Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Ed Wood Wednesdays, week 58: 'Cult Movies,' No. 11 (1994) [part 1 of 2]

Some of the back issues of Cult Movies, including one about Ed Wood.

"Google is my best friend and my worst enemy. It's fabulous for research, but then it becomes addictive. I'll have a character eating an orange, and next thing I'm Googling types of oranges, I'm visiting chat rooms about oranges, I'm learning the history of the orange."
-Liane Moriarty

There was, believe it or not, a time when the answers to most of life's throbbing questions were not a mere mouse click away. That's an especially sobering thought for me, because I could not possibly write a research-heavy series of articles like Ed Wood Wednesdays without the invaluable aid of the Internet.

Obviously, this blog only exists online; there is no paper equivalent of Dead 2 Rights, apart from the yellow legal pads I've filled up with my notes. (And these get recycled as soon as they're no longer needed.) In fact, Dead 2 Rights started as a spin-off of a podcast, another distinctly 21st-century form of entertainment. My blog's content, which I desperately hope you enjoy, is chiefly made possible by the Internet as well, in more ways than I can describe to you.

In short, this wondrous and technically-inexplicable series of tubes has allowed me to connect with other Ed Wood fans and pop culture experts and has given me access to all kinds of reviews and news articles I never could have found on my own. And when it comes to acquiring books and DVDs to review for this blog, well, the vast majority of these have come to me through online vendors, both legit and gray market. In short, I sure am glad the Internet exists. No 'net, no Ed Wood Wednesdays. (On the other hand, I'd have my Wednesdays free.)

This is what research used to look like.
But what about the movie geeks of a previous generation, the ones who had to explore the avenues of film fandom back when the Internet didn't even exist.. or when it existed but still sucked? Well, folks, I have been there. Oh, have I been there.

I can recall the Dark Ages -- you may remember them as the 1980s -- when even the most obvious Ed Wood movies, such as Plan 9 from Outer Space and Glen or Glenda?, were not available at a second's notice the way they are now. You had to hope a TV station, revival house, or campus cinema would show one of them. Or maybe the local video store would have an actual, physical copy of them on hand.

And if the movies themselves were hard to come by, then information about them and the people who made them was even more scarce. You had to rely on whatever books your local library carried. There were newspaper and magazine articles, too, but these required mastery of such arcane technologies as microfilm and microfiche, not to mention a certain amount of agility with the Readers' Guide to Periodical Literature. That's why video guides like the one put out by Leonard Maltin were such a godsend. There, in one convenient place, you could at least find titles, cast lists, names of directors, and other basic release data. It was the nearest thing I had to the Internet Movie Database back when I was in junior high and high school.

Famous Monsters
One aspect of pre-Internet movie fandom I've largely been ignoring up to now is the importance of fan magazines. The cult of Ed Wood actually began in the pages of such publications, which served as a precursor to the Internet message boards of today. Such evergreen titles as Famous Monsters of Filmland, Cinefantastique, Fangoria, and many others have played a vital role in the lives of countless horror, sci-fi, and fantasy film buffs. Along with these major titles, which were widely available at drug stores and bookshops, there were many smaller, more-niche publications, as well as a whole array of homemade, xeroxed 'zines. It just depended on how specialized the publication wanted to be and who its perceived audience was.

Unfortunately, the very existence of actual printed, paper fan magazines is threatened these days. Sales are down. Printing costs are up. Shelf space is disappearing as book retailers go out of business. And nobody in the "free download" era wants to actually pay for reviews and articles about their favorite movies. That's a shame, because now writers have less incentive to actually produce this kind of material. As I've been doing research on the life and career of Edward D. Wood, Jr., I've come across many references to fan magazines. And in particular, there were many mentions of one specific issue of one specific magazine. So I did what anyone in 2015 would do: I found it on Amazon, charged it to my credit card, and had it mailed to me. In the interest of science, I wanted to see if there were things about Ed Wood I could find in print that even the Internet could not offer.

