I took the TFH Attack of the Colossal Quiz and scored a not unrespectable 7 out of 10.
Can you do better?
I took the TFH Attack of the Colossal Quiz and scored a not unrespectable 7 out of 10.
Can you do better?
The famous poet Francis Thompson was the even more infamous Jack the Ripper. Twenty years of research has led Richard Patterson to this conclusion. Patterson sites some of the evidence that identifies Thompson as the Ripper:
… had surgical experience and hinted at his double life in some of his poems…
…kept a dissecting knife under his coat…
…was taught a rare surgical procedure that was found in the mutilations of more than one of the Ripper victims…
For the full story check out The New York Daily News: Jack the Ripper’s Real Identity.
Ok, so the zombie apocalypse breaks out… where do you go?
Kiona Smith-Strickland and Gizmodo might have the answers in These Are the Best Cities for Surviving the Zombie Apocalypse. The worst cities are also listed.
Neither my home town [Port Orange, Florida] nor my birth town [Terre Haute, Ind.] made the best cities for survival list. Of course they also managed to stay off the worst cities list as well. So I do have that going for me.
In the classic horror film, Poltergeist, there’s a poster hanging above Robbie’s bed that reads “1988 Superbowl XXII”
You’d expect a little kid to a have a football poster up in his room, but what makes this weird is the fact Poltergeist was released in 1982, but Superbowl XXII wouldn’t be played for another six years.
So why did they use a poster from a future game? Well, no one really knows, but on January 31, 1988, the day Superbowl XXII was held, Heather O’Rourke (the actress who played Robbie’s younger sister) became violently ill. She passed away the next day at Rady Children’s Hospital in San Diego, less than five miles away from Jack Murphy Stadium where Super Bowl XXII was played.
2. THE CHOICE OF MONSTER CHARACTERS WAS STRICTLY INTENTIONAL (AND ROYALTY-FREE).
Universal Studios owned Universal Television, which owned The Munsters. Universal Studios also owned the copyrights to most of the classic monsters, including Dracula, the Wolf Man, and Frankenstein’s monster. The studio had been running their old classic horror films on television since the 1950s and found that there was still an impressive audience for these decades-old monster movies. When Connelly and Mosher pitched their series idea, CBS executives knew that they had one advantage that ABC lacked with The Addams Family: the ability to use the Universal monster characters. The Munsters regularly topped The Addams Family in the ratings, mainly because of the instant identifiability of (and built-in fan base for) Dracula, Frankenstein’s bride, et al.
10. HERMAN’S COSTUME WAS A PERSONAL TORTURE CHAMBER FOR FRED GWYNNE.
Even though Gwynne would eventually reminisce that Herman was one of his favorite characters, the time he spent on The Munsters set was often fairly miserable, thanks to the various devices necessary to transform him into the lovable Frankenstein monster. On his feet he wore asphalt paver’s boots with four-inch soles, and his thighs, arms, and torso were covered in 40 pounds of foam rubber padding. He contended with back pain daily caused by the weight of the suit and inflexibility of the shoes. His head was fitted with a foam latex piece to flatten the top of his head and then he had to endure two hours in the makeup chair. He perspired freely under the heavy costume and hot studio lights and lost 10 pounds in one month despite consuming gallons of lemonade between takes. The producers eventually rented a compressed air tank and would poke the nozzle inside Gwynne’s collar to blow cool air on him.
11. THE COSTUME HAD ONE BENEFIT: IT EXCUSED GWYNNE FROM PERSONAL APPEARANCES.
As The Munsters gained popularity, its stars received more and more requests to appear at various functions. The producers, of course, sent the actors out as often as possible since such appearances not only promoted the show, they also propelled the sales of the variousMunsters merchandise that saturated the market at the time. Only Fred Gwynne was able to relax on his days off (for the most part), since the time and expense required to get him into character outweighed the publicity value of cutting ribbons at supermarket openings. One of the rare times he played Herman in public was alongside Al Lewis in the 1964 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Gwynne confessed to TV Guide that he’d been taking slugs from a bottle of whiskey the entire time, because he “had to get bombed so I could say ‘hello’ to the little kiddies for 40 blocks.”
9. GREGORY PECK AND RICHARD DONNER HAD ONE ARGUMENT DURING FILMING.
Peck wanted to angrily smash a bunch of stuff during the scene where Robert finds out his wife has died. Donner disagreed; he wanted to cut in on Thorn well after the discovery, not in the moment. According to Donner, he and Peck argued about the scene for an entire day before Peck told him, “You’re wrong. I’m right. But you’re the director, and therefore I have to do it your way.” After the scene was shot, Peck reviewed the dailies and conceded that Donner had been right about how to film Thorn’s reaction.
