Mar 28 2017

Monster Mania: Music From The Classic Godzilla Films (1954-1995)

Randy Miller
Official Site
Monster Mania: Music From The Classic Godzilla Films (1954-1995), Varѐse Sarabande 1998

I must be the only person alive who intentionally smashed up a tissue and spread it over a CD case just to cut down on reflections in a photograph.  The things I do for you people...

Up until 1998, American Godzilla fans who wanted to listen to the uninterrupted music from the films they love had very few options. Unless you were able to import albums directly from Japan, the selection was limited to Neil Norman & His Cosmic Orchestra’s decidedly bouncy covers of “Monster Zero March” and the classic Godzilla theme from the Greatest Science Fiction Hits series. One of the few good things about Tristar’s so-called Godzilla movie was the wave of products associated with the Japanese films which flooded the stores to cash in on the hype. One such release was Varѐse Sarabande’s Monster Mania: Music From The Classic Godzilla Films (1954-1995). It was originally promoted under the same “Godzilla Classic Themes From The Classic Films” and some CDs bearing that title seem to have been released, but apparently Toho made them change the name for some reason. But that isn’t the important part. You’re reading this to see how the new recordings compare to the original versions used in the movies!

The drum footfalls of “Godzilla-King Of The Monsters (Main Title)” are not quite the same as you hear in the film, but the power of the composition is still there. It’s highly enjoyable despite such small differences. The rousing and militaristic “Destroy All Monsters (March)” clearly shows off its musical influence from Akira Ifukube’s previous work. Not that it makes the music any less great. As you have probably guessed from the title, “Godzilla Vs. Mothra Suite (Main Title, The Letter, Song Of Mothra, Mothra March)” is a combination of several compositions in a single track. The main title portion devotes equal attention to Godzilla and Mothra. The musical sense of power represents Godzilla and the light fluttering notes are obviously supposed to represent Mothra. The soft piano work wonderfully compliments the sadness of “The Letter” portion of the track and despite it being an instrumental, I can practically hear the lyrics of the Mothra song. The chimes were also a nice touch. The last portion is a Ifukube military march with touch of his classic Godzilla theme. Taking a break from Ifukube, we move on to Reijiro Koroku’s “Godzilla 1984 (Main Title).” The opening cymbal crash and moody, low notes help the track’s overall melding of bombast and suspense. The drumrolls are a great touch as well. I also enjoyed the piano work of the pleasant “Godzilla 1984 (Love Theme).” As the original Japanese soundtrack for King Kong vs. Godzilla didn’t get released in America until 2006, the inclusion of “King Kong Vs. Godzilla (Godzilla Revived/King Kong Transport Operation)” was a real treat for G-fans back in 1998. As expected, they opted for the heavy material rather than the Lyman-esque jazz tracks. The second half of the track is one of my personal favorites. It has such a busy feel and splendid use of percussion and horns. The way Takayuki Hattori’s “Godzilla Vs. Space Godzilla (Main Title)” makes use of drums reminds me of something from the James Bond franchise. While we’re on the subject of that particular film, “Godzilla Vs. Space Godzilla (Love Theme)” offers the listener a quieter moment. I only wish it had been spaced out further from the other love theme on the album.

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Mar 20 2017

6’+ Episode 201 is Up!

2013 Logo IconTo quote the description given at the new listing:

“It’s time to go-go-gorilla before we monkey around with your tail. Bananas! It’s a Kong-ified episode of music from Skull Island to the dumpster behind your home, featuring tracks from THE CASKET BASTARDS, NIGHT BIRDS, PIRATO KETCHUP, GROOVIE GHOULIES and more. Monstermatt Matterson winds up the “beauty” to the “beast” in a very bizarre MONSTERMATT MINUTE!”

Remember to email 6′+ (contact at 6ftplus.com) or leave a comment below about the show, whether you liked it or not. Tell your friends, leave a review on iTunes, but above all – enjoy.

