Monday, February 22, 2010



I admit it. I was never a fan of Rob Zombie’s first band White Zombie. I even bought ASTRO CREEP: 2000 for the wicked cool “More Human than Human” single. I sold it to a younger metal fan, after only playing it through a couple of times. In 1998, Rob Zombie released his first solo disc HELLBILLY DELUXE. It featured two singles: the addictive “Dragula” and the syncopated “Superbeast”. I bought this disc and played it endlessly for weeks. I have been a wicked Rob Zombie fan ever since! I dropped heavy cheddar on his next two cds THE SINISTER URGE and EDUCATED HORSES. Both are kick ass discs, but EDUCATED HORSES seemed like Rob was trying to mix up his sound even more -- which I thought was badass! It’s been five long years, but Rob has finally cut his fourth cd: HELLBILLY DELUXE 2! There are eleven electric cuts on this cd and all are worth repeated listens. The first track sets the tone for this monster mash-up of a cd! “Jesus Frankenstein” starts with slowly building guitars, which unleash to a grinding guitar crescendo, that run smack into a wall of thumping bass drums! That’s just the first 1:44 of this song. Rob’s lyrics are sparse and elusive, but imply the obvious parallels between Jesus’ resurrection and the undead life of the Frankenstein Monster. The simple “All hail, Jesus Frankenstein” chorus, sung by a powerful male choir, raise in furor until the screeching climax of the song! This is wicked pissa freakin’ Frankenstein cool! The second cut, "Sick Bubblegum", is one of the lesser cuts, but still has a nice grinding rhythm and some outstanding solo guitar work. I think the chorus of “Rock the motherf*cker hurts the punch of the song, rather than helps it. The third cut, “What?” , is a tribute to “B” movie tropes, that makes excellent use of Rob’s classic fuzz-vocals to describe “Vampire Lovers”, a “Cannibal Man” and “Satan’s Cheerleaders”! The second best cut on the disc (right after “Jesus Frankenstein”, of course) is the fourth cut, “Mars Needs Women”! As Rob did on his previous cd, EDUCATED HORSES, he uses a lengthy opening of acoustic guitar and stringed instrumentation to set the tone for this pulsing, throbbing beat-driven song about Mars needing “Angry Red Women”. Spastic use of electronic noises and a breathy female vocal bridge conjure up powerful erotic images that make me think this could be a future favorite of strippers everywhere. The fifth cut is another pissa scary song, “Werewolf, Baby”. Accompanied by fuzz slide guitars, Rob sings a lament to his werewolf baby who is “afflicted by what the fangs did”. A classic Rob Zombie tribute song to a classic monster, that rivals even “Dragula” from the first HELLBILLY DELUXE cd.

Monday, February 15, 2010



I had wicked high hopes for this modern remake of my second favorite classic Universal horror flick The Wolf Man. Right after Frankenstein, the Wolf Man has always been my personal favorite monster. Who couldn’t feel empathy for poor Larry Talbot, who was bitten by a werewolf trying to save the life of an innocent? The Wolfman starts off well, with a foggy forest, a tense Ben Talbot and a largely unseen werewolf. The beast strikes quickly and easily kills the elder Talbot spawn. Unfortunately, the next quarter of the film dedicates itself to introducing the “return of the prodigal son” and explaining why he has not seen his estranged father until the murder of his brother. Benicio Del Toro is a fine actor, but he is not the likable lug returned from America as played by Lon Chaney, Jr. in the original. Instead, he is quietly withdrawn, if determinately passionate, about finding the murderer of his brother. Anthony Hopkins plays Sir John Talbot as a slightly eccentric and gruff hermit, who seems outwardly pleased at his son’s return, but is mysteriously devoid of anger at the loss of his eldest son. Emily Blunt is lovely and convincing as the fiancĂ© of the slain Ben Talbot. Yet, it is somewhat disturbing that she becomes so fond of her dead beau’s brother. At the film’s midpoint, Larry finally succumbs to the werewolf’s bite and, thanks to the quick actions of the local gypsies, is rescued before the werewolf can finish his prey. Geraldine Chaplin is fantastic and unrecognizable as the gypsy woman Maleva, who stitches Larry’s wound and keeps the other gypyies at bay, who wish to end Larry’s suffering, before it truly begins. The pivotal moment of the film, where Larry first endures his transformation into the Wolfman, is visually sumptuous, but erratically emoted. We never quite feel Larry’s inner pain at the realization that he has become the very thing that ended his brother’s life. Still, there is some interesting plotlines left to untangle and the third quarter of the film does a serviceable job at tying up loose ends. Hugo Weaving, a great character actor who has appeared in many genre films, is introduced as a Scotland Yard detective, who seems to have been on the trail of the Wolfman before. Unfortunately, he his given little to do, other than hang out at the pub and wander aimlessly in the fog. Finally, the last quarter of the film gives us the big reveal, that ties up all the loose ends, and surprises us with a climatic battle to the death. As in the original, Larry is killed by one who loves him. However, in an effort to improve on the original, the 2010 The Wolfman fails to instill the same pathos and sympathy for Larry Talbot that was so pivotal to the climax of 1941’s The Wolf Man. Taken on its own merits, The Wolfman is a visually resplendent, well-paced modern action horror film. Joe Johnston, who showed hints at being able to direct a dramatic period piece with 2004’s Hidalgo, has done as well as could be expected with what appears to be an erratic script by the duo of Andrew Kevin Walker and David Self. Despite my disappointment in The Wolfman overall, I did enjoy many of its elements and will gladly view it again. I’ll continue to watch all of Universal's resurrections of any of its classic monsters, because as a fan, any monster is a good monster. I hope that the real Frankenstein monster is lurking somewhere in a theater in the near future!