11. THE MOVIE CAME WITH A TERRIFYING AD CAMPAIGN.
To promote the movie, gloom-and-doom posters and promotional materials went up all over the U.S. They contained uplifting messages such as:
- “Good morning. You are one day closer to the end of the world.”
- “Remember … you have been warned.”
- “It is a warning foretold for thousands of years. It is our final warning. It is The Omen.
12. THE PRODUCTION MAY HAVE BEEN CURSED.
Like many other horror movies, some spooky things happened to the cast and crew that made them wonder if they had angered some higher power. Here are just a few of the incidents:
Peck, writer David Seltzer, and executive producer Mace Neufeld were on planes that were struck by lightning or had a near-miss.
The crew had planned to charter a plane to get some aerial shots, but had to switch at the last minute due to a scheduling conflict. The original plane ended up crashing, killing everyone on it.
Director Richard Donner’s hotel was bombed by the IRA the day after they shot the safari park scene.
A zookeeper at the safari park was killed in the lion area, which also happened the day after filming.
The stuntman standing in for Peck was attacked by Rottweilers during the graveyard scene; they managed to bite through the protective gear he was wearing.
After the film wrapped, special effects director John Richardson and his assistant, Liz Moore, moved on to the film A Bridge Too Far. While filming in the Netherlands, the duo was in a serious car accident. Richardson survived, but Moore was decapitated. This was especially eerie since Richardson was responsible for the infamous decapitation scene in The Omen.
“Y’all know me. Bet you know how I earn a livin’.”
“No, we don’t.”
“I was under the assumption you’d been briefed about who I am. My name n’ Neon Joe – Werewolf Hunter.”
The Dan Panosian cover caused me to click over. The trailer piqued my interest. If it does for you as well check out Cosmic Crusaders for more info on the tv series and comic.
The 400 Days trailer is here!
400 DAYS is a psychological sci-fi film centering on four astronauts who are sent on a simulated mission to a distant planet to test the psychological effects of deep space travel. Locked away for 400 days, the crew’s mental state begins to deteriorate when they lose all communication with the outside world. Forced to exit the ship, they discover that this mission may not have been a simulation after all.
Have you ever seen the un-aired intro to The Munsters with the original cast members… and some of the originals did not make it to the series.
I like this Walking Dead variant cover by James O’Barr. It was created as a giveaway for people who went to Wizard World Louisville, that ran from November 6th to 8th.
Source: Bleeding Cool.
Joy Lanzendorfer and Mental_Floss present 9 Mournful Facts About Edgar Allan Poe’s The Raven. Here are three of my favorites…
1. AS POE WAS WRITING THE POEM, HIS WIFE WAS DEATHLY ILL.
When Poe was writing “The Raven,” his wife, Virginia, was suffering from tuberculosis. It was a weird marriage—Virginia was Poe’s first cousin and only 13 years old when they married—but there’s no doubt that Poe loved her deeply. Having lost his mother, brother, and foster mother to tuberculosis, he knew the toll the disease would take. “The Raven” is a poem written by a man who’d lost many loved ones, and was soon expecting to lose one more.
6. “THE RAVEN” WAS AN IMMEDIATE HIT.
After Graham’s Magazine rejected the poem, Poe published it in The American Review under the pseudonym “Quarles.” In January 1845, it came out in The New York Mirror under Poe’s real name. Around the country, it was reprinted, reviewed, and otherwise immortalized. It soon became so ubiquitous, it was used in advertising.
And then there were the parodies. Within a month after “The Raven” came out, there was a parody poem, “The Owl,” written by “Sarles.” Others soon followed, including “The Whippoorwill,” “The Turkey,” “The Gazelle,” and “The Parrot.” You can read many of themhere. Abraham Lincoln found one parody, “The Polecat,” so hilarious that he decided to look up “The Raven.” He ended up memorizing the poem.
7. “THE RAVEN” MADE POE INTO A CELEBRITY …
Poe was soon so recognizable that children followed him in the street, flapping their arms and cawing. Then he’d turn around and say, “nevermore!” and they would run away, shrieking. Trying to capitalize off this fame, he gave lectures that included dramatic readings of the poem. They were apparently something to see. His lecture was “a rhapsody of the most intense brilliancy … He kept us entranced for two hours and a half,” said one attendee. Yet another said that Poe would turn down the lamps and recite “those wonderful lines in the most melodious of voice.” Another said, “To hear him repeat ‘The Raven,’ which he does very quietly, is an event in one’s life.”
Here’s their top ten and my comments on each…
1. “The Exorcist” (1973; d. William Friedkin): While it’s hard to argue with the popularity of The Exorcist as the greatest horror movie of all time – it is arguably the scariest – I’d put Romero’s Night of the Living Dead in the number one spot.
