Grab your crucifix, kiddies… it’s #ThrowbackThursday!
This week, we’re hanging on telephone and dreaming a dream of Freddy Krueger! Back in the day, Ol’ Pizzaface had his own telephone hotline (1-900-860-4-Fred; 1-900-909-Fred) where the Dream Weaver himself would tell nightmarish stories to keep you up at night!
But it did cost 2 dollars the first minute and 45 cents for each additional minute… Howl-ever, thanks to the magic of the internet, we’ve got 44 minutes of free, unfiltered Freddy goodness that’ll have screaming like this… Think of it like a bunch of one minute audio Tales from the Crypt or, more appropriately, Freddy’s Nightmares. This macabre morsels of frightening Freddy fables are the perfect thing to get you pumped for the upcoming Halloween season… so, get ready for Freddy and click on the boXXX below:
Happy Birthday to the KING of Literary Ho-rror, Mr. Stephen King! ]
We’ve been talking about this gentleman a lot recently (but also, always because he rules ;)). With trips to TheDark Tower and visits from IT, the recent ho-rror scene has really been dominated by this man who has been in the public eye for over 40 years. He has weaved timeless nightmares from the mundane and has created creatures that have haunted us for decades and will continue to do so. Stephen King is truly a SHINING star in terror whose words will CARRIE on through the ages… but do you know what’s truly scary?
Stephen King hamming it up in an American EXXXpress commercial! That’s f-right, kreeps! King made a ghoulish TV appearance for American Express back in the ’80s! Like Vincent Price in his numerous commercial appearances, King plays up his spooky persona in a deliciously campy way. Dressed as a villain in one of Corman’s Poe films, Stephen King puns his way through a Gothic mansion before promoting the credit card. It’s truly magnificent!
For some conteXXXt, here’s a groovy 1984 article from PEOPLE:
A flash of lightning, banging doors, scurrying hunchbacks, disembodied human arms…and the cameras are rolling. As fog sifts through the haunted house—an old mansion ghouled up for the occasion—horror novelist Stephen King emerges from the gloom with a flaming taper in one hand and a sinister raven in the other. “Do you know me?” he asks.
Then he gestures toward a table littered with applications for a well-known credit card. “Isn’t life a little scary without it?” asks the maestro of macabre fiction. “The next time you visit your favorite haunt, why not apply for an American Express card?”
King’s gig, which will air in late September, highlights the 10th anniversary of one of TV’s most spectacularly successful commercials. When American Express shot the first spot in 1974 of the now famous ad series, featuring a parade of high achievers whose names are often better known than their faces, only six million people owned Amex cards. Now there are some 18 million. And Amex attributes a big part of the rise to their ads—of which King’s is the 61st and most flamboyant. “We are getting more ambitious with our spots,” concedes Glen Gilbert, director of advertising for Amex. “They’re so well established now, it gives us a chance to experiment and have a little more fun.”
The pioneer flasher of the little green card on TV was actor Norman (Three’s Company) Fell, who did a modest talk piece at the check-in desk of a hotel. And Fell remains the only subject who did not say, “Do you know me?” Rather, he began with “Thanks to TV a lot of people know my face, but not many know my name.”
After Fell the ads swung into the familiar opener that has held through all the spots leading into the spectacular by King, who, like most other Amex guests, confesses he was tickled to be asked to appear. “It’s just such a compliment,” says King, whose new novel, The Talisman, co-authored with Peter Straub, will appear soon after the ad. King did the spot more for laughs than for celebrity. “Certainly it’s not going to do much for my literary reputation, although,” he cracks, “many would say that I don’t have a literary reputation to worry about.”
One thing’s for sure. King, whose writings and film versions of Carrie and The Shining have earned him millions, didn’t do the ad for money. And neither have most of the other guest hosts. The $10,000 payment, plus residuals, has not changed in 10 years.
Despite the modest fee Amex has no trouble finding subjects. Together with Ogilvy & Mather, the Manhattan agency that created the campaign, Amex selects the potpourri of known-unknowns for the spots. Though hundreds of unsolicited requests pour in each year, the agency tactfully puts off the volunteers. “I can’t think of an instance in which we chose someone who approached us first,” says an Ogilvy & Mather executive.
