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Monday, December 1, 2014

Monster Kid Movie Memories: The Final Chapter!


I recently discovered CAC was creeping closer and closer to one thousand posts. For this special occasion, the 1,000th post at Cool Ass Cinema is a personal affair, and as long-winded as ever. Instead of a simple list I thought I'd compile a register of the various filmmakers, actors, characters, and genres that stayed with me from childhood through the teenage years, and helped formulate what this site is all about. While compiling this list, it also became increasingly perceptible how some of these memories correlated to certain personality traits or phobias that developed over time. Similar to a few other like-minded articles, I've tried to make this one as varied as possible. Maybe some of you have had identical experiences as well.

THE FORCE WILL BE WITH YOU.... ALWAYS

Not sure how cognizant a two year old can be of things going on around them, but I recall going to the theater with my folks and being blown away by STAR WARS in 1977 like everybody else; well, almost everybody. Just a few fleeting memories is all I have of the experience, but I remember my grandfather not being impressed at all, alleging to have walked out of the theater! Regardless, STAR WARS was EVERYWHERE (and I do mean everywhere). Millions of moviegoers felt the Force flowing through them. I had no idea what the story was about back then; what captured my attention were indelible images of monsters, space ships, and light sabers. And the toys. I remember while amassing a collection of the Keener action figures, I was particularly fond of the monsters in the cantina sequence (and subsequent bounty hunters in EMPIRE). Hammerhead was probably my favorite action figure outside of Darth Vader. What's significant about STAR WARS -- and possibly some of you reading this can relate -- is that it triggered my imagination for so many things; a number of which are found scattered throughout this article. This infatuation with monsters would mutate and grow like a fabulous 50s big bug movie in a very short time frame. Looking back, ironically enough, a lot of critics/writers (like Harlan Ellison) were complaining that STAR WARS had ruined SciFi; and as of this writing, they are still complaining.


LANDS THAT TIME NEVER FORGOT

Fantasy and monsters go great together, and in the late 1970s, having already met my best friends for life in the Godzilla gang, I was introduced to a back-to-back double creature feature of THE LAND THAT TIME FORGOT (1975) and THE PEOPLE THAT TIME FORGOT 1977) on WSET-TV 13's The Late Movie; right after that, it was THE MAN WITHOUT A BODY (1957), which turned out to be a movie without a brain. As for the dinosaur double-header, my parents recorded both films, and I nearly wore out the tape from watching them so much. Interestingly, the print of PEOPLE that channel 13 aired had an extra dialog scene that's not on the DVD. It's my favorite of those films, and over time I came to appreciate Dana Gillespie in ways impossible for a pre-adolescent. Through this stage in my evolution, I garnered an obsession with dinosaurs, and prehistoric life in general. I remember we went to the Natural Science Center for a school field trip once. All I cared about was the dinosaur exhibits. My mom was with me, and she bought me this case of cards that had all sorts of information on dinosaurs in it. 

Additionally, Doug McClure became one of my first big screen heroes. As far as I was concerned, he was unequivocally the king of creature cinema from all the pulpy monster movies he starred in for a healthy stretch of years. The four McClure monster epics (the other two being AT THE EARTH'S CORE and WARLORDS OF ATLANTIS) became instant favorites and were instrumental in my fascination not just with dinosaurs, but with fantasy films in general. It ultimately led to Harryhausen's Sinbad movies -- the first of which was THE GOLDEN VOYAGE OF SINBAD one Saturday afternoon on CBS. The first and third followed not long after.


