Monday, October 19, 2009


For the past few years I have held a little Halloween Filmfest at my house for my daughter and her friends. Well, at first it was mainly just to give me an excuse to watch movies all day, my kind of movies. But I decided I would also tie it into my kids so it would appear that I was a great guy caring only for the kids. Those who know me though know better and were never really fooled by this.

This year though I have run into a little bit of a problem. Every stinking weekend has been booked with one activity or another (two of them taken up by a trip to Walt Disney World, which explains why the blog updates vanished, but I am NOT complaining about that). This has left me with no Saturday to be able to do my filmfest.

That is aside from the actual day of Halloween itself!

The problem I have run into with this though is that I have all ready been told by my daughter that many of her friends will NOT be able to make it if we shoot for Halloween as the actual day. So I was toying with the idea of holding it the following weekend, but the girl says "no" to that idea.

Well, in my trying to sort this out, my wife brought something to my attention. If you have read this blog before, or just scroll down a little, you will see that the drive-in theater by my house ended their summer run with a few Horror films. Well, these same folks also own a little second run theater, indoor style. My wife showed me an ad they are running right now.

On Halloween night, October 31st, Saturday at midnight (so I guess technically that would be Sunday...or is it still Saturday...) they will be showing:


I am fast falling in love with the owners of this the way!

This pretty much made up my mind. The fest will go on that day. The kids cool enough to stick around or show up will get the extra treat of taking in an actual midnight showing of a super cool flick!

This, by the way, is almost some odd synergy at work, as my daughter right now is on a HUGE Hammer kick. So this actually works quite well.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


Before I start getting comments...I know the logo sucks. It was started a little while ago and at the time I had grand designs for it. I was even going to be having the kids draw one up. But the one the kids did never really materialized. did kind of...and if they finish I will probably switch. But it wasn't "blocky" enough.

So here is this one, and it sucks. But I kind of saw it starting to suck as I started to color it...and I kind of liked how much it sucked. So I ran with it and decided to see just how much it could suck, without my intentionally making it suck. If that makes sense. Kind of like how you can't make a successfully campy movie if you TRY to make it campy. Same mindset with this logo. I knew it would suck, so I ran with it, but I didn't intentionally turn it bad. The final straw for it sucking was how it is hanging over the right side. I got it fixed at one point, but then did a little touch up to the actual picture, and when I re-imported the picture, it hung back over. So it was destined to hang like that.

So there it is...the new logo...and it sucks.

Saturday, September 19, 2009


Well, there is that damn sign again...sitting outside of the outdoor.


I didn't have my hopes up very high, but they were higher than if nobody had ever told me Creature was supposed to be there. I mean, if I had been told "hey, Carl, Coyote Ugly is playing at the outdoor tonight", well I probably wouldn't have my hopes up as high as I did tonight to see Creature. Hell, I wouldn't even be going to the outdoor...or McHenry for that matter. So yes, I did have some hope to being able to see the good ol' fishy one. But I wasn't holding out hope. you see, no Creature From The Black Lagoon. So instead, I'm going to give you some pictures of the drive-in. Let's see if I can figure out how to make Blogger to this the right way. I still don't get the picture posting aspect of this silly please hang in there...

The Marquee out front is quite obviously the first thing to kick one in the nether regions upon arrival at the outdoor. This is the sign that prompted my wife to ask where the Creature title was. Tonight, as I came up on the theater, I could only sigh out the word "shit".

This is outside the concession area...that's my daughter, on her way to buy some hot chocolate. It wasn't as cold tonight as it was last night. Last night was pretty tough. Tonight was mainly cold due to there being no damn Creature. I'm not bitter.'s one of those modded out jukeboxes that plays CD's. At least they try to being back the old days. Before the movie they only play "oldies". Though now days I am pretty sure that Wham! is considered "oldies". But I mean they only play stuff from the 50's and early 60's. Very little post-Beatles invasion stuff.

I'm going to call "bullshit" on their advertising on September 18th and 19th...the night this picture was taken. Seriously, how hard would it have been to change the sign that is sitting on the counter?

Yes, there are some REALLY bad parking spots at this drive-in. I mean, come on...with your can on that kind of angle, it's REALLY hard to see the screen. Plus, it's kind of hard to see, but all that popcorn on top has been spilling into these cars.

Dear Dr. Bennell's face here kind of explains how I was feeling when pulling up to the theater tonight. The one BIG saving grace here is that Invasion of the Body Snatchers is quite easily one of my favorite films also. I have no problems watching this one over and over again, and on the big screen like this, many times I sat there just stunned by how great the camera set-ups are in this film. The scene right after Becky wakes from her nap in the cave, and Miles is running down the hill to the highway, if you look you can see the towns people chasing him, on the top of the hill, while Miles is on the bottom running towards the camera. The set-up shot is truly beautiful and if you freezeframed it, it would make a great picture even to have in a frame.

