NEW BLOG HOME!

Posted in Uncategorized on September 24, 2014 by undeadjohnny

Hey, kids!

If you’re here for the first time or a returning visitor, you’re going to want to move on to THE WORLD OF THE WEIRD MONSTER BLOG’S new home, http://wowmonstershow.blogspot.com/

All posts in the future will be on that blog.  Including 2014’s 31 Days of Halloween movie list!  Go check it out.

This blog will stick around for a little bit until I move some of the content over.

And as always, check out and like our TV Show’s facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/wowmonstershow

And our Youtube Page: http://www.youtube.com/wowmonstershow.

31 Days of Halloween: End of October Round Up

Posted in Uncategorized on November 3, 2013 by undeadjohnny

Hey kids!  Well, the best holiday of the year, Halloween, has passed.  Which means its time to wrap up this series of posts.  I started this month with a blog about all the movies I had set aside to watch this month in honor of the best holiday of the year.  I wanted to watch at least one thing from this Halloween box of videos each day.   You can see the list here: https://wowmonstershow.wordpress.com/2013/10/01/31-days-of-halloween-the-list/

And you can see how I did in week 1 here: https://wowmonstershow.wordpress.com/2013/10/09/31-days-of-halloween-week-1/

And week 2 here:  https://wowmonstershow.wordpress.com/2013/10/16/31-days-of-halloween-week-2/

I fell off a bit after that unfortunately.  Actually, week 3 turned out pretty well, but week 4….let’s just say since it is one of the busiest weeks in the year for me, I fell below my expectations in movie watching.  And the biggest bummer was I was saving my favorite Halloween flicks for closest to the holiday (Great Pumpkin, Halloween, Halloween III) and I never watched them.  So I think Halloween has to be extended another month.

That being said, here’s the last of my October viewings.

10972553_det

FRANKENSTEIN SINGS….The Movie (AKA MONSTER MASH, THE MOVIE)

Its says on the box…In the Tradition of the Rocky Horror Picture Show.  But, brother, this is no Rocky Horror.  Based on the musical “I’m sorry the bridge is out…you’ll have to spend the night”  by Boris “Monster Mash” Pickett.

Yep, Boris is even in this movie!

monstermashand his hunchback assistant is played by John Kassir (The Cryptkeeper!)   In the “Janet” role is one of the chicks from Full House.

Guys this movie is horrible.  Like really, horrible.  Not even funny horrible.   Here:

Even Mink Stole can’t save this.  Oh, and yeah, they play The Monster Mash at least three times.

Of course all this being said, my wife is amazing for finding it and I’m of course going to watch it every Halloween.

transylvania 6500TRANSYLVANIA 6-5000

You know what movie is great?  THIS ONE.  Okay, okay, it wears thin for maybe the last 15 minutes or so.  But it’s the funniest movie funded by DOW CHEMICALS to spend their Yugoslavian money that they were not allowed to move out of the country (it’s true!  On both counts!)   But I find this movie absolutely hilarious.  I do.  And if you don’t, frankly you’re just wrong.   If WOWMS ever makes a movie, it would be like this.  In fact I once had a loose outline to a WOWMS movie that was quite similar in some respects.

Plus, this:

MSDTRSI EC001This is enough reason for this movie to exist if nothing else.

lords of salemTHE LORDS OF SALEM

I LOVE this movie.  I pretty much love everything Rob Zombie has done (even the two Halloween movies have grown on me.)  But I really, really just dig the whole vibe on this one.  And with the fall Salem setting, it’s also perfect Halloween viewing.  I know this movie isn’t for everyone, but I loved it.

foto-the-lords-of-salem-8-021Also, this sweater is amazing.

howling

THE HOWLING

Man, I love this movie.  And the new Scream Factory Blu-Ray looks gorgeous.  They just don’t make them like this anymore.  The 80’s was a great time.  You had all these directors that grew up on the Hammer films, the AIP films, as well as stuff like NOTLD and Blood Feast…but also saw the rereleases or horror hosted screenings of the old Universal classics, etc.  So you had films like the Howling which felt like a mixture of the classic and the new….the atmospheric and the splatter-tastic.   Just a great, great flick.

night of the demonsNIGHT OF THE DEMONS

I did get in a few classic “Halloween Night” movies and this is one of them.  I remember the first time I saw this, my smile kept getting wider and wider as they checked off plot points….Halloween night….deserted house….old funeral home….built on Indian graveyard….seance….etc, etc.  What’s not to love.  Plus, Angela’s dance to Bauhaus’ Stigmata Martyr blew my teenage mind.

quaterQUATERMASS AND THE PIT

Was not on my original list but I pulled it off the shelf one night when the mood struck me.  Great, great film.  Grasshopper devil alien martian monsters!

fridaylogoFRIDAY THE 13TH THE SERIES

I also watched a ton more of this show….and it made me remember how much I loved it back when it came on in syndication.   You know, it’s amazing we live in a world where at the drop of a hat I can watch THE WARRIORS or a million other movies on my phone at any time.  But back in the 80’s it was kind of cool that the stuff we loved was harder to find.  You had to search it out, and when you found it, you treasured it more.  To have this show on weekly was amazing and I loved it.  It really is a pretty great horror anthology type show.  And one of the great things about it is the awesome core cast of three.

friday-13-tv-seriesOkay…that guy on the right is not Jack Marshack, the bad ass old magician.  But it is a nice picture of Robey.

haunted_palace_poster_02THE HAUNTED PALACE

Another great flick.  Roger Corman and Vincent Price were having such great success with the Poe films for AIP and Corman wanted to try a Lovecraft film.  AIP said no way, Poe was too popular.  So they took the title of a Poe poem, made that the title of the film and went ahead and made an HP Lovecraft movie anyway, based loosely on “The Strange Case of Charles Dexter Ward.”

beetlejuice..................BEETLEJUICE

Another one that had not been on my list….but I’m so glad we watched it as I hadn’t seen it in a very long time (at least 10 years.)  Remembered how great it was.  I had bought the Blu-Ray for cheap a long time ago but never even unwrapped it.  Such a great, great flick.

Elvira-Image-elvira-2670866-600-516monsterclubTHE MONSTER CLUB (Hosted by Elvira, Mistress of the Dark.)

Another great, fun, movie.  I believe this is now on Blu-Ray…but I love my thriller video Elvira VHS.  Just perfect for a fun, Halloween, Monster filled romp as this.  If you haven’t seen it, do yourself a favor and check it out.

So that’s another Halloween season behind us.  But, as we always say here on The World of the Weird Monster Show….everyday is Halloween!

Check us out on facebook and youtube!

31 Days of Halloween – Week 2

Posted in Uncategorized on October 16, 2013 by undeadjohnny

Hey kids!  Well, we’re now two weeks into the best month of the year, October!  Which means we’re getting closer and closer to Halloween.  I started this month with a blog about all the movies I had set aside to watch this month in honor of the best holiday of the year.  I wanted to watch at least one thing from this Halloween box of videos each day.   You can see the list here: https://wowmonstershow.wordpress.com/2013/10/01/31-days-of-halloween-the-list/

And you can see how I did in week 1 here: https://wowmonstershow.wordpress.com/2013/10/09/31-days-of-halloween-week-1/

 

OCTOBER 8

Image

PRINCE OF DARKNESS

I just got the new Scream Factory Blu-Ray of this and wanted to check it out.  It looks beautiful and has some cool extras on it as well.  It’s funny, when I first saw this movie as a teenager I liked it all except the ending.  I think I wanted it to be straight supernatural horror and was upset and some of the sci-fi trappings.  But I got over that years ago and love this movie now.  John Carpenter does his best Nigel Kneale take on Lovecraft and those are two things that go great together (also love that the main character had gone to KNEALE College and Carpenter’s pen name is Quatermass.)

I love that, like in many of Lovecraft’s Miskatonic University stories, the film is about a group of scientists doing an investigation that takes a bizarre paranormal turn.  Awesome John Carpenter direction and music and just an all around great movie.  Plus it basically stars young pseudo Tom Atkins.

Image

 

 

OCTOBER 9:

Image

MYSTERY INCORPORATED: NIGHTFRIGHT & THE GATHERING GLOOM

Yep, more Scooby Doo.  And this is a great one with the Scooby Universe version of Vincent Price: Vincent Van Ghoul

Image

And parodies of THE FLY, DR. PHIBES, MASQUE OF THE RED DEATH and HOUSE ON HAUNTED HILL:

Image

That’s an animated Dr. Phibes, man!!

 

Image

VISITOR FROM THE GRAVE hosted by Elvira

So this Thriller Video release has Elvira hosting an episode of the HAMMER HOUSE OF HORROR TV series.  It’s not too bad.  Elvira is of course, amazing.  And the flick is kind of fun.  Plus it has Kathern Leigh Scott from DARK SHADOWS in it!

 

 

OCTOBER 10:

Image

HALLOWEEN WARS

Much like MAKING MONSTERS, this Food Network show is now a Halloween tradition.  A bunch of teams featuring a pumpkin carver, a cake artist and a sugar artist compete to make ghoulish creations.  This week’s guest judge: Danielle Harris!

 

Image

ARCHIE’S WEIRD MYSTERIES: Halloween of Horror.

I’d never seen this Archie meets the Night Stalker cartoon series but picked it up dirt cheap.  Was kind of cool, but wasn’t as great as the comics.  If Veronica is going to be at a Halloween party, then damnit I want Vampironica!

Image

Image

Right?

I did however read one of the best horror comics I’ve read in a long time (and one that deserves it’s own blog) AFTERLIFE WITH ARCHIE (which I might add, does feature Veronica as Vampironica as a Halloween costume and Betty as a sexy nurse.)

Image

 

 

Image

FRIDAY THE 13TH: THE SERIES   “PIRATES PROMISE” and “SCARECROW”

Yep, this was a day when I worked a lot so watched a lot of short stuff.   I LOVED this show as a kid when it was first in syndication.  I had a huge crush on Robey and thought this was the best horror show ever.  I still like it.

But I’d like to talk about Ryan Dallion (the protagonist along with Robey’s Mikki and Jack) and his sweaters.

Image

If you’re going to a seaside town (Pirate’s Promise) to look for a cursed foghorn….don’t wear a sweater with anchors all over it.

Image

You can’t see it in this image from SCARECROW but let me tell you that Ryan’s sweater has a HOCKEY PLAYER on it’s back.  Just a huge, knitted HOCKEY PLAYER.

Also, according to People Magazine, I wasn’t the only one who had a crush.

Image

 

 

 

 

OCTOBER 12:

Image

PHANTASM:

It was almost 2am and that meant it was the perfect time to watch Phantasm.  I can watch this movie anytime, but for some reason it seems even better in the early hours of the morning.  Classic.

 

 

 

OCTOBER 13:

Image

WEREWOLF: TV series

In Rockford, Illinois where I grew up, we did not have FOX when it first came on the air.  You remember, back when there were only 3 Networks and TV would go off at 1-2am every night?   Friends talked about Tracy Ullman (and something called The Simpsons) or Married with Children.  I, on the other hand, was bummed I could not watch the new werewolf TV show.  See,, I love monsters.  But my favorite monster is probably the werewolf.   So I finally watched the pilot of this show and you know what?  pretty damn good.  I think you could reshoot it now with the same script and it would be a hit–especially in today’s serial TV world.  Will have to watch the rest of them when I have time.

 

 

OCTOBER 14:

Image

DEAD SCARED (THE HAZING)

So on cable where I first saw it…and on the DVD I own, it’s called THE HAZING.  But I like DEAD SCARED much better.  This is a fun little horror film that very much wants to be NIGHT OF THE DEMONS meets EVIL DEAD II.  And you know, what?  It kind of succeeds.  It’s a lot of fun with some cool gore and some over the top crazy moments–and it takes place on Halloween night.  Plus, the two main leads look like this:

Image

Yeah, that’s Tiffany Sheppis dressed as a space girl with a chainsaw.   I’ll let you go watch this movie now.

 

 

That’s it for week 2.  As we get closer to Halloween I’ll start watching more and more of the classic Halloween films and movies that take place on the holiday.

What have you been watching?

31 Days of Halloween – WEEK 1

Posted in Uncategorized on October 9, 2013 by undeadjohnny

Hey kids!  Well, we’re one week into the best month of the year, October!  Which means we’re getting closer and closer to Halloween.  Last week I posted a blog about all the movies I had set aside to watch this month in honor of the best holiday of the year.  I wanted to watch at least one thing from this Halloween box of videos each day.   You can see the list here: https://wowmonstershow.wordpress.com/2013/10/01/31-days-of-halloween-the-list/

So far I’ve done pretty good.  I’m saving many of the real Halloween titles (that take place around the holiday) until I get closer to the actual date.  But it’s been a good start so far.  Here’s what I’ve watched so far.  How about you guys?  What are you watching this month?

OCTOBER 1:

Image

E! TRUE HOLLYWOOD STORY: SCREAM QUEENS

Yep, kicked off with an E! special from about 10 years ago.  This 2 hour special, hosted by Elvira, Mistress of the Dark, was a nice way to kick off the season.  I couldn’t pick just one film, so why not watch something that covers them all.  While called “Scream Queens,” the special actually tracks portrayals of women in horror films from the 30’s to the present (albeit not too in depth…this is E! after all.)   But it was cool to see some of my favorite actresses like Dee Wallace and Angela Bettis get interviewed and was fun to see so many clips from so many great movies.

 

Image

SCOOBY DOO AND THE VAMPIRE STRIKES BACK

And of course, some Scooby Doo.  This episode from “What’s New, Scooby Doo” features the Hex Girls so of course it’s awesome.  And I always love that Jane Wiedlin is one of the Hex Girls.

 

OCTOBER 2:

Image

THE FRIGHTENERS

So I kicked off movie watching proper with The Frighteners, a movie I always love seeing.  Peter Jackson, Michael J Fox, Jeffrey Combs, Dee Wallace….how can you lose?   I’m always bummed Universal released this in the middle of summer rather than waiting for an October release.  It could have been a much bigger hit.   Yeah, the CGI effects have lost some of their luster (and I wasn’t a huge fan of them to begin with) but it’s still a very cool, fun flick.  And Jeffrey Combs as an FBI agent who’s been forced to work undercover in various cults and sects for decades is just amazing.   

