MONSTROUS MASK REVIEWS: Aquatic Creature by Ghoulish Productions

Growing up, the Creature from the Black Lagoon was always one of my favorite movie monsters. Not only were the films well produced, but the Creature costume was one of the best monster creations ever put on screen. So much thought went into the design and execution, making it even more believable. Over the years I have been very partial to monsters that come out of the water to attack humans; the idea of something dangerous living where we can’t see them has always been terrifying to me.

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THE BASEMENT’S HALLOWEEN HAVEN: The Conjuring’s Annabelle Doll by Trick Or Treat Studios

I have always been a fan of the supernatural, whether it is in the form of movies, books or in real life. I have also been a fan of the cases of paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren, who investigated the case of the haunted doll Annabelle, which in real life was a Raggedy Ann doll.

The original Annabelle doll with actor Patrick Wilson.

The world at large became aware of this case in the 2013 film THE CONJURING. Though the story of Annabelle had nothing to do with the actual story of the haunted house in Rhode Island, it was shown in the movie to set up a future film release. As is the norm with horror movies, even if based on a real case, liberties are taken to enhance the terror of the story. Though I am sure a haunted Raggedy Ann doll would be terrifying, the producers of the film went the extra mile to create something genuinely scary.

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THIS SATURDAY ON SVENGOOLIE (January 23, 2021): Man-Made Monster

This Saturday on Svengoolie is the 1941 film MAN-MADE MONSTER! This American black-and-white science fiction-horror film from Universal Pictures, produced by Jack Bernhard, directed by George Waggner, that stars Lon Chaney, Jr. (in his horror film debut) and Lionel Atwill. MAN-MADE MONSTER was re-released under various titles including ELECTRIC MAN and THE MYSTERIOUS DR. R. Realart Pictures re-released the film in 1953 under the title THE ATOMIC MONSTER as a double feature with THE FLYING SAUCER (1950). Part of the original Shock Theater package of 52 Universal titles released to television in 1957, followed a year later with Son of Shock, which added 20 more features.

A tragic accident occurs when a bus hits a high power line. The incident has claimed the lives of all on board, except for one Dan McCormick (Lon Chaney, Jr.), who survives because he is, surprisingly, immune to the deadly electricity. McCormick does a sideshow exhibit as Dynamo Dan, the Electric Man and is taken in by Dr. John Lawrence (Samuel S. Hinds), who wants to study him. 

Don’t forget to read my CELEBRITY INTERVIEW and HORROR HOST SPOTLIGHT on Svengoolie!

THE BASEMENT BOOK SHELF: “The Enchanted World of Rankin/Bass: A Portfolio (20th Anniversary Edition) by Rick Goldschmidt

If you were like me growing up, you would look forward to every December. Not only for the Christmas holiday but also for the many Christmas specials that would be on each week leading up until the big day. Among my favorites were the specials produced by Rankin/Bass. If you are not familiar with that name, they produced specials like RUDOLPH THE RED-NOSED REINDEER, SANTA CLAUS IS COMING TO TOWN and THE YEAR WITHOUT A SANTA CLAUS. This book, “The Enchanted World of Rankin/Bass: A Portfolio” is an amazing history of this company, doing things that I was not even aware they were involved in.

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HORROR HOST SPOTLIGHT: Morgus the Magnificent

Growing up, Rhode Island really didn’t have a horror host of its own. Though I was aware of such hosts as Vampira, Elvira, Zacherley and the Son of Svengoolie, it wasn’t until the 1980s that I actually got to experience them. When cable television was finally available in my area, one of the stations we got in 1987 was WPIX out of New York that had a horror host show every Saturday. The host? Morgus the Magnificent. The show? Morgus Presents.

At the same time, over on TBS, was Super Scary Saturday, hosted by Grampa Monster. Though I enjoyed both shows, I did gravitate towards Morgus more with his wacky experiments. Though Morgus would show decent monster movies, it was truly his scenes during the commercial breaks that drew me in. With E.R.I.C (Eon Research Infinity Computer) the talking skull and Morgus’ sidekick Chopsley, they would create bizarre experiments and present them in a comical but at times, believable way. As was always the case, these experiments, which would progress during the movie, would always go horribly wrong with hysterical results.

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THIS SATURDAY ON SVENGOOLIE (January 16, 2021): The Creature From The Black Lagoon

This Saturday on Svengoolie is the 1954 film THE CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON! It was produced by William Alland, directed by Jack Arnold, and starring Richard Carlson, Julie Adams, Richard Denning, Antonio Moreno, Nestor Paiva, and Whit Bissell. The Creature was played by Ben Chapman on land and by Ricou Browning under water. The film premiered in Detroit on February 12 and was released on a regional basis, opening on various dates.

A geology expedition in the Amazon uncovers fossilized evidence (a skeletal hand with webbed fingers) from the Devonian period that provides a direct link between land and sea animals. A group of scientists revisit the area looking for more fossil but find the Creature alive. Don’t miss this classic, featuring one of the best monster costumes ever created!

Don’t forget to read my CELEBRITY INTERVIEW and HORROR HOST SPOTLIGHT on Svengoolie!

What’s this? A contest?!?

That’s right, I am having my first contest here. All you have to do is share this website (not just this post) on all of your social media sites. When you are finished, just type in the comments “Done” and list which sites you posted to. That’s it! Then, on February 8, a winner will be chosen at random. Simple, right?

So what’s the prize? Well I will tell you! I am giving away a brand new copy of the excellent book “The Spirits of Christmas: The Dark Side of the Holidays” by Sylvia Shults!

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THE BASEMENT’S TIMELESS TELEVISION: Far Out Space Nuts (1975-1976)

FAR OUT SPACE NUTS is a Sid and Marty Krofft children’s television series that aired in 1975 for one season, and produced 15 episodes. It was one of only two Krofft series produced exclusively for CBS (the second being 1984’s PRYOR’S PLACE). Reruns of the show aired in daily syndication from 1978 to 1985 as part of the KROFFT SUPERSTARS package with six other Krofft series.

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CELEBRITY INTERVIEW: Horror Host Svengoolie (aka Rich Koz)

Just recently I posted a blog called HORROR HOST SPOTLIGHT: The One and Only, Svengoolie and based on the response, it’s obvious how popular horror host Svengoolie truly is. Without a doubt, with the possible exception of Elvira, Svengoolie is the most widely known in this field. He is also one of the nicest people I have ever met; a man who truly appreciates each and every one of his many fans. He was kind enough to sit down with me and participate in this celebrity interview; something I am truly appreciative of.

Svengoolie and I on the set. Such a great time!
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OFF THE RACK COMICS: Howard the Duck Magazine (1979-1981)

Howard the Duck. When did I first become aware of this odd character in the Marvel Universe? If memory serves me, it was in the late 1970s. At the time I was nine or 10, living on an island with no local stores to buy comic books in. On occasion my grandmother would bring me a stack of comics to have and once in awhile we would go to the mainland and visit drugstores, all of which had those spinner racks of every comic book you could imagine. I was fortunate to find an issue now and then of the original run of the four-color comic book of HOWARD THE DUCK but never with any consistency to be able to follow the story. In 1979, a weekly outing began with my mother where she would go grocery shopping and I would visit the drugstore that was next door and that is where I discovered the black and white magazine of HOWARD THE DUCK.

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