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Mondo Cult Online Proudly Presents

A Short Story

Now, we all know Mondo Cult isn't where you go for short stories. But once in a great while, something falls into our collective lap and we can't help but share. So, draw the drapes, mull the wine and settle back for a short while and enter Dopp's world. You'll thank us.

Good Dog

by L. J. Dopp

The Dark Holiday was taking far too much time to arrive in the fall of 1966. School had started in September and we’d gotten through that month all right; but, once October began the question of what we were going to be for Halloween, and organizing a costume to fill the bill, only heightened the suspense. It was the time of autumn leaves, pumpkins, and witches on broomsticks. And, according to the local scuttlebutt, I had a witch living on my street.

I’d pass her house every day on my paper route – the old woman who lived alone with her dog. Some of the children in Duncan, Iowa, called her a witch, partly because she wore dark colors and lived in that house. But late at night, odd sounds and weird lights emanated from the round window on the second floor – especially on Saturdays.

It had been called the “Witch House” long before Ms. Armistead had moved in the previous June: so-designated by its gingerbread-style architecture, sloping shingled roof, and rosette window. That round, central window was leaded and composed of irregular shapes of glass in the Art Nouveau style, popular at the time of the building’s construction. A single turret rose on one end of the roofline; and on the other, the brick smokestack of a large fireplace towered, which – now that the house was inhabited again – frequently sent dark clouds skyward.

Read The Full Story by L.J. Dopp...

Check Back Often for a New Column

December 2021

The Bizarro World

by Richard J. Schellbach

It seems like every TV season there’s that one series that I’ve dubbed, in my head, as The Series I’m Watching So Others Don’t Have To! (Imagine a God-like voice accompanied by a proper echo.) Back in 2014, it was SYFY’s “Z Nation”. I had seen footage and heard from a few inside people, who I was in touch with, that this show was going to be filled to the brim with characters who were cartoonish, over-the-top dialogue and was, in general, going to look low rent. But mostly, I decided to watch it because I was sick and fucking tired of all the crybabies bitching and moaning that “The Walking Dead” was too talky. You know, the ones who completely miss the point that if there’s no talking, there’s no character development. And if there’s no character development, there’s nothing to care about and then you don’t care if a character is alive, dead… or undead.

Read The Full Article by Richard J. Schellbach...

Hotel Sinister

A Jack Shandler Novel

by L.J. Dopp

reviewed by

Jessie Lilley

Cover Art by L.J. Dopp

This isn’t the first time I’ve discussed Dopp’s delightful character Jack Shandler. It probably won’t be the last, either. For now, permit me to remind you of – or point you for the first time to – Brad Linaweaver’s comments on this series, as well as my own review within these pages of Babylon Moon. Just click on the red ink in the previous sentences and off you’ll go to learn more about our Jack.

But to the point, Shandler’s latest foray into the occult takes place at a haunted resort in the mountains above Cedar City, UT. It’s got lots of ghosts. These ghosts are, one may think, on vacation from a long-closed amusement park in that bastion of vacation-dom, Asbury Park, NJ. (I guess going down the Shore wasn’t good enough for these ghosts.) But one would be incorrect. In fact, many of them were imported. It all makes perfect sense I assure you, but if you are going to get the details, you have to read the book.

Read The Full Article ...

Brad Linaweaver

A Celebration of Life

by his Friends and Colleagues

PHOTO: Brad Linaweaver and Jessie Lilley at Forry Ackerman's Birthday celebration, December 8, 2005. Los Angeles, CA.

I open this with a quote from Ron Garmon, to wit: "This has been a year of dreadful loss..." Ron was speaking of his own losses, of course, but it seems to me that it's an appropriate comment on 2019 in general.

I don't plan to list them all here. Between the cats and the scorched acres in California and loss of decorum on Capital Hill and the hurricanes, and the tornados and, and, and.... you get the idea.

When someone dies, whomever they are, they leave a hole. It's difficult to fathom the size of that hole. People who never heard of the person are affected by that passing. The first domino goes and until the last one falls, all kinds of things, small and large, happen along the way. And I notice, it's the little things that cause the most devastating moments in everyday life.

