What do you mean you haven't purchased one of our fine,
fashionable, Jack Davis-B Monster collectibles? Shirts,
mugs, mouse pads and more, all emblazoned with brand new
art by the cartoon dean of the monster scene! Why wait for
eBay to artificially inflate their worth? Do you really
want to be seen at that next monster fan function without
a Davis-B Monster shirt? You'll feel positively naked! Spare
yourself that embarrassment (and bear in mind that a portion
of the B Monster's proceeds benefits Childhelp USA). Click
... NOW! http://www.cafeshops.com/bmonster
Actress Fay Wray, who won the heart of Kong and the admiration
of legions of fans, died at her New York apartment. No official
cause of death was given. She was 96. "She just kind of
drifted off quietly as if she was going to sleep," Wray's
friend Rick McKay told the Associated Press. "She just kind
of gave out." She appeared in more than 90 films, including
such genre classics as "Mystery of the Wax Museum, "The
Vampire Bat," "The Most Dangerous Game" and "Doctor X,"
but she achieved screen immortality opposite the 18-inch
armature of "King Kong." The 1933 film created a sensation,
and Wray's blood-curdling scream brought her lasting fame.
While she initially resented being so closely identified
with the role of Ann Darrow, the young girl that Kong carried
to the top of the Empire State Building, she once told an
interviewer, "I don't fight it anymore. I realize that it
is a classic, and I am pleased to be associated with it."
Wray was born Vina Fay Wray in Cardston, Alberta, Canada.
Her family came to the U.S. when she was three, moving to
Arizona, then Salt Lake City and eventually settling in
Los Angeles. She was just 16 when she broke into films,
appearing in the 1923 short "Gasoline Love" after securing
a contract with Hal Roach for $60 a week. Soon, she was
appearing in myriad Westerns including "The Man in the Saddle,"
"Spurs and Saddles" and "The Wild Horse Stampede." Following
her appearance in director Erich von Stroheim's "The Wedding
March," Wray was in demand. When the talkies arrived, she
appeared opposite many of Hollywood's top leading men, including
Ronald Colman, Gary Cooper, Richard Arlen, Fredric March
and Wallace Beery. But it was Kong who ensured her enduring
fame. The film saved its studio, RKO, from bankruptcy. Wray
was paid $10,000 for her role as unemployed actress Ann
Darrow. What was supposed to be a 10-day shoot instead lasted
10 months. "Residuals were not even considered," she wrote
in her autobiography, "On the Other Hand," "because there
were no established unions to protect us." But she maintained
that she was proud to have co-starred with the armature
brought to endearing life by animator Willis O'Brien and
his team. "[Kong] is a very real and individual entity.
He has a personality, a character that has been compelling
to many different people for many different reasons and
Wray worked steadily throughout the 1930s (In 1933 alone
she appeared in 11 films, including "King Kong"), but she
left the movies in 1942 to raise her family. At age 19,
she wed screenwriter John Monk Saunders. The marriage was
not a happy one as Saunders battled alcoholism and drug
addiction. They were divorced in 1939. In 1942 Wray married
Robert Riskin, screenwriter of such film classics as "It
Happened One Night" and "Lost Horizon." Riskin passed away
in 1955. In 1970 Wray wed Riskin's physician, Dr. Sanford
Rothenberg, who died in 1991.
She returned to films in the 1950s with supporting roles
in such films as "Treasure of the Golden Condor," "The Cobweb,"
"Hell On Frisco Bay" and the teen exploitation pictures
"Rock, Pretty Baby" and "Dragstrip Riot." In 1959 she left
films again. She emerged from retirement for her final film
role in the 1980 made-for-TV movie "Gideon's Trumpet" starring
Henry Fonda. She was the guest of honor at a special ceremony
commemorating the 60th anniversary of the Empire State Building
and made a special appearance at the 70th Academy Awards
ceremony in 1998. She maintained a New York City apartment
and drove her own car until she was well into her nineties.
She wrote in her autobiography, "Each time I arrive in New
York and see the skyline and the exquisite beauty of the
Empire State Building, my heart beats a little faster. I
like that feeling. I really like it!" Three nights after
her passing, the lights of the Empire State Building were
dimmed in her honor.
Actress Acquanetta, an exotic beauty best known to cult
movie fans as Universal's Paula, the "Captive Wild Woman,"
died at Ahwatukee Foothills Alzheimer's care center in Arizona.
