To get you in the mood for the screening of GODZILLA with Mr. Lobo LIVE and IN PERSON at the ALAMO DRAFTHOUSE WINCHESTER at 5PM and MOTHRA at Midnight tomorrow, we thought we’d share some of the Giant Monster Themed Advertisements or GMTAs that Mr. Lobo scripted and performed for ZOM-BEE TV to be inserted in their programs. For those of you missing the channel from your ROKU. We are coming back soon. ZOM-BEE decided to take over the hosting and streaming of the channel in-house. The channel is going through a testing phase–but has been approved by ROKU for relaunch and will be back any day now. So, don’t worry!
However, this Sunday, July 28th, Mr. Lobo is proud to present at ALAMO DRAFTHOUSE WINCHESTER on the big screen, a special 2PM matintee with the Sci-Fi classic IT CAME FROM BENEATH THE SEA! This film features the amazing special effects animation of RAY HARRYHAUSEN who passed away ealier this year on May 7th.Â Â Â Â Â Â Â
Monster fan and legendary genre artist in his own right, GEORGE “E-GOR” CHASTAIN who made the poster for this MR. LOBO GIANT MEGA MONSTER WEEKEND event and created E-GOR’S CHAMBER OF HORROR HOSTSâ€“the first and best online resource on the subject, shares his reflections ofÂ RAY HARRYHAUSEN and world of famous monsters and fantasy films! He also shares some of his amazing autographed treasures to illustrate this article.
That’s wonderful that you got to actually got to meet the man–Mr. Lobo is jealous.
I met Ray Harryhausen a number of times and got all sorts of things signed. I also designed a couple of posters for his single appearance at the 2nd Monster Bash.
How did get sucked into the world of Monsters?
I was born in 1948, in a world of kiddie media that seemed to be primarily devoted to cartoons (Disney, Warner Bros., early Hanna-Barber and Jay Ward) and westerns. I saw CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON at the Islander Drive-In in Key West when it came out in the early 50s, but most of the other monsters I remember until the late 50s were Disney creations (FANTASIA dinosaurs on TV, giant squid on the big screen in 20,000 LEAGUES).
Saw FAMOUS MONSTERS OF FILMLAND #4 on the newsstand and loved it but didn’t have 35 cents to buy it. Picked up the only 2 issues of MONSTERS & THINGS around that time, and was ready for the next issue of FM I saw, #6 with a KING KONG cover. Became a fan for life, more or less (a lapse of a number of years when I got to college, but I’m younger than that now).
When did you first see RAY HARRYHAUSEN’s work?
It’s hard to remember my first encounter with Ray Harryhausen’s work, but early issues of FM often had photos of his monster, and I definitely saw the 3-part article about Ray and his entire career (to date) called “Son of Kong” that appeared in FM issues 20, 21 & 23 in 1962 and 63. GREAT STUFF, with carefully chosen photos of Ray’s greatest creations to that time, and Forry’s reminiscences of a close friend, fellow fantasy fan, and creative collaborator he’d known since they were teenagers!
I haven’t checked, but I’m sure the other monsterzines I read in those days — CASTLE OF FRANKENSTEIN, FANTASTIC MONSTERS OF THE FILMS, HORROR MONSTERS, MAD MONSTERS, MONSTERS AND THINGS, etc. — at least ran photos from Harryhausen films, and some definitely had feature articles.
And meanwhile I saw some of my all-time favorite Harryhausen films on TV, including “MIGHTY JOE YOUNG, BEAST FROM 20,000 FATHOMS, IT CAME FROM BENEATH THE SEA, EARTH VS. THE FLYING SAUCERS, TWENTY MILLION MILES TO EARTH, and The 7TH VOYAGE OF SINBAD.
Eventually I became such a fan that I tried to catch all of his new films when they were first released, and followed them faithfully as long as they lasted, from JASON AND THE ARGONAUTS through ONE MILLION YEARS B.C., FIRST MEN IN THE MOON and THE VALLEY OF GWANGI through the later SINBAD films and Ray’s last commercial release, CLASH OF THE TITANS.
