Sunday, September 30, 2012

HALLOWEEN MUSINGS FROM THE MYSTERIOUS MANSION


Golly! Here it is Halloween season again! If you're a monster lover like me, this is one of the best times of the year. It's also a big month for monster magazines, too. Both FANGORIA and RUE MORGUE offer their 100-page annual specials around this time of year, and a number of other titles arrange their publishing schedule to coincide with the October month.

Here in the land of Bigfoot, the Pacific Northwest, the maple leaves have begun to turn their briliant reds and yellows, and the cedars have begun shedding their old growth. The birds at the backyard feeder -- black-capped and chestnut-backed chickadees, nuthatches, Downey and Pileated woodpeckers, flickers, juncos, goldfinches and pine siskins -- are all going through the seed like there's no tomorrow. The squirrels have been seen running up the trees with their mouths stuffed with moss, leaves, and whatever else they can grab to freshly insulate their winter nests with. I've also had to keep the occasional neighborhood cats shagged off as all the activity has stirred their interest as well.

As the frost begins to settle on the pumpkins, inside here at the Mysterious Mansion I've been busy putting together a few things that I hope will add enjoyment to the upcoming Halloween festivities. For instance, I will be adding a few new features, such as "Tricks and Treats", a post through the month of October that will spotlight a different monster candy each day, "Have a Vintage Halloween" that will show photos from Halloween's gone by, the already-started "Topstone Tuesday" which will run at least through the month and features images from the famous Halloween mask line, and "Vintage Creepy", another post showing old photos that, whether intended or not, are . . . well, just creepy.

Of course, all these will be posted between the usual offerings of items from various monster magazines both old and new. After all, it's the 'zines that make MONSTER MAGAZINE WORLD what it is.

So, I hope you enjoy your Halloween this year. Please stop by often and check to see what's new here at the Mysterious Mansion.

MONSTERS WILL GET FREAKY AGAIN

You may remember from my capsule review of FREAKY MONSTERS early this week that I mentioned that issue #11 was overdue by several months.

Well, after an inquiry I heard back from Editor and Publisher Ray Ferry who explained:

"FREAKY MONSTERS is alive and well. We did experience a delay in releasing #11 due to a heavier-than-expected workload in getting Filmland Classics' newest book, Chuck McCann's Let's Have Fun! Scrapbook out. There was a whirlwind publicity campaign that kept us pretty busy. FREAKY MONSTERS #11 will be at comicbook stores later this month. There seems to be backlog in new product distribution in some areas but that has nothing to do with publication. As you mention in your blog for #10, the magazine is sold through Diamond Previews catalog and online at www.filmlandclassics.com, as well as other specialty outlets. #11 is out now and #12 will be out end of this month. Given the special interest target audience the magazine is published for and a sluggish economy, we elected not to pursue general noosestand distribution for the title. Perhaps later we may but for the moment sales are brisk and we see no reason for mass marketing."

A quick check on the Filmland Classics website confirms that issue #11 is now available as mentioned.

Thanks, Ray, for the update. Now, monster lovers, go forth and get FREAKY!

Saturday, September 29, 2012

THE DEVIL'S MUSIC HAS DESTROYED THE YOUTH OF AMERICA!

"Sure the kids love it. And why not? It's the only sexual outlet most of them have" -- A 1950's psychologist explaining the appeal of Rock 'n Roll

It seems like a world away, but at one time, music - in particular, jazz and rock 'n roll  music - was, to use a more modern vilification, demonized by the American Establishment. Moreover, it is interesting to note that in the same decade communism and comic books came under fire as well from these self-professed do-gooders. Although not quite in the same league as McCarthy, I can understand being a little wary of communism . . . but comic books?

According to the so-called "moral majority" of the times, juvenile delinquency ran wild in the streets back in the 50's and 60's, and the afterbirth from this horribly dysfunctional child would later grow up to become another of society's monsters -- political correctness. Dr. Benjamin Spock (d. 1998) wrote his medical manifesto, Baby and Child Care, for every helpless housewife in America. With over 13,000,000 copies sold , it was promoted as "The most widely recommended handbook for parents every published." That a boilerplate "how to" of child rearing could end up to be so popular is only testimony to a surprisingly ignorant and gullible public. When Spock's methods failed, there was always a trip to the psychiatrist, a therapeutic treatment system barely out of infancy and its own dirty diapers.

Time has proven that kids have always rebelled against their parents. Ever vigorous "intervention", more intense therapy, and the use of drugs like the over-prescribed Ritalin can't seem to stem the tide of teenage malcontentism.