HORROR IS UNIVERSAL


My first experience with horror films, or at least my first vivid memories of them outside of what I saw on Shock Theater were the classic Universal B/W horror pictures. I liked them all, but the Gill Man was my favorite. I had a Remco Gill Man action figure, and he was frequently in disagreement with the Remco Dracula battling it out on the mini-monster play case -- a travel-along suitcase type thing where you could have your own Universal monster battles. The unusual look of the CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON (1954) set him apart from the likes of other classic monsters like FRANKENSTEIN (1931) and DRACULA (1933). He lived underwater, and as much as I loved the ocean, there was this fear of something underneath I could not see that grew over time. That fear of water surfaced with this movie, and even more so with JAWS (1975); not to mention the first CREATURE has got to hold some sort of record for most shots of a monsters claw reaching out to grab you. Coupled with a fantastic nightmare (after a Shock Theater airing of BLACK SUNDAY!) that had me screaming like a little girl led to a weird attraction to imagery of hands and claws reaching out to grasp unwary victims. If you've been to the CAC FB page, you know this already.

As a kid, my second most popular Uni-monster might be an odd choice. The mummy movies -- not the Karloff original -- but the sequels were among my favorites from a young age. Not sure why, exactly, but possibly the slow, leg-dragging shuffle of Lon Chaney, Jr. in Jack Pierce makeup struck a nerve in me that matched the nerve puncture of Romero's zombies a short time later. Of course, it was all a natural progression that the Universal horrors led to the blood-red color of the Hammer interpretations that supplanted my fascination with monsters and fantasy. 


HAMMER TO FALL


Christopher Lee made me forget all about Bela Lugosi for a number of years. In fact, the onslaught of Hammer movies that played on Channel 48 throughout the 1980s made me forget about Universal horrors full stop. Something in Lee's delivery whether he was speaking lines (the few he was given) or by just standing there made an immense impression on me. I remember my mom buying me this book, Horrors: A History of Horror Movies -- which I still have. There were a good number of Dracula photos from Chris Lee Dracula films I had not seen. I was in awe of these newly discovered vampire films starring Lee, and I nearly wore this thing out perusing the pages over and over again. On another note regarding this volume, there were these big splash pages of a shark coming at you from JAWS (like that poster on the wall of the RV in THE HILLS HAVE EYES [1977]) and millions of worms devouring a victim in SQUIRM (1976). I remember being startled by these "in your face" photos and whenever I'd look through the (overly large) book again, I'd be mindful where these particularly freaky pages were. And now back to Drac.

Later on my dad rented the Thorn EMI VHS of SCARS OF DRACULA (1970) and it was an instantaneous favorite -- totally unlike the safer Lee epics like DRACULA, PRINCE OF DARKNESS (1965) and DRACULA HAS RISEN FROM THE GRAVE (1968). The violence was noticeably increased, and Dracula's fangs weren't the only sharp implements at his disposal. He got to talk A LOT in this one too, and even looked like he was dead with his sickly pallor. Years later my affection for Lee's Dracula series would wane, replaced by Peter Cushing's Frankenstein films -- which also got a lot of airplay on television. In those movies, Frankenstein was more of a monster than his creation, so it took some years for me to appreciate that aspect of them. Affection for director Roy Ward Baker's work only increased with SCARS, having seen another favorite of his on television, LEGEND OF THE 7 GOLDEN VAMPIRES (1974) -- a film that combined my two all-time favorite genres -- horror and kung fu; which brings us to.....


ANOTHER SHAW PRODUCTION


If you lived in the big city, or had a Drive-in in town back in the 70s or early 80s, it's a safe bet you saw a kung fu movie there, or on television at home; and no doubt it was one of the dozens of films produced at the Shaw Brothers Studio. One man is synonymous with Shaw Brothers, and that man is one of the chief proponents of macho movies, the Godfather of Hong Kong Action Cinema, director Chang Cheh. At that age, I had no idea who Chang Cheh was, but I remember hoping to see his name as director in the credits whenever Black Belt Feature (or Martial Arts/Kung Fu Theater) was on. One film of his blew me away to such a degree, that I compared virtually every kung fu movie to it (American or Hong Kong) thereafter; and quite often those others never matched the gruesome grandiosity of this particular martial arts classic. In the early 80s the Black Belt Feature aired Chang Cheh's SUPER NINJAS (1982). Ninja mania in America is documented to have begun with ENTER THE NINJA (1981), and made an even bigger splash with the excellent sequel REVENGE OF THE NINJA (1983); but Chang Cheh's comic book flesh and blood show of martial magnificence was the beginning for me.

