Featured Articles o'the Month

Monster of the Month: Bride of Frankenstein - First Lady of Fright

Of all the great Universal Monsters, the Bride of Frankenstein is perhaps the most peculiar. She was spawned from literature like the majority, but she wasn't eXXXactly a character; she was destroyed before she was even created. In the film that bears her name, she appears for about 5 minutes before meeting her end. And yet, with just a few pages and less screentime than Drew Barrymore in Scream, she became the first lady of fright; scare fiction's most eXXXalted female monster. Why are fear-favoring citizens drawn to this strange creature? And why is she our Monster of the Month? Well, don't stop reading now, groovy ghoulies! Venture forward to discover the terrifying truth about... the Bride of Frankenstein!

As mentioned in our introduction, the concept of the Bride originated in literature, specifically Mary Shelley's Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus. In Shelley's seminal shock-story, the Bride was less a monster than a condition: the Creature promises to into the wilderness if Victor Frankenstein creates for him a bride; if Vic refuses, the Creature will murder his bride on their wedding night. Fearing for his family, Victor reluctantly agrees to construct the mate. Ho-wever, after being haunted by ghastly premonitions of the un-ho-ly union (and their petrifying progeny), Vic goes back on their deal and destroys the unfinished bride. A monster of his word, the Creature kills Victor's wife, Elizabeth.

The Bride didn't become a true character until Universal's Bride of Frankenstein, a true all-timer. While a good chunk of the film revolves around the creation of the Bride, she doesn't actually show up until the final moments of the film; but in her limited appearance, she does make a mighty impression. Played by the great Elsa Lanchester and created by makeup man Jack Pierce, the Bride shines as brightly as the lightning that birthed her. The patchwork partner is simply a marvel of a monster, hissing and cocking her head around in bizarre fashion. (Lanchester said her performance was based on the swans in Regent's Park, London.) And with her bandaged body and Nefertiti haircut, she is a fright to behold. Really, the only true flaw that the Bride possesses as a movie monster is the aforementioned lack of screentime.

Curiously, there have been very few ho-rror films featuring the Bride. To date, Universal has only made one Bride film, although there have been attempts by the studio to resurrect the creature. There was an unofficial remake in 1985 en-tit-led The Bride (starring Jennifer Beals as the Bride), but that's about it as far as straight Bride movies go. Helena Bonham Carter's Elizabeth does become a Bride-style monster in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, but--as usual--we see far too little of the Bride. 

In the realm of comedy, the Bride has made more consistent appearances. In the stop-motion-animated Mad Monster Party?, Phyllis Diller is a hoot as the Monster's Mate, a very Dilleresque take on the monster. Fran Drescher voiced Eunice/Bride in the Hotel Transylvania films, and Madeline Kahn does become a sort of Bride of Frankenstein at the end of Young Frankenstein. Beyond those three eXXXamples, the Bride has been spoofed in enough cartoons, movies, comics, video games, and TV shows to fill a graveyard. 

And... that's mostly it. Though it's possible that we may be forgetting a few minor appearances, the Bride is mainly known for five minutes in one movie and a sea of spooky spoofs. Considering that she is the most famous and beloved of all female movie monsters, it's a little odd how little there is of her outside of parodic cameos. So, why has she resonated with so many of us for so many decades? Are we so bereft of female monsters that we will settle for one whose most notable role was only slightly longer than a trailer? If so, why didn't Countess Marya Zaleska/Dracula's Daughter stay with us the way that Bride has? After all, she was indeed the star of her own film and one of the first tragic vampires onscreen, making her the ancestor to Barnabas Collins and the vampires of Anne Rice.

I think that, despite her lack of screentime, the Bride is worthy of her status. We do wish that Marya Zaleska and all the other great monster women would receive more attention; we would love to see new female ho-rror icons created, and the relatively low number of female frightsters in cinema is disappointing. Ho-wever, the Bride is an important figure in ho-rror history: her name appears in the tit-le of one of the greatest films of all time, she made a memorable appearance in the climaXXX of said film, and she is now an unofficial mascot of the Halloween season, having launched nearly as many costumes and decorations as her ho-rrible hubby. She is truly a highlight in a film full of magnificent things, and that alone is worthy of her legendary status.