One of the most successful invitations went to the late William Miller, Barry Goldwater’s running mate in the 1964 Presidential election. “It was amazing the recognition he got from the ads,” says his widow, Stephanie. “He used to say, ‘I definitely recommend that before someone runs for Vice-President, they do an American Express commercial!’ ”
Another especially popular advertisement was the one in which Tom Landry, the stonefaced coach of the Dallas Cowboys, appeared in a Western saloon decked out as a cowboy and surrounded by redskins—Washington Redskins, that is, in football garb. “My reputation is sort of stoic, which is planned,” says Landry, “so a lot of people were surprised.”
Other Amex stars were themselves surprised to find that the ads improved not only their image but also sales of their products. “It helped business,” says Roy Jacuzzi, founder of the whirlpool-bath company that bears his name. In 1982 he posed in one of his creations with a rubber duck—and artfully saved the show when the whirlpool quit during filming. Roy jumped out and, off-camera, shimmied under the tub with a pair of pliers and a wrench. The bath soon whirled back to life, with the cameras rolling again and a happy proprietor bubbling inside.
Opera star Roberta Peters agrees the spots provide a business boost. “It definitely helped bring people to the opera,” she says of her 1980 commercial. Peters also admits she is recognized more often since doing the ad. While she was trying unsuccessfully to flag down a Manhattan cab one day, a woman stuck her head out of a car window and yelled, “Do it da way you do it in da cammercial!” Peters obliged. She held up her hand and launched into a soprano trill. “Taaaxiii!”
For your viewing pleasure, here’s the commercial:
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, STEPHEN KING!!! SLEEPWALKERS RULES!!!! 🙂 xoxo
(Submitted by Mr. Prince Adam…Thanks, Superfiend! 🙂 xoxo)
“Untold Tales and Alternate Timelines, part 1: BttF creator/screenwriter Bob Gale returns with all-new tales from the twisting and turning timeline that made Back to the Future a, well… TIMELESS pop-culture phenomenon! Take a trip back to 1985 and be there when Doc Brown and Marty McFly first meet, and then jump even farther back, to 1945, to witness Doc’s involvement in the super-secret Manhattan Project.”
Rather than pick up after the third film, I like that this film goes back to the past to tell two stories about our two main protagonists. The first story starts in the early 1900’s and features Doc Brown telling his young son, the story of how he and Marty McFly met. While it’s never stated, given the time period this story starts in, I’m assuming the Doc Brown featured here, is the one who experienced the events of all three films. With that premise in play, this issue delivers on the films title and takes us Back to the Future. We then see Marty McFly being bullied by “Needles”, who wants to take Marty’s interoctpr tube and use it for his guitar. When Marty struggles to get it back, it breaks. At this point. “Needles warns Marty that if he doesn’t get one for him, before he and his band need to perform, Marty’s going to get a beating. As Marty tries to track down a interocito tube, he realizes that they’ve all been sold to reclusive scientist Doc Brown. Marty locates his residence, but is turned away at the intercom. He’s even electro shocked for his troubles. Ever persistent, Marty finds a way to sneak in, only to encounter more booby traps, He finally meets Doc Brown, who applauds him for following the clues he laid to his residence and finding a way into his house, despite all the safeguards. When Marty tells Doc Brown why he’s there, Doc gives him a interceptor tube and offers him a job as his assistant, so long as all the work they do in the lab is kept a secret. Marty agrees and the iconic friendship is born. Having co creator and screenwriter Bob Gale co-write this comic is great, because he thrusts the reader right back into a familiar world. It was fun seeing the reclusive/conspiracy theorist reputation of Doc Brown again. This coupled with a Marty who is shy, meek and being threatened by a bully, made me feel like I was watching the iconic first film again. The classic lines of “Think McFly Think” and “Great Scott” appear in this book but, never feel like they’re there just for the hell of it. They’re used in appropriate instances. The second story takes us to 1943 and the California Institute of Technology, where a younger Doc Brown is furious at his boss, for not recommending him to the committee in charge of selecting the Manhattan Project. His boss said he though of him but, ultimately felt that his chaotic unorganized personality, would prevent him from getting a spot on that committee. Doc brown insists on a meeting anyways. To present a more structured, organized version of himself, he sets up the interview at a neighbor’s house. Despite his deceptive efforts, the government official and General conducting the interview, unearth his lie, thanks to a piece of his neighbor’s wayward mail. Figuring he blew the interview, Emmett heads home, only to find J. Robert Oppenheimer in his basement lab, welcoming him to the Manhattan Project. While the first part of the story is more exciting, I like that this part of the story gives us the more unhinged, unorganized, and chaotic Doc Brown we are used to for the bulk of the films, even though he is younger. His deceptive ways to get what he wants, gives him something else in common with Marty, who snuck his way into Emmett’s house in our main story. I liked the connectivity and similar traits of our to main characters. They were destined to team up.
