The Fog Horn - The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms

Retro Radio Memories: Ray Bradbury’s The Fog Horn

Morning, friends! I have on occasion when writing for the site, mentioned my love of Ray Bradbury. In particular his tales concerning the Autumn People and the spirit of the month of October. However I have always found in many of Bradbury’s works, a sense of melancholy. Now there are times when that is wrapped within something truly horrific, like in The Playground. Other stories though like 1951’s The Fog Horn present that melancholy as doomed and deeply moving. Between a prehistoric creature from the depths of the ocean and… well, the fog horn at a light house.

It was in 1951 that Bradbury’s The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms was first published in the Saturday Evening Post. Yes, the original title for the short story was indeed the basis for the 1953 film. In fact it appears that little bit of trivia depends on who you asked. I have seen some accounts stating that Ray Bradbury was visiting his friend, the legendary stop-motion animator Ray Harryhausen. On the set of a film that was intended to be entitled Monster from the Sea. Harryhausen supposedly asked his friend to look over the script, see if he could punch up the screenplay. Bradbury of course was surprised to find a scene in the screenplay that resembled events in The Fog Horn.
The Fog Horn - Ray Harryhausen

Another story behind how Ray Bradbury’s name became attached to the 1953 film, comes from the Author himself. In the book Ray Harryhausen – Master of the Majicks Vol. 2. Bradbury was quoted as saying about a meeting with Hal Chester, the co-founder of Mutual Films who were bankrolling the movie:
“Hal Chester called me in and asked me to read the preliminary script [at this point only a rough draft treatment]. I pointed out the resemblance between it and my short story The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms, which had appeared in The Saturday Evening Post during 1951. Chester’s face paled and his jaw dropped when I told him his monster was my monster.”

Bradbury states that by the next day he had received a telegram, an offer to purchase the rights to the story. For a rather staggering two thousand dollars. A deal that Bradbury obviously accepted, with the film being able to add the Author’s name to the credits!

[Via] YouTube Movies

Ray Bradbury would alter the title of his popular short story to The Fog Horn in his 1953 short story collection, The Golden Apples of the Sun. I have to admit I certainly like the new title he gave the story even better than the original. Furthermore I can’t help but feel perhaps the name change, was a bit of good-natured nose tweaking.
The Fog Horn - Ray Bradbury

The short story concerns two men, stationed in a remote light house, named Johnny and McDunn. Johnny is a younger man and acts as the narrator for the events of the tale. When one evening as the mournful wailing sound of the fog horn summons something from the depths.
The Fog Horn - The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms - Light House

Are you ready to learn of The Fog Horn and the beast from the depths that answers it’s call?


If you are still in a mood for more Ray Bradbury after that. Might I humbly remind you that we’ve covered the likes of Usher II on the Saturday Frights Podcast?
saturday-frights-usher-2

Black Museum - Radio

Retro Radio: Four Small Bottles (The Black Museum)

Welcome back, friends, to a new offering for Retro Radio Memories. This time we have an episode of the classic old time radio program, The Black Museum. A show entitled Four Small Bottles. Which originally had been aired on May 20th, 1952. As always it features Orson Welles as both host and narrator, I’m sure I do not need to say he does an incredible job?
Black Museum - Orson Welles

Like all of The Black Museum episodes, Four Small Bottles is based on real cases from Scotland Yard’s infamous collection. Also known as The Crime Museum, it is a collection for New Scotland Yard for objects from crime cases. Not open to the public, it does however function as a means to teach the Police in both the study of crime as well as criminals themselves.

It was founded of sorts in 1874 by Inspector Neame and a Constable Randall. Case files and even objects from a myriad of crimes are housed in The Black Museum. Such as the letters that are assumed to have belonged to Jack the Ripper!
Black Museum - Jack the Ripper

In Four Small Bottles , we learn the dark history of said containers. Involving the death of one Oscar Stone. The suspects in this case are Anne Stone, the Widow of Oscar, as well as a Reverend Edgar Sweet. Remember these dramatizations are based on actual cases from Scotland Yard!

Join us, friends. Turn down those lights and lean in closer to the warmth of the computer screen. Let us journey back to 1952 as we pay a visit to The Black Museum and learn the secrets of the Four Small Bottles!


Of course I would be remiss if in addition I didn’t suggest you check out the Retro Radio Memories Podcast. While I certainly do not upload a new episode every week, a brand new episode will pop up from time to time.

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Retro Radio Memories: Dark They Were, And Golden-Eyed (1983)

Due to a little technical issue…

…the normally scheduled Retro Radio Memories Podcast will be published tomorrow morning but thankfully that doesn’t mean we can’t share some glorious radio drama, right?

Ray Bradbury

In this case we have an episode of Bradbury 13 entitled Dark They Were, And Golden-Eyed which was originally broadcast back in 1983, with not just Ray Bradbury himself acting as the greeter for the show but the legendary Paul Frees (The Player, The Haunted Mansion) as narrator for the series’ 13 episodes. Appropriate number.

Paul Frees

Dark They Were, And Golden-Eyed originally saw pring in Thrilling Wonder Stories in 1949 under the title The Naming of the Names. Ten years later and the story would get a name change when it was included in A Medicine for Melancholy and again in the 1966 collection S Is For Space, which is where I first read the short story.

The synopsis revolves around the Bittering Family who have with many other Humans left behind the Earth to travel to Mars to help colonize the windswept red planet. The problem is that a little after setting up, Harry who is the head of the Family finds himself wishing they could uproot and return to Earth…that option is taken away however after they hear news of New York City being destroyed, a nuclear detonation taking with it the regular rocket shipments as well as the chance to leave. The settlers continue their task of terraforming the angry red planet…but then strange things begin to happen…the peaches and carrots they’ve planted have started mutating…their cow begins to grow a horn from it’s head..and to Harry’s horror he realizes that the Humans are starting to change as well.

So please join us for Retro Radio Memories and learn of the Bittering Family and how Dark They Were, And Golden-Eyed.

[Via] The Edge of Nightfall

Retro Radio Memories: The Saint – “The Old Man’s Car” (1947)

Hello, dear listeners. For some reason my co-host for the Retro Radio Memories broadcast didn’t show up for our scheduled recording sessions this week. With the help of Daniel XIII we will be televising an episode of The Saint radio series called ‘The Old Man’s Car’ in it’s place.

This week’s episode stars Vincent Price as none other than Simon Templar aka The Saint! Price portrayed the Gentleman of Crime on radio for the longest run of any actor, from 1947 until 1951 on three radio networks: CBS, Mutual and NBC.

Our episode this afternoon concerns Simon Templar coming to the aid of an elderly man who is about to have his car forcibly taken by a rather brutish mook. Using his typically cool wits to avoid violence, Simon is surprised to learn that in the course of a day no less than two other souls have approached the old man in an attempt to purchase the car.

Please join us as we learn the secrets of ‘The Old Man’s Car’!

(via OMP Action and Aventure -Vic)