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Now displaying: Category: Decades of Horror The Classic Era
Dec 7, 2017

“For all they’ve tried, the Mexicans haven’t been able to destroy it,” says the electronic voice of the Venusian’s computer when describing Mexico in The Ship of Monsters (1960), aka La Nave de los Monstruos. Our very own Joseph Perry was so enamored with “Tiki Brain Guy” and Cyclops in Santo and Blue Demon Against the Monsters (Episode 19), he decided to take us back in time to 1960 to experience their earlier roles as Tagual and Uk, respectively. Ride along as this episode’s Grue Crew - Joseph Perry, Chad Hunt, Jeff Mohr, and special guest host Kieran Fisher - take an interplanetary voyage on The Ship of Monsters!

Decades of Horror: The Classic Era
Episode 23 – The Ship of Monsters (1960)

In The Ship of Monsters, the female population of Venus is in desperate need of men for the purposes of procreation and the survival of their race, To that end, the Venusians organize a mission whereby a rocketship and its crew will embark on a voyage to various planets to retrieve the best men from each and bring them back to repopulate Venus. The ship’s crew, Gamma (Ana Bertha Lepe) and Beta (Lorena Velázquez), start their mission suitably clothed for space travel in their one-piece swimsuits.

By the time they get to Earth, they’ve acquired several male specimens: Tagual, Prince of Mars; Uk, a slobbering cyclops from the Red Planet; Utirr, a half-tick, half-spider creature with telescoping appendages from the fire planet; Zok, a sabre-toothed primate skeleton creature; and Tor, a robot from a barren planet whose population had long gone extinct. They are, indeed, a ship of monsters when they land on Earth and encounter the best male Earth has to offer, Lauriano (Eulalio González, aka Piporro), a tall-tale-telling cowboy with a decidedly comedic bent. Throw in an incognito vampire’s plot to take over Earth and an interspecies love story or two and you have the ridiculous, but hilarious tale told in The Ship of Monsters.

This Mexican production is directed by Rogelio A. González and and the very smart script is written by José María Fernández Unsáin and Alfredo Varela. Don’t let the cheap monster suits fool you! The filmmakers successfully skewer the alien invasion film genre as well as racism, colonialism, and a few other -isms in a way that will have you laughing out loud. The members of this episode’s Grue Crew each give The Ship of Monsters a very strong thumbs up!

Listen and you’ll be able to tell which of us made these comments regarding The Ship of Monsters:

  • “I think that was maybe the underlying message for the film with all this weird interspecies shenanigans.”
  • “Beta, she’s a naughty one.”
  • “You’re asking how blown was your mind when you really thought about it? I tried not to really think about it because I kept throwing up in my mouth a little bit.”
  • “I’ve seen Humanoids of the Deep like a thousand times so I’m not bothered by that stuff any more.”
  • “They had me at, ‘This is an atom.’”

We plan to release a new episode every other week. The next episode in our very flexible schedule is Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956), selected and hosted by Jeff Mohr.

Please let us know what you think of Decades of Horror: The Classic Era and what films you’d like to hear us cover! We want to hear from you! After all, without you, we’re just four nutjobs talking about the films we love. Send us an email  (chadhunt@gruesomemagazine.com, erinmiskell@gruesomemagazine.com, jeffmohr@gruesomemagazine.com, or josephperry@gruesomemagazine.com) or leave us a message, a review, or a comment at GruesomeMagazine.com, iTunes, Stitcher, the Horror News Radio App, or the Horror News Radio Facebook group.

To each of you from each of us, “Thank you for listening!

 

 

 

 

Nov 21, 2017

“Have a potato.” So said Horace Femm (Ernest Thesiger), one of our hosts as we all sat down to dinner. Join this episode’s Grue Crew as we seek shelter from the storm in The Old Dark House (1932). It seemed like a swell idea at the time. Erin Miskell was not able to join us on this one, so Chad Hunt, Joseph Perry, and Jeff Mohr had to do all the heavy lifting themselves. (They all shouted in their best impersonation of Joey Starrett in Shane,“Come back, Erin!”)

Decades of Horror: The Classic Era
Episode 22 – The Old Dark House (1932)

The story of The Old Dark House begins with five weary travelers caught between avalanches on a stormy night and searching for a place to spend the night. The first to arrive are the Wavertons - Philip (Raymond Massey) and Margaret (Gloria Stuart) - and their travel companion, a light-hearted chap named Penderel (Melvyn Douglas). They are joined a short time later by Sir William Porterhouse (Charles Laughton) and his travel companion Gladys (Lilian Bond). Both groups of travelers are greeted at the door by Morgan (Boris Karloff), the owners’ mute and intimidating butler. They are soon joined by Horace Femm (Ernest Thesiger) and his sister Emma (Eva Moore). Eventually, the Femms’ guests learn of the third Femm sibling, the insane and dangerous Saul (Brember Wills), and meet his 102-year-old, bedridden father, Sir Roderick Femm (Elspeth Dudgeon). Many high jinx ensue in tandem with seriously dreadful and life threatening encounters.

The second of director James Whale’s four entries in the Universal horror pantheon, The Old Dark House is rife with the director’s signature shadow play, comedic overtones, and attention to detail.  The entire film takes place during the clichéd dark and stormy night lit only by flickering candlelight, oil lamplight, and fireplace flame, but cinematographer Arthur Edeson still delivers clear but menacing depictions of the the goings-on in The Old Dark House. Boris Karloff receives star billing in contrast to his “hidden” credit in Frankenstein (1931), but still is not given a single line of dialogue to utter.

Chad and Jeff (he does go on) enthusiastically recommend repeated viewings of The Old Dark House. Joseph also recommends the film and promises repeated viewings in the future.

We plan to release a new episode every other week. The next episode in our very flexible schedule is The Ship of Monsters (1960) aka La Nave de los Monstruos, selected and hosted by Joseph Perry.

Please let us know what you think of Decades of Horror: The Classic Era and what films you’d like to hear us cover! We want to hear from you! After all, without you, we’re just four nutjobs talking about the films we love. Send us an email  (chadhunt@gruesomemagazine.com, erinmiskell@gruesomemagazine.com, jeffmohr@gruesomemagazine.com, or josephperry@gruesomemagazine.com) or leave us a message, a review, or a comment at GruesomeMagazine.com, iTunes, Stitcher, the Horror News Radio App, or the Horror News Radio Facebook group.

To each of you from each of us, “Thank you for listening!

 

 

 

 

 

Nov 9, 2017

oin the Decades of Horror: The Classic Era Grue Crew for this episode – Erin Miskell, Jeff Mohr, and Joseph Perry – as we take our second journey in a row to Transylvania this time take in the silent scream splendor of Nosferatu (1922), the first cinematic version of Bram Stoker’s classic novel Dracula.

Decades of Horror: The Classic Era
Episode 21 – Nosferatu (1922)

Nosferatu is most definitely based on Bram Stoker’s novel, but it is just as definitely an unofficial version. The filmmakers intentionally avoided obtaining the rights from the Stoker family, hence, the names along with a few other details, were changed to protect the not-so-innocent. As a result of their unsuccessful subterfuge, Dracula becomes Count Orlok/Nosferatu (Max Schreck), Harker is converted to Hutter (Gustav von Wangenheim), Mina is replaced by Ellen (Greta Schröder), Renfield is changed to Knock (Alexander Granach), and a new way to kill the undead is devised.

Directed by German expressionist legend F. W. Murnau, Nosferatu reinforces the director’s reputation as master of shadows. Jeff marvels at the shadows and shot composition of nearly every scene. This episode’s Grue Crew all agree that Henrik Galeen’s screenplay loses much of the character depth present in Stoker’s novel. Produced by Enrico Dieckmann and Albin Grau, Nosferatu was most influenced by Grau who also served as art director and costume designer, and even created some of the poster art.

It is hard to imagine Max Schreck as a normal human being after witnessing his portrayal of Count Orlok. In fact, many people over the years have speculated he was a real vampire.

Joseph makes sure we discuss Alexander Granach’s performance. His version of Knock seems to have set the mold for future portrayals of Renfield. Erin expresses her concerns for the dangers of one-dimensional female characters, such as Ellen, who represent pure good and whose only purpose throughout the film is to sacrifice herself for the benefit of everyone else.

All in all, they all agree. If you haven’t seen Nosferatu (1922), what’s the hold-up?

We plan to release a new episode every other week. The next episode in our very flexible schedule is another James Whale classic, The Old Dark House (1932), selected and hosted by Chad Hunt.

Please let us know what you think of Decades of Horror: The Classic Era and what films you’d like to hear us cover! We want to hear from you! After all, without you, we’re just four nutjobs talking about the films we love. Send us an email  (chadhunt@gruesomemagazine.com, erinmiskell@gruesomemagazine.com, jeffmohr@gruesomemagazine.com, or josephperry@gruesomemagazine.com) or leave us a message, a review, or a comment at GruesomeMagazine.com, iTunes, Stitcher, the Horror News Radio App, or the Horror News Radio Facebook group.

To each of you from each of us, “Thank you for listening!

Oct 25, 2017

“Flies? Flies? Poor puny things! Who wants to eat flies?... Not when I can get nice, fat spiders!” Join the Decades of Horror: The Classic Era Grue Crew for this episode – Erin Miskell, Chad Hunt, Jeff Mohr, and special guest Dave Dreher – as we take a trip to Transylvania and ride aboard the schooner Vesta, only to end up in the Seward Sanitarium and rundown Carfax Abbey in search of Dracula (1931).