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Halloween Feature


It's the Season of the Witch. A fine time to begin our tribute to Brad -- although I find it very difficult, especially with the holidays coming. We all miss him terribly, and several friends and colleagues have sent their thoughts to share with you. So, to begin this celebration of Brad's life, I have put something very special and seasonal together with the assistance of artist L.J. Dopp.

Brad's art collection is legendary. There's no way to show you the whole thing, but L.J. has chosen some of his horror-themed paintings from it, and we've come up with a gallery of work that will give you a peek into the mind and soul of Brad Linaweaver. L.J. will explain in his own words.

And so, I bid you, follow this LINK and join us in beginning to remember.

— Jessie Lilley
Santa Cruz, CA

Bradford Swain Linaweaver

September 1, 1952 - August 29, 2019

Our publisher Brad lost his battle with cancer yesterday. I will write more about my friend, when I can find the words. For now, fair winds my dear old friend. I will never stop missing you.

J. Neil Schulman

Mondo Cult contributor and friend J. Neil Schulman, passed away on August 10, 2019. Neil will be remembered for his writings, which include (among several other things) his episode for the 1980s reboot of TWILIGHT ZONE, "Profile in Silver".

A long-time friend of Mondo's publisher Brad Linaweaver and our own Doc Technical - J. Kent Hastings, Schulman succumbed to a pulmonary embolism while in Colorado Springs. His sister Marggy says of her brother, "Each day we spent together was precious (even when we disagreed). I feel privileged and blessed to have had a chance to be with him to have his insights and love."

Our little world has lost a good friend with Neil's passing. The world at large has lost an insightful, inspired and oft-times misunderstood writer. His friend John DeChancies notes, "He was a spiritual man, and believed wholeheartedly in God and the afterlife." We sincerely hope Neil was correct and is now in a place of peace and plenty.

J. Neil Schulman

April 16, 1953 – August 10, 2019


As Discussed by

Jerry Jewett

Manga* is as unknown to this refugee from Ioway as sushi is scarce in Hanlontown, but James Cameron serves as a kind of beacon. In a preview shown at an airing of Cold Pursuit, I learned that Cameron, Robert Rodriguez, Laeta Kalogridis, and John Landau had taken a venerable manga product from Yukito Kashiro and transformed it into movie. Cameron has many credits but Avatar is the item that hooked my attention. Rodriguez’ Sin City likewise impressed me, so I thought any collaboration by them could be pretty good. After soaking up Avatar and Sin City when they came out, I was ready for something else of the visionary/fantasy line from Cameron and Rodriguez. Alita looked like it.

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Bela Lugosi and the Monogram Nine

Gary D. Rhodes and Robert Guffey—BearManor Media

Foreword by Larry Blamire

reviewed by Michael Copner

It would require and enthusiastic writing team such as Gary Rhodes and Robert Guffey to bring respect and probing inquiry to these Lugosi films from Monogram Studios. Are the films minor miracles or minor masterpieces? This book is food for thought in that area. For too long, “the nine” was considered throw-away entertainment. Watch it once, then forget it. The authors of this book demur.

Critics throw rotten eggs at a triumph such as Black Dragons merely because the story lacks continuity—or some absurd excuse. Film commentators like Rhodes and Guffey explain why this very lack makes the Lugosi/Monograms among the most challenging epics of surrealistic cinema in the 20th Century.

Ray Bradbury wrote “Mars is Heaven.” I wonder if Monogram was film heaven. Or film Hell? When, in those last two, they had teamed Lugosi and Carradine—and at least one with Zucco! There are the two most dramatic un-dead on silver (bullet) screen in a dime-store spookhouse. Zowie!

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Babylon Moon

A Jack Shandler Novel

by L.J. Dopp

reviewed by

Jessie Lilley

Cover Art by L.J. Dopp

I love to read. One meets new people, can visit old friends and go places that you’ve never been. In some cases, these places don’t even exist except in the mind of the writer.

