Saturday, December 9, 2017

DRAGNET - "The Big .22 Rifle For Christmas" (1952)

 Welcome to the first Saturday Night X-Mas Special 2017 in The Dungeon!
The TV series "DRAGNET" ran for eight seasons from 1951 to 1959, and then made another resurgence in 1967 for another four seasons up til 1970, then the movie with Dan Aykroyd came out in 1987, and still another TV show appeared for two seasons in 2003 with Ed O'Neill in the lead role!
That's a pretty good run!!

 The title was "The Big .22 Rifle For Christmas," and was episode seven of season two that aired on December 18th, 1952! It's very dark, and not festive at all! All the episode titles from this first run except the first one, are always prefaced with "The Big." It's kinda weird!

 The iconic Jack Webb is the equally iconic Sgt. Joe Friday, and his partner Officer Frank Smith was played by Herbert (The Party, Pete Kelly's Blues) Ellis! If I've done my math right, Herb will be 97 next month!!

This is the best shot ever of two guys synchronizing their watches!!

June Whitley Taylor was in three other "Dragnet" Episodes, and was all over the TV from the 50's through the 70's!  She's very distraught because her son is missing!

It seems that her son had got into his Christmas present early!

"Dragnet" was so revered that when Jack Webb died, he was given a full police burial, and his badge number 714 on the show was retired from the L.A.P.D. forever!

Jack Webb was a fascinating character, but my favourite piece of trivia about him is that he was a huge fan of jazz music, and had a record collection of over 6000 albums!

 If I ever take up painting again, this is going to be my first piece! I just love the fact that as simple as it is, you still know exactly what is happening, or at least I do anyway!

Sammy Ogg as Stanley Johnstone is in big trouble. He didn't actually kill his best friend, but he did get out the gun that his best friend accidentally shot himself with, and then felt so guilty, he tried to hide the body! Sammy was 13 here, and he quit acting when he was twenty! He was in 6 other "Dragnet Episodes" and before this, when he was 12, he was in "The Day The Earth Stood Still!"

Those heads held down tell the whole story! How do you break the bad news to a parent that their son is dead right before Christmas?

I believe "Dragnet," but when "Fargo" says it, I have my doubts!!

So is this not like the ultimate bummer of a Christmas story?
I'm not sure this story ever needed to be told! It's just sad!

In case you can't tell, that is a broken Christmas ornament!

I don't know what Tabonga has got up his sleeve for you next, but I've got some more weird X-Mas stuff for you on Wednesday, so stay tuned!!

Friday, December 8, 2017


School's out early today! No homework over the weekend either! Just sit back and check out the great examples of box art for some Castle Films 8mm horror movies. Then, I have two examples of kitschy cool box art from Heritage Films...

My aunt had a nice collection of Castle films that we would watch with my cousins in the early fifties. Of course, she didn't have any horror movies, but had plenty of cartoons and comedy.

We'll start with FRANKENSTEIN, man, that red pops like a mofo, I'd bet that you'd pay a pretty penny to find one of these for sale in this condition! Although, that phrase, 'the man created monster' is a little confusing!

SON OF FRANKENSTEIN is another nice example, here, the greatest monster of all time comes to life again! Better run like Hell... Boris and Bela star together in this one!

Boris is back in THE MUMMY, striking box art that gets in your face!!..

I think this box art from THE MUMMY'S CURSE kicks A, that red orange background really brings it to life! Lon Chaney stars as the mummy this time, I think I like this one the best.

THE MUMMY'S TOMB is another great looking example of Castle Films box art, the image was pretty much taken from an original Universal poster.

Lon chews up the carpet in THE WOLFMAN, Tale Of The Werewolf! As far as I can remember, these mini movies were only about 7 minutes long...

Here's a super attractive box for HOUSE OF DRACULA, featuring a pile of great horror stars!

Here's HOUSE OF FRANKENSTEIN, Glenn Strange plays the monster, Boris plays the mad scientist! Check out the weird erotic composition, this one freaks me out a bit!

Here's a fun cover from ONE MILLION B.C., the perspective is goofy, but still an attractive box.

Another very fine piece, we move into the fifties with CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON. Man, Nestor Paiva sure played a lot of weird characters during his stint at Universal...

Wow, this is a super nice cover for FRANKENSTEIN 1970, or in this case, THE WRATH OF FRANKENSTEIN! Loved this movie when I saw it in 1958 at the theater...

Okay, now we check out this super kitsch Heritage Films box art for BEAST FROM HAUNTED CAVE! Looks like they brought in Mikey from the fifth grade to draw this one!

Mikey is back with his version of PLAN 9 FROM OUTER SPACE, the art is just the worst, love it! So, tune in tomorrow for even more little early Xmas presents...

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

ANYWHERE U.S.A. - Jeremy Dylan Lanni (2017)

A thought provoking movie that is only 6 minutes and 48 seconds long has no commercial potential, so why the Hell would anybody bother spending all their time and money making one?
Welcome to The Dungeon!!

