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I am saddened to learn of the death of Ray Harryhausen today. One of my childhood heros has moved on he was 92 years old.
Here is a report from the Rock Till You Drop website written by Ryan Turek:
It is with great, great, great sadness that we report today that Ray Harryhausen has passed away.
The man was a legend and someone I had met and spoken with many times – as both a young fan of his work and, later, as a journalist.
His early contributions were one of the many reasons I became fascinated with the genre. When I was in elementary school, my teachers would show us films like The Golden Voyage of Sinbad and Clash of the Titans just before we let our for holiday break – and I was blown away. His contributions were a regular diet in my education of cinema. And because my father was so integral in exposing me to Harryhausen’s career, I wanted him to weigh in: “Passing of one of the true greats and a childhood hero. Very sad, but he lived a long, productive life and inspired probably everyone in the special effects field. Nice we had the chance to meet him years ago…”
I have to say, gang…the passing of Harryhausen hits hard. Inside, find the family’s official statement and more.
Raymond Frederick Harryhausen
Born: Los Angeles 29th June 1920
Died: London 7th May 2013.
The Harryhausen family regret to announce the death of Ray Harryhausen, Visual Effects pioneer and stop-motion model animator. He was a multi-award winner which includes a special Oscar and BAFTA. Ray’s influence on today’s film makers was enormous, with luminaries; Steven Spielberg, James Cameron, Peter Jackson, George Lucas, John Landis and the UK’s own Nick Park have cited Harryhausen as being the man whose work inspired their own creations.
Harryhausen’s fascination with animated models began when he first saw Willis O’Brien’s creations in KING KONG with his boyhood friend, the author Ray Bradbury in 1933, and he made his first foray into filmmaking in 1935 with home-movies that featured his youthful attempts at model animation. Over the period of the next 46 years, he made some of the genres best known movies – MIGHTY JOE YOUNG (1949), IT CAME FROM BENEATH THE SEA (1955), 20 MILLION MILES TO EARTH (1957), MYSTERIUOUS ISLAND (1961), ONE MILLION YEARS B.C. (1966), THER VALLEY OF GWANGI (1969), three films based on the adventures of SINBAD and CLASH OF THE TITANS (1981). He is perhaps best remembered for his extraordinary animation of seven skeletons in JASON AND THE ARGONAUTS (1963) which took him three months to film.
Harryhausen’s genius was in being able to bring his models alive. Whether they were prehistoric dinosaurs or mythological creatures, in Ray’s hands they were no longer puppets but became instead characters in their own right, just as important as the actors they played against and in most cases even more so.
Today The Ray & Diana Harryhausen Foundation, a charitable Trust set up by Ray on the 10th April 1986, is devoted to the protection of Ray’s name and body of work as well as archiving, preserving and restoring Ray’s extensive Collection.
Tributes have been heaped upon Harryhausen for his work by his peers in recent years.
“Ray has been a great inspiration to us all in special visual industry. The art of his earlier films, which most of us grew up on, inspired us so much.” “Without Ray Harryhausen, there would likely have been no STAR WARS”
“THE LORD OF THE RINGS is my ‘Ray Harryhausen movie’. Without his life-long love of his wondrous images and storytelling it would never have been made – not by me at least”
“In my mind he will always be the king of stop-motion animation”
“His legacy of course is in good hands
Because it’s carried in the DNA of so many film fans.”
“You know I’m always saying to the guys that I work with now on computer graphics “do it like Ray Harryhausen”
“What we do now digitally with computers, Ray did digitally long before but without computers. Only with his digits.”
“His patience, his endurance have inspired so many of us.”
“Ray, your inspiration goes with us forever.”
“I think all of us who are practioners in the arts of science fiction and fantasy movies now all feel that we’re standing on the shoulders of a giant.
If not for Ray’s contribution to the collective dreamscape, we wouldn’t be who we are.”