 

OCTOBER 3:

Image

HOUSE OF DARK SHADOWS

“Come see how the Vampires do it!”  Gotta love that.  I’m a big fan of the old TV series Dark Shadows.  Once my car broke down outside of Fond Du Lac, Wisconsin.  Transmission shot.  I had to spend 5 days there in a hotel.  My hotel got the Sci-Fi Channel (you know, back when it was called the Sci-Fi channel for Science Fiction….not SyFy for…well, who knows.)  Dark Shadows was on each morning for a couple of episodes.  I dug it.  When the first DVD set of 40 episodes came out I bought it.  I believe it was only $20 or so.  I figured, hey, for 40 episodes that’s not a bad deal, I’ll give it a shot.  The DVDs started at the point in the show where Barnabas the vampire shows up and I was hooked.  Bought the next 7-8 DVD sets.  Just a great fun gothic horror show.  And since it was a daytime soap it could really take its time.    Now this movie is only 90 minutes long, and is kind of an alternative universe story of the same characters, but I love it.  It’s cool to see everyone in a movie where they can actually do more than one take if necessary.  And they all look great.  Add to that the late 60’s clothes and it’s just awesome.  Especially love Carolyn in this (one of my favorites in the show) and how she goes all vamp!   Also, I love it when a movie or show has the entire police force as believers of paranormal activity early on.  RIght off the bat the entire force is armed with crosses and stakes and that’s awesome.   Have never seen Night of Dark Shadows.  Should check it out soon.

 

OCTOBER 4:

Image

MYSTERY, INCORPORATED: “The Shrieking Madness”

So this was one of the nights where I worked late and had to get up early so I had to resort to a short entry for this day and so I went to one of the best cartoons ever, Mystery, Incorporated.  This episode from the first season, “The Shrieking Madness” features Harlan Ellison as himself and has Jeffrey Combs as HP Hatecraft.  So obviously, it’s all about HP Lovecraft and it’s awesome.

Image

Image

Seriously, just check it out.

 

OCTOBER 5:

Image

NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD (1990)

I dig this movie, I really do.  Directed by Tom Savini and written by George A Romero himself I consider it to be one of Romero’s zombie movies.  It’s just a cool film.

Plus Barbara is a bad ass:

Image

And Bill Mosely is a great Johnny

Image

But Romero (and Savini also in staging some gags) takes everything you know about the original and slowly subverts it as the movie goes on.  Ben (the awesome Tony Todd) and the others almost seem like characters trapped in the original B&W film while Barbara watches on.  Everything the people represent slowly changes from the original and it definitely makes it a film that can stand on its own (quite a few things towards the end George used in his own LAND OF THE DEAD as well.)  But the way George subverts the original and changes it around gives me chills when the iconic final line is said “that’s another one for the fire.”  If you never gave it a chance because it was a “remake” then do yourself a favor and give it a shot.

 

OCTOBER 6:

Image

SCOOBY DOO MEETS BATMAN AND ROBIN

Another night where I had no time due to work.  So again, went back to Scooby Doo.  Hey, it’s not the great show Mystery, Inc is, but this still has the Mystery, Inc gang talking about the Joker and Gotham City and if that’s not cool, I don’t know what is.  Also, the Mystery Machine and the Batmobile share the frame which is like a dream

 

OCTOBER 7:

Image

MICROWAVE MASSACRE

Okay, so I try to normally stick to more spooky/Halloween type movies in October.  Haunted Houses, monsters, etc.  For example, DAWN OF THE DEAD is one of my favorite movies, but it’s not what I consider a good Halloween movie (NOTLD fits because it has got that creepy one night trapped in a house thing going for it…cemeteries, etc.)  MICROWAVE MASSACRE isn’t really a spooky movie either, but I picked it up last year at Days of the Dead and have been looking forward to watching it.

How is it?  I think the title screen sums up the type of film it is well.

Image

That’s the kind of movie this is.  Actually, its way more a black comedy (with a few good laughs) than a horror movie.  And at just over an hour it has a pretty good run time.  But there’s really no Microwave Massacre per se.  Actually, not even much of a microwave.  But it was good 80’s VHS fun.

Image

Also, according to one review I read, this is supposedly Paul Reubens in an uncredited cameo. 

 

Image

MAKING MONSTERS (Travel Channel)

I also watched an episode of MAKING MONSTERS.  Now while I do plan on watching some TV in my 31 Days of Halloween (Scooby Doo obviously, maybe a Friday the 13th the Tv Series episode) I don’t really plan on counting stuff currently airing.  (example: I plan on watching American Horror Story cause it’s about a coven of witches, but I won’t count that.)  But Making Monsters is only ever aired during the month of October every year.  They make 8 two hour episodes and air 2 of them back to back every Sunday in October.  And that’s it.  No reruns during the year, just around Halloween.  The show follows the gang at Distortions Unlimited as they create various gags and props for the haunt and halloween community.  It’s a great, fun show and it’s become a Halloween tradition (Like Halloween Wars on the Food Network.)

 

Well, that’s it for week one.  So far, so good.  And I’ve got some great flicks coming up in the next couple of weeks.  Happy Halloween, everyone!  Chime in with some must sees on your list.

 

 

 

 

31 Days of Halloween – The List

Posted in Uncategorized on October 1, 2013 by undeadjohnny

Hey, everyone!

The World of the Weird Monster Show Blog is back!  And hopefully I won’t let it languish as before.  I will try to keep posting WOWMS content that I think you all may find interesting (including continuing the “making of” look backs at past season) as well as other stuff that interests me.

But today is October 1st and that means one thing!  It’s time for 31 days of Halloween movie viewing!  I know we say “everyday is Halloween” but this is the one time of year where I try to make sure I watch one movie a day.  I’ve already scoured my video collection and put together a list of films to choose from this season.   I’ve also included some 30-60 minute shows as well for those late nights where I may not be able to fit something in due to work, etc.

I will try to write little mini-reviews as I go and let you know what films were selected.

Without further adieu, here is the list of films, in no order, chosen for this year:

 

Image

The E! 100 SCARIEST MOVIE MOMENTS:  I had forgotten I’d burned this to DVD and decided to throw it in on the chance I needed something that I didn’t have to pay super attention to.  Or on some night where I couldn’t make up my mind.  This is a fall back title, probably won’t watch.

 

Image

THE ADDAMS FAMILY: Here’s one of those 30 minute picks for a late night after work.  Every October I need to at least watch the 2 part episode which takes place on Halloween where Gomez and Morticia talk about how they first met.

 

Image

ARCHIE’S WEIRD MYSTERIES: Another 30 minute choice.   Have never watched, but love the idea (and I had to use this image with the Archies/Scooby Doo mash-up because, well, awesome.)

 

Image

THE CHANGELING: One of my favorite movies that can really give me the chills and it’s been way too long since I’ve watched it.

 

Image

CREEPSHOW: Got the Blu-Ray for this a long time ago and have yet to put it in.  That changes now.

 

Image

CURSE OF THE WEREWOLF:  Had to throw in some Hammer Horror and this is one I haven’t watched in a long time.

 

Image

DR. PHIBES RIDES AGAIN!:  It demanded to be watched.

 

Image

VISITORS FROM THE GRAVE Hosted by Elvira:  Have a few Elvira hosted films this year.  Because, hey, I love Elvira and not many things say Halloween like Elvira hosting a movie.

 

Image

THE EVIL DEAD:  Another Blu-Ray I bought awhile ago and haven’t watched.

 

Image

THE FOG: One of my all time favorite horror films.  Just got the new Blu-Ray and can’t wait to watch.

 

Image

FRIDAY THE 13TH THE SERIES:  Another “short” choice, I love this show.  Robey!

 

Image

THE FRIGHTENERS:  What’s not to love?

 

Image

VAMPIRE JOURNALS: Hosted by William Shatner’s Full Moon Fright Night:  Okay, horrible movie….but one of the only available titles from Shatner’s horror host show.  Must watch!

 

Image

GINGER SNAPS:  Love this movie!  And it takes place on Halloween and it’s been way too long since I’ve seen it.

 

Image

IT’S THE GREAT PUMPKIN, CHARLIE BROWN:  C’mon.  It’s the best.  Will most likely watch right around 10/31.

 

Image

HALLOWEEN III SEASON OF THE WITCH: One of the best Halloween movies ever.  If you don’t like this movie, you are wrong.  It’s just that simple.  Atkins!

 

Image

HALLOWEEN:  Best watched on Halloween itself.  I think I may watch the extended TV version this year.  Because, you know, I think I own like 456 different copies of this.

 

Image

HALLOWEEN I & 2:  I just can’t tear my eyes from the Rob Zombie remakes.  I’ve loved everything he’s ever done.  But did NOT like the first Halloween.  Did like the 2nd.  But as time goes by I like each one more and more.

 

Image

HAUNTED PALACE: Don’t let the “Edgar Allen Poe” fool you, this is all HP Lovecraft and Vincent Price and it’s awesome.

 

Image

THE HAZING;  another fun Halloween night movie.  Tiffany Sheppis!

 

Image

HOUSE OF 1000 CORPSES:  Again…on Halloween night.  Love this movie.  Also, one of the best looking Blu-Rays I’ve ever seen.

 

Image

HOUSE OF DARK SHADOWS:  Love it.  Loved the series and while these films aren’t as cool, they’re still just fun to watch.

 

Image

THE HOWLING: One of the best werewolf movies ever.  Have the new Blu-Ray, looking forward to seeing it.

 

Image

THE LADY IN WHITE:  Another Halloween picture and just a great little movie.  I’ve always found this pretty unique.

 

Image

THE LORDS OF SALEM:  I loved this movie and it’s crying out to be watched around Halloween.

 

Image

MAY:  Another great flick.  Another that takes place on Halloween.

 

Image

MICROWAVE MASSACRE:  How could I not watch this?  Bought it at Days of the Dead last year.  Still haven’t watched.

 

Image

NIGHT OF THE DEMONS:  Such a great Halloween night classic!

 

Image

PHANTASM:  perfect for a late, fall night!

 

Image

PRINCE OF DARKNESS:  Just got the new Blu-Ray, looking forward to checking out the new transfer.

 

Image

SCOOBY DOO:  I LOVE Scooby Doo and Mysery, Inc.  So somewhere this month I’ll be watching multiple versions of this show.  Possible the HP Lovecraft episode of Mystery, Incorporated.  Maybe this one where they met Batman and Robin.  Maybe where they first saw the Hex Girls.  Who knows?  But I love Scooby Doo.

 

Image

SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES:  A Halloween requirement.  A must watch.

 

Image

TRANSYLVANIA 6-5000:  Or as I like to call it, WOWMS the Movie.  I love this movie.  Geena Davis Vampire!

 

Image

TRICK R TREAT: Owned this on Blu-Ray for years.  STILL have yet to see it.  Will this be the Halloween I finally watch this?

 

Image

UNIVERSAL MONSTERS: Blu-Ray:  Not sure which films yet.  I know at least THE WOLFMAN as it’s one of the transfers I haven’t looked at yet.

 

Image

WEREWOLF Tv show:  For a night when nothing else will do.

 

Image

THE WICKER MAN:  One of the best horror films ever.  Have to watch.  And early October film.

 

Image

WILLARD: Been way to long since I’ve watched this.

 

Image

WOLFMAN:  Haven’t seen since the theaters and have been wanting to see again.

 

Okay, that’s it.  Sure I won’t get to them all, but I’m going to try to see as many as possible (and I’m sure others will sneak in.)  How about you guys, what’s on your list for must see Halloween movies?

 

 

World of the Weird Monster Show Rises from the Depths! Season 3

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on November 28, 2010 by undeadjohnny

Okay…the show never went anywhere, so the subject line is kind of a stretch…but this blog did during the holiday!  And now it rises again.

So…season 3.  2006.  As with between seasons 1 and 2, we took a slight break between 2 and 3.  Which left us refreshed and ready to begin again.  Season 3 was a very solid season.  We were firing on all cylinders and we knew what we were doing now…which allowed us to experiment in some episodes and do some new stuff.   It was definitely the time when we had the biggest cast.  From beginning to end, there were a LOT of people involved in season 3.  We started off with many people who had been there from the beginning…and a few left the show over the course of the season and we ended up with more or less the beginnings of the cast we have now.  And it was some of the people leaving–or more correctly, just having a hard time getting free to do the show–that led to the recruitment of one of the most important people in the show’s history.

Season 3 was the birth of the “Girls of the World of the Weird Monster Show.”  Almost all of the “Girls” had been on the show previously, but this was when we made a bunch of posters in the style of old lobby cards for sci-fi/horror flicks with the girls from the show.  We made a calendar and everything out of these as well as prints for our convention appearances (something I’m thinking of doing again as we may be at 3 cons in 2011…recreating old movie posters with our cast on green screen.)

This was also our second year at Flashback Weekend…and it was a blast, setting the stage for a lot of future activities as well as a couple brief brushes with possible fame and more exposure.

We also did our first Christmas Special in season 3, it was the first season I directed an episode personally.  And the first time we resorted to doing a clip show.

So, as with previous entries, I will go over this season episode by episode.  Unlike season 1 and 2…I barely have any dvds of our 3rd season episodes so I couldn’t watch that many.  so there won’t be as many instances of “This is the first appearance of….” etc.   But as I go I’m sure I’ll remember lots of juicy details.

I do believe it was somewhere in this season that we started showing trailers of old films.  anyway, here we go!

3.1 MANSTER

Okay…so we were fresh from our break and hot off the success of what was our best episode to date…ZONTAR, THE THING FROM VENUS.  But still, as with our premiere episode of season 2…we didn’t actually finish this episode.  We broke this streak in season 4.  But yes, a couple plot lines are left open and Tom’s character disappears completely since he had to grab a camera and help us finish.  And the big fight scene (which we actually rehearsed in a park outside my apartment) was shot in 5 minutes at the very end of the shoot…and it shows.

