Devil Car - Roger Zelazny

Retro Radio Memories: Devil Car By Roger Zelazny

Friends, welcome back to another installment of Retro Radio Memories. This week we have Devil Car for your listening enjoyment courtesy of MINDWEBS. You might recall we visited this exceptional radio show before with Ray Bradbury’s The Fog Horn a couple of months ago. Our story today takes place in a fascinating post-apocalyptic world where all cars are sentient enough to have feelings and desires. Such as some yearning for freedom from their masters and the factories that built them, becoming wild and dangerous. Hunting down humans, smashing and raiding ‘fuel forts’ and other sentient vehicles for replacement parts and fuel. This is how we are introduced to Sam Murdock and his sleek and deadly vehicle, whose AI is called Jenny…as they seek out the Devil Car.
Devil Car - The Black Caddy - Roger Zelazny

MINDWEBS was the brainchild of Mike Hanson of WHA Radio in Madison, Wisconsin. A cross between the old time radio shows of old and an audio book, the series began in the mid 70’s and last until the mid 90’s. The show wonderfully presented short stories from legendary authors such as the late Harlan Ellison, Arthur C. Clarke, Richard Matheson, Larry Niven, as well as Neil Gaiman. The great news is Mike Hanson has made available the series once more from his personal tapes, all 169 episodes. More so every Saturday at Midnight you can tune in at 92.7 WMSE to listen to re-broadcasts of the episodes. Then after a couple of weeks after airing the shows are uploaded to Mike Hanson’s Internet Archive page.

Devil Car - Mike Hanson - The OTR Plot Spot

Image courtesy of The OTR Plot Spot.

Devil Car Was First Published In 1965.

Written by Roger Zelazny, the story first saw print in Galaxy magazine. Zelazny sadly passed away in 1995 but was widely celebrated for his work over the years. Taking home the Nebula award three times as well as the Hugo award six times – in addition he was nominated 14 times each for those individual awards. It is probably fair to say he is best known for the incredible The Chronicles of Amber series. However that is not where I was first introduced to his writing…I got my first taste of his work thanks to a book series that I hold above all others. Wild Cards.
Devil Car - Roger Zelazny - Wild Cards 1

My love and history with this continuing series of anthologies…well…it just might need a podcast to contain everything I have to say about it. Beyond of course that you need to head out right now and pick up the first book for yourself. One of Zelazny’s creations is the fan favorite character, Croyd Crenson aka The Sleeper.

Let’s Get Back To The Subject Of The Devil Car.

Murdock is a character bent on revenge and he is hoping to achieve that goal with a custom made vehicle of destruction. Machine Guns, grenades, missile launchers are all hidden within the sleek beauty of Jenny. Sam has good reason for wanting vengeance too, his brother was murdered by a pack of wild cars 15 years ago. Led by the most hateful and intelligent sentient vehicle to survive the wastelands. A black caddy of death and hatred towards all Human life…
Devil Car- Roger Zelazny - The Black Caddy

Can Sam and Jenny bring an end to the reign of the Devil Car? Let’s find out together as we enjoy this, the 29th episode of MINDWEBS!

Joe Bob Briggs - The Last Drive-In

Shudder’s The Last Drive-In With Joe Bob Briggs Is Tonight!

Obviously with co-hosting a podcast like Saturday Frights, I have a particular fondness for horror films. I was raised on them and I continue to search for that next great scare flick. Working with the Projectionist I have learned an awful lot of trivia and background information on some of my favorite movies. Do you know who beats the Projectionist though in that category? None other than the esteemed film critic and raconteur Joe Bob Briggs. And thanks to the folks over at Shudder, this evening will see a 24 hour marathon entitled The Last Drive-In with Joe Bob Briggs!

As you can tell from that video this will be quite the event to say the very least. In total we will get 12 – err – 13 classic horror movies. Which films can you expect to see during the event? Thanks to Bloody Disgusting we know that the marathon will kick off with 1979’s Tourist Trap. I was lucky enough to catch this film when it was first released at my local Drive-In theater and it kind of scarred me with it’s almost fever dream aspects.
Joe Bob Briggs - Tourist Trap

Shudder has been kind enough to release a little snippet of Job Bob Briggs’ talk about the 1979 film!

We need to give another tip of the hat to Bloody Disgusting for also giving us the low down on the two other films in the 24 hour marathon. As well as Tourist Trap we are getting 1983’s Sleepaway Camp and 1982’s Basket Case.
Joe Bob Briggs - Basket Case

Joe Bob Briggs made a name for himself with his wit and film knowledge, starting on The Movie Channels’ Joe Bob’s Drive-In Theater. The success of that series earned Briggs two nominations for the Cable ACE award. Which eventually led to Joe Bob appearing on TNT’s MonsterVision, which is in fact where I was first introduced to the legendary horror host.

[Via] TNT’s MonsterVision

You Can Only Catch The Last Drive-In With Joe Bob Briggs On Shudder!

Shudder’s streaming service is all you will need to catch this event, friends. Not only do I have a subscription – paying a mere $4.99 a month I might add – but I can tell you there has been many a night down here in the Vault where I’ve kept myself entertained with the films and TV series that Shudder offers. Furthermore can you truly think of a better way to enjoy today, Friday the 13th?
Joe Bob Briggs - Shudder - The Last Drive-In

While we wait for the 24 hour marathon to begin, let’s take a look at this vintage interview with Joe Bob Briggs and Jay Leno on The Tonight Show!

[Via] Joe Bob

Wolfman's Got Nards - Title

Wolfman’s Got Nards – The New Monster Squad Documentary!