She was 83. Born on an Arapaho reservation in Wyoming, Acquanetta
grew up in Norristown, Pennsylvania, and began her professional
career as a top-salaried Manhattan model. New York columnists
fabricated a South-of-the-Border background for the girl
they dubbed "The Venezuelan Volcano," and she soon landed
in Hollywood with a contract at Universal Pictures. She
had small parts in "Rhythm of the Islands" and "Arabian
Nights," but it was as Paula in "Captive Wild Woman," and
its follow-up, "Jungle Woman," that she came to the attention
of B-movie fans on late show reruns years after the films
were originally released. She also appeared in the Inner
Sanctum thriller "Dead man's Eyes" with Lon Chaney and "Tarzan
and the Leopard Woman." She had a small part in the 1951
sci-fi film "Lost Continent."
She retired to Arizona where she raised four sons and
become well known for her philanthropic work. With her former
husband, Jack Ross, she helped to fund Mesa Lutheran Hospital
(later Banner Mesa Medical Center), and founded Combined
Charities Inc. She co-founded the Stagebrush Theatre of
Scottsdale, and raised money for the Phoenix Symphony. She
was also a member of the Arizona Press Club.
According to film historian, Tom Weaver, Acquanetta was
one his most interesting interview subjects. "She talked
about being able to touch people's hands and see their futures,"
Weaver recalled. "About how the biggest storm in the history
of Arizona deposited several feet of water in all the areas
around her house, but not a drop of rain fell on HER property;
about a magic fountain that sprang up in her garden and
was photographed and documented by people, including clergymen
-- it was all very strange. But the way she talked, and
the fact that her memories of her life and career were so
vivid and lucid -- she had me half-believing it all!" Weaver
also recalled the time he and "Universal Horrors" co-authors,
Michael and John Brunas, took the actress to dinner following
a convention: "At the table, she started boasting to Mike
how strong and muscular her legs still were, and then she
got after him to punch her in the leg, below the knee. Mike
of course resisted and she PERsisted, and it went back and
forth a few more times, and the next thing I knew, Mike
was out of his chair and kneeling on the floor of TGI Friday's,
repeatedly rabbit-punching Acquanetta in the leg. I thought
she was a wacky, wonderful lady and being around her was
always an adventure!"
In the course of her divorce from Ross, Acquanetta acquired
property that contained the ruins of Mesa Grande, which
scientists believed was the site of an ancient Hohokam Indian
temple. Mesa later paid Acquanetta $1.1 million for the
property. "I took stock in the fact that I'm not young anymore,"
she said at the time. "And what will happen to the ruins
after I'm gone?" "She really enjoyed Arizona," her son,
Lance, told the Arizona Republic, "and loved helping the
Actress Virginia Grey, who appeared in more than 100 films
and dozens of television programs, died of a heart ailment
in Woodland Hills, Calif. She was 87. While she had small
but showy parts in such "A" pictures as "The Women," "Idiot's
Delight" and "Another Thin Man," cult-movie fans will remember
her best for appearances in such films as "House of Horrors,"
"Unknown Island," "Target Earth" and "The Black Zoo." Grey
was born in Edendale, Calif. and grew up near the Mack Sennett
studios. Her father was a silent film director and her mother
a film editor at Universal. Grey's parents sometimes asked
Sennett starlet, Gloria Swanson, to babysit Virginia and
her sisters. One day, while waiting for her mother to finish
work at Universal, Grey was approached to portray Little
Eva in the studio's 1927 production of "Uncle Tom's Cabin."
Grey abandoned her desire to become a nurse and pursued
an acting career because her family needed the extra income.
Throughout the 1930s she had supporting roles, sometimes
unbilled, in such features as "Misbehaving Ladies," "Gold
Diggers of 1935," "The Great Ziegfeld," "Test Pilot," and
"The Hardys Ride High." In the 1940s she enjoyed better
roles in smaller-budgeted pictures such as "Grand Central
Murder," "Swamp Fire" and "Jungle Jim." In the 1950s and
'60s, she appeared in the aforementioned sci-fi and cult
films, several Westerns, and the occasional big-budget feature,
including standout performances in "The Rose Tatoo," "All
That Heaven Allows" and "Madame X." Her television work
included appearances in such series as "Science Fiction
Theater," "Wagon Train" "The Jack Benny Program," "Yancy
Derringer," "Peter Gunn" and "My Three Sons." Grey never
married, but was once romantically linked to Clark Gable.