Lily is a model and jewelry designer from Austin, Texas, now living in Ontario. When she was younger she would buy jewelry she would notice that a lot of it would tarnish and not keep its color. She started making her own that lived up to the standards that she expected in jewelry. Since 2000 she has been creating quality jewelry that her customers can be 100% happy with. She has done pieces for everyone from Cyndi Lauper to Clive Barker. Her modeling resume contains everything from glamor to horror and everything in between. Click on the link below to check out our latest Babe From The Basement Ms. Lily Monstermeat!
Click here to check out Lily’s page!
Horror icon Richard Brooker has passed away. Brooker played Jason Voorhees in the third installment of the Friday The 13th film series and was the first Jason to wear the hockey mask that became the killers trademark look. Details are not really known yet but it was reported that Booker posted on his Facebook page yesterday that he wasn’t feeling well.
RIP RICHARD BROOKER!
My son, Julian and I had the pleasure of attending the second Days Of The Dead Convention in Atlanta Ga last weekend. Julian was really excited about meeting Kane Hodder and it was good to see him excited about going to a con that wasn’t anime related. Now, the first Days Of The Dead was in the Peachtree City area of Atlanta. This years hotel was in the heart of downtown Atlanta. It is one of the hosts hotels for Dragon Con so I was glad it was right off the interstate and we had been in the area before as well.
Click here for full review and pictures
For the second time this year Christi and I made the trip to Virginia Beach, Virginia to attend the Blood At The Beach Horror Convention. We had a great time at the first show and was really excited about attending this one as well. The one thing that we really liked about the first one was the fact that a lot of the guests that were there were people that don’t do a lot of conventions that we had attended in the past. Now, don’t get me wrong, we love seeing the same guests because with some you develop a “bond” with them and they remember you and sometimes call you by name which is very cool to me. But, it is also very cool to meet someone that you have never met before.
The first show was located about 30 minutes from the actual beach, but this time it was right on the beach. Although it was too cold to put on bathing suits and go swimming we did find sometime on Saturday to go outside and watch the waves. It was very nice and calming.
The view from our hotel room!
The celebrities attending the show!
One of our favorite movie series has always been Friday The 13th. These films brought the slasher genre to the main stream in the 1980′s and has remained one of the most popular film franchises ever. There were several stars from Friday The 13th at Blood At The Beach.
Christi and I had both ordered Adrienne King’s Crystal Lake Wine but neither of us had ever met her. She was just as nice and as sweet as she was when we talked to her on the phone and it was a real pleasure and honor to meet her.
I interviewed Adrienne after the show on Friday night . You can listen to that interview by clicking here.
Amy Steel was in the second installment of Friday The 13th. She was awesome as well.
Amy signing my print from Joel Robinson.
Steve Dash was also a guest at Blood At The Beach. He played Jason in the second Friday film. He had his machete and ready to pose with it in his pictures. I met Steve and his wife at the Full Moon Convention in Chattanooga a few weeks earlier.
Ron Millkie who played the police officer in the first film is one of the examples of people who doesn’t do a lot of conventions. I don’t think he has been at a show that I have attended.
Kane Hodder who played Jason in several of the Friday The 13th movies is one of Christi’s favorites. He was very popular all weekend. He was selling copies of his bio at the show and signing everything from pictures to hockey masks.
Christi told Kane to choke me hard and that he did!!
The Friday The 13th Q & A Panel
We saw Adrienne King and Amy Steel in the lobby of the hotel and they said that they were going to the Q & A for Friday The 13th so we headed over to the room to check it out. The room was full of Friday fans and it was a very fun panel.
Ron and Steve at the panel.
Amy, Adrienne and Kane cutting up during the panel.
It was funny to hear Steve Dash tell the story about when someone would ask him back then what movie he was doing, his reply was “It is just a piece of shit film.” Of course he didn’t know back then what we all know now.
The Walking Dead Guests
It is no secret to anyone that The Walking Dead is one of the most popular horror based shows to ever grace the tv screen. Blood At The Beach featured several stars of that show.
Here is a picture of Christi with Travis Charpentier and Kevin Galbraith who both played “walkers” in the show.
