnitzel commercial with Dracula

I'm not sure the exact year on this ad, but it is probably from around the same time Der Wienerschitzel had locations here in Springfield, Mo (Early 70s?). Notice the picture of Der Wienerschitzel's building shown at the end of the commercial. When Der Wienerschitzel closed, those buildings became cashew chicken restaurants.

I wish some someone would find a good copy of that commercial. They always look fuzzy.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


For those who have been longing for the good old days of my more vitriolic rants, you are in luck-to some degree. As you read in my last post, I feel that legend of Springlawn Farm and the Albino hatchet-man should be exploited in some way. It think it would be fun to have some spooky legend to drawn visitors to the Ozarks.

Sadly, in my research about the film and the variations on the legend, I found that there was a self-righteous attitude toward people who were interested in the Springlawn Farm-Albino Hatchet Man legend. Many of the writers have the same attitude as Sarah Overstreet. People should be ashamed of spreading the legend of Springlawn Farm because the families that owned the Springlawn Farm “were hard working people.” Ozarkers feel it would be okay to tell this horrific story about people who are unemployed. Ozarkers have a sick and twisted fetish about people with money, work and owning property. The more money and land you own, the better
you are than everyone else. Nobody should be allowed to say that there is something wrong with you family (even if you do have an axe-murdered on the payroll). I think this is what is refereed to in the Bible as covetousness. Of course, the same people that feel we shouldn’t spread the Springlawn Farm are the same people who call greedy, dishonest business people “job creators.” I suspect that the family that owned Springlawn Farm must have been Republican if the Ozarkers
feel we shouldn’t make fun of them.

The other one I came across in many of the anti-Springlawn/Albino Farm information is “This was urban legend was started by teenagers at Parkview High School.” Ozarkers always return to their hatred of young people over and over. How dare “teenagers” make fun of “hard working people!” If it is part of the youth culture, Ozarkers always brand it as “evil” and try to have a lawmaker pass a law against it. I’m surprised Billy Long hasn’t made some big speech “aginst that thar Albino Farm legend.”

I watched the movie Albino Farm, which was filmed  in this area and brought this idiotic
controversy to the forefront. It is actually a very good, well-made horror film, however, it is not the version of the Springlawn legend that I prefer. The version I like is the one in Joan Gilbert’s Missouri Ghost books. It is a more Gothic story that involves a suicide by hanging, spinster sisters and, of course, the hatchet-wielding Albino caretaker.

I would make this film a homage to legendary bad horror film director/writer/costume designer Andy Milligan. The Springlawn Farm legend sounds like the plot of Milligan’s The GhastlyOnes. Also, there is always a hunchback or mentally challenged caretaker/henchman in an Andy Milligan film. The Albino head-chopping caretaker is a perfect character to pay homage to Milligan’s proto-slasher films since Milligan’s costumer/dress making alter-ego, Raffinine, dressed many actor’s in bleached blonde wigs and chalky white make-up, as you can see in the
photos above (Andy Milligan made dresses, while Ed Wood wore dresses). Hal Borske (top picture) would be perfect for the role of the Albino caretaker.  

First off, it needs to be filmed with a 16 mm camera and enlarged for theaters or filmed on an Ipod or cell phone. That way it is grainy with bad sound like Milligan’s films. It should focus on two spinster sisters, who want to pass on the Springlawn Farm to their young cousins with the help of the crooked family lawyer, even though they believe the house is haunted by the ghost of their brother, who hung himself. They have hired a mute Albino caretaker with violent tendencies. The sisters take turns tying him up and beating him when he gets out of control, even
though they say it “turns him on” (Milligan’s movies usually mention bondage and whipping since he was into S&M).

The young cousins show up for a weekend stay. They include three sisters, their effeminate husbands and a brother/priest, who brags about taking nude photos of alter boys. We also find out he has been having affairs with each of his sister’s husbands.

At one point the youngest and brattiest sister, throws a fit exclaiming that she should be the one who gets Springlawn Farm. “Springlawn should be mine! Mine! Mine! I was daddy’s little princess, so I should be the queen of Springlawn!” The brother/priest, who wears a red and gold satin robe and velvet covered wastebasket on his head (Kind of like Guru the Mad Monk in the bottom photo), tells his sister “You may get to be the queen of Springlawn, but remember, I’M THE BIGGEST QUEEN IN THIS FAMILY.”

The husbands and sisters are murdered and everyone blames it on the Albino caretaker. Hands are cut off, eyes are poked out with knitting needles, stabbed with a pitch fork and decapitated in a very cheap and unconvincing style. You’ll get to see rubber hands bouncing, hard boiled eyes with large dots drawn on them to represent gouged out eyeballs and people sticking their heads through holes in tables I should note here that The Ghastly Ones has the most realistic looking decapitated head in any Andy Milligan film. The other decapitation victims in his movies tend to wiggle and have a bored look on their face like they are about echo the animal appliances from the Flintstones and say "It's a living."

It is just how I believe this should be done. Of course, opinions and ideas like this are why I’m considered the Super Villain of the Ozarks!!! Mwu-HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

BEST OF DESDINOVA: Sarah Overstreet Needs to Get a Life!

