LETTERS  PCR #218      (May 24--30, 2004)

 Lonnie Dohlen on Fright Night/Creature Feature
 Andy Lalino on PCR #218 and Lonnie Dohlen
 Ed Tucker on PCR #217
 Andy Lalino on PCR #217



Letters to the EditorWe welcome your feedback.

LONNIE DOHLEN ON CREATURE FEATURE

Hello, Andy Lalino,
This is Lonnie Dohlen. Listen, thanks for your input for last week's PCR. As far as my Memory goes for Dr. Paul Bearer & "Fright Theater" (Sept. 15,1973 to Sept. 10, 1977), I would have to go through the St Pete Times & Independent Microfilm Archives to get to the Original Airdates for the movies shown. I have memory lapses every now & then.

The few times I recall are these:

  • Oct 4, 1974 (Circus of Horrors, 1960, British)
  • Oct 11, 1974 (Island of Lost Souls, 1933)
  • Oct 18, 1974 (Night of the Witches, 1970, Keith Erik Burt (Keith Larsen)
  • Oct 25, 1974 (Godzilla, 1956, Raymond Burr)
  • Friday Oct 17, 1975 (Dracula's Castle) AKA Blood of Dracula's Castle, Directed by Al Adamson)
  • Friday Oct 24, 1975 (The Creeping Terror, 1964 about the Shag Carpet Monster)
  • February 20, 1976 (Hatchet for the Honeymoon,1971)
  • April 24, 1976 (The Mummy's Revenge, 1973, Paul Naschy)
  • May 9, 1976 (Dear Dead Deliah, 1972, Agnes Moorehead of Bewitched)
  • May 23, 1976 (The Brain That Wouldn't Die,1959/Special Note: First shown: Jan 17,1975).
  • Another Special Note: D.P.B asked his viewers in Aug. 1976 on "Creature Feature" if they wanted "Fright Theater" to be moved back to Saturday Nights @ 11:30PM From Friday Night. (NOTE: Fright Theater originally began as a Double Feature on Sept 15,1973 with "The Ghost of Frankenstein", 1944 & "The Invisible Man", 1933)
  • Sept 4,1976 (The Giant Claw, 1957, Goofy-looking Bird)
  • Sept 11,1976 (The Angry Red Planet, 1959, Seen Recently On FLIX)
  • Sept 10,1977 (Terrified, 1963, Denver Pyle)

You can look these turkeys up on The Internet Movie Data Base online.

I can recreate the begining of "Fright Theater" from my memory. Please e-mail me back what you think. Yes, it will take a lot of work putting this together, but I think DPB Fans will want to remember.

-Lonnie Dohlen

Thanks so much for writing, Lonnie, you have some pretty cool memories there! Andy Lalino has suggested we use your letter to initiate a Dr. Paul Bearer database of some sort which I think is a splendid idea! For more thoughts from Andy, read on... ---Nolan


ANDY LALINO ON PCR #218 AND LONNIE DOHLEN

The Great Benzini
Welcome aboard "The Great Benzini"!  I haven't gamed in a while (we're talking well over a decade), but starting back in 1980 I was part of that initial generation that made D&D such a big hit. We couldn't stop playing it, not that I was like Tom Hanks in "Mazes and Monsters". It was a terrific game and provided some of the most fun times of my childhood. I still have all my old D&D tomes & modules. Role-playing games rock. How about the CF Elder Council gets together for a little "Call of Cthulhu", D&D, Gamma World, Traveller, or similar gaming session(s)?

Ed Tucker
Thanks, Ed, for the odditions to Florida's proud genre production history (Re: Ed's letter, below.---N). I have read about "Zaat" (via the more familiar title of "Blood Waters of Dr. Z") but did not know until your letter that it was shot in your neck of the woods. Thanks for the "2000 Maniacs" correction. It was indeed shot in St. Cloud, although it was taking too much time to verify that fact on the web. I stand corrected about "Wizard of Gore", though I'm surprised to find that it wasn't shot in Florida. I don't believe "The Gore-Gore Girls" was shot here either. How about "Color Me Blood Red"?

You know, I have an old clamshell VHS edition of "The Brides Wore Blood", and it was indeed shot in St. Augustine. I believe BWB is available on DVD now as well.

I did do research on the "Creature" sequels, but could not verify if they were shot here in time for Oddservations to go to press. Thanks for the odditional information.

I've never heard of "Vampire Cop" (most post-1986 B-movies are of little interest to me), but I am intrigued by the presence of Mal Arnold in the film.

Looking forward to seeing "Bubba-Ho-Tep", though I've heard both good 'n bad about it. Also looking forward to the Ray Dennis Steckler and Ted V. Mikels interviews. Can't wait!