Decades of Horror: The Classic Era
Episode 20 – Dracula (1931)

Director Tod Browning and cinematographer Karl Freund collaborated during the production of Dracula to create some of the most lasting icons in horror film history. Bela Lugosi (Dracula), Dwight Frye (Renfield), and Edward Van Sloan (Dr. Van Helsing) are still the portrayals to which all later incarnations are compared. Though Lugosi is the star, your Classic Era Grue Crew all agree that Dracula is Dwight Frye’s movie as he changes from a serious and dignified professional to an unpredictable, maniacal, and downright disturbing lunatic.

Unfortunately, the characters of Lucy (Frances Dade) and Mina (Helen Chandler) are barely more than props to be victimized by Dracula and saved by Van Helsing and John Harker (David Manners). On the other hand, Renfield’s attendant Martin (Charles K. Gerrard) provides the very definition of comic relief. One of our Grue Crew also proclaims their love for Lupita Tovar, who plays Eva, the Spanish language version of Mina.

You’ll also find the answers to these questions:

  • How does the Tod Browning version of Dracula compare to the Spanish language production?
  • What could the Looney Tunes bad-behaved version of Little Red Riding Hood possibly have to do with Dracula?
  • How many degrees of separation are there between the Spanish language version of Dracula and the Star Wars film, Rogue One (2016)?

If you’re paying attention, you’ll find out which of this episode’s Grue Crew made each of these statements during our podcast on Dracula:

  • “Someone just kind of handed him (Dwight Frye) this steak of a role and he just sunk all of his teeth into it and chewed it for all it was worth.”
  • “Was I the only one, when you would see Martin on the screen, that was thinking of Eric Idle from Monty Python?”
  • “The woman had many, many issues. She surpassed issue and went straight to subscriptions.”
  • “Who decided an armadillo was scary?”

We plan to release a new episode every other week. In timing with Halloween, our next episode in our very flexible schedule is Nosferatu (1922), hosted by Erin Miskell.

Please let us know what you think of Decades of Horror: The Classic Era and what films you’d like to hear us cover! We want to hear from you! After all, without you, we’re just four nutjobs talking about the films we love. Send us an email  (chadhunt@gruesomemagazine.com, erinmiskell@gruesomemagazine.com, jeffmohr@gruesomemagazine.com, or josephperry@gruesomemagazine.com) or leave us a message, a review, or a comment at GruesomeMagazine.com, iTunes, Stitcher, the Horror News Radio App, or the Horror News Radio Facebook group.

To each of you from each of us, “Thank you for listening!

Oct 13, 2017

“The day I died, I swore I would get my revenge!” Join the Decades of Horror: The Classic Era crew for this episode – Erin Miskell, Chad Hunt, Joseph Perry, Jeff Mohr, and special guest Mike Imboden – as we wrestle with Santo and Blue Demon Against the Monsters in honor of El Santo’s 100th birthday on September 23, 2017.

Decades of Horror: The Classic Era
Episode 19 – Santo and Blue Demon Against the Monsters (1969-70)

Directed by Gilberto Martínez Solares and written by  Rafael García Travesi, Santo and Blue Demon Against the Monsters tells an age-old tale. An evil doctor rises from the dead and directs the efforts of as many monsters as he can resurrect to combat the heroes. More specifically, Dr. Bruno Halder (Carlos Ancira), who hates Santo, his brother Otto Halder (Ivan J. Rado), and his niece Gloria (Hedi Blue), is resurrected from the dead by his diminutive hunchback assistant Waldo (Santanón). With the aid of his zombie henchmen in green greasepaint, Bruno gathers together some of the world’s most famous monsters and plans to murder his foes . . . and worse. He even makes a duplicate Blue Demon do his evil bidding. Thankfully Santo is here to protect his fiancee, her father, and the world!

Exactly what does the, “Against the Monsters” of Santo and Blue Demon Against the Monsters refer to? The complete cast of resurrected monstruos includes El Vampiro, La Mujer Vampiro, Franquestein, La Momia, El Hombre Lobo, El Ciclope, and the creature Joseph Perry refers to as “Tiki-brain Guy.” That’s surely enough to take care of Santo and Blue Demon, right? Not on your life! Not if you know the full legend of El Santo!

If you’re paying attention, you’ll find out which of this episode’s Grue Crew made each of these statements:

  • “... I got to actually touch our fellow co-ghost.” … “Let me show you on the doll where exactly it happened.”
  • “It’s cheesy. It’s just a big piece of chunky, stinky Limburger cheese, but I love it.”
  • “This thing is a thing of beauty. Just shut up and take my money.”
  • “Even during the makeout sessions, everybody leaves the masks on!”
  • “I’m wearing my Luchador mask right now, actually.”
  • “Let me cheer things up with my favorite monster who I call the Tiki-brain Guy.”

We plan to release a new episode every other week. In timing with Halloween, our next episode in our very flexible schedule, in honor of Halloween, is Dracula (1931), hosted by Jeff.

Please let us know what you think of Decades of Horror: The Classic Era and what films you’d like to hear us cover! We want to hear from you! After all, without you, we’re just four nutjobs talking about the films we love. Send us an email  (chadhunt@gruesomemagazine.com, erinmiskell@gruesomemagazine.com, jeffmohr@gruesomemagazine.com, or josephperry@gruesomemagazine.com) or leave us a message, a review, or a comment at GruesomeMagazine.com, iTunes, Stitcher, the Horror News Radio App, or the Horror News Radio Facebook group.

To each of you from each of us, “Thank you for listening!

 

 

 

 

 

Sep 27, 2017

"They call them the haunted shores, these stretches of Devonshire and Cornwall and Ireland which rear up against the westward ocean. Mists gather here... and sea fog... and eerie stories…’’ Oooo, that’s some pretty scary stuff! (Channeling a little Second City TV) Join the Decades of Horror: The Classic Era crew – Erin Miskell, Chad Hunt, Joseph Perry, and Jeff Mohr – as we journey to the haunted shores and brave the classic ghost story, The Uninvited (1944).

Decades of Horror: The Classic Era
Episode 18 – The Uninvited (1944)

The Uninvited is based on Uneasy Freehold, a novel by Dorothy Macardle, and adapted for the screen by Frank Partos and Dodie Smith. It is considered to be the first real ghost story that isn’t predominantly a comedy and includes genuine supernatural elements.

The story follows Pamela Fitzgerald (Ruth Hussey) and her brother Roderick (Ray Milland) as they fall in love with and purchase a house on the haunted shore. It doesn’t take long for strange sounds and manifestations to spook the siblings. They try getting answers from the house’s previous owner Commander Beech (Donald Crisp) and his granddaughter Stella Meredith (Gail Russell) but to no avail.They are then introduced to the enigmatic Miss Holloway (Cornelia Otis Skinner) who only creates more questions without providing any answers. They soon band with the local doctor (Alan Napier) and the three strive to solve the mystery of the house’s haunting. The main cast receives marvelous support from Barbara Everest as Lizzie Flynn, the domestic help; and Dorothy Stickney as Miss Bird, an eccentric resident of an insane asylum.

The film benefits from not only a stellar cast and source material but an equally stellar crew. Director Lewis Allen’s first feature, The Uninvited sports crew that includes Oscar and other award winners such as Charles Lang (cinematographer), Victor Young (music), Hans Dreier and Ernst Fegté (art directors), Edith Head (costume designer), and Farciot Edouart and Gordon Jennings (visual effects).

If you’re paying attention, you’ll find out which of this episode’s Grue Crew made each of these statements:

  • “(She) was the kind of dame that didn’t like film noir.”
  • “It’s like the old Ed Sullivan Show with the plate spinner …”
  • “She’s got the big neon sign.”
  • “Viva la Lucha Libre!”

We plan to release a new episode every other week. The next episode in our very flexible schedule is Santo and Blue Demon Against the Monsters (1969-70), hosted by Joseph Perry.

Please let us know what you think of Decades of Horror: The Classic Era and what films you’d like to hear us cover! We want to hear from you! After all, without you, we’re just four nutjobs talking about the films we love. Send us an email  (chadhunt@gruesomemagazine.com, erinmiskell@gruesomemagazine.com, jeffmohr@gruesomemagazine.com, or josephperry@gruesomemagazine.com) or leave us a message, a review, or a comment at GruesomeMagazine.com, iTunes, Stitcher, the Horror News Radio App, or the Horror News Radio Facebook group.

To each of you from each of us, “Thank you for listening!

Sep 13, 2017

“Whatever got her wasn’t human.” That is not what you want to hear while locked overnight in a haunted house. Join the Decades of Horror: The Classic Era crew – Erin Miskell, Chad Hunt, Joseph Perry, and Jeff Mohr – as we brave an overnight in the House on Haunted Hill (1959). William Castle, Robb White, and Vincent Price? What’s not to like.

Decades of Horror: The Classic Era
Episode 17 – House on Haunted Hill (1959)

Directed by legendary gimmick-meister William Castle, House on Haunted Hill is a standard story about folks challenged to stay the night in a haunted house, but with a few twists provided by writer Robb White. Millionaire Frederick Loren (Vincent Price) carefully chooses five guests for his invitation only event -- Lance Schroeder (Richard Long), Nora Manning (Carolyn Craig), Dr. David Trent (Alan Marshal), Ruth Bridgers (Julie Mitchum), and Watson Prichard (Elisha Cook Jr.) -- and offers them each $10,000 if they survive the night. Also in attendance are Frederick’s wife Annabelle (Carol Ohmart), caretaker Jonas Slydes (Howard Hoffman), and his wife (Leona Anderson).

