Friday, July 24, 2009

1975 FM Article: Frankenstein And The Monster From Hell

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From issue #113 of the fondly-remember Famous Monsters, dated January 1975. I was 16 at the time and lived in Ft. Lauderdale FL, one of my favorite places as I grew up.
Although it was not known at the time, the new movie "Frankenstein and the Monster From Hell" was to be the last Hammer Frankenstein film. Hammer was making it's final movies, and it truly was the end of an era. With this entry into the series, we finally got another good monster, something lacking in most of the sequels to the original "Curse of Frankenstein," which had put Hammer on the horror map back in 1958. It's enjoyable to go back and read articles on movies that were written when they were fresh and new, so here you go! Try to regress in your mind as you read this to the age and innocence you were at when it was written in 1975... if you're old enough to remember back that far!

Monday, July 20, 2009

"Fright Flicks" Trading Cards Post #1

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Oh, yes... the 80's did happen, as improbable as they sound now. And some of the most memorable horror films came out during that decade, to prove that it happened, and that it wasn't just a bad national dream. This set of cards, "Fright Flicks" was made by Topps and featured scenes from select scary movies of the period:

Alien and Aliens
An American Werewolf In London
Day Of The Dead
Fright Night
Nightmare on Elm Street 1, 2 and 3
Poltergeist 1 and 2
Pumpkin Head
The Fly
Vengence: The Demon

On the back of each card the movie was identified and there was a short spooky event that left for you to decide if it ever took place. In answer to the question "did it happen?" the stock answer is: No. Sorry to disappoint you.

Now, I don't have the complete set, only a few packs as a matter of fact. But, I thought it might be nice to post what I do have for you to enjoy, and groan over the corny captions. I'll be bringing more in subsequent posts, and, I might add, in no particular order; with a few of my own captions, which are probably about as corny as the originals.

Card #2

Everyone knew that Linda couldn't keep her big trap shut.

The back of Card #2:

Card #6:

Steve had to admit that acupuncture helped his headaches.

Card #6 back:

Card #9:

I'm just about to vomit on my lunch... care to join me for a slurp?

Card #9 back:

Card #33:

Oh my God... I've chipped a nail!

Card #33 back:

Card #36:

Card #36 back:

Card #44:

Card #44 back:

More to come!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Mike The Headless Chicken

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Gather round the campfire, children. Draw close to each other for warmth, and comfort. For you will need both when you hear the next tale I bring to you. It is a true story, and it is in these that you will find the most horrible things you cannot imagine.

One late summer day in 1945, as the Colorado clouds hung heavily pregnant with an overdue storm, farmer Lloyd Olsen took his axe in hand and went forth to the chicken pen with an empty stomach and fowl murder in his heart. This was the day that would change his life, and the life of the chicken named Mike, forever.

Rough hands held down the panicked rooster as the axe blade glinted in the dim sunlight. With a dull "clomp" the weapon severed the head and it fell to the ground, beak reflexively gasping for breath, as the body flapped and flopped across the ground like... well, like a chicken with it's head cut off. But this time, the inevitable stillness did not follow. No, children... this time, the headless body of Mike gained it's feet, and unsteadily began to WALK ACROSS THE CHICKEN PEN.

Shhhhh... settle down, children.

A gasp escaped the lips of the horrified farmer. Sweat beaded down his blanched face as he yelled for his waiting wife to come witness the nightmarish miracle. Pecking with a non-existent head (as the cat had pounced on the decapitated morsel and eaten it), Mike recovered from the execution and was looking for food as he always had. If anything, he seemed more spry, as if a weight had been lifted from his shoulders.

Mike's chicken dance was a hit with the crowds.

Not one to miss an opportunity to make some extra change, Mr. Olsen publicised the peculiarity and began collecting a dime each for the amused and amazed country folk to see Mike. He was kept alive by dropping corn and water down his open gullet, and seemed to get along quite well without his noggin, with an occasional suction to keep his throat clear of mucus.