Christi had given me my birthday present early this year. She got me the Blu Ray edition of The Walking Dead which comes in a special display. Travis played the RV Zombie who Andrea stabs in the face with a screw driver in Season 2 and his head (complete with the screwdriver) is the holder for the discs. Christi knew I would want to get Travis and Kevin to sign the base.
I love this.
Addy Miller who was the very first zombie we see in Season 1 was a guest at Blood At The Beach. We have become friends with Addy and her mom as well.
Addy with Christi
Keisha Tillis who played Morgans wife in the show was a guest too. She played Morgan’s wife in one of Season 1′s most emotional scenes.
One of the show’s most popular characters was T-Dog. I will never understand why they killed him off this season. He was one of the most popular guests at the show.
Christi, Irone Singleton and me.
Savana Wehunt played a zombie in The Walking Dead as well as being Chandler Riggs’ stand in.
Chandler Riggs was a guest at the show too but we had limited time at the show on Saturday and his line was very long.
Other guests at Blood At The Beach
One of my very favorite films has to be Cabin Fever. We had met Cerina Vincent in Gatlinburg last year where I did an interview with her. It was really great to see her again. Here she is signing my poster from Return To The House On Haunted Hill.
Another shot of Cerina and me
My favorite guest at the show had to Sarah Butler. She has been in several movies but my favorite has to be the remake of I Spit On Your Grave.
It was very cool to talk to her about the making of that film. I told Christi that she has replaced Danielle Harris as my favorite horror actress after meeting her and finding out how nice and sweet she is.
Christi and Sarah
Sid Haig checking the internet during down time at the show. He didn’t have much down time as there was a line at his table all weekend.
Verne Troyer was also at the show.
Dana Barron from Vacation was at Blood At The Beach. I had to get a picture with her as that was one of my all time favorite movies.
Dana signing a picture for me.
Christi and Dana.
Jason Lively who was in European Vacation was one of the nicest guys at the show. He took a lot of time with his fans and talked about anything you wanted to talk about. He was in Night Of The Creeps as well.
Me and Jason
One of the very best vampire films ever has to be The Lost Boys. Alex Winter was in that film and Christi got to meet him for the first time.
Alex was also in the Bill And Ted movies but Christi got a picture from The Lost Boys.
Alex and me.
Zack Ward from A Christmas Story.
Remember the film Night Of The Comet? I know a lot of people consider it a very cheesy movie but I still enjoy watching it. One of the stars of that movie, Catherine Mary Stewart was at the show. It was really great to meet her and tell her how much I love the film.
Getting Catherine to sign a Night Of The Comet picture for me.
Catherine and me at Blood At The Beach.
Always great seeing the wonderful Debbie Rochon at a convention.
Debbie signing another picture for my collection.
Writer Jack Ketchum
Getting Jack to sign a book for a friend.
Actor Tom Towles with Christi.
I have always been a huge fan of Kevin Smith’s movies, especially Chasing Amy. A friend had gotten an autograph for me earlier this year so it was really cool to finally get to meet her.
Vendors and other cool stuff
As with any horror convention, Blood At The Beach was full of vendors selling posters, movies, pictures and much more.
Posters from London 1888
This guys stuff really caught our eye. The company’s name is Fabian’s Finest Freaks. Some of the most awesome stuff we have seen.
Santa was on hand to welcome in the holiday season.
Halloween was over but one group had a pumpkin carved and lit up all weekend.
There were a lot of other guests at the show including Vernon Wells, Robert Rusler, Anthony Michael Hall, Jamie Kennedy and many others but there is just so much time it is hard to meet everyone. We got to meet the main stars we wanted to so that made for a great weekend.
I really hope that they keep putting on two Blood At The Beach shows every year. If the first two conventions are any hint of what they have in store for us in the coming years horror fans are in for a great treat.
I would like to say a big thanks to Al Keisel and the staff of Blood At The Beach for putting on a great show and for making Christi and myself feel very welcome. And a big thanks to Christi for taking a ton of great pictures for this post.
The next Blood At The Beach will take place April 19- 21, 2013. You can click here to visit the website and keep up with what they have planned.
Hope to see you all in Virginia Beach in 2013!!!