Here are two signed lobby cards from IT CAME FROM BENEATH THE SEA.
Do you haveÂ favorite resources for info and pictures?
In the early 70s, through the Movie Book Club, I got a copy of Ray’s own beautifully illustrated book about his career to date, FILM FANTASY SCRAPBOOK, and I kept up with the later editions incorporating his last few films. This book provided more details about Ray’s life and work than I had ever seen before, as well as many fantastic photos and concept drawings from his personal collection. Late in Ray’s life a number of big, lavishly-produced books provided even greater information and images covering all aspects of his career, including RAY HARRYHAUSEN: AN ANIMATED LIFE, THE ART OF RAY HARRYHAUSEN, RAY HARRYHAUSEN: A LIFE IN PICTURES and several others.
Is there a secret ingredient in Ray Harryhausen’s films that other films might not have?
One of the best things about Ray’s movies has always been the soundtrack music, perfectly underscoring his magical stop-motion animation, and composed by some of the finest composers in the industry, including Roy Webb, Mischa Bakaleinikoff, David Buttolph, the great BERNARD HERRMANN (who wrote magnificent scores for several of Ray’s greatest films, and many other classic movies from CITIZEN KANE to PSYCHO), Laurie Johnson, Mario Nascimbene, Jerome Moross, and MiklÃ³s RÃ³zsa. Some of these scores were released as soundtrack albums on long-playing records and/or CDs, and I bought them whenever I could find them — it’s wonderfully inspiring to listen to such fantastic music while working on my own artwork.
Have you always been a hardcore Monsterologist?
My interest in fantasy/horror films was considerably interrupted by life experiences like college, 3 years in the U.S. Army overseas, and married life with two stepsons, but at length I took stock of myself and realized I needed to get back in touch with my deepest passions, including famous monsters!
Tell us about attending conventions and making art for Ray Harryhausen’s celebrity appearances.
I began to attend movie conventions, and had the privilege of meetiing Ray at a number of them, including FANEX 4 in Baltimore in 1990, the 1992 Chiller Theatre Convention in New Jersey, the 1993 Famous Monster convention in Arlington VA, and the second Monster Bash (which I helped to advertise with my artwork) near Pittsburgh PA in 1998. I found Ray to be friendly and receptive to his fans, despite the fact that I bugged him for manyautographs!
In Ray’s later years, I was privileged to do a number of graphic projects that paid tribute to his movie career and what it had meant to me, starting with the posters I did for his appearance at Monster Bash in 1998. Since he was so close to my childhood hero, FAMOUS MONSTER editor Forrest J Ackerman — and to their lifelong mutual friend Ray Bradbury — some of those art projects embraced all three, like the two versions I did of these three “Sci-Fi Boys” (as a wonderful documentary about them dubbed them) encountering their lifelong love, KING KONG, in an imaginary scene from the movie. I did the first version of the poster as a gift for Forry Ackerman when he was a guest at Monster Bash the last time, and Forry paid for the printing of a revised version of the poster so it could be used at the annual San Diego Comic Con about 6 weeks later, where Forry and both Rays were scheduled to do a panel discussion and a signing!
E-Gor’s tribute poster of Harryhausen and his “Bat Pack” buddies author Ray Bradbury and Famous Monsters editor Forry Ackerman–and their lifelong love of KING KONG that inspired them all. Autographed by all three monster mavens:
Planning a PACIFIC RIM getaway “vacay”? Well, The ALAMO DRAFTHOUSE in WINCHESTER, VA–which presents great first run features such as “Pacific Rim”, is also celebrating the classic beasts and bots of Cinema and has asked MR. LOBO to come down from his secret base PA to host three amazing films that feature chaotic, cataclysmic creatures! GODZILLA at 5pm this Saturday, MOTHRA at Midnight, and on Sunday afternoon, the day after, for the Monster Kids “IT CAME FROM BENEATH THE SEA!”