Which leads me to...

Cult Movies magazine, No. 11 (1994):
An entirely-too-thorough examination

Eddie makes the cover!
Front Cover

The cover, though not glossy, is at least printed on a slightly sturdier type of paper than the magazine's contents. Against a hot pink background, a sepia-tinted portrait of Edward Davis Wood, Jr. is surrounded by stylish black-and-white headshots of (clockwise from upper left) Vampira, Tor Johnson, Bela Lugosi, and Ed Wood in drag. The main headline reads: "So, Just Who the Heck is ED WOOD, Anyway??" Other headlines read: "Vampira Speaks!" "Criswell Predicts!" and "50 Lost Films Found!!" 

The first two are accurate. The issue indeed contains articles about Vampira and Criswell. I'm not sure where the "50 Lost Films" claim originates. It has no counterpart within the body of the magazine. Additionally, a small picture of actor Rondo Hatton, apparently an Alfred E. Neuman-esque mascot figure of sorts to Cult Movies magazine, can be glimpsed in the upper left hand corner.

Inside Front Cover

Two stills from Tim Burton's Ed Wood, similar to the ones in the official script book. The first shows Ed attending the rowdy Bride of the Monster premiere with Bela, Criswell, Vampira, Kathy and Tor in tow. The second shows Ed directing Plan 9, flanked by cast and crew, including Paul Marco and Conrad Brooks in their police uniforms. I've been able to find pretty close approximations of both pictures online.



"Deep Inside Cult Movies" (pg. 4)

Michael Copner
And now, my friends, we have made our way into the magazine itself. True to fan-mag tradition, Cult Movies is printed on the same kind of cheap, pulpy-feeling paper you'd find in the phone book or old issues of Mad. The typeface tends to be very small, as if they're trying to cram in as many words as possible onto each page. The entire magazine is lavishly illustrated with photographs, ads, and posters, but these are all in very grainy black-and-white. In short, the magazine is an eyesore and made me grateful for my Kindle.

But what Cult Movies lacks in style, it more than makes up for in substance. In this friendly little article, for instance, editor-in-chief Michael Copner welcomes readers to the eleventh issue of the magazine and describes what we're about to read and what's been going on in the world of Cult Movies. "I hate to brag," he brags, "but I truly feel blessed that we have the greatest family of writers, artists, and film critics in fandom." As examples, he declares Fred Olen Ray's article about Edward D. Wood, Jr. to be "sensational" and also remarks with considerable pride that cult filmmaker Frank Henenlotter has generously penned two articles for Cult Movies, No. 11, including an interview with Ed Wood biographer Rudolph Grey. (The other is about exploitation filmmaker Barry Mahon and has no direct connection to Wood.) "To my knowledge," writes Copner, "Frank Henenlotter simply does not write material for film magazines." Guess Frank broke his own rule twice in one month. The editor further mentions that "Conrad Brooks returns to our pages" with an article about Criswell.

"A Ghoul Out West: What If Lugosi Were Teamed Up With Today's Imbeciles?" (pg. 22)

A very bizarre little article by Jan Alan Henderson, who says that Cult Movies "originated with the idea that Bela Lugosi lives eternal." Henderson starts out by reviewing two then-recent laserdisc (remember those?) releases of '40s Lugosi films: The Devil Bat (1940) and Scared to Death (1947). Henderson discusses Lugosi's work with such comedy teams as the Ritz Brothers and the East Side Kids and then imagines a scenario teaming up the Hungarian horror legend with '90s cartoon hooligans, Beavis and Butt-head. Hey, I'd be down for that. For Ed Wood fans, the real point of interest is the final paragraph:
PS: New Ed Wood Sighting: After all these exhausting profundities on behalf of Bela, I ran into an old friend of mine from Budget Films and Video, Larry Fine (not of the Three Stooges), who used to deliver films to the late great legend Ed Wood. Larry recently recalled his few encounters with Wood, most of which were with Ed over the phone, when Ed was visiting the twilight vodka zone. Larry also described to me a party, to which he delivered some rental 16mm films to Chez Wood, where Ed was in full drag and asked him to hang out for the show. Larry gracefully declined. Will the Ed Wood wonders never cease? Not likely.