One guy in that movie stood out to me, and his name is Lo Mang (or Lo Meng). Maybe it was his chivalrous attitude; or his propensity in later films for being a hot-head; or the fact he often looked very stoic, frequently showing off his physique while unloading a flurry of punches on his enemies before being killed in spectacular fashion. Yes, Lo didn't always make it to the end, but he often stole many of the scenes in the films he starred in alongside the members of the cult kung fu group known as the Five Venoms -- so named for their self-titled movie from 1978. What amazed me about his onscreen persona was that he often fought armed opponents bare-handed; and in SUPER NINJAS, during his first skill showcase, he never even removes his cape; he takes the villains weapon away from him and asks him if he wants it back, or choose another one! To me, Lo exuded a level of badassery heretofore unseen in 1983. I got to meet Lo Mang in 2007 in Philadelphia where he was receiving an award for his work in Hong Kong cinema. The experience took a few weeks to sink in that I had met one of the Five Deadly Venoms -- a guy on the other side of the world whom I never expected to meet in my lifetime. Ever. But as a kid who mostly kept to himself, comic books and cinema superheroes captured my imagination as much as the monsters did.


THE MIGHTY SONS OF HERCULES


Back then it seemed like every kid went through a superhero phase. Some shed that interest with age, and others held onto it into adulthood. During those formative years, imaginary superheroes came in the form of comic books and TV shows like THE AMAZING SPIDERMAN, THE INCREDIBLE HULK, WONDER WOMAN, and those two kitschy CAPTAIN AMERICA movies starring Reb Brown. Around this time, SUPERMAN (1978) was everywhere; and while you could believe a man could fly, on the small screen you could believe a man could rip trees out of the ground, bring massive buildings down with his bare hands, and fight monsters to the death.

Muscled up strongmen like Mark Forest, Dan Vadis and Gordon Scott were performing feats of strength while saving damsels and whole kingdoms in assorted Italian epics retitled and re-packaged as entries in the 'Sons of Hercules' series. The first muscleman actor I ever saw was Mark Forest (New York born Lou Degni); and it was in a double muscle-flexing feature of HERCULES AGAINST THE MONGOLS (1963) and its companion feature, HERCULES AGAINST THE BARBARIANS (1964). I was heavily into Greek mythology growing up so anything in the TV Guide with the word 'Hercules' or 'gladiator' in the title immediately got my attention. The scene in the former when he rips a tree from the ground and swings it like a baseball bat against some Mongolian scum started my interest in these movies. Bizarre amalgamations of styles like HERCULES AGAINST THE MOON MEN (1964) had Alan Steel duking it out with rock monsters and an evil queen; and ten times the grunting and flexing was seen in TRIUMPH OF THE TEN GLADIATORS (1964) on a Saturday afternoon airing on the immortal Channel 48-WGGT TV. Ironically, I ran across Steve Reeves a few years later when HERCULES (1958) was released to VHS and my dad was raving about how it influenced him as a kid to get into weightlifting. Former Tarzan Gordon Scott (see insert) was the most Herculean of them all to me, as well as my favorite of these bodybuilders turned movie stars. The best actor of the bunch, he did some damn dangerous stunts in his films, and had charisma to spare.

Wrestling was massively popular back then, and these mighty grapplers were like superheroes to the kids that looked up to them. There was another genre style where this was taken to a remarkably creative level. This genre commonly mixed horror, SciFi, and spy tropes. That time period around 1985 (what a great year this was!) was when I stumbled across....