Though deserving of her position as it is, we would love for Ho-rrorwood to eXXXpand upon her personality; give her the pathos and depth of a Frankenstein or Phantom of the Opera. If any monster demands a truly superb reimagining, it's the Bride of Frankenstein. Imbue her with the majesty she deserves, and may it inspire filmmakers to bring to life more ho-rrific monster women, figures as frightful as their male counterparts; may it also encourage folks to seek out some of ho-rror's other fantastic female creatures. 

Ho-wever, as she is, the Bride of Frankenstein is still a worthy inclusion in the pantheon of cla-ass-sick monsters and we our proud to have her as our Monster of the Month.

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Some Love for The Thing from Another World

I just binged the poop outta the third season of Stranger Things, and boy, was it a ho-ot! I mean, it wasn't without its flaws, but there was a lot to love about it: the superb soundtrack, the lovable cast (including the ever-amazing Cary Elwes, and Alec Utgoff, aka "Sexxxy Alexxxei"), fun character dynamics, spooky sequences, and references... oh, you better believe there were references! In one scene, Lucas (Caleb McLaughlin) proudly proclaims his love of New Coke, eXXXplaining why he prefers it to Classic Coke by comparing the soft drinks to two ho-rror cl-ass-sicks: The Thing from Another World and John Carpenter's The Thing. He argued that while Coke and The Thing from Another World are cl-ass-sicks, New Coke and Carpenter's Thing are "sweeter, bolder... better." While Mike (Finn Wolfhard...#rawrrrrr #dontatme) seems appalled by the idea that anyone would pick New Coke over Cl-ass-ic, he seems to have no qualms about the assertion that Carpenter's Thing is the superior Thing. Why, the show more-or-less treats this like an unequivocal fact.

Oh my...

Now, we want to make it perfectly clear that Carpenter's Thing is an undeniable masterpiece of alien terror, and that we respect the opinions of all, whether they be young, old, or characters on a Netflixxx show. Ho-wever, that is a sentiment we've heard echoed many times; echoed to the point at which The Thing from Another World no longer eXXXists on its own. What was once revered as a hallmark of sci-fi ho-rror has been relegated to trivia in the legacy of The Thing. Though it is never derided or hated, it's almost eXXXclusively mentioned as a pretty decent movie that inspired an unassailable masterwork. And that just isn't fair to the film.

Released in 1951, The Thing from Another World was one of the first truly eXXXceptional sci-fi chillers of the Freaky Fifties, a decade rich with science fictional eXXXcellence. Unusual for a time in which genre fiction was dismissed as juvenile nonsense, the film was produced by the venerated Howard Hawks, director of such heavy-hitters as Bringing Up Baby, Rio Bravo, The Big Sleep, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, and His Girl Friday. With a style described by Orson Welles as "great prose," Hawks tended to focus more on character interactions rather than florid camera work; the actors and their fast-paced, overlapping dialogue were often the main attraction. Hawks also popularized what is known as the "Hawksian woman," the archetype of a tough-talking woman who could verbally best her male peers.

Christian Nyby was the credited director of The Thing from Another World, but the film walks and talks like a Ho-ward Hawks, so much so that many believe that Hawks actually directed the picture. Whether or not he directed TTFAW, his influence is what elevates the film to greatness. We are positively wacky about 1950s chiller-dillers, but we'd be lying if we said that the characters weren't often stiffer than Marion Crane after a shower. And that's one of the great triumphs of TTFAW: the humans feel authentically... human. We're never bored when the monster isn't around because we love the people it terrorizes. Their banter is natural, funny, and charming without being too cutesy. Margaret Sheridan's drinkin', s-ass-in' Nikki Nicholson is a totally awesome heroine at time in which baddass women were scarce in scare fare; she was the quintessential  Hawksian woman in a setting that was--in more ways than one--alien.