NOTE: Before you read this post from May of 2007, I want to point out that while I often did not agree with former Springfield News Leader columnist Sarah Overstreet, I was not a Sarah Overstreet-hater. I later had a post in which I agreed with her on a need for improving the storm drainage system in Springfield. I also slammed the News Leader when the fired her. They basically replaced her and other journalist with a bunch of right-leaning simpletons, who get weekly rants on the editorial page. Unfortunately, when you Google Sarah Overstreet's name this article comes up.

I also want to mention that one of the articles I mention in the post was removed by the News Leader. I found someone named Jim Nasium (Now that's funny) copied and pasted it on this KC Chief's fan forum.

I fixed the photo of the poster of Andy Milligan's The Ghastly Ones. I also attached it to this post. Tomorrow, I will give you my opinion (Shock! Desdinova has an opinion!) on how a movie about this legend of the Springlawn Farm should be made.    

Desdinova - Super Villain of the Ozarks: Sarah Overstreet Needs to Get a Life!

Orange Shasta Frankenstein Commercial 1971

Friday, October 7, 2011


Here is a new Count Norlock episode. This one was made for folks in Colorado and features some great ghost stories.

Thursday, October 6, 2011


Count Norlock is out of town, so a gargoyle on the wall becomes the substitute host. Elvis shows up again. The only complication is an angry Russian farmer and his sexy sister show up too. I like the Gargoyle. I think he has a lot of talent. That gun-crazy Russian is a real problem for the gargoyle. I wouldn't give his problems to a monkey on a rock.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011


In this episode of the Late Night Horror Show with Count Norlock, Count Norlock's castle is invaded by Elvis impersonators. Watch for the head of Ray Jordan to appear.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011



I recently noticed many of the retro blogs are participating in something called Countdown to Halloween. Their post will be related to Halloween from now until October 31st. All I can say is "Count me in!" As many long time readers know, Halloween is my favorite holiday. Unfortunately, many cranky, idiot adults in the Ozarks are "ginst" Halloween. There are usually two or three letters to the editor in the News Leader by the anti-Halloween, anti-fun coalition here in the Ozarks.
I can also tell you from experience that being a "monster kid" in the Ozarks is rough. Growing up, I was constantly lectured by all the cranky adults on how I shouldn't like "monster stuff." They wanted me to bail hay, hunt and kill defenseless animals, and listen to country music.
That is why I plan to participate in this Countdown to Halloween blogging. It is a good way to upset Ozarkers. Besides nothing about Halloween could be as scary as the Letters to the Editor in the News Leader. Monday's News Leader featured two goofy gems. One advocates book banning and the other blaming TV for crime. What decade is this?

Sunday, October 2, 2011



I don't think there has been a more important day in the history of the United States of America than September 24, 1991. That was the day that Nirvana's Nevermind was released.
I can tell you where I was the first time I heard it. I was in college, working on my electronic media degree and living in a small apartment on Elm Street between two frat houses near M.S.U (then known as S.M.S.U). It was on a rather warm day, shortly before Halloween, that heard this song being blasted from a stereo system in the backyard of the frat house on the left of the apartment building. I remember thinking "Now that is what music is supposed to sound like." I saw one of the frat members and asked him what the song was. He told me the group was called Nirvana and showed me the cassette's cover (Yes, kids it was on cassette in those days). I went that night and bought a copy.
Nirvana's Nevermind came out at a time when heavy metal bands were recording lame love ballads just to get airplay among the New Kids On the Block and Whitney Houston songs dominating the airwaves. Most AOR stations were playing bar bands and older artist like John Hiatt, Don Henley and Bonnie Raitt between the power ballads. With the exception of Guns N Roses and Metalica, AOR was turning into music for men in a midlife crisis.
Nirvana changed all of that! It revitalized rock and roll much the way the Beatles did in 1964 and the Sex Pistols did in 1976.
That is why I'm excited about this 20th anniversary edition of Nevermind. I'm saving up my money to buy a copy. Not a day goes by that I don't listen to "Smells Like Teen Spirit," so I know I will enjoy this one. It is hard to believe it has been around for 20 years, because it seems like only yesterday that I heard it for the first time.
It is also hard for me to believe that a local scumbag blogger and trouble maker named Stormy dared to slam Kurt Cobain on Facebook. He also slammed John Lennon in the same post.
Because of that I'm posting a BEST OF DESDINOVA of the most popular post ever, in which I explain how the radio industry's ingnoring Nirvana caused it to lose younger listeners.


Every year when the nominations for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame are announced there is a bunch of people whine and complain that their favorite band or artist wasn't nominated. Old guys always complain because a rapper got nominated or some doofus thinks that there is some sort of leftist bias (These are usually Ted Nugent fans). The point is we're lucky to have a Rock & Roll Hall of Fame at all and should realize eventually your favorite will get in.
There was some controversy with some over the choice of Small Faces/Faces. Some complain that they didn't have enough hits (Small Faces had one T-40 hit, while Faces technically had two T-40 hits). The complaint coming from keyboardist Ian McLagen is that each incarnation should go in separately because they are two different bands. Either way, I'm present the evidence as to WHY they were nominated on both sides. First, the original 60s Steve Marriott version with "All Or Nothing" (Also check out footage on You Tube of Small Faces doing "Tin Soldier" with P.P Arnold, who I didn't realize was so attractive). Followed by the 70s Rod Stewart/Ron Wood line up doing their T-40 hit cover version of the Temptations "I Know I'm Losing You."

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