So all was not lost. I got to see a favorite movie, two nights in a row, for a total spending of $8.00 for all of us! Plus it was on the big screen, at a drive-in. It was a great way to take a step into the past. Plus, a little more appreciation grew for a film I dearly love. So hey, I won. The only downside is that if I am coming away from Invasion feeling like this...I can only wonder what kind of enthusiasm I would be having right now after having seen Creature in such a setting!?!

Welp, one of the two is better than none!

Well, what are you going to do about it? You spend numerous weeks getting all excited about getting to see one of your favorite movies in an environment that is almost perfect for the film, even placing an upcoming trip to Disney World out of your mind due to the excitement of seeing said favorite film in said environment, but as you near the theater your wife says "huh...why do you think it only says Invasion Of The Body Snatchers on the marquee? Where is Creature?"
It's at about this point your stomach begins to sink lower into your body...replacing vital organs that inhabit the space below it.
As you near the box office you see the big sign outside that says "sorry, all you lowly Creature fans, but your damn film was lost along with Amelia Earhart". Yes, as it turns out, the movie I was most looking forward to was lost in transit.
So I looked, with hopeful eyes, to the fine gentleman in the ticket booth and asked if there was a chance they would have the ol' Gill'ed one there tomorrow night.
"I doubt it" he said.
Again...the stomach sank.
Ah well...what are you going to do?
The theater though did drop their prices down to $2 for adults, $1 for kids. Again, those in the trunk are still free.
So the wife, son and I went in to watch the town of Santa Mira be overtaken by aliens.
I'm not really a big fan of the drive-in, to be honest with you. But the idea of seeing these movies on the big screen, and then someplace that much more rare, makes them become special events for me. It also gives you a bit more of a great idea of how powerful these films must have been on first viewings way back in their time.
I've always loved Invasion, easily rating it amongst my favorites. The film seems so subtle, what with no visual monsters. But in all reality it is a powerhouse of a film that really slams into you. This becomes much more obvious on the BIG screen. The musical cues really drive this fact home. My son, who is 6, was beyond terrified at times. The seriousness of the performances, the low angles of the shots, the close-ups of the faces were enough to get through to him that this was a scary situation. But then add into it all that powerful film score, and the kid was just downright freaked out of his mind at times. He also though sat there, glued to the screen, as did my wife.
I've been married to my wife now for 15 years, and to my surprise she says she has not seen Invasion before. This I don't believe and could swear I have shown it to her. Lord knows I have watched the movie enough times in my life that she must have seen bits of it at least. But when the movie ended she surprised me by saying how much she actually did enjoy it. I was also taken a bit by surprise when the audience actually applauded the film! This was a drive-in, but all around you could hear people clapping and cheering!
So in the end, I did not get to see my Creature From The Black Lagoon, but my daughter and I are leaving in about an hour to try again. Hopefully the film will have shown up. But if it didn't, my daughter has said that she wants to stay to watch Invasion. She was at a birthday party last night and had to miss the show last night. But she says she likes Invasion a whole lot and wants to see it at the drive-in, on the big screen. She's 12 by the way (and is right now in her room watching the Hammer film Dracula: Prince Of Darkness), so it is very cool that she wants to see it no matter what.
I'll let you know what happens!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Time...where did it go???

Holy crap! I have TWO followers!?! My buddy Ken...and a new friend named Max! Look at that...would ya!?!

O.K., so this Friday, September 18th and Saturday, September 19th, in McHenry Illinois, at an honest to god drive-in, you can see The Creature From The Black Lagoon and Invasion Of The Body Snatchers!!!

The theater, for the end of the year, has been having their "Flashback Weekend". I've now been that the theater the past two weekend. First for Grease, which I am no fan of, and last weekend for the double bill of E.T. and Jaws. They announced that these flashback weekends have been doing better business than the first run movies that they normally do during the summer. I am actually holding out hope that they will be deciding to quit with the first runs and actually take up doing this type of stuff more often. It would have the theater much more enjoyable.

Yes, it is a full functioning drive-in with a nice big concession stand with hot dogs, pizza, popcorn, tons of candy, ice cream lots of other junk foods. The concession also comes with video games! Plus, in the corner, they have a bit of a watch dog, as you can see here getting ready to eat my son. He did survive the attack though. He's a sturdy little kid who has survived many monster attacks so far. I'll post more if anybody actually wants to see them.

The prices are also perfect: adults are $4.00 and kids are $2.00! Riders in the trunk are, as always, free of course, so long as you don't get caught!