Forrest J. Ackerman
"Uncle Forry: First and Last Fan" (pgs. 26-28)

This is Lee Harris' interview with Famous Monsters of Filmland editor and sci-fi memorabilia collector Forrest J. "Uncle Forry" Ackerman. The article is wide-ranging and career-spanning, but it does briefly touch upon Ackerman's relationship with both Ed Wood and Bela Lugosi. If Rudolph Grey is to be believed, the Wood cult truly began in the pages of Famous Monsters, where Ackerman routinely ran stills from Wood's 1950s films (Bride of the Monster, Plan 9) with mocking captions such as: "One of the unbest movies ever made."

Ackerman also held, for a period in the 1960s, the position of Ed Wood's literary agent and penned the introduction to Greenleaf Classic's Orgy of the Dead paperback in 1966. But as this article shows, Ackerman held Wood in contempt and found it beneath his dignity to work with him. This issue of Cult Movies was released in anticipation of Tim Burton's Ed Wood, and Ackerman makes a few comments about the film's script, specifically its portrayal of a foul-mouthed Bela Lugosi and other purported inaccuracies:
Forry: I don't know as I ever... one thing I object to about the movie made about [Bela] is that I don't think I even heard him use "hell" or "damn." 
CM: Do you plan to see the Burton film? 
Forry: Oh, I'll have to see it, yes, but if it's anything like the original script, I know I'm going to be very disappointed, because they've taken all kinds of liberties. For instance, I was at the premiere showing of Plan 9 from Outer Space, out at 48th and Vermont at a little theater that doesn't exist anymore. But I think they have it taking place at the Pantages or the Orpheum or some far more grandiose opening than ever happened. And I was surprised that I was not contacted in the earliest stages of it, because after all I was Ed Wood's literary -- or perhaps we should say illiterary -- agent. 
CM: How did you first meet Wood? 
Forry: How did I first meet Ed Wood, you know, I think you'd have to give me hypnotic regression. I really pull a blank on that. 
With statements like those quoted above, Mr. Ackerman inadvertently revealed precisely why he was not asked to be a consultant on Ed Wood. His total lack of affection for Ed is plain to see. Left undiscussed here is Ackerman's problematic relationship with Maila "Vampira" Nurmi. According to W. Scott Poole's recent biography Vampira: Dark Goddess of Horror, Ackerman first promoted then distanced himself from Nurmi, and later based the character of Vampirella on her without giving her a cut of the profits. Frankly, Forrest J. Ackerman has never been a figure who has greatly interested me, but he clearly played a role in the Wood saga and is, thus, worthy of further study.

"Edward D. Wood, Jr. Interview by Fred Olen Ray 1978" (pgs. 30-32)

Fred Olen Ray
This is one of the most exciting finds in the entire issue, even though its author seems slightly unenthusiastic or even apologetic about the material he's presenting. Back in 1978, low-budget independent filmmaker Fred Olen Ray, then a mere 23-year-old novice, gave Ed Wood a much-needed $500 payment to write the screenplay for a proposed feature horror-comedy film called Beach Blanket Bloodbath. Unfortunately, Wood died in December of that year before completing the script.

