10.30.2010

SHE'S ALIVE! THE BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN


Elsa Lanchester as the Bride of Frankenstein

One of the most iconic images in all of horror cinema, the Bride has haunted our nightmares for 75 years now, an eerily beautiful, hissing figure covered in gauze from head-to-toe, draped in a brilliant but inelegant white shroud, and with flaming white streaks shooting up a jazzed, Nefertiti hairdo.


The Bride’s part in the 1935 Universal classic The Bride of Frankenstein is a small one, but it burns instantly and indelibly into one’s psyche, as the radiant Elsa Lanchester and the immortal Boris Karloff enact the ultimate nightmare version of a blind date.


Let’s not forget the Bride herself. It’s hard to believe Whale and make up maestro Jack Pierce could have possibly conceived of another design as iconic as Karloff’s Monster, but they certainly did. Stark, white and erect in look and somewhere between a reptile and a robot in her manner, Elsa Lanchester’s Bride is remarkable, a truly alien figure.


Lanchester’s said to have based her hiss on the swans she and husband Charles Laughton used to feed at a London pond. Her dual performance as Mary Shelley sets the stage for the film perfectly: a delicate, playful near-child, with a demonic twinkle in her eye. “You know how thunder alarms me…” she coos, but we know that within her, darker forces crackle and roll. The beginning of the film finds her frightened, the film itself playing as both sequel and vivid daydream: “The air itself is filled with monsters…” she says of the night, and no one would know better than her.

GHOUL POWER STAY SICK TURN BLUE SCRATCH GLASS!



The Ghoul Show was the brain-child of Cleveland-born actor Ron Sweed. The late-night horror movie and comedy sketch show ran for various blocks of seasons from 1971 through 2004, primarily in Detroit and Cleveland.


In 1970, Sweed approached fellow Cleveland actor Ernie Anderson with a proposal to revive Anderson's 1960's character, "Ghoulardi." Anderson was not interested, but gave Sweed his blessing to revive the character on his own. With that blessing, Sweed took "The Ghoul" to Cleveland's Kaiser Broadcasting station WKBF-TV in 1971. Though it started as a tribute to Ghoulardi, Sweed soon developed his own unique, energetic style and original eye-catching gags. 


A few years later, Kaiser's Detroit-based station WKBD also picked up The Ghoul Show. Known for Sweed's zany, intentionally-adolescent humor (particularly surrounding his abuse of a rubber frog named "Froggy," a penchant for blowing up things with firecrackers, and catch phrases like "zingy-zingy," "Overdey!" and "stay sick, turn blue"), late night monster movies were a unique experience for Cleveland and Detroit viewers in the 1970s. 


"Shooting from no-budget studio sets, the Ghoul inserted his own dialogue and sound effects over insufferably bad B movies, blew up food, model cars and figurines with firecrackers, and produced strangely compelling, culturally relevant skits and parodies. 

The show was destructive and childish enough for little kids, subversive and timely enough for young adults." Later in the 1970s, Kaiser Broadcasting syndicated The Ghoul Show to Chicago, Boston, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Los Angeles, but the program never reached the popularity and viewership it enjoyed in Detroit and Cleveland. Sweed has since been on and off the air in Cleveland and Detroit for over three decades, at times even branching out into radio and the internet. 

stay sick, turn blue, climb walls, scratch glass...but most importantly of all, do it while you can, but don't get caught.....BYE!

10.29.2010

RETRO HALLOWEEN FAVORITES OF THE 1960'S



Halloween and trick or treating in the 60’s in Ypsilanti, Michigan where I grew up was totally different than it is now for my daughter and her friends.



We had full size candy bars and bags of M&M's. Candy corn, caramels, and peanuts inside little paper bags. We had candy lipsticks, bubblegum cigars and candy cigarettes... No wonder we all grew up to be smokers!

At first we used official trick or treating bags which gave way to pillow cases. The cool bags had handles that broke and didn't hold very many treats. Pillow case were easy to handle and held way more treats!

I‘ll list my favorite treats in order: A homemade popcorn ball, caramel apples, homemade donuts and cider, Milky Ways, 3 Muskateers, Zagnut, Hershey Bars, Paydays and Turkish Taffy,Sugar Daddy’s, Slo Pokes, Good and Plenties, and Bun Candy bars were the best. Bit O Honey's were a strange candy that were always eaten last


Always eaten last how sad...

There were lots of kids with store bought costumes with the little masks but most of us had homemade costumes because store bought ones were lame! Wearing that thing over your face was insane :P



Now days that giant horde of trick or treating kids that took over the night streets are all but gone. Bad news, and crime have scared parents away from letting their kids run free. Heck now we are afraid to even let them go ride a bike without fear. What a drag...


Candy Dots

Cool thing is that our favorite retro candy is still readily available in some stores and many websites too.

