JUNE 2003


Robert Stack
The actor best known for his portrayal of FBI man Eliot Ness in television's "The Untouchables," Robert Stack died at his Los Angeles home. He had a heart ailment and had been diagnosed with prostate cancer. He was 84. Although Stack was not considered a B-movie actor, we couldn't let his passing go unnoticed in our newsletter. Early in his career, he became famous as the man who gave rising Universal star Deanna Durbin her first screen kiss. (According to one account, it was Universal makeup man Jack P. Pierce, creator of the Frankenstein Monster, Mummy and Wolf Man makeup, who urged Stack to dye his blond hair brown). Stack became a teen heartthrob and appeared in heroic roles throughout the 1940s and '50s. One notable early part was in the Ernst Lubitsch classic "To Be or Not To Be," which starred Jack Benny and Carole Lombard. One of Stack's personal favorites was "The Bullfighter and the Lady," a film produced by his friend John Wayne. In 1952, he starred in director Arch Oboler's "Bwana Devil," the first 3-D feature. In 1956, Stack was Oscar-nominated for his role in the Douglas Sirk-directed drama "Written on the Wind."

But it was as Eliot Ness that Stack truly made his mark. Beginning in 1959, "The Untouchables" series was a sensation. The program's violence was controversial at the time, featuring brutal depictions of the mob-controlled Chicago of the 1920s. Stack won an Emmy for his portrayal of the no-nonsense FBI man. The show ran for four seasons including a feature-length telemovie, "The Scarface Mob." Stack later appeared in other TV series such as "The Name of the Game" and "Most Wanted." In 1980, he played his tough-guy image for laughs in the smash comedy "Airplane," lampooning his macho reputation in deadpan fashion. A World War II veteran, Stack was a champion skeet shooter and expert marksman. Once named Hollywood's most eligible bachelor, Stack had been married to actress Rosemarie Bowe since 1957.

Suzy Parker
Model/actress Suzy Parker, considered by many to be the first "supermodel," is dead of undisclosed causes. She was 70. A favorite model of famed designer Coco Chanel and Revlon cosmetics in the 1950s, Parker was the first model to earn $100,000 a year. She was also a favorite subject of such acclaimed photographers as Richard Avedon and Milton H. Greene. Her film career was somewhat less auspicious, beginning with small roles in such films as "Funny Face," "Ten North Frederick" and "Kiss Them for Me." Genre fans may recall Parker from episodes of "The Twilight Zone" and "Night Gallery." Her last acting assignment was in director Hy Averback's 1966 thriller "Chamber of Horrors" with Cesare Danova, Wilfrid Hyde-White, Jeanette Nolan and Marie Windsor. Parker wed actor Bradford Dillman while filming "Circle of Deception" in 1961. They remained married until her death.


Just as "a good cast is worth repeating," an exciting news item is worth recounting: Bob Burns and Tom Weaver will introduce "Monster Kid Memories" at this year's Monster Bash. This revealing volume by perhaps the two finest chroniclers of cult-movie history extant will be an invaluable addition to the library of every sci-fi and horror film fan. With heartfelt introductions by Leonard Maltin and Joe Dante, the book is filled with hundreds of rare photos (and designed, incidentally, with impeccable panache, by the B Monster himself!). Unlike most of the authors of myriad reviews, anthologies and retrospectives, Bob was there, behind the scenes before he was in his teens, looking on and taking part as movie history was being made. From an early visit to the wondrous lunar set of George Pal's "Destination Moon," to the dogged search for the Time Machine (which now resides in Bob's basement), the authors clearly relish the details when recounting Bob's close friendships with Pal, three-time Universal Frankenstein Monster Glenn Strange, Republic serial "stars" Dave Sharpe, Roy Barcroft and the Lydecker brothers special effects team, Charlie "ape man" Gemora, legendary makeup man Jack Pierce, gimmick movie maestro William Castle, Boris Karloff, Lon Chaney and many more. Bob's youthful encounters with such genre-film giants makes for compelling reading, offering unique insights into the character of the people who made the films we love. This amazing trade paperback is available only from Dinoship, Inc. For more info, check out: http://www.bmonster.com/mk.htm

