It is with a heavy heart that I must share the passing of film legend Michael Parks. Mr. Parks has appeared in more than 100 films and TV shows over 50+ years. His career began back in the 1960s and he garnered wide recognition as the star of the series Then Came Bronson. Mr. Parks worked steadily for many years, but achieved a career renaissance in the 1990s when he appeared in Twin Peaks and Robert Rodriguez’s From Dusk Till Dawn. The latter was the debut of Mr. Parks’ most recognized character, Sheriff Earl Mcgraw. As Earl McGraw, Michael Parks appeared in the aforementioned From Dusk Till Dawn, Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (Parks appeared in Vol. 2 as a different character), and both Rodriguez’s Planet Terror and Tarantino’s Death Proof for Grindhouse. He reunited with Tarantino once more in Django Unchained. The news was revealed on Instagram by Kevin Smith, who directed Mr. Parks in Red State and Tusk, in parts written specifically for the actor. Here’s what Mr. Smith had to say:
Bill Condon is in talks to bring the Bride of Frankenstein to life. 🙂 Deadline Edgar Wright may be facing amazing colossal insects in Grasshopper Jungle./FILM
The director of Evil Dead and Don’t Breathe dances into a new Labyrinth. 🙂 The Guardian Robert Englund’s Scarecrow spreads fear in this new Injustice 2 trailer! 🙂 Flickering Myth
William Castle’s daughter scares us with never-before-seen pictures from the set of Strait-Jacket! 🙂 Dread Central And in truly heartbreaking news, fellow horror blogger James Harris A.K.A. Doc Terror has passed away. I didn’t know him personally, but I loved his blog. A few years ago, I won one of his giveaways and he sent me a sweet-ass Dario Argento mirror for answering a question about the Friday the 13th series. I love it, and will cherish it even more now. <3
“Ladies and gentlemen, attention please! Come in close, so everyone can see! I got a tale to tell. A listen don’t cost a dime.. ..And if you believe that, we’re gonna get along just fine!”
Salutations from the Carnival, culture vultures! Our dead-lining act is real wooden one from the demented dummies at EC Comics! It concerns a voice-thrower with a secret so shocking, it’ll leave you speechless! From the putrid pages of Tales from the Crypt #28, it’s The Ventriloquist’s Dummy!
Y’know, my fabulously freaky friends… horror dummies are a rather dull bunch. They either come to life to engage some rather tired terror or they play mind games with weak-minded. Well. our performer ain’t no dummy-dummy! This seasoned pro has an act that’s really FLESHED out! Impressively, for a monster from the ’50s, there ain’t a single termite to be found. Armed with a twinning secret, this old-timer is ready to show Today’s dull dolls how it’s done!
For your amusement and education, I give you The Ventriloquist’s Dummy!
Heh. How’s that for a punchline, creeps? I gotta HAND it to Larry: he kept his brother close!
Of course, with a yelp yarn this disgusting, HBO just had to take a stab. They got a Scream Team to Hand-le this one! Richard “The Omen” Donner helmed this doll scripted by Frank “The Walking Dead” Darabont. The late. great Don Rickles played the ventriloquist with a fistful of terror. As a terror-ific tribute to the creep-comic, Rickles’ voice-thrower shares a last name with artist “Ghastly” Graham Ingels. Don’t be a dummy! Check out this Chiller-Diller below!
Sorry, Folks! The Carnival is closed. All Out and Over, All Out, All Over!
The curtain always rings down on the stage at some point. Nothing lasts forever, but art comes close. Art can be a persistent force, if rendered properly. Beauty, no matter how unconventional, can linger on for a good many centuries and remain as it is. An artist’s voice stays loud and strong, even if the artist has left us. Bernie Wrightson has died, but he still exists in the works he gave us. Mr. Wrightson brought beauty to horror comics and gave humanity to monsters. Creatures have their own poetry, and Wrightson’s art made it known. He made his beasts majestically terrifying and brought out the soul behind every ghoul. We lost one of the greats.
“It is with great sorrow that I must announce the passing of my beloved husband, Bernie. We thank you for all the years of love and support. His obituary is below:
After a long battle with brain cancer, legendary artist Bernie Wrightson has passed away.