GHOULS & GRAPPLERS: SANTO AND THE HORRORS OF MEXICO

In the mid 1980s I encountered a strange new cinematic world (a trend is developing!) that was different from anything my young eyes had seen in my 10-12 years of existence at this point. There was one place you could see this weird and wild world of bewildering imagery that hailed from Mexico. That place was the USA Network; and on the weekends you could see these South of the Border savories on Commander USA's Groovie Movies. The Commander's headquarters was in the basement of a shopping mall. There this "soaring superhero -- Legion of Decency, retired" aired a variety of movies and genres. It was there that my lasting affection for Mexico's brand of horror, and their marriage of mat men and monsters nurtured itself for several years. The two that immediately hooked me on both genres was CURSE OF THE DOLL PEOPLE (1961), and SAMSON VS. THE VAMPIRE WOMEN (1962). The titles alone had me intrigued. The latter title wasn't one of the countless Sword and Sandal pictures from Italy, but one of the countless Masked Wrestler movies from Mexico. Samson was the more digestible moniker given to famous Mexican wrestler, El Santo by K.Gordon Murray for American viewers. I had no idea who Santo was, and only two of his films were regularly shown on TV, but they were unlike anything I'd ever seen before. And we're back to superheroes again. Having grown up with wrestling on television and attending matches at the Greensboro Coliseum, this sort of genre tag team of wrestling and horror was a main event not to be missed to this monster kid.

What drew me to the non-wrestling Mexican horror films was the atmosphere, the Gothic ambiance akin to the Universal horrors of old, and the creativity used to enhance existing mythologies while espousing on their own. How can you not be stunned in disbelief while witnessing a warlock with an inflatable head sucking the brains out of his victims with an elongated tongue? Or shudder at vampires rising from their coffins AFTER being staked through the heart? Or feel your jaw drop at the sight of a giant bat-bunny rabbit creature? Or marveling at a vampire engaging in a sword duel? Or shocked by a wrestler transforming into a werewolf during a wrestling match? So Commander USA, if by chance you are reading this, I salute you for introducing me to this fantastic genre style; and as the Commander would say before exiting his secret base(ment), "keep your nose in the wind, and your tail to yourself!"


GEORGE ROMERO AND ZOMBIES EATING PEOPLE



I experienced the DAWN before the NIGHT, and both films left differing impressions on me. For the former, it was the amazing gory scenes. My mom was overly protective as to what I could see, but since I would end up seeing them anyways, she reluctantly loosened the leash so to speak. As a young horror fan having only heard or read about NOTLD, I was obsessed with Romero's long awaited color sequel; so it was a no-brainer I'd want to see the film that got the gut-chomping ball rolling in zombie cinema. NIGHT did something DAWN never really did. It scared the hell out of me. DAWN had some undeniably unnerving moments, but Romero's 1968 B/W spooker got under my skin in an entirely different fashion. Even that first VHS tape cover gave me the creeps (see above). There was something in the way the zombies moved. Their mannerisms. The music. The photography. That sense of isolation. That sense that you're cut off from the world. The visuals in NIGHT made me feel like something might be hiding in the closet.  NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD felt real; and it's a film I revisit often.

I felt a similar sense of dread a year or so later upon seeing Lucio Fulci's ZOMBIE (1979) for the first time. There was a major difference between Romero's ghouls and Fulci's outside of their divergent narratives. Often riddled with maggots, the Italian variants looked like they had risen from the hell spoken of by Ken Foree in his famous DAWN OF THE DEAD speech. The sight of these moldy corpses shifting sluggishly through a fog of swirling dirt from an ominously howling wind is an image you don't soon forget. There were so many mesmerizing images in this film that branded my young brain. Seeing both this and NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET (1984) the same night, it was Fulci's flesh-hungry voodoo shamblers that gave me bad dreams as opposed to Craven's charred, crispy killer Freddy Krueger. From here, I began a fascination with exploitation and the absolute most gruesome films imaginable -- many of which came from Italy.