You can find all episodes of 6′+ over at the official site as well as on iTunes and Stitcher. They’re also on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Mar 17 2017

The GdL16 Saint Patrick’s Day Flashback

Our luck has finally run out and we don’t have any new Irish horror goodies to share with you. Since it’s not known how long it will take to replenish our supplies (or if said supplies will ever be replenished), here’s a look back at all of our previous St. Patty’s Day celebrations:

Scary Saint Patrick’s Day Fun
Have a Spooky St. Patrick’s Day!
Saint Patrick’s Day Spooktacular
St. Patrick’s Day, Svengoolie Style
Spooky Saint Patrick’s Day Goodies
The Banshee’s Halloween
Leprecomics
Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Even if Gravedigger’s Local 16 never returns to this particular subject, at least this post does work nicely as a fitting close to the matter.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Mar 01 2017

It’s Time For The Rondo Awards!

Voting for the Rondo Hatton Classic Horror Awards has begun! Although we’re currently no longer trying to get on the ballot (let alone win anything), we still hope you participate. Besides, our f(r)iend Dr. Gangrene made it to the ballot in several categories and we hope you support him:

Category 9. Best Short Film – The Beast In The Cave
Category 15. Best Columnist – The Doctor Is In-Sane, by Dr. Gangrene, SCARY MONSTERS
Category 17. Best Website or Blog of 2016 – DR. GANGRENE’S MAD BLOG
Category 18. Best Multi-Media Horror Site – The Fantastic Films of Vincent Price
Category 21. Favorite Horror Host of 2016 – Dr. Gangrene

If you do want to write something in, might we suggest:

Category 26. Best Fan Artist of 2016 (The Linda Miller Award) – Monstermatt Patterson

We hope you keep the above suggestions in mind when you submit your ballot via email (with your name included so that your vote is counted). You can vote for as many or as little categories as you want, so please check out all of the other great categories. Voting ends Sunday at midnight (April 16), so don’t delay!

You can find the ballot (and voting instructions) at the official Rondo Hatton Classic Horror Awards website.

Feb 27 2017

Required Reading: Black History Month Edition

Remember when I took a look at Dark Dreams: A Collection of Horror and Suspense by Black Writers back in 2010? Well, it turns out there have been several sequels! The other installments in the series are: Whispers in the Night, The Ancestors and Voices From The Other Side. All of which are well worth a look (both the previews I linked to and the full versions).

Horror Noire: Blacks in American Horror Films from the 1890s to Present by Robin R. Means Coleman is a fascinating and highly informative read. If you skipped out on looking through the sources cited in last year’s examination of the Blacula films, now’s your chance to make up for that mistake! The only down side is how it appears to be the only book devoted entirely to the subject on Google Books (as of this writing).

But books are not the only thing you can read for information on the above subject. The blog Graveyard Shift Sisters is devoted to looking at the role of women of color in all aspects of the horror genre. They also have a wonderful podcast which comes highly recommended.

Browsing through the Wikipedia article “Racism in horror films” while gathering notes for a future post led me to find interesting articles like “Will It Get Better For Black People In the Horror Genre?” and “Fact Check: Do Black Characters Always Die First in Horror Movies?” (among numerous others). There’s so much to learn, so you should start reading now!

Feb 19 2017

6’+ Episode 200 is Up!

2013 Logo IconTo quote the description given at the new listing:

“We’re back — and just in time to celebrate Six Foot Plus’s bicentennial episode! Enjoy tracks from THE DEMON SEEDS, THE LILLINGTONS, ZOMBINA AND THE SKELETONES and more, while Strange Jason considers…ENDING THE PODCAST? Does the show go out with a bang, or a moan — courtesy of THE MONSTERMATT MINUTE? Does that mean this is the final KILLER KUT from KRAIG KHAOS? Stay tuned!”

Remember to email 6′+ (contact at 6ftplus.com) or leave a comment below about the show, whether you liked it or not. Tell your friends, leave a review on iTunes, but above all – enjoy.

You can find all episodes of 6′+ over at the official site as well as on iTunes and Stitcher. They’re also on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Feb 14 2017

Valenslime’s Day Special

See that guy in the above picture? No, he’s not Charlie Chaplin! It’s none other than Edgar Allan Poe. Well, it’s Henry B. Walthall portraying Edgar Allan Poe, but you get the point. The guy knew a thing or two about romance and his poem “Annabel Lee” is a wonderful mix of romance and the macabre.

If you want a truly unique gift, why not purchase Venus de Vilo’s downloadable comic book about a truly horrific love story? You can also head over to her SoundCloud page for free songs about romance gone wrong, like “From Groom to Grave” and “Stalk Me.”

Speaking of freebies, RavensBlight has a free printable upgrade for your standard box of chocolates!