House on Haunted Hill is great fun and has some legitimate scares, but don’t spend too much time thinking about the plot. If you do, you might become obsessed with its holes and miss all the fun. The music by Von Dexter is suitably chill-inducing and is as good at setting the atmosphere as it is at setting the standard for horror films of its period.

Chad Hunt recounts his experience watching this in a theater that tried to duplicate Castle’s gimmick for this picture, which he called “Emergo.” Erin Miskell’s first memories of watching House on Haunted Hill are during a sleepover as a 10-year-old. Imagine the shrieks!

House on Haunted Hill treats its guests to the usual haunted house fare, including floating apparitions, mysteriously slamming doors, a hanging body, an unattached head, secret passages, a seriously scary old woman, an animated skeleton, blood dripping from the ceiling, and a conveniently placed vat of acid in the basement.

We also send out a hearty handclasp to our steadfast listener, saltyessentials for calling Decades of Horror: The Classic Era a podcast “you can’t do without.” Check out salty’s blog, which he calls Dead Man’s Brain or, what I watched last night.

We plan to release a new episode every other week. The next episode in our very flexible schedule is The Univited (1944), hosted by Chad Hunt.

Please let us know what you think of Decades of Horror: The Classic Era and what films you’d like to hear us cover! We want to hear from you! After all, without you, we’re just four nutjobs talking about the films we love. Send us an email  (chadhunt@gruesomemagazine.com, erinmiskell@gruesomemagazine.com, jeffmohr@gruesomemagazine.com, or josephperry@gruesomemagazine.com) or leave us a message, a review, or a comment at GruesomeMagazine.com, iTunes, Stitcher, the Horror News Radio App, or the Horror News Radio Facebook group.

To each of you from each of us, “Thank you for listening!

 

 

 

 

 

Aug 30, 2017

“In the midst of a mountain blizzard, I have experienced a terrifying incident unparalleled in human history. At the very moment we were about to die, I clearly saw the monster with my own eyes . . .” These words are read from the journal of a dead man who had come face-to-face with a half-man, half-beast monster living in the mountains of Japan. Join the Decades of Horror: The Classic Era crew – Erin Miskell, Chad Hunt, Joseph Perry, and Jeff Mohr – as we discuss the hard to find, third film of the Toho Company, Half Human, aka Jû jin yuki otoko.

Decades of Horror: The Classic Era

Episode 16 – Half Human (Jû jin yuki otoko,1955)

Directed by tokusatsu legend Ishirô Honda, Half Human tells the story of a group of student mountaineers (Akira Takarada, Momoko Kôchi) and their professor (Nobuo Nakamura) searching for two friends lost in a blizzard during the previous winter. Watching the students’ every move is a ruthless animal broker (Yoshio Kosugi) and his band on the hunt for the creature rumored to live in the mountains. The monster’s den is in a mountain cave and where he is worshipped by the local indigenous people, led by a Grand Elder (Kokuten Kôdô). As the students and the animal broker’s gang get closer to their quarries, they begin to clash, having a devastating effect on the monster and the tribal people.

Half Human has been banned by Toho for years and none of your faithful Grue Crew could find a high-quality copy. Possibly aligned with the forced unavailability of the film, we all had mixed feelings about Half Human. We all condemned the way the indigenous tribe is portrayed and the treatment doled out to Chika (Akemi Negishi) as she receives beatings from the Grand Elder and the other men of the tribe. For the most part, they all appreciated the special effects by Eiji Tsubaraya, another tokusatsu legend, especially the adult monster design. While we can’t unreservedly recommend Half Human, it is the third monster film from Toho and many listeners will recognize the actors from other Toho productions. It also has its place as an example of the discrimination of a people and abuse of women in the world over sixty years ago.

On the other hand, there is no reason to seek out the U.S. version unless you love the sound of John Carradine’s legendary voice. The American version, released in 1958, has had roughly half the original footage removed and replaced by a much smaller combination of scenes of Carradine sitting in his stateside office narrating the story to two colleagues. If you’re going to watch it, watch Jû jin yuki otoko instead.

We also have some great listener feedback this episode from Rafael Fernandez and our old friend salty-essentials Listen and you might just find out which of us does the funny voices.

We plan to release a new episode every other week. The next episode in our very flexible schedule is House on Haunted Hill (1959), hosted by our resident Vincent Price fangirl Erin.

Please let us know what you think of Decades of Horror: The Classic Era and what films you’d like to hear us cover! We want to hear from you! After all, without you, we’re just four nutjobs talking about the films we love. Send us an email  (chadhunt@gruesomemagazine.com, erinmiskell@gruesomemagazine.com, jeffmohr@gruesomemagazine.com, or josephperry@gruesomemagazine.com) or leave us a message, a review, or a comment at GruesomeMagazine.com, iTunes, Stitcher, the Horror News Radio App, or the Horror News Radio Facebook group.

To each of you from each of us, “Thank you for listening!

Aug 16, 2017

“They're coming to get you, Barbara,” Johnny teases his sister. Things didn’t turn out so well for Johnny or Barbra. The horror community lost a giant when George Romero died July 16, 2017. Join the Decades of Horror: The Classic Era crew – Erin Miskell, Chad Hunt, Joseph Perry, and Jeff Mohr – as we pay tribute to Mr. Romero by taking a shot at his masterpiece, Night of the Living Dead.

Decades of Horror: The Classic Era
Episode 15 – Night of the Living Dead (1968)

George Romero is co-writer (with John Russo), director, cinematographer, and editor of Night of the Living Dead. Made in the Pittsburgh area for only $114,000 in 1968, the film grossed $30,000,000 and established the rules of zombie behavior for many, many films to follow.

The story follows seven people - Ben (Duane Jones), Barbra (Judith O’Dea), Tom (Keith Wayne), Judy (Judith Ridley), Harry Cooper (Karl Hardman), his wife Helen (Marilyn Eastman), and their daughter Karen (Kyra Schon) - trapped in an isolated farmhouse, besieged by a growing legion of the living dead. Key supporting roles in Night of the Living Dead include Russell Streiner as Johnny, George Kosana as Sheriff McClelland, Bill Cardille as the field News Reporter, and S. William Hinzman (Bill Heinzman) as the first ghoul.

Your intrepid Grue Crew also ventures into a discussion of the cultural, sociological, and historical events coinciding with the making and release of the film and the effects they have on them as they rewatch Night of the Living Dead. A resounding cheer is heard for the recent 4k restoration of the film currently receiving a limited theatrical run, and for the possibility of a new 4k Blu-ray release sometime soon.

Lastly, Jeff reads some listener feedback on Episode 14 - Bride of Frankenstein from Dave Johnston, and on Episode 11 - The Mummy from saltyessentials. Be sure to check out salty’s blog, Dead Man’s Brain.

We plan to release a new episode every other week. The next episode in our very flexible schedule is Jû jin yuki otoko (the original 1955 Japanese version, aka Half Human).

Please let us know what you think of Decades of Horror: The Classic Era and what films you’d like to hear us cover! We want to hear from you! After all, without you, we’re just four nutjobs talking about the films we love. Send us an email  (chadhunt@gruesomemagazine.com, erinmiskell@gruesomemagazine.com, jeffmohr@gruesomemagazine.com, or josephperry@gruesomemagazine.com) or leave us a message, a review, or a comment at GruesomeMagazine.com, iTunes, Stitcher, the Horror News Radio App, or the Horror News Radio Facebook group.

To each of you from each of us, “Thank you for listening!

Aug 3, 2017

“Sometimes I have wondered whether life wouldn't be much more amusing if we were all devils, no nonsense about angels and being good.” The Decades of Horror: The Classic Era crew – Chad Hunt, Jeff Mohr and Erin Miskell – are missing their fourth member, Joseph Perry, this week. Filling in for him is fellow Horror News Radio (and Decades of Horror: the 1980s and Decades of Horror: the 1990s) host Thomas Mariani, as we discuss the 1935 gem Bride of Frankenstein.

Decades of Horror: The Classic Era
Episode 14 – Bride of Frankenstein (1935)

After a mob attack upon himself and his creation, Dr. Henry Frankenstein (Colin Clive) is approached by former mentor Dr. Pretorius (Ernest Thesiger) to create a mate (Elsa Lanchester) for his Monster (Boris Karloff). The Monster, meanwhile, continues to elude angry townsfolk who want to destroy him before they get to know him.

A classic of the early horror era, Bride of Frankenstein features iconic performances by both Boris Karloff and Elsa Lanchester. Director James Whale – the same director that brought us Universal’s 1931 hit Frankenstein – returns to offer a continuation of a story of acceptance, loneliness, and creation.

Join our intrepid hosts and guest as we discuss our thoughts on Whale – the man, the myth and the legend – and the direction he decided to go with the sequel to his hit film. We also tackle the censorship issues encountered during the making of Bride of Frankenstein, as well as favorite characters and themes of loneliness, companionship, and morality. This episode’s Grue Crew also expresses their admiration for the score (Franz Waxman), photography (John J.Mescall), makeup (Jack P. Pierce), fantastic supporting cast (Una O’Connor, E.E. Clive, Dwight Frye, O.P. Heggie) and soon-to-be-famous bit players (Walter Brennan, John Carradine).