UMBERTO LENZI AND ALL THE FINE YOUNG CANNIBALS

Contrary to popular opinion, Umberto Lenzi is an exceptional filmmaker. Some of his output might be schlocky, but the man has a uniquely raw, brutal style all his own that sets him apart from his colleagues. I remember catching BATTLE OF THE COMMANDOS (1969) on TBS one Saturday evening. I said to myself, "This looks like an Umberto Lenzi movie"; and sure enough, it was. The same thing happened when I saw IRON MASTER for the first time on channel 48. My first exposure to Lenzi came in 1985 (a banner year!) with the rental of MAKE THEM DIE SLOWLY (1981). The trouble I got into for renting this (my grandfather used to take me to The Video Station, which was the best damn video store in NC) has been stated elsewhere, but this was yet another mind-altering filmic experience for me. There had been movies that had cannibals in them (20,000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA [1954]), but nothing as explicit as what is seen in Lenzi's notorious jungle slaughter-fest. There had been earlier examples of the form (Lenzi helmed the first such instance of graphic viscera gnoshing), but this particular movie had the distinction at the time of being the most accessible of Italy's brand of celluloid cannibal cuisine. I remember feeling like I had watched a family member die during the death of the Coati; it being slowly strangled to death by the anaconda as the camera lingers on it cutting back to reactionary shots of the cast that look like they've been shot on a sound stage after the fact. Up to this point in my life, no other movie had made me feel this way. For whatever reason, curiosity got the best of me, and I had to see more Italian cannibal movies, the bastard child of Italy's own Mondo Movies. It's a difficult film to watch, but undeniably a benchmark in the cinema of endurance tests. It was also a popular rental about town (I know I spread the word quite a bit) and a VHS tape I eventually came to own. It remains the single most talked about movie when the career of Umberto Lenzi comes up.


EVERYTHING ELSE AND A BAG OF CHIPS

Other genres like European westerns, crime films, and blaxploitation I came to appreciate later on. For the most part, it was a strict diet of Horror, SciFi-Fantasy, and Kung Fu. If a movie didn't have blood and guts, monsters from outer space, or gory kung fu battles, I couldn't be less interested. As I got older, this changed, and continues to do so. Below is a random list of movies and personalities other than those mentioned above that were either influential on me in some way, scared me senseless, or turned me on to all new cinematic pleasures.

BLOOD OF DRACULA'S CASTLE: An awful movie. Its inclusion here is only because I saw it on Shock Theater in the late 70s, and for a few decades, could not place what it was. Possibly some of you have had the same sort of experience in trying to recall some movie from years earlier with little to go on. All I could remember was this woman captured in a graveyard, chained up and fed slop by a deformed man, or creature. Nobody seemed to know this Al Adamson flick and after searching and inquiring for over 30 years, I began to think I had imagined it all. Four years ago my girlfriend at the time had bought me Mill Creeks Gorehouse Greats Collection. I never got around to opening it till two years later and decided to give this Al Adamson movie a spin. An immediate sense of deja vu hit me. A three decade search for a crappy movie had finally come to an end!

GALAXY OF TERROR: One of the best movies of Roger Corman's New World Pictures era and my first recollection of splattery gore effects before Herschell Gordon Lewis and Umberto Lenzi rotted my brain. Sometime in '82, me and my father were at his brothers house. We were all set to watch HUMANOIDS FROM THE DEEP (1981), and to our dismay, my uncle discovered the film had been erased. It was just 90 minutes of snow across the screen. This led to an argument between my uncle and his wife for her meddling with his tapes. Finally admitting she'd erased it intentionally, we all sat down and watched GALAXY OF TERROR instead. This later led to an argument between my mom and dad after her sister informed her what I was watching! ALIEN (1979) was great and all, but it didn't have Erin Moran's entire body turned into tomato soup; or Taffee O'Connell violated by a giant maggot; or futuristic ninjas with laser guns. Like a lot of kids in the 80s, we loved our monsters, but when gore became more explicit, the two together was like a cheeseburger and fries -- you can't have one without the other. Speaking of burgers, the time I watched this again I remember scarfing down the contents of a Happy Meal during one of the gruesome scenes; like I was daring myself not to toss my lunch. From that point onward, I was a video store Columbus on a crusade to discover the most grotesque movies imaginable.

