Monday, October 18, 2021

Frankenstein Got Rivals!


The Rivals of Frankenstein:  A Gallery of Monsters.  Edited by Michael Parry.  Barnes & Noble, 1980.  Copyright 1977.

The contents are:

· Introduction - Michel Parry

· Clark Ashton Smith - The Colossus Of Ylourgne

· Arnold Harvey - The Last Of The Daubeny-Fitzalans

· Jerome K. Jerome - The Dancing Partner

· Ambrose Bierce - Moxon's Master

· Donald F. Glut - Dr. Karnstein's Creation

· Robert Bloch - Almost Human

· D. Scott-Moncrieff - Count Szolnok's Robots

· H. P. Lovecraft - Herbert West: Reanimator

· Manly Wade Wellman - Pithecanthropus Rejectus

· Fritz Leiber - The Dead Man

· Eando Binder - The Iron Man

            This is a really hotch-potch anthology, from the high fantasy of Smith to the self-indulgence of ol’ Aich-Pee Ell and the sarcasm of Jerome.  For me the high point is Leiber’s “The Dead Man,” because it was adapted as a very creepy Night Gallery segment. 

See you on Thursday with a movie handout from a classically cheesy 1980s flick!

Thursday, October 14, 2021

We Love You, Vincent! O Yes We Do!

And so did Newsweek, in its June 14, 1971 issue.  The Abominable Dr. Phibes had just been released in the USA.
Why this column didn't use the complete name of the film, who knows?  They only call it Dr Phibes.  Toward the end of this piece, Price shows a lot of sense in acknowledging the presence of evil, and of evil folks.  Bad things aren't always done by folks with bad wiring in their heads.  Some people choose to do bad things.

But don't you be bad -- come back on Monday for a look at another scary book!  Until then, remember, the (Vincent) Price is always right!

Monday, October 11, 2021

More Scary Books, Kiddies!


Scary Books, Kiddies!

 Whispers.  Edited by Stuart David Schiff.  Jove, 1979.  Copyright 1977.  Cover art by Rowena.

The creepy contents are:

· Introduction Stuart David Schiff
· Sticks * Karl Edward Wagner
· The Barrow Troll * David Drake
· The Glove * Fritz Leiber
· The Closer of the Way * Robert Bloch
· Dark Winner * William F. Nolan
· Ladies in Waiting * Hugh B. Cave
· White Moon Rising * Dennis Etchison
· Graduation * Richard Christian Matheson
· Mirror, Mirror * Ray Russell
· The House of Cthulhu * Brian Lumley
· Antiquities * John Crowley
· A Weather Report from the Top of the Stairs * James Sallis & David Lunde
· The Scallion Stone * Basil A. Smith
· The Inglorious Rise of the Catsmeat Man * Robin Smyth
· The Pawnshop * Charles E. Fritch
· Le Miroir * Robert Aickman
· The Willow Platform * Joseph Payne Brennan
· The Dakwa [*Lee Cobbett] * Manly Wade Wellman
· Goat * David Campton
· The Chimney
· Afterword * Stuart David Schiff

The tales are firmly in the pulp tradition. Nothing thrilled me, but that feminine thing on the front cover is really disgusting ...

Note the back-cover blurb misspells the name of the Fritz Leiber story as “The Grove.”

            The “Weather Report from the Top of the Stairs” is very reminiscent of an old Gahan Wilson cartoon, probably first printed in Playboy.  This single-panel gem was also featured as the cover of a 1978 Wilson collection.

            So, yes, the cartoon was around before the story.

            That’s all!   See you Thursday!


Thursday, October 07, 2021

Only a Son of Frankenstein Could Love?

 This is from the January 9, 1939 issue of Life magazine, clipped by my sweaty paws in about 1973.

Bela Lugosi Jr isn't the only Monster Kid to be unimpressed by a make-up job.
Here's our own home-grown critter at the age of two, similarly unimpressed by a Man Monster.

See you on Monday for a Scary Book, Kiddies!

Monday, October 04, 2021

WELCOME TO BLOG-O-WEEN 2021! MA-163 - 80s Atrocities

Yes, my little maggots, we’ll start off this creepiest, crawliest time of the year with a new Halloween anthology.  These songs all began their journey to ruin in the 1980s.

01 - Everybody Wears a Mask - Jem and the Holograms - 1987   (1:30)

02 - Wherewolf - Seditionaries - 1982   (2:43)

03 - Seventh Victim - Go Four 3 - 1987   (3:28)

04 - The World's Most Gruesome Monster - Victor Banana - 1989   (1:57)

05 - Violence & Passion (live) - Malice in Wonderland - 1984   (4:49)

06 - Movies - Big Boys - 1980   (2:18)

07 - Live with the Dead - Voo-Doo Church - 1982   (2:47)

08 - I Was a Teenage Zombie - The Fleshtones - 1987   (2:20)

09 - Lullabye - The Evolution Control Committee - 1989   (1:42)

10 - Hydro-Head - The Ejectors - 1981   (3:18)

11 - Diary of a Mad Werrwöulf - Fang - 1983   (2:42)