Depending on how old you are, you might remember a time when people wrote songs that had forethought and meaning like Dylan's "The Times Are A Changing," or Buffalo Springfield's "For What It's Worth," or anything by Phil Ochs or Pete Seeger! That's kind of how I feel about "Anywhere U.S.A."

It's just a diner that could be anywhere in the U.S.A., or as our good friend Lord Litter said after viewing the movie, in Germany, or really almost anywhere in the world!
There's an absolutely amazing cast that includes this fun-loving adorable young couple that work in the diner, and there's a handful of customers! That's it, but how will they interact in 6 minutes and 48 seconds?

Keith (Wake Up America!) Stevenson is one of the more hostile customers and his companion is....

...Kendrah (Like A Butterfly) McKay, who has a personality that stings like a bee!

The great Peter (Conjuring Orson) Jason is the typical grumpy old fart! I say typical, because I've met lots of guys like this is my life, in fact, I've been accused of being one myself!

Jo D. (John of God the Movie) Jonz is a soldier just trying to enjoy his meal!

This is Kevin (The Amazing Spider-Man) McCorkle as the uptight used car salesman......

.....And Calum (American Horror Story) Dench as his ice cream eating grandson!

Juliette (Gotham) Beavan and Cela (Best Fake Friends) Scott are the blondies in the booth!

Actor and voice over artiste supreme, Stuart (Congo) Pankin works in the kitchen!

Jared (Vineland) Wernick is one half of the innocent couple, and....

........Alex (Christmas in the Heartland) Preble is the other half! They both manage to cause problems without even trying!
So that's the cast, you just need to go watch it, because I'm not going to tell you what happens! A lot goes on in a short period of time, and I will say that I was shocked by the ending!
Jeremy Dylan Lanni is a gifted film maker with something to say, and he has given you a nice X-mas gift absolutely free! All you have to do is go watch it, and you can do that right HERE!!

This surrealistic 1969 Buck Owens' album and Jeremy's movie with the same title might not seem like they have much in common, but they are both short and to the point! The longest song on this LP is "Keep On Your Keepin' On" at 2:40, and "Georgia Peach" is only 1:17 minutes long, just the way I like it! I was thinking about it the other day, a TV series that runs for a couple of seasons is like a 20 hour movie, I'll take 6:48 minutes of quality over 20 hours of crap any time! Thanx Jeremy!

Monday, December 4, 2017


Welp, heute wir haben eine look at the Toho fifties horror and sci-fi movies, as the title suggests. Man, what a pile of terror we have here, tons of fun for us kids. I never saw any of these at the theater, but, they were shown on TV starting in the late fifties... All the posters are the original Japanese releases.

We start with GODZILLA, KING OF THE MONSTERS from 1954! This movie is brutal, no comedy here. The part that really got me was the doctor and his oxygen destroyer and how he became a victim of his own device!!

There is also a flick called THE INVISIBLE MAN from 1954 but it's actually a drama with clowns, so, I did not included that one.

Then, we have GODZILLA RAIDS AGAIN from 1955. In this one Godzilla awakes from his slumber after being packed in ice on an island and has to fight another giant monster, the mighty Ankylosaur that appears again in other Godzilla movies.

Also in 1955, Toho releases HALF HUMAN, a story about abominable snowmen on an island that are targeted for circus attractions! Unfortunately, the son of the monster is killed and things go south for the effing humans!

RODAN, one of my avatars, hit the big screen in 1956, what a wild flick! To me, one of the most shocking parts were those prehistoric insects and the creepy noises they made. Rodan and his egg laying mate were giant mutant Pterosaurs from inside a volcano!

Wow, THE MYSTERIANS form 1957 was amazing, all kinds of awesome futuristic hardware was used on both sides of the battle! Eegah!! and I saw this one on TV for the first time in 1960 when we were vacationing at my relatives house in the Valley Of The Moon in Northern California. Just love that giant robot to death!!

Talk about creepy, well, THE H-MAN from 1958 totally creeped me out the first time I saw it. When those poor sailors board the ghost ship and discover H-Men that dissolve humans into a mass of glowing atomic goo, like, yikes!!

VARAN THE UNBELIEVABLE also came out in 1958, back to black and white. Varan had the most spikes of any other giant monster at the time. Damn, I'd hate to have to ride him anywhere!! Stars good old Myron (THE UNEARTHLY) Healey.

Last on the list is BATTLE IN OUTER SPACE from 1959. Here, Japanese spacemen fight off invaders from space and end up on the Moon where they encounter a bunch of mini creatures!! So, there you go, the fifties Toho monster movies, join us agin on Wednesday for another neato installment from, The Dungeon!

Monster Music

Monster Music
AAARRGGHHH!!!! Ya'll Come On Back Now, Y'Hear??