We plan to release a new episode every other week. Our upcoming and very flexible schedule includes Night of the Living Dead (1968), Jû jin yuki otoko (the original 1955 Japanese version, aka Half Human), and House on Haunted Hill (1959).

Please let us know what you think of Decades of Horror: The Classic Era and what films you’d like to hear us cover! We want to hear from you! After all, without you, we’re just four nutjobs talking about the films we love. Send us an email  (chadhunt@gruesomemagazine.com, erinmiskell@gruesomemagazine.com, jeffmohr@gruesomemagazine.com, or josephperry@gruesomemagazine.com) or leave us a message, a review, or a comment at GruesomeMagazine.com, iTunes, the Horror News Radio App, or the Horror News Radio Facebook group.

To each of you from each of us, “Thank you for listening!

 
Jul 19, 2017

“Du mußt Caligari werden! You must become Caligari!" Join the Decades of Horror: The Classic Era’s Grue Crew - Chad Hunt, Erin Miskell, Jeff Mohr, and Joseph Perry - as we attempt the cinematic version of Volkswagen stuffing, climbing into The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari together and locking the door behind us. We are a rather close group.

Decades of Horror: The Classic Era
Episode 13 – The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920)

Sometimes referred to as the first horror film, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari is also a crown jewel of German expressionism. Producer Erich Pommer (Metropolis, Faust) put together a crew that included production designer Walter Reimann, who gave the film its unique and unsettling look. Directed by Robert Wiene (The Hands of Orlac), the film tells the story of Dr. Caligari (Werner Krauss), a sideshow mesmerist, and his somnambulist Cesare (Conrad Veidt). Dr. Caligari uses his power over Cesare not only for sideshow performances, but to commit murders. Alan (Hans Heinrich von Twardowski), one of their early victims, is close friends with Francis (Friedrich Fehér) and Jane (Lil Dagover). After Alan’s murder, Francis becomes obsessed with exposing Caligari’s evil deeds while Jane begins to fall under Caligari’s spell.

The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari is not, however, simply a slasher film.  The writers, Carl Mayer (The Haunted Castle, The Last Laugh) and Hans Janowitz (Der Januskopf), use personal experiences as the story’s foundation while interweaving several layers, leaving interpretation to the viewer.

Listen as we discuss the answers to these questions: What is German expressionism? How did this moment in German history influence the film? Who faked insanity to get out of military service in WWI? Who was known as a Nazi sympathizer in later years? Who was strongly anti-Nazi? Who was one of Hitler’s favorite actors? To whch famous director was the film first offered? How does the framing story change the film’s message? What should you do if you don’t like the score? How does The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari relate to the Batman TV-series of the 1960s (as all films must)?  What does the Babadook have to do with Dr. Caligari?

As always, if you’re paying attention, you’ll also hear which of us makes these comments:

  • “Or it could just be like a family sitting together at dinner and the father says to the mother, ‘So, we must become Caligari. When will we become Caligari?’ ‘It’s up to you. You’re the head of the house.’”
  • “We love everybody here at decades of Horror: The Classic Era.”
  • “My first time was on a family trip to Lake Tahoe, Nevada.”
  • “Chances are it would just be me, like screeching in this little high-pitched squeal that would attract ardent chihuahuas.”
  • “He is one creepy looking dude!”

We plan to release a new episode every other week. Our upcoming and very flexible schedule includes Bride of Frankenstein (1935), Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956), Jû jin yuki otoko (the original 1955 Japanese version, aka Half Human), and House on Haunted Hill (1959).

Please let us know what you think of Decades of Horror: The Classic Era and what films you’d like to hear us cover! We want to hear from you! After all, without you, we’re just four nutjobs talking about the films we love. Send us an email  (chadhunt@gruesomemagazine.com, erinmiskell@gruesomemagazine.com, jeffmohr@gruesomemagazine.com, or josephperry@gruesomemagazine.com) or leave us a message, a review, or a comment at GruesomeMagazine.com, iTunes, the Horror News Radio App, or the Horror News Radio Facebook group.

To each of you from each of us, “Thank you for listening."

Jul 5, 2017

“People, especially children, aren't measured by their IQ. What's important about them is whether they're good or bad, and these children are bad.” Whether they’re bad children or the misunderstood vanguard of an alien race, the children of Midwich serve as the antagonists in Village of the Damned, a chilling tale of science fiction and horror. Join the Decades of Horror: The Classic Era’s Grue Crew - Chad Hunt, Erin Miskell, Jeff Mohr, and Joseph Perry - as we take a closer look at these odd children, their freakishly high foreheads, and their funky eyes.

Decades of Horror: The Classic Era
Episode 12 – Village of the Damned (1960)

Based on John Wyndham’s novel, The Midwich Cuckoos (1957), Village of the Damned tells the story of the village of Midwich as it is beset by a series of strange, connected events. As these events unfold, every woman of a child-bearing age in Midwich gives birth to strangely similar children. As the children age at an accelerated rate, they develop strange powers and foster a growing sense of fear and foreboding within the village residents.

Directed by Wolf Rilla, who also co-authored the screenplay with Stirling Silliphant and Ronald Kinnoch (as George Barclay), Village of the Damned stars Barbara Shelley and George Sanders as Mrs. and Professor Zellaby, the lead couple. Their son David is played by Martin Stephens while all the children as toddlers are played by an uncredited Kim Clarke Champniss. Michael Gwynn as Major Alan Bernard, and Laurence Naismith as Doctor Willers, provide able support. There is also a brief appearance by Richard Vernon that holds special significance for Jeff.

Listen as we discuss the answers to these questions: Why do these odd-looking children elicit such horror from adults? What does A Hard Day’s Night (1964) or Fawlty Towers (1975) have to do with Village of the Damned? How does the film differ from John Wyndham’s book? What’s the connection between Village of the Damned and The Death Wheelers (1973) aka Psychomania (Decades of Horror 1970s - Episode 49)? How did the filmmakers find kids with such high foreheads? Once again, our film has a connection to the Batman and I Love Lucy TV-series. What are those connections this time? What are the two connections Ronald Colman has to Village of the Damned? Originally planned as a U.S. production, why was production switched to MGM British Studios? How does this 1960 production compare with the 1994 production directed by John Carpenter?

We also read some feedback on Episode 8: Freaks (1932) from Saltyessentials (check out his blog, Dead Man’s Brain) and Mike Hatfield. Thanks so much to both of you for taking the time to comment!

As always, if you’re paying attention, you’ll also hear which of us makes these comments:

  • “De monical? Is that the thing Mr. Peanut wears on his eye?”
  • “Hey, I’ve watched wrestling enough to tell the difference between natural blondes and unnatural blondes.”
  • Maneater of Hydra screams, ‘Leeroy Jenkins!’ and goes dashing into battle when it comes to that particular crown (as strangest science fiction story ever told).”
  • “Creepy children are infinitely creepier when they’re in packs and when they have British accents.”
  • “They all look the same to me. They’re all blonde children with similar haircuts.”
  • “Wigmaster 2: The Weaving!”

We plan to release a new episode every other week. Our upcoming and very flexible schedule includes The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920), Bride of Frankenstein (1935), Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956), and Jû jin yuki otoko (original 1955 Japanese version, aka Half Human).

Please let us know what you think of Decades of Horror: The Classic Era and what films you’d like to hear us cover! We want to hear from you! After all, without you, we’re just four nutjobs talking about thefilms we love. Send us an email  (chadhunt@gruesomemagazine.com, erinmiskell@gruesomemagazine.com, jeffmohr@gruesomemagazine.com, or josephperry@gruesomemagazine.com) or leave us a message, a review, or a comment at GruesomeMagazine.com, iTunes, the Horror News Radio App, or the Horror News Radio Facebook group.

To each of you from each of us, “Thank you for listening!

Jun 22, 2017

"’Death... eternal punishment... for... anyone... who... opens... this... casket. In the name... of Amon-Ra... the king of the gods.’ Good heavens, what a terrible curse!” intones Sir Joseph Whemple as he translates the inscription found within the tomb of Imhotep in The Mummy (1932), one of Universal’s classic monster films. Join the Decades of Horror: The Classic Era’s Grue Crew - Chad Hunt, Erin Miskell, Jeff Mohr, and Joseph Perry - as we conduct our own “dig,” dusting off the artifacts we discover, inspecting them from every angle, and discussing what we find.

Decades of Horror: The Classic Era
Episode 11 – The Mummy (1932)

Directed by famed cinematographer Karl Freund, The Mummy was Universal Studio’s response to the public’s apparent thirst for horror films while simultaneously taking advantage of the free marketing created by the discovery and archeological excavation of King Tutankhamun’s tomb. There had even been a story in the New York Times sensationalizing the tomb’s alleged curse by counting off fourteen associated deaths. Universal’s Carl Laemmle Jr. knew the foundation for a film legend when he saw one and he set writers Richard Shayer, Nina Wilcox Putnam, and John Balderston to work. Laemmle next paired Boris Karloff, fresh off Frankenstein (1931) and The Old Dark House (1932), with legendary Universal Studios makeup artist Jack Pierce; added the talented stage actor Zita Johann as the female lead; and rounded off the cast with supporting regulars Edward Van Sloan, David Manners, Noble Johnson, Arthur Byron, and Bramwell Fletcher. Thus a film icon was born.