The posters and fliers were eaten up at Monster Bash. Mr. Lobo looks forward to seeing many of you there! Make a weekend out of it if you can…there is a great Hotel in the same parking lot and wonderful restaurants–And of course, The Alamo serves great food and spirits in the theater. Every row of seats has it’s own table. When was the last time you had someone bring you beer and pizza in the dark? It’s damn spiffy! It reminds Mr. Lobo of the “Thrillville” monster shows we used to do back in California!Â Â Â Â
To wet your appetite even further we asked Bob Johnson, who runs Bay Area Film Events and the Sci-Fi Japan website, to say a few things about our Saturday program. Bob has been bringing Kaiju/Tokusatsu to the bay area over the last 30 years with events like GODZILLAFEST and ULTRAMANIA–which Mr. Lobo had the honor of co-hosting on the West Coast. That’s Bob up on top of the giant larva in the photo to the right!
Take it away Bob…
With Guillermo del Toro readying to make “kaiju” a household name with his new, mega block-buster film PACIFIC RIM, both of these films, which ushered in the term, deserve another look.
GODZILLA is the original Japanese creature feature, making its debut in 1954. Filmed in black and white, it was a very serious analogy for a nuclear nightmare come to life. Directed by Ishiro Honda in a documentary style, the film is dark and somber. Godzilla is a force of nature, a living natural disaster. As the US trailer would say a couple years later, the film featured “Dynamic Violence” and “Savage Action”!
MOTHRA, on the other hand, was Toho’s second color kaiju film (following 1957’s RODAN). Unlike RODAN though, MOTHRA is more fantasy. With it’s bright colors, singing fairies, exotic island locales and more light-hearted characters, MOTHRA is like the day to GODZILLA’s night.
The musical scores also emphasize the different tones of the films. GODZILLA’s music is thunderous, intense and heavy. MOTHRA’s is light and fanciful. Both soundtracks are expertly done and deserve a listen on their own. GODZILLA’s com
posed by Toho mainstay Akira Ifukube and MOTHRA’s by Yuji Koseki. Although Ifukube would go on toscore many of Toho’s monster and Sci Fi films up through 1995’s GODZILLA VS. DESTROYAH, Koseki’s MOTHRA was his only genre score.
Even when released in the US , GODZILLA was re-edited and sanitized, while MOTHRA was released with a few trims, but mostly intact.
The heavy-handed message in GODZILLA was removed. The main characters Hideto Ogata (Akira Takarada), Emiko Yamane (Momoko Kochi) and Daisuke Serizawa (Akihito Hirata) take a back seat to Raymond Burr’s US reporter Steve Martin. Although expertly edited to look like Burr really is an integral part of the movie, lost is the nuclear allegory, the emotional love triangle between Ogata, Emiko and Serizawa and even some of the monster action.
In some scenes, Burr stands to the side, listening in on meetings and discussions, while an interpreter lets him (and the audience) know what is going on. Saves time on dubbing anyway. But, as such, the US version, GODZILLA, KING OF THE MONSTERS, can actually be looked atas another perspective on the same story. In the Japanese version, you get the entire story. In the US cut, you get Steve Martin’s version of the events as he sees them unfold.
In MOTHRA, the film’s original characters, mainly Dr. Shinichi Chujo (Hiroshi Koizumi–shown above with Mr. Lobo at BAFE show GODZILLAFEST), photographer Michi Hanamura (Kyoko Kagawa) and reporter Senichiro Fukuda (Frankie Sakai) come through with their humor and chemistry intact. Actor Jerry Ito’s deliciously over the top portrayal of the film’s main villain, Clark Nelson, also remains as a highlight of the movie. In fact, it is Clark Nelson and NOT Mothra herself, who is the antagonist of the film. Mothra, though she creates a lot of collateral damage, is mainly on a mission to save the Alienas (twin fairies), which Nelson kidnapped from Infant Island to exploit in a series of stage shows.
As evil and despicable as Ito’s Nelson is, Frankie Sakai does an excellent job as reporter Fukuda, known in the US version of the film as a “Bulldog” and in the Japanese version as a “Snapping Turtle”, both metaphors for getting hold of a
story and not letting go. He is jovial throughout the movie, a perfect balancing act between the humor of the character and his reporter’s important role in rescuing the fairies.
