Thursday, February 21, 2008

R.I.P. Ben Chapman (1928-2008)

Hoo-boy... it was already a dreary day and now this....
Hollywood actor Ben Chapman --one of the last men to play a classic Universal monster (and a super-nice guy to boot) passed away in Hawaii early this morning.

From the Creature from the Black Lagoon Yahoo Group:

Ben Chapman passed away this morning at 12:15 AM Hawaii time. He was
admitted to the hospital two days ago and died peacefully in his
hospital bed. He had a living will and they turned off his life
support yesterday about noon Hawaii time. They will be having a
memorial service at a Catholic Church located near the beach and he
will be cremated. He turned 79 last October.


My sincere hope is that he died peacefully and with no pain or suffering.

My best thoughts are for the Gill-man who carried a fallen female and entered into movie monster stardom!
Our Gill Man (on land) will be forever remembered, not just as the body of the imposing Creature, but for his priceless recollections, his detailed memories and willingness to share this will Monster Kids the world over.

A gentle giant and a heck of a nice guy.

Personally I have to include these shots I took as well: The whole Creature gang photo-op for the fans at CreatureFest 2003 in Wakulla Springs. (left to right) Ben Chapman, Julia Adams, Ginger Stanley and Ricou Browning --together again at this event for the first time in 50 years.

And here's Ben with and signing my own Creature Mask for posterity.
Thanks again Ben... and rest in peace.

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Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Incoming: El Superbeasto!

This Spring will see the long awaited release of The Haunted World of El Superbeasto, a 2-d (!) animated theatrical production written and conceived by Rob Zombie. As 2-d animated feature films grow fewer and farther between I'm pulling for it to be enjoyable --or at least be watchable and turn a solid profit. Different from Rob's own "house" style (as displayed in a Beavis' peyote trip in Beavis and Butthead Do America) the overall look of the film is more like Ralph Bakshi meets Ren and Stimpy, thanks in large part to the talents of Spumco alumnus Director Doug "Spongebob" Lawrence, Co-Director Carey Yost, and Chris Riccardi.

The film centers on a Santo-type, lout of a Mexi-wrestler and his epic battle with Dr. Satan (voiced by the always-great Paul Giamatti). Though a version Dr. Satan appears in House of 1000 Corpses, this guy looks totally different. Tom Kenny of Spongebob fame and Brian Posehn lend their vocal talents as well. This week Rob Zombie posted some new pics from the movie on his Myspace page. Here's some choice selects. Enjoy!

Yow! Zombie Nazis! Shades of Ralph Bakshi's Wizards (1977) ...

No denying it's got a nice look... and like Rob's previous films you can bet it's R-rated for violence and what-not. Personally I just really hope it's not as full of the detracting "mean for mean's sake" spirit that has hobbled his 3 previous films -- and escalated with each new script. (I liked House of 1000 Corpses...but hated the Halloween remake.) But I guess we'll all find out once it's released...

For "full disclosure", check out Rob's My Space page at:

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