I think the most remarkable thing (ha.) about The Thing from Another World is that it is, after decades of imitators and knockoffs, still... well, scary! Okay, so it probably isn't going to keep an adult up in a post-Exxxorcist world and it certainly isn't as grotesque as Carpenter's Thing, but there is a real sense of unease; an impressive feat for a film that's over half a century old. For all of its affability, the picture does an amazing job of keeping the viewer on edge; it may not be able to assume the appearance of your best buddy, but you just never know when this Thing is going to pop up. We've seen this film with a theater audience several times, and a simple scene involving the Thing and a door never fails to elicit a huge response. The Thing is used sparingly and obscured by shadow, creating a mood not unlike that in Jaws. Sometimes, a monster unseen is scarier than a monster displayed.

So, are we saying that The Thing from Another World is better than John Carpenter's The Thing? Not necessarily... but we do want to inspire more people to give The Thing from Another World a proper chance; it's a remarkable film in its own right, and it was one of the first true alien ho-rror films. We get the impression that many see the film as just a stepping stone to Carpenter's Thing instead of a film worthy of consideration. Both films are dissimilar enough that they can and should be appreciated as separate en-tit-ies. The original is far more than just a historical curiosity; it's not "good for its time"... it's good for all time! Divorce it from Carpenter's film, and take it as a particularly effective eXXXample of old-school ho-rror. Don't let the fact that it's old scare you... let the film itself do that! 

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Geek Talk Podc-ass-t

Precisely 30 years ago the universe was blessed with one of the most important television series ever created: Tales from the Crypt!!!  In this ep of Geek Talk, we attempt to pay tribute to one of mankind's greatest achievements.

I Left My Heart in Roswell: A Brief History of Flying Saucer Films

At the time of writing, it is World UFO Day! While we never cease to watch the skies here, we thought we would take this opportunity to penetrate the heavens and eXXXplore the history of flying saucers in film! Ho-w did they come to be? When did they begin to invade Filmland? What ho-rrors do they have in store for Jeff Goldblum? The truth is out there, folks... and it's also directly below you! From the Freaky Fifties to the Nefarious Nineties, we will probe (not rectally) the mysteries and mystique of filmic flying saucers! 


On June 24, 1947, American aviator Kenneth Arnold claimed to have witnessed nine bizarre objects flying near Mount Rainier, Washington. Arnold's account captured the public's curiosity and led to the press coining the term "flying saucer." After the Arnold incident, reports of flying saucers and mysterious ships began to proliferate. In the same year, a United States Army Air Forces balloon crashed near Roswell, New Mexico. That event, commonly known as the "Roswell UFO Incident," is the most (in)famous flying saucer claim in history.


While some say that The Day the Earth Stood Still was the first flying saucer picture, that ho-nor belongs to The Flying Saucer, a film that can unequivocally be described as... a film. Okay, so The Flying Saucer isn't eXXXactly a thrill-a-minute good time, but it did eXXXploit UFO imagery before it became prevalent in the movies. If you like Cold War spy nonsense and Alaskan landscapes, then you'll get a kick out of The Flying Saucer!


1951's The Day the Earth Stood Still, the aforementioned sci-fi cl-ass-sick, handled the subject with ethereal poetry; it also added real aliens to the formula.

In the same year, a saucer was found beneath the ice in The Thing from Another World. 1953's War of the Worlds is not quite a flying saucer film, but it does share some of the same DNA. And after that, we were taken beyond the stars with the saucers in This Island Earth (1955) and Forbidden Planet (1956).


Now, all those films are eXXXceptional (at least two of 'em are among our grave-orites), but they are far more concerned with the creatures that surround and/or inhabit the flying discs. If want a groovy movie that treats saucers like the main eventers that they are, look no further than Ray Harryhausen's 1956 ship wrecker, Earth vs. the Flying Saucers, the Ikiru of stop-motion alien invasion films. Its star-ships are possibly the best saucers on film, animated with that handmade sorcery that put Harryhausen in the company of immortals. 


