Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Son of Sam's INTO THE NIGHT is a bloody huge success


By REID BRITT

Hot on the heels of 1999 reunion tour of Glenn Danzig’s first post-Misfits band from the ‘80s, then-Danzig/Samhain guitarist Todd Youth was so bloody inspired by the NOVEMBER COMING FIRE-ness of tour that he cobbled together an album’s worth of songs inspired the band’s sinister sounds. He then enlisted former Samhain members London May (drums) and Steve Zing (bass).  AFI’s Davey Havok contributed lyrics and vocals. Thus, Son of Sam (see what they did there?) was born. In 2001, SONGS FROM THE EARTH (on AFI’s label Nitro Records) was unleashed, complete with the blessing and a guest appearance from Danzig his-damn-self.

But that’s another album for another column.

By 2008, Youth was out of Danzig. Davey Havok and AFI had moved on to major label/Hot Topic success.

And Son of Sam was back.

Joining Youth and the returning Steve Zing was then-current Danzig drummer Karl Rosqvist. Havok was too busy with alt stardom, so Youth brought in Chelsea Smiles bandmate Sky Vaughan-Jayne (billed on the disc as the more ominous “Ian Thorne”) on vocals.

Released on horror rock indie Horror High Records, INTO THE NIGHT is a dark gem of an album.

What’s surprising about INTO THE NIGHT is just how un-Samhain-y it is at times.  Oh sure, “Suffer” and “Death Baby” could sit comfortably on a Danzig album.  But the lead track, “The Bleeding”?  If you want precedent for that sound, that vibe, that churn, you have to look to a different source...

The Damned. The Damned were one of the UK’s original punk bands. In their nearly four decades, they’ve dabbled in three-chord punk, psychedelia, metal, goth and dreamy pop.  What they’ve never really been — in spite of the name and singer David Vanian’s vampiric stage persona — are a horror band. (There is a “however” here, but I’ll address it in another column.)

“The Bleeding” and the titular “Into the Night” both take pages from the Damned songbook, circa MACHINE GUN ETIQUETTE (see “Love Song”) and the “Nasty” single.  “Twisted Soul” could have oozed very comfortably onto any number of Damned ‘80s albums (THE BLACK ALBUM might’ve been the best fit, but I could hear it on PHANTASMAGORIA, as well).

The Damned, however, aren’t the only non-Danziggy influence to be found on the album.  Witness “Dark Life”, which channels the diabolical stylings of...

The Cult?

More specifically, Death Cult, the band that served as the immediate precursor to the “She Sells Sanctuary”/”Love Removal Machine” Cult as we know them.  In spite of the same, Death Cult weren’t horror in the least; they were “positive punk”, more spiritual in nature, and sorta goth without the trappings. “Dark Life” mixes Ian Astbury’s vocal stylings, Billy Duffy’s guitar style, and the “tribal” percussive patterns of Death Cult’s “Horse Nation” with a peppering of the ol’ darkity dark dark and cooks up a true death rock anthem.

Son of Sam.
But lest we get too far off course, “Sons of New” and “Darkness Calls” bring the album back to the source with slices of Samhain-soaked sounds reminiscent of SONGS FROM THE EARTH.

So what to make of INTO THE NIGHT?  As a strict Samhain tribute, it fails from being overly ambitious and not sticking to script.  However, as a sophomore album from a project band that probably didn’t even NEED a second album, it’s a bloody huge success.  By bringing in influences from less obvious sources, INTO THE NIGHT succeeds.  By recruiting a singer that plays the Vocal Chameleon role enough to honor the influences while still pulling the songs together as the work of one band, Son of Sam succeeds.

INTO THE NIGHT has been the “road trip” soundtrack to many nocturnal journeys. Through the sheer force of being “dark” and accessible, INTO THE NIGHT compels repeated listens. Son of Sam has never released a follow-up — doubtless never shall — leaving INTO THE NIGHT as an unheralded epitaph to a legendary band’s unholy offspring.