Bob, Tom and the B Monster will ALL be at Monster Bash, introducing the book to attendees before it moves into nationwide release. (Cue up for an autographed copy!) Marty and Dinoship will also be presenting "The Crater Kid Collection," featuring every daily adventure of the award-winning artist's retro space hero, new material and a truly unique and touching illustrated introduction by legendary Mad and EC comics artist Jack Davis!
For more info, check out:
and http://www.dinoship.com

Here's another, somewhat more detailed plug for the fabulous "Monster Bash," the International Classic Monster Movie Convention and Expo presented by Scary Monsters Magazine and Creepy Classics Video & DVD. Okay, we know you're coming to see Bob, Tom and the B Monster, but if you don't see yours truly at his appointed station, it's because he'll be first in line to greet the Creature's leading lady, Julie Adams. This is a rare public appearance for Ms. Adams, so run, don't walk, to see her once again paired with her gilled paramour, the Creature himself, big Ben Chapman.

Rounding out an impressive guest roster are:
Kevin "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" McCarthy
Sara (daughter of Boris) Karloff
Yvonne "Brides of Dracula" Monlaur
The original armature skeleton of King Kong (courtesy the staggering collection of Bob Burns)
Late-night horror hosts such as Dr. Gangrene and Chilly Billy Cardille
The man who operates a real-life "House of Wax," Cortlandt Hull (along with life-size figures from his Witches Dungeon museum)
Monster Kid webmaster, illustrator extraordinaire and genre buff without peer, Kerry Gammill
Filmmaker Robert Tinnell
Special effect wiz Tom Savini
Artist, screenwriter Frank Dietz
Author Frank Dello Stritto and many others

In addition to myriad screenings of classic films, there's a not-to-be-missed "'King Kong' Show and Tell" with Bob Burns, Q&A with Kevin McCarthy, a 3-D screening of "It Came From Outer Space," and a Sunday morning monster mass (no kiddin'!), "for those Catholic Monster Bashers, so you don't have to go out looking for a church. All denominations welcome." And we're happy to reassert the conventioneer's claim that "this is a family show with kids under 12 admitted FREE with adult. There will be Monster Kids at events and programming!" It all starts June 20 at the Days Inn Conference Center in beautiful Butler, Pa., (just north of Pittsburgh). For more info, check out:
Tell 'em, without hesitation, that the B Monster sent you!

It's the Rev. Donald E. Wildmon's American Family Association vs. ... the Make-A-Wish Foundation?! That's right. The AFA has organized a mass e-mailing campaign against, of all things, an organization that grants the wishes of children with life-threatening illnesses.

The trouble started at the Pittsburgh Comicon. (When a paragraph begins with those words, you know that what follows is going to be ridiculous.) As has become the norm with such conventions, comic books were but one part of this pop-culture extravaganza. In addition to actors, wrestlers and such, there were appearances by former Playboy Playmates -- fully clothed -- and the sale of back issues of Playboy magazine. A benefit auction and all-ages casino night at an adjoining hotel helped raise proceeds for the local Make-A-Wish chapter. This association is apparently what has Wildmon's AFA up in arms. "Make-A-Wish defends chapter's porn convention proceeds," says the AFA Website. As of this writing, Make-A-Wish had received more than 1,500 nasty digital condemnations from the Wildmon mob.

Comic books, girlie mags, horror films and heavy metal all congealed into a big pop-culture stew some years ago. This is not necessarily a good thing. But in what other country will you find King Kong Bundy and a "fetish model" at the same public gathering? Whether or not my kid is exposed to both the Fantastic Four AND Ivy Blue (the aforementioned model) is a decision I make as a responsible parent. (Personally, I believe that Spider-Man AND Ms. Blue should NOT be appearing at the same venues.) But in a free society these disparate entities can co-exist. At times, it's a struggle for parents to navigate these murky waters, but isn't your freedom worth it? This event raised $27,000 for desperately ill children. Does the American Family Association really want them to give it back?