From The Dallas Morning News:
Larry Hagman who played the mischievous J.R. Ewing on the TV show Dallas, died Friday at Medical City in Dallas, of complications from his recent battle with cancer, his family said.
He was 81.
“Larry was back in his beloved Dallas re-enacting the iconic role he loved most,” his family said in a written statement. “Larry’s family and close friends had joined him in Dallas for the Thanksgiving holiday. When he passed, he was surrounded by loved ones. It was a peaceful passing, just as he had wished for. The family requests privacy at this time.”
The role of J.R. transformed Mr. Hagman’s life. He rocketed from being a merely well-known TV actor on I Dream of Jeannie and the son of Broadway legend Mary Martin, to the kind of international fame known only by the likes the Beatles and Muhammad Ali.
Mr. Hagman made his home in California with his wife of 59 years, the former Maj Axelsson. Despite obvious physical frailty, he gamely returned to Dallas to film season one and part of season two of TNT’s Dallas reboot.
Friends were in shock Friday, especially those who saw him only days ago. But those close to him say he knew the end was coming and he was glad to have his family in town for Thanksgiving.
For Dallasites, Mr. Hagman’s recent return to film the TNT show was a pleasant reminiscence of the days when Dallas was the biggest TV program in the world, seen by an estimated 300 million people in 57 countries.
Mr. Hagman lived part of the year in a penthouse at the Mansion on Turtle Creek, now known as the J.R. Ewing Suite, and the actor became part of the fabric of the city — attending polo matches with restaurateur Norman Brinker, unwinding over cocktails with oilman Jake Hamon and his wife, Nancy, at their Bluffview home or dining with Mansion on Turtle Creek owner Caroline Rose Hunt, whose oil-rich family was the nonfiction version of the Ewings.
“Hagman in his role as J.R. was mythic, and as a human he was a hard-working ambassador for Dallas and the underdog,” Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings said Thursday night. “I had spent a couple of evenings with him recently … and he always pitched in to help the city.”
Mr. Hagman lit the scheming J.R. with his own innate sense of fun and mischief.
“From the moment we met him, he started the entire ball rolling,” said his TV ex-wife Linda Gray (a.k.a. Sue Ellen Ewing) last month at a fundraiser in Preston Hollow for the Larry Hagman Foundation, which promotes creative arts education for children in the Dallas area. “He came into a room in Burbank. He walked in with a saddlebag filled with ice and bottles of champagne. That is how we had our first read-through of the original script. That bonded us to this wonderful man.”
In September, Ms. Gray played host to Mr. Hagman for an 81st birthday lunch at Café Pacific in Highland Park Village.
Throughout the summer of 1980, the world hung on the question “Who shot J.R.?” The ultimate TV cliffhanger aired on March 21, 1980, when an unseen assailant shot J.R. Ewing twice.
As everyone waited to find out who the shooter was, Mr. Hagman had an epiphany that would pave the way for TV giants such as Jerry Seinfeld and the cast of Friends to get a larger share of the profits from their shows.
In his memoir, Hello Darlin’, Mr. Hagman said, “Ronald Reagan was campaigning against Jimmy Carter, American hostages were being held in Iran, Polish shipyard workers were on strike, and all anyone wanted to know was, who shot J.R.?”
The world was filled with J.R. T-shirts, coffee mugs and bumper stickers.
“Everyone was making a windfall from J.R. except me,” he said.
He threatened to leave the show if his contract were not renegotiated.
After months of tense negotiations, he was finally given his $100,000 per episode asking price.
Originally from Weatherford, Mr. Hagman was born to 17-year-old Mary Martin and 21-year-old Benjamin Hagman, an attorney.
“How hillbilly can you get?” Ms. Martin later said.
The marriage lasted five years, and Mr. Hagman was raised largely by his maternal grandmother while his mother became a famous stage actress.
Mr. Hagman also worked as a stage actor before appearing in films such as Ensign Pulver and the Otto Preminger epic In Harm’s Way.
But he first became a star when he was cast as an Air Force officer who falls for a genie in a bottle played by Barbara Eden in I Dream of Jeannie. It was a major hit that fizzled, according to Mr. Hagman, after he and Jeannie were wed on the show.