The Facebook page for Scary Monsters magazine has a wonderfully weird take on “My Funny Valentine” which you can sing along to! Speaking of Facebook, Flying Frog Productions has some free Valentine’s cards to promote their games:

Last Night on Earth
Fortune and Glory
A Touch of Evil
Shadows of Brimstone

But if those aren’t your thing, perhaps these free Ugly Americans cards will do the trick.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Feb 07 2017

Splendorman

It’s Women In Horror Recognition Month and I have the perfect video to celebrate! It’s a hilarious Slender Man parody (more specifically, the Slender Man mythos set up in the Marble Hornets web series) which you can watch thanks to Neil Cicierega:

So why is a video about Splendorman that was uploaded by a man perfect for Women In Horror Month? Let’s look at the credits. The film was written and edited by Julie Becker, who also played the titular character and pulled off some sweet moves while wearing stilts. The other two women in the short are Amanda Czerminski and Emmy Cicierega. Yes, that’s the same Emmy Cicierega who worked on Gravity Falls and, yes she did the animated effects in this! You will also see another important aspect of this upload if you look at the comments and related videos: the creepypasta community has adopted Splendorman as a semi-canonical member of the Slender Man family and Splendy has appeared in numerous fan works as a result! Not bad for a character created for a one-off parody.

Jan 28 2017

Jiangshi Comedy

The English translation for “jiangshi” seems to be pretty flexible. I have seen them referred to as vampires, ghouls, ghosts and even zombies in various English language resources. One such example of the “zombie” usage comes to us from this hilarious prank video by TMD Shanghai:

Unlike many prank videos using the modern depiction of zombies, most of the response from the people being pranked seems to be genuine surprise followed by laughing and pretending to be afraid rather than genuine fear. I suspect this has to do with jiangshi usually appearing in comedy movies like Mr. Vampire rather than serious horror fare. Once the shock wears off of seeing a “jiangshi,” most people decide to play along and try to act like the people in films featuring such beings. It’s an interesting and refreshing change of pace from the usual reactions in horror prank videos and it’s pretty cool to have everyone be in on the joke for once.

Sun Nien Fai Lok!
Xin Nian Kuai Le!
Gung Hay Fat Choy!
Kung Hei Fat Choi!
Happy Chinese New Year!

Jan 23 2017

What Gives?

Toho has been paying money out of their own pocket for English language dubs of Godzilla movies for ages and American distributors rarely create their own Godzilla dubs these days. So why hasn’t Toho edited together and dubbed the Godzilla-related episodes of the television series Zone Fighter into movies they can license overseas? It’s been decades since the series was released and it’s clear nobody is going to license and dub the series for them. Toho has the money and stock footage necessary to turn selected episodes into a small catalog of films, so why haven’t they done it? Given how easily news of movies featuring previously unseen (in America) Godzilla footage will be twisted into “lost Godzilla movies,” the potential for big publicity could lead to bigger profits. I simply cannot comprehend why they haven’t done this already.

I’m surprised Svengoolie hasn’t been one of the hosts for Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights. They have already used hosts like Elvira and the Crypt Keeper in the past and Sven primarily shows films from the Universal library. One would think they’d be eager to capitalize on both the connection and popularity of Svengoolie.

Given its potential as an untapped comedy goldmine, it’s amazing how the Monster in My Pocket: Monster Rock cassette hasn’t become an internet sensation. I can barely find anything about it online. What makes this even more unusual is how I distinctly remember one of the tracks having lyrics to the effect of “I have a monster in my pocket and I really like to rock it!” How has the internet not taken that and run with it?

The days of 1-900 numbers are pretty much over, so why haven’t the owners of the various defunct scary stories hotlines tried dumping the contents of the master tapes onto the various streaming and digital download services? I know some fan put 45 minute long compilation of material from the Freddy Krueger 1-900 number, so it’s not like there’s too little material to work with.

How on Earth did Mattel beat out Kenner’s successor Hasbro in getting the new Ghostbusters license? There are so many toys from the old The Real Ghostbusters toy line they could have reused the molds for. Just put them into packages with images referencing the 2016 movie and you’re golden!

Various independent comic book companies have published comics which show new stories from horror franchises. Will anyone take the plunge and do something similar with the Waxwork films? Seeing how the people who visited the titular establishment and were killed off prior to the events of the first movie could be fun. The unseen adventures of Mark Loftmore which were so casually mentioned in Waxwork II: Lost in Time could also be a rich source of material.