But this was a fun episode.  Our characters went to Japan (we even had Raiders style map with the red line that went from Viseria to Japan.)  Demonia, Johnny’s assistant was a prominent character…she had much more screen time in season 2.  Sadly, this was her last season.  Demonia was in this episode, reappeared in 3.5 and then made her swan song in our Christmas Special at the end of the season.   At the beginning we made a big deal about Johnny hitting on Demonia…we stated that Dementia had left Johnny for a fling with Zontar, while they were on his home planet making TV shows during their hiatus (as explained at the end of ZONTAR.  Sheesh.)  This was also…much like Season 2’s premiere, a pretty much Dementia free episode.  Dementia appears at the very end–I’m assuming because she couldn’t be at the station till a certain time for some reason.

Tom played one of my favorite characters–who I just had back in our latest episode (WHITE ZOMBIE…which premieres on 12/3!) HarveyBob Weinberg….a two headed asshole who was a parody of the Weinstein Brothers and Dimension studios (who churned out crap sequel after crap sequel and killed movies…as well as bought the rights to great foreign horror filcks and then sat them on a shelf.)   I took a toy lightsaber, broke it in half and attached it to a t-shirt with duct tape so it rested across the back.  Tom wore this under his jacket and we taped it to him.  The other head was attached to this spike.  Tom has said this was incredibly painful and I don’t doubt it…it was a funky rig.  But it was funny and he did great!

Dementia at the very end. Chin Doun, the psychic from 1.5 made an appearance as well

Demonia (Roxanne) and Nicole strike a pose! We spent a whole lot on costumes in season 3!

Igor, Johnny and HarveyBob reach Japan! We also parodied the “scary kid” type Japanese horror films in this episode when Matt’s sister played an amazing Samara

HarveyBob Weinberg

Demonia and Johnny

3.2 NOSFERATU

This was a very fun episode.  This was the first time we did something really different.  Also, I believe this was the first time where the show was not “the show.”  While in season 2 our BLACK SABBATH episode focused on Undead Johnny’s Creepy Room…it was still our show.  This episode is an entirely different show on Channel 666 altogether…a special tribute to Silent Films by Channel 666 show’s Slasherpiece Theatre and World of the Weird Monster Show hosted by Peter Graves.

I had wanted to do a silent film for awhile.  There are a lot of good, fun, cheesy public domain horror films…but not a whole lot of classics.  There are a few, but not many.  Some of the silent films are definite classics…like Nosferatu.  But I didn’t want to do something like Nosferatu without making it special somehow…different from a normal episode.  So I came upon the idea to make our versions of silent film classics.  Let me tell you, parody is so much easier when it’s brief.  By doing one movie a segment, you can take the cpl of things the film is known for, make a play on it, and there you go.  Short, sweet and hopefully funny.

So we shot them all in Black & White and various shades of sepia.  And we just had a great time.  Not having sound made things go so much faster, hahaha, cause we could shout at the people on camera.  One of my favorite bits is when Johnny shoves Gunderschloss into the black and white frame of our Nosferatu parody….where he half heartedly kills the vampire.

I also liked how Peter Graves introduced each film with completely the wrong information.  For Hunchback he described “Rudy”  For Metropolis he described Superman.  For Phantom of the Opera he described Phantom of the Paradise and for Nosferatu he described Blacula and Scream, Blacula, Scream.  Johnny also says Cabinet of Dr. Caligari is about a killer cabinet roaming the German countryside.

This was also our first episode more or less with Matt gone.  I believe…it was around here.  I know he left towards the end of Manster and Tom and I shot the fight scene.  As I stated before in Season 2…I think it just got frustrating for Matt…we have to do things so fast, and many times, it’s not what any of us want, but that’s how it is.  And not being able to get things the way he wanted them just got to him I think.  At least that’s how I saw it.  There were no “bad terms” or anything…he came back to write and direct an episode later in the season, but that was pretty much the end.

Our Hunchback of Notre Dame focused on Quasimoron’s infactuation with the club Notre Dame’s newest feature dancer…Esmerelda (Holly)

Phantom of the Opera!

Mindwarp is back with Metropolis!

And Batboy returns for Nosferatu

Johnny ends the show with his tribute to the Silent Era (which he decides should have sound and be in color) King Kong vs Godzilla vs the 50 foot woman.

3.3 NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD

Hey!  Didn’t you guys already host this movie?

Why, yes, yes we did.

So what’s the big deal?

Well…if I remember correctly, we were supposed to shoot WEREWOLF IN A GIRL’S DORMITORY…when Holly had to back out for some reason.  So there we were, we had a shoot day scheduled and we couldn’t do the episode I had written.  So we did what any self respecting television show would do!  We mounted a clip show!

Yes…except, unlike most shows, like Stargate, our clip show was not just there so we could save money for effects on the big season finale.  It just was there.  I wrote up a quick (and not too great) script about how Dementia couldn’t come to the station for the shoot since there was record breaking sunshine in hell and she couldn’t leave her dungeon (told you it wasn’t great.)  So, not thinking Johnny could do a show himself, she cancels the WEREWOLF shoot. Johnny responds by trying to do a show anyway, so Dementia, knowing it’s an emergency, shows up.  Yeah…kind of stupid.  But aren’t most Clip Show framing devices?

I don’t even know what we showed.  I do know we showed a 15 min version of our Zontar segments…the rest, I can’t remember beyond a montage of all the times Johnny was hurt/killed.

Dementia looking good!

3.4 WEREWOLF IN A GIRL’S DORMITORY

So then we finally shot the episode that was supposed to be 3.3.  This was well into the time now when I didn’t pass the scripts around before we shot…meaning for another eye to look at them.  Astute readers will remember that while I was story editor and head writer, I did have Matt looking over scripts for the 1st two seasons.  Now the scripts were pretty much unadulterated me.  The show had always come from my head…and as anyone who edits knows, being the editor also gave me a huge amount of control of the overall feel of the final project.  But now that was even more so since I didn’t write for someone else anymore…but just entirely for myself.

This episode was a lot of fun.  Greg was back for a big role and he is always fun to have on the set.  Holly and Irina were dressed a school girls…score.  And Nicole made a super cute Red Riding Hood.  That was for a bit Tom, Nicole and I shot at my apartment.  Red Riding Hood was defending werewolf rights and had been living with a werewolf and the footage showed their idyllic life together—then Dementia had footage showing trouble in paradise.  It was very funny.

There were some great Igor/Johnny moments as well as a couple cool shots of the station hallways with wolf howls over them, etc….very American Werewolf in London.  We steal from the best!  And of course, the episode ended with us all breaking out into dance and freeze framing.  Because…well, just because!

Red Riding Hood (Nicole) and the Wolf (I was the wolf)

Irina, Dementia and Holly

Holly has mastered the art of airhead style blowing bubbles with bubble gum

I always thought this was a total “Nancy Drew” type shot…but with Undead Johnny

3.5 MUNSTER GO HOME

So Matt came back with this episode which he wrote and directed.  he also brought back Keith (Bela) for this episode as well.  Now this episode sounds great….Johnny has an idea for a sitcom, which is basically the Dick Van Dyke show but with Johnny.  Cut to our version of the Dick van Dyke opening credits, complete with music.  Then Johnny in a B&W sitcom home and then the office of the variety show he works at.  While there, he remembers his past jobs and we have parodies of WKRP, CHEERS and TAXI…which are three of my favorite shows as well as Matt’s.   And while it’s not that bad…in fact, if you watch it now it doesn’t really seem any worse than some of our other episodes…and some of the bits from these shows are quite well done….overall this ranks as most of ours least favorite episodes and one I pretty much never air.  Why?  I don’t know.  I don’t think we had a very fun time making it.  Matt was back, but we had now done one or two shows without him….and the script was pretty funny and he really loved these shows….but we just couldn’t recreate them well enough on our time and no budget.  So I think he wasn’t thrilled as we were shooting which rubbed off.  I don’t know.  It’s not that bad…but it’s not remembered very fondly by many of us.

The office….which was Jeff’s office at the time.

Cheers parody…always happy to have Roxanne back.

Our Cheers bar, “Glooms” sign I made. Die hard viewers will recognize this establishing shot from our Geek Fantasy Hour episode…this is where Johnny and Romy are drinking.

Our Taxi parody. Which also featured Monsieur Grovelling and El Santo (played by Bill this time)

WKRP parody

3.6 DEEP RED

Well, we may not have been happy with 3.5, but from this point on, we just killed the rest of the season with some really solid episodes.  starting with this one.  I had wanted to do a “tribute” to slashers if you will for awhile…as well as bring back some blood into the show…it’d been awhile since we were nice and gory.

So I came up with having 3 girls, a’la Halloween (they were even named Jamie, Nancy and PJ) come to Channel 666 as interns.  They’re stalked and killed by Jason, Freddy and Michael Myers (with a crowd pleasing Scream-Ghostface Killer cameo.)  This was the first episode I directed as well…only because I had it so clear in my head.  This was one of those episode like ZONTAR, CARRY ON SCREAMING, HORROR OF PARTY BEACH where things just fell into place and you knew it was going to be something cool while you were doing it.

We had a ton of fun making it.  Got a lot done in a short time and go nice and bloody.  We screened this episode at Flashback Weekend and got a great reaction and sold a ton of dvds.  This was just one of those cases where everything went right.

It was also the first episode we did an audio commentary for as well!

Initial ideas for the episode

Johnny greats the coeds! Holly played PJ, Dementia played Nancy and Marissa played “Final Girl” Jamie.

First off, Holly and Tom did some of the best fake sex ever. Then they were both sports and got bloody as hell.

This single shot…about 3 seconds of screen time, inspired me (and Jeff) to create about 3 other sketches based on the idea of Igor and Micheal Myers having a TV show together.

GIRLS OF THE WORLD OF THE WEIRD MONSTER SHOW CALENDAR

So before we get to our next episode, which was for Flashback Weekend, we should cover this.  After our first Flashback we thought it would be cool to have more stuff at our table to sell.  Mike, who created Flashback, loved the show (had been on it as a zombie) and he always gave us two tables together so we had room…one for the show, one for the girls.  So we didn’t want to just take “cheesecake” style shots of the girls and sell them.  I decided to make fake movie poster lobby cards–in the style of old horror flicks/exploitation films.  It was a lot of fun.  The girls had a great time dressing up and goofing around on set.  And it was fun to create the posters.  We did two series of these, but I’ll cover them all here….or at least some of them.  The fans really dug them.  Cause they were still sexy pics of the girls they liked on the show…but they were also kind of kitchy horror posters as well.

First, some behind the scenes shots:

Nicole as Red Riding Hood…Tom as the wolf

Holly, Nicole and Marissa…though the poster just ended up being Holly and Nicole.

Dementia and Nicole, with Holly as the creature. We ended up doing a scene like this in two of our shows….one later this season and one for a Ladies of the HHU special

Holly & Nicole in the coffin couch

Nicole as a Bad Girl…about to go to hell

And some of the posters:

You know what was fun? Drawing a pentagram on the station floor, lol.

This character ended up in an episode later this season…nod to Captain Kronos Hammer film

We did a few character ones, too….here’s Demonia’s

This was always a big favorite. Nicole in the Undead Johnny shirt as the Girl Who Loved Halloween.

3.7 HORROR EXPRESS/ FLASHBACK WEEKEND SPECIAL 2006

So here we were, back at Flashback!  Now that we had one con under our belts, this one we were a little more prepared for.  Meaning we didn’t drag the coffin couch to the hotel.  We had more episodes on DVD ready to go…and better ones, frankly–as some of our better work didn’t come until after the first Flashback Weekend.  We had the Girls of the WOWMS Calendar (We brought like 5 I think…sold out.)  As well as individual posters of many of the pictures.  We had a good chunk of the cast there.  We were ready and we had a blast!

It’s hard to say which Flashback Weekend was the best…but this was a fun one for sure.  We had a great time.  Got lots of the celeb guests to do bumps for the show (which I need to find…we have all these people who did stuff for us, from Robert England as Freddy to Adrienne Barbeau, Tom Atkins, Sid Haig, Lance Henrikson, Ken Foree, Danielle Harris, Heather Langenkamp and on and on and on…and we never use them in other episodes!  we need to correct that.)

Our neighbors were Troma.  Which was a delight.  I met some great people there and we bonded with Troma right away.  Obviously we have slightly similar sensibilities and we just got along real well.  Lloyd did a bunch of stuff for our show and we gave Ron and everyone at the table (including good friends Merrie and Jeremy….Jeremy who then went on to guest in an episode in the 4th season.)  This of course led to many things.  In 2007 we were Troma’s neighbor’s again and had a blast.  I went on to do numerous editing jobs for Lloyd.  I’m not sure if it’s out yet, but on the Produce Your Own Damn Movie DVD box set, I edited the interviews with Monte Hellman, Mick Garris and Steven Paul (and I think another one…it’s all a blur.)  Lloyd gave a speech about Media Consolidation in Washington and he had me edit together that speech with his one from Fangoria Weekend of Horrors in Chicago and a few other jobs.  Was always a pleasure and whenever I’d see Lloyd he was hugely appreciative…which is why Troma can get all of use working for free!  We even went so far to submit for Lloyd a Demo of the “Troma TV Primetime Movie” which would be us hosting Troma films.  But more on that later in season 5-6 when we get to it.

Another cool person we met was Joe Sena from Fearwerx (who is now also the brainchild of 100 Years of Monster Movies at 100YMM.com.   Joe was great, we gave him a bunch of our episodes, which he watched the first night of the con.  He even went so far as to take a bunch of episodes to Fangoria TV (this was as it was about to launch…it never happened of course.)  He of course didn’t…and couldn’t promise us anything, but he liked our show’s sensibility and humor and thought it would be great for the network if it got up and running.   We also got a bunch of Joe’s Z.E.R.O. line of merch and even used it and the organization–with Joe’s okay–on our Christmas episode.   We’ve seen Joe a couple times over the years at Flashback and he’s such a nice guy.  We always make sure we give him copies of our latest El Santo episodes.