1996 was perhaps the last notable year of the cinematic saucers. Many disc flicks were produced after '96, but none of them have been as indelible as '96's two eXXXtraTERRORestrial offerings: Tim Burton's Mars Attacks! and Roland Emmerich's Independence Day. Both pictures own their eXXXistence to Harryhausen's saucers: Burton's flick plays out like a black-as-a-widow spoof of the Harryhausen masterpiece (complete with a parody of RH's amazing Washington Monument sequence), and Emmerich's often gives the impression of an unofficial remake, especially with its wanton destruction of Earth's monuments. Though we prefer the morbid merriment of Burton's invasion, Independence Day holds more significance this week; after all, July 4th is just two days away.


 In that spirit, we present an early fireworks display in the form of saucer spectacle from Independence Day!  It's big! It's loud! It's a blast! Check it out below, Kinky Kreeps!


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vjFG-4Ge668


Happy World UFO Day and Fourth of July, Ho-rror Homies!


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Blob Mentality: The Blob and the Rise of Teenagers in Fright Films

 It looks like Jell-O.

Now that we've gotten that out of the way, let's talk about The Blob, one of the most peculiar and popular science fiction films of the Fearsome Fifties. The film was one of many teen terror pictures released near the end of the decade; with the eXXXception of the climaXXX to How to Make a Monster, it was the only such film to be shot in glorious color. And, more importantly, it was one of the few films of that time to portray teens in an purely positive light: even the rowdier youngsters are ultimately kind-hearted individuals, and they are instrumental in the neutralization of the amorphous abomination. From the beginning to the end(?), our sympathies are with the teenagers.

In 2019, that may not seem like something worth noting, but that was wholly remarkable in the '50s. The concept of a "teenager" was still relatively new; while there is debate as to when the word "teenager" first appeared and when the teenage lifestyle began, many believe that youth culture blossomed in the 1940s. The word (in hyphenated form) was printed in a 1941 article for Popular Science Weekly, reportedly for the first time. In 1944, LIFE published an article en-tit-led, Teen-Age Girls: They Live in a Wonderful World of Their Own. It's not that adolescence was magically poofed into eXXXistence in the '40s, but that is when the period between childhood and adulthood was starting to be widely acknowledge as its own stage of life; one with its own attitudes and culture.

During the peak of the baby boom in the 1950s, America had more teenagers than ever before. Teen-centric media and rock 'n' roll were prevalent; and with the emergence of youth culture and the strange being known as "teenager," there arose a fear of juvenile delinquency. And like all cultural concerns, it spread to that most sacred of all artistic products: monster movies. Though these initial films were aimed at the soda-sippers,  their primary monsters were part of that demographic, perpetuating the notion of the unruly teenager. Films like I Was a Teenage Werewolf and Blood of Dracula gave us creatures from the malt shop. In 1958, it took a gelatinous alien monster to bring out the best in teenagers.

The Blob (1958) was a rare picture indeed: it treated its cast of youths with dignity and understanding. Ignoring the fact that Steve McQueen, Aneta Corsaut, and the other "teens" are clearly 20-somethings, the film takes its young heroes as seriously as it takes its monster, which is saying something. We are allowed to see them as fairly realistic, relatable humans; highly unusual for a film of this era. The Blob aligns itself with the teens, even when its adults refuse to. For all of their goofery and sass, the whippersnappers are presented as fundamentally decent folks; if the adults had listened to them, the mayhem would've ended sooner. Once the adults decide to listen to them, they're able to discover the Blob's weakness and put a stop to the feeding frenzy.  

