Chaney had just reached the exit, turning off the Interstate into Birmingham, when the feeling came over her. Disquiet, foreboding, and familiar, a nagging sense that something, somewhere, wasn’t right. Am I feeling guilty now, or what? Chaney dismissed the thought, pulling a cigarette free from the pack and lighting it. She turned up her…Continue readingTHERIOPHOBIA: FEAR THE BEAST Part Seventeen
Necessary to our shared human history, that is. Necessary to our understanding of ourselves. Necessary to a people’s establishment and maintenance, its common spiritual and psychological identity. It is, along with our recorded histories, the soil in which our cultural roots are sunk, and we will either stand, nourished, or wither and fall dependent on…Continue readingThe Necessity of Folklore
Never let the facts get in the way of a good story. Every storyteller knows this. There was this silent film entitled FURY OF THE DEMON. The film is now considered lost, as are so many of those magnificent old silent movies. In this case, though, it may be for the best that the film…Continue readingThe Curse of FURY OF THE DEMON
Darren Criss won for his performance in AMERICAN CRIME STORY: THE ASSASSINATION OF GIANNI VERSACE, and deservedly so. Judith Light and Penelope Cruz were also nominated for that series, and also deservedly so. And I was thrilled to see my boy Finn Wittrock getting some respect. He competed against Ricky Martin and Edgar Ramirez—all for…Continue readingRuminations on the Emmys
It’s been fascinating, for me, at least, reading up on the subject, learning about it so that I could pass that knowledge on to you, our faithful followers. The milestones along the pathway to the ratings system we have today. A lot has changed in a relatively short time. When I was a kid, and…Continue readingA Brief History of Censorship, Part Two
Three horses—albeit horses of the miniature variety—and a dog in Monroe County, Kentucky were killed by some kind of animal. Two of the horses were found floating in a pond, the third in a barn with its throat torn out. It would seem the ones in the pond also suffered similar injuries, as their deaths…Continue readingDead Animals
I’m a sucker for this kinda stuff. A big ol’ sucker. BREAKOUT BEASTS is the new toy line from Mega Construx. You buy an alien-esque plastic egg. The egg is built to pop open at its “equator” and inside is filled with neon-colored slime—and a monster! The creatures are billed as “buildable” so that likely…Continue readingJust Take My Damn Money, Already
No, that movie never happened. But wouldn’t it have been awesome if it had! There ARE connections between the two characters, though, and not just in the conceptual sense. Both are metaphors for the blurring of the line between human being and animal. Tarzan is a man who was raised by beasts, the latest iteration…Continue readingTarzan vs. the Wolfman
“Comparing and contrasting the Devil imagery in Ed Wood’s GLEN OR GLENDA? and Dwain Esper’s MANIAC” would have made for a more accurate title for this article, but it was a tad too long, I thought. Last week I watched the latter film, impressed by the depths of inadequacy it managed to plumb. Something I…Continue readingGLEN OR GLENDA? vs. MANIAC
There it was. The red Camaro. Candy Paradise. Leland’s heart started to pound. He hadn’t waited long at all. Stay cool. Don’t get excited. Mistakes happen when you get excited. Leland repeated these mental commands in an unspoken mantra. He cranked the van and pulled out. He had to time it just perfect. Candy signaled,…Continue readingTHERIOPHOBIA: FEAR THE BEAST Part Sixteen
I “met” artist Clay Sayre on a Lon Chaney fan page. Seems like a cool guy, and I really dug his work. Turns out he has contributed his talents to a little project called “The Chaney Legacy” trading card collection. As I am wont to do if I come across something that I like, I…Continue readingChaney Legacy Cards!
Alternately, this one could be titled “When was the first porno made?” The answer to that question would be, sometime immediately following the creation of the movie camera. Before film, people were taking “dirty” photographs. Cavemen painted “dirty” art on cave walls, as far as that goes. But we aren’t concerning ourselves with pornography, here,…Continue readingA Brief History of Censorship
Had this film not been made a couple of decades before Ed Wood started directing, writing, and producing, one might easily believe that MANIAC is one of his early efforts. It’s that bad, and that “good.” But then there is an undercurrent of meanness in MANIAC that Ed would never have promoted, scenes of animal…Continue readingRevisiting the “Classics”: MANIAC (1934)
The kindred spirits over at the collinsporthistoricalsociety join with me this week in celebrating the yearly return to supermarket shelves of our beloved Frankenberry, Boo Berry, Count Chocula, Fruit Brute, and Yummy Mummy breakfast cereals. (Not that I ever ate them exclusively at breakfast. And not that you have to, either. You can enjoy them…Continue readingThe Cereal Monsters Are Back!
