OFF THE RACK COMICS: Ghostly Tales From The Haunted House (Charlton Comics) from Gwandanaland Comics

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I did the majority of my comic book reading in the 70’s and 80’s, at a time when there were really only a handful of companies producing comics. Back then, as is the case now, Marvel and DC were the two forces to be reckoned with, but there were also companies like Gold Key Comics and Charlton Comics that produced a regular stream of titles. Though their quality may not have measured up to the super-powers, they both offered many fun titles. For me Gold Key (sometimes sold in 3 issue collections in plastic bags under the Whitman Comics label) were fun for their UFO and flying saucer titles, oftentimes featuring beautifully painted covers that were some of the best covers seen at the time. Charlton (sometimes sold in 3 issue collections in plastic bags under the Modern Comics label) were popular for the horror and ghost comics, though they did produce a variety of war, superhero and romance comics (for the girls) as well.

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THE BASEMENT BOOK SHELF: “The Big Book of UFO Facts, Figures & Truth” by Stephen Spignesi & William J. Birnes

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UFOs. Those unidentified flying objects that have been seen in the sky and reported since before biblical times. This is a subject that I have been fascinated with since I was a kid. I have read dozens upon dozens of books over the years and try to read as many of the new releases that come out as possible. I have read tales that boggle the mind, making you wonder what the witness was on when they “saw” what they claim to have seen. I have also read many very compelling stories, that have convinced me beyond a shadow of a doubt that there is more going on than people seeing the planet Venus or witnessing a flock of ducks flying overhead, with their undersides reflecting the lights from the city below.

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MONSTROUS MASK REVIEWS: Da Crawh by House of Horror Studios

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Original catalog page showing the subject of this blog, Da Crawh.

I don’t remember the exact time when collecting Halloween masks came into my life. If I had to guess it was around 1982 or 1983, after receiving a full color catalog from Distortions Unlimited in the mail, after seeing an ad in Fangoria magazine. I would go through this catalog front to back, over and over again, admiring the awesome creations by Ed Edmunds. There were so many monsters in this collection that I wanted, but since I had yet to start working, buying these masks was not in the cards.

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FILM BOOK OF FEAR: Earth Vs. The Flying Saucers (1956)

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In this entry of my Film Book of Fear series I am covering a classic from 1956 called EARTH VS. THE FLYING SAUCERS! This is an interesting film in that it has a typical 50’s fun feel to it made all the better by the amazing special effects by animation master Ray Harryhausen! This is actually the first time Harryhausen animated something other than a living creature showing how creative and versatile he was.

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FILM BOOK OF FEAR: Invaders From Mars (1953)

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The 50’s will go down in history as the greatest decade of all time for science fiction films. During this 10 year period we were introduced to Godzilla, Rodan, giant insects and arachnids and of course every type of alien being bent on invading Earth imaginable. It truly was a great time to be a fan of not only movies, but of science fiction. Some of these films were great; some not so great. The one thing they all had in common though was great imaginations at a time where Hollywood was chock full of original ideas.

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The Creature Double Feature Movie Guide

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The Creature Double Feature, on WLVI channel 56 out of Boston, was one of my favorite shows growing up (see my original post HERE). It ran from 1975 until 1984, offering some of the greatest monster movies of all time to the children and adults living in New England. While working on this movie guide, showing each week’s double feature, I noticed two very interesting things. First off, the program director was very good at pairing movies up that were similar, either in title or in subject matter. Second, the classic Universal monster movies did not start to be shown until 1980, six years into the show’s run! Also in 1980 saw a wider variety of Godzilla movies and other films that had not been shown in previous years.

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MONSTER KID MEMORIES: The Creature Double Feature

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Remembering back to when I was a kid, I have come to realize that I was quite the loner. Though I had friends at school, I rarely hung out with them after school or on weekends. With that being said though, I had no issues keeping myself entertained, especially on weekends. During the 70’s, one of the things I looked forward to the most on the weekends were monster movies, especially those shown every Saturday afternoon on WLVI channel 56 out of Boston. The show? The Creature Double Feature.

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THE BASEMENT BOOK SHELF: “Savini: The Official Biography”

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If you’re like me, and are a fan of the horror movies of the eighties, then the name Tom Savini should be something that you are very aware of. He took realistic, practical special effects to a new level, especially when it came to gore. To this day his effects hold up and only a handful of people have been able to accomplish what he did. He ended up becoming a household name to fans of the horror genre and readers of Fangoria Magazine.

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