Congrats go out to the "Physician of Fright," Dr. Gangrene, whose shocking show has been picked up by the local Nashville UPN affiliate. His "Chiller Cinema" now airs on UPN 30 each Thursday evening (actually Friday morning) at 1:00 a.m. The program is sponsored, fittingly, by Outer Limits Comics and the Franklin Drive-in. The good doctor boasts that "the show also features a new introduction with a new original theme song written and performed by The Exotic Ones (who take their name from the "classic" Ron Ormond film). The doc's ongoing cable access version of "Chiller Cinema" will continue airing Fridays at 8 p.m., with repeats Saturday at 9:30 p.m.
For further details, check out: http://www.chillercinema.com

Lovely Louisville, Kentucky will once again host the WonderFest. Billed as "THE annual expo for model and toy collectors of s-f, horror & comics subjects -- especially plastic kits & garage kits," this year's fest welcomes guest of honor, legendary stop-motion animation genius Ray Harryhausen. Also on the bill are Hammer glamorette Caroline Munro, special effects ace Greg Nicotero, artists William Stout, Mark Schultz and Frank Dietz, Starship designer John Eaves and author of "The Dinosaur Filmography, Mark Berry. In person seminars and Q&A's include:

"The Lost Worlds of Ray Harryhausen"
"Beauty and the Beasts: A Conversation with Caroline Munro"
"Enterprise Incidents: The Starship Design and Model Work of 'Star Trek's' John Eaves"
"Greg Nicotero: "The Monster Man Cometh Back!"
"The Prehistoric Times: A Celebration!"
"Guitars, Cadillacs, Barbarians and Babes: The Fantastic Art of Mark Schultz & William Stout"
"Frank Dietz: The 7th Voyage of Sketchy Things"

And be sure to visit the Lizard Lounge for "special displays, how-to demos and the make & take!" The latter activity includes a model kit provided free by the Polar Lights company, which kids of all ages can construct and keep for their very own. There will also be a special screening of "The Seventh Voyage of Sinbad," and an early Harryhausen effort, "The Tortoise and the Hare," at the nearby Baxter Avenue Theater. "After hours" events include a "Drive-In" screening of Harryhausen's "The Golden Voyage of Sinbad" hosted by Ms. Munro.

It all happens at Louisville's Executive West Hotel, Saturday June 7th and Sunday June 8th 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. both days. Adults pay $17 for a single-day ticket, $22 for a 2-day pass. For kids 12 and under it's $5 for a single-day ticket, $7 for a 2-day ticket. For more info visit: http://www.wonderfest.com
And by all means, tell 'em the B Monster sent you!

The party doesn't start until a week after Halloween, so you've got plenty of time to plan for Screamfest 2003, billed as "south Florida's best horror, sci fi, rock 'n roll, toy and film convention." (Horror, sci fi, rock 'n roll, toys and films? What else IS there?) The show starts November 8 at the Plantation, Fla. Holiday Inn. According to the promoter's hype, "Screamfest 2003 is the ultimate Horror Convention Spectacular. It is a two-day event for horror fans to gather and enjoy all things horror related. There will be celebrity guests from the movie, music, and TV industries [and a] huge dealer room with some of the best vendors in the United States, with rare collectibles." The special guest roster is still being filled out as of this writing, but so far includes:

Godfather of Gore Herschell Gordon Lewis, director of "Blood Feast," and "2000 Maniacs"
Kenny Miller, co-star of "I Was a Teenage Werewolf," and "Attack of the Puppet People"
Glenn Shadix, featured in "Beetlejuice," and the "Planet of the Apes" remake
Reggie Bannister of "Phantasm" fame
Vernon G. Wells, featured player in "The Road Warrior," and "Billy Frankenstein"

The B Monster applauds the show's assertion that "this is not just for adults, but is open for all ages and the whole family." The two-day fest is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
For more info and updates, check out: http://www.screamfest2003.com
Naturally, tell 'em the B Monster sent you!