Why hasn’t there been a definitive book about operating a haunted hayride? Find resources on setting up and running haunted houses and haunted trails can be easily found, but haunted hayrides have been unfairly left out in the cold. The only thing that comes even remotely close is Haunted Farms of America. There are plenty of haunted hayrides which have long since closed down. I can understand someone who currently owns a haunted hayride wouldn’t take on such a project in the fear of creating more competition, but what about the people who have closed down their hayrides years ago. You would think at least one of them former owners would release a book on the matter to make some easy money.

Both Doctor Who and all things Lovecraft are wildly popular. This is true in terms of audio dramas as well, with Big Finish even having a line called Doctor Who: The Lost Stories devoted to dramatizing unused scripts from the program. One such script was for “Avatar,” which was heavily influenced by the works of H.P. Lovecraft. But despite the potential from getting extra money from Lovecraft fanatics (and potentially getting them hooked on Doctor Who in the process), that particular script remains unadapted!

It boggles my mind how a role-playing game company created an adventure module based around a non-fantasy Midnight Syndicate album and yet nobody has done the same for Nox Arcana’s Blood of the Dragon.

How has all this time passed without any studio snapping up the rights to the Super Scary Stories for Sleep-Overs line of books? I think they would be the basis for a great series of horror anthology movies. I remember one tale about two children communicating with a restless spirit whose corpse is buried under a house which was particularly chilling. At least they would be paying for the name recognition and the rights to use original stories, unlike the proposed Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark movie where the company is paying to use the name for a film adapting folk tales and urban legends they could have basically done on their own without paying extra. Seeing as how Brilliance Audio made audio versions of the old Goosebumps wannabe Strange Matter back in 2008, I’m sure there would be an audience for an adaptation of this lesser known 90’s series as well.

Halloween music sharing blogs are very popular despite their tendency to get shut down due to copyright issues. But even then the owner of the blog usually tries to switch hosting services in order to keep things going. So why not switch over to Halloween music that’s available under a Creative Commons license? They could host stuff for free over at the Internet Archive (assuming the albums aren’t there already) without any worry. Fear of getting the blog shut down due to accidental use of Creative Commons material which utilizes copyrighted works can’t be an issue, as people who run such blogs already don’t seem to care about copyrights. That said, I personally do think it would be better if they stuck with Creative Commons material that is completely original in order to avoid the issue altogether.

Most discussions of Robot Monster claim it was shot in 4 days and note how the titular character is realized through the use a gorilla costume with a domed helmet because it was less expensive than renting or building a robot costume. It has been documented George Barrows supplied his own gorilla costume and acted in the film for $40 per day. This works out to a grand total of $160. I seriously doubt it would have cost more than $160 to scrounge up some cardboard boxes and silver paint to create a more traditional robot costume. Were they really that blind to the matter?

Is it just me or has the Halloween and haunted attraction community all but ignored the possibilities offered by the “Airwalker” balloons? They seem fairly easy to dress up given how they have to be assembled and some of them are positioned in the classic crouch already! Their seeming to move based on air currents will leave people guessing whether or not they are looking at a lifeless dummy or not. One can only imagine the possibilities if they were already available looking like frightening monsters.

Jan 18 2017

The Autopsies, ‘A Memoir From The Morgue’

The Autopsies A Memoir From The Morgue

The Autopsies
A Memoir From The Morgue
Killyjoy Records 2016 — CLICK HERE TO BUY

A Side – “Autopsy” / “Rumble”
B Side – “Roswell”

Psychobilly has always been best when it is served with a beer and a healthy dose of fun. There’s plenty of fun on A Memoir From The Morgue, the 7” release from THE AUTOPSIES. Another gem from Killjoy Records, this is a three song happy hour that’s two parts formaldehyde, one part radioactive material from Area 51, topped with a lemon and served with a smile.

Hailing from Los Angeles, this three-piece is a highly efficient machine, one that doesn’t waste any bit of their sound. Edgar’s drumming and Jonny’s bass create the deep heartbeat that’s perfect for guitarists Brandon’s six-strings, which sound like they’re sharp as a surgeon’s scalpel. The instrumental “Rumble” gives every member a moment to shine and the song itself is a tasty chaser after the mortuary love-song, “Autopsy.” Here’s hoping they include more instros in their next releases.