The album is still available for download from Amazon, and presumably iTunes. Horror High still maintains a Facebook page, but the website link leads back to the FB page, so I’m not sure if physical CDs are still around. I encourage my horror rock loving readers to seek it out, enjoy, embrace the Dark Life.

REID BRITT lives in Scenic Western North Carolina with his wife Alison and his daughter Lily.  He has been a Monster Kid from a young age ("There ARE Sasquatches down in the woods, Mom!") and still believes in the Power of Rock n' Roll.  When he's not watching horror movies, he likes to paint, and you can check out his paint slinging at spookywolffe.tumblr.com, Instagram as Reiddrorings,  Facebook as Spookywolffe. and Twitter as @spookywolffe.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Monster Serial: STAKE LAND


By PATRICK McCRAY

You what what’s wrong with vampires as monsters?  Everyone wants to be one.  You know I’m telling the truth.  They never age.  They dress well.  They look great.  The opposite sex loves them. Once you sidestep certain moral issues, their dietary needs are astoundingly modest.  They can fly. They usually have good taste in music.  Great hair.  Good lighting.  Now, they even glitter. Get back to me on that day when Paul Giamatti is playing a vampire, okay?

So much has been written on the sexuality of vampires that it’s hard to remember that they were scary.  Or if they ever were.  Let’s see a show of hands.  Is anyone here actually scared by vampires You in the back? But only you, right?  Okay, I rest my case.


In fact, to make a vampire scary, you pretty much have to remove everything that makes them vampiric.  And STAKE LAND does that.  Even the vampires of NEAR DARK, gnarly as they are, have a sense of family.  These?  Crazy monsters.  Had these shown up at Collinwood, there would have been a loud banging on the door as Barnabas asked Roger to borrow that rifle of his.  As we’ve seen creeping into more and more movies, these are just crazed feral beasts, so savage that I’m astounded they leave anything behind to rise as a second generation.

The only sort of backdrop that can justify such a mass of monsters is a post-apocalyptic wasteland, and this is a helluva one.  The vampire pandemic has savaged the world.  Washington is abandoned.  The cities are lethal.  People are reduced to living in shanty towns and listening to bluegrass and other forms of roots music.  (And by the way, why is this the kind of music that survives?  What about a barbershop quartet or a nice a cappella rendition of “I Get a Kick Out of You” like we hear in BLAZING SADDLES?)  It’s like THE ROAD WARRIOR meets Burning Man.


Carving their way to the fabled safe zone of “New Eden” (a name existing purely by coincidence), we find Mister (Nick Damici) and his apprentice, Martin (Connor Paolo). While not father and son, the two have formed a deep bond of both friendship and mentorship. Both are grizzly, two-fisted survivors, with the elder Mister, played by one of the film’s writers, able to kick ass with an honest and wily grit unseen in many modern films. Rather than flying around on wires and performing acts of ridiculous surreality in the melee department, Mister relies on plain old guile, planning, intelligence, and a mean streak as wide as Texas. This is a man who gets the job done.  Old vampire? Dead. Young vampire? Dead. Female vampire? Dead. Child, female vampire? Well, maybe this one will be up to Martin to dispatch. The kid has to learn sometime.

STAKE LAND feels refreshingly episodic, because that’s how it was planned.  Still, it’s never hampered by it. The tone makes the movie into a strange road trip tall-tale.  Along the way, they befriend Belle (Danielle Harris) a pregnant girl in need, a two-fisted nun (Kelly McGillis) who shows just as much bravery as toughest Marine, and, come to think of it, they also find a damned brave Marine (Sean Nelson), rescued from a port-a-potty.

Does this sound like a formidable fighting force?  Well, they are. My description makes it sound a little wackier than it is.  These characters are taken seriously, and just as importantly, they take each other seriously, too.  Amidst the bleakest of backdrops, they share moments of genuine support and kinship that never ring as forced nor untrue. We see these connections throughout the survivors in STAKE LAND.


