Getting Weird With “Weird Al” Yankovic

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Though this site usually focuses on the bizarre, I thought getting weird would also fit in nicely…as in “Weird Al” Yankovic. I have been a fan of Al’s since I first heard his parody of The Kinks “Lola” entitled “Yoda” on the Dr. Demento show in the mid-80’s. Fourteen albums later and I am still a fan, probably appreciating him now more than ever. As I got older, I found myself respecting what Al does more, not only with his clever writing but with his ability to imitate pretty much any musical style.

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ROADSIDE RHODE ISLAND: Mercy Brown, Rhode Island’s Most Famous Vampire

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The Brown family section of Chestnut Hill Cemetery.

Welcome to part one of my new series, ROADSIDE RHODE ISLAND. For such a small state we certainly have a lot of weirdness going on. This is actually one of the reasons I love living here so much! There are so many great places to visit and travel times to these locations are minimal. I am starting out big with this series covering Mercy Brown, probably the most infamous of vampires.

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THE BASEMENT BOOK SHELF: “Remember The Future: The Distortions Unlimited Story” by Lee Lambert

 

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In 2015, Lee Lambert released a labor-of-love book on one of the greatest Halloween mask studios of all time, Don Post Studios. The book was huge, was very well received and personally, it’s one of my all time favorite books. I started collecting masks in the mid-1980’s and though I only collected Don Post masks on occasion, I certainly collected a lot of masks by Distortions Unlimited. Lee’s follow-up book is on this very company.

 

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Rest In Peace: Stanton Friedman

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For as long as I can remember I have been fascinated by flying saucers. Growing up I would read every book I could get my hands on, oftentimes reading and re-reading the slim offerings at both my school and public library. I couldn’t get enough. Even today, I am still reading but found that I gravitated towards Stanton Friedman and his views on aliens and flying saucers. No one has done more for this subject than Mr. Friedman, both as an investigator and as an author. Though he was a nuclear physicist his books were never so technical that you couldn’t understand what he was writing about. His work just on Roswell is second to none and his passion was evident in everything he spoke and wrote about. If you were a sceptic and read his books, I guarantee that you would begin to have second thoughts based on the evidence he would present. His passing is quite the shock to me and it will take me awhile to realize that there will be no more interviews with him or new books to read. I always said to myself that if anyone was going to get to the bottom of the UFO phenomenon it was going to be Stanton Friedman. The world has lost a great man and I don’t think anyone will be able to do what he did. Rest in Peace, Stanton…hopefully you now know the truth.

THE BASEMENT BOOK SHELF: Joe Dante’s THE HOWLING: Studies in the Horror Film by Lee Gambin

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To this day the debate continues. Which werewolf movie from 1981 is the superior one, John Landis’ AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON or the subject of this blog, Joe Dante’s THE HOWLING. To say that I am a fan of both is an understatement and to be honest, I do not understand why there is even a debate! They are both fantastic movies in their own right and credit must be given to all involved for bringing these films to the screen.

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THE BASEMENT’S CABINET OF CURIOSITIES: The Minnesota Iceman!

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Cryptozoology is the study of hidden animals. These are either animals that were thought to have gone extinct in the past and yet are still being seen today or they are animals that no one has ever caught or officially recorded. Most accounts are based on eyewitness testimony or out of focus photos and though many reports seem bizarre or too good to be true, once in a while a new (or old) animal is discovered (or rediscovered) proving the eyewitnesses correct.

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The coelacanth, thought to be extinct for millions of years, was rediscovered in 1937.

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THE BASEMENT BOOK SHELF: “Movie Monsters in Scale: A Modeler’s Gallery of Science Fiction and Horror Figures and Dioramas

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Growing up, I loved monsters and always thought that the various plastic model kits offered by Aurora, Monogram and Revell were very cool. Though I did have some of these growing up, and had an absolute blast building them, I just never was able to paint them. My finishing skills on these kits were severely lacking and I found myself very jealous of the results some of my friends were getting with the very same kits.

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MOVIE REVIEW: The Giant Spider (2013)

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The 1950’s. Perhaps my all-time favorite decade when it comes to movies. This was one of the most prolific times in movie history when it comes to science fiction and horror movies (according to Wikipedia there were almost 200 science fiction films released during this 10-year period). So many great movies came from this time and though many were forced to be made on miniscule budgets, the movies were oftentimes very original and above all else, they were all a lot of fun to watch. Because of the almost non-existent budgets and short production schedules, film crews had to be more creative with what little they had and this oftentimes lead to very atmospheric films that may not have worked as well if more money and time was available.

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