I’d like to say I “stumbled” across L.J. Dopp’s Babylon Moon, but I’d be lying. I first encountered his shady private eye Jack Shandler in the pages of The Wakefield Horror (2018) when L.J. told me he’d published the short story collection (and the novella, the title of which is shared with the book itself) and I – being a pal o’ his – immediately purchased a copy. What a wonderful ride! I ranted and raved about the book to friends far and wide. I’d had such a terrific time following Shandler from downtown LA to the enigmatic small towns of New England, that I wanted everyone I knew to enjoy it with me. But I digress. You can learn more about it on this site, by reading Brad Linaweaver’s Afterword.

Read The Full Article ...

Johnny Yuma Was a Rebel

or How I Know

Nick Adams is Cooler

Than James Dean…

by Ron Garmon

I think it was about the time of the second Psychotronic Encyclopedia of Film that my own End of the Line came into view.

In fevered course of tracking down and viewing just about every film in the original 1983 reference guide, I happened to see about 70% of the titles in the 1996 sequel plus a similar percentage of those in Creature Features Movie Guide and had gone far into the unlisted badlands beyond. Thirties and forties classic Hollywood horror, Fifties giant bug movies, slashers, arthouse, grindhouse, I’d run through very nearly the whole mad lot, what with L.A.’s still-peerless repertory film community plugging any remaining gaps. Radio was filling with yammerheads, I’d given up on most non-news television programming about the time The A-Team got canceled, and quit following TV news when I quit drinking alcohol. These last two developments were interrelated and (it turns out) mutually reinforcing.

What I needed was a new obsession. What I did was return to an old one.

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Robert A. Heinlein’s

The Puppet Masters

Kino Lorber's 2018 Blu-Ray Release

Producer | Heather Buckley

reviewed by J. Neil Schulman

Brad Linaweaver and I have in common, knowledge--both deep and wide--regarding the Dean of Science Fiction, Nebula Grandmaster Robert A. Heinlein. It’s no surprise therefore, that Brad was a commentator on the documentary extra feature, “Robert A. Heinlein: The Puppet Grand Master,” accompanying the new Kino Lorber release of Robert A. Heinlein’s The Puppet Masters (Hollywood Pictures, 1994); nor that Brad asked me to comment on the new release.

I started reading Heinlein’s young adult novels early–-around ten years old. I quickly became a fan and proceeded to his novels marketed to adults. So when in 1973 the Sunday editor of the New York Daily News assigned me to interview Heinlein, it was the author’s interview I’d been preparing for just about my entire life-–and it changed my life. My interview is available in the book The Robert Heinlein Interview and Other Heinleiniana, about which Virginia Heinlein wrote, "I've been encouraging Neil for years to bring out his interview with Robert as a book. To my knowledge, this is the longest interview Robert ever gave. Here is a book that should be on the shelves of everyone interested in science fiction. Libertarians will be using it as a source for years to come."

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Prospero’s Spell

A Trilogy from Corman

and a

Bird-walk to Shakespeare

by Lucas Paris

Roger William Corman, simply put, is a prolific and influential figure in cinema. With 415 producer credits (presently), 56 director credits, 38 acting credits, and nine writing credits, to call him an auteur would be an understatement, to describe him as a film industry unto himself would be more accurate. A mere glance at his entry on IMDB is bewildering if not overwhelming. The monikers of “The Pope of Pop Cinema” and “King of The Bs” are not exaggerations; Roger Corman’s career spans approximately six and a half decades if one counts his first script sold in 1953 (The House In The Sea) which became 1954’s Highway Dragnet, directed by Nathan Juran (The 7th Voyage of Sinbad, 1958) with screenwriters Herb Meadow (The Lone Ranger, 1956) and Jerome Odlum (The Fast And The Furious, 1954, original script also by Corman) adapting the screenplay.

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Kino Lorber Brings Back

Heinlein’s The Puppet Masters


take off your clothes!”

by Brad Linaweaver

When is a press release not a press release? The answer is when writing in the first person is the best way to express gratitude. This is an announcement with bells and whistles, right in time for Christmas.

For me, it usually begins with Jessie Lilley. Long before we worked on media and pop culture publications, we never forgot our childhood lessons from Ray Bradbury and Forry Ackerman. The passport to many worlds of science fiction, fantasy and horror requires literacy and cine-literacy.