Unfortunately, there are other aspects of human society that survive and mutate their way into this future: warped, religious fundamentalism (And the inclusion of a nun as one one of the heroes becomes necessary for political balance.)  It’s a strange offshoot called The Brotherhood, worshipping the vampires as God’s resurrected chosen.  Now, the group never mentions Jesus or actual Bible, but it’s an unforgiving clutch of (im)moralists that uses a variation of the cross as its sigil, and that’s close enough for me.

When people talk about religion as a comfort in the worst of times, I always get kind of uneasy. Sure, it might be a comfort. It may also be a threat. As an institution, religion certainly is tempting to those shell-shocked survivors who wish to have their thinking done by others. Worse, it attracts those who crave a sense of cosmic righteousness to justify their most violent and loathsome impulses. I’m sure this has been covered another post-apocalyptic settings, but in this movie, they really make a point of its danger and (almost) never apologize. This “religion” is the major threat of the film.  The vampires are just MacGuffins. For instance, if a walled village won’t convert?  They may just get vampires dropped on them from helicopters, “like rocks from a highway overpass,” as LBJ said in THE RIGHT STUFF.  Read that sentence again. (I wanted Gordon Jump to enter and say, “With God as my witness, I thought vampires could fly.”)

This essay is one of dozens featured in our new
book, "Taste the Blood of Monster Serial."
These are the sorts of villains we’re talking about. All lead by one of the great Sweeney Todds of this generation, Michael Cerveris, as Jebediah Loven. As their relentless commander/high priest, he finds a somewhat different fate than one would expect… one that I think could be explained with a bit more clarity, but maybe its mystery is a good thing.

This is all in counterpoint to Ron Moore’s 180 on BATTLESTAR GALACTICA, a clear allegory for the special blend of lethal herbs and spices in 9/11 that no one — on either side — wanted to talk about.  When the series started, it was clear that religious fundamentalism both incited the interplanetary genocide and inspired the reactionary and divisive demagoguery within the survivors.  By the end, the show had wimped out.  It as as if MASH had ended with Hawkeye eagerly reenlisting for the Vietnam War.

Nevertheless, STAKE LAND is not a Hitchensesque screed.  No great story is about suffering in hard times.  It is about survival in hard times.  As such, STAKE LAND is a refreshing, if stark, how-to.  Is there a heaven?  Is there a hell?  I have no idea.  But I know that life can be relentless.  I know we have each other.

That’s enough.  It has to be.



PATRICK McCRAY is a well known comic book author who resides in Knoxville, Tenn., where he's been a drama coach and general nuisance since 1997. He has a MFA in Directing and worked at Revolutionary Comics and on the early days of BABYLON 5, and is a frequent contributor to The Collinsport Historical Society. You can find him at The Collins Foundation.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

DARK SHADOWS over Norwalk

The Three Sarahs: Sharon Lentz meets fans dressed as her character from DARK SHADOWS. 
By GENE CARUSO

This past weekend DARK SHADOWS fans gathered in rainy, atmospheric Norwalk, Conn., for the second Friends of the '91 Cast Reunion event. This was also the 49th Anniversary of the show.

On hand were Sharon Lentz, Donna Wandrey, Jim Fyfe, Joanne Dorian, Beverly Hayes, Bobby Woronko, Christine Domaniecki and Nick Besink. In addition to these DARK SHADOWS cast and crew, Helen Samaras and Nancy Kersey ("Remembering Jonathan Frid") also attended, all giving short presentations.


Fans were treated to a bus trip and tour of Essex, Conn. which was featured as Collinsport in many of the early episodes, and lunch at the The Griswold Inn, aka "Collinsport Inn." The Lockwood-Mathews Mansion featured in HOUSE OF DARK SHADOWS offered tours for fans at a reduced rate.

"I got to be one of the first original cast members to have my photo taken in front of the Evans cottage, and even met the current owner," said Lentz, who played "Sarah Collins" on the original television series. "It was fun seeing the fan enthusiasm,  and new generations of getting in on the action. Two little girls recreated little Sarah, 1795 & 1967 ... they looked amazing and were so sweet to talk to."