Sadly, one day as the farmer and his wife toured the country showing off their new meal ticket, someone forgot to bring the suction dropper and that night Mike endured a second death as he choked on the thick mucus. Blame each other though they might, it didn't change the fact that Mike no longer trod this world, and they returned home... their lives somehow less brighter without Mike's cheerful example of overcoming all odds.

But this was still not the end of the rooster that refused to die... no, his restless spirit still roams the countryside, looking for his missing head. It has been rumored to appear on dark nights like this one, his ghostly, headless apparition flapping its wings and making a wet, slimy gurgling noise through its neck as though still trying to crow. Trying... to... crow.

If you listen closely now, children, you can almost hear it... shh... listen...

THERE HE IS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
This recreation using special effects and an actress is slightly exaggerated for dramatic effect.

Ok, I know this is not a monster movie, TV show, comic book or other item that this blog usually covers. But, awhile back I used a photo of Mike to enhance the post of a comic book story about a witch who survived her head being chopped off. You can read that terrifying tale here.But ever since, one of the most frequent search engine terms that brought people to the site was Mike The Headless Chicken. So, I thought I'd do an entry on it so that those coming to the site after a search wouldn't feel cheated. But Mike deserves it as well... after all, what other real-life chicken has achieved the immortality of such fame as he?

Thursday, July 9, 2009

1979 "Alien" poster magazine (updated)

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Although I somehow missed the first issue of the Alien poster magazine, I was lucky enough to find the second one at the Ft. Lauderdale tobacco shop/newstand where I got most of my monster magazines back in 1979. "Alien" really was the first major release of a sci-fi/monster movie to include such terror and graphic scenes of carnage, and many movie-goers were unprepared for the intensity and gore.

The only part of the magazine omitted for this post is the poster in the middle, it's too big to scan; but it was an image of the "space jockey's" wierdly-shaped ship on the surface of LV-426, later named Archeron. Below is the back cover of the magazine, highlighting some of the incredibly detailed sets created for the spaceship, essentially a factory in space. .

Sale Alert: Would you like to buy this item? I'll sell it for $20 plus $5 Priority shipping, just email me to let me know you want it and I'll set up a Paypal payment link.

New Blog!

Have you visited the new companion blog to My Monster Memories? It's called "Fantastic Flashbacks" and it's focus is science fiction movies, TV shows, comics, and so on. Everything on the blog is scanned in from my scrapbooks and collection of genre items, started in the early 70's. If you like this one, you like that one too!

Monday, July 6, 2009

1975 Godzilla article from Monsters of the Movies

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Scanned from Monsters of the Movies #5, published Feb. 1975. This was one of the rare times that an American monster magazine devoted a cover, and especially a painted cover, to Godzilla. Bob Larkin's day-glo colors and dynamic composition placed the Big G in an American setting, which was also a first, and seemed to spark a greater interest in Japanese films on this shore. The indepth article by Don Glut certainly examined them in greater detail than most articles before had gone into.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

1974 article on "Taste The Blood of Dracula"

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Today's Monster Memory conjures up issue #7 of Marvel's "Dracula Lives!" magazine from July of 1974. I was a tender teen of merely 15 when I bought it, from a convenience store on the walk to school when I lived in Macon, GA. It was always exciting to find these, and they made for some darned good reading during lunch and study hall that day, not to mention that evening back at home once homework was done. The painted covers of these and many of the monster magazines of the time were a large part of what made them so special, and it's not something you see much of any more.

The item I'm featuring from the issue is their article on "Taste The Blood Of Dracula," the fourth installment in Hammer's Dracula movie series with the incomparable Christopher Lee. Still sadly lacking Peter Cushing, his presence was missed greatly, and one wonders why they failed to have him in the later Dracula movies when everyone loved seeing them together. The film is not the best of the series, but not the worst either, and I still put it on and watch it occasionally. The article accurately points out the flaws, as well as the good points. But to me, even a lower-quality Hammer/Lee Dracula film is better than someone else's. Enjoy!