60’s Nostalgia Candy: Good and Plenty Bonamo’s Turkish Taffy Rolos Black Jack and Beeman’s gum Sugar Daddy’s Mallow cups Buns Fizzies Bit O’Honey Buttons on paper Wax lips and fangs Red Hots Necco Wafers


Bubblegum cigars

What was YOUR favorite candy?

Check this video! How cool is this? Fans of The Munsters built their own Munster Mansion!


OOH KIDS!!! NOW THESE ARE SCARY PUMPKINS!









10.28.2010

ALOHA: DANNO (JAMES MACARTHUR) PASSED AWAY TODAY


Jack Lord and James McArthur "Steve and Danno"
LOS ANGELES – Stage and screen actor James MacArthur, who played "Danno" in the original version of television's "Hawaii Five-0," died Thursday at age 72.

MacArthur's agent, Richard Lewis, said the actor died in Florida of "natural causes," but no direct cause was specified.

In a career that spanned more than four decades, MacArthur was most recognized for his role as Detective Danny "Danno" Williams on "Hawaii Five-0," which aired from 1968 to 1980. Episodes often ended with detective Steve McGarrett, the lead character, uttering what became a pop culture catch phrase: "Book 'em, Danno."

Jack Lord, who starred as McGarrett, died in 1998.

"Hawaii Five-O," one of the longest running crime shows in TV history with 278 episodes, was shot on location in the Hawaiian islands. It was the first Hawaii-based national TV series.



I grew up with a giant crush on James MacArthur in many of my favorite movies back in the 60's. Spencer's Mountain which was converted later on TV as The Waltons. My all time favorite James MacArthur role was Fritz Robinson on the Swiss Family Robinson. A story of a family cast away at sea. The family adjusts to living on an island and builds a huge gorgeous tree house. They fight pirates and live of course, happily ever after.

My gang as little kids, tried to copy building the tree house and pretended to be the Robinson family for fun on the weekends. Couldn't find a tiger to put in a pit though...

Here is a clip from the film and The story is HERE



MacArthur, born Dec. 8, 1937, seemed destined to become an actor. He was the adopted son of playwright Charles MacArthur and Helen Hayes, an award-winning actress often referred to as "First Lady of the American Theater." Silent film star Lillian Gish was his godmother.

"They did teach me a lot about the theatre just through my life with them," he said of his parents in a 1957 interview in Teen Life magazine. "They never pushed me in any direction. Any major decision has always been my own to make."

We will close out with my friend Deniz Tek and Chris Klondike Masuak on Aloha Steve and Danno! Here is one last Bookem Danno!

10.27.2010

CHILLER THEATER'S JOHN ZACHERLEY: THE COOL GHOUL!!


 

Elvira and John Zacherley aka The Cool Ghoul!

Zacherley's bio HERE

Chiller Theatre was a Saturday night show on Channel 11 WPIX in New York City that showed classic horror movies. Chiller Theater actually began on WPIX during 1961 and in 1963 included Zacherley ("The Cool Ghoul") as the on-air host.




However, by 1965, Zacherley left the show and a new opening was created using a montage of clips from various 1950s sci-fi films. This montage of clips started with the classic scene from Plan 9 from Outer Space with Vampira coming out of the woods.

 
Then, the clip from The Cyclops, showing Actress Gloria Talbot just inside a cave looking at the Cyclops. Various other clips continued throughout the montage, concluding with the classic "goof" from Attack of the 50 Foot Woman, with the giant alien from outer space, picking up one brand of car and then shown throwing a completely different brand of car into a ditch.


The entire montage was permeated by a frightening library music track ("Horror Upon Horror" by veteran British composer, Wilfred Josephs). Many "Baby Boomers" from this era growing up in the Tri-State Area, have said that this opening provided many nightmares and sleepless nights, forcing some to change the channel when this opening began.


The montage opening served until the late 1960s when another introduction was produced, featuring the word "Chiller" rendered in white paint on a black board, then lifted up, the gooey white paint slowly running down the board like blood while creepy chamber music played in the background. The bumper to this version simply showed the painted "Chiller" as a title card.

ZACH IS BACK! When Ghouls, Goblins and Creatures of the Night appear, rest assured that Zacherley is near! Enter his world for some fun and a thrill, but do so carefully and of your own free will! HERE

10.24.2010

THE INFAMOUS HIT ON JOEY (CRAZY JOE) GALLO


Recently I was talking with a friend who lived in the Park Slope area of Brooklyn NYC circa 1960-1964. He was a member of St Francis Xavier Catholic Church located about three blocks away from Gallo's social club/headquarters at Carroll St at 4th Avenue/President St Tenement House.




My friend's church was at Carroll and 6th Avenue. Gallo was from Red Hook, Brooklyn. He told about the mob in Brooklyn and their hangouts and thus inspired me to put this post together about Crazy Joe.