During the course of their brief, thwarted professional relationship, Fred Olen Ray had the presence of mind to interview the ailing director, whom he remembers as "easygoing and gregarious." Ray states that "nothing new is presented here" and that "some of his answers appear to be fanciful to say the least." I disagree with the former, at least. Anyway, here are some of Eddie's most interesting quotes from the interview:

  • "I sold my first story called The Sunset Murders when I was twelve years old to Street & Smith... It went on from there... I've had 131 novels published and more than 1000 short stories and articles published in the last 15 years."
  • "Alex Gordon and I had an apartment together. He knew Lugosi. I didn't. Lugosi turned me down at first [for Glen or Glenda?], but Lillian, his wife at the time, turned him on to it. I paid him $1000 a day... He needed the money."
  • "You've seen [Bride of the Monster]... Lugosi was right for it! Yes, he was one of my dearest friends. I practically lived with him! I paid him more for Bride of the Monster than he got for Dracula. Sure, he needed the money, but don't we all?"
  • "Bride cost $89,000, Plan 9 was $82,000, Revenge of the Dead [aka Night of the Ghouls]... $52,000. Other than that I can't seem to remember."
  • "Lugosi was ill and needed some cash. I gave him $1000 and we shot in a cemetery that was being evacuated. I wrote [Plan 9] around the scene. Too bad my camera man used bad film... which he did!"
  • [when asked whether any of Lugosi's footage in Plan 9 is repeated] "I have never duplicated a scene!"
  • "The Ghoul Goes West I wrote and still own. It's a great one."

Wake of the Red Witch
Much of the interview does rehash stories that have been told over and over again in other books and articles. Eddie talks about using the octopus from John Wayne's Wake of the Red Witch and having to manually work the creature's legs. He never says, though, that he stole this prop. He also retells the anecdote about being baptized, along with Tor Johnson and Vampira, to get the money to make Plan 9, and he mentions using chiropractor Thomas R. Mason as Lugosi's stand-in in that film. These are the "greatest hits" of the Wood legend, so that's probably why Fred Olen Ray felt the interview had nothing new to say.

The article concludes with what Ray calls "a bibliographic listing of Edward Wood's feature film credits," including both titles and distributors. Eddie apparently presented this list to Fred when he hired on to write Beach Blanket Bloodbath for Firebird International. Ray makes sure to point out that the titles on the list were "compiled in this order by EDW himself." He also says, "You'll notice RKO listed as the releasing company for Bride of the Monster and Plan 9! If this is true, it's certainly news to me." Without further ado, here's the list as it appears in Cult Movies:

Escape from Time (Martha C. Brown)
Gun Runners (Don Davis)
The Lawless Rider (United Artists)
Hell Born (Screen Classics)
Operation Redlight (Joe Robertson Prods.)
Bed Time Talk (Pete Perry Prods.)
The Only House (Cinema Classics)
The Wicked West (Capricorn Industries)
The Lure (Japan)
Las Vegas Cheat (ghost writer) (Betty Woods)
The Frank Leahy Legend (Scotty Williams Ent.)
The Naked Bowl (ghost writer) (Jeff MacRay Prods.)

Okay, okay. Setting the production and distribution companies aside for a moment, let's break this list of titles down into some basic categories. The first, I'm glad to say, is by far the largest.

Films I've reviewed under the titles listed here: Orgy of the Dead; Shotgun Wedding; Bride and the Beast; The Violent Years; Glen or Glenda?; Jail Bait; Bride of the Monster; Plan 9 from Outer Space; The Sinister Urge; One Million AC/DC; Love Feast; Take It Out in Trade; Necromania; The Snow Bunnies; Class Reunion; Drop Out Wife; Fugitive Girls; The Beach Bunnies; Hot Ice*; and The Venus Flytrap.
* Interesting that Ed Wood includes Hot Ice on his resume. Stephen C. Apostolof claimed that Ed had nothing to do with the writing of this movie, even though he's listed as an assistant director.

