Announcing The Winners of the First Annual Classic Monster’s Awards!

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When I started Monsters After Midnight six years ago. I never realized how much fun it would be and where it would be today.  I’m proud of the Monsters After Midnight blog, which has become more of an online museum dedicated to classic horror and classic monsters. But no success happens without the help and support of other people. And that’s what Monsters After Midnight is about. We are about the collaborative arts. Many people have openly shared their thoughts, artwork, writing and podcasts with us, and we are deeply appreciative of their work. It’s with that spirit in mind that we proudly announce the first annual Classic Monster’s Award.

We decided to pick three winners this year. They come from three main categories of the arts in our genre. Those categories being;  Writing, artwork and multimedia podcasts. The main criteria that we decided upon, was that our nominees be independent creators of their work. People who create out of love and passion for their art and genre. So here are the very first winners;

 

Writer; Gary Castleberry

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When we put out the first issues of Monsters After Midnight in magazine form. I met Gary on facebook.  He gave great moral support to our early projects. Gary was a monster kid at heart, a writer and a musician. Sadly, Gary passed away in 2015. But he was an awesome guy and we think about him often. The following is from his obituary;

Gary Castleberry, age 64, of Flower Mound, passed away Monday, February 16, 2015, in Lewisville. He was born October 2, 1950 in Denton County to Cecil Ford Castleberry and Thelma Josephine Pierce Castleberry. Gary married Lisa Waters on June 7, 1980 in Lewisville.
He is survived by his wife, Lisa; children, Carrie & Jeff Halcomb, Michael Castleberry, Tim Castleberry, Wendy & Bob Madrulli, and DelRonda & Richard Boyd; grandchildren, Nathaniel, Dylan, Cori, Hannah, Andrew, Maizy, and Grace and mother-in-law, LaJuan Duncan.
In spite of his illness, Gary found a creative outlet pursuing his childhood passion as a Monster Kid; doing model kits, sculpting, and writing for Living Dead Magazine. The internet afforded him the opportunity to meet so many amazing, wonderful, and new friends as well as keeping up with family and our far away folks.
Gary was a lover of life, his family, and friends. He had a lifelong affair with music. His last band, the Moondogs, was nominated for five Grammy awards. Although none of the nominations were received, losing out to people like Paul McCartney and Tom Petty was one of the Moondogs’ and Gary’s greatest accomplishments.
This wonderful man found a genuine passion in working with special needs students in Southlake Carroll until he was forced to retire due to his illness. He had forged some very endearing friendships. Gary even taught a self defense class for his students.
We are most humbled by such a generous outpouring of love and kindnesses. He did much to inspire and encourage others. Love conquers all. We are comforted by so many cherished memories and knowing he is in Heaven, with many loved ones.

Artist; Paul Spatola

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Paul has been a tireless supporter of Monsters After Midnight. His creativity and passion for the characters of classic horror are truly special. He has shared his art with us freely, and his wonderful drawings appeared many times in our hard copy magazines and here online. His artwork has also found its way to the descendants of Lon Chaney Sr. and Lon Chaney Jr.  Paul was kind enough to grant Monsters After Midnight an interview We are proud to have Paul’s ongoing support. Our magazines and this blog would not be the same without Paul.

Podcaster; William Mize

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William Mize produces an awesome podcast called “Bill Watches Movies“. His style is considerably different than other podcasts. His delivery of the subject matter, being B-Horror and sci-fi is very nostalgic and done in a melodic style of 1940’s narration. Bill Watches Movies and presents detailed cinema graphic descriptions of each movie that he reviews, which transports the listener into a realm of a three dimensional world. A world that he creates in the listeners mind by use of voice inflection, matching background music and sound effects. His award winning style is comparable to the best narrators of classic horror and sci-fi of history.

I’m proud to know and to have the support of these great artists of the classic horror genre!

THANK YOU!

-Editor Gene Stevens

– Chief content Editor Vicki Stevens

Letter to The Editor from Tom Vernard

Dear Monsters After Midnight,

My. question is ;  Why is it in all the old black-and-white monster movies, they always blamed radiation for making things giant? And how come they didn’t know the science of radiation back then that that kind of thing could never ever happen?  Cuz if it would everything would be giant and we’d be living in the land of giants? ? ?