We don’t want book people with a polite disdain for movies. We don’t want film people who only buy media magazines for the pictures. Robert A. Heinlein said specialization is for insects. The human race should never stop learning. If one day we run across the bugs of Starship Troopers or the slugs from The Puppet Masters, we better be prepared for anything.

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James Warren Live!

Reprinted with Permission

From Cult Movies #40

interviewed by Michael Copner

On November 22, 2003, Verne Langdon provided the most surprising birthday surprise anyone could have given to Forrest J Ackerman on the occasion of FJA's 87th birthday, by producing none other than James Warren, the originator and 1958-1984 publisher of Famous Monsters of Filmland magazine.

In addition to FM,the team of Warren & Ackerman created many other magazines which inspired the phenomenal American monster craze of our young generation, including Vampirella and Monster World.

James Warren and Forry Ackerman had not seen each other in several decades, and the birthday time reunion was an emotion filled event, a historical moment which still reverberates with potential. During his extended stay in Southern California, Mr. Warren was involved in numerous ongoing monster-related business meetings.

After Forry's birthday party, Mr. Warren granted us an exclusive interview regarding the birth of Famous Monsters, how the Warren publishing empire helped shape our American popular culture, and a look to the future.

Read The Full Article ...

Dan Roebuck (right) and Brad Linaweaver (left) in a publicity still for


Ray Harryhausen

A Fan’s Remembrance

by L.J. Dopp

* * *


Saturday afternoon, January 3rd, 1959, I accompany my friend from up the block and his father to the Los Feliz Theater in Hollywood, California, about a mile from the hospital where I was born. After the cartoon and trailers, writing on the screen announces the main feature is beginning. Suddenly, wonderfully exuberant, Arabian-themed music (by Bernard Herrmann) blares over the Columbia logo and titles, which declare the movie is “Filmed in Dynamation, the New Miracle of the Screen.” During the title sequence the camera pans over a colorful, illustrated map, featuring characters from the film drawn in the ancient Persian style. “Is the whole movie a cartoon?” I ask my friend’s dad, and he says, “No! Shhh!” These are the last words any of us speak until the movie’s end – no popcorn or bathroom trips required during The 7th Voyage of Sinbad.

When the Cyclops came running out of that cave chasing the magician, Sokurah (Torin Thatcher), at the beginning of the movie, my life was changed forever. I‘d seen Jules Verne’s 20,000 Leagues under the Sea (1954), The Ten Commandments (1956), and other Disney features in theaters, but we had a black-and-white TV, and I had never seen anything like this Cyclops.

Read The Full Article ... © 2018 by L.J. Dopp

Brad Linaweaver says goodbye to Harlan Ellison:
“In a world of conformity pretending to be otherwise, Harlan was a true original.”

A Man for All Reasons

A Personal Tribute to

Richard Hatch

by Brad Linaweaver

“I’m not a human being but an artificial cyber-morph. My companions and I were created to defend America from dictatorship. It took time. I dreamed the meaning of America. It is a state of mind. I’d like to know what it feels like to bleed.”

— Richard Hatch as the Silicon Assassin in the series episode “Window of Opportunity”

Reason 1: The Friendship

Remember the always unsolicited advice never to discuss politics or religion with friends? The timid suggestion is twin to another cliché: Never do business with friends. The downside is painfully obvious. Your only option is to discuss interesting topics with enemies, or possibly unsympathetic strangers.

I’ve spent my life ignoring good advice. Not all clichés are bad, however. Life is too short. Not bad. A science fiction writer might add that life is too long to heed the voices of strategic cowardice.

Every true friendship of my sixty-five years on this planet has been built on the open exchange of ideas. If there is such a thing as destiny (the title of a Battlestar Galactica novel) it was inevitable that Richard Hatch and I would meet. We started off from such different places but ended up on the same published page.

Read The Full Article ... © 2018 by Brad Linaweaver

A Sad Double Feature for May 2018

Mondo Cults bids farewell to two of our favorite people.

RIP Conrad Brooks and Art Bell

To Conrad Brooks, With Love

by Michael Copner

Here are some memories I cherish, about screen actor Conrad Brooks, and the impact he lavished on the early issues of Cult Movies magazine. Our little publication would never have taken the directions is did, unless we’d met Conrad.