Leland spent a couple hours running the necessary errands. He stocked up on groceries, lots of canned food, beer. All the things he’d need. He wanted to make it so he had to leave the house as little as possible. It would be the worst form of bad manners to go off and leave a…Continue readingTHERIOPHOBIA: FEAR THE BEAST Part Fifteen
Last week, I got to take a little vacation. I found myself in lovely Florida, having a lovely time. One of the activities I put near the top of my list of things to do was to visit Edward Ball Wakulla Springs State Park. (The park bears Ball’s name because he sold the land to…Continue readingI have been to the Black Lagoon!
When I learned of the existence of a monster known as the “Stump-Jumper,” how could I NOT go off in search of it? When passing through the area (the Florida panhandle) last week, I knew I had to make a detour to the Stump-Jumper’s stomping grounds. This latter comprises the teeny tiny hamlet known as…Continue readingThe Stump-Jumper
Elsewhere this week I wrote about the troubles currently being experienced by Wolf and Ali Mertz, the owners of WOLF’S MUSEUM OF MYSTERY in Saint Augustine, Florida. Despite the strain of financial uncertainties foisted upon them, though, they haven’t let it slow them down, as they continue to bring to the nation’s oldest city and…Continue readingThe Mermaid Mummy of Iceland!
Okay, Tom isn’t a werewolf. He’s a monster of a different sort. But I’m going to make an exception this time because Two-Toed Tom, the giant demon alligator of north Florida, happens to share the same home territory as another regional monster, the Two Egg Stump-Jumper, which I also wrote about this week. (Check the…Continue readingTwo-Toed Tom
Refresh your memories of my recent visit to the gravesite of Emily Burt, the “Werewolf of Georgia,” before continuing. I mean, you don’t HAVE to, but this article here will make a lot more sense to you if you do. Unless you have a really good memory and can recall all the specifics and details.…Continue readingRE-visiting the Grave of the Georgia Werewolf
Technically it isn’t the museum–Wolf’s Museum of Mystery, that is–that is in need of saving. Hopefully the Museum will weather this and continue on. Rather it is the current location of the Museum that needs saving. Saving from “modernization.” Saving from “renovation.” The Victorian-era house where Wolf’s is located, and has been for the past…Continue readingSave the Museum of Mystery!
It is probably the most famous, or infamous, of all the accounts of REAL werewolves, that of Stumpf Peter, aka Peter Stump, aka Peter Stumpp, aka Stubbe Peter. The problem is, the case occurred back before there was anything resembling uniformity of spelling. The OTHER problem is, neither “Stubbe” nor “Stump” nor “Stumpf” is a…Continue readingStubbe or Stump?
The clank of steel against steel, the sound of the cell door sliding closed, woke Lucas Vale from his stupor. He stood for an instant, disoriented, his eyes taking in the confines of the tiny cell: drab gray walls of painted over cinderblock, interlocking bars of ugly blue metal, a narrow bunk bolted to the…Continue readingTHERIOPHOBIA: FEAR THE BEAST Part Fourteen
The Ironwood City Jail had been erected adjacent to the town library, with very little visible difference between the two, constructed as they were at the same time and by the same architect, the same builders. Both structures now occupied the short list of Ironwood’s historic sites, though both had been renovated more than once.…Continue readingTHERIOPHOBIA: FEAR THE BEAST Part Thirteen
A couple of true stories, actually, with a little creative license thrown in. “Cletus Cobb, Jr. versus the Alabama Booger”, a short audio drama written by yours truly, was featured recently in the podcast Rocket City Radio Hour by Theater Huntsville, hosted by playwright Benjamin Shapiro. (No relation to the conservative windbag of the same…Continue readingBased on a True Story!