Then, about a week after Flashback, we were contacted by a MyNetworkTV in Rockford.  Now, Rockford, Illinois is where I am from originally.  This was after UPN and the WB became the CW.  Most of the UPN stations went back to being indies and the one in Rockford was becomming a MyNetworkTV.  They had a Saturday night movie slot already on the books for 1030pm and were curious about whether or not we’d like to syndicate our shows to them.  This was super exciting for many reasons.  1) Recognition.  It’s nice to be liked.  2) 10:30pm, Saturday and even the same channel was the time slot I grew up watching Uncle Don’s Terror Theater…which would be amazing to be on at the same time.  3) Money!

So I contacted some family I had who knew about such things and we went cheap and said $100 an episode.  The idea being if it did well, there were MyNetworkTV’s all over and if it spread from city to city, that $100/episode would start to add up.  Where it fell thru was a) we would have to reshoot all our shows since we weren’t formatted for commercial breaks, the right length segments, etc.  And we couldn’t give them enough episodes to start with.  b) Although public domain, we didn’t own the films we showed…meaning we didn’t own a print (not too mention much of the music we played was not PD.)  This station, Channel 39, lost most of their movie library to a flood (including all the tapes of Uncle Don’s terror Theater!!!)  so while they had movies to play obviously, they didn’t have many of the old horror stand bys and we would have to shoot all new episodes, etc  Which, at the time there was no way we could do on a weekly basis, etc.  What it came down to was them pretty much wanting it wrapped up and handed to them right away for like 20 weeks…and since it wasn’t, they just went ahead and showed the films like they originally planned.  We were kind of a last minute after thought.   But nice to be asked!

We hosted our FW show from the Dream Reapers set they had there.  Dream Reapers is an amazing Haunt here in Chicago.  Pat Mcspadden took some amazing shots of us and did a photo shoot with Dementia and Holly at the haunt after the con on Sunday.  It was a blast.

We met so many cool people…people we were friends with for years afterwords (and still are!) and had a lot of cool stuff come from the con.  As well as learning that people actually watched us!

Us during our photo shoot

Could she be the cutest, nicest person ever? Danielle Harris everyone!

Michael Berryman

Erin Brown (Misty Mundae) – who was just great to us

Ezra Buzzington…who Holly had a huge crush on…came on over to our table and made Holly’s weekend!

Our good friends The Bone Jangler and Nocturna!

Lloyd!

Holly and Dementia shoot some intros

Our first real promo shot!

And last, but not least…Sheppis!!!!

3.8 FANGS OF THE LIVING DEAD

Back in the studio!  So I realized the Burgermeister Johan Gunderschloss was a pretty bad Burgermeister.  I mean, he was all fierce and full of monster killing vigor in his first few appearances.  But then Johnny said he’d make him a TV star, he hung out at Channel 666…he lost his way.  Plus I figured that if he spent all his time hanging out with monsters…he was a pretty crappy monster hunter.  So I had the village of Viseria fire him.

In his place they hired the bad ass Ilsa Kronos.  As she was an actual threat, Johnny got nervous.  Since she would try to kill Dementia–and as Johnny saw it, no Dementia=no show.   So he arranged to make a game show where the prize would be the job of Burgermeister for life!  So he rigged it.

Dementia also hypnotized Ilsa with her boobs.  Yeah, that’s how I write.

It was pretty funny and featured one of our best “Game Show” sketches to date.

Original idea notes

Ilsa Kronos, daughter of Captain Kronos

Dementia and Ilsa…after she’s been turned to the dark side!

3.9 FRANKENSTEIN VS THE CREATURE FROM BLOOD COVE

Okay…so I had been working on some ideas for LADY FRANKENSTEIN when I was contacted by William Winckler.  William had just finished a film called FRANKENSTEIN VS THE CREATURE FROM BLOOD COVE and was looking for ways to get his film out there.  I helped him get in touch with a bunch of horror hosts who showed his film all over the country.  It was a fun movie, in B&W, that had a frankenstein monster, a bride of frankenstein, ghosts, a creature from the blac lagoon type creature…and nudity!  Was a blast.  We were thrilled to show the film aHals Halloween season was approaching and this would be perfect!  Also, we got to show a more recent film as well as help out an indie filmmaker.  William was awesome to work with (we showed another film of his in season 4)

I wanted to make this a special episode since we were doing something out of the norm…showing a new film!  So we went all out with lighting, sets, etc.  I crammed in a Frankenstein monster (who was a female so it covered the Bride aspect as well.)  We had a werewolf, complete with lap dissolve transformation, as well as a Vampire.  We had a blast.  It got really rushed towards the end as we ran out of time, but we did it and it stands as one of our best episodes.  Certainly the best looking.

We were allowed to show the film for one year.  After that, we repurposed the segments and used them to host…LADY FRANKENSTEIN.

original notes

One thing to note in the above is the mention of a “Carrie” to play the vampire that Holly ended up playing.  I’ll address this more at the end.  Also, note there was going to be a Mummy as well as all the others, played by Marissa, but she bailed out of the shoot and we scrapped all those scenes.  I should dig em out, I think they were funny!

Holly and I on one of our sets

This was shot in our proproom!

3.10 PLAN NINE FROM OUTER SPACE/ 2006 HALLOWEEN SPECIAL

This one was fun!  I remember sitting at home one night, trying to think of TV conventions we hadn’t made fun of yet, like Soap Operas, etc….when I thought:  Telethons!  So I decided for our Halloween Special you would see the tail end, the last two hours, of a ridiculously long telethon hosted by Undead Johnny and Dementia…where we lost money.

It featured “previews” of 666 shows your money would support.  We really had fun with this.  It also featured a cross over with the Bone Jangler and Nocturna at home watching the telethon, as Johnny sings Monster Mash a’la Shatner.  We had a Peter Graves “Inside the Horror Actors Studio.”  We had “I Can’t Take it Anymore” which was our suicide game show.  And of course Father Murder’s Satan Hour (sponsored by the Happy Time Bunny Store…which we made a commercial for in Season 4.)

3.11 EL SANTO VS DRACULA Y EL HOMBRE LOBO

So I decided to do another El Santo episode…and ever since we now do one a year.  One episode that focuses on El Santo and El Johnny No Muerto.  And I have to say, they get sillier and more stupid ever time.  For this one we had…well…lots of really stupid goofy things.  And it ended up being fantastic!  Just great if I do say so myself.  Eric took over the role of El Santo’s brother and nemisis, El Malo.  And he was amazing.

The best part was dressing an inflatable dummy up, and getting him to stand by stringing him up in the middle of a parking lot…and then hitting him full speed with a car so it looked like Brian got run over.  It was the height of stupid…and so much fun!

I could go on and on….this was just a pleasure.  The El Santo eps allow me to be as crazy and silly as I want.  And from the White Snake training montage to the end wrestling match…this ones a keeper!

3.12 SILENT NIGHT, BLOODY NIGHT/ 2006 CHRISTMAS SPECIAL

This ranks as one of my all time favorite episodes.  You know…as a kid you grow up watching all kinds of stuff.  And some of your favorite shows do specials and they end up being something you watch ever year.   To me, this episode fits the bill.  It’s silly, stupid and bloody…and to me it just gushes with Christmas spirit and joy.  I really feel like we did something special.

I was excited to write a Xmas Special.  I decided we would have Johnny try and get Jesus as his guest…the birthday boy!  Of course he wouldn’t come to hell so Igor got a zombie to play Jesus…as Jesus was the world’s 1st zombie.  Zombie Jesus then bites Igor, setting off a full fledged zombie outbreak inside Channel 666.  Dementia calls in ZERO and Capt Buck Murdock and his troops show up to deal.  Demonia returns in a super cute santa girl outfit, Johnny introduces the “Undead Johnny Christmasettes” El Santo sings Felize Navidad…it’s just fun.  and Buck Murdocks dialogue is some of the funniest I’ve ever written.

It may not look like it, but we came the night before to decorate the set!

Holly, El Santo (Tom) and Irina

Zombie Jesus begins the outbreak

ZERO to the rescue

The Christmasettes go zombie

Demonia and Dementia looking super holiday cute!

I also made a point of bringing back the blood–as again–we had lightened up a bit.  So the pantyhose filled with mashed potatoes and covered in karo syrup blood made a triumphant return!

 

WRAP UP

So Season three was a lot of fun.  Some people who had been with us from the beginning said their goodbyes, but we also gained some new people.  We met tons of cool people, did a lot of cool stuff and really had fun.  Besides one or two here and there, it was a pretty stress free season and we had a blast!

Coming soon….Season 4!

Scooby Doo! Halloween fail…sort of

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on October 29, 2010 by undeadjohnny

Hey all,

Apologies for the lack of entries.  Been swamped!  But planning on getting another WOWMS bts blog up tomorrow (covering season 3!)

I’ve kind of failed in many of my Halloween goals this year.  The important things I’ve covered…I bought some cool stuff, I and my wife carved pumpkins for our front steps…the first front steps either of us have had as adults!  So yes, we’ve decorated the front yard and got pumpkins out as well as an awesome Halloween tree and animatronic cat.  And frankly, that’s really all I needed.  So cool.

Bought some candy for trick r treaters this Sunday!  Can’t wait to have trick r treaters at my door!  Now, this is our first year in the house, so who knows….we may get barely anyone…or we may get alot.  Either way, I’m happy just to set up a big bowl of candy and throw Halloween on the TV while waiting.  Or the Great Pumpkin!

But my movie watching has been lackluster.  Sigh.  I knew I’d never make my goals, but I haven’t even come close.  And while many things I’ve watched have been awesome and are old faves (Horror of dracula, Brides of Dracula, Masque of the Red Death, Monster House) none were really on my list.  So many things I wanted to watch….I mean, I’ve wanted to watch for a long time but was too busy..I figured Halloween would give me an excuse, but it didn’t happen.  I have a few days left but between right now (at work) and Sunday when I get off work—I figure I have about 4-5 hours non-sleep free time.

I have caught some cool stuff on Food Network…which I now declare officially THE best Halloween network.  Yes, it’s food, but they have more cool Halloween programming than most any other network.  It’s great!

No Halloween special for WOWMS this year.  Which marks the second time that has happened.  I’m kind of bummed about this.  We have gone to a very, very limited shooting schedule and I need to make that change.  My life has been otherwise occupied in the last couple of years but I’ve got to make time for the show.  I’m happier than I’ve ever been…but that shouldn’t mean I have to drop the thing that kept me slightly happy when I was miserable, hahaha.   Hopefully, a change in shooting schedule days towards the end of the year and into next year will bring back at least monthly new episodes (the main obstacle has been work schedule related)    We are showing LADY FRANKENSTEIN for Halloween…which is perfect for the season.  Just wish we’d done a new one.  I had some great ideas, too.  Oh, well, next year!

I also have been watching a bunch of the new show, SCOOBY DOO! MYSTERY INCORPORATED which is awesome!  Great animation, wonderful character designs…very moody, atmospheric…colorful (I think one of the things I dig about Scooby Doo so much is the colors.  Honestly, the color combinations of the costumes, the van, etc….just hits me the right way.)   I could do without a bit of the Velma all over Shaggy (cause really….who would really want Shaggy?)  But I like the fact that there’s an overarching mystery as well as the stand alones.  I love that Casey Kasem is Shaggy’s dad.  I love that Jeffrey Combs played HP Lovecraft.  I love that Harlan Ellison played himself!

It’s just a very, very cool show–and it also kind of confirms to me that Daphne and Velma are two of the hottest cartoon/comics characters…and kind of a fantasy.  So girls….you’ve got two days left.  Ditch that witch costume, or lady gaga crap or “Sexy” whatever it is you were planning on…and go as Daphne or Velma.

great lighting effects in this show, too...and lots of greens, purples, etc...I always thought of a WOWMS cartoon and how it would look. It would look just like this which is maybe another reason I like it so much.

Just cool.

Great titles, too. I think the HP Lovecraft one was "The Shrieking Madness"

 

 

I think this season the Mystery Inc gang may have to come back to WOWMS

And while not relating to this post...Velma and Scooby surving in the zombie wastelands is just cool. Did I mention I can't wait to see Walking Dead on Sunday night??!?!

The Bride of World of the Weird Monster Show – Season Two!

Posted in Uncategorized on October 17, 2010 by undeadjohnny

Yes, I return with more behind the scenes goodness!

It’s time for Season Two! Now ask any WOWMS cast member (especially Jeff) about what I think of the early episodes and they’ll say that I think they’re crap and won’t show them at all.

And you know what? I was wrong. I’ve went back and watched season two and…without sounding full of myself…damn, they were pretty good! I was very surprised. I hadn’t watched many of them in a long time and they held up really well. many of them, in terms of wacky stories and plots may even be better than some recent ones (okay..maybe that’s too much.)

But season two was a big step for us. We took a break between season 1 and 2…I think maybe 2 months or so. What happened back then was that I’d be ahead of the game early on in a season, but by the end, I’d be giving people scripts the week, if not days, before the shoot. So with time off, I could catch back up.

We changed our set….big time. We took some flats the station wasn’t using and painted them with the whole dungeon wall motif and put hinges on each pair so they could open up. Then I spent another couple of hundred (closer to $1000) buying all new props, etc. The skull lights for the wall, a new chair for Johnny with skulls all over it. And of course, the new Coffin Couch which was about $400 with shipping, etc.

But it looked GREAT. So much better than season 1 by miles and miles. And of course, we knew what we were doing a little more…and were rested up.

Most of the cast either worked for me or with me at the theater I ran at the time, so that gave us a little flexibility…also, Jeff still ran the station, so we had tons of freedom from all sides.

This was also the season we made our first appearance at Flashback Weekend Horror Convention…as well as a guest appearance at a local Haunted House. All in all, even though things started to fall apart a little by the end of the season (foreshadowing changes both in front of, and behind, the camera in the future) it was all in all a really great time for us. Almost the real beginning of the show as it is now. Looking back, I think I would air pretty much every one of these episode now…with the exception of 1 or 2. Which is saying something! So for those of you who have never seen these episodes…who knows, you might soon.