Other towering and talented persons made contributions which have never been disclosed—but their paths all crossed in our pages. Synchronicities do occur, perhaps more in film than Freud and Jung could imagine, because Hollywood is such a tightly knit community, all working within a few square miles.

Lisa Mitchell was my neighbor in the Hollywood Hills from 1986 to 2001. As a little girl of 5, she’d seen Bela Lugosi often in his final years. She was fascinated and later befriended his son Bela, Jr. Lisa and I shared stories and favorite scenes from some of Lugosi’s films.

Read The Full Article ...

For Whom The Bell Told

by J. Kent Hastings

Art Bell died on April 13, 2018 at the age of 72. Art was most famous as the talk show host of Coast to Coast AM, with the largest live nighttime audience in the world. He produced the show from his home studio in “the Kingdom of Nye” (Nye County, Nevada).

Coast to Coast AM covered many topics--mostly UFOs, ghosts, and the paranormal, as well as doomsday, economic collapse, cutting-edge or fringe science subjects, and often pop culture. Hopefully I’ll be forgiven for thinking that Art’s departure from this world on Friday the 13th seems appropriate.

I occasionally called the show on the “west of the Rockies” line starting in 1995, although I never met Art Bell in person. But I do credit him with getting me a job when I lived near him later in the small town of Pahrump, Nevada.

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The Vampire Hunters Club

reviewed by J. Neil Schulman

PRESENTED BY: Irena Belle Films and Doodle Barnett Productions | 2001

STARRING: Everybody Who Was in Town at the Time

You ever read fan fiction or see a fan film?

For decades Star Trek fans wrote their own stories about Star Trek characters, then built basement sets of the Enterprise bridge and used newly available visual effects software to make their own Star Trek fan movies. They’d show them at science-fiction and other multimedia conventions. One of the most clever, the feature-length Star Trek: Of Gods and Men using many of the various TV series’ actors, got around the barrier of Paramount’s copyrights and trademarks by giving away free DVDs bundled with another indie film, InAlienable, starring Richard Hatch, Walter Koenig, Alan Ruck, and many other well-known actors.

Read The Full Article ...

Cthulhu Noir: The Naming of Names

An Afterword by Brad Linaweaver


The Wakefield Horror

by L. J. Dopp

Neon Pulpworks 2018
$19.95, ISBN 978-1-387-60714-3

Cover Art and All
Illustrations © L.J. Dopp 2018

A new book by L.J. Dopp is cause for celebration. That doesn’t mean we should light the candles for a Black Mass. Nothing that traditional would be appropriate. This is a friendly celebration, even though elder gods and monsters are on the guest list.

The author of last year's The Brain That Couldn't Think is a writer, illustrator, and musician who always thinks. He is a permanent resident of what Forry Ackerman referred to as Hollyweird, Karloffornia. From that vantage point (perhaps at Griffith Observatory?) he explores all of space and time—but is just as likely to find a mystic rune reflected in a puddle of dirty water, next to a window display of arcane texts in a dilapidated bookstore.

A black cat can look at a king. A nickel-and-dime private eye can look into glowing yellow eyes with double pupils and swirling irises, meet stare for stare, and not go blind. Heroes are too pissed off to care about something as unimportant as their own sanity.

The Wakefield Horror is the new collection of six short stories and the title novella, detailing the adventures of Jack Shandler. Although content with solving routine crimes on the earthly plane in the stories (often involving "the arcane and the occult"), he finds himself in the universe of The Cthulhu Mythos in the novella. Perhaps it is more accurate to say the tip of H. P. Lovecraft’s arctic imagination intrudes into Shandler’s world of cops and criminals, making skid row look like an ideal vacation spot by comparison.

Read The Full Article ...


Mondo Cult TV

Today is the launch of Mondo Cult TV, with a special little film from the dawn of the century, The Vampire Hunters Club. Written up in Cult Movies and Scary Monsters, featuring a cult cast and a witty script, this legendary film is offered for free, thanks to the producers. It’s part of history now.

