Thursday, October 27, 2011
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
Sunday, October 23, 2011
Saturday, October 22, 2011
My letter to the editor defending "Plan 9 From Outer Space" was published in the Glendale News-Press. as follows:
Not the worst movie ever made
October 20, 2011 | 5:07 p.m.
Mesmerizing music. Solid acting. Intriguing plotting. These are among the surprisingly positive elements that comprise the oft-ridiculed film, “Plan 9 From Outer Space” (“Return to 'Plan 9 From Outer Space,’” Oct. 16).
While the movie admittedly is characterized by fourth-rate special effects, such as hubcaps for UFOs, and an illogical confusion of night and day in several scenes, it is an interesting film overall, with a cogent plot involving aliens resurrecting dead humans to act as their slaves.
And it should be noted that visually-engaging graveyard scenes were actually shot on location in a cemetery in the San Fernando Valley that was being torn down. The crew sneaked in and moved tombstones around to
achieve some definite eerie effects.
And, for horror film fans, it was a final opportunity to see Bela Lugosi on the silver screen one last time as he died a short time into shooting. Indeed, we appreciate his few scenes being repeated several times during the film.
Additionally, it was a pleasure to watch Vampira and Tor Johnson moving morbidly about throughout the production.
So “Plan 9 From Outer Space” is by no means the worst movie ever made.
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
Monday, October 17, 2011
Vampira, A Role Model For Some of Us!
Flowing locks of raven hair! A skin-tight black gown! Long, sharp, threatening fingernails! Piercing eyes capped by thin black brows! These were the tools that TV legend Vampira employed to both terrify and engage late night TV audiences of the 1950s!
Simultaneously minacious and alluring, Vampira drew viewers who might not otherwise tune into the low-budget horror flicks she was hostessing. Indeed, she was a captivating pioneer in this limited niche, being the very first to present such films on the little silver screen. And, she was an inspiration to other such hosts who would follow in her footsteps, including yours truly. Sadly, she passed away this past Thursday, January 10, in her sleep at age 86.
While, unfortunately, none of Vampira's TV hosting segments were preserved on film (as far as I know), she can be seen (although never heard) in her Vampira role as Bela Lugosi's dead wife throughout Ed Wood's much-maligned sci-fi entry, "Plan 9 From Outer Space."
Vampira was born Maila Syrjaniemi in Petsamo, Finland back on December 11, 1921. That surname was later truncated to Nurmi. Indeed, she was the niece of the renowned multiple Olympic medal runner Paavo Nurmi.
She arrived in the U.S. as an infant, and travelled around the country as her father lectured on temperance.
As an adult, she was performing in Mike Todd's "Spook Scandals" when celebrated director Howard Hawks caught sight of the beautiful blonde, and cast her in the cinematic version of the Russisan novel, "Dreadful Hollow." However, Nurmi walked out on her contract after being utterly disillusioned by repeated production delays. She then tried modelling and dancing, including a long stint with Earl Carroll's revues.
Her breakthrough came when, for a masquerade competition, she costumed herself in the mode of Charles Addams' Morticia cartoon character. Not only did she win 1st prize, but also landed a contract with the local L.A. ABC affiliate channel 7 for a late night hosting gig for the 1954-55 season. Impressively, she was nominated for an Emmy for "Most Outstanding Female Personality, and was profiled in such mags as "TV Guide," "Newsweek," and "Life." Fan clubs sprung up all over the globe as she became a most recognizable figure, making guest appearance at store openings and judging contests. She was dubbed the "Queen of Horror," with songs composed to honor her!
Bela Lugosi was also a fan, and was delighted when she joined him in "Plan 9." Tragically, he died two weeks into production.
Vampira's fame quickly expired after that, with only a few scant film roles, such as in 1959's "Beat Generation" and 1960's "Sex Kittens Go To college.' She did engage in painting, creating some "Vampira" portraits, and made a final screen appearance in 1998's "I Woke Up Early The Day I Died." And Nurmi made some news when she sued Cassandra Peterson, asserting that her "Elvira" characterization was a rip off of "Vampira."
Again, I thank you, Vampira, for your inspiring portrayal, and May the Power of the Cosmos be with You, wherever you may be now!
Tuesday, October 11, 2011
Brad Steiger Announces an Exciting New Monthly eBook Series:
A real nightmare occurs when you experience a frightening encounter with something strange and unknown, and you know without question that you are not asleep, that you are not dreaming. You know with every ounce of your being that the chilling encounter is real.
I first experienced real nightmares when I was a child, and ghostly visitors walked through our bedrooms nearly every night and kept us awake. Our farmhouse was built on the site of the old stagecoach stop, and it seemed that some other-worldly passengers were still trying to catch the last stage out of this dimension. Years later when our parents tore the old house down and built a new home on the same site, our spirit interlopers now appeared as shadows moving about the house and amused themselves by knocking on the walls, stomping about with heavy feet, and opening and closing doors. Growing up with real nightmares on a regular basis prepared me for the nights in my adulthood when I would investigate haunted houses with a team of paranormal researchers and encounter a wide variety of other-worldly beings.
For five decades now I have been devoted to exploring and examining unusual, unexplainable, and otherwise strange occurrences--and giving other people vicarious nightmares through my books and articles. I have written more than two thousand articles with paranormal themes and authored/coauthored more than 170 books, including Real Vampires, Night Stalkers, and Creatures from the Darkside; Real Ghosts, Restless Spirits, and Haunted Places; The Werewolf Book; and with my wife, Sherry, the author/co-author of 43 books, Real Miracles, Divine Intervention, and Feats of Incredible Survival, Conspiracies and Secret Societies, and Real Aliens, Space Beings, and Creatures from Other Worlds.
The reviews of these books often have a recurrent theme of the readers “leaving the lights on” and being unable to sleep. While most individuals would probably be offended if someone accused them of giving them nightmares, I take it as a compliment.
Commenting about Real Vampires, Night Stalkers, and Creatures from the Darkside, a reviewer wondered if Stephanie Meyer “…would ever have written the Twilight books” if she had read my book first.
Yet another warned that Real Vampires “…will keep you awake at night and you will want to sleep with the lights on, which I must warn you may be the only way that you will rest at all.”
Some of those who reviewed Real Ghosts, Restless Spirits, and Haunted Places also felt it was their duty to advise readers of possible nightmares as a result of reading the book: “There were several occasions where I had to stop and allow the chills to pass, but I still had to read with all the lights on.” Wrote another: “There are terrifying tales of ghosts and mysterious beings that will unnerve you.”
Real Monsters, Gruesome Creatures, and Beasts from the Darkside brought similar forewarnings from reviewers that readers may suffer resultant nightmares from reading the book: “Filled with gripping, nail-biting monster stories, be prepared to give up sleeping until you are completely finished with this book. You will have to leave the lights on to get even half-way through this book.”
And now, in an exciting new and unique monthly eBook series entitled Real Nightmares, Visible Ink is offering scary stories that readers have declared the most frightening, scary, and awesome—the ones that they had to leave the lights on to finish reading...the ones in which you may vicariously experience “real nightmares.”
Saturday, October 8, 2011
Friday, October 7, 2011
Radio Show Tonight("Hypergalactic Enigmas")
Subject:"Were Fairies & Elves ETs?"
"Hypergalactic Engimas" on Blog Talk Radio