But I digress. Music came under fire because it was said to cause in the young listener uninhibited and wanton behavior. That it illicited unwholesome acts like underage sex, while asserted, can nevertheless be disputed as a sole cause. After all, won't kids find any excuse to get into trouble anyway? Again, in the 60's, music was the foundation of the counterculture. The assertion then was that it encouraged drug use, and, again, uninhibited and wanton behavior. The pattern grows monotonous.

In the December, 1956 issue of the men's magazine, RAGE, appeared an article entitled, "Rock 'n Roll: The Sound of Sex", that tried to explain the phenomenon. A few years before the public had witnessed something similar when Frank Sinatra crooned to the ladies. Lead by whom the article describes as a "Kentucky hillbilly", this Elvis Presley was something entirely different: "Sixteen-year-old girls were gouging his name in their arms with pen knives". Even older women "screamed his name".

The article attempts to explain all this by describing rock 'n roll music as an analogue to the sex act itself, replete with suggestive lyrics urging on the frenzied listener to new acts of lust and debasement. While it was then meant to be serious, it can now only be looked at with at least mild amusement by even the most sympathetic of readers.







As if it were planned, the very next issue (RAGE, February 1957) contained what could only in context be called a rebuttle. Written by none other than the "Kentucky hillbilly" himself, Elvis Presley, "There's Nothing Bad About Rock 'N Roll!" was determined to set the record straight.

Oddly enough, there is not really much in the article to substantiate the title's claim. Instead, the humble hillbilly recounts his modest beginnings and sums up his singing of "country" and "rock 'n roll" music by stating, "I never tried to sing any special way. Except the way I wanted to sing. It's like it comes up out of me. I wouldn't try to do anything else than be myself."

Presley goes on to say, "It seems like about every ten years a new style comes along. People jump on it, and right away the critics are out swinging, trying to knock it down."

While a compelling argument is lacking that effectively counters the previous issue's assertions, the man who would be King softens the blow by providing the reader with the portrait of an unassuming country boy who just wants to sing songs for his fans, claiming that they "know what they like." If that is indeed the truth, then the Devil's music will be around for a long time.




A PARENT'S WORST HALLOWEEN NIGHTMARE

TRICK OR TREAT, YOU LITTLE MONSTERS!

Pardon my indulgence, but I'm in a weird mood today. My thoughts have been awash in turbid morbidity with just a dash of the sardonic.

Friday, September 28, 2012

FAMOUS MONSTERS OF FILMLAND NO. 263


This year marks the 100th Anniversary of Universal Pictures. Thus far, there has been little hoopla in the monster movie industry. I'm not saying that celebrations have been totally absent, but there seems to be a lack of enthusiasm for what I believe to be the most important milestone that monster fans could experience this year.

After all, where would monster movies and their bretheren, monster magazines, be today without Universal horror films? In his editorial, Executive Editor Ed Blair poses this very question in FAMOUS MONTERS OF FILMLAND #263. For instance, would AIP ever have produced the cycle of horror movies that they did without the previous success of Universal? Not likely, and not likely any other other film company would have taken the chance, given their relegation to B-status even in the best of times. Indeed, what would the Carpathian landscape or the Lanwelley moors look like had not Carl Laemmle, Jr., at the dawn of the decade in the 1930, insist on bringing back the success of the silent horror films made famous by the great Lon Chaney, Sr. into the new movie world of the talkies?

FM has not forgotton the legacy that Universal has bestowed upon us monster fans, and to prove it, issue #263 is cover-to-cover Universal monters! We are treated to page upon page illustrating the chronology of the Universal monster movie cycle from 1923 to the present using photo montages. Interspersed are numerous articles that discuss seminal films and figures that have contributed to making Universal the success story that it was, and, despite a couple of underwhelming recent attempts, still is.

My two favorite articles are from the golden years. In "The Ballad of Dwight Frye", David Elijah-Nahmod offers a sentimental look at the tragic film career of one of monsterdom's most iconic "sidemen". After a successful run on Broadway, he moved to California to be in pictures. The man who played Renfield in the original DRACULA and Fritz in the original FRANKENSTEIN saw his roles dwindle to nothing more than bit parts after the two blockbusters. Finally, he had a chance for his comeback in a major role, a biopic about President Woodrow Wilson. In bitter irony, while boarding a bus after taking his family to Pantages to watch a movie, he suffered a fatal heart attack at the age of 44.