Academy Award-winning composer Elmer Bernstein died at his
Ojai, California, home following a long illness. He was
82. Bernstein helped break new ground as a film composer
by introducing jazz inflections from the bop era in scoring
gritty urban dramas and lushly orchestrating epic Westerns.
The New York native received his musical education at the
Walden School and New York University. He initially wanted
be a concert pianist and auditioned for Aaron Copland when
he was just 12 years old.
Bernstein scored more than 250 films and television programs
and was nominated for Oscars 14 times. He received his first
nomination for his trendsetting jazz score for "The Man
With The Golden Arm" in 1955. He received the award for
Best Original Music Score for "Thoroughly Modern Millie"
in 1967. He was most recently nominated for the 2002 film
"Far From Heaven." According to Reuter's, Bernstein was
"'Gray-listed' in Hollywood during the McCarthy era of the
1950s for his left-leaning political sympathies." Early
in his film career he scored the cult-classics "Robot Monster"
and "Cat Women of the Moon." Bernstein went on to score
such film classics as "The Ten Commandments," "Sweet Smell
of Success," "To Kill a Mockingbird" and "Hud." He may have
left the greatest impact on the Western genre. His score
for "The Magnificent Seven" was often imitated and informed
many subsequent Western scores, even some of Bernstein's
own. Among the Westerns scored by Bernstein are "The Comancheros,"
"The Sons of Katie Elder," "The Hallelujah Trail," "The
Scalphunters" and "True Grit."
THE B MOVIE MONTH IN REVIEW
ULTIMATE IN SHARE HORROR
Three of Hammer Films best known actresses, Ingrid Pitt
("The Vampire Lovers"), Caroline Munro ("Kronos") and Veronica
Carlson ("Dracula Has Risen from the Grave"), have banded
together to form a DVD production enterprise called Hammer
Glammer Films Ltd. They are currently offering shares in
the new venture, proposing to offer one million shares at
one pound per share to be offered to potential investors
in blocks of 500 shares. "Shares will also be offered to
Artistes and Crew," says the official Website, "redeemable
when the company is in profit, in exchange for services
to the company." The cooperative will produce low-budget
horror pictures "aimed at the booming DVD market." Pitt
is listed as "Chairman," with Carlson, Munro and Stephanie
Pitt listed as "Directors." The first production, "Three
For Hell," is planned as an anthology, each star to be featured
in a half-hour segment. According to Hammer Glammer's proposal,
"the individual segments will be offered to Television as
half hour shows. The three segments will also be introduced
by the Artiste starring in the film. The resulting 90 minute
film will be sold on DVD." For more information, visit:
Why not drop 'em a line and say the B Monster sent you?
HOST OF HORRORS
Brace yourself! "Horror Host Palooza" will soon be upon
us! The Bay Area's retro-hip, fez-wearing wildman, Will
"The Thrill" Viharo, has again wrangled a slew of gruesome
celebs who'll present what we expect to became a Golden
Gate tradition at the Parkway Speakeasy Theater. Here's
the rundown for this year's fearsome festivities according
to "The Thrill" himself:
Part one: Thursday, October 7, 7:30 "Creature Features"
legend John Stanley, Docktor Goulfinger and Mr. Lobo return
for more moonlit madness. This time Paul Naschy drools with
the ghouls as the Spanish Wolf Man battling sexy female
vampires in "The Craving." And then for a truly obscure
psychotronic experience you must stay for "Dr. Jekyll's
Dungeon of Death," in which the mad doctor plays "Hyde"
and go seek with some swingin' modern day San Franciscans!
Both rarities courtesy of The Werepad. Admission: $8
Part two: Thursday, October 21, 7:30 The one and only
Bob Wilkins returns to The Parkway along with John Stanley,
Dr. Goulfinger, and Mr. Lobo to host the local big screen
revival of the South Sea island monster bash "Godzilla vs.
