My mother never let me watch monster movies when I was a kid. She was afraid I would have nightmares.
|My mother -- a perfectly nice woman|
In any case (a case for a psychiatrist, most likely), I was not inculcated with a love of creature features in my formative years.
(I wonder if someone can be inculcated by an incubus? But I guess that’s off-topic.)
Frankenstein, which ran often on television on Channel Nine’s Million Dollar Movie in Los Angeles. Every other kid in my school got to see Frankenstein. And Dracula and The Wolfman and all their sequels. Nope, my mommy wouldn’t let me see The Mummy. She somehow was convinced that I was an impressionable, delicate child. But the biggest impression I ever got was from my elementary school classmates who thought I was a weird little kid because I didn’t get to watch weird little films and join in on their playground conversations about how neat Godzilla was, or how cool The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms was.
And forget going to the movie theater to see The Blob when I was nine-years-old and just one year away from a double-digit age, surely the entrance into adolescence.
I didn’t see the Universal Frankenstein until well into my adult years. Indeed, if memory serves (and memory has been a pretty sloppy server of late), I think I saw Young Frankenstein before I saw Frankenstein.
Since then, of course, I’ve seen all the great Universal horror films—including Howard the Duck.
Frankenstein is my favorite because it’s so oddly beautiful in design. And because Boris Karloff was a better actor than Colin Clive. And Frankenstein’s monster is not really a monster, is he? I mean, he didn’t ask to be born—or rather, assembled and stitched together. He’s just looking for love in all the wrong places. I mean, a village in the Bavarian Alps? How many good bars could there be there? Of course, his “father” abandoned him, so why wouldn’t he be dysfunctional when it comes to love? On top of that, people are always stopping him and asking him to jump-start their cars. It’s the bolts in the neck you see…
Memory is serving up another course and has corrected me. I did get to see two monster movies when I was a kid. One by permission, and one by accident. Mother let me see Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein.
(Of course, they didn’t, because Dr. Frankenstein was nowhere to be seen. The Invisible Man was nowhere to be seen either, but at least he was in the movie.)
Mother figured as it was a comedy and Abbott and Costello were so silly how could the film be frightening. But I fooled her. The film scared the shit out of me.
The other monster film was of a giant insect variety. But I did not know that when I saw listed in the TV Guide a film called The Beginning or the End, a film about the development of the atomic bomb in World War II to be shown on the late afternoon movie show. I asked mom if I could see it and she had no objections as WWII was a big factor in her life, and she thought the film would be educational. So she exited to the kitchen to start preparing dinner as I turned on the TV.
When the film came on it quickly became apparent that the TV Guide had made a mistake in their listing. The film beginning to air was not The Begining or the End about the making of the atomic bomb, but The Beginning of the End, about giant grasshoppers. The grasshopper growth spurt was caused by radiation, so there was that connection. But that didn’t impress my mother when she came out of the kitchen and saw the giant locusts rampaging downtown Chicago. I had seen so much of the movie already, though, that even she didn’t have the heart to make me turn it off. But she told me if I had a nightmare I was on my own. I don’t remember if I had a nightmare or not, but ever since then, I’ve been adamant about not eating chocolate-covered grasshoppers, firmly believing that two wrongs just simply do not make a right.
So, given all this, what inspired me to write my latest novel, Creature Feature: A Horrid Comedy?
Well, it came from a simple question that occurred to me after a night of debauchery in a seraglio.
That’s not true, of course, I just like typing those words. The truth is, I was probably in the shower. Alone, I hasten to add rather sadly. I find many good ideas come to one during a nice hot shower. But when you are in there alone, what the hell else are you supposed to do?
Anyway, the simple question was—where do really weird ideas come from? (besides a hot shower). I mean, monsters, and creatures of the night, and blood-suckers, and really angry giant lizards and or gorilla-like stompers of not-yet-paid-for cars, and big fat humungous insects that look down on people and say, “Gee, they look just like little bugs”? Not to mention demons from hell and zombies. So I won’t mention them. Especially zombies. I hate zombies. Zombies got no reason to live!
To answer that question without leaning on dark psychology, and to find an answer that might lead to some laughs, I wrote Creature Feature: A Horrid Comedy. Why a comedy? Well, with all the real monsters today in our real lives, monsters microscopic, monsters climatic, and monsters political, don’t you think we deserve a few laughs?
Watch some strange guy read the opening of Creature Feature: A Horrid Comedy.
You will find my creatures of the most unimaginable horror (although, of course, I imagined them) on fine Amazons worldwide.
Amazon ebook https://tinyurl.com/y4zxh6kf
Amazon UK ebook https://tinyurl.com/y9zrg8xq
Amazon Australia ebook https://tinyurl.com/y6h56ozs
Amazon Canada ebook https://tinyurl.com/y3zcqjh9
Amazon paperback https://tinyurl.com/y6gqyea7