MOTHRA was a turning point in the style of the Toho films. Gone was the dark and serious monster movies, substituted by fun amazing adventures featuring a whole roster of far east beasts.
GODZILLA and MOTHRA make for an amazing double feature and will definitely show fans two totally different ways of bringing cinematic monsters to life. And although the films are different in style, tone and feel, they are both created by director Ishiro Honda and special effects master Eiji Tsuburaya.
The July 27th Winchester screening of GODZILLAÂ and MOTHRA at The ALAMO DRAFTHOUSE WINCHESTER will be introduced live by MR. LOBO and he WILL be bringing THE TWIN FAIRIES!
As you know, Mr. LoboÂ is the host of the late night movie program CINEMA INSOMNIA–Nationally syndicated on AMGTV affiliates and now via ZOM-BEE TV on ROKU devices. Mr. Lobo presents a LIVE preshowÂ with audience participation, background on the film, comedy, and prizes.Â To purchase tickets or for more info visit the ALAMO DRAFTHOUSE website.
See you there…and don’t forget IT CAME FROM BENEATH THE SEA! our bonus monster matinee on Sunday!
A “must-have” keepsake for CInsomniacs, Monster Kids, and Monster Kids in training. If you can’t make it to the Alamo Drafthouse Winchester, VAÂ on the 27th or 28th you can get one mailed to you here for a limited time. They are $10 and the artist gets half the proceeds.
Since MR. LOBO has been asked–here’s the skinny about the BLOBFEST festivities for TOMORROW, Saturday! He will have a table at the street fair all day this year so you won’t need to buy a admission ticket or wristband to say “Hello to Mr. Lobo”! Stay for the evening show inside at the Colonial and recite THE INSOMNIAC OATH before the double feature of THE BLOB and THEM! Let’s get gooey, LIVE and IN PERSON!
Yesterday there was An Open to the Public Visitation at Singleton Mortuary in Indianapolis. As Mr. Lobo could not be there, we thought we might have a memorial of sorts at HORROR HOSTS AND CREATURE FEATURES. Take a moment. Turn off your phone. Sit in a dark quiet place and read this article put together by Mr. Lobo to honor horror host legend Sammy Terry!
BLOBFEST LIVE EVENT PREVIEW AND INTERVIEW WITH DR. FRANK N. STONE
In the small Pennsylvania town of Phoenixville, location for the 1958 classic Sci-Fi film THE BLOB they hold an annual 3 day event called BLOBFEST. Horror Host of the late night movie show Cinema Insomia, who has been a special guest and fill in co-host in the past, will be taking the microphone as SPECIAL GUEST MC this year.Â A perfect opportunity for the cult movie maven to highlight this wonderful program at the beautiful and historic Colonial Theater.
Friday’s famous annual reenactment for the run-out at the Colonial Theatre is already sold out(Get your tickets early next year!) But you can always stand outside at 9pm and take pictures as hundreds of people burst through the doors to escape THE BLOB exactly as they did in the famous scene from the film. Fear Not! There’s lots more fun to be had on the Saturday and Sunday of the event!
Saturday there will be double features, pairing THE BLOB with other genre classics and for the evening show MR. LOBO, as he has in years past, will lead the crowd into THE INSOMNIAC OATH. He will present the movie with organizers and co-hosts DR. FRANK N. STONE and Dr. IMA HACK. The characters from the New York TV show GHOUL A GO-GO are traditional Special Guests. There is also an awesome Street Fair with Rockabilly music and a costume contest. Mr. Lobo will have a table among the fans.
Sunday is usually a great day to enjoy the beautiful town and see THE DOC’S HOUSE and where THE DINER once stood…rumored to have been transplanted to California. However this year the colonial theater has added another double feature with THE BLOB and a third film in keeping with this years GIANT BUG-OUT theme!
CI: What’sÂ else different this year?