Tom

Dear Tom,

That’s a great question! We have no idea.. Please enjoy this picture of a giant colossal man.. Caused by radiation!

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Thanks!

Letter to The Editor, From Bob Cullen

Dear Editor:  The German silent horror film “Nosferatu,” which was released in 1922. The movie was an unauthorized adaptation of Bram Stoker’s 1897 novel “Dracula” since the studio wasn’t able to obtain the rights to that work. In trying to cover their tracks and avoid a copyright infringement lawsuit, the folks who made this movie made some changes to set it apart from the source material. “Nosferatu” was used in place of “vampire,” for example, and “Count Dracula” became “Count Orlok.” Stoker’s heirs still sued over the movie, however, and a court directed that all copies of the film be destroyed.

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Fortunately for posterity, one print of “Nosferatu” managed to survive that judicial order. Nearly a century later, the movie remains a powerful masterpiece of horror. IMHO, “Nosferatu” captures the best not only of the horror film genre but also of movies and in particular silent movies. Count Orlok (portrayed chillingly by German actor Max Schreck) only shows up for 10 minutes altogether yet he is both so menacing and memorable that he easily dominates the whole movie even when he’s nowhere to be seen.

-Bob Cullen

Before X-Files… There was Kolchak.. The Night Stalker.

Hunting monsters is not a new concept in the horror movie genre. One of the first monster hunters to grace the silver screen was Abraham Van Helsing, who appeared to movie goers in the 1931 adaptation of Bram Stoker’s  Dracula. 
Since that time, many other variations have haunted the big screen. Some of these manifestations included acting parts that ranged from scientists hunting for giant bugs, priests wrangling with demons or cops hunting for crazed maniacs, aliens and werewolves.
One of my favorites is when wrestler turned actor, Tor Johnson played a detective, Inspector Clay,  turned alien in Ed Woods’, Plan 9 from Outer Space. His simple and amateur performance  was a prime B -Movie example of how cinematic monster hunters were trapped into hunting blood sucking, goo-oozing, scaly green eyed monsters.

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Inspector Clay played by Tor Johnson searches out the truth about an alien invasion.

But by the 1960s, the movie screen found itself in deep competition with the cathode ray tube ( the original TV screen) as TV began to churn out movie monsters and sci- fi aliens by the ton.  With supernatural strength, TV series such as The Twilight Zone, The Outer Limits, One Step Beyond and Alfred Hitchcock (just to name a few) turned up the monster machine to full power. Among these TV series was another TV show character by the name of Kolchak, better known as the The Night Stalker.

The Night Stalker pieced together monster parts and phantom hunting and planted the ideas at the center of it’s plot and in our hungry hearts. It aired on ABC during the 1974–1975  T.V. season. Its fictional character was a wire service reporter—Carl Kolchak, who was played by actor Darren McGavin.

Kolchak, while working his news beat investigated mysterious happenings with weird causes. And he specialized in those types of cases that the cops refused follow up on, or were to scared to do so. The cases always involved phantoms, vampires, and other fantastic creatures. All while battling creatures of the night, the cops and his extremely irritable boss, Tony Vincezo, played by actor Simon Oakland.

The series began as two television movies, The Night Stalker (1972) and The Night Strangler (1973). Though the series lasted only a single season, it rapidly achieved cult status and has remained popular among many fans. Full episode’s can be viewed on youtube and still runs in syndication . For those of us who were X-Files addicts. (And I never missed an episode). Would surely recognize the same plot lines being played out in the X-Files, but to a much more sophisticated level than Kolchak.

-Happy Halloween!

Letter to The Editor

Dear Monsters After Midnight.

Dwight Frye is one of the best character actors, certainly, of the era, possibly ever. His role as Renfield in 1931’s ‘Dracula’ ism y favorite performance of someone who has gone ‘mad’. Sure, we’ve had plenty of Jokers, Psychos and madmen over the generations, But Frye’s performance from ‘Everyman/gentlemen’ to Dracula’s servant is a terrific, and seldom talked about gem. His look, his delivery, his posture and laugh, to me, is the best of anyone playing a ‘madman’.
#DwightFrye #UniversalLegend #Legend #Renfield #Fritz #RAAAATSSSS

– John Travis

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