The latest in a seemingly endless agenda of British genre-film celebrations is "The Festival of Fantastic Films 2003," which takes place this August 29-31 in Deansgate, Manchester. This is the 14th time promoters have held the fest, billed as "The UK's Celebration of a Century of Amazing Cinema." Promoters promise, "three programme streams containing a terrific range of movie-related events that include guest interviews, discussions, panels, auctions, dealer room, themed dinner [ed. We'd love to hear more about THAT cuisine], parties and of course an AMAZING number of movies ... the old and the new." The focus seems to be on indy films of all kinds, with honors doled out to amateur features and shorts. A sampling of titles includes "Hells Highway," "Incredibly Strange People," even "Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde," so clearly horror and fantasy themes pervade. But this year's festivities also include a science-fiction film retrospective and salutes to 3-D and CinemaScope.
For more info visit: http://fantastic-films.com/festival/
Be sure and give them The B Monster's regards!

One of Great Britain's Geek Bibles (and we mean that in the best possible sense), SFX Magazine, has announced nominations for their annual readers poll. The categories are many and, as we've never heard of most of the nominees [ed. If they were born after 1960 they're probably off the B Monster's dusty pop-culture radar], we've chosen only selected categories. To make it interesting for B Monster readers, give yourself 10 points for each nominee you've never even heard of, and 20 points for each nominee who is at least 10 years younger than you. Add up the points. The total is how old you feel.

Best SF or Fantasy Film

Donnie Darko
Attack Of The Clones
Minority Report
The Two Towers

Best SF or Fantasy Actress
Halle Berry
Miranda Otto
Samantha Morton
Liv Tyler
Kirsten Dunst

Best SF or Fantasy Actor

Elijah Wood
Tom Cruise
Ian McKellen
Tobey Maguire
Viggo Mortensen

Best SF or Fantasy Director

M. Night Shyamalan
George Lucas
Sam Raimi
Steven Spielberg
Peter Jackson

Best SF or Fantasy TV Show

Stargate SG-1

Best Actress in an SF or Fantasy TV show

Jolene Blalock
Jennifer Garner
Sarah Michelle Gellar
Alyson Hannigan
Claudia Black

Best Actor in an SF or Fantasy TV show

Michael Rosenbaum
Anthony Michael Hall
Alexis Denisof
David Boreanaz
Ben Browder
James Marsters

Best SF or Fantasy Novel

The Salmon Of Doubt (Douglas Adams)
Lost In A Good Book (Jasper Fforde)
Coraline (Neil Gaiman)
Hollow Chocolate Bunnies Of The Apocalypse (Robert Rankin)
Night Watch (Terry Pratchett)

Best SF or Fantasy Author

Christopher Golden
Neil Gaiman
Robert Rankin
JRR Tolkien
Terry Pratchett

Best SF or Fantasy Comic Book

Ultimate X-Men
Spider-Man 2000AD
The Ultimates

Sexiest Woman in SF and Fantasy

Alyson Hannigan
Jennifer Garner
Jolene Blalock
Sarah Michelle Gellar
Claudia Black

Sexiest Man in SF and Fantasy

Ben Browder
David Boreanaz
James Marsters
Orlando Bloom
Viggo Mortensen

The Minority Report Award for the person who should be stopped for committing future crimes:

Rick Berman
George W. Bush Jr. (What? No Tony Blair? And how 'bout that Hussein fella?)
Joss Whedon
Sci Fi Channel
George Lucas

Hall Of Fame

Christopher Lee (Only one nominee? I'd say the old grouch is a shoo-in!)