Scott Essman has written extensively about the career of maestro monster maker Jack Pierce. In "Jack Pierce; The Man of 1000 Monsters", he distills all this knowledge into an article that covers the career of the one person who provided the definitive look of Universal's most enduring monsters. From his humble beginnings as a Greek immigrant to his pitiful death in nearly total obscurity, Essman raises Pierce's accomplishments to rightful idol status. Once again, one has to ask, where would monster movies be today without Universal . . . and without Jack Pierce?

There is much to like about this issue of FAMOUS MONSTERS. Even lovers of later day monsters have something to chew on here with features on John Carpenter's THE THING remake and the story of Jim Henson's animated wonder, THE DARK CRYSTAL.

But, perhaps the most interesting piece in the entire issue is a one-page story by Rafael Medoff and J. David Spurlock entitled: "A Movie Monster Who Spoke Out Against the Nazi Monster." Original DRACULA star, Bela Lugosi was well-known in Hollywood for carrying the torch for labor organizations of the time. In an obscure and little-known event, the authors describe his keynote address at a labor rally in Los Angeles on August 28, 1944, in which he decries the Nazis' invasion of his native Hungary and the atrocities against its citizenry, including hundreds of thousands of Jews who were shipped out from their homeland to concentration camps to be exterminated.

FAMOUS MONSTERS has come up with a winner this time around. While I can't say this is the definitive Universal retrospective, it certainly does a great job in presenting an overview and timeline of the most important movie studio in existence when it comes to our favorite subject, movie monsters.

In closing, just announced yesterday was the release of FAMOUS MONSTERS #264. For details, click on the FM cover image on the sidebar to the right of this blogroll.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

ANATOMY OF A PAGAN RITUAL


Some could say that the filming of the original version of the THE WICKER MAN was cursed. Bad weather, misinformation and public outrage all became stumbling blocks in what eventually became one of the most interesting films of its kind (you know, the pagan, human sacrifice kind).

Included in the October issue of TOTAL FILM is a two-page spread that dissects some of the challenges that befell the director, actors, and crew during its production.

A KRASH KOURSE IN KAIJU


Do you speak Kaiju? Chances are, if you are a deadicated watcher of a monster movies and omnivorous in your tastes, then you no doubt have seen at least a handful.

"Kaiju" means "strange beast", and they are the epitome of the giant monster, and in particular, Japanese monster movies. The most famous is, of course, Gojira (or "Godzilla" in the Western tongue). The big lizard with the nuclear breath has been "attacking the city" -- in other words, Tokyo -- since the 50's.

Kaiju has a giant following among a core group of enthusiastic fans. There is even a magazine devoted to them (see the G-FAN button on the sidebar to the right of this blogroll). FAMOUS MONSTERS OF FILMLAND magazine even used an entire issue to feature the giant monsters of Japan (my review of this issue can be read in issue #96 of G-FAN).

In the October issue of TOTAL FILM, there is a short-course on Kaiju and its long and rich history. It also contains news of PACIFIC RIM, a new Kaiju film by none other than Guillermo del Toro!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

NEW BOOKS: THE BLOODY AND THE BEAUTIFUL



EYES OF BLOOD
The meteoric rise of Hammer Films as a force in world horror cinema resulted from the release of two seminal movies: THE CURSE OF FRANKENSTEIN in 1957 and, especially, 1958's DRACULA starring Christopher Lee. Lee became the most famous incarnation of the vampire Count ever, in a series of stylish films spanning 16 years: DRACULA, DRACULA PRINCE OF DARKNESS. DRACULA HAS RISEN FROM THE GRAVE , THE SCARS OF DRACULA, TASTE THE BLOOD OF DRACULA, DRACULA AD 72, and THE SATANIC RITES OF DRACULA. EYES OF BLOOD is a comprehensive visual tribute to Christopher Lee's magnetic and enduring portrayal of Dracula, featuring over 50 rare production photographs covering all seven of these classic horror movies, plus a section of stunning poster art with 20 full-colour images. Each film is also reviewed in full, with details of cast and crew. EYES OF BLOOD is adapted from a previous publication LIPS OF BLOOD (Glitter Books, 2000).

Suggested Retail Price: $16.95.
Release Date: November 30, 2012.