 

Some of these made it into S2, some not. And look, we actually planned a Thanksgiving episode...which we've never done.

 

2.1 ATOM AGE VAMPIRE

Another first…a new opening credits! We still had the opening with the v/o (which was about the stroke of 12 and us being much safer in here than those of you watching out there…..the main jist of that–which I should have covered in season one–is that I always loved Svengoolie with “clear the airwaves, clear all the airwaves,” etc and Uncle Don had a song “It’s 1030, it’s 1030, it’s half past the hour of 10” to shows like Knight Rider with v/o’s etc…I just wanted my show to have one. I wanted people to hear it and have the same excitement and anticipation I did with the shows I watched.) Then we still had the “horror host book” which was a shot of a green hand turning an old book with pictures of hosts in it. (Bone Jangler, Jami Deadly, Mr. Lobo, Shatner–From Full Moon Fright Night, Hitchcock, Sammy Terry, Elvira, Ghoulardi, Prof. Griffin, Uncle Don, Count Gore De Vol, Vampira, Joe Bob Briggs, Count Floyd–had to– and Zacherely were the ones in the book.) But the credits then had all old film clips, etc.

And we had the new set…introduced by Season 2 mainstay character (played by Mike, created by me) Stage Manager/Prop Master Creepy Johnson.

Our first episode of season two…and for whatever reason, Dementia couldn’t be in it. (I didn’t realize how many episodes I went solo at first.) So I came up with the idea of having her cousin, Pandora, on the show. She showed up (Played by Hope, who was in our season 1 finale and 1 more episode in season 2) and was all innocent and dressed in white, etc. Johnny bet Creepy he could make her evil and there was your plot. The idea was if it worked out, Pandora could then (now evil) be a guest host if Dementia ever couldn’t be at a shoot–which, if you remember from season 1, could happen from time to time as Dementia at the time had her own theater company and had other responsibilities.  Now, this didn’t happen…and in fact Hope only did one more episode.  Cause you know what?  It’s not easy to find the right co-host.  I’ve lucked out with the two I’ve had.  And it was clear, while 2.1 is a fun episode, that Hope would never be able to do that on the show.

This episode also introduced Monsieur Grovelling.  Now Grovelling hasn’t been in too many episodes recently, but he was a great character and Tom was hilarious as him.  He was introduced in a commercial–which was cool–cause then the entire segment was about him before he showed up on the set.

Also, starting this season, and with this episode, we were now pretty much doing a segment every 10-15 minutes of the movie, which is what we still shoot for.

This episode had a very fun “how to be a Demon Slut” make-over montage, as well as a costume change montage where we were trying to find the perfect outfit for the now evil Pandora.   We also started a tradition that lasted two seasons…which was that the first episode of each season was never finished!  Yep, we got so rushed by the end of the shoot we ended up making stuff up and….it worked, you’d never kn0w…but it was only finished by editing.  There was stuff we didn’t shoot that was in the script.  Not the best way to start a season, but we’re a bit rusty after 2 months off.

 

Monsieur Grovelling!

 

 

Grovelling, Demonia and myself---Demonia had a MUCH bigger part this season as Johnny's assistant.

 

2.2 MONSTER OF LONDON CITY

Tom brings in his very first script with this episode about Jack the Ripper.  I had to find a movie that would fit, and this British movie was pretty cool.   Tom had had this idea kicking around in his head since Season 1, so he had a pretty good idea what he wanted to do–and he hit it out of the park.  This is a really fun episode and one I don’t mind showing.

Tom played Jack himself–and proved that all you need for a costume is a top hat and cape!  We had a great location sequence.  Tom wrote a bit where Jack the Ripper was sent up to earth in the present day and he attacks all these prostitutes…except the hookers of today kick his ass.  He’s tasered, kicked in the nuts and just plain beat up.  It’s very, very funny.  And looked great, too.  Ed directed the scenes outdoors.

The “on air” stuff mostly consisted on Johnny trying to figure out Jack’s true identity while we had some of his past victims on as guests…including one who was just a bloody skeleton puppeted by Ed doing a horrible female cockney accent that was hilarious.

This was also our first episode to have the end credits without Gein and the Graverobbers music.  (side note–again, should have mentioned this in season one–before our first episode I had written to Gein and the GR and asked if we could use their song “M” as our theme song and “Haunted House” as our end credits.  They said we could use any of their music and just to send them some episodes.  Which I’ve done from time to time.  haven’t in years though, I think it’s about time I sent them some more!)

 

Marissa and Tom...victim and killer

 

 

Fester interviews another victim.

 

 

Jackthe Ripper on the hunt (this is my Brother's favorite shot from our show. So now you know that.)

 

2.3 WRESTLING WOMEN VS AZTEC MUMMY

So this one is something special.  As with any show, in the beginning there are important moments.  Characters introduced for the first time, etc.  Season 2 had a bunch of those moments–like I said, it’s more the beginning of the show as it is today, but there are a couple episodes–Flashback Weekend, the Halloween Special, Zontar and this one–that really stand out as being important to the show for the future.

This is our first “El Santo and El Johnny No Muerto” episode.  Now, I have no real idea when I came across El Santo movies.  I knew about Lucha Libre a little…but the fact that one of the most popular Mexican Wrestlers of all time also made a ton of movies is not surprising…the fact that most of these are horror movies where he fought monsters is!   I think I probably became aware of him thru the Bone Jangler who had hosted one of his movies.  I didn’t see his episode, but read about it on his forums I think.  Whatever the case I must’ve looked it up and was tickled with what I found.  I think I bought a set of his DVDs which featured a montage of El Santo moments and that was it.  He wore a suit all the time…with his mask, and no one questioned it.  He was suave, intelligent–kind of like a wrestling James Bond who fought monsters.  I loved one scene where when he was unmasked…he had another mask underneath.

So I decided to have him be on the show.  I didn’t have an El Santo movie so I decided that I’d have El Santo on as a guest to discuss the movie we were showing.  We learned Johnny worked for 4 years at El Cheapo Bastardo Estudiosos in Tijuana doing poverty row knock offs of Hollywood hits.  He was the star of “El Exorcisto!”  And was a huge fan of El Santo.  Our El Santo had a big gut (which Tom–who plays El Santo by the way–always paid attention to.  Depending on what stage of his life was in, Tom adjusted the belly accordingly.)

So halfway thru his interview, El Santo gets a call for help (and Tom did about 25 takes to nail the line “Senorita Lupita Bonita Rodriguez, the daughter of Jorge Reodriguez.”  –which is on our blooper reel which we have aired.)   So Johnny dons his mask and becomes “El Johnny No Muerto!”  I used an online computer program to translate English to Spanish…badly, on purpose.  So Undead Johnny is basically The Johnny Not Dead.

I ordered the El Santo, El Johnny No Muerto and the El Malo (the bad) masks directly from Mexico and they’re pretty decent masks.

The episode also mentions Igor–so we at least know the character is still around since his debut in Vampire Bat.  This episode was fun cause it was the first real pairing of Tom and I.  We’re on screen together all the time, but rarely just the two of us and rarely in a non-interview format.  So the El Santo/Johnny stuff is so much fun cause we get to bounce off each other and I think we’re good together on screen.

It is also the first appearance of Slasher Piece Theater with Peter Graves.  Ah, Peter Graves.  Now, he is NOT supposed to be Peter Graves the actor…I don’t know why I named him that.  I was still on my kick that eveything had to be horror related, so I picked the last name Graves (so I could always say it, “Peter Graaaaaaaaaaaaves.”  and because subconsciously I thought of Peter Graves I picked Peter…for some reason at that moment NOT remembering the actor’s existence.  Sigh.  So this was Peter interviewing Chucky and it’s great.  Professor Anton Griffin, a host from Austin, Texas who’s show I really dug, had made a deal with Universal Home Video.  For a long time a bunch of us hosts got free copies for giveaways, etc of Universal’s genre products to help promote.  So we got the Press Kit for Son of Chucky and in one extra, Chucky was being interviewed a’la Inside the Actor’s Studio.  Now they said we could air any of these extras…they didn’t say we could change them…but they didn’t say we couldn’t either…so I took out the actor and we shot me in his place.  We matched up the table and even passed him the same kleenex box on cue to make it seemless.  It worked great and so Chucky became a guest on WOWMS!

We had a huge beach fight scene for this episode where we even fought in the water!  This was also the very first use of my gorilla suit on air as well as one of our best blood gags.  I needed to rip one of the hood’s heads off…so we ended up using the same wig on a wig form head and attached a long rack of pork ribs to it, covered in fake blood…so it looked like I ripped off his head and spine.  Fun!

And of course we mentioned that El Malo was El Santo’s brother…which carried over into every other El Santo episode we did.

It was also a good example of worrying about stuff that didn’t matter.  I can think of two examples.  1) We agonized about how El Santo and Johnny got from Channel 666 to the “real world.”  Since the station was in Hell, that would mean everywhere else was too…or they somehow got out of hell.  So there was once a bit written by me explaining some portal between Earth and Hell right by the station, etc….which of course does NOT matter and no one cared or even remotely thought about it.  But it was a huge deal for us.   Another example would be that El Malo’s henchmen, the El Goono’s…were supposed to be half man/half chubacabra…so we spent like an hour trying to make them up somehow…which ended up being brown streaks on their faces you can’t even see on camera.  Again, it didn’t matter.

All too often we get bogged down in details of a shot or plot transition, etc, that really don’t matter.  As I started editing episodes more, this became better for us (also, not having the scripts go thru someone else first helped as well)–once we learned we could really cut stuff, stuff that during the shoot seemed very important, but yet in the final product you didn’t notice was missing, then that helped a lot.

 

El Santo and El Johnny No Muerto debut! Dementia was never a part of these episodes as, frankly, she was just too sensible a character and would never get involved in the goofy, stupid stuff the guys did.

 

 

Irina plays Johnny's first onscreen kiss "victim." Though we didn't actually kiss, just turned away from the camera. Johnny's first actual kiss was with Salome...who then slapped the shit out of him.

 

 

Beach action!

 

 

Ripping Brian's head off.

 

2.4 CORPSE VANISHES/FLASHBACK WEEKEND 2005

Ahhh..our 1st convention!  This was very, very cool and such a fun experience.  While every con we go to is fun, there’s nothing like your first one.  Mike Kerz, who runs Flashback Weekend Horror Convention and Drive-In had been a friend of mine for many years.  We worked for the same company for a long time (and also, he was the main reason I have the wonderful job I have now…which is also how and why I met my awesome wife.  So I guess I owe him!)  But he was also a big fan of our show and so he invited us to be guests at Flashback.

We were thrilled!

 

My notes for FW...we had planned on maybe doing sketches with the other guests. The Tom Atkins one we did, but we didn't get Adrienne Barbeau to be my witch creator...didn't get a chance to ask.

 

So we got ready…we made tons of DVDs, we ordered shirts to sell, made a poster for behind our table, made flyers and mini-posters…all kinds of stuff.

The guest list had tons of great people, Tom Atkins, Charles Cyphers, Nancy Loomis, Adrienne Barbeau, Ted Raimi, Bruce Campbell and more!

Mike had given us a conference room on the downstairs floor all for ourselves to shoot in.  This ended up not being as great as we thought as we didn’t get keys to it…so we had to track down employees to let us in.  but we brought our coffin, tons of lights, cameras, my chair–the works.  It was crazy.  We didn’t know what to prepare for as guests.  They even screened one of our episodes there (which I could NOT watch…I stayed inside for all of 1 min before I freaked out.)

We shot a ton of stuff…a whole bit on the fanboys sneaking in (The unofficial, unauthorized Undead Johnny Fan Club guys—played hilariously by Tom and Greg made their big splash here.  They first appeared in Matt’s episode Dementia 13, where they were killed before the opening credits.  And, interestingly, they were supposed to be played by girls!  Roxanne and Marissa!  So if they had shown up that day, we wouldn’t have the fan boys we do now!)  Plus we shot intros, etc.  It was great.

On the floor I got Tom Atkins–the man–to punch me!  Once I heard my favorite John Carpenter man’s man was going to be there, one thought popped into my head–I want Tom Atkins to punch Undead Johnny!  I introduced myself to him the Friday before open and said I was a huge fan (btw, one of the BEST parts of being a guest/dealer at a con, in my opinion, is being there before it opens setting up.  We always get there nice and early and take our time…see what everyone has going on, walk around, etc…it’s so much fun!)  Anyway, Tom was great and very nice.

What’s cool is Mike had a TV station within the hotel.  So we edited this program about an hour long for him.  It had trailers from the films he was showing at the outdoor drive-in, stuff from dealers, etc…and stuff from us.   So many of the celebs would have this on at night and then see us there so on Sat and Sun they’d know who we were.  But yeah, I think this is one of my highlights from the years with WOWMS.  I walk up, say “Hey, it’s Tom Atkins!” He smiles, then  hauls off and punches me.  He hugs the girl (Marissa) I was with, says “Thrill me” and they walk off.  Classic!  And he had so much fun doing it.  He even demanded we do two takes since he didn’t like the first one.  Charles Cyphers and Adrienne Barbeau were cheering us on.  It was so much fun.  A true highlight!

Then a week later, Tom Atkins emailed me for my address…he had an article from his local Pittsburgh paper about a horror host show that made him think of us and so he wanted to send it.  He did so along with a very nice card.  And then we emailed back and forth at Halloween and Christmas for a couple of years.  I mean…HOW COOL IS THAT?!?   I just dug up the emails we had sent back and forth…here was what he sent me originally:  “Morgana (who was Marissa) – Thrill me Baby.  Hey Undead Johnny do you guys  have a mail address.  Not e-mail – the other kind.  I have an article from the local paper I wanted to send you.  I had a good time in Chicago.  It was fun meeting all of you.  Hope the little video thing worked out for your show.  I like your website.  All my best – Atkins – The Man.”    How cool is that, really? (I think that’s what I labeled him as in our pictures on our site.)