And perhaps our favorite category:
Who would you use as the basis for your Clone Army?

Claudia Black
James Marsters
Sarah Michelle Gellar
Orlando Bloom

You can find out more about SFX and their London con at: http://www.londonexpo.com/

According to The Hollywood Reporter, rapper/actor (or is it actor/rapper?) DMX (which we always thought was a pesticide) will produce a horror film called "Werewolf" for Phoenix Pictures. The supernatural thriller written by Marshall Todd, who scripted the sleeper smash "Barbershop," will feature DMX as an enigmatic bluesman/werewolf hunter whose mission is to rid the world of its last lycanthropes, most of whom dally with either the idle rich or Hollywood's seamy drug-addict underground. (Hey, wouldn't it be cool if a werewolf wandered into the "Barbershop"?) Anyway, Italian director Dario Piana hopes to begin filming in Montreal later this year. I don't know that there's anything new they can do with the werewolf theme, but the very thought of DMX as a bluesman is truly frightening.

Two big screen projects based on the comic strips of Lee Falk are in the works. Josh Oppenheimer and Tom Donnelly, who recently adapted Ray Bradbury's "A Sound of Thunder," have drafted a script based on Falk's "Mandrake the Magician." Meanwhile, Crusader Entertainment announced that "Die Hard" scriptwriter Steven De Souza is hard at work on another movie version of Falk's "Phantom" comic strip featuring "The Ghost Who Walks" in a contemporary setting. The 1996 version starring Billy Zane was a box-office dud.

Am I just getting old, or this whole business of making everything "extreme" gone WAY past ridiculous? The answer to both questions is "yes." Artisan Home Entertainment is soon to release still another version of "Terminator 2: Judgment Day, T:2 Extreme." Killer robots from the future shooting, clawing, ripping and burning each other's skin off -- how much more "extreme" can it be? And aren't there about 36 versions of this movie in release already? The director's cut, the producer's cut, the key grip's cut. Enough, already! 20 years from now, how will we know which one was the real movie? This version is supposed to feature a "remastered" print of the original movie with 16 minutes of new footage, and it includes a high-definition version for those of you fortunate enough to own high-definition equipment. The B Monster, for one, is holding out for the version that actually beams the actors themselves into his living room. Now THAT would be EXTREME, dude!


Okay, quick history lesson. The tortured genesis of this movie, one of four made back-to-back by ostensibly the same group, is as strange as the finished film. Director Jack Hill, best known for "Spider baby" and a raft of blaxploitation classics, found himself out of a job. "I came to work [at Universal] one day and somebody else's name was on the door," he told the B Monster. Casting about for opportunities, Hill learned of a Mexican financier who wanted to back low-budget horror movies. "A Mexican producer had engaged Boris Karloff to do four pictures, back-to-back -- which was a totally insane idea." Nevertheless, Hill needed the gig. He developed four scripts virtually overnight, and sold them, landing the director's job in the bargain. Immediately the situation began to unravel. "Boris Karloff's doctors would not let him go to Mexico. He had emphysema and was dying. I had to write the scripts in such a way that all his scenes could be shot in Hollywood, with the minimum of actors brought from Mexico, with sets that wouldn't have to be duplicated in Mexico. We'd shoot all his scenes in Hollywood and finish the rest of the picture in Mexico. It was a disaster right from the beginning." Then, the Mexican actors that turned up for the shoot were NOT the ones Hill had hired. And the producer, who was supposed to oversee filming, headed for Disneyland instead. "I was supposed to go to Mexico to finish the picture," said Hill, but [the producer] just took off -- disappeared and I never heard any more about it. Eventually, he had a heart attack and died trying to scrape up the rest of the financing." Hill didn't even see the films, which were completed by a Mexican director, until years later when he caught them on television. "It just broke my heart to see what they'd done to it."