Lonnie Dohlen's "Fright Theater" letter
Thanks again, Lonnie! I have to say, I was taken aback at your astounding memory regarding "Fright Theater"!!! Was this list all from memory, or did you do some research? I recall most of the movies I saw on "Creature Feature"/"Fright Theater" through the years, but I could not tell you the dates you relayed with such accuracy. Amazing. You mentioned that you may be able to recall the "show open" to "Fright Theater". Any chance you could describe it?

Here are a few notes regarding your letter from my own memory:

  • I don't recall ever seeing "Island of Lost Souls" on Creature Feature. I'm sure they did; it just may have been one of those movies that slipped through the cracks as I grew up. I still haven't seen it! I recall looking through my old '70s horror tomes (which I still have) and marveling over the publicity stills from IOLS, featuring Lugosi and Laughton.
  • I've seen "Godzilla" (and the many sequels) countless times, as Japanese monster movies proved to be tremendously popular TV fare for horror junkies in the '70s. "Gamera" and "Majin" were favorites as well.
  • It's funny; as I got older I developed a sense & love of schlock filmmaking. Back in the '70s, I couldn't tell you who Al Adamson was! Now, I'm of course a big fan. Hard to believe I may have seen "Blood of Dracula's Castle" on CF and not recognized it as an Adamson feature.
  • The Creeping Terror" on CF was always a highlight. Even back then I thought it was a laugh riot! It wasn't until 1983 when Michael Weldon published "The Psychotronic Encyclopedia of Film" (a book that's been on my bedside table for 21 years - no kidding) did I develop a thorough understanding of B-movie mythos.
  • I recall DPB (was it in Ed Tucker's interview?) stating that he disliked playing Italian "giallos" that were marketed as horror films. I recall watching them back in those days, and I did feel cheated at times.
  • I also find it interesting Paul Naschy's films played on CF. I don't recollect seeing one. I always thought my first foray into Naschyland was in 1985 when they released one of his films theatrically "The Craving".
  • "The Giant Claw" was also another CF favorite. I have to admit, back when I was a kid that bird-puppet scared the shit out of me! I dove for the back of the couch when it came for the paratroopers!

Again, I have to say the list you chronicled is invaluable. I think it should be a permanent part of N'sPCR, as you wrote, so all fans can enjoy it.

- Andy Lalino


ED TUCKER ON PCR #217

Nolan,
I had to drop you a line and let you know how much I enjoyed my "invasion" of Tampa last week. Getting to meet Andy for the first time and seeing you and Will again was a blast. As always, I just wish we had more time. Andy's words ring very true. While I am sure our friendships would still exist even if we just met in a supermarket, it was Dr. Paul Bearer that brought me into the fold. I often wonder if Dick Bennick had any clue as to how far reaching his legacy would be?

I also loved Andy's piece on Florida horror films, a topic long over due for lengthy discussion if you ask me. I do have one correction though. While a good portion of Herschell Gordon Lewis's horror and nudie cutie films were made in South Florida, including "2000 Maniacs" being filmed in St. Cloud on property that is now part of Walt Disney World, "The Wizard of Gore" was shot entirely in Chicago, Illinois. This is based both on Daniel Krogh's excellent book "The Amazing Herschell Gordon Lewis" and personal conversations I've had with Mr. Lewis. Remind me to tell you the story of "The Evening of Gore" sometime.

Andy also left out a few flicks I would like to mention and I would also recommend the book "Hollywood East: Florida's Fabulous Flicks" by James Ponti. The book is by no means definitive but it is the best we have at the moment and an enjoyable read.

ZAAT"ZAAT" (1972) (a.k.a. "The Blood Waters of Dr. Z") - Filmed entirely in Jacksonville, Florida and surrounding towns, this tale of a mad scientist who turns himself into a human/catfish hybrid features a cool monster who spends lots of time on the screen. Due to legal problems, this was almost a lost film but I teamed up with Don Barton and writer/effects artist Ron Kivett a few years ago to rescue it. Check out www.zaat2000.com for more details.

"The Brides Wore Blood" (1972) - This is a vampire/reincarntation/cult film that never played theatrically to my knowledge but was rescued from obscurity in the early days of home video. It was filmed entirely in St. Augustine.

"Revenge of the Creature" (1955) - This first sequel in the Black Lagoon trilogy has more to do with Florida than any of the other films. It was filmed almost entirely at Marineland (rechristened Ocean Harbor for the film) and surrounding areas including Jacksonville. Some of the underwater footage for both this film and "The Creature Walks Among Us" is recycled stock footage filmed at Silver Springs in the area known as "The Grotto" which served as the entrance to the Creature's cave in the original.