PSYCHEDELIC SEX VAMPIRES
An illustrated appreciation of the films of Jean Rollin, the cult French film director best-known for his surrealistic depictions of vampires, sex, and horror. With 140 photographs and poster images, including 40 pages in full colour; an interview with Jean Rollin; an introductory essay on his films; a complete illustrated filmography; and a foreword by noted film writer Ado Kyrou. The book features extended photographic sections on each of Rollin's notorious :vampire Quartet" - THE RAPE OF THE VAMPIRE, THE NUDE VAMPIRE, THE SHIVER OF THE VAMPIRES, and REQUIEM FOR A VAMPIRE - as well as dozens of images from his other films.

Suggested Retail Price: $24.95.
Release Date: September 30, 2012.


CAROLINE MUNROE: FIRST LADY OF FANTASY
Now available in paperback! This filmography (including television and music video appearances) chronicles the career of Caroline Munro, a woman of humble beginnings whose chance entry in a "Face of the Year" photo competition propelled her to international fame as a model and actress, and whose work in genre cinema has won her the well-earned title of "First Lady of Fantasy." It provides complete technical and cast credits for each film, a synopsis, reviews and notes, and a foreword by Caroline Munro.

Suggested Retail Price: $45.00.
Release Date: Available now.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

DIABOLIQUE NO. 12




DIABOLIQUE is fast becoming two heads and shoulders above the rest when it comes to horror and monster film magazines. I was super impressed right off the bat (no pun intended) with its extraordinary design and art direction. The writing is by and large excellent as well.

DIABOLIQUE has earned the MONSTER MAGAZINE WORLD spotlight banner under the main title. After staying awhile here, please visit their site. It's as good-looking as their magazine.

Issue #12 is hot off the press. Following is the contents:

■ Growing Up Lynch - Olivia Saperstein talks to Jennifer Lynch about her new film and the influence her famous father had on her as an artist

■ Anatomy of Eli Roth’s Goretorium - David Calbert interviews Eli Roth about his gory new “Haunted House” in Las Vagas

■ All Abhorred! Ghost Trains & Haunted Attractions - Brandon Kosters traces the roots of some of our most famous haunted attractions

■ Halloween: Boundary Between the Living & the Dead - Kyle Kouri gives us a brief history of everyone’s favorite holiday

■ Biting Commentary - Brandon Kosters on the Batman’s resurgence as a figurehead for macabre social critique

■ It’s Alive! Ghastly Images for the Whole Family - Scott Feinblatt sits down with members of Tim Burton’s production team to discuss the making of Frankenweenie (2012)

■ Karloff on Karloff - Tony Earnshaw interviews Sara Karloff about her father’s incredible career and legacy

■ The Puppeteer’s Tale - Scott Feinblatt talks to the founder of the Old Trout Puppet Workshop as they celebrate grotesque imagery while imparting profound messages in a neglected art form

■ The Forbidden Forest - David Calbert discusses the motif of the “dark forest” in children’s literature

■ Dancing with Death - David Huckvale’s reflections on Gothic ballets devoted to macabre narratives


TOPSTONE TUESDAY


Arguably the most iconic figure to come out of the era of the original Monster Kid besides the movie monsters themselves was Topstone's SHOCK MONSTER mask. Sold for years from the back pages of the monster magazines of the day, the SHOCK MONSTER, along with the other ghoulish (and cheap) rubber monster masks lline was an enduring image and is still occasionally seen today.

This image is of an authentic Topstone SHOCK MONSTER mask. The photo was taken by the Yellow Phantom of The Blood-Curdling Blog of Monster Masks. Visit his page by clicking on the "Legends from Bloggy Creek" list of blogs on the sidebar to the right.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

THE SOUND OF HORROR!


Today's installment of THE SOUND OF HORROR is another by guest poster Tim Ferrante. The review originally appeared in THE PHANTOM OF THE MOVIES' VIDEOSCOPE magazine.

HOUSE OF USHER Music composed and conducted by Les Baxter. 15 tracks, 62:39, Intrada Special Collection Vol. 159 $19.95.

House of Usher (1960) was director Roger Corman’s first of several AIP screen treatments for Edgar Allan Poe horror tales. It was also the first time he worked with composer Les Baxter who was busy reaping the rewards of best-selling exotica record albums, pop and show tune arrangements and steady B-movie composing assignments. Usher’s Technicolor opulence and Baxter’s varied musical background formed a creative foundation on which the film series would rise.

Usher’s sets were darkly flamboyant; great gothic dressings crisply filmed by Floyd Crosby in widescreen. It was both dreary and colorful; giving perfect contrast to Poe’s spiraling Roderick Usher, a shattered noble who’s convinced his house has come alive and is out for revenge. Early theatrical prints carried an Overture running 3:03, a mood-setting composition that was thought to be lost. It, however, is the lead track and was fully restored separate from the Intrada mastering. It is a large orchestral statement that sets the musical table, presenting themes and passages soon to come.