Click here and visit Mondo Cult TV!
Poster by Gahan Wilson (c) 2001
Edward L. Plumb
J. Kent Hastings and Bill Ritch provided invaluable technical assistance in the film transfer.

A Werewolf Remembers

The Testament of Lawrence Stewart Talbot

by Frank Dello Stritto
Cult Movies Press 2017

reviewed by Michael Copner

Anyone reading the Mondo Cult Online site is likely to be a member of the Monster Boom generation—and they know it. Furthermore, these film elite will be aware that Frank Dello Stritto is among the greatest Monster Boomers, and it is Frank who coined he term, recognizing the concept.

A few of us were introduced to Frank by way of his early essay in a 1970s vampire themed issue of Mark Frank’s film fanzine Photon. In more recent times, he’s been an important contributor to Cult Movies and Monster Bash magazines.

As a spin-off of Frank’s insightful writing ventures, he founded Cult Movies Press, a publishing house devoted to books of horror film history, all highly acclaimed by fans of the genre. In June of 2017, Cult Movies released a highly awaited first-horror novel authored by Frank. A Werewolf Remembers is written in part, as the life telling diaries of Lawrence Talbot, printed verbatim. Interspersed with these are editorial commentaries authored by Frank.

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Frank Dello Stritto

A Conversation

with Michael Copner

When I was doing Cult Movies Magazine in the 1990s, I became close friends with our staff writer, Guy Tucker—a young man who saw things in films which were beyond the average viewer. A true boy genius, he taught himself to read, write and speak fluent Japanese by age 15. He traveled to Japan to meet and interview everyone at Toho Studios. I respected all about Guy, and was very sad when I heard that he had died in 2007.

One time after six years of reading our magazine, Guy told me “the best thing you’ve got going in your pages is the work of Mr. Dello Stritto.” I concur that Frank was the greatest then, and he’s amazing in our Century 21.

Frank still writes for monster magazines (currently he is a regular contributor to Monster Bash Magazine). His latest book, A Werewolf Remembers—The Testament of Lawrence Stewart Talbot, premiered in June 2017. In August 2017, I met with him and his wife Linda at the famed Los Burritos Mexican eatery on Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles. They were visiting from Houston, which was then experiencing record-breaking rains and floods. Frank and Linda were a bit worried about their home (which mercifully did not flood), but were otherwise the upbeat and entertaining people than I have now known for almost 20 years.

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Dracula’s Daughter

Gary D. Rhodes, Tom Weaver, Michael Lee and David Colton

"Bear Manor Media—2017—349 Pages

reviewed by Michael Copner

Dracula's Daughter
Gloria Holden

Here is a 5-star rated book, an epic to one of the most underappreciated—yet most sensual—vampire classics of Hollywood’s 1930s output. Of course, we wish Bela was in the final cut. That was likely the intent of Carl Laemmle, Jr. when he commissioned the first treatment to be written by John Balderstone in 1933; that first draft, turned in during January of 1934, picks up in Castle Dracula in Transylvania, exactly where the 1931 Dracula concluded.

But by page 2 of the treatment, Mr. Balderstone had a change of heart about in which direction the plotline should unfold, and he explains his ideas explicitly. For starters, he notes: “The use of a female vampire instead of male gives us the chance to pay up SEX and CRUELTY legitimately. In Dracula that had to be almost eliminated because too horrible and unpleasant if added to the blood-sucking of women by a male monster.”

The cards are thus laid on the table that writer Balderstone plans to morph and shape shift the Dracula sequel into something other than what Universal Studios—and film-going audiences—might have been expecting. He carries his theme further on page 3 by declaring: “…why should Cecil DeMille have a monopoly of the great box office value of tortures and cruelty in pictures of ancient Rome? I want to establish in Part Two, the fact that Dracula’s Daughter enjoys torturing her male victims…and that these men under her spell rather like it. The censors will stand this provided it is done by suggestion and it gives us a big box-office value that we lacked before.”

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On Thanksgiving Day in this 2016th year of our reckoning, Forrest J Ackerman would have celebrated his 100th Birthday. He's gone now though, so it's left to us to celebrate for him. Brad and I were ruminating about our very different, though sometimes strikingly similar, memories of Forry and decided we should do something for 100 years. And of course, it wouldn't be a Mondo Special without an original piece of art from the eerily-talented L.J. Dopp.