Films I've reviewed under alternate titles: Portraits in Terror (as Final Curtain); The Atomic Monster* (as Bride of the Monster), Revenge of the Dead (as Night of the Ghouls); The Photographer (as Love Feast); Misty (as Nympho Cycler); Talk Sexy Y'All (as Shotgun Wedding); and The Hostesses (as The Cocktail Hostesses).
* Universal's Man-Made Monster (1941) was re-released in 1953 as The Atomic Monster by Realart Pictures, the distributor listed above. But Eddie had no involvement with this production whatsoever, as it was made six years before he came to Hollywood.

The Frank Leahy Legend
Films I might have reviewed under alternate titles: Since Pete Perry's name is attached to it, Bed Time Talk might be Revenge of the Virgins. And The Lure might well be Venus Flytrap under another name. Who can say?

Films I've identified but not yet reviewed: I'm in the process of securing prints for The Only House and The Lawless Rider. Both will (eventually) be reviewed here.

Films that were not completed or that have been lost: Hellborn was abandoned and its footage edited into The Sinister Urge. And in a previous article in this series, Douglas North schooled us all on The Flame of Islam. Sadly, though I've reviewed other films by Don Davis and Joe Robertson respectively, Gun Runners and Operation Redlight have yet to surface.

Films that remain total mysteries: (only five titles) Escape from Time; The Wicked West; Las Vegas Cheat; The Frank Leahy Legend; and The Naked Bowl. The only print references to Martha C. Brown's Escape from Time are in books about Ed Wood. Same goes for Capricorn's The Wicked West. Las Vegas Cheat and The Naked Bowl don't even make it that far. As for Frank Leahy (1908-1973), he was an American football player and Hall of Fame coach at Notre Dame. The year after he died, an unauthorized biography called The Frank Leahy Legend by Bernard J. Williams and Leslie O. Read appeared on the market. Ed might have turned this paperback into a feature film script.

Something Weird Video ad (pg. 33)

SWV's edition of Necromania
Something Weird Video seems to have been the principal sponsor of Cult Movies, and in the early 1990s, they were also one of the main distributors of Ed Wood's work on VHS. This is a full-page ad for SWV's Wood tapes, including Jailbait, The Violent Years, Bride of the Monster, Plan 9 from Outer Space, Night of the Ghouls, and  The Love Feast (aka The Photographer). "They continue to entertain and baffle anyone who actually takes the time to watch them!" says Something Weird's tuxedo-clad cartoon mascot. The main feature, however, is a "special edition" of Necromania, which had only recently been rediscovered in a semi-complete 16mm print. Frank Henenlotter himself offers his breathless description of the film:
Those who know Ed Wood from such eccentric epics as Plan 9 from Outer Space and Glen or Glenda are in for a shock 'cause Necromania isn't quite like any other Ed Wood film. Perhaps the rarest and most sought after of Wood's "lost" features, Necromania is a crazy mix of sex and spookiness as a dimwitted couple, in need of sexual therapy, enter Madam Heles' presumably haunted house and find cheap sets, wacky dialogue, and a naked gal in Criswell's coffin! 
Hosted by yours truly, who also discusses the film with Ed Wood biographer Rudolph Grey. Plus, as an added bonus, a special abbreviated version of Love Feast featuring one of Wood's rare starring roles, in which Ed plays a horny photographer trapped in a perpetual orgy who is also made to wear a dog collar and nightie while licking the boots of his female captor. 
Nobody made 'em like Ed Wood made 'em.
A complete print of Necromania would not emerge for ten more years, so SWV's piecemeal version was definitive for a whole decade.

"The Vampira Chronicles" (pgs. 34-36)

The Divine Miss N
In the mid-1990s, the reclusive and eccentric Maila Nurmi started to reemerge from several decades in the shadows, largely spurred by the production of Ed Wood, in which she was portrayed by Lisa Marie, and an attendant renewal of interest in her strange career. In Vampira: Dark Goddess of Horror, W. Scott Poole describes how a series of fans temporarily befriended the always-reticent Nurmi in her later years, largely so they could ask her questions about Ed Wood and James Dean. (She and Dean were briefly an item until, by most accounts, he rejected her.)