Jim Fyfe and Joanne Dorian, actors from the 1991 DARK SHADOWS "revival" series.
This intimate event personified the spirit that drives DARK SHADOWS fandom. Although smaller in size than the traditional Dark Shadows Festival, guests were more accessible, a variety of vendors were selling more stuff, and fans were able to enjoy each others company without fear of missing one second of the weekend. This event was a well-run success.

From left, Gene Caruso, Christine Domaniecki and David Caruso at last week's fan event in Norwalk, Conn.
Inset, Domaniecki is crowned Miss American Vampire by Jonathan Frid in 1970.
For me, meeting Miss American Vampire 1970 was the highlight. It was a pleasure to be bit by the charm of Christine Domaniecki after seeing her for so many years in monster magazines and on the internet. I look forward to seeing her again.

Having an event that is fan run, and included cast from the original and 1991 series is an awesome idea!  It was so great to be a part of, and to spend time with my friends and fans in such an intimate setting.

Original DARK SHADOWS cast members Donna Wandrey and Sharon Lentz,
(Note: You can see more photos from the event at the DARK SHADOWS LIVES! Facebook page.)

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

DARK SHADOWS gets monster mashed


I thought it was interesting that Barnabas Collins made it to the cover of Mark Voger's new book, MONSTER MASH: THE CREEPY, KOOKY MONSTER CRAZE IN AMERICA. Sure, DARK SHADOWS was one of the major highlights of the "monster kid" era, but I've become accustomed of having writers overlook the show in favor of more mainstream fare.

As it happens, Jonathan Frid's mug on the book cover wasn't just a token gesture. TwoMorrow's Publishing has shared an except of MONSTER MASH, which reveals that "TV's Cool Ghoul" and his relatives are the subject of an extended chapter of the book! Frid, Kathryn Leigh Scott, David Selby and Lara Parker get their own chapters, as does the various merchandise and madness that surrounded the show.

Here's the boilerplate summary for MONSTER MASH:
Time-trip back to the frightening era of 1957-1972, when monsters infiltrated America in monster magazines, toys, games, trading cards, and comic books. This profusely illustrated full-color hardcover covers that creepy, kooky craze through features on Famous Monsters of Filmland magazine, the #1 hit “Monster Mash,” Aurora’s model kits, TV shows (Shock Theatre, The Addams Family, The Munsters, and Dark Shadows), “Mars Attacks” trading cards, Eerie Publications, Planet of the Apes, and more! It features interviews with monster creators, publishers, and TV stars, with a Foreword by TV horror host Zacherley, the “Cool Ghoul.”
You can read a lengthy excerpt from MONSTER MASH below. The full book is available from Amazon HERE.

Still disgraceful after all these years


There's nothing quite as curious as a homophobic DARK SHADOWS fan.

In the past, it's probably been easy for these people to avoid the reality that their favorite television show has a huge homosexual following. It was even easy for them to ignore that a great many of the show's cast members were homosexual, thanks to the kind of compartmentalization required to be a functioning bigot. It doesn't really matter to them if Louis Edmonds was gay, because Roger Collins was straight; these people have more empathy for a fictional character than for the actor who played him.

This isn't a screed about who was or wasn't gay on DARK SHADOWS, because it's none of our business. I mention Edmonds only because he was fairly vocal about it in his later years. From a distance, Edmonds' revelation might seem inevitable. I used to think there was no closet big enough to hide Edmonds "secret," but that's not really true. Even if Helen Keller could spot Edmonds' sexual orientation from across the room, he was socially obliged to keep his most basic personal relationships to himself for most of his life. He could be fired, asked to leave places of business or even arrested for displaying the kinds of affection taken for granted in heterosexual relationships. (Actually, some of those responses are still legal in America.)