Adrienne Barbeau, Charles Cyphers, Nancy Loomis all did bumps for us as well.  I can listen to Adrienne Barbeau say “Hi, I’m Adrienne Barbeau and you’re watching the World of the Weird Monster Show” over and over…when I first had this on DVD, I would repeat over and over.

And Ted Raimi came over and spoke with us for like 15 min and taped a great bit.  I mean, many of us had been to cons before…and obviously these are just people…but for us, just starting to taste some success with our show and finding out that people actually DID watch…to be at this con and to meet these great people we all admired and have them be cool—it was just a magical time.  I don’t know if it comes out in the episode….but it was so much fun.

 

Our first table!

 

 

Adrienne Barbeau! (signing my Fog onesheet)

 

 

Ted Raimi vouches for WOWMS

 

 

Me and The Man...Tom Atkins

 

 

A sketch we did with a VERY empty Q&A for Johnny.

 

 

Image from our screening!

 

 

Our temp set in the basement

 

 

One of my favorite Undead Johnny/Dementia images ever

 

2.5 BLACK SABBATH

Ah, the debut of The Creepy Room!  So Dementia was away again for this episode, so Igor made his return for the 1st time.  And Demonia, Creepy Johnson and Johann Gunderschloss made up the rest.  (Demonia, as I say, was Undead Johnny’s assistant.  While never fleshed out too much–though it turns out she was a ninja in 3.1–I always liked Demonia and Johnny.  She knew he was an idiot, but was loyal, called him “boss” and took care of him when she needed to…and ridiculed him other times.)

So since Black Sabbath was an anthology, Johnny came up with his own anthology.  Much like Futurama’s The Scary Door and SCTV’s Doorway to Hell, “The Creepy Room” was a parody of those anthology shows…in Johnny’s intro to the show I worked in Tales from the Darkside, from the Crypt, Twilight Zone, Outer Limits, One Step Beyond and Thriller.  It was silly and goofy and all the stories ended with “What a creepy room!” and a weird sound effect.

We had two “Creepy Room” stories…one written by Tom, one by me.  While funny—many viewers aren’t big fans of the Creepy Room, haha.  I think the main reason is because they’re parodying really crappy stuff (not the classics listed above..but bad versions of them) and a parody of crap…well, ours were kind of crappy!

 

Creepy and Demonia

 

 

Johann and Johnny

 

 

Johnny in his Creepy Room intro

 

2.6  THE PHANTOM PLANET

So…the return of William Castle from 1.4.  Seems he was “wiped away” to the X-Dimension.  For every 1 year in our world, 10 pass there.  He used that time to take over the entire dimension to build his own Wipe-O-Rama device (to “wipe” thru dimensions) in order to come back and take his revenge on Undead Johnny.  Mr. Dante (also 1.4) returns to warn Johnny and they travel from dimension to dimension to hide from Castle…eventually finding a WOWMS Mirror Universe and using the Mirror Undead Johnny as bait to destroy Castle.

Dante…who is kind of Doctor Who in this, also has an alien companion, Astrala.  Hope played Astrala…and this was her last episode.  She was a trooper, and, man, horror was definitely NOT her thing.  But she did try and was good in White Zombie as well as most of 2.1.  But for this one…I remember that she, Roxanne and I were at the costume store and I showed her the 50’s sci-fi costume she’d be wearing…and she was all over it.  Only, the night before the shoot, to say she wouldn’t wear it and she made her own.  Which, I have to say, annoyed me–especially as I spent money on the one.  And, like in 2.1, as the day went on, she caused some hold ups with lines….I mean, none of us (well, most of us) are actors.  And we all screw up.  But she just wasn’t one of us when it came down to it.  She was great, really nice, and tried…but it just wasn’t her thing.  She was just looking to do some acting and Roxanne was her friend so she came on, but after this one we all realized it wasn’t working.

The episode did end with Mirror Universe Johnny (who wore a black shirt with orange pumpkin face) lying on the ground, blood pouring out of his mouth–his heart had been ripped out–calling for revenge.  Will we revisit this????  It ended with “the end” then….”?”  🙂

 

Dante and Astrala

 

 

Castle rips out Mirror Undead Johnny's heart.

 

2.7 THE DEVIL BAT

This was a fun one.  And pretty darn silly.  What I remember most from this one is I got to play someone else.  The problem for Dementia and myself is that 95% of the time, she’s Dementia and I’m Undead Johnny.  But it’s fun to be someone else.  So I wrote this insane German scientist, Prof. Heinrich Von Strudel and that was a blast.

We made Brian up like Batboy (you know, from the National Enquirer…Dementia did an amazing job on that) and he and Igor shared some hunchback/batboy love.   And we strapped a rubber bat to a stick and tied it under the camera for the bat pov shots.  I had probably just rewatched some Evil Dead or something and wanted to try the same thing.

I don’t remember too much else from this…besides that when Eric had to keep screaming “Noooooooo!” with the dead Batboy in his lap, the neighbor lady to the station yelled over the fence at us cause she thought something was wrong (and now that I remember that…when Tom and I were El Santo and El Johnny No Muerto the show before, we almost caused a car accident with people staring.)

But this one was just fun.  I don’t remember us being stressed or running late (as we were on Phantom Planet)…we were outside for a lot of it.  It was a good time.

 

Roxanne as Alexia Nighthump, Me as Von Strudel and Dementia

 

 

Noooooooooooooo!

 

 

Bat cam!

 

2.8 GIGANTIS, THE FIRE MONSTER

Another Tom written episode.  Tom is a huge Godzilla fan so he was very excited to write this one.  This one was pretty fun.  It was the first episode where our set was not on the show once.  We spent the whole episode in “downtown Viseria” where we were going to announce the big 2nd annual Fight Night.

Tom and Jeff really wanted to do a “fight night” episode every season.  We had one in Season 1 with Last Man on Earth.  It wasn’t a tradition I was huge on continuing…I didn’t mind, but I didn’t write anything.  It’s funny to see what sticks from an episode and what carries on and what just stops.  But they were keen on it and Tom wrote something very fun.

It was basically King Kong vs Godzilla.  We had the gorilla suit, so we needed a Godzilla one.  I ordered a Godzilla mask on ebay…a nice full head piece.  Then I bought rubber chicken feet and a inflatable sumo wrestler outfit.  With green/black/gray and silver spray paint Tom and I made a pretty awesome Godzilla costume….we made a huge tail out of garbage bags and towels.   For the “city” I printed out shots of sides of buildings and taped them to cardboard boxes…it was pretty cool.

This was also the very first appearance of Professor Mindwarp (and his rotating series of assistants named Timmy.)  While I’ve probably now written way more Mindwarp than Tom…he created the character and is awesome playing him in this episode.

We had a lot of fun shooting the “fight.”  Though Matt, who was directing as usual, kind of left midway thru and left Tom to finish.  Matt didn’t direct any of the next episode either–or the one after that.  And while he was back to be in 2.13 and he worked on some of season 3, I think this was the beginning of the end.  Matt was never a big horror fan and I just don’t think he was fulfilled in what he was doing.  I think the time constraints, the minor normal hassles of a film set, etc…just started getting to him and he wasn’t having as much fun.  I can’t speak for him, but that’s how I remember it.  I think that in the film making process…the actual filming was the least favorite for him.

We also featured at the beginning of this episode an advertisement for a local Haunted House that we’d been asked to make an appearance at!  Which was such a thrill for us.  Much like Flashback Weekend…it just seemed like things were starting to happen and guess what?  I guess we actually DID have a few people who watched!  We had so much fun that night at the Haunted House.  We entertained the line, shot a bunch of stuff, gave away prizes.  It really was a thrill…and again…an experience that only happened because of doing this show, and something I’ll always remember and treasure doing.

 

C'mon...that's cool!

 

 

Mindwarp's first appearance!

 

 

Our Godzilla head breathing fire...I thought this looked so cool and was so proud!

 

2.9 BRIDE OF THE MONSTER – 2005 HALLOWEEN SPECIAL

Our first Halloween Special!  We premiered on Halloween night in 2004, but this was our first Halloween episode.  I really wanted this to be special.  The plan was to do it over two shoots as we really wanted it to seem like a different episode than normal.  So my basic idea was that Channel 666 threw a huge on-air Halloween party every year and that this year, Undead Johnny and Dementia were picked to host it.  So we pretty much got everyone who had been on the show to this point as well as some new ones.  Fan Favorite Holly made her first appearance, as did Nicole and Bill.  Keith was back to play Bela one last time.  The only person not back was Hope.

Adam, who worked for Jeff at the station, was in a band, so he brought some instruments over (bass, guitar and drum set–as well as amps) so we had a band stage for “Fritz and the Dark Shadows.”  We didn’t play music, but lip synched, etc.  (It was me, Jeff, Adam as the bad and Tom as Fritz–the drummer.)

But the jist of the episode was kind of like “Laugh-in” we just cut around the party to different people, jokes flying by as fast as we could.  It would be with johnny and Dementia, then Dr. fever, then outside to El Santo watching the door (I became the 3rd El Santo at this point, as Tom was one of the Fan Boys in the same scene.  Tom is our main El Santo, but Eric played him briefly at Flashback and I played him here.

Ed directed this episode and we had a lot of fun with it.  We opened the show with some old Spook Show trailers and after the credits–again, thanks to Prof. Griffin and Universal–we had a 10 minute behind the scenes featurette with KNB for Land of the Dead.   And during the episode, we had a 4 minute segment we edited from our appearance at that haunted house we had guested at.

I really wanted this to be a Halloween classic.  something our fans would want to watch every year.  I think we did a pretty good job.

Oh, and I forgot!  This is supposed to be the kind of stuff I put in these!  This was, without a doubt, our most heavily edited episode to date.  I cut out HUGE chunks of story.  From an opening scene which had Marissa and Brian trick or treating at the station…to a whole subplot.  There was a scene before the party where Johnny was being fit for his outfit by Grovelling and he was telling him, Igor and Demonia how he was thinking of popping the big question tonight.  Then there was a scene with Dementia and her witches where she was saying how Johnny was acting weird and how she didn’t know what they’d do that night since he always wanted to Trick or Treat alone.  I think there was some other stuff here and there as well.  And then, at the end, Johnny gets on one knee to pop the big question “will you go trick or treating with me?”  That end is still in there.  But all the scenes that were to make the audience think Johnny was going to propose were all cut out.  But we did film them all.  (I still think I made the right call)

 

See! It was a party!

 

 

Fritz and the Dark Shadows (Left to right--Jeff, Tom, Me and Adam)

 

 

Holly, Nicole and Marissa

 

 

El Santo (me) kicks out Freddy and Jason

 

 

The Hunchback Races! Igor vs Bela

 

 

Fester with Marissa and Nicole

 

 

Strangely Brown's First Appearance!

 

2.10 CARNIVAL OF SOULS

So this one was kind of unique.  Sort of like when we showed Suspiria, I didn’t want to be too goofy since I really dig this movie so much.  So I decided to try something different.  Now, originally, this was going to be our Halloween episode.  But I think I ended up going with BRIDE since it was more goofy and light.

As you can see, the original Halloween show idea was to do like a clips show…but showing clips from old shows that never happened.  You know, like some show from the 80’s, or when we hosted Wolfman, etc.  So we could, in fact, create our own past, etc.  We’ll never host the Wolfman…but by doing it as a clip, we could show what we would have done if we did host it.

But that got scrapped for the more fun Halloween Party idea.  so then I thought, well, this is a cool, atmospheric, creepy movie…let’s do a show like that.  I had Johnny leaving to go to a Undead Johnny Con (which turned out to only be the fanboys) and so Dementia was left alone.  She redid the set, did new lighting, had fog machines going…we pulled out Comcast’s piano and added poster tubes wrapped in tin foil behind them for an organ, put cobwebs everywhere.  Dementia even started the show coming out of a coffin.  We did viewer mail segments….it was basically a chance to do a “normal” horror host show. Dementia was joined by Holly and Nicole.

As I wrote it, I started putting more Johnny back into it–there was a whole middle scene with him and the fanboys–because I didn’t think it held up.  This wasn’t Dementia’s fault, but my own.  The writing just wasn’t that great.  Dementia is pretty much an un-funny character.  She’s smart, no nonsense and more a straightman and foil.  She wasn’t designed to be a solo host…but a co-host.  So when it came time to write her solo for a whole show…and to do it in it’s own style, not just her in a normal Channel 666 situation but sans Johnny….I found that it was really hard to find her voice.  And so it felt, to me, really forced.  And again, that was all in the script, the girls did great with what they had.  Tom directed it pretty well also. All in all, it’s not horrible…but, to me, it’s one of the worst of the 2nd season.  more because I just couldn’t make it what I originally had in mind.

Though we did take some hot photos! Nicole, Dementia and Holly

It's good to be the host.

2.11 KING OF THE ZOMBIES

Matt was back to write this episode and direct it.  I remember there being a lot of back and forth about the script where I really didn’t like his first draft.  The movie…well, it’s a product of it’s time and some of the stuff with Mantan Moreland and the maid, while funny, is slightly offensive.  Matt had the great idea of having protesters…but the male protester wasn’t upset with the portrayal of Mantan as an African American…but as a fat man.  (we’d show clips of the more offensive parts…that, when taken out of context seem really bad–but then the protester would be upset over the totally wrong aspect of the clip…it was very funny.)  And the female protester would be upset that the woman was always stuck in the kitchen.

But these made up the large part of his script and then there was this brief bit with the King of the Zombies at the end.  Eventually this was switched around and there were long segments interviewing the King of the Zombies via satellite and the protesters were at the end.

Matt played the King and was hysterical.  Tom, in a truly bizarre and just weird segment played this hypnotist (the hypno-tambourine made it’s appearance here) and there was a great brain ripping out sequence.

It wasn’t the best episode…we were getting tired by the end of the season (at this point, we shot pretty much like clockwork every 2 weeks.)  But it wasn’t bad.  As the show went on though…you could now definitely tell a major difference in vibe between shows I wrote and those written by others.  Which is not a bad thing at all.  That characters are the glue that keeps everything the same show, even with a different approach.  But some held together better than others.  Still, this episode has some very funny moments in it.

