Creature Feature

1980’s Topps Creature Feature Cards

#GhoulMourningManiacs!

Let’s look at some trading cards. 1980 brought us the wonderful trading card series known as Creature Feature or You’ll Die Laughing and there’s one card in particular that holds a special meaning and moment for me. This series was first produced in the early seventies and Topps decided to resurrect the series with some packaging, design and content changes.
Creature Feature

What was better than riding a bike to the corner store to get milk and cigarettes for your stepmother and maybe using some of the change on candy or comics? (Yes it’s true, she wrote me a note in case of any trouble. I’m certain I wasn’t the only kid to have that as a chore?) Anyway, while at the store, getting a pack of Creature Feature cards was worth the effort!

The cards had great still photography of movie monsters in black and white, from the thirties on up to the modern era. Giant radioactive creatures, human monsters, aliens, oh my! The photos (let’s pick the Mummy carrying a damsel) had goofy captions, like “Gee kid, you weigh a ton!” Each pack of cards came with a sticker. The backs of those stickers each had a section of a larger photo. Once you assembled them, they made a photo of a movie monster. On the back of the cards, were jokes and rhymes.
Creature Feature - The Mummy

Which card , even now, has a hold on me and is one of many influences on my writing as the Man of a Thousand Bad Monster Jokes? Any guesses? How about you, the freaky thing lurking in the corner? Ok, I’ll let the black cat out of the bag. It’s number 79. It Came From Outer Space.
Creature Feature - It Came From Outer Space

I’m not a huge fan of the alien on the front, but the rhyme on the back still has me! I can recite it without looking , even now.

“A thought inside my cranium.
This prophecy that I make-
If a monster eats uranium.
He’ll get atomic ache.”

It’s weirdly wonderful and I thought, if I were ever to write a poem, I’d try to write something like that. I understood the mix of monsters and humor from Mad Magazine and Famous Monsters and these cards, but I didn’t have the writing bug or the mechanics of it. Not a lot of eleven year old boys did. Little did I know that I’d have a writing assignment for school that year, that required poetry.
Creature Feature

I chose a limerick for my style and I had card number 79 as my guide or template. I tried to fuse the words with the imagery and I didn’t have it. I wrote the card’s rhyme on a sheet of paper and left it in my desk. I was out sick for a few days and when I got back, the paper was gone. I thought I had to makeup the work, as my limerick was nowhere near complete. But, nothing was said until a month or two later. I was told that my poem was selected for a school anthology of poetry. I was a little confused because I couldn’t recall what I submitted. When I saw what was in my copy of the anthology, I wanted to barf! It was the contents of my sheet of paper- the copied limerick from the card!

When I got home, I tried to explain what happened to my parents and maybe I was so intimidated by them that it didn’t come out right, maybe it would, but it didn’t. They thought I willfully turned in that paper. I got so verbally chastised that I felt like a monster, myself! Oh, I was told that as a plagiarizer,(yeah they jumped that far) I could go to juvenile hall or get fined by the government. Add to that, they let it be known that I couldn’t have possibly come up something so well done as that! My eleven year old brain, writing and vocabulary were simply that of a filthy chimpanzee. Well, that was a fun month. I knew that one day, I would write something of equal value. Ok, it took awhile, but I think I have. In fact, one of my books, “Ha-Ha! Horror,” won an award for humor. A gold medal.

My next book, “Bride of Ha-Ha! Horror,” was nominated for a Rondo Classic Horror award. I’m working on the upcoming book, “Son of Ha-Ha! Horror.” Each book has over 500 Bad Monster Jokes, rhymes, cartoons, song parody lyrics, etc.

Rhymes and jokes like…

Why was Wolfman mad at his health care provider?

They won’t pay for his FLEA DIPS!

What’s the Phantom of the Opera’s favorite coffee drink?

“La-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-LATTE!”

It’s raining, it’s pouring.

The old Vampire Bat is soaring,

Across the lake to flee the stakes,

That Van Helsing is carving and scoring.

After all of that, do I love or loathe the Creature Feature cards? LOVE! It’s the only answer. The cards are a form of monster fun and entertainment as well as a reminder of what it’s like to see a path and follow it, no matter how long it takes . To get there and take those steps. Knowing in your heart, that you have what it takes to do it.

If you’re interested in hunting down these cards, they are relatively easy to find, not too expensive. They are a blast! If you need a note from your stepmother for cigarettes, you’re on your own.

My Bloody Valentine - Saturday Frights

Saturday Frights Vidcast: My Bloody Valentine (1981)

Friends, with it being February the 14th, it seemed the perfect time to discuss My Bloody Valentine. Now granted the Projectionist and I haven’t resurrected the Saturday Frights Podcast. But we did in fact decided to put together a special – a vidcast of sorts. Concerning the 1981 Canadian slasher film, the classic My Bloody Valentine!