the Sea Monster," co-starring Mothra, in a brand new 35mm
print. Plus, the brand new B-movie classic "Lost Skeleton
of Cadvara," a hilarious, pitch perfect riff on 1950s sci-fi
gems like "Cat-Women of the Moon" and "Brain From Planet
Arous!" Plus, live theremin music by Robert Silverman! Admission:
Part three: Road Show at Copia, The American Center for
Food, Wine and the Arts, Friday, October 29, 8pm It's a
"Hipster Halloween Party" up in Wine Country featuring William
Castle's creepy classic "House on Haunted Hill," starring
Vincent Price, in the original "Emerg-O!" Plus, the pioneering
3D short, "Murder in 3-D" directed by George Sidney, the
Three Stooges short, "Spooks!" and very special musical
guests Johnny and Gin Atomic. All this plus Doktor Goulfinger
and Mr. Lobo. Admission: $6
The following Websites are packed with additional, indispensable
You know by now to tell each and every one the B Monster
LAST HOLIDAY INN ON THE LEFT
The Cinema Wasteland Movie and Memorabilia Expo happens
this October 1, 2 and 3, 2004 at the Holiday Inn Select
in Strongsville, Ohio, only minutes from downtown Cleveland.
Promoted as "three days of films & fun celebrating the
drive-In era of horror & sci-fi movies," the con boasts
the usual dealer's room, multiple film screenings and a
guest roster of gore-film vets. Topping the guest list are
a handful of players who appeared in the notoriously gratuitous
Wes Craven Shocker, "Last House on the Left:" David Hess,
Jeramie Rain and Marc Sheffler
Other attendees include:
Don Edmonds, director, producer, and writer
Basil Gogos, Famous Monsters "monsterpiece" painter
Jeff Lieberman writer, director, and producer
Lynn Lowery, who appeared in "They Came From Within" and
"The Cat People" remake
Tom Sullivan, "Evil Dead" makeup and effects man
Alex Vincent, of the "Child's Play" franchise.
And, like last year, The Horror Host Underground will
be there in force. Prominent among their ranks are:
-- A. Ghastlee Ghoul, host of Dayton and Springfield, Ohio's
"The Ghastlee Movie Show," entering its 17th season
-- Baron Von Wolfstein, currently seen via Dayton Public
-- The Bone Jangler, who calls Aurora, Illinois his haunted
-- Butch R. Cleaver and his lovely wife Joan E., of Cleveland
-- Dr. Creep, dubbed the "granddaddy" of Southwestern Ohio
-- Dr. Freak, billed as the world's youngest horror host,
and "the designated driver to all of the Horror Host drunks
in and around his Dayton."
-- Dr. Mor B.S., whose perfidious practice services Fort
Wayne, Indiana and Defiance, Ohio
-- Dr. Shock, star of "Dr. Shock's X-Ray Chiller Theater"
haunting the airwaves of Northwestern Ohio and Southwestern
-- The Ghoul, Cleveland and Detroit's very own since 1971
-- I. Zombie, recognized as "the first and only horror host
out of Lexington, Ky."
-- Suspira, who also happens to be Mrs. A. Ghastlee Ghoul
For more info, check out:
Let 'em know the B Monster sent you!
THE NIGHT AWAY
The Twisted Nightmare Weekend gets under way September 17
at the Crowne Plaza Suites in beautiful Akron, Ohio. In
addition to a dealer's room no doubt teeming with costumed
role players, swords, statues, posters, toys and all manner
of grisly ephemera, the guest list includes:
Reggie Bannister of "Phantasm" and "Bubba Ho-tep" fame
Gigi Bannister, "Phantasm IV" special effects artist
Dirk Benedict, star of TV's "Battlestar Galactica" and "The
Tireless Ed Wood alum Conrad Brooks
Richard Hatch, "Battlestar Galactica's" Commander Apollo
Lloyd Kaufman, Troma mayhem maven
The "American Werewolf In London" himself, David Naughton
Makeup and goremeister Tom Savini
Horror heroine and marine biologist, Brinke Stevens
Tim Thomerson, star of the "Trancers" and "Dollman" series
Plus a host of supporting players, filmmakers, Leather Faces,
Jasons and myriad miscreants.
Tickets paid in advance are $10 per day or $25 for the
weekend. If you pay at the door, it's $15 per day or $35
for the weekend. For more info, check out:
Why not let 'em know the B Monster sent you!
It promises to be another horrific Halloween in New Jersey's
Meadowlands. We'll offer a preview of the Chiller Theatre
con October 1. Meantime:
CURTIS ADDRESSES "CROWD"
Cult-film director Curtis Harrington, whose credits include
"Queen of Blood" and "Night Tide," is preparing a new film