2. “The Shining” (1980; d. Stanley Kubrick): I like Kubrick’s take on Stephen King’s novel [even if King doesn’t] but it wouldn’t make my top ten.
3. “The Texas Chain Saw Massacre” (1974; d. Tobe Hooper): Texas Chainsaw Massacre wouldn’t make my top ten… or top 50.
4. “Rosemary’s Baby” (1968; d. Roman Polanski): I’d like to see this one again. I liked it when I saw it, but the last time was years ago. I wonder if it would hold up. The fact that it placed so high on the list indicates it would.
5. “Alien” (1979; d. Ridley Scott): I prefer Aliens.
6. “The Thing” (1982; d. John Carpenter): Yeah, I love that people are coming around to love this film. It was ahead of its time.
7. “Halloween” (1978; d. John Carpenter): Love the love that John Carpenter received on this list!
8. “Psycho” (1960; d. Alfred Hitchcock): A classic!
9. “Night of the Living Dead” (1968; d. George A. Romero): You know I love this movie!
10. “Jaws” (1975; d. Steven Spielberg): Jaws is a great film but I always have a bit of trouble placing it in the horror category.
Mental_Floss presents 40 Fascinating Facts About Your Favorite Horror Movies. Here are three of my favorites…
5. STEPHEN KING WASN’T A FAN OF THE SHINING.
In 1983, Stephen King told Playboy, “I’d admired [Stanley] Kubrick for a long time and had great expectations for the project, but I was deeply disappointed in the end result. Parts of the film are chilling, charged with a relentlessly claustrophobic terror, but others fell flat.”
King didn’t like the casting of Jack Nicholson either, claiming, “Jack Nicholson, though a fine actor, was all wrong for the part. His last big role had been in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, and between that and the manic grin, the audience automatically identified him as a loony from the first scene. But the book is about Jack Torrance’s gradual descent into madness through the malign influence of the Overlook—if the guy is nuts to begin with, then the entire tragedy of his downfall is wasted.”
24. GENE HACKMAN WAS SLATED TO STAR IN—AND DIRECT—THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS.
Gene Hackman and Orion Pictures split the $500,000 needed for the movie rights to the book. But Hackman dropped out days after he watched clips of himself at the 1989 Oscars as FBI Agent Alan Parker in the violent Mississippi Burning, deciding not to follow up a dark role with an even more unlikeable character.
38. SISSY SPACEK WAS ADAMANT THAT HER OWN HAND APPEAR INCARRIE’S FINAL SCENE.
Though Brian De Palma wanted to get a stunt person for the final scene, where Sue Snell visits Carrie’s grave, Spacek insisted that it needed to be her hand that was shown, which required her to be buried in the ground. “I laughed about that,” Spacek told NPR. “I do all my own foot and hand work, and always have.”
Mark Mancini and Mental_Floss present 10 Aquatic Facts About Creature from the Black Lagoon. Here are three of my favorites…
1. THE MOVIE’S CONCEPT WAS CONCEIVED AT A CITIZEN KANE DINNER PARTY.
One night during filming of Citizen Kane, Orson Welles invited one of the movie’s actors, William Alland, over for dinner along with a cinematographer named Gabriel Figueroa. While there, Figueroa shared a story he had heard during his travels of a race of amphibious beasts—half man, half reptile—that stalked the Amazon River. More than a decade later, still intrigued by the concept, Alland dramatized it by producing Creature from the Black Lagoon.
4. A FORMER FRANKENSTEIN ACTOR TURNED DOWN THE MAIN ROLE.
When Boris Karloff retired from playing Mary Shelley’s reanimated monster, Glenn Strange took over. From 1944 to 1948, Strange terrified audiences in Universal’s House of Frankenstein, House of Dracula, and Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein. Years later, the studio tapped him to play their web-footed “Gillman” in Creature from the Black Lagoon, but because swimming wasn’t his forte, Strange declined the part.
9. ITS 1955 SEQUEL WAS CLINT EASTWOOD’S FIRST MOVIE.
Pleased by the box office success of the original film, Universal rushed a sequel production. Revenge of the Creature premiered in Denver on March 23, 1955. At one point, audiences got to see future star Clint Eastwood portraying a lab assistant. Though his appearance was uncredited, it hardly went unnoticed when the cast of Mystery Science Theater 3000 riffed Revenge of the Creature in a 1997 episode:
For Revenge of the Creature, Arnold resumed directing duties and he didn’t care for the young Eastwood’s bit, telling Alland, “I told you I don’t want to do that ******* scene!” Eventually, he relented and the footage stayed in. Eastwood never forgot the experience. As he told The Telegraph, “It was a hell of a way to start your acting career: walk on a set and you know that the director hates the scene. Therefore you know he hates you.”