Monday, October 31, 2016

25 years: Fava beans & a nice chianti . . .

35 years: An American Werewolf in London

85 years: James Whale's Frankenstein

That's right, Frankenstein, it's your birthday!  85 years ago, the James Whale-directed film shocked audiences, outraged censors & religious groups, and forever changed the course of horror films.  The Jack Pierce designed make-up (with a little help from Whale & star Boris Karloff), made an indelible impression on American culture that is still felt today.  A horrifying & stunning film, Frankenstein is one of the most important pictures ever made.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Captain Christopher Pike #2

Caught in an radioactive explosion while rescuing cadets aboard a new starship, Captain Pike became bound to a movable life-support system.  He communicated only through a sequence of blinking lights: one for "yes", two for "no".

Captain Christopher Pike

The Enterprise's original skipper, played by film star Jeffrey Hunter.

Star Trek Aliens: The Talosians

These dudes were the bubble-brained bosses of the planet Talos 4.  Featured in the original pilot, The Cage, and reconfigured for the regular series episode, The Menagerie, the Talosians manifested people's thoughts & desires into reality.  Their heads also looked like their asses.

Star Trek Aliens: The Mugato

Originally named a "Gumatu", series star DeForest Kelly repeatedly referred to it as a "Mugato" during filming and the name stuck.  Basically a guy in a gorilla suit with horns, the "suit" would reappear in other shows of the time, like Irwin Allen's Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea.

Star Trek Aliens: The Salt Vampire

This "gender bending" alien could take on the form of either woman or man.  Seen in the show's first episode, The Man Trap, it would do whatever necessary to survive.  This creature sustained itself by draining it's victims of their sodium, hence it's name.  The alien was to have a cameo in J. J. Abrams Star Trek reboot, but the shot scenes were left on the cutting room floor.

Star Trek Aliens: Balok

. . . this little dude.  Looking like a child of the age of five or six, Balok was thousands of years old & was benevolent, despite the use of his monsterous counterpart.  Balok was portrayed by a young Clint Howard, the little brother of then Andy Griffith star, Ron Howard.

Star Trek Aliens: The Balok puppet

Featured in the episode, The Carbonite Maneuver, this ghoulish guy would also appear at the end credits of many Star Trek episodes.  Initially frightening, it eventually became a point of fascination for me, despite its scary & mesmeric qualities.  This "alien" was voiced by The Addams Family's Ted Cassidy (one of his three appearances on the show), but it was only a front.  It was a defensive measure for . . . 

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Star Trek Aliens: The Tellerites

Star Trek Aliens: Vulcans

On the verge of a catastrophic end to their society, Vulcans rejected violence and embraced logic. This resulted in the stability and growth of their race.  Pictured above is Surak, considered a founder of modern Vulcan culture.  Featured in the episode, The Savage Curtain, he was portrayed by actor Barry Atwater.  Atwater would gain equal fame in the early '70s when he played Janos Skorzeny in the television movie, The Night Stalker, considered one of the scariest films ever made for T.V. .  

Star Trek Aliens: Bele of Charon

Star Trek Aliens: Lokai of Charon

R. I. P. Oscar Gamble