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Continued from Part 1 It’s 1957 and Samuel Z. Arkoff and James H. Nicholson are off and running with their new studio American International Pictures and the success with their low budget horror, sci-fi and westerns, often directed by young filmmaker Roger Corman, are keeping them in the game; but a new film would insure their future as moguls. 'I...
Here in Southern California, it’s getting darker earlier, leaves are falling, and sunsets are prettier, because half the state is on fire, and you know what that means? It must be fall and Halloween is right around the corner! Halloween as a child was the one time us kids could run around the neighborhood unsupervised and raise some hell. I...
In 1954 Lawyer Samuel Z. Arkoff met with filmmaker Edward D. Wood Jr. who was in dire need of funds to complete his picture 'Bride of The Atom'. Arkoff would cough up money to struggling Indie filmmakers in exchange for the rights to their films. These deals worked out financially well for Arkoff but not the filmmakers. As always...
"Berni Wrightson". Just seeing his signature on a comic book cover would thrill me with excitement!! Berni Wrightson: Master of The Macabre. My first comic books I got, when I was 4 or 5 in the early 70s, were of the horror variety:  'House Of Mystery', 'House of Secrets', 'The Unknown Soldier', 'Hekyll & Jekyll', and 'Mad'. I was an odd...
It all started in the 50's In the late 60s certain theaters in New York started showing Todd Browning’s 'Freaks'. This 1932 MGM picture made under the reign of Irving Thalberg and banned for its surprising use of real circus freaks was, in the 60s, being re-discovered by a different kind of freak, 'The Hippie'. With the success of this...
In the winter of 1977 when my father took me to my first comic book store Bob's Comics in Westminster California. I had seen an A-frame sign that read Star Wars sold here earlier in the week and bugged my dad to take me. So one afternoon after school he took me and said I could buy one thing....
Cinema has always been the 'working class' theater'. Cinema did not kill the theater. Cinema did not kill the Opera, The Ballet, nor the Symphony. It killed Vaudeville, yes, Vaudeville. From the French 'voix de ville', voice of the city, vaudeville grew out of saloons and showcased singers, burlesque dancers, comedians, minstrel, freak shows, and later the invention that would lead...
I was 14 when I first saw The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. VHS was still relatively new and the Film mentioned had yet to be released, Wizard Video would release it a few months later. I've heard of it of course since it was always playing in some theater or drive-in around my home for the past eight years. Having...
In this era of over bloated blockbusters and reboots of reboots its good to go back and reflect on what cinema once was - When motion pictures were black and white, but subjects and morals were layered in many shades of gray. This gray area is where writer producer Val Lewton thrived. Val Lewton was born in the Ukraine in...
 This summer's blockbuster that seemed to stand out was “Wonder Woman”. A lot has been written about needing a strong female "superhero" lead actress and how there hasn't really been one. But in the 40’s there was another heroine that inspired quite a few little girls and young women. Kids of yesteryear remember her name well...Nyoka! Nyoka, began life in...