I really cannot pinpoint when I first started becoming interested in flying saucers and the possibility that we are being visited by aliens from outer space. I remember during elementary school taking every book I could out of both the school library and the public library as well as buying magazines on the subject. It may have also stemmed from the National Enquirer, who, back in the day, did some legitimate reporting on UFOs. Perhaps my interest stemmed from my love of the science fiction movies of the 1950s. I really don’t know.Continue reading “THE BASEMENT BOOK SHELF: “Roswell: The Ultimate Cold Case” by Thomas J. Carey and Donald R. Schmitt”
The 1957 film NIGHT OF THE DEMON, or CURSE OF THE DEMON as it is known in the United States, is one of my favorite horror movies of the 1950s. The story is well-paced, the acting is excellent and the monster is one of the coolest ever put on screen, despite the fact that director Jacques Tourneur didn’t want an actual monster in his film (it was added later against his wishes). It is a British film produced by Hal E. Chester and Frank Bevis and starred Dana Andrews, Peggy Cummins and Niall MacGinnis. It is based on a story called “Casting the Runes” by M.R. James from 1911.Continue reading “THE BASEMENT BLU-RAY REVIEW: Night Of The Demon (1957) by Powerhouse Films”
Welcome to my continuing series on all things Halloween. For this edition, I am focusing on two new animatronic props for the 2020 Halloween season by Home Depot, in their Home Accents line. They are the Six Foot Animated LED Alien and the Three Foot Animated LED Dancing Alien.Continue reading “THE BASEMENT’S HALLOWEEN HAVEN: Six Foot Animated Alien and Three Foot Animated Dancing Alien”
It’s mid-August and you know what that means! It’s time to start decorating for Halloween. In this household we celebrate Halloween more than Christmas and keep our decorations up for a much longer period of time. Though it’s still technically summer, the Spirit Halloween stores have begun opening and the pumpkin beers are on the shelf. This is my favorite time of year.Continue reading “THE BASEMENT’S HALLOWEEN HAVEN: Home Depot”
As promised, this Film Book of Fear is on the 1953 movie, WAR OF THE WORLDS. Though this movie has been re-made into multiple series and a 2005 movie starring Tom Cruise, this is still my favorite version. This is probably one of the most-recognizable of the 50s science fiction movies, especially when it comes to the sound effects used for the martian war machines. I remember watching this film while house sitting once, with someone renting out the basement. I was watching this film and he came upstairs and asked if I was watching WAR OF THE WORLDS because he recognized the sound effects from down in the basement. For this Film Book, I am using the recent Criterion Blu-ray release of this amazing film (see my review HERE).
I have always been a fan of the big-brained aliens. There is just something about a creature from outer space who have their brains on the outside. For me, my all time favorite design was that by Paul Blaisdell in the 1957 movie INVASION OF THE SAUCER-MEN. My second favorite design is that of the martians from the trading cards from 1962 and the Tim Burton film from 1996.
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.
OK, 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.
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.
This entry of my FILM BOOK OF FEAR series, THE BRAIN EATERS from 1958, is another fun movie by American International Pictures. It was produced by Ed Nelson (and an uncredited Roger Corman) and directed by Bruno VeSota. Ed Nelson also stars alongside Alan Jay Factor, Joanna Lee and Leonard Nimoy, in a brief appearance.