Baxter’s skillful knitting of evocative thematic elements is clearly evident here. Track two opens with his uplifting AIP logo fanfare (a simply magnificent 13-second ident that was repeatedly utilized) gives way to a Main Title with a bold dose of harried strings and brass that quickly segue into a melodic romantic theme snippet before entering its darker tones. Standout tracks such as “House of Evil”, a splintering and otherworldly cue accented by ghostly chorals and “Buried Alive”, a poking and prodding musical and choral irritant which accompanies Philip Winthrop’s (Mark Damon) nightmare torment are showcases of the composer’s ability for structured fear and clamor.

A bootleg CD has been in circulation for some time and if you happen to own one you can toss it away. The Intrada release is a complete overhaul. All of the short cues have been assembled into longer listenable ones and every note recorded for the film is intact (remarkably, it’s a 62-minute score for a 79-minute movie!). Limited to a scant 1200 pressing run, House of Usher was an instant sellout. Baxter went on to write the music for three more of the Corman/Poe titles, but it is this seminal Usher score that established the film series’ musical basis.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

AND THE WINNER IS . . .


The winner of the free giveaway of the Penguin Books novel, YOUR HOUSE IS ON FIRE, YOUR CHILDREN ALL GONE is . . . drumroll, please . . .

Tom S. from Parkton, MD

You have MONSTER MAGAZINE WORLD's sinc-eerie-est kongratulations.

The correct answer to the Mysterious Photo is: THE FLESH EATERS.

Enjoy the book and thanks for playing!

Friday, September 21, 2012

SCARY MONSTERS NO. 83


Yet another magazine that owes its inspiration to the original FAMOUS MONSTERS OF FILMLAND is Dennis Druktenis' SCARY MONSTERS. Rolling along to its 83rd issue, SM has provided many movie monster memories over its long publishing history.

Druktenis is another huge monster fan and he allows many of his contributors to share their experiences as Monster Kids within the pages of his expansive magazine. Issue 83 is no exception. At 150 pages, SM easily beats the rest with its kong-sized contents.

SCARY MONSTERS is stuffed with all things monster, like a long article on ISLE OF THE LOST SOULS, a FLASH GORDON feature, a kaiju-sized piece on Gorgo in Charlton Comics (including the original GORGO movie pressbook), an article on the obscure Merian C. (King Kong) Cooper film, WAR EAGLES, and believe me -- a ton more. The issue wouldn't be complete, however, with page after page of the Scary Monsters Mail Order Market where you can find everything imaginable in the way of monster goodies for sale, including back issues, models (the plastic ones that you put together), toys, masks, books -- you name it!

If I had one gripe about SCARY MONSTERS, it would be to print it on better paper. Using cheaper stock will make it problematic for Monsterologists to archive and maintain these little gems in good condition. Plus, the photos suffer greatly by the lower quality printing process. Ultimately, I suppose, it's better this way, because otherwise it would probably be less than half the pages for a dollar ot two more in cover price. Maybe it's just better to leave it alone, Fritz.

FREE BOOK CONTEST CLOSING IN A FEW HOURS!


Hey, monster lover! You've only got a few more hours to enter to win a free copy of the new Penguin Books novel of the supernatural, YOUR HOUSE IS ON FIRE, YOUR CHILDREN ALL GONE as promoted in last weekend's post (Click HERE to see it) at MONSTER MAGAZINE WORLD.

Send in an email with the correct name of the movie pictured at the bottom of the post and you will have a chance at winning the free book.

The contest is closing at noon today (Friday, September 21, 2012) and the winner will be announced this weekend!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

MONSTER BASH NO. 15



Monster fans don't come much bigger than Ron Adams. He's the purveyor of the online mega-monster store CREEPY CLASSICS, curator of the MONSTER BASH convention and Editor/Publisher/Designer of his own monster magazine.

Now in its 16th issue, MONSTER BASH has been pleasing readers with its retro monster vibe for a few years now. The 'zine has a fun feel to it, but treats the subject matter with the utmost respect.

My favorite article was Kevin J. Slick's piece on Lon Chaney, Sr.'s LONDON AFTER MIDNIGHT. Accompanied by some fantastic photos (the repro quality of which are on par with those in FREAKY MONSTERS discussed yesterday), the feature delves into the mystique surrounding this legendary lost film. It includes a discussion of the legal ramifications with the Stoker Dracula property if Chaney's vampire character turned out to be real and not a fake.