Writer Robert R. Rees was one such fan. "The Vampira Chronicles" is culled from Rees' "volumes of correspondence" with the one-time horror host. Among many other topics, Nurmi shares her thoughts about Bela Lugosi, Tor Johnson, Ed Wood, and Plan 9 from Outer Space. Those who have seen Maila Nurmi in such films as Flying Saucers Over Hollywood or The Haunted World of Edward D. Wood, Jr. will know what to expect from an article like this. In her autumn years, Vampira affected an air of nobility and spoke with a quasi-British accent. When she spoke of Ed Wood, it was with an attitude of what I'll call "benign contempt," as if her former employer were merely a pesky little insect she couldn't be bothered to crush. In any event, the lady wasn't afraid to speak her mind, so we have some choice quotes here:

  • "Mr. Lugosi was a victim of a hospital induced drug addiction for the last three years of his life only. He was too dignified a person to sink to 'milking' sympathy. And he got no sympathy -- only smears and jeers."
  • "I'd say Bela was a victim of Ed Wood, society, and himself."
  • "I don't know about early responses to Glen or Glenda, but I guess it was just passed off as a very bad second feature. as were all Ed Wood movies in the '50s. It was autobiographical and poignant. Lugosi had no sense of humor and was overplaying because Wood was milking the early essences of stage acting out of him. Wood doubtless thought he had extracted a fine dramatic performance out of his actor. Bela was too sick to care much one way or the other -- so long as he pleased his boss. All of this is only my considered opinion."
  • "Bela was very sick and would craw out of his deathbed, at the last, to tub thump Ed Wood movies, only to be insulted by a public who had been poisoned by a smear campaign."
  • "Tor Johnson was a member of Ed Wood's professional entourage, so he worked all pics. Tor was a gentle, kindly man. Some juvenile delinquents tried to overturn our car during a monster personal appearance tour. Tor said (phonetically) 'Pee knudt poys. Khoo hooome.' (He had a Swedish accent.) The boys disbanded under his influence."
  • "[Ed Wood] was in fact a transvestite but did not practice it at work except during the filming of Glen or Glenda. [...] See, during Plan 9 (and I worked only one day), he wore men's clothes (like riding britches) and shoes but did use a megaphone. Ed Wood, it seemed to me, was an animal lover and a kind man."
  • "[Ed] had no sense of humor and was totally literal and matter-of-fact."
  • "The atom bomb had just newly been invented and Oppenheimer was much in the news shortly before Plan 9 was being written (1956) -- so Ed Wood's theories about nukes were logical deductions of a probable future."
  • "Other than that 15 minutes before his camera (for which I insisted on playing mute and was paid $200) I did not work for Ed."

Artwork from Bizarre.
Interestingly, Maila Nurmi describes both Lugosi and Wood as being humorless, a claim I would dispute. Bela did comedy many times on stage and in movies, as covered in Jay Alan Henderson's article earlier in this very magazine. Meanwhile, Eddie's sense of fun was fairly legendary, according to those who socialized with him. There are too many stories about Ed being the life of the party or going out of his way to be outrageous for him ever to be considered humorless. He might have taken both Plan 9 and Glenda seriously, but there are examples of intentionally-comedic work in his repertoire as well, both as a writer and as a filmmaker.

"The Vampira Chronicles" also includes another iteration of the oft-repeated incident in which Maila Nurmi flatly turned down an offer to play Madam Heles in Necromania. Laid up in a hospital bed and unable to walk at the time (circa 1971), she had no interest in appearing nude in Ed Wood's Gothic porno film. In this version of the story, it is Wood's associate John Andrews ("one of those beer-boozed alcoholic morons") -- not Eddie himself -- who drunkenly called Ms. Nurmi to make the indecent proposal. "Fer a hunnert apples, baby, an usin' yer name," Andrews is purported to have said. Obviously, Maria Arnold was willing and able to take the small but pivotal role of Madam Heles.

