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Gill-Men Gone Wild

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, January 28, 2018 06:18pm | Post a Comment

Island of the Fishmen

By Kai Wada Roath
Ambassador of Confusion Hill and host of the Super Shangri-La Show


"There are many strange legends in the Amazon. Even I, Lucas, have heard the legend of a man-fish."
-- Lucas, Captain of the tramp-steamer Rita, in The Creature From the Black Lagoon

So, did the Shape of Water get you all Gilly for more frustrated Fish Dude movies? In 1987, when I was The Amazonjust a young lad of 14, there was only one thing I saved all my allowance for -- a Nintendo Entertainment System. And it was for one game only -- Pro Wrestling. I would become a master of playing Starman, however there was only one enemy I always feared to square off with -- The Amazon (with his famous Piranha Bite and Outlaw Choke). I've been a fan of angry Fish Guys ever since. Well, maybe being a Pisces helps too.

Gill-man characters have been around for quite some time, but The Creature From The Black Lagoon was probably everyone's first favorite fish-man monster from the Devonian period. "What happened to the Universal Gill-Man after the Creature trilogy?" you have often pondered while scooping clams at a 99 Ranch Market. Well, some of you may remember Uncle Gilbert visiting The Munsters family. Herman says Gilbert's wealth was mostly attributed to salvaging lost treasures in the seas.The Munsters, Uncle Gilbert

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Sophisticated Monster Muu-zak and Buried Horror Films to Howl For

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, October 29, 2017 05:26pm | Post a Comment

By Kai Wada Roath
Ambassador of Confusion Hill and host of the Super Shangri-La Show


Close you eyes and picture in your mind that Gomez and Morticia Addams are throwing a party. One can not imagine them playing Bobby "Boris" Pickett's "Monster Rap" or Elvira's "2 Big Pumpkins." I see Lurch pulling the cobwebs off their record collection and tossing the needle on such classics as The Zanies' "Russian Roulette," Ken Nordine and his Kinsmen's "Strollin Spooks," and of course all five of the amazing Frankie Stein and the Ghouls records.







If you find yourself humming the theme to Experiment in Terror every time you cross the Emperor Norton bridge late at night or cruising up to Twin Peaks for a super burrito at Taqueria Miraloma, then this is the truly the Hallow's eve music for you. The 1960's was the golden ghoul era of Monster music and here are a just a few LPs and 45s to keep your eyes peeled for...not to mention a couple spooky flicks.

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October at Balboa Theatre: Vampires, Hell Houses, and Yokai Monsters!

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, October 11, 2015 06:37pm | Post a Comment

Yokai Monsters

San Francisco's Balboa Theatre and the mysterious forces at Super Shangri-La Show bring you an October to remember with three weeks of Wednesdays of super weird Halloweeny viewing!

Yokai MonstersThe fun starts Wednesday, October 14th at 7:30pm with Yokai Monsters: Spook Warfare (1968), the second in the Yokai Monsters movie trilogy. A Babylonian demon is awoken and flies to ancient Japan to take over the body of the local Magistrate. The small country yokai monsters must team up to defeat him. It's a classic little monsters vs. evil big monster scenario and is not to be missed! In Japanese with English subtitles.

What's a yokai? According to Wikipedia: "Yokai (ghost, phantom, strange apparition) are a class of supernatural monsters in Japanese folklore. The word yokai is made up of the kanji for 'bewitching; attractive; calamity' and 'apparition; mystery; suspicious.'" I'm sold. RSVP on Facebook for entertaining updates.

Wednesday, October 21st unleashes Mario Bava's 1965 sci-fi/horror classic Planet of the Vampires. This movie features two great tastes that go great together: space and the undead. Its a stylish adventure with hot Italian chicks in space suits, and many critics say that it inspired Ridley Scott's Alien. RSVP on Facebook, invite your friends and family.