DR. F: This year we are recognizing a young man whom boldly taught us all how to be resourceful and stick up for ourselves and OUR TOWN and OUR AMERICA!Â All while wearing blue footie pajamas.Â MR. KEITH ALMONEY also known as “Danny Martin” in the movie THE BLOB.Â We will be presenting him with a special token of our appreciation for his heroism.
CI: Tell us about your special guests?Â
DR. F:Â We are very happy that CREIGHTON and the INVISIBLE MAN of GHOUL A GO-GO will be with us.Â Or at least they claim the INVISIBLE MAN will be here – I think it’s a scam so CREIGHTON gets 2 meal tickets!
Local haunters–THE PATIENT CREATURES, will be in on the Friday night fun and telling spooky stories during our Street Fair on saturday.Â Â The OLDE CITY SIDESHOW will be back–a guaranteed cringe inducing act.Â THE BUZZARDS will rock the street fair on Saturday – amazing high power rockabilly trio. And very ultra special guest MC MR. LOBO! Â And did I mention the actual BLOB itself ?Â Yeah, ya heard right , the actual BLOB seen in the actual movie !Â Caretaker of THE BLOB, WES SHANKÂ brings the actual prop used in the film and has some great stories.
CI: How would you describe the show for someone who is planning to attend for the first time…
DR. F:Â Expect “plain out-and-out old school monster movie goofiness”.Â Totally family friendly event – we have something for everyone ages 8 – 80.Â Even if you aren’t a fan of these type of movies you can hang out at the Street Fair on Saturday for an afternoon of live rockabilly music, excellent local restaurants , and vintage street rods.
The Friday Night Run Out Re enactment is a fan favorite and a nationally known event.Â We put on a variety show inside that culminates in the crowd running screaming into the street just like in the movie.Â It’s a lot of fun running out yourself or even just watching everyone else run out.Â AND our reigning guest of honor THE BLOB itself will be meet everyone.Â This is the actual red colored silicone prop used in the movie.Â Watching a classic monster movie in the theater that parts were filmed in and meeting the actual prop used to chase you out of theater – who could ask for more
CI: This years theme?
DR. F: Â Â This years theme is giant-mutated-and-mad bugs.Â The Colonial Theatre is actually located mere miles from a nuclear power plant – with the arrival of the 17 year cicada brood and our close proximity to the power plant it seems a natural fit – we all know that radiation is ALWAYS the culprit causing unnaturally large creatures.Â I would like to know why it only affects horribly frightening beasts – why can’t it ever be a cute puppy ?
CI: How did the event begin? How has it evolved?
DR. F:Â Â The Colonial Theatre is the actual location that the infamous running out scene from the movie was shot. Wes Shank – Caretaker of The Blob – lives nearby as well. The event began as simply running the film a few times over the weekend.Â Fans of the movie had begun re enacting the running out scene before that – much like fans of the Rocky movies re enact his triumphant run up the art museum stairs.Â I think things like this are so much fun – even if you aren’t a fan of the movies chances are you are aware of such iconic moments and it’s impossible to not do it.Â We like to say that just like The Blob itself grows bigger and bigger so does BLOBFEST – literally. What started as a weekend of running a classic monster movie ran by a few volunteers , has turned into an event ran by well over 100 volunteers !Â Every year we strive to put on a better event than the last, adding new elements but keeping everything within the realm of the era and attitudeÂ the film takes place in.Â Will you be able to find a vendor giving nose piercings? No.Â But you will be able to find a barber that cuts a mean flat top and straight razor shave.
CI: How did MR. LOBO come to be part of the program?
DR. F:Â Â A friend had told me I had to check some of Mr. Lobo’s stuff out on YouTube. Instant Fan.Â I was able to get in touch with him and invite him out as a special guest one year and ever since he has become more and more one of the gang.Â Super great guy to work with and a master of the craft.
CI: Any thoughts on giant bug films?
DR. F:Â Â They really bug me.
Thank you Dr. Frank N. Stone. Mr. Lobo is honored to be part of the BLOBFEST family and is looking forward to another unforgetable weekend with you, the guys from GHOUL A GO-GO and Dr. Ima Hack.