Classic Horror, Suspense and Sci-Fi Host… Rod Serling

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Rod Serling in his role as host of the Night Gallery.

Consider the case of .. A tall thin soft spoke man in a dark suit. He appears on your old black and white TV screen. He speaks in prose and magically opens a door to strange and scary worlds… You sit in your recliner chair, pinned to your seat, eyes fixed on the tube, holding your breath… And you are now entering….. THE TWILIGHT ZONE.

The famed Twilight Light Zone TV series occupied the best evening time slot on Television. A special zone called “prime time”. The time in which the light of day and the dark of night meet.. A place called Twilight.

Prime time shows aired in our Midwestern cities here on planet earth, in the central time zone between 6pm and 9pm in the evening. This was the magical time in which families sat down together after moms homemade dinner, or threw a ready made TV dinner into the oven. And we ate in front our cathode ray tubes and ate dinner off of our handy dandy TV trays. Yes.. Glorious days.

The Host of The Twilight Zone was a producer and Writer by the name of Rod Serling. His dry whit and monotone voice would set the stage for some of the most ingenious and cutting edge suspense based sci fi programs to ever hit the TV screen.

The Zone was not only a bit strange and scary, but one could also find many lighted corners of realm in which important lessons and irony could be found. The Zone was a place which could challenge your intellect and try your human ethics.

The Zone gave us many fearful scenarios. Like the episode “To Serve Man” in which seemingly benevolent aliens befriend us gullible earthlings into believing the title of a book that they give us as a gift “To Serve Man” only to find out it was a cook book and earth folks were the main course to be shipped off planet like cattle.

One personal favorite is the episode “Nightmare at 20,000” Feet with William Shatner, Who plays an unsuspecting airline passenger, who while sitting at the window of the jet aircraft seat in which he rides, sees something he can’t reconcile.

what he sees as looks out the small porthole out to wing of the aircraft is  a freightening and perplexing site. A large humanoid figure is  on the wing of the plane trying to take down the aircraft. This same episode was recreated in The Twilight Zone Movie which came out in 1983.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twilight_Zone:_The_Movie

 

An Airline passenger.. Played by John Lithgow freaks out after seeing a monster on the wing of an aircraft. Welcome to the Twilight Zone.

The Twilight Zone Franchise churned out over one hundred and fifty episodes and spanned over three seasons. The Zone is still on TV in syndication til this very day. We still sit at the edge of our seats and contemplate the deeper meaning of the dark corners of the Twilight Zone.

Letter to The Editor from Lisa Blocher

Dear Monsters After Midnight;

One of the first scary movies I ever watched Was trilogy of terror. Seeing Karen Black squatting on the floor, stabbing the little witch doctor doll with a butcher knife gave me nightmares. All these years later it still creeps me out!

Dear Lisa, we totally get it. Always be sure to check under your bed and look in the dark closet before you go to sleep at night. That should help!TRILOGY OF TERROR

Building the Polar Lights Mummy’s Chariot

I have pretty extensive collection of monster figures and models. I’ve built, modified and repaired many monster models. But the Mummy’s Chariot from Polar Lights is a challenge.  I’m about half way through the model and found that it has many small parts and great detail. The Monster rod model is a monster model combined with a car model!  I will post more pictures as I go!

 

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B Movie Actor of the Month Roddy McDowall

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Congrats to Roddy McDowall. He is our B Movie actor of the month. Though Roddy was anything but a b movie actor! He was awesome!

Filmography

Murder in the Family (1938) as Peter Osborne

John Halifax (1938) as Boy

Dead Man’s Shoes (1940) as Boy

Just William (1940) as Ginger

Saloon Bar (1940) as Boy

You Will Remember (1941) as Young Bob Slater

Man Hunt (1941) as Vaner

This England (1941) as Hugo, Norman Boy

How Green Was My Valley (1941) as Huw Morgan

Confirm or Deny (1941) as Albert Perkins

Son of Fury: The Story of Benjamin Blake (1942) as Benjamin – as a Boy

On the Sunny Side (1942) as Hugh Aylesworth

The Pied Piper (1942) as Ronnie Cavanaugh

My Friend Flicka (1943) as Ken McLaughlin

Lassie Come Home (1943) as Joe Carraclough

The White Cliffs of Dover (1944) as John Ashwood II as a Boy

The Keys of the Kingdom (1944) as Francis Chisholm – as a Boy

Thunderhead, Son of Flicka (1945) as Ken McLaughlin

Molly and Me (1945) as Jimmy Graham

Holiday in Mexico (1946) as Stanley Owen

Rocky (1948) as Chris Hammond

Macbeth (1948) as Malcolm

Kidnapped (1948) as David Balfour

Tuna Clipper (1949) as Alec MacLennan

Black Midnight (1949) as Scott Jordan

Big Timber (1950) as Jimmy

Killer Shark (1950) as Ted

Screen Snapshots: Hollywood Goes to Bat (1950; short subject)

The Steel Fist (1952) as Eric Kardin

The Big Country (1958) as Hannassey Watchman (uncredited)

The Subterraneans (1960) as Yuri Gilgoric

Midnight Lace (1960) as Malcolm Stanley

The Longest Day (1962) as Pvt. Morris

Cleopatra (1963) as Octavian – Caesar Augustus

Shock Treatment (1964) as Martin Ashley

The Greatest Story Ever Told (1965) as Matthew

The Third Day (1965) as Oliver Parsons

The Loved One (1965) as D.J. Jr.