Listen as we discuss the answers to these questions: How did Zita Johann and Karl Freund get along? How did the story morph from Putnam’s and Shayer’s vision of Allesandro Cagliostro to Balderston’s Imhotep? Why take a chance on first time director Karl Freund? What does Dracula (1931) have to do with The Mummy? For that matter, what does The Mummy have to do with 150 episodes of I Love Lucy (1951-56)?  Or Red Planet Mars (1952)? Or the 1961-64 seasons of Mister Ed? How does The Mummy’s classic poster rank historically?

If you’re paying attention, you’ll also hear which of us makes these comments:

  • “The voices and speech patterns of some of the other actors struck me as just this side of the helium tank at times.”
  • "Even without the mummified makeup he’s still a creepy-looking dude.”
  • “I’m not sure what you’re asking.” “Neither am I. You’re just supposed to come up with an answer.”
  • "He gives birth to one of the most unrealistic man-screams in the history of Hollywood."

For What It’s Worth Dept.:

  • Hear our second reference to The Honeymooners and our second reference to Iron Maiden.
  • Hear Chad say Ankh-es-en-amon at least 6 times without stumbling once.

We plan to release a new episode every other week. Our upcoming and very flexible schedule includes Village of the Damned (1960), The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920), Bride of Frankenstein (1935), Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956), and Jû jin yuki otoko (original 1955 Japanese version, aka Half Human),

Please let us know what you think of Decades of Horror: The Classic Era and what films you’d like to hear us cover! We want to hear from you! After all, without you, we’re just four nutjobs talking about thefilms we love. Send us an email  (chadhunt@gruesomemagazine.com, erinmiskell@gruesomemagazine.com, jeffmohr@gruesomemagazine.com, or josephperry@gruesomemagazine.com) or leave us a message, a review, or a comment at GruesomeMagazine.com, iTunes, the Horror News Radio App, or the Horror News Radio Facebook group.

To each of you from each of us, “Thank you for listening!

Jun 8, 2017

“You’re freaks! I’m a man! The last man…” Thus screams Dr. Robert Morgan at the vampires of the post-pandemic world depicted in The Last Man on Earth (1964). Join the Decades of Horror: The Classic Era’s Grue Crew - Chad Hunt, Erin Miskell, Jeff Mohr, and Joseph Perry - for our somewhat historic 10th episode as we suit up alongside Morgan to do battle against the vampiric horde. Unfortunately, Erin Miskell, the glue that holds The Classic Era’s Grue Crew together, is on special assignment investigating Dr. Caligari’s cabinet … from the inside, and was not able to join us in this battle.

Decades of Horror: The Classic Era

Episode 10 – The Last Man on Earth (1964)

Based on Richard Matheson’s classic, dark, science fiction novel, I Am Legend (1954), The Last Man on Earth is a joint Italian-U.S. production, filmed in Italy and distributed by American International Pictures. Directed by Sidney Salkow on a shoestring budget, The Last Man on Earth follows Dr. Robert Morgan (Vincent Price) as he goes about his daily life as the titular character. By day, his time is spent scrounging for supplies and searching out, killing, and burning the infected vampires. By night, he fends off the still shambling remnants of the population or listens to jazz records backed with the weak cries from his infected, former colleague to “Come out Morgan … come out Morgan.”

Listen as we discuss the answers to these questions: Did the filmmakers construct a believable post-pandemic world? Since the story takes place in Los Angeles, how did they manage to create a piece of California in Italy? How does Price’s performance as Morgan in this low budget, Italian collaboration compare to his other roles? Exactly who the the heck is co-writer Logan Swanson? What did Richard Matheson think of The Last Man on Earth? How closely does this adaptation follow the plot of Matheson’s novel? How does The Last Man on Earth rank The Omega Man (1971) and I Am Legend (2007), the other adaptations of Matheson’s novel, I Am Legend? What happened to the script Matheson wrote for Hammer Films in the late 1950s? Why does The Last Man on Earth (1964) remind us so much of George Romero’s Night of the LIving Dead (1968)?

If you’re paying attention, you’ll also hear which of us makes these memorable comments:

  • “I never turn down a stake.”
  • “It’s not the garlic keeping them away; it’s the dirty underwear.”
  • “We’re coming to get you Morgan.”
  • “Everybody knows Vincent Price has Tyrannosaurus Rex hands.”

We plan to release a new episode every other week. Our upcoming schedule includes Village of the Damned (1960), Viy (1967), and The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920).

Please let us know what you think of Decades of Horror: The Classic Era and what films you’d like to hear us cover! We want to hear from you! After all, without you, we’re just four nutjobs talking about the movies we love. Send us an email  (chadhunt@gruesomemagazine.com, erinmiskell@gruesomemagazine.com, jeffmohr@gruesomemagazine.com, or josephperry@gruesomemagazine.com) or leave us a message, a review, or a comment at GruesomeMagazine.com, iTunes, the Horror News Radio App, or the Horror News Radio Facebook group.

To each of you from each of us, “Thank you for listening!"

May 24, 2017

“This is a very rare book. I wouldn’t recommend it to everyone. … Who knows what you may learn from it. You might end up by gaining a fortune or losing your precious soul.” So said a wizened, antique bookseller (Ivor Barnard) to Captain Herman Suvorin (Anton Walbrook) as he sold him a tome of supernatural secrets. Join the Decades of Horror: The Classic Era’s Grue Crew - Chad Hunt, Erin Miskell, Jeff Mohr, and Joseph Perry - as they journey back to 1949 and take a gamble on The Queen of Spades.

Decades of Horror: The Classic Era
Episode 7 – The Queen of Spades (1949)

Is The Queen of Spades the best horror film of 1949? It is according to Bloody Disgusting and Rotten Tomatoes. The film was thought to be lost until 2009 and when Jeff noticed it was now available for streaming, he excitedly added the film to the schedule as his next pick. The Queen of Spades tells the story of a young countess who strikes a Faustian bargain with the devil and exchanges her soul for the ability to gamble and win at Faro. Years later, a lower class, army officer, who resents the aristocracy and is obsessed with gaining comparable status in society, stalks Lizaveta Ivanova (Yvonne Mitchell), the ward of the now elderly Countess, to gain access to the secret of the cards. In the process, he causes the death of the Countess and finds himself haunted by the woman's spirit.

After viewing The Queen of Spades, your intrepid Classic Era Grue Crew couldn’t agree on whether it was a horror movie or not. Erin, Joseph, and Chad questioned its horror bonafides while Jeff stuck with the hand he dealt himself and played his “deal with the devil” and “evil haunting” cards. After all, it was the best horror film of 1949, right? However, Joseph is quick to point out the competition in 1949 was as thin as a playing card, causing us all to question the value of it being referred to as the “year’s best.”

If you have not heard of the 1834 Alexander Pushkin story on which the film is based, you will find yourself in the same boat as we did when we were surprised to learn there had been over twenty adaptations of the story over the years. It’s also likely you have not heard of the film’s director, Thorold Dickinson. You will be shocked to learn what Martin Scorsese has to say about Dickinson in general and The Queen of Spades specifically. Even Wes Anderson (The Grand Budapest Hotel) has something interesting to say about this film.

We also discuss the answers to these burning questions. Does the performance of Dame Edith Evans, as the elderly Countess Ranevskaya, live up to her reputation as the greatest actress on the English stage in the 20th century? Why did Anton Walbrook flee Germany? Where have I seen Ronald Howard, who plays Suvorin’s aristocratic friend Andrei, before? Which of these actors played Sherlock Holmes in the 1950s? What does Mary Poppins have to do with The Queen of Spades? Which of the film’s actors also appeared in a Hammer film? What was used for the snow to depict the Russian winter?

If you’re paying attention, you’ll also hear which of us makes these memorable comments:

  • “I am down with the young people!”
  • “There are many old bitty horror films ... you know, that’s a subgenre, I’m not being mean.”
  • “The higher the hair, the closer to God.”
  • “At first I thought it was film grain, but I think there were actual bees flying in and out of that thing.”
  • “Because I’m anal.”

If you’d like to listen to the “The Queen of Spades” radio episode of Mystery in the Air, starring Peter Lorre and first aired in 1947, you can check it out here.

We plan to release a new episode every other week. Our upcoming schedule includes The Last Man on Earth (1964), Village of the Damned (1960), Viy (1967), and The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920).

Please let us know what you think of Decades of Horror: The Classic Era and what films you’d like to hear us cover! We want to hear from you! After all, without you, we’re just four nutjobs talking about the movies we love. Send us an email  (chadhunt@gruesomemagazine.com, erinmiskell@gruesomemagazine.com, jeffmohr@gruesomemagazine.com, or josephperry@gruesomemagazine.com) or leave us a message, a review or a comment at GruesomeMagazine.com, iTunes, the Horror News Radio App, or the Horror News Radio Facebook group.

To each of you from each of us, “Thank you for listening!

May 10, 2017

“Gooba gobble, gooba gobble, one of us, one of us. We accept her, we accept her, one of us, one of us…” Easy for them to say! Join the Decades of Horror: The Classic Era’s Grue Crew - Chad Hunt, Erin Miskell, Jeff Mohr, and Joseph Perry - as we make a trip to the circus and take in Tod Browning’s legendary film, Freaks (1932).