The new Umberto's Clam House, a Little Italy restaurant, a block away from the Old Police Headquarters building, rests on the laurels of one of New York's most famous nearby mafia murders. Joseph 'Crazy Joey' Gallo was killed in the old 'original' Umberto's Clam House in 1972, in retaliation for the 1971 shooting of Joseph A. Colombo Sr. at a Columbus Day Italian American Civil Rights League rally one year previous, at Columbus Circle.


The Copacabana

Joey Gallo had celebrated his 43rd birthday at the Copacabana nightclub with a group of arty friends that included the actor Jerry Orbach, comedian David Steinberg, and columnist Earl Wilson. The party finished and Gallo, his bodyguard, and four women went to Little Italy in downtown Manhattan, looking for a place to eat.

The only restaurant open was Umberto's Clam House on Mulberry Street, owned by the mobbed up Matthew 'Matty the Horse' Ianniello. Robert Daley, Deputy Police Commissioner, said the party ate 'Italian delicacies.' Gallo and his bodyguard, Pete Diapoulis, sat with their backs to the door. (BAD IDEA)



New York -- A rope with a sign stating 'Crime Scene, Search Area, Stop' is stretched across the intersection of Hester and Mulberry Streets in the Little Italy section of lower Manhattan, blocking off Umberto's Clam House, where reputed mobster Joseph 'Crazy Joe' Gallo was slain early April 7, while celebrating his 43rd birthday with family members and friends. Officials said his slaying might be the first salvo in a new gangland war. Gallo was the third man killed in gangster style in as many days. (1972)

The assassin (from the Colombo mob family) put four bullets into Crazy Joey Gallo at about 5 a.m. Gallo staggered out the front door onto Mulberry Street, where he collapsed and died.


Joey Gallo gravesite in Brooklyn

Twenty shots were fired in all. The assassin escaped. Pete Diapoulas was wounded. He refused to talk to the police. The shooting left 'Little Italy' (the surrounding neighborhood) in an agitated state. A witness said they saw pistols in tenement windows. Deputy Commissioner Robert Dailey said, 'He made a mistake, Crazy Joe did. He should have gone home to bed last night.'


The old Umberto's is now gone. (The old Umberto's Clam house was at 129 Mulberry St.) This, the new one, is at 386 Broome St. It has the macabre glamour of the old restaurant — sans bullet holes. It is owned by the same family that owned the old Umberto's, although Matty the Horse' Ianniello (one of the owners) went to jail for tax evasion. Tourists love the place. It is pure old New York, just one block from the Old Police Headquarters on Centre Street.

The casket containing legendary gangster Joey Gallo exits Guido’s Funeral Home in his old neighborhood of Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn. Gallo was gunned down at Umberto’s Clam House in Little Italy on April 7, 1972

As the Roman-Catholic church would later protest concerning the burial of slain Gambino crime family mob boss Paul Castellano later in 1985, Joe was refused a proper burial by his local parish priest. His widowed wife Sina arranged for a substitute priest to fly in from Cleveland to perform the ceremony.

Joseph was a very colorful character and talkative in nature. In the 1950's he was nicknamed "Joey The Blonde" because of his full head of blonde hair. In 1947 after viewing the Richard Widmark film Kiss of Death Joseph began to mimic Widmark's film character, "Tommy Udo" with his drowsy, heavy-lidded appearance and in later years could recite long passages of the movie's dialogue.

10.22.2010

HARRY BENNETT'S CASTLE 1984 PHOTOS


Front of "castle" 1984


Front of "castle" 2009 with a lot of trees removed

A friend from high school popped in facebook and it turns out she used to stay in the Harry Bennett Castle!!! OMG !!! Her friend lived next door to the castle.

 REAR VIEW 1984

Donna sent me these great photos from 1984. When I shot the castle last fall it has been painted a sage green color with the windows trimmed in white.


Harry had his own theater built on the property

Donna said:

Many years ago, my girlfriend and I stayed there. She lived next door and house-sat when the previous owners were out of town. Pretty cool place.


Abandoned pool

The place is pretty cool and scary. We went in the tunnels and were able to take personal tours with no one looking over our shoulders. I even stayed several nights, once left alone while my friend went to the bar, you talk about being scared, I was up all night looking over my shoulder.

NO KIDDING!!!! Not without a gun in each hand would I have done that Donna!



Love this back view. Donna noticed a large stairway was added to the Castle after 1984. The Castle appears that a lot of trees were removed from this side as well. The two turrets are clearly visible in both views.


Large Staircase goes down to the river is gone now



The Bennett stables. This is where HB housed the lions and tigers he used to keep in case of an enemy attack.


Another view of the Theater


Dining room with large dining table


Another view of dining room


Stone Fireplace


Stone Fireplace Close up


Music room off dining room notice dining chair


Narrow staircase to upper level

Family Den with beautiful wing back chair and wood paneling with secret panels for hidden weapons

Theater above and an out building below




Read My other Harry Bennett Stories

The Castle
The Lodge
Rise and Fall of Harry Bennett
The Cabin
NEW* PM Magazine Video Tour of the Castle
Thank you Donna!!!
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