Monday, February 8, 2010


by Professor Phileas Photon

I just popped in, literally, to introduce myself. My name is Professor Phileas Photon. I’m a time traveling seeker of knowledge. I will be materializing in this time and space every now and then to visit Doc Freak and keep you up on my interests. I’m not a Time Lord like The Doctor, but an ordinary human scientist with a brain the size of a planet. Technically, the brain isn’t the size of a planet and it’s not mine. The Brain belongs 9-K and it is he who allows me to travel throughout time. I didn’t have time travel in mind when designed 9-K to be an AI. I guess he read too much H.G. Wells and one thing lead to another. Eat your heart out Orac! I must adjust 9-K‘s neural interface before I pop off for more adventures in knowledge. Oh, and pardon the picture. A picture showing me in detail would have serious repercussions in the time continuum - or at least there would be a lot of explaining to do! Be seeing you.

Saturday, February 6, 2010




10: The frightfully fantastic full-color covers by Terry Beatty!

9: Monster Memories articles written by fans detailing their past glories with all things creepy!

8: Dave “Dr. Swave” Piper’s comics starring Dr. Swave, Sir Geoff Gassy, and Nurse Ghoulfriend!

7: The Scare-News by Dr. Johnny Scareshock that brings us up to date on all things scary!

6: Entire issues dedicated to classic horror films like The Blob, The Creature from the Black Lagoon and many others!

5: In depth articles on classic horror film stars like Karloff, Lugosi and Chaney!

4: Classy tributes to recently departed horror greats like Forrest J. Ackerman!

3: Scarrific back-page advertisements for hard to find monster magazines, books, DVDs and models!

2: Articles about legendary horror hosts of the past like Zacherley, The Ghoul, Vampira and many others!

1: The only magazine with interviews and articles on current horror hosts such as Svengoolie, Dr. Gangrene, and Count Gore De Vol that keep the spirit of horror hosting alive!

I want to personally thank publisher and editor-in-chief Dennis Druktenis for producing Scary Monsters Magazine four times a year, every year, since 1992! I have every issue safely shelved in my laboratory library – from issue 15 to the current issue 73! Check out the Scary Monsters web site at, or write directly to Dennis for subscription information at Dennis Druktenis Publishing, 348 Jocelyn Pl., Highwood, IL 60040 and tell him Fritz Freakenstein sent ya!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010


I was chillin’ in the lab today, reading a national magazine (yes, I still get some of my genre news from old-skool paper pubs) and I read that 80% of Avatar’s $550 million domestic gross has come from 3-D ticket sales. Anyone who doesn’t know about James Cameron’s record-breaking science fiction film is not only living fifty feet under ground under a rock, but probably found this blog thinking it was dedicated to Gene Autry. Reading this made me recall a conversation that I had just last weekend with my fellow Genre Guardian, Professor Photon, about the recent glut of 3-D films being released. We had seen Avatar at the local cinema – in standard 2-D – partly because the theater didn’t show 3-D films, but also because I wouldn’t want to pay extra money for what I believe I referred to as “an optical gimmick that doesn’t work with my corrective-lens glasses on”. The Professor asked me what was the last 3-D film I had seen and I had to admit it had been a long time (they still used the paper glasses with the red and blue lenses). The Professor assured me that the new 3-D process was superior to the old one and that the newer plastic glasses fit just fine over his corrective lenses. The Professor also told me that I should support these technical advances in cinema projection, because in the future the virtual-reality-vision films were going to be even better! I told the Professor that as a time traveler I’d have to take his word for that, but in future I would attempt to seek out a screening of a 3-D movie: As long as it wasn’t a sequel to Friday the 13th or Saw.