The B-Side the soundtrack to an unplanned detour through some restricted New Mexico desert, perhaps on the way to a gig in Las Vegas or back home to LA. “Roswell” is a fast-paced trip, like the best monster movies from a 1950’s drive-in. Brandon’s vocals vary from guttural howl to velvet crooner, and while every psychobilly frontman needs the former in his back pocket, the songs really come to life when he switches to the latter.

Ultimately, A Memoir From The Morgue is a fun success. It introduces the band, hints at the exciting potential of what’s to come and leaves you wanting more. Any psycho, horror punk or demented weirdo will want to get a copy for their own home dissection. Definitely recommended. Get your copy soon, as they’re only around for a limited time only.

 

 

Jan 14 2017

TGIF13: 6’+ Episode 199 is Up!

2013 Logo IconTo quote the description given at the new listing:

“It may no longer be Friday the 13th, but there’s plenty of horror bleeding over into Saturday. So, become the gory weekend warrior with tracks from THE JASONS, THIRTEEN SHOTS, BLACK BASS, KILLER BARBIES and more. Monstermatt Matterson wonders who EXACTLY is behind the mask and the results are almost as shocking as the MONSTERMATT MINUTE. Plus, Kraig Khaos shows what he can do with a machete with another edition of KILLER KUTS.”

Remember to email 6′+ (contact at 6ftplus.com) or leave a comment below about the show, whether you liked it or not. Tell your friends, leave a review on iTunes, but above all – enjoy.

You can find all episodes of 6′+ over at the official site as well as on iTunes and Stitcher. They’re also on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Jan 13 2017

TGIF13 VII: Jason Burgers

Remember the “2 for 1 Burger Sale” scene from Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday with those hockey mask hamburger patties? I tried making one on two separate occasions and my patties always broke apart when I tried flipping them over! Maybe this was why the movie only showed them prior to their being cooked? To find out, I searched to see how others fared in making their own Jason Voorhees burgers.

ThisMayOrMayNotBeSatire made a veggie burger with the cheese and toppings forming the iconic mask:

Similarly, Nightmare Nerd tried another method of making a cheese mask on a bison burger:

But only MovieNerdSports tried to make a mask-shaped hamburger patty like they did in the movie:

He doesn’t show the finished product, but claims it doesn’t look as good once you cook it. This claim is backed by the cooking footage, so I’m not going to automatically assume his patty broke like mine did. Hopefully he’ll try again in the future so this can be determined once and for all.

Jan 04 2017

6’+ Episode 198 is Up!

2013 Logo IconTo quote the description given at the new listing:

“2016 refuses to die, so in the first episode of 2017, we drive a stake through its heart and party like there’s no tomorrow. Celebrate the brand new year with music from THE PINE BOX BOYS, THE BRICKBATS, THE RAZORBLADES, MADD BLAKE & LOS STALINS and more. Will Monstermatt Patterson dress up as Baby New Year? Will Kraig Khaos lead the ball drop? Tune in and find out.”

Remember to email 6′+ (contact at 6ftplus.com) or leave a comment below about the show, whether you liked it or not. Tell your friends, leave a review on iTunes, but above all – enjoy.

You can find all episodes of 6′+ over at the official site as well as on iTunes and Stitcher. They’re also on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Dec 26 2016

Hanukkah Horror

I was originally going to discuss the slasher movie Hanukkah today, but there’s a problem. Its official Facebook page has been inactive for awhile and the teaser trailer is sadly no longer available online. It’s a shame, since there was a lot of interest in the project and its “Get Torahfied” tagline was hilarious. But all is not lost. Zachary Bellin put together his own (faux) trailer for a Hanukkah slasher film:

Yes, this was inspired by the Saturday Night Live character “Hanukkah Harry.”

Happy Chanukkah!

Dec 25 2016

The Pumpkin Dance: Christmas Edition

First I shared the original “Pumpkin Dance” video. Then I jumped ahead and shared the Valentine’s Day-themed sequel. Which is funny, since that particular video was actually the last of the trilogy. So let’s look at the Christmas-themed first sequel as uploaded by KXVO 10:00 News:

Here’s hoping we’ll be seeing more installments in this series in the future.

Merry Christmas!

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