“Once they got married,” he said, “nobody cared anymore.”
When Dallas debuted as a five-part miniseries in April 1978, J.R. was merely a supporting character. But Mr. Hagman’s dazzling portrayal soon earned him bigger and bigger pieces of the story line until he was the star of the show.
“All of us at TNT are deeply saddened at the news of Larry Hagman’s passing,” the cable network said in a statement. “He was a wonderful human being and an extremely gifted actor. We will be forever thankful that a whole new generation of people got to know and appreciate Larry through his performance as J.R. Ewing.”
A statement issued by Warner Bros. on behalf of the Dallas executive producers, cast and crew praised Mr. Hagman as “a giant, a larger-than-life personality whose iconic performance as J.R. Ewing will endure as one of the most indelible in entertainment history. He truly loved portraying this globally recognized character, and he leaves a legacy of entertainment, generosity and grace.”
Despite the enormous cultural impact of the J.R. character, Mr. Hagman refused to be defined by the part. He continued to show his acting chops with role such as the H.L. Hunt/Clint Murchison composite character in Oliver Stone’s Nixon and as Gov. Fred Picker in Primary Colors.
Michael Cain, founder of the Dallas International Film Festival, was a close friend of Mr. Hagman’s. The Dallas star appeared at a festival event in 2011, handing out awards to up-and-coming high-school filmmakers.
“I was blessed to … witness his heart that was so full of passion and charity and mischievousness,” Mr. Cain said. “His friendship will be missed by many, including me. Recently on a trip to Santa Monica, I was initiated into a celebration, a ritual that Larry performed with guests as the sun set over the ocean, where we shouted out to the sun as the final sliver passed over the hills. … I know he would want us to stand and shout and celebrate his life and the passion with which he loved and lived it.”
In addition to his wife, Mr. Hagman is survived by a daughter, Kristina Hagman; a son, Preston Hagman; and five granddaughters.
Staff writer Robert Wilonsky contributed to this report.
Bianca Barnette is an actress and host of her video horror movie review video blog calle WTF With Bianca Barnette. The films she has appeared in include Albino Pig Farm, In A Spiral State and Experiments In Killing. This young lady shows much promise.
Click here to view her Babe From The Basement page!
I am lucky to have several very cool horror conventions that happen each year in my area. Full Moon, Fright Night and Scarefest are three of my very favorite shows to attend. The 2012 Scarefest was held the last weekend in September. This is one show that just keeps getting bigger and better each year. The thing that I like about Scarefest is that it is held in one very huge room. There is plenty of room to get around and you don’t have everyone bumping into each other at the peak times of the weekend. Full Moon went to this type of set up this year and I really wish that a lot of other conventions would look into this as well.
For the past two years Scarefest has invited the press to attend a special pre show event that features a lot of the celebrities walking down the red carpet and posing for pictures and answering any questions that we might have for them. Also this year several of the stars were hanging around outside the main door going into the show.
Michael Berryman and Dee Wallace
Arron Goodwin hamming it up for the cameras
Our friend Jeff Wickedbeard was on hand all weekend. Jeff dresses up as several characters from horror movies. He also makes the costumes himself and I have to say they look amazing.
As the time for the show to open drew near there was a ribbon cutting ceremony and since Jeff was dressed as Jason, it was only fitting that he cut the ribbon to start things off in a true horror manner!
Horror fans waiting to get into Scarefest
The Red Carpet Event
After the ribbon cutting ceremony the stars started to gather to walk down the red carpet.
Here are pictures of some of the celebrities attending
Victor Miller, the creator of Jason and Friday The 13th
Michael Berryman from The Hills Have Eyes and The Devils Rejects
Special effects master Cleve Hall and his daugther Constance. The are featured on the TV show The Monster Man. Cleve’s work has been featured in countless films. He is a true believer in making movie monsters without using CGI effects. I have to tip my hat to him for that.
Dee Wallace, Tyler Mane and Scout Taylor Compton sharing a laugh on the red carpet.