So if anybody is looking for a classic Horror weekend, this coming weekend will be perfect! If you can't go, check back here on Monday and I will be hoping to have lots of pictures posted from the weekend. Yes, I plan to go both nights!

Also, in case any of you are wondering, I can be found on Twitter and am looking for great, creepy stuff to follow there:

Thursday, July 30, 2009



Yes, Today's feature are a bunch of Godzillas and a Megalon!

To your left you will see a small array of models. Welp, 4 models and one pre-built, pre-painted figure. Those of you in the "know" will know that the brownish 'zilla on the far left, the one that is from the original 1954 Toho production of Gojira (1955 US title of Godzilla: King Of The Monsters), is the pre-built critter. He's a 10" vinyl figure made by the Banpresto company. Though he is NOT a model, he fits fairly well alongside the other guys.

Standing next to him is a 90% completed Billiken vinyl 'zilla, from the 1962 Toho production of King Kong Vs. Godzilla (we will check our nerd hat at the door and just stick to the US titles from here on out). His paint job is nearly complete, and he just migt be my favorite of the critters there. Well, of the 'Zilla's.

To his left stands a Billiken vinyl of the 1965 version from the film Godzilla Vs. Mothra, which is considered by many to being one of the best Godzilla suits made. Though it isn't one of my favorite suits, I do like it quite a bit. Granted, this might have something to do with it being Godzilla and I personally have yet to find a Godzilla I dislike. Tri-Star films do NOT count as Godzilla, thank you very much. This one is also 90% done.

Standing to the left of him is the Billiken vinyl model for the 1975 version, from the film Terror Of Mechagodzilla. Now, this is not my favorite of the models I have pictured here, but this is more or less my favorite suit. But you see, this is the first true kit that I bought and attempted to build. So whereas I do like my pain up quite a bit, it has too many aspects of it that I would do differently now. This one is 100% done, though in some ways I would love to go back and fix a few things about him. But I am also kind of running with the "he was done when I finished him back then" mentality.

To his left is the uber-fancy kit standing there. That, my friends, is a Resin Chef kit for Megalon, from the 1973 production of Godzilla Vs. Megalon! He is made out of resin, and if you are not familiar with the stuff, let me tell you it is very intimidating! Resin is a heavy kind of plastic feeling stuff. Maybe it is clay, I'm not too sure. I believe it pours into the mold as a liquid but then hardens into the stuff you see there. I had to use a dremel tool to sand down and smooth out the imperfections on Meggy. As you can see from this, he has a long way to go to being done.

Also, standing on my TV is a Godzilla from Godzilla Vs. The Smog Monster, and he will be posted in a few days as he needs some extra help, and hopefully by then there might be a few of you fine folks out there with some suggestions.

In the coming months I will also be posting the finished products for these guys. So stay tuned!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

CVS Pharmacy Universal Beanies!

Halloween always brings fun stuff for us monster fans. One of the fun things that showsup every few years are different offerings from Universal Studios. In past years they havegiven out a license to Burger King for some action figure that came with their kids meals, some rubber stretchy monsters, and my personal favorite item, the beanie toys shown in the picture.

These beanies came in two sizes: the small 6" and the larger 12" (sizes approximate due to my not having a beanie by me to measure). You could also purchase a plastic keep case for them, wisely in the shape of a coffin. Oooo, scary!!!

The characters available were the standard Frankenstein Monster, Dracula, Wolf Man, Creature,Bride, and Mummy. But then Universal also decided to give us the bonus additions of the Phantomand the Hunchback! Granted, aside from Creature (and maybe in a strange way Mummy), none of these really look like their actor counterparts, but considering the goofiness of it all, that is more than forgivable.

In the back, on the left side, you will see my 12" Wolf Man. You might also notice he has aface which is the same as the little Wolf Man, but his clothes are a tad different. What youcan't see is that the tag is also different, and upon further investigation, turns out he wasalso made by a different company! All of these, with the exception of him, were bought at a CVS.My wife found him at a garage sale this summer, so I have no idea where he came from. Plus, whileat G-Fest this year there was a dealer selling 12" Universal stuffies, which at first glance looked like the CVS guys. But upon closer look, they were NOT the same critters. But, they alsowere not this one. So some confusion abounds within my head. I'm still trying to decide how muchI really care about this all though and if it is worth my time to investigate. But if anybody happensto read this and knows the answer, please leave a comment.

At the time, if you missed any of these while in the stores, they could cost you a decent amount of moneyto get a full set. But as time has passed, oddly enough, the last time I looked on a certainonline auction site, the prices for these was not all that terrible. So if you are looking to add these guys (and girl) to your collection, check them out!