Decades of Horror: The Classic Era

Episode 7 – Freaks (1932)

Loosely based on “Spurs,” a short story by Clarence Aaron 'Tod' Robbins, Freaks is the embodiment of the adage, “You can’t judge a book by its cover,” all the way from its advertising taglines to the appearance of the film’s actors. Throughout the filming, Browning leans heavily on his experiences working in a carnival and exhibits a genuine affection for the title characters of Freaks.

The blatantly exploitative taglines - “The Love Story of a SIREN, a GIANT, and a DWARF!” and “Can a full grown woman truly love a MIDGET?” -  are so misleading as to constitute outright lies. Yet another tagline - “‘We'll Make Her One of Us!’ from the gibbering mouths of these weird creatures came this frenzied cry... no wonder she cringed in horror... this beautiful woman who dared toy with the love of one of them!” - has nearly nothing to do with the film and only works to entice the audience with the supposed luridness of a freak show using phrases like “gibbering mouths,” “weird creatures,” “frenzied cry,” and “cringed in horror.”

Despite their abnormal bodies, the title characters of Freaks are the beautiful ones, exuding love and caring for one another in this traveling community. On the other hand, Cleopatra (Olga Baclanova), the beautiful siren; and Hercules (Henry Victor), the handsome strongman; turn out to be ugly beyond redemption, as they conspire to destroy Hans’ (Harry Earles) relationship with Frieda (Daisy Earles) and murder him in order to steal his inheritance. Throughout Freaks, these two villains pepper the sideshow community with derisive and disparaging insults, treating them as if they are less than human.

Hans and Frieda are supported throughout Freaks by their loving, understanding, and loyal friends in this big-hearted family - the half woman-half man (Josephine Joseph), the Siamese Twins (Violet and Daisy Hilton), the Armless Girl (Frances O’Connor), the Human Skeleton (Peter Robinson), the Living Torso (Prince Randian), the half-boy (Johnny Eck), Angeleno (Angelo Rossitto), Schlitze and too many others to list. Two normal-bodied members of their freakshow family are Phroso the Clown, played by consummate character actor Wallace Ford, and Venus, played by Leila Hyams.

Freaks is about that age old love-versus-greed conflict and in this case, love triumphs while the characters motivated by greed suffer hideous consequences. It’s unfortunate that the powers that be chose to pitch Freaks as the beautiful Cleopatra and handsome Hercules falling victims to a gibbering gang of weird creatures.

There’s some question as to whether or not Freaks is a horror film, but without a doubt, there are some horrifying scenes, especially in the last ten minutes. However, the horror is not in the appearance of the title characters as implied by the advertising taglines, but in what they do to Cleopatra and Hercules in return for the horrifying treatment the couple inflicts on them, especially Hans..

If you’re paying attention, you’ll hear which of us makes these memorable comments:

  • “... you can just kind of picture us bouncing in our seats right now.”
  • ‘“From the gibbering mouths of these weird creatures came this frenzied cry!” ... Actually our gibbering mouths were probably worse at the beginning of this episode.’
  • “I cry like every five minutes in this movie.”
  • “Tell me what you can do with your eyebrow.”
  • “I would’ve smiled and then just spiked Cleopatra’s drink with as many laxatives as I could get my hands on.”

We plan to release a new episode every other week. Our upcoming schedule includes The Queen of Spades (1949), The Last Man on Earth (1964), Village of the Damned (1960) and The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920).

Please let us know what you think of Decades of Horror: The Classic Era and what films you’d like to hear us cover! We want to hear from you! After all, without you, we’re just four nutjobs talking about the movies we love. Send us an email  (chadhunt@gruesomemagazine.com, erinmiskell@gruesomemagazine.com, jeffmohr@gruesomemagazine.com, or josephperry@gruesomemagazine.com) or leave us a message, a review or a comment at GruesomeMagazine.com, iTunes, the Horror News Radio App, or the Horror News Radio Facebook group.

To each of you, a great big “THANK YOU FOR LISTENING!” from each of us!

Apr 26, 2017

“What if he can read our minds?” “He’ll be real mad when he gets to me.” Join the Decades of Horror: The Classic Era’s Grue-Crew - Chad Hunt, Erin Miskell, Jeff Mohr, and Joseph Perry - as we go vegan and digest some tasty, carrot-like, side dishes cooked up from The Thing From Another World (1951).

Decades of Horror: The Classic Era
Episode 7 – The Thing From Another World (1951)

More than 30 years before John Carpenter’s The Thing (1982) came The Thing From Another World. In fact, John Carpenter’s The Thing is often asked, “Who’s your daddy?” to which the answer is always, “The Thing From Another World.” Do they share some sort of prequel/sequel relationship? Absolutely not. The two films are more like fraternal twins, coming from the same source material, but ending up with a little different DNA. Being both daddy/offspring and fraternal twins does bring up questions of metaphorical incest, but we digress.

Our feature film for Episode 7, the original The Thing From Another World, was produced by Howard Hawks’ Winchester Enterprises, directed by Christian Nyby, and written by Charles Lederer from John W. Campbell Jr.’s award-winning short story, “Who Goes There?” The Thing From Another World tells the story of an alien found frozen near a polar outpost and then thawed when mistakenly covered by an electric blanket that’s cranked up to 11. Well, maybe not actually to 11, but it was definitely off-the-scale stupid! The title creature (see what I did there, Crew?), played by the James Arness, proceeds to make short work of two scientists and the sled dogs while escaping.

Lead scientist Dr. Carrington (Robert Cornthwaite) is all for preserving the Thing at all costs, even losing human lives, in the interest of knowledge. The Air Force personnel at the outpost, along with some of the scientists, are all about their own survival. The titular leader of our intrepid good guys is Capt. Patrick Hendry (Kenneth Tobey) but Nikki (Margaret Sheridan) has his number and is the functional/spiritual leader of the team, providing most solutions in an offhand, oh-by-the-way manner. Topping off the mix, Crew Chief Bob (Dewey Martin) provides ongoing moral support while Scotty (Douglas Spencer) contributes comic relief grounded in common sense and reality. We also encounter some other recognizable faces (or voices), including John Dierkes, William Self, George Fenneman, and Paul Frees.
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During the podcast we try to answer some nagging questions about The Thing From Another World. Exactly who directed this film? Who contributed to the screenplay? What is the best way to kill James Arness? No one figured it out on Gunsmoke. Why would anyone put an electric blanket over a block of ice encapsulating an alien with creepy eyes? What did Jame Arness think about what turned out to be an iconic role? What execution was Scotty talking about when he was cut off by the Thing? What’s behind that sly smile on Nikki’s face and what does she have on Captain Hendry? And why does everyone talk so darn fast?

If you’re paying attention, you’ll hear which of us makes these memorable comments:

  • You’re ugly, but hey, I’m not going to cover you up just because you’re ugly.
  • You’re in danger, girl!
  • We all kind of become plant food in the end.
  • How about a rabbit with shiny things?

We plan to release a new episode every other week. Our upcoming schedule includes Freaks (1932), The Queen of Spades (1949), The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1924), and The Last Man on Earth (1964). Sorry folks, but Waxworks (1924) and Bride of Frankenstein (1935) have been rescheduled due to circumstances beyond our control. That and we changed our minds. Don’t worry, though. We will most assuredly cover them in the future.

Please let us know what you think of Decades of Horror: The Classic Era and what films you’d like to hear us cover! We want to hear from you! After all, without you, we’re just four nut jobs talking about the movies we love. Send us an email (chadhunt@gruesomemagazine.com, erinmiskell@gruesomemagazine.com, jeffmohr@gruesomemagazine.com, or josephperry@gruesomemagazine.com) or leave us a message, a review or a comment at GruesomeMagazine.com, iTunes, the Horror News Radio App, or the Horror News Radio Facebook group.

To each of you, a great big “Thank you for listening!” from each of us!

Apr 13, 2017

“There are certain unseen things that are more real than those which you can see and touch. I know that.” Join the Decades of Horror: The Classic Era’s Grue-Crew - Chad Hunt, Erin Miskell, Jeff Mohr, and Joseph Perry - as we go for It! … NO, NOT THE STEPHEN KING It. Give us a break! After all, we are The Classic Era Grue-Crew. We’re talking about the exclamation-point-ended, 1967-released, Roddy McDowall starred-in, pseudo-Hammer produced, tree-golem monstered IT!

Decades of Horror: The Classic Era
Episode 6 – It! aka Curse of the Golem (1967)

Written and directed by Herbert J. Leder, whose other accomplishments include Fiend Without a Face (1958) and The Frozen Dead (1966), It! builds on the Jewish folklore of the golem. What if a nervous nebbish of an assistant museum curator named Arthur Pimm (Roddy McDowall) discovered the long lost Golem of Prague? What’s more, what if he discovered the power to control the golem? What would this nervous, nebbishy, assistant museum curator do with such power? Well, it’s definitely not what we would do.

When the omnipotent golem runs amok, as all indestructible creatures are want to do, how would you stop it? Even though it might sound like Superman, Kryptonite won’t do the trick. I mean come on, IT!’s made of clay. Can IT! be drowned? Can IT! be burned? Can IT! be destroyed by any man-made means?

By the way, what the heck is Mr. Pimm doing with his mother? I guess he does look a bit like a shorter Norman Bates, but his mother has much nicer jewelry than Mrs. Bates does. And what integral part does Pimm’s mother fetish play in the plot of IT!? Or does it!?! (See what I did there?).

