MONSTER KID MEMORIES: Captain Company

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In 1958 the world was introduced to perhaps the greatest monster magazine of all time, FAMOUS MONSTERS OF FILMLAND. Nothing had been tried like this before and it became one of the longest running magazines as well, as it is still in print to this day, though with a different feel. James Warren and Forrest J. Ackerman were the masterminds behind this and the magazine created so many monster kids, many of which grew up to become special effects artists in some of the biggest blockbusters.

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THE BASEMENT BOOK SHELF: “Mack Maloney’s Haunted Universe”

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81hYvhpvh4LOK, I have a confession. Prior to reading this book I had never heard of Mack Maloney or that he was a host of a nationally-syndicated radio show called “Mack Maloney’s Military X-Files.” Since I have always been a fan of everything from flying saucers, cryptids and ghosts, this book came up as a recommendation one day on Amazon, based on my search criteria.

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MONSTROUS MASK REVIEWS: Fang Face Version 2 by Trick or Treat Studios

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Stock catalog photo from the Trick or Treat Studios website.

I started collecting masks in 1984, after receiving various mask catalogs in the mail. One of the companies that always stood out to me was Be Something Studios. I loved their designs and every mask I bought looked as good as they did in the catalog photos. The detailing was second to none and many featured a high quality plush hood to accentuate the design. Many of their masks were sculpted by Bill Ystrom and he would always sculpt the letters BYBY into the backs of his creations.

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THE BASEMENT BLU-RAY REVIEW: War Of The Worlds (The Criterion Collection)

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For anyone that reads this blog regularly, you know that I am a huge fan of the science fiction films of the 1950s. No other decade has produced more genre films that were all enjoyable, perhaps at times for the wrong reasons. The writing was very original. The special effects, though cheesy at times, worked and the artists were often very creative with the miniscule budgets they had. The pacing was also really good in these films as many of them ran eighty minutes or less, making the stories much tighter.

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MONSTROUS MASK REVIEWS: Scarecrow by Death Studios

Death Studios has always been one of my favorite mask companies. Before I started doing mail order purchasing I would buy masks in stores at Halloween time. In the 80s when I started, there were not Halloween stores per se but there were stores that would carry masks by Don Post Studios, Be Something Studios and Distortions Unlimited but these were few and far between.

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KAIJU KONNECTION: The Mysterians (1957)

Welcome to another edition of KAIJU KONNECTION. In this entry I will be discussing the 1957 movie THE MYSTERIANS (CHIKYU BOEIGUN in Japanese, translated to Earth Defense Force), that came out a year after RODAN on December 28, 1957. This was the first Toho movie to utilize the new widescreen format known as TohoScope. For this film, director Ishiro Honda wanted to take a break from giant monsters and just do a science fiction film. The studio insisted that a kaiju be included though because of the popularity of both GODZILLA (1954) and RODAN (1956).

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FILM BOOK OF FEAR: I Was A Teenage Werewolf (1957)

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American International Pictures put out some of the very best horror and science fiction movies of the 1950s. James H. Nicholson and Samuel Z. Arkoff knew their stuff when it came to marketing. They knew that their target audience were teenagers and as such made films geared toward them on a date night. They were also one of the first film companies to package their own double features to be shown at both drive-ins and regular theatres. Their marketing genius created very profitable films on miniscule budgets; films that have stood the test of time and are still so much fun to watch today.

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