Art for the first story is by Brent Schoonover. His depiction of Doc Brown in the late 1800’s/early 1900’s looked exactly how we left him and his family in the third film. Likewise, the 1985 initial meeting between Doc Brown and Marty McFly was very much like their first encounter in the original film, at least a nod to it. The look of Marty and Doc Brown is spot on to the appearance of actors Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd, as their characters. It’s so good, you’d be forgiven for confusing this issue to be a cut scene on the Blu-Ray extras. I loved that whenever a date and time was given in this book, it was depicted in the style of the date/time dashboard of the DeLorean. Even though the iconic car is absent from the book, it’s presence is still felt. The back story is drawn by Dan Shoening of Ghostbusters fame. Even though we get a younger Doc Brown here, we get the crazy over the top mannerisms, more so in this story, than the first one. It makes for a funny page. Doc Brown looks like a young Christopher Lloyd, but with an Egon esque hair style. I don’t know if Mr. Shoening did this on purpose, or as a force of habit. Either way, it works. I loved the splash page of Doc Brown’s early lab. It is eclectic, chaotic and cramped, very much like its owner.
I loved being back in this world. I can’t believe I’m just discovering this book now. I like that instead of resting on the laurels of making this book a sequel to the film, the first arc is exploring untold prequel cannon. In addition to that, I can’t wait until this book explores altered timelines too! If you’re a fan of this film series, this is a MUST OWN book! If you’re not a fan of this film series, sorry, I can’t help you!
Ho-wdy, Superfiends! Welcome to another shocking Throwback Thursday! With Wonder Woman kickin’ all sorts of booty at the Box Office and Captain Marvel set to fly into cinemas, badass superheroines are finally getting their well-deserved time in the Bat-shaped spotlight. Howl-ever, there are plenty of awesome crime-fightin’ women who don’t get the love they deserve. Women like… Yesiree! Just two years after Wonder Woman came to television, mad geniuses Sid and Marty Krofft introduced us to Electra Woman and Dyna Girl on The Krofft Supershow. The Supershow spawned 16 segments, which were later released as 8 episodes. It was cheap, cheesy, derivative of the ’60s Batman series, and I loved every single thing about it! Just check out this eXXXcellent opening:
The show’s goofy as all heck, but gleefully so. With a budget of five cents and a Moonpie, the creators built a wackadoo Silver Age comic funhouse of a show that’s beyond words. Diedre Hall and Judy Strangis are both totally groovy as the tit-ular superheroines. Sure, they weren’t exactly Meryl Streep and Helen Mirren, but they didn’t need to be! They were the two awesomely campy super butt-kickers this world needed. If you need someone to beat the snot out of hammy magicians and sinister glam rockers, Electra Woman and Dyna Girl are the far-out chicks for you. 🙂
In ho-nor of this show and its powerful leads, we’ve got a full episode of the show that has to be seen to be believed! It features death traps, hyno-tunes, and a villain who looks like the unholy lovechild of The Joker and Beef from Phantom of the Paradise. Enjoy. 🙂
As you Kinky Kreeps probably know, there is nothing in this world that we love more than a cl-Ass-Sick monster hawking their wares to us humans. Whether it’s The Phantom of the Opera promoting condoms (to be covered later) or Dracula pimping tomato sauce (ditto), we just can’t get enough of SpokesMonsters! While there have been many great monsters of advertising, we think Godzilla may be the King of the SpokesMonsters! Yessir, Big G has been A LOT of commercials, but we’re particularly fond of the campaign he did for Dr. Pepper in the ’80s! For some monstrous background, here’s a 1985 write-up from The Los Angeles Times:
Dr Pepper Bubbles Up To Godzilla
Here’s an introduction that could only be made in Hollywood, even though the subjects are from Tokyo and Dallas:
Godzilla, meet Dr Pepper.