Find out why Erin talks so much about The Legend of Hell House when we’re discussing IT! Speaking of Erin, how does Pimm’s infatuation with Ellen Groves (Jill Hawarth) lead Erin to bond with her in sisterhood. Erin also philosophizes on whether she is a pickle or a hamburger. It’s not what you think! Hear about Chad’s bro-mance with the square-jawed American (Paul Maxwell) that comes to Ellen’s rescue! And what possible connection can there be between IT! and Lucio Fulci?

Of course as usual, if you’re paying attention, you’ll hear which of us makes these memorable comments:

  • I’m picturing Pimm punching the golem to the moon!
  • Too much cheese before the podcast.
  • Oh, he dug up his mother and took her coffin with him and they’re off with that silly statue to do whatever.
  • I AM THE MASTER!

We plan to release a new episode every other week. Our upcoming schedule includes The Thing from Another World (1951), Freaks (1932), The Queen of Spades (1949), and Waxworks (1924)

Please let us know what you think of Decades of Horror: The Classic Era and what films you’d like to hear us cover! We want to hear from you! After all, without you, we’re just four nutjobs talking about the movies we love. Send us an email  (chadhunt@gruesomemagazine.com, erinmiskell@gruesomemagazine.com, jeffmohr@gruesomemagazine.com, or josephperry@gruesomemagazine.com) or leave us a message, a review or a comment at GruesomeMagazine.com, iTunes, the Horror News Radio App, or the Horror News Radio Facebook group.

To each of you, a great big “THANK YOU FOR LISTENING!” from each of us!

 

Mar 30, 2017

“Ladies and gentlemen, please do not panic! But SCREAM! SCREAM FOR YOUR LIVES!”  Join the Decades of Horror: The Classic Era’s Grue-Crew - Chad Hunt, Erin Miskell, Jeff Mohr, and Joseph Perry - as we get all touchy-feely with The Tingler and find out exactly what all the screaming is about. Don’t forget to bring your date and watch them TINGLE!

Decades of Horror: The Classic Era
Episode 5 – The Tingler (1959)

Some films cannot be denied and 1959’s The Tingler is just such a film. With William Castle at the helm and Vincent Price as the lead, you can’t go wrong, right? But what about the implausible plot, you wonder? Or the ridiculous creature effects? And who can believe Ollie’s (Philip Coolidge) scared-to death plot that ends in a literal bloodbath. Our response to such queries? WHAT’S THE MATTER WITH YOU?! This is William Castle and Vincent Price! What do plot and special effects have to do with anything? By the way, we see nothing implausible about a microscopic creature that lives in your spine, feeds and grows on fear, has the power of a “hydraulic press,” and is thwarted by and shrinks at the sounds of your screams. At least, that's the way it works most of the time. All things become possible with William Castle.

Yeah, yeah, you’ve seen The Tingler a dozen times. But have you really SEEN The Tingler? How did Castle's House on Haunted Hill (1959) inspire Robb White's writing of the screenplay for The Tingler? Do you know what real world creature The Tingler is modeled after? It might be even more horrific than the film’s titular worm.  What influence did Aldous Huxley have on the story told in The Tingler? What cinematic first is found in The Tingler? (It has do with a drug that’s not a drug - nudge, nudge, wink, wink.)  Why would Darryl Hickman take a part in this film without pay? What’s the connection between Hitchcock’s Rear Window (1954) and The Tingler? Is it even possible that Alfred Hitchcock drew inspiration from William Castle?  What’s the connection between The Tingler and the animated productions, Woody Woodpecker and Gumby?

And which of us made these memorable comments:

  • "We need a monster arm, boys! A monster arm!"
  • "He found these war surplus motorized vibrators."
  • "Did he have the little, scare-’em-to-death fairies working for him?"
  • "Let’s throw this in at the end boys, get one last scare out of them!"

We plan to release a new episode every other week. Our upcoming schedule includes It! (aka Curse of the Golem, 1967), The Thing from Another World (1951), Freaks (1932), and The Queen of Spades (1949).

Please let us know what you think of Decades of Horror: The Classic Era and what films you’d like to hear us cover! We want to hear from you! After all, without you, we’re just four nutjobs talking about the movies we love. Send us an email  (chadhunt@gruesomemagazine.com, erinmiskell@gruesomemagazine.com, jeffmohr@gruesomemagazine.com, or josephperry@gruesomemagazine.com) or leave us a message, a review or a comment at GruesomeMagazine.com, iTunes, the Horror News Radio App, or the Horror News Radio Facebook group.

To each of you, a great big “THANK YOU FOR LISTENING!” from each of us!

Mar 16, 2017

"Oh no, it wasn't the airplanes. It was beauty killed the beast." REALLY!? Join the Decades of Horror: The Classic Era’s Grue-Crew - Chad Hunt, Erin Miskell, Jeff Mohr, and Joseph Perry - as we  discuss just exactly what was the cause of Kong’s demise. The newest Kong film, Kong: Skull Island released on March 10, 2017, has already grossed $148M worldwide as of March 15, 2017, proving the iconic Kong is still alive and well. Listen as we “wrestle” with the original King Kong, the 1933 classic that started it all!

Decades of Horror: The Classic Era

Episode 4 –King Kong (1933)

As is the case with many films of The Classic Era, our Grue-Crew experienced this film through the electromagic wonders of television, and we were shocked, SHOCKED we tell you, when we eventually learned it had been cut by the scoundrels administering the Hays Code. Yes, many of the most violent, people chewing scenes or most salacious and sensual scenes (Fay Wray’s dunk in the river) had been removed.

We were also in awe of Merion C. Cooper and Ernest B. Shoedsack as these adventurers cum filmmakers brought their vision to fruition in one of the most highly thought of films in history. King Kong was truly a groundbreaking film in nearly all aspects of the technology of filmmaking, from special effects to sound design to musical score. We spotlight Willis O’Brien’s stop motion animation which inspired Ray Harryhausen, as well as Curtis Delgado’s models, Harry Cunningham’s model armatures, Mario Larrinaga's matte paintings, Murray Spivack’s sound design (Exactly how do you create the roar of a mythical creature?), and Max Steiner’s score.

And what of the acting? Cooper bragged at getting double duty from leads Robert Armstrong and Fay Wray while simultaneously filming The Most Dangerous Game (1932) on some of the same sets, but the overtime doesn’t show in their performances.

So many questions arise when discussing an 84-year-old classic. Who was Noble Johnson and what role did he play in film history? What was the relationship of Ruth Rose, one of the screenwriters, to Cooper and Shoedsack? What do the Nias Islands have to do with the film and who would ever want to go there? How do the characters hold up against current cultural norms? What themes and tropes backdrop the film? How many films did Fay Wray act in that year? What's the connection between King Kong and Gone with the Wind?

And which of us made these memorable comments:

  • - “There's one (a naked Barbie doll) in my bathroom right now.”
  • - “What gibberish are you talking?”
  • - “I’m willing to bet if you just give her a pair of pants, she could sail that whole thing herself.”
  • - "AAAARRRGGGHHHYEEEAAAHHHH!!!!"

We plan to release a new episode every other week. Our upcoming schedule includes The Tingler (1959), It! (aka Curse of the Golem, 1967), The Thing from Another World (1951) and Freaks (1932)

Please let us know what you think of Decades of Horror: The Classic Era and what films you’d like to hear us cover! We want to hear from you! After all, without you, we’re just four nutjobs talking about the movies we love. Send us an email  (chadhunt@gruesomemagazine.com, erinmiskell@gruesomemagazine.com, jeffmohr@gruesomemagazine.com, or josephperry@gruesomemagazine.com) or leave us a message, a review or a comment at GruesomeMagazine.com, iTunes, the Horror News Radio App, or the Horror News Radio Facebook group.

Thanks for listening, from each of us to each of you!

Mar 2, 2017

“We didn’t come here to fight monsters! We’re not equipped for it!" Join the Decades of Horror: The Classic Era’s Grue-Crew - Chad Hunt, Erin Miskell, Jeff Mohr, and Joseph Perry - as we take a deep dive (and we do mean DEEP!) into the legendary Black Lagoon and talk of all things Creature. Chad Hunt picked this one  - it’s one of his “favorite movies of all-time”  - so listen as he leads us on our expedition into the Amazonian jungle in search of the Creature from the Black Lagoon. The erudite Erin Miskell was under the weather for this one, but we sallied forth aboard the Rita and motored into dangerous waters without her, foolhardy as that may seem.

Decades of Horror: The Classic Era
Episode 3 – Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954)

All three of us first experienced Creature from the Black Lagoon on television via our local creature features and fell in love at first sight, but that didn’t stop us from being surprised at what we learned about it.

The film is co-written by Harry Essex and Arthur A. Ross and is directed by Jack Arnold. Do you know which one of them had a hand in Gilligan’s Island (1964-66) and Rawhide (1959-64)? How about The Sons of Katie Elder (1965) and Octaman (1972)? Or even Satan’s School for Girls (1973)?

The film features the Gill-Man, the last of the Universal Studios Classic Monsters, as played by Ricou Browning and Ben Chapman. Why do they need two actors to play the Gill-Man? And is the Creature designed and built by Bud Westmore with assistance from Millicent Patrick or is it the other way around?

The quintessential cast for a 1950s science fiction / horror film - Julie Adams, Richard Carlson, Richard Denning, Whit Bissell, and Antonio Moreno - plays a team of scientists in search of the source of a fossilized, clawed hand they found up river. They travel aboard the Rita, whose captain is played by the inimitable Nestor Paiva with over 300 acting credits to his name. wonders why anyone would want to fish for rocks.