Before we leave this feature, I'd like to present Maila Nurmi's own personal "recipe" for Vampira. It's tempting to say that she's derived solely from Charles Addams' Morticia, but that's an oversimplification. The character of Vampira had a number of "mothers," so to speak, as shown below:

2 oz. Theda Bara (vamp, vamp)
2 oz. Morticia (morbid Victoriana)
3 oz. Norma Desmond (Sunset Boulevard)
4 oz. Tallulah Bankhead (the voice dahling)
2 oz. Marilyn M. (Demons are a ghoul's best friend)
3 oz. Katie Hepburn (Victorian English)
2 oz. Bette Davis (mama, baby)
3 oz. Billie Burke (dilettante insouciance)
3 oz. Marlene D. (singing voice)
8 oz. Bizarre magazine pin-up (an S&M magazine of the day)
(big boobs, waist cincher, mesh hose, high shoes, long nails)


"Criswell Predicts" by Conrad Brooks (pg. 37)

(l to r) Conrad Brooks; Criswell.
The man who turned out to be the last-surviving cast member of Plan 9 from Outer Space pays tribute to one of his fallen comrades in this short-but-sweet retrospective. Conrad "Connie" Brooks, who appeared in every major Ed Wood feature from Glen or Glenda? (1953) to The Sinister Urge (1960), was clearly a key member of the director's inner circle during Wood's golden age. Here, Brooks gives the readers of Cult Movies an overview of the career of prophet, profiteer, and inveterate entertainer Criswell.

The article seems aimed at those who only know Cris from his appearances in Plan 9, Night of the Ghouls, and Orgy of the Dead. Brooks explains: "Criswell's work on the films of Ed Wood was certainly a sideline for the man. I'm sure that Criswell worked with Eddie mostly because they were friends, two unusual Hollywood types." Trying to present a more balanced picture of the prognosticator's great career, the article helpfully describes Cris' work outside of the Wood films, including his books, his newspaper columns, and his numerous appearances on NBC's venerable The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson. Conrad Brooks devotes the majority of the article (75%, I'd say) to Criswell's infamously inaccurate predictions, culled from his first two books. I already covered a lot of the same territory in a previous Ed Wood Wednesdays article, but it never hurts to revisit this material. Some choice excerpts:

  • "I had a vaulting imagination, and my searching wet noodle of a mind was hard to control. I was not interested in the present events, but more interested in how they would turn out."
  • "I predict that the present teen age drug problem will end in dire tragedy! The climate changes will make many drug mixtures fatal, and rather than becoming vegetables upon use, the person will be the victim of death!"
  • "I predict it will be a very common and inexpensive operation to change a woman into a man with the simple transplant of the sex organ."
  • "For we have only a short time left on this world as we know it! On August 18, 1999 -- all will cease. And we will cease with it!!"
Okay, so the world didn't end on August 18, 1999, but Criswell must have been one of the very first celebrities who routinely talked about "climate change." He was not only sure that the climate was changing, he expressed the opinion that mankind was to blame! How's that for seeing into the future?



And that will just about do it for part one of this ludicrous, two-part series about Cult Movies, No. 11 from 1994. As they say in television, "To be continued..." Why two parts? There was simply too much interesting material in this one issue to possibly cover in a single article, so I've decided to break this piece down into two more manageable halves. It was either that, or cover the articles one at a time the way I did with the stories in Blood Splatters Quickly. I figured this was a reasonable compromise. Patience, my pet.

NEXT: Part 2 of this mini-series, featuring "White Ghost" Valda Hansen, Bela Lugosi in Las Vegas, Wood biographer Rudolph Grey, a look at Ed's very first novel, The Casual Company, and so much more! You won't wanna miss it!

1 comment:

  1. Perhaps "The Wicked West" is an alt. name for "Revenge of the Virgins" ?

    ReplyDelete