Starting next week, the monster and the soft drink (now there’s a title) will be paired in the launching of a $10-million advertising campaign leading up to the Aug. 23 release of “Godzilla 1985,” a Japanese-made, American-modified horror film in which Dr Pepper will make a cameo appearance.
“This is the perfect marriage of product placement and promotion,” says Rusty Citron, director of national promotion and merchandising for New World Pictures. “We think everyone’s going to have a lot of fun with it.”
“Godzilla 1985” marks the comeback of Godzilla, the prehistoric monster who rose from the fallout of nuclear blasts to crush cities in a series of clumsy Japanese movies made in the ’50s and ’60s. It also brings back bulky Steven Martin (Raymond Burr), the American reporter whose scenes were shot in Hollywood and inserted in the 1956 “Godzilla, King of the Monsters.”
New World, which picked up “Godzilla 1985” from Toho Film, repeated the post-production gimmick, getting Burr to reprise his role in a two-day shooting at Hollywood’s Raleigh Studios, on the same set where (is nothing sacred?) “Citizen Kane” was filmed.
Those scenes, set in the Pentagon, will also include a Dr Pepper vending machine and cans of the product being consumed by the cast.
“It is done in the same good taste that Diet Pepsi did in ‘Back to the Future,’ ” Citron says, with an almost straight face.
Actually, Dr Pepper had already negotiated the use of Godzilla for a fall campaign when New World decided to pick the film up for U.S. theatrical distribution and video sales. TV commercials have already appeared linking Godzilla with Dr Pepper.
When Citron learned of the soft drink tie-in from Toho, he rushed to Dallas and offered to put the product in the movie for a piggyback ride on its ad campaign.
Citron says Dr Pepper approved the deal in three hours and starting next week copy promoting the movie will be included in all Dr Pepper/Godzilla spots on TV and radio.
Godzilla, the unfriendly Pepper, is going to be hard to ignore. Besides Dr Pepper’s $10-million campaign, New World will be spending $3 million to $4 million of its own money.
There’s even an MTV video on its way, featuring the love theme from “Godzilla 1985”: “I Was Afraid to Love You.”
Who would have believed fallout would be this much fun?
We don’t care for author’s haughty attitude towards Godzilla, but the information solid. As stated in the article, a Dr. Pepper machine appeared in the background of Godzilla 1985…
…Big G appeared in a few Dr. Pepper commercials…
…and both appeared in a music video for I Was Afraid to Love You.
Now, that’s some delicious product placement!
I don’t know about you Kreepsters, but I could really go for a Dr. Pepper right about now… 😉
Ho-wdy, Creatures of the Night! Since we just escaped the clutches of a werewolf, let’s take look at its ancient enemy: the vampire! And not just any rinky-dink vampire! We’re talkin’ ’bout the king of all vampires, the Prince of Darkness, one bad bloodsucka… Count Dracula! Dracula’s met a LLLLOOOOOOOOOOOOTTT o’ monsters over the years… Frankenstein, The Wolf-Man, and other great ghouls… but there is one that stands above the rest: Count Chocula! Yessiree, Count Chocula met the real Drac back in 1987! Unfortunately, due to controversy (the medallion Drac wears appears to be a Star of David), the pairing didn’t last long and the box was pulled off shelves. However, what we got was pretty groovy. In addition to that sweet box above, we also got this awesome commercial below:
If the next Dark Universe films are anything like that, I’m in!