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Classic Monster Movie Week with "Jack Pierce: The Man Who Made Monsters" at Balboa Theatre in SF

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, October 1, 2015 01:43pm | Post a Comment

Jack Pierce, FrankensteinCelebrate the month of October with a week full of classic Universal horror movies at Balboa Theatre, from Friday, October 2nd through Thursday, October 8th. Frankenstein, his Bride, the Wolf Man, Dracula...they'll all be there.

But have you ever wondered who gave these classic monsters their winning good looks? Who sculpted Boris Karloff's architectural forehead for Frankenstein? Who designed the widow's peak on Bela Lugosi's Dracula? Who glued yak hair to Lon Chaney, Jr.'s face for The Wolf Man? That man was renown make-up artists Jack Pierce (1889 – 1968), a Greek immigrant who changed the face of horror forever. Catch the new documentary about Pierce, El Cerrito filmmaker Strephon Taylor's Jack Pierce: The Man Who Made Monsters, at the Balboa along with his classic works he's is most known for.

Bring in an Amoeba Music receipt for any purchase made during October 2015 to the Balboa Theatre for these monster screenings and get a FREE popcorn!

Tickets/info.

Jack Pierce, Balboa Theatre

Even Aliens Do It: Monsters (2010)

Posted by Charles Reece, November 7, 2010 11:45pm | Post a Comment
war of the worlds book cover gorey

Most alien invasion movies deal with the central idea in H.G. Wells' The War of the Worlds, a radical change in perspective. His Martians look upon us as we might look at microbes through a microscope. Humans are made to face the question of what our cumulative history (moral, social, etc.) amounts to in the presence of a superior, celestial other. Wells suggests there's hope for us, that we're not so insignificant, by having the Martians taken down by bacteria, which were no more significant to us than we were to the invaders. As it turned out, we should've had more respect for bacteria.


An optimistic response to our diminished ontological status would be Gene Roddenberry's Star Trek universe, where Earthlings get over their petty (in the cosmological sense) differences to work together in establishing our species' significance in an ever expanding world. The success of Earthlings in the Federation is because liberal humanism is taken to be an absolute, superior to all the alien moral alternatives found in the universe (Vulcans might be our intellectual superiors, but they don't possess our heart and good old common sense). The wish fulfilled here is that humans overcome all our cultural, socially constructed differences to prove the importance of what unites us, presumedly biology and whatever inalienable rights obtain therefrom (again, liberal humanism).


The more pessimistic spin is seen in Robert Wise's The Day the Earth Stood Still, which involves a representative, Klaatu, from a council of master races (not unlike the Federation) coming to Earth with a warning: do what you want to each other, but should you try any of that human-all-too-human bullshit with us as you travel into space, we have the technology to annihilate you. If we're to be united, it'll be through negation, all of us being fundamentally different from the other, causing us to cuddle together in fear. A similar togetherness led Earth to attack the bug planet in Paul Verhoeven's Starship Troopers, the bugs not possessing the technological power of Klaatu.

district 9 poster

Even more cynical is Neill Blompkamp's District 9 that suggests if there is a unifying human instinct, it's bigotry. The alien arrival doesn't fundamentally alter class and racial divisions, but instead proves shit rolls down hill. The aliens are restricted to the poorest area where they're subjected to discrimination from the most discriminated of humans. Although biological alteration of the protagonist results in his empathizing with the alien plight, it's not biology per se that's the basis for moral insight (as it is in Star Trek), but rather being socially reconstituted as other in the eyes of his (formerly) fellow humans, particularly those from his bourgeois background.

monsters poster

Gareth Edwards' Monsters applies a similar socio-historical determination to extraterrestrial reception as District 9, where the invaders aren't seen as transcendent beings that defy our categories, but are instead reduced to extant concepts of class, nation-state boundaries and otherness. The octopoid aliens (a cross between those in The War of the Worlds and Watchmen) are quarantined in Mexico along with the majority of Mexicans. Fulfilling the Minuteman Project, there's a Great Wall now separating Central from North America. Regardless of the terror and destruction being inflicted on the resident population by the giant octopuses, the only immigrants allowed into the States are the wealthy. An interesting enough premise, but nothing much is made of it except as backstory for yet another bourgeois coupling.

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