"Vampire Cop" (1990) - You can probably guess all you need to know about the plot of this Miami based film from the title. Features Mal Arnold from "Blood Feast" and was released straight to video.

"Blood Rage" (1983) - It's the old "good twin, bad twin" plot device as a slasher stalks a Jacksonville, Florida apartment complex. This film stars Louise Lasser (of "Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman") and features makeup effects by Ed French. This film was released theatrically as "Nightmare at Shadow Woods". I saw it in the theater for the one week it was out but have never run across a poster or any other paper on it

"Jaws 2" (1978) - Supposedly some pick-up scenes were filmed in Navarre Beach, Florida late in production when Cape Cod was not available. I have never verified this but it is documented by several sources.

"Porky's" (1982) - The original and both sequels were all filmed in and around Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. The first two were directed by horror veteran Bob Clark and based on his high school experiences growing up in Florida.

"Caddyshack" (1980) - This comedy classic, along with its better unmentioned sequel, was filmed at a country club in Davie, Florida.

"Legend" (1985) - The opening sequence of this fantasy flick, where Tom Cruise dives in the water to find the ring, was filmed at Silver Springs. Florida film fans take note, Silver Springs currently has a museum set up right as you enter the park with an area dedicated to the movies filmed there.

As you know I have been absent from the site recently, due mainly to my trip to Las Vegas to interview filmmakers Ray Dennis ("The Incredibly Strange Creatures who Stopped Living and Became Mixed Up Zombies") Steckler and Ted V. ("The Corpse Grinders") Mikels. I am working on these pieces now and promise to be back with a bang shortly. Also, the awesome "Bubba Ho-Tepp" should be out on video May 25th. Go back and read my review, then buy it!

- ED [Tucker]

From MIKE'S RANT, this issue:

"Re: ED Tucker's letter -- the majority of Jaws 2 was filmed at and near Ft. Walton Beach. Filming began in August 1977 with the shark being fried on December 23rd! Sorry to see no mention of the filmed in Tampa classic, The Norsemen starring Lee Majors. --Mike".

OK, that and the William Shatner flick from the mid-70s I can never remember the name of ("Impulse"?) shot near Bayshore & Gandy just about sums it up, eh? --Nolan


ANDY LALINO ON PCR #217

Geez, Nole, another gigantor edition. Fingers tired? With so much stimuli out there on N'sPCR #217, I felt I had to respond.

Gay Marriage
It's a shame that any thoughts that might be perceived negatively about this issue causes the author to feel uncomfortable about its publishing in a public forum. Talk about not being fair; proponents of this topic can spout all they want - they won't be pursued and persecuted by the P.C. police. Score one for the liberals. Nay sayers will have to relegate their opinions during private conversations and clandestine whispers, making them ten times as dangerous. We'll be lurking for you!

By the way, I'm not particularly anti-gay. I own Culture Club, Klaus Nomi, and Pet Shop Boys CD's for crissakes! I'm also a big Anthony Perkins/Roddy McDowell fan.

As far as 'Dubya is concerned, he's got his hands full fighting a kickass War on Terrorism. He's on the other side of the fence on this issue, but he's going about it in a complete professional manner, which he has done throughout his whole presidency. This poor man has suffered endless attacks on his character nearly every day from the left, and never once that I can recall has he stooped to the Democrats' level and called them "Nazis" or "Fascists" (always hated that insult; it's very non-threatening). I'm sensing the Democrat kook factor is rising - they're about to do something really inept that will bring Kerry down a few notches, like sending reps to meet with Soddamn Insane in Iraq or turning a funeral into a Dem pep rally. I wonder what the polls were when the Dems were humiliated during the last elections?

Constantly slamming Bush is simply not going to work. People (smart people, that is) don't like that tactic. The Southern Reagan Democrat is going to win it for Bush, and as far as Kerry's concerned, a Southern man don't need him around, anyhow.

Tony Randall
Good job, Nole! It slipped my mind that Tony Randall was in "Lao". That was one of Forrest J. Ackerman's favorites.

Terence Nuzum
Happy Cranky Birthday! By the way, Terence, The Pixies concert was cancelled. (LOL)

Mike's Rant
Sorry to hear about your injury, Mike. May you have a speedy recovery.

Warning: Big political commentary approaching!