It’s true what they say: Ladies Love Draculas. 😉 Fangs a lot, Counts! 🙂 xoxo
Howl-dy, fright fiends! We here at KH just ADORE werewolves in London… Warren Zevon’s Werewolves in London, the 1935 Werewolf of London, and just about any lycanthrope in England. We have no idea why our furry fiends frequent the Old Smoke, but we do know that hair-handed gents in the UK always make for a jolly good time! There’s no better example of this than John Landis’ An American Werewolf in London, one of the grooviest monster movies of the 1980s! Ah, yes… An American Werewolf in London… there’s just no way to overpraise that fabulously fantastic fright film. Landis’ picture effortlessly dances between the ho-rrific and hilarious like few films before and since. There’s a clear love for previous werewolf films on display, yet it constantly reinvents the genre in clever ways. It’s weird, it’s scary, it’s funny… it’s a true cl-ass-sick! I’m sure you’re all familiar with that marvelous monsterpiece, but did you know it was adapted for the radio? Yes, Kinky Kreeps! The American Werewolf ho-wled on in a 1997 BBC radio adaptation! It was written and directed by Dirk Maggs (the man who would produce new episodes of the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy radio show from 2003 to 2005) and featured actors from the film, including the great Jenny Agutter reprising her role as Nurse Alex Price.
The adaptation is mostly faithful, but it does add some backstory to certain characters… and tells us who was the original werewolf. There’s also a bit about a man escaping from an asylum where he is held under the name “Larry Talbot”…
For a trip back to London, listen to the play below:
Happy Birthday to Cinema’s Great Magician, Ray Harryhausen!
As you cool ghouls and groovy ghoulies probably know, Ray Harryhausen was the mightiest stop motion animator in the cosmos. He was both Prometheus and Athena, sculpting creatures from clay and breathing life into them. Mr. Harryhausen brought many great monsters into existence with just his skilled hands and superhuman patience. What he did was magic, pure and simple.
In ho-nor of Mr. Harryhausen, we’ve dug up this groovy interview… conducted by Mr. Tim Burton! In it, you’ll hear Ray talk about the birth of several of his creations, watch Tim Burton try not give in to his inner-fanboy, and see the two mess around with a flying saucer from Earth vs. The Flying Saucers! It’s an incredible watch for lovers of fantastic cinema and Master Harryhausen. Enjoy, Kinky Ho-mies! 🙂 xoxo
Happy Birthday, Ray! Thanks for all the cinematic magic. 🙂 xoxo
On this day in 1984, two of the most important films of all time were unleashed upon the unsuspecting masses…
Yes indeed, 1984 really hit the “G” spot with Gremlins and Ghostbusters! These two ho-rror comedies are among the most beloved fright funnies in all of ho-rror, and the fact that they were released on the same day is nothing short of a miracle! How is this not a federal holiday??! Sure, social media is on fire with “Ghostbusters Day” posts, but it’s not the same and it eXXXcludes the undeniable awesome that is Gremlins.
In ho-nor of these two masterpieces of ho-rror, we’re giving you a double dose of monster movie magic! At the bottom of this post, we’ve provided two behind-the-scream videos, one for each film. Both of ’em are loaded with ’80s goodness and eXXXcellent nostalgia. The Ghostbusters one gets eXXXtra points for its overwhelming seXXXiness… yes, dear kreeps, it features a generous dose of young Rick Moranis! Mercy! I do believe I’m getting the vapors! 😉
Happy Birthday, Ghostbusters and Gremlins…We love you forever!! xoxo 🙂
Ho-wdy, Ho-rror Ho-mies! As you creeps probably know, the Universal Monsters are getting a brand-new shared universe, and they’re hoping to give Marvel a run for their “mummy!” We here at KH love a good Monster Mash, especially one from the original House of Horrors. Starting with 1943’s Frankenstein meets the Wolfman, Universal has had a rich history of having grand ol’ ghouls go face-to-fang. However, there are two iconic monsters that have yet to appear in the same film…
Yes, it’s true… The Mummy and The Invisible Man, Universal’s baddest bandaged baddies, have never co-starred in a film together! Now, I know there’s a fair chance that the “wrap” stars will appear together in an installment of the new franchise, but it’s been over 80 years! You would think that Universal would throw us an invisible and/or mummified bone, but they never did.
However, the gauze ghouls did get a chance to share the spotlight in a commercial for Meineke Mufflers in 1988. Not only are The Mummy and The Invisible Man here, but they are positively horrible.. in a good way! 🙂 That Mummy could stomp around in a real monster movie, as far as I’m concerned! I don’t recall the Invisible One being much of a driver, but I suppose The Mummy would need a new a muffler for the ol’ chariot… 🙂