Bernie “Berni” Wrightson (born October 27, 1948, Baltimore, Maryland, USA) was an American artist known for his horror illustrations and comic books. He received training in art from reading comics, particularly those of EC, as well as through a correspondence course from the Famous Artists School. In 1966, Wrightson began working for The Baltimore Sun newspaper as an illustrator. The following year, after meeting artist Frank Frazetta at a comic-book convention in New York City, he was inspired to produce his own stories. In 1968, he showed copies of his sequential art to DC Comics editor Dick Giordano and was given a freelance assignment. Wrightson began spelling his name “Berni” in his professional work to distinguish himself from an Olympic diver named Bernie Wrightson, but later restored the final E to his name.
His first professional comic work appeared in House of Mystery #179 in 1968. He continued to work on a variety of mystery and anthology titles for both DC and its principal rival, Marvel Comics. In 1971, with writer Len Wein, Wrightson co-created the muck creature Swamp Thing for DC. He also co-created Destiny, later to become famous in the work of Neil Gaiman. By 1974 he had left DC to work at Warren Publishing who were publishing black-and-white horror-comics magazines. There he produced a series of original work as well as adaptations of stories by H. P. Lovecraft and Edgar Allan Poe. In 1975, Wrightson joined with fellow artists Jeff Jones, Michael Kaluta, and Barry Windsor-Smith to form “The Studio,” a shared loft in Manhattan where the group would pursue creative products outside the constraints of comic book commercialism. Though he continued to produce sequential art, Wrightson at this time began producing artwork for numerous posters, prints, calendars, and coloring books.
Wrightson spent seven years drawing approximately 50 detailed pen-and-ink illustrations to accompany an edition of Mary Shelley’s novel Frankenstein, which the artist considers among his most personal work. Wrightson drew the poster for the Stephen King-penned horror film Creepshow, as well as illustrating the comic book adaptation of the film. This led to several other collaborations with King, including illustrations for the novella “Cycle of the Werewolf,” the restored edition of King’s apocalyptic horror epic, “The Stand,” and art for the hardcover editions of “From a Buick 8” and “Dark Tower V.” Wrightson has contributed album covers for a number of bands, including Meat Loaf. The “Captain Sternn” segment of the animated film Heavy Metal is based on the character created by Wrightson for his award-winning short comic series of the same name.
Characters he worked on included Spiderman, Batman and The Punisher, and he provided painted covers for the DC comics Nevermore and Toe Tags, among many others. Recent works include Frankenstein Alive Alive, Dead She Said, the Ghoul and Doc Macabre (IDW Publishing), all co-created with esteemed horror author Steve Niles, and several print/poster/sketchbooks series produced by Nakatomi.
As a conceptual artist, Bernie worked on many movies, particularly in the horror genre: well-known films include Ghostbusters, The Faculty, Galaxy Quest, Spiderman, and George Romero’s Land of the Dead, and Frank Darabont’s Stephen King film The Mist.
Bernie lived in Austin, Texas with his wife Liz and two corgis – Mortimer and Maximillian. In addition to his wife, he is survived by two sons, John and Jeffrey, one stepson, Thomas Adamson, and countless friends and fans. A celebration of his life is planned for later this year.”
If there’s one film that never fails to make me smile, it’s 1958’s The Blob. It’s a perfect monster movie and a beautiful portrait of the ’50s as we want to remember them. That’s why it breaks my heart to report that producer Jack H. Harris has passed away. The Blob was his first film as a producer and it certainly was a strong way to start. Made for $130,000 and grossing more than $3 million, The Blob was an instant success. Since then, Mr. Harris has kept The Blob alive and pulsating with a sequel (which he co-wrote), a 1988 remake, and a 1991 re-dubbed version of the original. Outside of The Blob, he produced 4D Man, Dinosaurus!, Equinox, Eyes of Laura Mars, Schlock, Master of Horror, and Dark Star. In 2014, he became the oldest person to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
In honor of Mr. Harris, we’d like to share with you the trailers for all of the Blob movies. Like the film itself, the trailer for the first movie is pure bliss for monster movie lovers. It also made a prominent appearance in Grease. The trailer can be seen during the drive-in sequence. While the first is my favorite, all three trailers are good fun. Honestly, it’s hard to go wrong with The Blob.