Michael Moore's standing ovation in France should have all straight-thinking Americans fuming. Here we go back to the famous "Underdog" theory where liberals worldwide hate us because we're the lone superpower. Before Russia fell, we at least had a balance of power. Now, with no other nation there to focus world hatred on, America has been the source of scorn, hatred, and prejudice by groups of people whose very dogma is founded on tolerance and cultural understanding. They are the slimiest, ultimate hypocrites. Let's not forget that Europe has been notorious for doing nothing in response to being the victim of terrorism for decades . They clean up the dead victims, bury their heads in the sand, and went on with their lives - absolutely shameful. Americans are better than that, and our action had caused the Europeans to (finally) join the fight and defeat the worldwide scourge that is militant Islamic terrorism. It's going to be a long, hard fight with may more deaths to come, but the future's worth fighting for.

Liberals will ALWAYS take the side of the underdog. A-L-W-A-Y-S. Even (and especially) American liberals, which means they are traitors to their own country. I'd like to see a hand count of how many Americans applauded for Michael Moore at Cannes. Now there's a guy who knows how to down cheeseburgers and bratwurst - a typical, bloated, unlikable, commie-tinged Michigan liberal. Basically, they're celebrating the diseased notion that 9/11 was all our fault. To them, the Arabs had every right to murder our (and the world's) citizens because of our foreign policy. It's okay for them to do that because the Arabs are the underdogs - go ahead and kill Americans; according to liberals, that's perfectly okay. You've been persecuted due to us, so go for it. Oh, and don't forget - let's mercilessly bash the United States military. They're as evil as Satan himself. It's okay to drag them down in the dirt while they're over in the Middle East risking their lives. It's much more important that we get Bush out of the White House than support the troops and ensure their safety. Let's not have a unified front against terrorism - that may get Bush re-elected. Gee, that's a great message to send our enemy. You know, after 'Nam, The Gulf War, and now the War on Terrorism, one has to wonder if we'll ever see the day when war-paranoid liberals will ever support this country's decision to go to war, even if America's very existence is threatened. That concept alone should make any moderate think twice about pushing the Kerry button.

Maybe China will replace Russia and we'll have another cold war. This way libs all over the globe can hate something other than our freedom-loving country. Until then, America will be the target of liberal and Democratic hatred, scorn, seething animosity, and dark, heartless anger because we happen to be a successful, happy, peaceful, prosperous, safe, and technologically advanced country. My, how truly evil we are.

Conservative talk show host bomb-thrower Michael Savage had a great show last night about how the liberal media around the world (yes, there is such a thing) will not use words like "enemy" or "foe" to describe the terrorists we are fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq. Go ahead and tell me there's no liberal media. I think the focus should be taking a cue from Fox News (hands-down the most successful cable news network) and put in place conservative news editors/programmers and wipe out the infestation of liberal journalists, who obviously shape their politics from their college perfessers and Babs Streisand. I think that day will come, especially when the owners of the networks see the dollar signs. It's becoming evident that the success of Fox News basically says that people don't want to see liberal-biased newscasts.

By the way, is Mike Smith really Prince Sirki?

Lonnie Dohlen/Pedro Zabala II letters (Re: Lettercol PCR #217.--N)
Great memory, Lonnie! I think I completely forgot about "Fright Theater". Nolan? Ed? Will? Any additional info? Now that Lonnie mentions it, I do think I recall that show. In addition to "Fright Theater", there was a show on here in the Tampa Bay area called "Shock Theater" from 1964-1969 hosted by "Shock Armstrong" (aka Paul Reynolds) on WTVT Channel 13. I was too young to remember it, but an article was done on "Shock Theater" in the Scary Monsters magazine 2003 Yearbook.

(William and I have recalled Shock Theater many times in these pages, even citing referenced websites. Excellent show with a loyal fan base.--Nolan)

I think it's a great idea that we research what movies played during the entire course of the "Creature Feature" and "Fright Theater" runs.

Thanks for the letter, Pedro.

By the way, Lonnie, Dr. Paul Bearer was real!

Brandon Jones letter
Way to go, Brandon. In total agreement. The Democrat minimum wage approach is tired and hurts a lot more than it helps. Let's be real; most people who work for minimum wage are teens who need to supplement their allowance. If you're (not you, Brandon, I'm writing in generalities) 'beefin about not earning much at minimum wage, you'd better re-think how opportunity in America works. Hard work and perseverance = success. 'Ya 'aint gonna get that flippin' burgers, therefore your incentive is to do better than that in order to earn more money in an advanced position, but that means responsibility - a frightening concept to liberals who bathe in the notion of handouts and entitlements. If they had their way we'd be, as Adam Ant would call it, "U.S.S.A."

- Andy Lalino


To send an email to Letters to the Editor write to: Crazedfanboy1@aol.com.  Any emails sent to this address will be assumed intended for publication unless you specifically instruct me not to. I can and do respond privately, if that is your preference. Frequently, it's both ways.---Nolan

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