So many questions and so little time. Share 70 minutes of your time with us and find out:

  • Exactly what does Creature from the Black Lagoon have to do with Citizen Kane (1941)?
  • Who is Carl Dreadstone and why should we care?
  • Why the heck aren’t there any bubbles?
  • What happened to the Gill-Man’s “suit?”
  • Why would anyone want to fish for rocks?

We plan to release a new episode every other week. Our upcoming schedule includes King Kong (1933), The Tingler (1959), and It! (1967).

Please let us know what you think and what films you’d like to hear us cover! We want to hear from you! Send us an email  (chadhunt@gruesomemagazine.com, erinmiskell@gruesomemagazine.com, jeffmohr@gruesomemagazine.com, or josephperry@gruesomemagazine.com) or leave us a message, a review or a comment at GruesomeMagazine.com, iTunes, the Horror News Radio App, or the Horror News Radio Facebook group.

Feb 16, 2017

"Promise me, my baby. . . Take me with you, sweetheart! Take my blood! Oh, my blood!" Join the Decades of Horror: The Classic Era’s Grue-Crew - Chad Hunt, Erin Miskell, Jeff Mohr, and Joseph Perry - as we get lost in the wondrously bad, yet somehow memorably disturbing, Maneater of Hydra, aka Island of the Doomed, aka La Isla de la Muerte, aka Bloodsuckers. Come along on the island tour (don’t forget your baggage and lab equipment) with Joseph as our guide, while he explains his love for this eclectic film and the impact it had on him as a horror fan. Trust us; it explains a lot. Follow our journey as Joseph, much to our surprise, manages to register the rest of the Classic Era Grue-Crew as card-carrying members of the Maneater of Hydra fan club.

Decades of Horror: The Classic Era
Episode 2 – Maneater of Hydra (1967)

Maneater of Hydra is a foreign film “probably” written and directed by Mel Welles, who adds another killer plant film to his credits. You may remember him as Gravis Mushnick in Roger Corman’s The Little Shop of Horrors (1960) or maybe from his appearances in Abbott and Costello Meet The Mummy (1955), Attack of the Crab Monsters (1957), Chopping Mall (1986) or even the Spectreman TV series (1971). He is joined by the immediately recognizable Cameron Mitchell, whose over 200 credits include The High Chaparral (1967-1971), Blood and Black Lace (1964) and The Toolbox Murders (1978). Mitchell plays Baron von Weser who has genetically engineered some uniquely flavored vegetables.

Part of the films quirky appeal is the dubbing as the actors recited the lines in English through syllabic memorization and are then dubbed. The intent is for the audio to more closely match the actors lip movements, but in the case of Maneater of Hydra, the result is as we already said, … quirky. Anne Meara provides the uncredited, hilarious dubbing of Myrtle, the tour’s unofficial photographer. We all went slack-jawed at the vampire tree’s sexually implicit, or rather explicit, killing organ. The final scene will haunt your nightmares for years, just ask Joseph.

Listen and learn which one of us says:

  • “It must be well-dressed plant food.”
  • “This is gold, people. This is gold.”
  • “That was a knife? I thought it looked like a sharpened nail clipper.”
  • “How did they get this past the censors?”
  • “It’s literally a hairy tube engorged with blood.”

We plan to release a new episode every other week. Our upcoming schedule includes Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954), King Kong (1933), and The Tingler (1959).

Please let us know what you think and what films you’d like to hear us cover! We want to hear from you! Send us an email  (chadhunt@gruesomemagazine.com, erinmiskell@gruesomemagazine.com, jeffmohr@gruesomemagazine.com, or josephperry@gruesomemagazine.com) or leave us a message, a review or a comment at GruesomeMagazine.com, iTunes, the Horror News Radio App, or the Horror News Radio Facebook group.

Feb 9, 2017

“We all go a little mad sometimes.” So says Norman Bates in the Alfred Hitchcock classic, Psycho (1960). In this episode, the Decades of Horror: The Classic Era’s Grue-Crew - Chad Hunt, Erin Miskell, Jeff Mohr, and Joseph Perry - proclaim their love for and take a deep dive into Hitchcock’s masterpiece and the mind of Norman Bates. Yes, you read it correctly. We love Norman’s mind and take a deep dive into it. After all, he’s such a nice boy.

Decades of Horror: The Classic Era
Episode 1 – Psycho (1960)

At the films original release, Hitchcock resorted to a multitude of marketing gimmicks to help promote his  new, fairly low budget, black and white film. The crowds responded in droves, piling up box office receipts more than 32 times the cost of making the film. Erin hosts this episode as we all try to get inside Hitchcock’s mind and end up feeling like Norman Bates could be our special friend (especially Erin!), if it just wasn’t for that whole murdering people thing. Is Norman Bates a nice boy suffering from mental illness or an iconic horror villain?

The story of Psycho unfolds as if it were two separate movies. First is the one telling the story of Marion Crane’s embezzlement from her employer, subsequent flight from the law, and change of heart after meeting Norman Bates. The second story begins with Marion’s murder and its afermath as we learn more about Norman’s relationship with his mother. After all, he’s such a NICE boy.

The Classic Era Grue-Crew is blown away with Psycho by everything from the leads (Janet Leigh, Anthony Perkins, Vera Miles) to the supporting cast (Martin Balsam, John McIntire, John Anderson, Simon Oakland, Mort Mills, Pat Hitchcock); from Hitchcock’s direction to Saul Bass’ titles and Bernard Herrmann’s score; from Robert Bloch's source material to Joseph Stefano's script.

Listen and learn which one of us says:

  • “You need to stop playing with your seat or we're going home.”
  • “The first time I saw that scene I was 10-years-old and I know some pee came out.”
  • “His initials are G. G., something with a G.”
  • “You might want to rephrase that as, ‘I really need to watch more Kolchak: The Nightstalker.’”

We plan to release a new episode every other week. Our upcoming schedule includes Maneater of Hydra (aka Island of the Doomed, 1967), King Kong (1933) in conjunction with the March 10, 2017 release of Kong: Skull Island, Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954), and The Tingler (1959).

Please let us know what you think and what films you’d like to hear us cover! We want to hear from you! Send us an email  (chadhunt@gruesomemagazine.com, erinmiskell@gruesomemagazine.com, jeffmohr@gruesomemagazine.com, or josephperry@gruesomemagazine.com) or leave us a message, a review or a comment at GruesomeMagazine.com, iTunes, the Horror News Radio App, or the Horror News Radio Facebook group.

Jan 27, 2017

“I have the heart of a small boy. I keep it in a jar on my desk…” – is the answer Robert Bloch, author of Psycho, frequently gave when asked where he got his ideas. Mr. Bloch’s answer gave us an idea on how to kick off our new podcast. We asked each of our co-hosts where they got their love for horror. Then we asked each of them to choose their favorite films of each decade from the 1920s through the 1960s, or as we call it, The Classic Era. Please allow us to introduce ourselves. We are Erin Miskell, Chad Hunt, Joseph Perry, and Jeff Mohr, the co-hosts of the new podcast, Decades of Horror: The Classic Era.

Decades of Horror: The Classic Era
Episode Zero – Introductions and Favorite Films by Decade

As the Grue Crew for this podcast, we come from several different generations and backgrounds, so our reasons for becoming, or maybe being born, horror nerds are as varied as you might expect. From unsuccessfully strict parents to “wicked” uncles; from reading Clive Barker at a young age (Yikes!) to pixie sticks addictions, from local “creature features” to monsters, monsters, monsters and keiju, liberally sprinkled with comic books.

We also go through our favorites from each decade, having particular difficulty narrowing down the horror rich 1930s and 1950s. In some cases, like minds think alike and in other cases, vive la différence. In the 20s we chose films from The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920) and Nosferatu (1922) to The Fall of the House of the Usher (1928) and The Cat and the Canary (1927). In the 30s, our favorites range from Dracula (1931) and Freaks (1932) to Murders in the Zoo (1933) and Mad Love (1935). For the 1940s we talk about films from The Wolf Man (1941) and Cat People (1942) to Dead of Night (1945) and The Spiral Staircase (1946). In the 1950s, it’s everything from The Thing from Another World (1951) and The Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954) to A Bucket of Blood (1959) and Plan 9 From Outer Space (1959). Finally, in the 1960s, our picks focus on films from Psycho (1960) and Night of the Living Dead (1968) to The Green Slime (1968) and Doctor Blood’s Coffin (1961).

Listen and figure out which of one of us says each of the following quotes:

  •       “Oo, oo, eyeball things…”
  •       “Good thing I was already out of Pampers and knew where the bathroom was.”
  •       “Gre-en Slime!” (sung, perfectly in key with the theme song)
  •       “Nothing’s before my time.”

We plan to record a new episode every other week and henceforth, we’ll focus on specific films. In upcoming episodes, we’ll cover films such as Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954), The Tingler (1959), Maneater of Hydra (aka Island of the Doomed, 1967), Psycho (1960), and King Kong (1933), in conjunction with the March 10, 2017 release of Kong: Skull Island.

Please let us know what you think and what films you’d like to see covered! We want to hear from you! Leave us a message or leave a comment on the site or email the Decades of Horror The Classic Era hosts at jeffmohr@gruesomemagazine.com, chadhunt@gruesomemagazine.com, josephperry@gruesomemagazine.com, erinmiskell@gruesomemagazine.com.

 

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