Hill's sentiments are understandable. The film is muddled, uninteresting, and worth your time only if you're a Karloff completist studying his career. But was Karloff EVER bad? Even on oxygen, aged and wheelchair-bound, he's good 'ol bravura Boris. Hill was impressed with the actor's stamina and professionalism. "He was a great guy. I loved working with him." Karloff told Hill, "I want to go out in harness." The old pro's spirit is admirable. These Mexican turkeys, on the other hand.... In case you're confused, "Isle of the Snake People" turned up under the alternate titles "Cult of the Dead," "Isle of the Living Dead" and "Snake People." I'd attempt a plot synopsis in order to help you determine whether or not you've seen the film, but the movie is so jumbled and distracting, I'm sure it would only compound the confusion. Bear in mind, of the four Mexican-Karloff pictures, this is the BEST one!

After "I Was a Teenage Werewolf," this is arguably producer Herman Cohen's best-known film. It's burned into the memories of many baby boomers by virtue of a single scene: The "binoculars" scene! Even mainstream, non-genre film fans, who likely can't name the film, recall with a shudder the outlandishly gory "binoculars" scene. Perhaps they caught it on the late, late show or a big brother or sister described it in vivid detail in an attempt to gross the bejesus out of them. It's great campfire stuff -- and if you're not familiar with it, well, then, you just haven't watched enough B movies. This DVD release is your chance to atone. Don't get us wrong, the film doesn't succeed or fail based on a single scene. It's a grisly corker with much to recommend it.

Producer Herman Cohen's contributions to B movie history are -- well -- let's just say that B movie history would be a good deal less interesting without Herman Cohen. Old-fashioned, innocently exploitative thrillers like this one are the reason he's remembered so fondly. The plot centers on mystery writer Edmond Bancroft as portrayed by Michael Gough. Gough did the smug, effete psycho bit as good as anyone, and he was generally the actor Cohen turned to when filming in the U.K. Bancroft hypnotizes his assistant into committing gruesome crimes that he, Bancroft, then incorporates into his "fictional" paperbacks. Which brings us to "Hypno-Vista," the film's marketing gimmick. In a prologue, a "renowned" specialist describes the process to the audience. (Scaredy cats are given a moment to excuse themselves.) Apparently, this reputable expert is there to lend credence to the premise, even though popular theory holds that a person would never do anything against their will under hypnosis. In any event, it doesn't detract from the nifty, twisted story Cohen and Aben Kandel have concocted. A cast rounded out by June Cunningham, Graham Curnow and Shirley Anne Field help Gough, at his unctuous best, to sell the lurid premise.

This DVD package includes a pamphlet paying tribute to Cohen featuring a picture, dates of birth and death and a list of credits. Unfortunately, the notes refer to him as Herman Cohen (II), hinting that, perhaps, someone cribbed from the Internet Movie Database, where he's listed as Herman Cohen (II) (meaning that there's more than one Herman Cohen listing on IMDB).

What the heck are Puphedz? We'll answer the question with questions: What if Herschell Gordon Lewis was really into marionettes? Or what if Wes Craven directed episodes of "Stingray?" If you can imagine such hybrids, you'll have a rough approximation of the Puphedz zeitgeist. They're a slightly demented theater troupe that composed of wooden puppets -- Woodrow J. Larchbottom, III, Peter Feidwood, Douglas "Chip" Fir and Leif Applebaum -- who wander a Bergmanesqe medieval landscape staging gory Grand Guignol-like plays from the confines of a mini-theater that sits atop an ox cart. (Sound strange? I don't know how else to convey the essence of this very strange premise.) The tongue-in-cheek take on the Poe classic is initially amusing and more than a little innovative. There are sly references to Hitchcock and German expressionism (in the accompanying documentary, the filmmakers acknowledge their debt to "The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari" for the film's visual appeal), and the slasher sub-genre is grotesquely ribbed. (There are two versions of the film on this DVD. The gooey fake blood and gratuitous violence are covered with censor's signs in the shorter version.) And the protagonist's voice sounds just enough like that of character actor Frank Nelson to raise a knowing smile.