Matt as the King of the Zombies

Tom as the hypnotist. This whole segment was just plain weird.

That's my hands...wearing a red shirt to look like Dementia...shooting a close up in my shower, reaching into a wintermelon with a wig on it to pull out a bloody brain to use as an insert for Dementia ripping out Bill's brain. It worked great!

2.12 KILL, BABY, KILL

Tom and Ed wrote this one.  Had some very funny stuff.  I remember giving Tom and Ed a whole lot of crap over a segment with Bill playing a very silly Bela Lugosi….I remember being up in arms we wouldn’t portray him as something a little bit more dignified.  I, as I sometimes am, was wrong.  It was very funny.

We also had Mike as a Ghostbuster on which was pretty funny and a good time.  The whole thing revolved around a child ghost killing station members.  There was a scene where we showed the audition clip from the 50’s when this kid was killed at the station.  I gotta say, the shoot for that flashback, I washed my hands of.  I remember thinking it was going to be a total disaster the way Tom and Ed shot it…but in editing it came out great!

But I did give them a lot of grief.  Nowadays, I’m WAY more lenient in editing other people’s scripts–as head writer I may make some changes here and there, but otherwise, unless I think it’s totally against character I’ll leave it in.  But then, I was more strict and gave them crap.  I remember one shot I wanted to edit out…but I didn’t because I thought Tom and Ed would think I did it because I gave them a hard time on their script.  Later, Tom saw it and said I should’ve cut it out.  So then I learned just to trust my gut when editing.

Jeff played the angry crewmember in this one.  (also in Phantom Planet.)  It’s a character who’s not really a character, yet I love to include!

It’s mentioned that Freak Baby was killed in this episode.  and I liked how, at the end, Johnny and Dementia are together mocking Jeff.  Usually, they’re at odds or arguing…it’s nice to see them “on the same team” now and again.

Nicole...a victim of the ghost baby. My direction for almost every girl on the show? Can you tie your shirt up a little to show your belly?

Very cool, very moody, flashlight scene on set Tom and Ed devised.

Ed as the Ghostbuster

2.13 ZONTAR, THE THING FROM VENUS

Ahhh, the first true classic.  If there was a top 10…maybe even top 5…episodes out of the 65, this would be in it.

At this time, I was a huge fan of SCTV…I mean, I always was, but this was when the DVD sets were coming out.  Joe Flaherty, had once watched Zontar late at night on TV and then he and Dave Thomas (SCTV’s head writer at the time) wrote a whole episode about it…with Zontar coming to Melonville to harvest talent for his planet’s television entertainment.

I decided to do a sequel…and yes, our episode is a direct sequel to SCTV’s Zontar episode (which seemed fitting as 9 times out of 10, fans would say that our show reminded them of SCTV.)

SCTV had Conrad Bain’s brother, Hank, as Zontar;s agent——-WOWMS had Lefty Coppola, Francis Ford Coppola’s cousin

SCTV had Zontar first possess Juel Hallmeyer, their wardrobe person—WOWMS has Grovelling possesed

SCTV and WOWMS both used cabbage leaves on people’s heads to show possession

SCTV had Guy Cabellero in his wheelchair—WOWMS had Undead Johnny injured and in a wheelchair most of the episode

SCTV had Deforest Kelley (Dave Thomas) on the Sammy Maudlin show and he helped defeat Zontar — WOWMS had Undead Deforest Kelley onj our show and he helped Johnny defeat Zontar

and there were more and more.  Our episode took place 14 years after the 1981 SCTV episode and was a mirror to the plot–but yet also a sequel as Zontar, Deforest Kelley, etc, referenced the SCTV episode.  I was very, very proud of it.  This was the first episode I edited on the avid…rather than tape to tape.  (I had edited the opening credits of 2.9 in the avid, and some of the segments, but not the whole thing.)  So I had a lot more control and freedom.  The music is better than any other episode….Jeff, who directed for the first time, brought his A game big time and made it something special.

And of course…Jeff played Zontar–the role John Candy played in SCTV.  And he was amazing.  And that is now his signature role.  and Matt played an amazing Deforest Kelley.

I feel like I should go on with more about this one…but it went really smooth.  Since Matt and Tom/Ed wrote the episodes before this one, I had plenty of time to work on this one…and I really was inspired.  We went the extra mile–as we always do when we have a script we’re all big on.  This one just worked really, really well.

Grovelling being taken over by Zontar...we had a lamp on a dimmer under him going on and off..hi-tech!

Dementia, Johnny and Deforest Kelley fight back!

The man of the hour...and our future Mayor...Zontar!

The role Matt was born to play

 

WRAP UP:

So..we got a little tired at the end of Season 2…but we finished strong and it was a HUGE year.  From Flashback Weekend to our first Halloween Special to a Haunted House appearance…heck, to just finding out we had viewers!  It was a great time and there was no turning back.

Next up…Season 3!

Hey, I’m on TV! And not on my own show!

Posted in Uncategorized on October 13, 2010 by undeadjohnny

Check this out!  a Segment from a local news magazine show in Arkansas called “Here, There and Everywhere” with Jim Buchanan.  Jim interviewed me for about 20 minutes or so and was a great guy.  It was a lot of fun!

World of the Weird Monster Show….Year One!

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on October 11, 2010 by undeadjohnny

Get it?  Like Batman: Year One?  Yeah, okay, it should be more like “season one.”

Anyway, about a week ago I wrote an entry about how WOWMS came about.  People seemed to really like it–and the behind the scenes peek at a horror host show–so I figured, hey why not more?  And this is great for me, too, as it kind of acts as a archive for a lot of our show’s history…a show we’ve put hours and hours and tons of cash into…so it makes sense to keep the history.

I was watching the DVR of the episode we aired last night, BRIDE OF THE MONSTER, which was our 2005 Halloween special.  We’ve had some broadcast issues lately, so I wanted to make sure it played okay.  and while watching it…man, it was a delight.  But weird.  While very rough, I was frankly amazed at how much energy we had and how much we got done.  That was a two day shoot, but still…it’s like a low budget film maker could do a scene for one price…but it would cost Hollywood a ridiculously higher cost to do the same thing, and more time, etc.  We’re hardly Hollywood, but in terms of how we do things now….I don’t think we, as WOWMS, could do that exact same episode right now in the same amount of time, etc.  Funny how things change.  I mean, our show is better…but it was nice to see the old days.

And that’s what this is all about.  I figured I’d go thru it on a season by season basis.  So here we go, season one.

As I wrote before, I had decided to do a horror host show.  I shanghai’d a couple of friends into taking the producer class with me (Eric and Matt.)  basically, you have to take this class.  I think it was like 5-6 weeks.  At the end, your whole class makes one 30 min show and you get your producer’s license.  This allows you to use the facilities, store sets, use the editing bays, equipment, etc.  I went into this knowing the show I wanted to make–but I had no idea if they’d let me.  Technically, shows are either 30 min or 60 min long.  But since we’d be asking to be on late at night, and wouldn’t be bumping anyone out of a slot, I didn’t think it would be an issue–it wasn’t.  When I arrived for the first class, I went and found the teacher–the guy who ran the station–and it was Jeff.  Yep,”Zontar” Jeff.  I saw the “Happy Halloween” sign above his desk, the Freddy vs Jason action figure–in box–on his desk and knew we had it made!

So when it came time to do our first show, I chose the best public domain movie there is…and one of the best horror films of all time…Night of the Living Dead.  I spent a long time on the script and I think it was pretty good.  In fact, one of our most recent–and a fan favorite–sketches, the “Crooked Wood Depot” is a redo of a sketch from that very first episode…just done right!   At this point in the game, and for at least two seasons (I’ll go over important changes like this as we get to them) the process was I would write the script and then send it to Matt.  Who would send back comments and we’d work from that.  I was head writer and story editor and had final say, but there was a lot of back and forth.  Everything I wrote went thru this filter before we went to shoot.

 

A little excerpt from the rough draft of the script...click to make larger...and no bad handwriting comments! Note it still has Dementia listed as "Vampella"

 

So we went in to shoot this episode with our horrible, horrible set.   Somehow this cost like $1000.  I have no idea how. I think it was buying a ton of costumes, a bunch of prop stuff…who knows.  But it was there…we had a little talk show set on one side…with the first Coffin Couch (made of cardboard) and the other side of the set had a lab area.  Which we maybe used twice.

I mentioned in another post how, at this point, we did not know how to edit.  Cause we hadn’t shot anything.  Now, I knew I’d have to edit…at the very least inserting our bits into the film.  But since we didn’t know how yet, to make it easier we shot our bits Live to Tape.  Which means we did it all in one take.  All camera changes are done live in the control room via the switcher by the director (The director at this point…and thru most of the first, oh probably at least 15-20 episodes, was Matt.)

So we did everything in one take (well, multiple takes, but had to use the one where we’d make it thru.)  That included the “Crooked Wood Depot” commercial which had like 4 different sets all surrounding each other that we’d cut to back and forth, with people running under cameras to get to the proper shot in time, etc…it was nuts.

Our opening credits consisted of us spinning one of our skull lamps around and around and shooting it in close up.  It was horrible!

We also set a precedent for having a LOT of blood in the first episode.  When we made our set, we didn’t have a floor.  We put the set up on risers (cause we thought that’s what people did—which made the set wobbly…Jeff almost set Dementia on fire when we actually lit the candles on set and they started moving back and forth as people walked.)  Anyway, the station had a huge blue rug that they were going to throw out…so we said, hey, it’s dark blue, we’ll take it!  So for the entire first blood soaked season, we spilled gallons and gallons of karo syrup blood…and let it sit there.  We’d spill it–and roll the carpet up.  It was fall/winter that first season, you see.  So no bugs.  Later on, we had to toss it (the bugs didn’t get to the rug, but we found a few ants on the blood covered stantions and so decided it best to toss it come spring.  While we’ve had blood since…sometimes quite a bit….we’ve never had as much as those first bunch of episodes.

So yeah…Night of the Living Dead.  Undead Johnny was WAY smarter in those first bunch of episodes.  He was arrogant and kind of a prick, just like he is now…but was a little smarter and aware of what was going on.  I also died at the end.  It was a running bit…that I think lasted every episode of the first season (with the exception of maybe one) and into season two that I died at the end of every episode.

EPISODE 1.2 THE KILLER SHREWS

Okay…Attack of the Killer Shrews.  One of my FAVORITE movies growing up (and you know what?  I don’t care how many people make fun of it…I do think it’d a great movie, carpet stuck on dogs or not.)

 

She's still at Vampella at this point.

 

This episode we were still doing–or trying to do things mostly in one take.  But we did a couple of edits.  But still, most camera changes were done live on the switcher.  I think at the most we’d have 2 edits per segment…which is VERY low.  But I know we shot a Wrath of Khan type moment with Keith that was a special shot.

As for the cast…let me backtrack.  On camera in that first episode was myself, Brian, Dementia, Eric, Jeff, Greg and Keith.  Night of the Living Dead is one of the very few episodes that Tom is not in.  Of that core group (and Matt behind the scenes,) myself, Jeff and Tom still remain.

Shrews had Tom’s on screen debut.  Keith as Dr. Mureau, myself and Dementia and Brian as “Freak Baby” who reappeared throughout the seasons and was kind of a knock off of the mini-Brando in the Mureau film.

 

Agh! Look at that set!

 

1.3 HORROR HOTEL

This was our first “real” episode.  I now knew how to edit a bit.  Though I was doing so tape-to-tape and linearly.  Meaning that the show was edited in order.  And there were only 2 audio tracks (which later in the 2nd season, before I switched to the avid–we did some pretty complex stuff with just two tracks.)  But anyway, we were able to stop mid-scene, or shoot coverage, special shots, etc.  We were still in the “show within a show” format.   As you all know, in the WOWMS universe, The World of the Weird Monster Show is a TV show on Channel 666.  There’s two parts of the show (the real show–not the one on TV.)  Our segments are either what’s actually “live” on Channel 666–whether it be our show, or a fake commercial, etc.  OR the segments are behind the scenes stuff with our characters either at or away from the station, when not on the air.

For the first three episodes, everything is “on air” stuff.  Marissa and Roxanne joined us for this episode, in which I was burned alive at the stake at the end.  Hi-tech special effects!

 

Note that Dementia is no longer "Vampella" but "Severa." These outlines/ drafts where all done before we shot the first episode.

 

 

Roxanne as Lucretia, one of Dementia's witches.

 

1.4 HOUSE ON HAUNTED HILL

This was an important episode as it began to grow the universe of the show.  This was the first time we did a teaser–where we had a little bit before the opening credits.  It was also the first time we did “off the air” stuff with our characters.  And we also introduced Bela–Johnny’s first hunchback assistant, played by Keith.  The plot revolved around the fact that of all the body parts Johnny was put together with (as he’s not a zombie or vampire…but rather pieces of body parts put together and brought back from the dead by witchcraft….a witch creator I always dreamed would be played by either Elvira or Adrienne Barbeau.)  Johnny’s butt was actually from a woman–the wife of William Castle (not the William Castle.)  It seemed Castle had his wife killed for the insurance–but when his wife’s ass was brought back to life thru Johnny, the judge declared her not dead and he didn’t get the money.  at the end, Johnny used the Wipe-O-Rama device to “wipe” Castle away to the X-Dimension.  Castle was also our first “villain” to return in later episodes.  Although technically the professor from 1.1 came back as a zombie later.

for this episode, I had an alien burst from my chest at the end which killed me.  It was the first time we made a 2nd Undead Johnny shirt (I’m still wearing the first and only original from 6 years ago) and a fake chest for the alien (my hand in a silmy/bloody black sock) to burst thru.

This was also the first episode that featured Johnny alone as the host as Dementia was not in this episode.  Which–while I can’t remember exactly, was probably the reason I wrote the character of Bela.