Inside Daisy Clover (1965) as Walter Baines

That Darn Cat! (1965) as Gregory Benson

Lord Love a Duck (1966) as Alan Musgrave

The Defector (1966) as Agent Adams

The Adventures of Bullwhip Griffin (1967) as Bullwhip Griffin

The Cool Ones (1967) as Tony Krum

It! (1967) as Arthur Pimm

Planet of the Apes (1968) as Cornelius

5 Card Stud (1968) as Nick Evers

Midas Run (1969) as Wister

Hello Down There (1969) as Nate Ashbury

Angel, Angel, Down We Go (1969) as Santoro

Tam-Lin (1970)

Pretty Maids All in a Row (1971) as Proffer

Escape from the Planet of the Apes (1971) as Cornelius

Terror in the Sky (1971) as Dr. Ralph Baird

Bedknobs and Broomsticks (1971) as Mr. Rowan Jelk

Conquest of the Planet of the Apes (1972) as Caesar

The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean (1972) as Frank Gass

The Poseidon Adventure (1972) as Acres

Arnold (1973) as Robert

The Legend of Hell House (1973) as Benjamin Franklin Fischer

Battle for the Planet of the Apes (1973) as Caesar / Cornelius

Funny Lady (1975) as Bobby

Mean Johnny Barrows (1976) as Tony Da Vince

Embryo (1976) as Frank Riley

Sixth and Main (1977) as Skateboard

Laserblast (1978) as Doctor Mellon

The Cat from Outer Space (1978) as Mr. Stallwood

Circle of Iron (1978) as White Robe

The Thief of Baghdad (1978) as Hasan

Nutcracker Fantasy (1979) as Franz / Fritz (voice)

Scavenger Hunt (1979) as Jenkins

The Black Hole (1979) as V.I.N.CENT

Charlie Chan and the Curse of the Dragon Queen (1981) as Gillespie

Evil Under the Sun (1982) as Rex Brewster

Class of 1984 (1982) as Terry Corrigan

Fright Night (1985) as Peter Vincent

Alice in Wonderland (1985) as The March Hare

GoBots: Battle of the Rock Lords (1986) as Nuggit (voice)

Dead of Winter (1987) as Mr. Murray

Overboard (1987) as Andrew

Fright Night Part 2 (1988) as Peter Vincent

The Big Picture (1989) as Judge

Cutting Class (1989) as Mr. Dante

Shakma (1990) as Sorenson

Going Under (1990) as Secretary Neighbor

Harold Lloyd, The Third Genius (1990 documentary)

Precious Moments Christmas: “Timmy’s Gift” (1991) as narrator (voice)

Doin’ Time on Planet Earth (1992) as Minister

The Magical World of Chuck Jones (1992 documentary)

Mirror, Mirror 2: Raven Dance (1994) as Dr. Lasky

The Grass Harp (1995) as Amos Legrand

Last Summer in the Hamptons (1995) as Thomas

Star Hunter (1995) as Riecher

The Fantasy Worlds of Irwin Allen (1995 documentary)

It’s My Party (1996) as Damian Knowles

Mary Pickford: A Life on Film (1997 documentary)

The Second Jungle Book: Mowgli & Baloo (1997) as King Murphy

Something to Believe In (1998) as Gambler

The Simpsons (1998)

A Bug’s Life (1998) as Mr. Soil (voice)

When It Clicks (1998) (short subject) as Professor Bark

Is Invisible Man Transparently Invisible?

the-invisible-man-claude-rains-1933_u-l-ph5ikp0It can probably be said with a degree of accuracy. That for many  Universal Monster fans, the Invisible Man is somewhat transparently invisible in the scheme of the Universal Monsters franchise.  The original movie staring Claude Rains was released in 1933. And was based in the HG Wells book the same title. The film was based upon a scientist who figures out how to make himself invisible and loses his mind in the process. The movie was said to have done as well as, if not better than Universals Frankenstein. Though, reviews of the day yell a slightly different story….

Variety called the film “something new and refreshing in film frighteners” that “will more than satisfy audiences,” but suggested that some of the laughs in the picture might not have been intentional.

Film Daily wrote, “It will satisfy all those who like the bizarre and the outlandish in their film entertainment.”

John Mosher of The New Yorker called the film a “bright little oddity” that “never was properly appreciated.

– Source; Wikipedia

Addtional proof can be found in the lack of Invisible Man collectables found through out the years in the horror collectables industries.  A good example of this can be found in the fact that Aurora models never produced a plastic model of the invisible man.

In fact It seems that a very few toy manufacturers have taken on the task of creating invisible man figures. And those that did, probably failed to sell very many. It isnt until very recently that we began to see the invisible man appearing on the toy market. One figure that comes to mind is Funkos series of invisible man figures. They ranged from a clear plastic (invisible) carded figure to the popular Funko pop vinyl figures which are sold in many stores.

 

 

 

 

Another Invisible Man figure was marketed by Side Show Collectables, which is larger than the Funko figures. Though well done,  could it  be that the Invisible Man just lacks the shock and fright value of the other Universal Monsters? Therefore there’s no marketbility for them?

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The Invisible man unwrapping his face to see nothing horrid, may be to anti-climactic for horror fans.

Letter To The Editor, From Tom Vernard!

Dear Monsters After Midnight

So I have a question out there for everyone. I was just watching the old movie called THEM! You know about the giant ants? And my question is this… what are small town police outwest doing with machine guns? And in their police cars? 

Also how did they just happen to have flamethrowers? And if they got them from the national guard … why would the national guard even give them flamethrowers?

Dear Tom,

GREAT QUESTION.. THEM..  Is one of my favorite giant bug movies. My first guess is that all the machine guns and flame throwers were just simply in the script. However, THEM was a post WWII movie. And lots of guys who had been fighting in Europe and the Pacific were now writers, actors and other film people. So what better way to do away with a monster than to unleash hell with a Tommy gun and a flame thrower. Personally… I would have chosen a pump shotgun. But hey that’s just me.

-The Editor