The Puphedz are primarily the creation of producer, director, writer, puppeteer Jürgen Heimann, associate producer, writer, puppeteer Jim Kundig, associate producer, puppeteer, prop man and set dresser Ryan Vaniski and director of photography and digital imager Mark R. Leins. Heimann has worked with makeup ace Rick Baker and the Jim Henson Creature Shop on projects including "Men in Black," "The Grinch" and the "Planet of the Apes" remake. Kundig worked for Disney and the Henson Shop on films such as "Honey, I Shrunk the Kids" and Independence Day." "Puphedz" began as something of a sideline for these experienced technicians who are already planning sequels that are sure to be highlights of animation festivals around the country. (They copped a Best Animation award at the 2002 Los Angeles Screamfest.) They achieve remarkable results, constructing and moodily lighting their miniature sets, maneuvering their marionette creations into amusing predicaments. Your enjoyment of "The Tattle-Tale Heart" will depend to some degree on how much you like puppets and how much of the outlandish black humor you can tolerate. Should sequels ensue, perhaps a deluxe edition featuring three or more Puphedz takes on horror classics will follow.

Just as the Elite DVD release "Puphedz" is difficult to describe, so too is producer/director/actor Paul Bunnell's quirky 1994 short film (53 minutes), "That Little Monster." It's influenced in equal measure by Ed Wood, Luis Bunuel, Rod Serling and David Lynch, and served up with more than a little caustic, over-the-top, decidedly dark humor. Bunnell and his team succeed admirably in stirring a Lynch-like queasiness. Misty, expressionistic scenes are punctuated by seemingly unrelated (and unsettling) shots of doll parts, grotesque statuary and kitschy bric-a-brac. Selected scenes go on and on, testing the viewer's patience, tolerance for truly of-the-wall characters, and appetite for surrealism. Longtime genre buffs will either appreciate or repudiate a canny reconstruction of the "warning" issued by Edward Van Sloan in the prologue to the '31 "Frankenstein." Standing in for Van Sloan is an eerily-lit Forry Ackerman. In the accompanying commentary track, Bunnell points out that Ackerman's wife Wendayne had only recently passed away prior to the filming of his scene. Stranger still is the presence of Bob Hope -- yes THE Bob Hope. Not only does Hope turn up in a clip from his 1934 screen debut, "Going Spanish," he peppers the closing credits with one liners shot in 1994 expressly for "That Little Monster!"

The story concerns an exchange student who takes on a babysitting gig in a truly strange household. The mop-topped husband croons country western tunes, mom slathers on the mascara and blows obnoxiously huge bubble-gum bubbles, and the toddler, well, he's "That Little Monster," an aggressive, goo-gooing grotesque who makes Chucky seem well-behaved. Director Bunnell says in an interview that the film was originally conceived as an episode for a TV horror anthology. His story could easily have been told in half an hour. At 53 minutes, he's milking the surrealism a tad. But Bunnell is adept at synthesizing his influences and at ease indulging his twisted passions. Also a part of this DVD package is Bunnell's 1981 short, "The Visitant," which is arguably more intriguing, but certainly not as well executed.


Michael F. Blake, whose books are available through Vestal Press or at http://www.amazon.com

ClassicSciFi.com http://www.classicscifi.com

Joe Dante

Harris Lentz III, whose books are available at http://www.mcfarlandpub.com

Bob Madison, founder and CEO of Dinoship, Inc. http://www.dinoship.com

David J. Schow http://charon.gothic.net/~chromo/

Bryan Senn, whose books are available at http://www.mcfarlandpub.com and at http://www.midmar.com/books.html

Tom Weaver, whose books are available at http://www.mcfarlandpub.com and at http://www.midmar.com/books.html


"See a 6 ft. astronaut shrink to 6 inches before your very eyes!" -- The Phantom Planet

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