In January, 1971, Time Magazine published an article titled "The Homosexual in America." Here's a highlight:
"It is a pathetic little second-rate substitute for reality, a pitiable flight from life. As such it deserves fairness, compassion, understanding and, when possible, treatment. But it deserves no encouragement, no glamorization, no rationalization, no fake status as minority martyrdom, no sophistry about simple differences in taste — and, above all, no pretense that it is anything but a pernicious sickness."
When DARK SHADOWS was on the air, this is how people spoke about LGBT people when they were being nice. If someone was feeling especially nasty, violence was also an acceptable tool.


Yesterday, I updated the cover of the CHS Facebook page with the image you see above. It was a busy weekend and my biggest concern was that I was a little late in celebrating the moment. Nobody seemed to mind that I was the last person on Facebook to add a bit of color to my Facebook layout ...  but there was a scattering of  "curious" comments about the decision. The most direct comment came from Mr. John Johnson, which you can see at the top of the page. It kickstarted a discussion about the phenomenon of the homophobic DARK SHADOWS fans, but was deleted sometime during the night. Consequently, the remaining elements of the discussion are pretty confusing.

Unfortunately for Mr. Johnson, I took a screenshot of his post. Welcome to the 21st Century, jerk. You don't get to walk into my house, throw brickbats and scurry away.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Monster Serial: MARTIN, 1977



By PHIL NOBILE JR

The mid 1970s. In an urban, blue collar neighborhood, a young man finds himself at odds with his Catholic family’s attempts to impose its rigid, oppressive lifestyle onto his own. Seeking escape, the youth goes out at night where he can act on his desires and truly be himself. Women are a complete mystery to him, and he goes through them as disposable pleasures. Eventually, he’s forced to re-evaluate his place in life when he falls for an older woman.

It’s an amusing set of similarities that exist between SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER and George A Romero’s MARTIN, but the films also share a cynical, deeper probing of the constrictive nature of family and the poisonous core of empty faith.

But where SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER invites us to find the humanity in a racist, misogynist cheeseball, MARTIN asks us to empathize with a protagonist who, the film tells us, might be an 84 year-old vampire, but in all likelihood is a 19 year-old serial rapist and murderer. Troublesome waters, but well worth navigating.

We meet Martin (John Amplas) on a train bound for Pittsburgh. He eyes an attractive woman boarding the train during a stop in New York. Later, he picks the lock to her cabin and flings the door open. The film immediately transitions to black & white as we enter Martin’s fantasy world. The woman is waiting for him on the bed arms extended, as haunting, romantic music swells.



Of course, none of this is actually happening. Back in the real world the cabin seems empty, and the unceremonious flush of a toilet tells us Martin’s quarry is in the shitter. She opens the door as Martin crouches behind it. Her hair is in a towel and her face is covered in cold cream - hardly the idealized, willing victim of Martin’s fantasy. She sees him just before he pounces, hypodermic needle in hand. After injecting her, what ensues is still not Martin’s romantic fantasy, but rather a clumsy, messy struggle, punctuated by profanity and a discordant, jazzy score. Through the images, action and music, Romero telegraphs the collision course on which he’s set fantasy and reality in his film.

Once she’s subdued (but, interestingly and distressingly, still somewhat conscious), Martin quietly rapes the woman before opening her vein with a razor blade and drinking her blood. Her eyes, fluttering, watch the entire thing with a hazy confusion. He kisses her passionately, his bloody face smearing her own. He turns his attention back to the vein and in the next shot, she’s dead. There’s a casual, horrible banality to it. In its opening moments, Martin boldly announces itself as a very different kind of vampire film.

But Martin is less interested in digging into or deconstructing the vampire myth than it is in exploring the stagnant well of religion, and of Catholicism in particular. It stands next to the aforementioned SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER, and to varying degrees films like THE EXORCIST and MEAN STREETS as part of an incidental movement in 70s cinema to question the hoary, empty and sometimes dangerous phenomenon of blind faith.