12 - (I Was There at) The Texas Chainsaw Massacre - Ambient Noise - 1980   (3:35)

13 - Spiders in My Sink - Thee Fourgiven - 1985   (2:48)

14 - Monster Movie - Richard Bone - 1983   (5:33)

15 - King Kong - Bow Wow Wow - 1981   (2:18)

16 - Night of the Living Dead - Sickidz! - 1984   (4:49)

17 - Leper Colony - The Last - 1982   (2:30)

18 - Terrorvision - The Fibonaccis - 1986   (3:28)

19 - All Black and Hairy - The Gravedigger V - 1984   (2:37)

20 - Gravedigger Rock - The Polecats - 1981   (2:43)

21 - Room 502 - Cursory Glances - 1985   (3:02)

22 - The Twilight Zone - Rusty Egan - 1983   (5:27)

23 - Tonight (We Make Love Until We Die) - SSQ - 1986   (3:33)

24 - Halloween - Scary Thieves - 1984   (3:01)

25 - Texas Chainsaw Baby - The Chrysalids - 1986   (3:54)

MA-163 - 80s Atrocities 

 Well, don’t just sit there decaying, start listening!  See you on Thursday with something putrid!


Thursday, September 30, 2021

It's October, a Day Early

Here are the art and date pages for October, from the 1971 PsychoFlairapy calendar.
I have always figured that the art was supposed to relate to the last day of the month.  I thought it was intended as  a Halloween image.
But now, 50 years later, it reminds me of The Giant Claw!

The last image is the calendar page as it truly appears.  Columbus Day also happened to be the birthday of a wonderful gal named Kim (another participant in Godspell the next year).

Remember, this year 2021 has the same days-of-the-week as 1971.  So this calendar will work if you print it out right now!  Get after it, kiddies!

See you right back here on Monday, for the commencement of 
See you then!  If your heart can take it!

Monday, September 27, 2021

PARD's Third Hand

This is the penultimate crowd of images which greets me every time I view the desktop of good ol' PARD.
Once more I challenge you to ID all the images.

See you Thursday, fiends and nay-brrs!

Thursday, September 23, 2021

Star Trek FAQ – Book Review

          This 2012 book by Mark Clark is a fine achievement.  I’ve read too many books about Star Trek to count, and edited a half-dozen (see the Jacobs/Brown website).  But Clark has done an admirable job of not only digesting (distilling?) tons of material relating to the show, its creators, and its stars, but presenting it in a fun, not-too-flippant way.  For a too-smartass approach to a Trek topic, read Sherilyn Connelly’s The First Star Trek Movie:  Bringing the Franchise to the Big Screen, 1969-1980.

            Now that I’ve raved, I’m gonna rant.  As is my wont, I’m compelled to compile.  That is, reel off a list of mistakes that should have been caught.

  • ·         In several places, instead of referring to sensors, the word “censors” is used
  • ·         On page 197, Clark says that Alexander Courage’s eight-note “fanfare” is bongo-driven, but the bongos don’t come in until much later, after Shatner’s narration ends
  • ·         On page 210, someone moves to a “Zen-like metaphysical plain” – the appropriate term for levels of existence is spelled “plane”
  • ·         On page 229, “how per powers work” should be “her powers”
  • ·         On page 243, we’re informed that Chekov said scotch was invented by a little old lady from Moscow – we all know that in “Tribbles,” Chekov says “Leningrad”
  • ·         On page 250, we learn that in “I, Mudd,” Harry Mudd is “monarch of a planet populated entirely by curvaceous female androids,” somehow overlooking the Norman, Herman, and Oscar series of male androids
  • ·         Page 253’s summary of “The Savage Curtain” mentions “the Vulcan hero Sarek” when it should be Surak, not Spock’s own daddio
  • ·         Page 332 refers to Star Trek “stationary,” not “stationery”
  • ·         348 mentions someone holding “the financial reigns” of Trekdom, not its “reins”
  • ·         Page 360:  It’s Kirk, not Uhura, who delivers the “too much of anything, even love” line in “Tribbles”
  • ·         Page 364 reports that Yeoman Rand says, “May the Great Bird of the Galaxy bless your planet,” when Sulu says it to her in “The Man Trap”

Clark’s schtick of using Trek-related phrases for chapter or sections titles seemed too self-consciously “precious” at first, but I warmed to it. For instance, Clark gives a nice précis of antecedents and inspirations for Roddenberry’s Trek vision in a chapter titled “Space Seeds.”

I would argue with him about the transporter sending a person’s atoms (along with their “pattern”) across space.  I think only information is supposed to be “beamed” here or there.

His chapter on goofs and gaffes that made it onscreen left out one of my favorites, from “Space Seed.”  When Kirk breaks the glass of Khan’s glass sleep unit, his phaser falls off.  McCoy notices and throughout the rest of the scene, De Kelley keeps glancing to the phaser on the floor,  At fadeout, McCoy is bending down to pick up that fallen weapon.

This is a fun potpourri of information and musings on that inescapable, ineluctable phenomenon Star Trek, which (like Julius Caesar) doth bestride the narrow world.

All original content
© by Mark Alfred