So please, join us in wishing The Ackermonster a Happy Century Mark.

"Up, up and away, with Forry J!"

Merely A Century

(Forry is 100)

by Brad Linaweaver

"He was a dear man."

Deborah Painter: Forry: The Life of Forrest J Ackerman

Exclusive to Mondo Cult, artwork by L.J. Dopp and © 2016. No reproduction without permission.

The first time was in Dallas, Texas, the summer of 1971. A childhood dream came true. Not an adolescent dream, confused with inchoate ambitions and ill defined lusts for an imaginary adulthood. Childhood fantasies come before all that. They are about the Sense of Wonder.

Suddenly, I was more than an undergraduate at Florida State University, attending Dallascon, my first science fiction convention. Finally, I was meeting Forrest J (no period for some arcane reason) Ackerman. Seeing a letter of mine published in Famous Monsters of Filmland the previous year had been a thrill, but it didn't compare to an actual encounter.

As we shook hands, I was transported back in time to the stark fears and desperate hopes of a crazily imaginative childhood. I could hear the music again. Science was magic. The future, whether good or bad, was going to be wildly different than the present. It just had to be.

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Living A Dream

by Jessie Lilley

A hundred years ago, when I was quite young, I used to save my nickels and dimes so I could buy my favorite magazines. They were MAD Magazine and Famous Monsters of Filmland. I would stop at Lazzaras at 11 West Railroad Avenue in Tenafly, NJ on my way home from school and pick up the new issues. Then I would hide them in my book bag, because my mother didn’t think I should be reading either of them.

What did she know, anyway? She thought The Ink Spots were a “pretty hip group” and didn’t grok the magic of The Beatles.

But I did. And I knew in my deepest soul that these two books were my lifeline out of the hell of the NYC suburbs of the 60s. Grasping at the straws of imagination and humor, I devoured them from 1966 on into my teens. It was then that I fell amongst theatricals…

Of all the people I met during those years, one of the larger influences was Richard Valley, with whom I eventually created Scarlet Street: The Magazine of Mystery and Horror. It was Richard who sent me off to the Son of Horror-Thon convention (now known to those in the know simply as Chiller) in NJ, to get an autograph for him from Forrest J Ackerman. Off I went and met one of my idols and quite simply, it changed my life.

Forry and I got on splendidly from the git go. He liked women and I liked brainy punsters so it was a win-win.

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Regarding the Incomparable Acting Career of

Peter Lorre

by Lucas Paris

To look at an actor or actress, requires one to look at the body of their work. An often exhausting process depending on how prolific the thespian, it is also quite often enjoyable as conclusions can be drawn from their successes and failures, making for contrasts or comparisons with other greats in the same field. Yet, there are actors that are singularly incomparable, with character that indelibly marked the industry.

One such was Peter Lorre.

Born Laszlo Lowenstein in 1904, the Hungarian Jewish actor’s story could be a film unto itself. Running away from home at a young age, learning the stage craft in Vienna before debuting in Zurich, working as a banker—then traveling throughout Europe doing stage in Germany, Austria and Switzerland before landing his first seminal role, a film role, in Fritz Lang’s revolutionary M in 1931.

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The Guillotine on the Walk of Fame

Brad Linaweaver Reviews

The Brain That Couldn't Think

by L. J. Dopp

Yellow Hat Productions, 2017
$19.95, ISBN 978-0-9890242-1-1

This book was a lifetime in the making. It contains multitudes. In the foreword, George Clayton Johnson promises that the reader will "discover what a fascination with pop-culture, a satirical turn of mind, an ironic sense of humor, and a head full of bright ideas can do to a man."

He's introducing L. J. Dopp.

One of the best short story collections in many years did not just happen. The thing had to grow over time, fed by the blood of cruel memories.

You know the movies where the flying saucer lands? There is keen anticipation as nervous humans wait for something to come out. Suspense is an ache in the soul. Anything can happen.

The Brain That Couldn't Think is a lot like that. Dopp has written fiction chock full of surprises. When's the last time there was a book of this kind?