GERMAN ROBLES: The first actor to ever bear his vampire fangs on the big screen quickly became a personality whose movies I could just as easily sink my teeth into. Not only did he carve a diverse lord of the undead in two Count Lavud movies (a year before Chris Lee did it), but Robles played a bloodsucker in the Nostradamus lineage with a quartet of serial style vampire spookers, the first of which was THE CURSE OF NOSTRADAMUS (1960). He bore that pale complexion in at least seven pictures, and even played a Van Helsing style character in VAMPIRES OF COYOACAN (1974). Again, that love of Uni-horror and Christopher Lee gave birth to an appreciation for an actor who took the familiar role into some uniquely diverse directions.

ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST: The first movie I ever saw where you could turn the volume off and still know what was going on. A visual feast, it's the film that was instrumental in me truly looking into westerns outside of ZORRO'S BLACK WHIP and THE LONE RANGER; and the horror oriented sort of BILLY THE KID VS. DRACULA and JESSE JAMES MEETS FRANKENSTEIN'S DAUGHTER that I grew up with. Oddly enough, what drew me to the film was the superb Ennio Morricone score -- it had been judiciously appropriated for the fantastically gaudy, Taiwanese trash-fest kung foolery of COUNTRY OF BEAUTIES (1981). I saw it in the mid-80s on USA's all-night variety program, NIGHT FLIGHT. Upon hearing it, I was instantly reminded of Morricone's score for ORCA (1977), another film favorite.

Director Ken Weiderhorn directs the Nazi zombies from their watery graves in SHOCK WAVES
SHOCK WAVES: My first instance of a movie giving me the willies. There's three things here that did it -- the goosebump inducing music; the fear of what's underwater; and the unnerving shots of the zombies silently watching, standing motionless. HALLOWEEN had the same effect a few years later with its music and stationary slasher shenanigans. It took a few times before I could watch SHOCK WAVES without my face being covered. A Shock Theater favorite!


SID HAIG: The moment I realized the greatness that is the incredible Sid Haig came upon that viewing of GALAXY OF TERROR mentioned above. With a rabid liking for martial arts, I firmly believed that Sid Haig was a ninja. Other than a laser gun, his preferred weapon were these crystal ninja stars. This was confirmed in his only line of dialog, "I live... and I die... by the crystals!" It was a while before I ever saw Sid in a movie again, but he was my favorite character in this movie, and upon seeing many of his other, and quite varied roles, it was like discovering movies all over again.

SONNY CHIBA: The first few times I ever saw Chiba I had no clue to his icon status as the undisputed purveyor of body and limb modifications. He demonstrated this skill in such bone-snapping classics as THE STREET FIGHTER, THE EXECUTIONER, and THE KILLING MACHINE. I saw him for the first time on television in SHOGUN'S NINJA and NINJA WARS; and again in one of the biggest surprises of my childhood in the Japanese STAR WARS clone, MESSAGE FROM SPACE (1978). I saw him once more in the late 80s upon renting LEGEND OF THE EIGHT SAMURAI (1983). After that, it was the three tape set of the STREET FIGHTER films from New Line Home Video. Different from the Hong Kong style of choreo, Chiba's brutal Karate films were a welcome alternative. This then would lead to me finally giving samurai movies other than SHOGUN ASSASSIN a chance. 

ULTRAMAN: I can't imagine any kid growing up in the 70s and 80s in America not liking ULTRAMAN. If you liked monsters, how could you not get excited over a weekly series where an alien, co-existing with a human host, grows to giant size to battle monsters and alien threats from beyond. If you liked comic books; if you liked playing cowboys and Indians; if you daydreamed like Ichiro in GODZILLA'S REVENGE (1970), than ULTRAMAN likely saved your day on a weekly basis growing up. One particularly funny story (it wasn't at all funny at the time) involved the aftermath of an ULTRAMAN episode airing. I was at the babysitters, and me and one of her sons were playing Ultraman on the bed; jumping around pretending to be the battling giants we'd just seen. Anyway, my friend drop-kicked me and I went flying off the bed and my face slid down the front of the dresser, grating against all the iron handles and lovely architectural design of the drawers. I was bleeding all over the place. As I laid there thinking that playing Ultraman on the bed wasn't such a good idea after all, my buddy's dad was wearing him out with a belt. That was the first and last time we ever played Ultraman -- on the bed, that is.