 

Bela and Johnny

 

1.5 SATANIC RITES OF DRACULA

So we’re trucking right along and we’d done 4 episodes…and I think we were pretty happy.  The general consensus at the time was that each new episode (since we improved by leaps and bounds each shoot as we learned) was “the best” and the rest were crap!  At least I think that’s how I was.

So this was the first episode that I did not write.  Matt wrote this one.   Now, Matt is not a huge horror fan (actually, we had more than a few people on the show who were not big horror fans…or they enjoyed recent films, but didn’t really watch a lot of classics, etc.)  So I wanted to give him a movie he could do stuff with.  Since SATANIC is pretty much the only Hammer film we can show…and since it features Dracula and Van Helsing, I figured it would have a lot he could use.  He ended up not using Dracula or Van Helsing at all (Though we had a Van Helsing on the show in the 4th season) but rather picked up where 1.4 left off….since Dementia wasn’t in that one (or this one beyond a voice over phone call at the end) he went with the idea that Johnny was having a talent contest to pick a new co-host.  It was some good stuff and Tom looked EXACTLY like the hit man from the movie.  I made this by cutting a cheap $5 jewel Halloween sweatshirt into a vest and gluing cotton balls to it.

1.6 THE BRAIN THAT WOULDN’T DIE

So, this was another one of those that we thought was way above the previous one (looking back, they’re all kind of crap–but special in their own little ways.)  This was another without Dementia–and it kind of blows my mind that so early in our initial run we did three shows in a row without Dementia.  She was only in the first three and then not back until the 7th!

So this one came about by my wanting to do something really bloody and disgusting (at this point in the show, I was adamant that everything–every joke, every reference, every fake commercial, etc–be somehow tied to the horror genre.  We’ve grown past that since, but at the time I considered it very important.)  So I decided we would do a surgery on the show.  The idea was Johnny needed organ transplants now and again so that’s what this would be.  Bela (in an nod to the classic comedy The Cannonball Run) was tasked to get a doctor and came back with the very inebriated Dr. Fever (Tom.)  It was also a total excuse for me to get Roxanne into a hot nurses outfit.

So I built (we spent WAY more effort into prepping for shows then, for better or worse) a fake table top that would have my body laying under a fake body–the fake body had a large tupperware container in the chest to hold all the fake guts and blood.  And what were our fake guts you may ask?  well, for the first (but not the last time!) we used panty hose stuffed with mashed potatoes and then covered in fake blood as intestines…and I threw in some pork chops as well for a nice effect.

We also did a bit where my body was taken away to be fixed and I was just a head.  I was on a table with two huge skulls who were basically Statler and Waldorf from the Muppet Show!

 

My guts!

 

1.7 SUSPIRIA

One of my favorite movies of all time.  We showed a crappy transfer that was PD supposedly.  This episode featured our first out of studio location shooting.  Since I held the film in such esteem…I didn’t want to make fun of it, or even to really be all that funny in our segments.  I felt that if I was watching Suspiria, the last thing I would want is to have it broken up with pieces of stupid comedy.  I’m not so sure I would agree now…actually I know I wouldn’t.  In the 3rd season we showed Argento’s Deep Red and I had NO problems being as silly as possible.

 

Very simple outline

 

So it was supposed to be how Dementia and Johnny first met.  They’re on set, with the lights down (having our characters in “off the air” situations has now officially become the norm.  I would be hard placed to think of more than a handful of episodes where the entire show is “on air”) and the reminiscence about how they were both stalking this college coed (Marissa)–Dementia to suck her blood…Johnny, who knows?  So we shot at night in some very creepy places by where I was living at the time.  Used a lot of Dawn of the Dead music.  Tried to make it real creepy.  I think we were pretty successful for the amount of experience we had at the time.  Some of it would probably make me groan a little….a little film schoolish.  But seeing as how it was edited tape to tape, etc, I think it came out pretty well.  Although it is so anti-type from a normal show, we barely ever show it–and I never sell it at conventions as I’d hate for someone to get it, and only it, and think that’s what our show is.  Although we very rarely show any of our early episodes on TV….this one would rank as one of the most rare, I think.

 

Dementia in her pj's getting ready to watch Suspiria. For the record...of the 20,000 hair-do's she had...this was my fave.

 

1.8 DEMENTIA 13

The second episode that I didn’t write…again written by Matt.  This one was pretty cool and featured some great work by Eric and Tom…and some cool camera stuff.  Again, I gave Matt a great movie to work with.  One I thought he would enjoy watching.  We started off with a teaser of Fester finding Nicole murdered at the station (side note…Fester Scab appeared in Horror Hotel for the first time and became a huge hit…at least amongst ourselves.  I think this was his first time back–he would be used heavily in the 2nd season.  He’s not so used anymore.)  The plot showed multiple people in the station being murdered pov style.  But the POV was from a camcorder viewscreen so we didn’t know who it was.

Then we had a “guest” director,  Francis Ford Coppola–done amazingly by Greg as a Voice Over from the control room mic.  There was a lot of funny stuff with Coppola and Johnny.  At the end, it was Dementia killing everyone…to this day I really don’t know why.  But, I did order a sugar glass bottle online for like $20.  It came and Dementia was supposed to hit me on the head with it.  She wouldn’t..afraid she’d hurt me and I’d get mad, so it’s actually Tom hitting me over the head with the fake bottle.  As he hit me kind of on the forehead…it did hurt a little.

 

Tom in the men's room. Back then, with Jeff in charge, we had free run of the station as there weren't many people there. During those first two seasons we used every inch of that station.

 

1.9 VAMPIRE BAT

So we had written Bela off the show awhile before this (Brain that wouldn’t Die was Keith’s last appearance except for one brief bit in 1.10, guesting in 1.11 and in our 2005 Halloween special.)  But I liked that trio feel of Johnny, Dementia and another.  So in this episode I wrote in the character of Igor.  We had it where Johnny was “trying him out” so if we didn’t like the character, he wouldn’t have to stay (I don’t believe he was in the following episode for example.)  But it was Igor’s first appearance.  At the same time, it was Burgermeister Johan Gunderschloss’ first appearance as well.

Also probably most notable…I’m pretty darn sure…that this episode is the first mention of Viseria.  Every episode before this mentioned Channel 666 as being in the 5th circle of hell.  But here the phrase “the nearby village of Viseria” became a running joke.  I LOVE the old Universal movies…and in some of my favorites, Frankenstein Meets the Wolfman and House of Frankenstein, Viseria was the village where it all happened.  So I decided to make Channel 666 be right by it.  One of MANY references that became part of our show’s mythology.  Some have gone by the wayside…like Dr. West being our station’s Dr.  But characters like Zontar, El Santo, Michael Myers being Romy’s dad, Fritz having worked at Melonville and the whole SCTV tie-in in 2.13…and the fact that, retroactively–and though it’s never been made cannon…that Undead Johnny’s brain might be that of Johnny LaRue.

So…Igor, Viseria and Gunderschloss made their first appearances here…and it also featured our first “Scooby-Do” style chase thru the hallways. I liked this one a lot.

 

making their debuts!

 

1.10 LAST MAN ON EARTH

Ahh….so this was one of our first really good episodes if I do say so myself.

So the jist was…there have been multiple movies made of the classic novel I AM LEGEND.  The two main ones being the film we were showing and the Omega Man.  So I decided to have Robert Morgan (Tom) from Last man on Earth fight the Omega Man (Greg) as there can only be one Last Man on Earth.

So we had a whole Fight Night type deal that ended with them fighting to the amok time Star Trek theme complete with replica (crappy) weapons.  This resulted in the BLOODIEST scene we’ve ever filmed where we doused both Tom and Greg in buckets of blood (actually…we’ll get to it eventually, but I think we used more in our Troma demo.)  It was a blast.  We also slit two throats, both Tom’s and mine.  It was often the case that Dementia ended up with the hot chick (Roxanne as Demonia in Demonia–Johnny’s assistant–debut.)  The way I looked at it, was we could have all these hot girls, dressed up sexy and in skimpy clothes, but ultimately it was okay as the women always ended up on top and in charge…and were ultimately in power and calling the shots.

 

The fight! Oh yeah, Brian did a pretty bad Burgess Meredith penguin impersonation as he died as well...we tried to reference his famous Twilight Zone episode as another Last Man on Earth.

 

 

We never made Demonia wear that wig ever again.

 

 

The Last Men on Earth.

 

1.11 I BURY THE LIVING

Okay…so I don’t think many would argue that this was one of our worst.  It wasn’t that bad, actually…just kind of boring and we had a horrible time making it.  Before this, we had never done an episode where we had to do SO many takes.  But Matt wrote this one about maps and scots and golf…it was a bit odd and weird. It did feature our best effect to date, Johnny getting his head (A winter melon filled with blood) taken off and smashed by a golf club.

 

Beyond this...the cast remembers it all for "That's one evil map."

 

1.12 WHITE ZOMBIE

Ah…we made it to the end of the season!  So I wanted to do something big for this.  Some seasons the last episode is just another episode, others I really try to make it something special.  For this one…I wanted something special!  We had referenced a lot of zombie material in our first episode Night of the Living Dead…but mostly Romero stuff.  So for this, I wanted to bring in Return of the Living Dead stuff, 28 Days Later, the Resident Evil series and more (Tom was an Umbrella scientist and the plot revolved around the T-Virus.)   So we brought back the Professor killed by zombies in the very first episode…this time played by Jeff as a zombie.  Tom’s doctor said he could cure zombies—or give them mental control over all other zombies and superhuman strength….or they would explode.  Guess which one?  Yep, the Prof gained control over all the zombies (of which by the end of the episode there were a ton as one got loose and killed most of the station’s staff) and so he brought them all into the studio and they killed everyone but Dementia.  I remember I was very keen about putting a glass sheet over the lens and pouring blood all over it during the zombie carnage at the end…I think I was the only one into it, but I dug it.  The carnage also feature Flashback Weekend founder Mike Kerz as a dead-on Bub from Day of the Dead!

 

Argh! One of our many "fake" Undead Johnny shirts bites the dust!

 

 

Hope...an actress who appeared in a couple of episodes, bites the dust

 

 

Ahhh...Jeff!

 

 

Tom about to get it.

 

Oh…and as I look at these I think one thing…why are the zombies green?  Well, Dementia made up our very first zombies in 1.1. And she made them green.  So we continued that.  Just that simple 🙂

WRAP UP

Ugh…okay I hope that didn’t bore too many people.  Honestly it was as much for me–to catalog some memories, etc–as for any readers.  But, I think it’s pretty interesting from a horror host stand point.

This show was, and is, very important to me.  At this time, in 2004-2005, I was a miserable person.  I mean, I wasn’t miserable to people, but I hated my job and the way my life was headed, etc.  I worked all the time and just wasn’t very happy.  I didn’t have anyone to share my life with, I was alone…you name it.  beyond some good friends (and let it be said…I barely knew Tom at the time and Jeff I met at the station the first day.  Now both are two of my best friends.)  So having this show, and the creative freedom to do whatever I wanted…plus the outlet for that expression…was just amazing.  Don’t get me wrong, I was still very unhappy, haha, but it made it much better.

And we made this show just for ourselves.   There’s been a lot of discussion and discord among some hosts about that whole “I do it for me” vs “doing it to be seen.”  Now, granted, we all want to be seen.  No one wants to put in all this work and all this time (we average about a 8 hour shoot day per episode and about 12-15 hours editing…that’s about 23 hours for each 20 minutes of material you see) to not have anyone watch it.  Of course we all want viewers and fans….just like how we were fans of the hosts we grew up watching.  But many of us also do it for the joy of doing it…the art of the show.

Cause we made this show in a vacuum.  I have NO idea if anyone watched us at all.  I can’t think of the first time we knew someone was watching.  Maybe it was during that first season…but if it was, it was only a few people that let us know.  I’ve always had a theory–now, we know we have fans.  We get fans that come up at conventions, we get facebook comments, get offers to make appearances, do autographs, been on trading cards, do projects, etc.  But that didn’t really come till later.  But one thing we still get very little of is mail.  We never have.  Emails, etc, not much at all.

Now, some cast members think it’s because we don’t slap our website all over the show.  Early on we did…but I stopped it in editing.  I wanted our show to be…well, like a show…and they don’t have websites all over it.  I frankly just don’t like it on people’s shows.  I always though that if someone really liked our show and wanted to find it they could either, a) wait till the end credits or b) google us.  Maybe I’m wrong on that…I might very well be.  No, I thought/think the main reason is that we don’t “really” talk to the audience directly.  Almost all horror host shows talk directly to the camera (often just one camera as well) the entire time.  Speaking to you in your living room.  My fave Elvira does this…it’s like she’s talking just to me!  There’s a direct link between host and audience there.  When I was a kid, I wrote in to Uncle Don all the time…and he’d read my letters on air and it was awesome!  But he spoke  just to me and other “kiddies” at home (who should’ve been in bed.)

On our show, when “on air” we talk to the camera, but even though we’re saying “hey, kids” etc, we’re not really talking to the real audience, but rather the fictional audience watching Channel 666.  It’s a very thin line…and it may not even seem that way, but since in our performances and the writing every single thing is a fiction (they’re not Comcast cameras, they’re Channel 666 cameras) I think there’s a disconnect there.  When you watch Larry Sanders, you know he’s not talking to you…even when it’s the “Larry Sanders” portion of the show that’s on…same with SCTV (we’re nowhere near as good as these, though SCTV was a HUGE influence on me and the show.)  So I have always thought that that was a main reason for it.

But anyway, I digress….I guess what I was getting at, was that even though we now know we have a bunch of fans, etc…at the time of this first season as far as we knew…no one was watching.  It was all for us.  And I think that helped grow the show into what it became.  There were HUGE changes and developments over this first season.  From a technical stand point of learning editing and techniques and us becoming familiar with what we could do with the station’s equipment.  To storytelling advances like introducing recurring characters…starting to develop other aspects of our fake home, Channel 666 and to moving from “on the air” to “off the air” as the major setting for the shows.

Don’t get me wrong…most of this season was crap 🙂  But from that crap…grew seasons slightly less crappy.

More to come!