Friends, I believe I first heard about Wolfman’s Got Nards last year, probably from the Bloody Disgusting site. As a lifelong fan of The Monster Squad it’s fair to say that bit of news certainly got my blood pumping. I thrill to the idea of course of watching other fans discuss what makes the 1987 movie so special for them, not to mention hearing from the original cast and crew who brought it to life. Furthermore I need to point out that Wolfman’s Got Nards was directed by Andre Gower, none other than Sean of the Squad!

When The Monster Squad was originally released in 1987, my Father and myself were there opening weekend. While I would love to tell you that the theater auditorium was in fact packed…the truth is we were maybe two of six people? Growing up as a monster kid, furthermore a fanatic of the Universal Monsters this was totally right up my alley.

[Via] Mr. Pyscho 313

Speaking of Universal Monsters, while the film isn’t an official entry into that canon. The Stan Winston Studios certainly were showing their love of those classic films in the designs of the monsters they crafted for The Monster Squad.
Wolfman's Got Nards - Stan Winston Monsters

Furthermore I will go on record saying that Duncan Regehr’s take on Dracula is only second to Bela Lugosi’s! In addition, Tom Noonan does a fantastic job as the Frankenstein Monster too.
Wolfman's Got Nards - Tom Noonan - Duncan Regehr

The Monster Squad Took Time To Find It’s Audience.

If you too are a fan of this film you know the sad truth already, it wasn’t the box office hit that the studio was expecting. All of us who visit this site can point to films that we cherish that for one reason or another didn’t find success when originally released. TRON, The Thing as well as The Rocketeer to name a few. Just like The Monster Squad it took time for them to develop into cult classics.

A cult classic though however has a fan base that is loyal and dedicated, taking great delight in introducing others to what they love. Case in point, the esteemed Shawn Robare of Branded in the 80s. Not only do I think he is a friend to this site he also can be considered one of the biggest fans of The Monster Squad. Which is of course why it appears that he is featured in the Wolfman’s Got Nards documentary!
Wolfman's Got Nards - Shawn Robare

Wolfman’s Got Nards Is Currently Making The Rounds At Festivals.

I obviously cannot imagine how both Fred Dekker and Shane Black must have felt to see the movie fail at the box office. Judging from the trailer below for the documentary, we will be able to hear all about it. At the moment you can only catch it at film festivals – which you can find where it is appearing by visiting the documentary’s official site.
Wolfman's Got Nards - A Documentary - Poster

I have no doubts of course that soon we will be able to rent it digitally or pick up a copy for ourselves. As soon as we hear anything we will be sure to let you all know about it. But for now, enjoy a little taste of what Wolfman’s Got Nards will deliver. Having not had the pleasure of seeing it for myself yet – I still feel this truly is going to be something special and even heartwarming.

[Via] Wolfman’s Got Nards: A Documentary

Gygan - Title

Enjoy This 1958 British Pathe Newsreel Featuring Gygan The Robot!

I truly cannot express in words the joy I get at seeing a preserved newsreel, such as this 1958 British Pathe offering, introducing Gygan the Robot. Naturally thanks to 1977’s Star Wars as well as other sci-fi entertainment of my youth, a personal robot is something I have always dreamed of. Having said that however I do think a Droid or a Robot rock band is more my speed compared to the gargantuan beauty of Gygan!

Gygan is know by a few different monikers it would seem. Including Gentle Giant as well as Mister Moto and Cygan, depending on where you were introduced to him. Thanks to a smashing site called the Cybernetic Zoo, we know the robot’s creator is Piero Fiorito. While hailing from Turn, it is said he began building three different stages of robotic companions on a bet. Oh, I should also add that in addition he did all of this from not a laboratory but his garage.
Gygan - Piero Fiorito

What Makes Gygan Tick?

While it is certainly true that Piero’s creation is an impressive bit of robotics. It turns out the construction involved mostly Mecanno parts. Which is model construction kit system that was started in 1898 by Frank Hornby from Liverpool in the United Kingdom. Gygan was brought to life with the aid of a 28-volt battery, 13 electric motors, 170 valves, and over 300,000 parts. I must assume of course this is referring to the bolts and wheels from the Meccano kits. The Robot itself could walk, talk, and additionally accept verbal commands and acknowledge certain light rays.
Gygan - Inside of Robot

If what the Cybernetic Zoo says is correct and it does have quite a few magazine articles and photographs to back up the claims. Gygan itself towered over other early robotic creations at over eight feet tall, not to mention it weighed over a 1,000 pounds.

Gygan - Inner Workings - Front - Cybernetic Zoo

The following four images are courtesy of the Cybernetic Zoo.

Gygan - Inner Workings - Rear View - Cybernetic Zoo

Which might explain how it was in fact able to lift humans up and support them on his arms!
Gygan - Cybernetic Zoo

What Did The Future Hold For Gygan?

Well, not to get all dour but while Piero saw a future where his creation might be used to handle radioactive materials. Rather than fulfilling the noble dreams of it’s creator it appears that the robot instead found more use in advertising. From being used at a Ford motor company in Leeds to eventually finding itself rusting at an old aircraft museum.
Gygan - Air Museum - Cybernetic Zoo

In spite of this downward turn of events there is indeed a silver lining for the robot. About five years ago he turned up at an auction, where he sold for a total of 17 thousand pounds. Perhaps his new owner will help restore him to his past glory?

Now Take A Few Minutes And Marvel At Gygan In His Prime!

[Via] British Pathe

I have to admit that I believe the best reaction from the audience is this young boy. I feel that I might actually be able to read his mind…