Doug Bradley and Nicholas Vince from Hellraiser
Dale Midkiff, Denise Crosby and Miko Hughes from Pet Sematary
Clive Barker and Malcolm McDowell were booked as guests but both had to cancel because of illnesses. There was a table set up where you could sign get well cards that would be sent to them after the show.
Paranormal ghost hunters The Booth Brothers are regulars at Scarefest and are very popular with the fans.
Scott, Joe, Susan and Paul from Ghost Hunters International
Susan Slaughter From Ghost Hunters International
Fan favorite Derek Mears
Oh my god!!! Where’s Carl????
Screen writer Charles Edward Pogue who’s credits include The Fly, Psycho 3 and Dragonheart
Candyman himself Tony Todd
J.D. Feigelson who wrote one of my favorite horror movies of all time Dark Night Of The Scarecrow
Tucky Williams and Friends
I first met Tucky Williams at a convention in Chattanooga, Tn several years ago. Since then she has become one of my favorite actresses. Her hit web series Girl/Girl Scene has taken off like a rocket and is watched by people all over the globe. Girl/Girl Scene had a table at this years Scarefest and several of the actresses from the show were there to meet their fans.
Interviewing Lauren Virginia Albert
Interviewing Katie Stewart, she was such a sweet lady.
Interviewing Abisha Uhl who not only stars in Girl/Girl Scene but is also the lead singer of Sick Of Sarah
Me with Tucky Williams
Tucky signing some stuff for me
Some of the other celebrities
I was really looking forward to meeting Scout Taylor Compton
The always sweet Dee Wallace
Beautiful Lisa Marie
I really enjoyed talking with Meg Foster. We talked about her role in the film Carney. He costars were Gary Busey and Jodie Foster.
Because of a weld accident Ashley Laurence is unable to make pictures because of the risk of the cameras flash going off. She told me it felt like a lighting bolt going threw her head. But she was nice enough to give me a picture of herself to use in our review. Thank you Ashley!
RJ Haddy and Beki Ingram from Season 2 of Face Off were at the show all weekend doing make up on fans.
Edward Douglas of the band Midnight Syndicate whose music was featured in the film The Dead Matter
Special effects artists Cleve and Constance Hall
There was a group of young girl dancers from The Scapa Dance Exchange School For The Creative And Preforming Arts who danced to the title track of Michael Jaskson’s Thriller album in honor of the lps 25th Anniversary. They were a very talented group or young ladies.
Actress Kayla Perkins
With Michael Graves from the band The Misfits
Circus Envy and Jerry Dewayne Lester
The Fans In Costume
I think Scarefest attracts some of the best fan costumes of any show we attend. Check out these pictures of a few of the cool costumes.
A couple of fans of The Booth Brothers
Friend Frank with a couple of Predators
Jeff Wickedbeard as The Creeper
I always love checking out the vendors at horror conventions and Scarefest has some of the best.
A haunted mini putt putt golf course from Putt 2 U
A face only a mother could love
Ever laid down in a coffin? You could do it and get your picture made at Scarefest.
This lady was in The Hot Seat from The Scream Park
These pictures are just a small sample of what was going on at Scarefest this year. There were many other stars, vendors, paranormal investigators at this years show. This is one show you want to attend if you are into horror in anyway. It just keeps getting bigger and better each year.
I would like to say a huge thank you to Patti Starr and Chip Coffey for putting on a great horror convention. And also to Nic Brown for making us with Monsters From The Basement feel very welcome! Thanks guys and we will see you in Lexington Ky again next year!
Click here to listen to our interview with Leslie Easterbrook
Leslie Easterbrook stated acting in the early 80′s appearing in such tv ;shows as Laverne And Shirley, Love American Style and Trapper John MD. She also moved over to making movies and starred in all of the Police Academy films. She has been in several horror movies but her most memoriable role is that of Mother Firefly in Rob Zombie’s classic film The Devils Rejects. Leslie and I chatted for a while this past spring at the Full Moon Tattoo And Horror Convention. She was such a wonderful lady to talk to. I hope you enjoy my chat with Leslie Easterbrook!!