In the vidcast, which runs about fifteen minutes. I share not just some of the elements I love most about the movie. Additionally I must admit that this is in fact probably my favorite film in the slasher genre. But furthermore the Projectionist and I also give a few fun facts about the film itself. As well as the 2009 remake by Lionsgate – My Blood Valentine 3D.

With this in mind, I do feel I should admit this isn’t going to be like the podcast. At no point do I go into the synopsis of the film itself. On the other hand we do bring up the soundtrack, in particular the memorable Ballad of Harry Warden. Which if you count yourself as fan, the soundtrack is available at Waxwork Records!

Image is courtesy of Waxwork Records.

So when you get a moment of free time, check out the vidcast. Perhaps the Projectionist and I will convince you that a horror movie is the perfect thing to watch today?

From the Projectionist and myself – we wish you all a very Happy Valentine’s Day!

National Horror League

Just announce and ready to start this summer comes the National Horror League, teams based on some lesser venues but known for their contribution to horror and sci fi now have their own sports franchises. The announcement of commissioner Bruce Campbell along with some of the teams and a few logos were on display, I am very excited about this…

Also announced were The Morningside Phantasms, The Pheonixville Meteors, The Springwood Dream Warriors, Crystal Lake Juggernauts, Altair IV Robots, The Santa Carla Lost, Perfection Graboids, Dark Woods Force and The Haunted Hill Spectres

Hudson Horror Show V the 35mm Horror Film Festival Reveals Details

On Saturday, May 19th, 2012, the hallowed grounds of the Silver Cinemas South Hills 8 will once again showcase the greatest classic horror film festival in the Hudson Valley, Hudson Horror Show V (www.hudsonhorror.com)! Our fifth 12 hour movie festival will feature five full length classic genre films along with shorts and drive in style trailers, all off rare 35mm film prints!

Our December to Dismember 2011 show was a sell out with people having to be seated in our “reserved for staff seats”. Don’t miss out, grab your tickets now! This is our third year of shows and ticket prices are still only $26.00 in advance via PayPal. Advance ticket holders save money and will be admitted first. If any tickets remain they will be available at the door on the day of the show for $30.00, cash only.

Our Frankenstein like monster of a lineup is now complete! Doors open at noon that day and our “opening act” will be a mash up of two of the greatest movie studios of all time as Hammer Films and the Shaw Brothers collide in LEGEND OF THE SEVEN GOLDEN VAMPIRES! This film, also know as The Seven Brothers Meets Dracula, mixes Gothic horror with well, kung fu, it’s kind of like putting your peanut butter in my chocolate, who knew they would taste so good together?

We’ll have our semi-traditional “Mystery Movie” in the lineup and that could be just about anything at this point. Perhaps some blaxploitation? How about a good old fashioned rape/revenge flick? Maybe some more giant monsters? Our lips are sealed until show time but we are sure the mystery movie will be anything but a disappointment.

Hudson Horror Five will then push on full steam ahead with our triple axe attack triple headliner! Our zombie movie for this show will be an extremely rare screening of George A. Romero’s DAY OF THE DEAD. Unfortunately this amazing film was barely seen in theaters upon its original theatrical run in 1985, and it’s had even fewer screenings since. We are proud to unearth this zombie classic one more time.

Headliner number two will be a movie that has been constantly requested by Hudson Horror fans, PHANTASM! Dwarf zombies, crazy bugs, killer spheres and of course, “The Tall Man”, the nightmarish masterpiece will definitely make you want to sleep with the lights on.

Our third and final headliner of this triple threat will be none other than the incredibly influential slasher flick, the original, FRIDAY THE 13th! This film, originally released in 1980, was a watershed horror release and kick started the slasher craze that took Hollywood by storm for many years to come. Perhaps the biggest star of the film isn’t Jason Voorhees, but Tom Savini’s realistic and gruesome special effects. These effects were unfortunately toned down in 1980 so the producers could secure an “R” rating. However, we’ve been lucky enough to obtain a print that has the best parts intact! At long last, Hudson Horror presents the UNCUT version of the original FRIDAY THE 13th off 35mm film!

We will have the usual shorts, drive in trailers, vendors, giveaways, trivia questions and usual nonsense that make Hudson Horror so much fun. We’ll have just a few vendor spots for HHV, if you are interested in selling or promoting your wares, or if you just have questions regarding our show, send us an email to info@hudsonhorror.com. Get your tickets early for Hudson Horror Show V, and we’ll see you on May 19th, 2012!

Nightmare’s Bishop of Battle

bishop-of-battle

Nightmares was a 1983 horror anthology film. It started as a TV project but was deemed to intense for TV and released in theaters. For some reason, my 6th grade teacher showed it in class one day. Hey, don’t look a gift horse in the mouth. I was happy to see it and loved this section with Emilio Estevez called “Bishop of Battle”. This hit at the height of the arcade’s golden age and is a good vid for our friends meeting at 1984.