Many writers have become as predictable as a summer cold. Either trapped in the slowly grinding gears of genre conventions, or preaching a straight-jacketed ideology or theology, the only surprise is in guessing how long their next tome will be. These writers are so deep in terminal exhaustion that their work lacks the brevity of Charles Dickens.

Dopp will have none of this. He does not sell escapism by the pound. He tells his story, and stops when it's over.

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The Raven

Lugosi and Karloff—At Last!!!

by Michael Copner

Let’s start with the greatest news first, then put a few add-on items at the end. The news is that via the marvel of a Google search, anyone can now view the original trailer for Universal’s 1935 masterpiece, The Raven. Something film fans and collectors lamented, “We’ll never see!” A short while ago, I was searching around the ‘net and up came the pristine trailer for my favorite film; totally devoid of any splices or scratches—it appears as clear as the day it was shot. Where has it been secreted away (for over 92 years)?

It’s as action and thrill packed as the feature itself and very compact at 2 minutes long. The single most exciting fact is that the film is billed as starring Bela Lugosi (first!) and Boris Karloff—the only time Bela received top billing over his supposed rival.

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The Mysterious Existence of

Twin Peaks

by Josh Bravo

For a television show that is bursting at the seams with secrets, it’s not a secret that Twin Peaks is one of the greatest cult television shows of all time. If you haven’t seen it, you’ve definitely heard about it. And if you have seen it, you’ve definitely talked about it.

If you fall into the “haven’t seen it” category, what are you doing here? Go watch it! Immediately! And when you come back, you can agree with mostly everyone on the importance of Twin Peaks; a show filled to the brim with mystery.

Its entire existence is a mystery in itself. The idea that something like this can exist on prime time television on a major network—not HBO or Showtime, but ABC—the same channel as Full House (let that simmer for a second.) You could be watching the Olsen twins one minute and enter The Black Lodge the next. This show was so ahead of its time; it was almost as if David Lynch could see into the future. Like the early 90s showed up at a Halloween party dressed as the mid 2000s. David Lynch and Mark Frost really cemented the type of stories that you can tell on television; a model that is just blossoming today. Years and years before Breaking Bad or Mad Men or Game of Thrones, Twin Peaks was a completely new ballpark for TV to play in.

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Resident Evil

How to Make a Successful Film Series
Out of a Video Game

Bonus Interview with the late, lamented

Ray Zone (1947-2012)

by Jessie Lilley

[This article first appeared in truncated form in Famous Monster of Filmland Issue # 251. The article in its entirety, is presented here with permission from the publisher.]

The last thing I ever wanted to do was get involved in what I assumed was another hash up of the Apocalypse on film; even worse, the idea of the film was purportedly based on a video game. I was not looking forward to the three DVDs that had been glaring at me from the top of the TV for a full week. Finding myself with some free time early one morning however, I admitted defeat and sat myself down-fortified with some strong coffee, to view the films. Imagine my astonishment when about 10 minutes into the first film I realized I was enjoying myself. Either I’m etting less picky in my dotage or this film is actually pretty good.

A little history: RESIDENT EVIL is based on the Capcom PlayStation game of the same name (it’s called Biohazard in Japan which is where the game originated). We won’t dwell on the game itself, other than to note the basic premise: learn the mystery of the mansion—while vanquishing zombies, their zombified dogs and countless other bad guys along the way—and escape alive. In short, the game is your basic quest fantasy.

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Mondo Cult #3

Edited by Jessie Lilley

Published by Brad Linaweaver

2012, 1601 pages, $13

from the Prometheus newsletter

This brief review can in no way do justice to the third issue of Mondo Cult, which packs in several magazines' worth of material between full-cover pages. Although adhering to no solid publishing schedule, Mondo Cult, when it arrives, has become a critical vehicle for the review and study of classic film, music, books, and people of science fiction, horror, and fantasy. In this issue over 30 writers contribute articles. Photos of actors, writers, and other personalities fill virtually every page, along with images of classic movie posters, advertisements and cartoons, not to mention a Frank Frazetta picture on the back cover. One could spend hours reading and re-reading this magazine, and still discover or re-discover new aspects of what is covered.

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