There is a lengthy aricle on the Buster Crabbe FLASH GORDON series, Frank Dello Stritto's "10 Things I Love About Lon Chaney Jr.", and an excerpt from the upcoming "No Traveler Returns: The Lost Years of Bela Lugosi", by Gary Don Rhodes and Bill Kaffenberger.

At 56 pages, MONSTER BASH is not a huge 'zine for 9 bucks, but it is suffused with the soul of a true fan's unbridled enthusiasm, great production, A-list writers, and best of all, plenty of monster to go around!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

FREAKY MONSTERS NO. 10



There has been mention of several monster mags currently being published that -- either in spirit or in appearance, or both -- resemble the original FAMOUS MONSTERS OF FILMLAND. My vote goes to Ray Ferry's latest 'zine incarnation, FREAKY MONSTERS.

From the derivative logo, to the Gogos-ian high contrast cover paintings, to the Table of Contents format, to the interior titles, to the Captain Company-ish mail order pages in the back of the magazine (even going so far as offering some items that were sold by the original Capt. Co), and the familiar, mind-numbing editorial alliterations, FREAKY MONSTERS has got FAMOUS MONSTERS down. Ferry oughta know -- he owned FAMOUS MONSTERS for a time. However, the big question here is: is FRM (the "FM" acronym shall remain here the inviolate provenance of the original FAMOUS MONSTERS for as long as I run this blog) the Vanilla Ice version or a serious legacy?

It took a few years, but FREAKY MONSTERS is the result of Ferry's continuing drive to publish or perish, despite all odds and legal roadblocks (which I will not rehash).

After the "Poison-to-Poison" editorial and the letters page, the issue kicks off with "Aunt Eeek's Road Show", a collection of photographs with humorous captions that spoof the popular PBS TV series.

Next comes a lengthy bio and career overview of Ed Wood, Jr. Written and submitted when the Burton/Depp ED WOOD film was running, it has not been published until now. Penned by Kathryn Magayne-Roshak, it is actually quite poignant, as much of the material was obtained through the cooperation of Wood's family members. Ferry makes a keen observation at the beginning of the article by stating, "For all the great films that made up Columbia Pictures [sic] SHOCK and SON OF SHOCK TV films packages*, for all the frightful fun we had as kids watching them on frightday night Shock Theater shows across the country, it's images from Ed Wood films -- Vampira and Tor Johnson in the spooky graveyard from PLAN 9 FROM OUTER SPACE, in particular -- that define the Shock Theater craze in all its glory." Numerous photographs accompany the article, and some appear to be quite rare. The subject is completed with a two-page centerspread of Maila Nurmi as Vampira in a typical menacing pose.

Included in the issue is a brief "filmbook" of that crazy B-movie classic, THE BRAIN THAT WOULDN'T DIE, a "Ghoul's Gallery" of stills in the tradition of "You Axed For It", a Jonathan Frid obit, and another interesting pictorial showing horror actors playing in non-horror film rolls titled, "Monsters Unmasked.""Off On a Scare" is a short piece that covers "horrorwood's" greatest comedy teams. Closing out the contents is the "Myst-eerie Photo Department", albeit without reader's winning responses.

Much like its progenitor, FREAKY MONSTERS is, for the most part, short on text and big on photos. What makes things work, though, is that the photos, while not as razor-sharp as we see even in some semi-pro monster 'zines, are of good contrast and quality, and many seem to be unearthed rarities.

I have not seen this magazine for sale on any newsstands or bookstores in my part of the world, so I'm presuming that most sales are from specialty shops and Diamond Distributors' monthly PREVIEWS comics catalogue.

There are enough artifacts throughout the issue to remind the alert reader that this was, at one time, the monster magazine. But, time and tide and litiginous rancor have removed some of the bloom off the old graveyard rose. This should, however,  be no reason for anyone wishing to sample a taste of what was during the monster magazine glory days not to pick up a copy of this magazine.

There's one catch to all this. Issue #11 of FREAKY MONSTERS was scheduled to be published in June. Well, if you do the math, it's three months later and still no 'zine. After a surprisingly regular printing schedule, FRM seems to have run out of gas. Let's hope that there's a reason other than cancellation in the future for this fun monster mag.

*NOTE: The SHOCK and SON OF SHOCK TV film packages were offered by Sreen Gems, but the advertising iconography of the era, especially with Vampira hosting her own TV show, were trademark Ed Wood. - Yore Fiendly Monsterologist

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