WILLIAM MARSHALL: It was in second or third grade that I stumbled upon the Crestwood House Monster Series books. I probably checked them all out more than a few times each. There was something in the Dracula book that caught my attention -- it was a photo of William Marshall from BLACULA (1972). It was the first I'd heard of the film, and the sight of Marshall bearing fangs with those tufts of hair around his cheeks was a strikingly feral look for a vampire that I had never seen before. I simply had to see this movie. It was occasionally on TV, but it was always on channels we didn't have. My only experience with William Marshall up to that time was as Dr. Daystrom on an episode of STAR TREK. What a deep, commanding voice this man had. He could talk about anything and his presence would have you riveted. A fantastic singer, too. When I finally saw BLACULA it was a superb addition to vampire cinema, right along with its equally entertaining sequel. Unfortunately, William Marshall did very few movie roles, but did do lots of theater and was an acting instructor.

WILLIAM SMITH: When William Smith was born, they broke the Tough Guy mold. If there was an association between action movie actors and comic book characters, John Wayne is Superman to Smith's Batman. The ultimate representation of rugged machismo both on and off the screen, Smith could play the hero or villain with the greatest of ease. First time I ever saw him was as Neil Agar on a Shock Theater showing of INVASION OF THE BEE GIRLS (1973). I didn't really identify with him then, but did take notice of Smith as Jack Wilson in ANY WHICH WAY YOU CAN (1980). After that property demolishing brawl, I needed to see more of Smith talking tough and tearing things up. Around the same time, Smith began popping up everywhere; I'd see him on an episode of the PLANET OF THE APES series; then as Conan's dad in CONAN THE BARBARIAN (when I was allowed to watch it!); a bad guy on BUCK ROGERS IN THE 25TH CENTURY; and on a Channel 48 airing of PIRANHA, PIRANHA (1972) to name a few. One of my heroes, and the first bad guy I could root for.

Well that wraps up CAC's 1,000th post. If you made it this far, and you want to share your own memories, please do so in the comments below, or on the CAC FB page for this link. Keep those good times alive.



6 comments:

Tommy Ross said...

Congrats on your milestone, great blog! keep up the cool work, t.

ROCKER4EVER said...

yea,congrats.Like you I grew up in a movie theater,my mom was an usher/candy counter girl in her younger days,so that prolly has sumthin to do with it (there is an old photo of her at the counter,I will find it SOMEDAY)We went every Saturday,growing up on the likes of Vincent Price,the AIP Beach films,Elvis,the biker films,and the sword and sandal era as well.Now as a very young lad the movie theater owner let us in to see flicks such as The Wild Angels and The Conquerer Worm,I mean we were like 10 or so,try doing that today!We moved to another town a few miles away,luckily this town also had a theater and me and my cousin would go every Friday night,no matter what was playing,sometimes we would stay and watch the 9 o clock show too.Now in my 50s,I still buy dvd's and have a decent collection of genre related flicks,mostly the ones I grew up on.Oh,how I miss those long gone theaters.

Jeremy Hawkins said...

solid posts as always, you are one of the best... enjoy the 1000 post.

Pierre Racine said...

Thanks infinetely for your great works!But you should put a warning that your site may cause severe and uncurable addiction...

venoms5 said...

@ Tommy: Thanks, Tommy. It's much appreciated, sir! I am surprised there's been this many.

@ ROCKER: Ah, I bet you had a fantastic childhood! Good stories. Share more if you wish, ROCKER.

@ Jeremy: Thank you very much for the compliment, Jeremy!

@ Pierre: Lol. Thank YOU for your great words, Pierre! Not sure if I can guarantee a 2,000th post, though. :p

Matt Voges said...

Inflatable bounce houses, moonwalks, bouncy castle, water slides rentals are absolutely ideal for a summer-themed birthday party. Those inflatables are able to give you more excitement and joy than others.

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