After The Blob, teen heroes became a staple in ho-rror flicks. In fact, some of the most popular fright flicks of all time have adopted the idea of good teenagers facing doubting grownups and fantastical monsters. 1984's A Nightmare on Elm Street has more than a bit of Blob in its blood. And Laurie Strode of Halloween, perhaps the most famous "final girl," started as a heroic teen. Both victors and victims in the Friday the 13th films are usually youths. While it's entirely possible that teenage protagonists would've come about without The Blob, it certainly opened the theater doors for future films. 

Well, don't just take our word for it; check out the film below! If you haven't seen it before, you will no doubt recognize some Ho-rror tropes that this film popularized. Really, it can be said that The Blob is the first great teen Ho-rror; it definitely gave the idea the seed from which to grow. And, historical significance aside, The Blob is just an eXXXtremely fun movie!

Behold! The movie:


https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x4ynves

And if you want the opening credits, here they are:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XzHDvzGmmw0

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Awesome Articles...Of Doom!!!

Mail Grrl Duties

ATTENTION MUTANTS:


Wanna send The Last Drive In some Snail Mail? The addy for that is: 


215 Thompson St. #113

New York, NY 10012


Here's where you can find Mr. Joe Bob (and sometimes me ;),  if'n that's a thing that interests ya! (Updated on the reg, so check back often!  :)

08/02-08/04 2019

Scares That Care Weekend

All Weekend

DoubleTree Ho-tel. Williamsburg, VA

+ Event Details

08/02-08/04 2019

Scares That Care Weekend

I'll be joining Mr. JB on this one...Ho-sting/signing/general partying all weekend for a great cause! :) 

All Weekend

DoubleTree Ho-tel. Williamsburg, VA

08/29/2019

Ho-w Rednecks Saved Ho-llywood

4pm and 7:30 pm

Alamo Drafthouse, Raleigh

+ Event Details

08/29/2019

Ho-w Rednecks Saved Ho-llywood

It's gonna be another long assnight (not complaining, though!! :) as Mr. JB (and I :)  do back-to-back Redneck shows in NC (#mypeeps!) 

4pm and 7:30 pm

Alamo Drafthouse, Raleigh

08/30-09/01 2019

Creature Feature Weekend

All Weekend

Ho-tel Wyndham, Gettysburg PA

+ Event Details

08/30-09/01 2019

Creature Feature Weekend

Mr. Joe Bob and I  will be hanging out all weekend!! :) 

All Weekend

Ho-tel Wyndham, Gettysburg PA

09/30/2019

HO-W REDNECKS SAVED HO-LLYWOOD: LA EDITION!!!

7:30 pm

Egyptian Theatre Ho-llyood

+ Event Details

09/30/2019

HO-W REDNECKS SAVED HO-LLYWOOD: LA EDITION!!!

Finally! I won't have to travel for this one!! ;) 

7:30 pm

Egyptian Theatre Ho-llyood

10/04/2019

Ho-w Rednecks Saved Ho-llywood

8pm

Colonial Theatre, Phoenixxxville, PA

+ Event Details

10/04/2019

Ho-w Rednecks Saved Ho-llywood

An Evening with Mr. JBB...at the Blob theatre! You so know I;ll be at this one!! :) 

8pm

Colonial Theatre, Phoenixxxville, PA

More Events

OG Kinky Kontent

My epic, extended, erotic (for those of us into 6 foot bunnies) shower death from the upcoming Bunnyman 3, Grindhouse edition.

Big thanks to the fine folks at  MasiMedia who got this shindig together, and also to Mr. Roger Jackson (pictured intro-ing a screening of the film in Stu's backyard!! :) who not only came out to party with us, but-t also left me this terrifying vm that I will treasure for the neXXXt billion centuries!! :) xoxo

My Interview with Clint Freakin' Howard!!!


(nude Clint Howard and snow globes...need I say more?)

High History:  Why I love Scream so much!

Karnal Kombat 

(remember to finish him)

This shit is legit.

ThanXXX so much for stopping by...Let's be Ho-rror Ho-mies!

Questions? Comments? Got A "Stump Joe Bob" for me? Hit me up, Mutants! ;) xoxo

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