That loyalty to ritual and tradition is embodied in Tateh Cuda (Lincoln Maazel), Martin’s cousin who meets him at the train station. Dressed immaculately in white and speaking in a thick accent (Greek? Lithuanian? Cuda references “the old country” but is never specific), Cuda presents himself as a “good Catholic” who believes Martin to be his 84 year-old cousin cursed with vampirism, “the family shame.” Cuda escorts Martin to his home in the blighted city of Braddock, a former steel town seemingly sucked dry. Echoing the plague-ridden village of Nosferatu, our titular vampire arrives to find the shadow of death over the entire town and everyone in it. The shops, the streets, the church are all sparsely littered with sleepwalking bodies- truly the living dead. Even the zealot Cuda seems pretty resigned in his initial interactions with Martin. “First I will save your soul. Then I will destroy you. I will show you your room.” Cuda subscribes to a belief system that has preordained our lives from beginning to end, his words seem to be suggest. No sense getting worked up about it.

Again and again, the film ties vampirism to antiquated religion. And much like any other religion, even the believers can’t seem to agree on what exactly it is. Shortly after unpacking, Martin reacts angrily to Cuda’s addressing him as “nosferatu.” Martin chases him through the house, ripping a string of garlic from Cuda’s door. As Cuda retreats to his bedroom, he’s backed into a corner, and as a last resort reaches into a drawer and pulls out...a glow-in-the-dark plastic crucifix. Martin bites into the garlic and presses the cheap cross against his cheek. “You see? It isn’t magic.” Yet a few scenes later Martin tells his cousin he’s 84 years old. So Martin really believes he’s a vampire; he just doesn’t have the same beliefs about vampirism that Cuda does. We learn that like any other religious fanatic, Martin cherry picks his belief system to justify his own actions, but gets upset and emotional when other people’s interpretations intrude on his version.


Cuda puts on a normal face for the outside world, telling his customers that his young cousin (and new employee) is nineteen years old, and dismissing their clucked tongues when they suggest it’s inappropriate that a young man live in the same house as Cuda’s young daughter Christine (Christine Forrest). “My family knows how to behave.” Cuda only lets his crazy side out to a trusted few. Martin shows his true self to even fewer, and it tends to result in their death. So he reaches out to a late night radio call-in show and begins having long phone conversations with the DJ. The calls become a de facto voice over for the film, allowing us to hear Martin’s inner dialogue mixed with a fair amount of mythbusting. Martin’s life as a vampire, he tells the radio audience, involves no coffins, no fear of crosses or sunlight, and he doesn’t turn into a bat.  “Those movies are crazy!” His refutation of vampire lore takes on an odd tone- incredulousness mixed with betrayal. The movies don’t just lie to us about vampires; they lied to him. And the myth Martin is most distressed about is that you can’t make women do what you want in real life.

Martin’s workaround for this inconvenience involves a fair amount of leg work: reconnaissance, staking out a target’s home over a period of days, figuring out how to get inside the home, and waiting for the right moment to strike. Martin patiently waits for one victim’s husband to go away on business, but again messy reality gets in the way of his fantasy: when he flings open the woman’s bedroom door, syringe in hand, the sexually naive Martin is confused by the presence of the woman’s side piece. He improvises masterfully, though, his mind remembering (or fantasizing) a cat and mouse chase from his younger days.

As these brushes with capture - the woman’s home, wandering into a drug deal/police shootout after murdering a wino - fool us into thinking they’re the only real danger posed to Martin, Cuda and his religious fervor take on an air of buffoonery. Martin accompanies his cousin to church and the only thing that threatens to destroy him there is boredom. An attempted exorcism proves to be a rather limp exercise. When Cuda invites a young priest (Romero) over for dinner, the priest has to stifle a giggle when asked about demonic possession. When pressed on the issue, the priest nervously says “I don’t know what to believe about that.” It’s a damning moment in a throwaway line.


Martin’s antagonistic relationship with Cuda comes to be portrayed not so much as an epic battle of good vs evil, but as Martin straight trolling Cuda. He becomes an insolent punk, smirking at Cuda’s convictions and delighting in pissing him off. AfIn one scene Martin menaces Cuda in a mist-shrouded playground, dressed up in a dime-store vampire getup. When Cuda clutches his rosary for protection, Martin cackles at him. “It’s just a costume,” Martin says, spitting out a set of plastic fangs that might have come from the same factory as Cuda’s glow-in-the-dark crucifix. Cuda is reduced to a frightened old man, a misconception which primes us for the film’s bleak finale.

This essay is one of dozens featured in our new
book, "Taste the Blood of Monster Serial."
Martin’s relationship with a lonely housewife (Elyane Nadeau) is his first sexual interaction with a willing participant. Although it’s not exactly an ideal romance - she likes that he seldom speaks, he’s happy she’s not unconscious - it suggests that perhaps Martin can make progress toward a more human, normal life. Martin’s fate does end up intimately tied to this woman’s, but not in a way he (or we) could have seen coming. Martin’s undoing comes from trying to be like everyone else; O. Henry style irony, or maybe Romero is indicting conformity all the way to his last frame.

Is Martin a vampire? People like to say the film doesn’t tell us; Romero likes to say “it doesn’t matter,” but the clues are there and any other answer than the obvious one serves no end other than cheap storytelling gimmickry. Martin is a delusional maniac, from a family of delusional maniacs, and they’re all far too human. The smoking gun that Martin’s “memories” are all in his mind is given right up front: when he busts into that first victim’s cabin, the black-and-white fantasy sequence transports him (and us) not into a distant memory, but into a fantasy of what’s about to happen. It’s just wishful thinking. Martin imagines the woman wants him, just as he imagines he’s an 84 year-old vampire. But as Martin says early on, there is no real magic, ever. It’s just a sickness.

PHIL NOBILE JR is a writer/director of non-fiction television projects, including the feature-length A&E documentary HALLOWEEN: THE INSIDE STORY (2010.) He is a contributing writer for Birth.Movies.Death and its sister print publication.

DARK SHADOWS composer receives lifetime achievement award

Kathryn Leigh Scott, Bob Cobert and David Selby at last night's Saturn Awards. Photo by Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images

DARK SHADOWS composer Bob Cobert was presented the Life Career Award during the 41st Annual Saturn Awards last night in Burbank, California. Cobert worked extensively with producer/director Dan Curtis, providing the music to such films and television series as DRACULA, HOUSE OF DARK SHADOWS, THE WINDS OF WAR, THE NIGHT STALKER, TRILOGY OF TERROR, as well creating game show themes for shows like THE $25,000 PYRAMID and TIC TAC DOUGH.

Receiving the Dan Curtis Legacy Award during last night's event was writer/producer Carlton Cuse who wrote the screenplay for this year's film, SAN ANDREAS. He is the creator and executive producer of THE STRAIN and BATES MOTEL.

The video below includes a short clip of the arrival of Cobert, Scott and Selby at last night's ceremony. (Special thanks to twitter.com/davidselbycom for the video link.)

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

David Selby in INHERIT THE WIND, 1965

Michael Flanagan and David Selby in INHERIT THE WIND, 1965.
In his memoir "My Shadowed Past," David Selby doesn't have much to say about his performance in INHERIT THE WIND. Even as a student he was a busy stage actor, and his role as "Henry Drummond" in 1965 was just one of many that he accumulated before putting his skills to the test as a working professional a few years later.

At the time, INHERIT THE WIND was a mere ten years old: Paul Muni had played Drummond on Broadway a decade earlier, with Spencer Tracy stepping up in 1960 to star in the feature film adaption. In 1965, Selby was a student at Southern Illinois University when the school's drama department added INHERIT THE WIND to their schedule.

The play got a lot of press coverage in the region. Unfortunately, those photos and stories didn't fare well in the digital conversion. That photo at the top is the best of the bunch, and was published in the Aug. 12, 1965. issue of The Southern Illinoisan. I've posted a handful of related photos and newspaper clippings from the production at the CHS Tumblr feed, which you can find HERE.
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