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Dracula’s Daughter

Gary D. Rhodes, Tom Weaver, Michael Lee and David Colton

"Bear Manor Media—2017—349 Pages

reviewed by Michael Copner


Dracula's Daughter
Gloria Holden

Here is a 5-star rated book, an epic to one of the most underappreciated—yet most sensual—vampire classics of Hollywood’s 1930s output. Of course, we wish Bela was in the final cut. That was likely the intent of Carl Laemmle, Jr. when he commissioned the first treatment to be written by John Balderstone in 1933; that first draft, turned in during January of 1934, picks up in Castle Dracula in Transylvania, exactly where the 1931 Dracula concluded.

But by page 2 of the treatment, Mr. Balderstone had a change of heart about in which direction the plotline should unfold, and he explains his ideas explicitly. For starters, he notes: “The use of a female vampire instead of male gives us the chance to pay up SEX and CRUELTY legitimately. In Dracula that had to be almost eliminated because too horrible and unpleasant if added to the blood-sucking of women by a male monster.”

The cards are thus laid on the table that writer Balderstone plans to morph and shape shift the Dracula sequel into something other than what Universal Studios—and film-going audiences—might have been expecting. He carries his theme further on page 3 by declaring: “…why should Cecil DeMille have a monopoly of the great box office value of tortures and cruelty in pictures of ancient Rome? I want to establish in Part Two, the fact that Dracula’s Daughter enjoys torturing her male victims…and that these men under her spell rather like it. The censors will stand this provided it is done by suggestion and it gives us a big box-office value that we lacked before.”

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On Thanksgiving Day in this 2016th year of our reckoning, Forrest J Ackerman would have celebrated his 100th Birthday. He's gone now though, so it's left to us to celebrate for him. Brad and I were ruminating about our very different, though sometimes strikingly similar, memories of Forry and decided we should do something for 100 years. And of course, it wouldn't be a Mondo Special without an original piece of art from the eerily-talented L.J. Dopp.

So please, join us in wishing The Ackermonster a Happy Century Mark.

"Up, up and away, with Forry J!"


Merely A Century

(Forry is 100)

by Brad Linaweaver

"He was a dear man."

Deborah Painter: Forry: The Life of Forrest J Ackerman


Exclusive to Mondo Cult, artwork by L.J. Dopp and © 2016. No reproduction without permission.

The first time was in Dallas, Texas, the summer of 1971. A childhood dream came true. Not an adolescent dream, confused with inchoate ambitions and ill defined lusts for an imaginary adulthood. Childhood fantasies come before all that. They are about the Sense of Wonder.

Suddenly, I was more than an undergraduate at Florida State University, attending Dallascon, my first science fiction convention. Finally, I was meeting Forrest J (no period for some arcane reason) Ackerman. Seeing a letter of mine published in Famous Monsters of Filmland the previous year had been a thrill, but it didn't compare to an actual encounter.

As we shook hands, I was transported back in time to the stark fears and desperate hopes of a crazily imaginative childhood. I could hear the music again. Science was magic. The future, whether good or bad, was going to be wildly different than the present. It just had to be.

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Living A Dream

by Jessie Lilley

A hundred years ago, when I was quite young, I used to save my nickels and dimes so I could buy my favorite magazines. They were MAD Magazine and Famous Monsters of Filmland. I would stop at Lazzaras at 11 West Railroad Avenue in Tenafly, NJ on my way home from school and pick up the new issues. Then I would hide them in my book bag, because my mother didn’t think I should be reading either of them.

What did she know, anyway? She thought The Ink Spots were a “pretty hip group” and didn’t grok the magic of The Beatles.

But I did. And I knew in my deepest soul that these two books were my lifeline out of the hell of the NYC suburbs of the 60s. Grasping at the straws of imagination and humor, I devoured them from 1966 on into my teens. It was then that I fell amongst theatricals…

Of all the people I met during those years, one of the larger influences was Richard Valley, with whom I eventually created Scarlet Street: The Magazine of Mystery and Horror. It was Richard who sent me off to the Son of Horror-Thon convention (now known to those in the know simply as Chiller) in NJ, to get an autograph for him from Forrest J Ackerman. Off I went and met one of my idols and quite simply, it changed my life.

Forry and I got on splendidly from the git go. He liked women and I liked brainy punsters so it was a win-win.

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Tapestry

Regarding the Incomparable Acting Career of

Peter Lorre

by Lucas Paris

To look at an actor or actress, requires one to look at the body of their work. An often exhausting process depending on how prolific the thespian, it is also quite often enjoyable as conclusions can be drawn from their successes and failures, making for contrasts or comparisons with other greats in the same field. Yet, there are actors that are singularly incomparable, with character that indelibly marked the industry.

One such was Peter Lorre.

Born Laszlo Lowenstein in 1904, the Hungarian Jewish actor’s story could be a film unto itself. Running away from home at a young age, learning the stage craft in Vienna before debuting in Zurich, working as a banker—then traveling throughout Europe doing stage in Germany, Austria and Switzerland before landing his first seminal role, a film role, in Fritz Lang’s revolutionary M in 1931.

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The Guillotine on the Walk of Fame

Brad Linaweaver Reviews

The Brain That Couldn't Think

by L. J. Dopp

Yellow Hat Productions, 2017
$19.95, ISBN 978-0-9890242-1-1

This book was a lifetime in the making. It contains multitudes. In the foreword, George Clayton Johnson promises that the reader will "discover what a fascination with pop-culture, a satirical turn of mind, an ironic sense of humor, and a head full of bright ideas can do to a man."

He's introducing L. J. Dopp.

One of the best short story collections in many years did not just happen. The thing had to grow over time, fed by the blood of cruel memories.

You know the movies where the flying saucer lands? There is keen anticipation as nervous humans wait for something to come out. Suspense is an ache in the soul. Anything can happen.

The Brain That Couldn't Think is a lot like that. Dopp has written fiction chock full of surprises. When's the last time there was a book of this kind?

Many writers have become as predictable as a summer cold. Either trapped in the slowly grinding gears of genre conventions, or preaching a straight-jacketed ideology or theology, the only surprise is in guessing how long their next tome will be. These writers are so deep in terminal exhaustion that their work lacks the brevity of Charles Dickens.

Dopp will have none of this. He does not sell escapism by the pound. He tells his story, and stops when it's over.

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The Raven

Lugosi and Karloff—At Last!!!

by Michael Copner

Let’s start with the greatest news first, then put a few add-on items at the end. The news is that via the marvel of a Google search, anyone can now view the original trailer for Universal’s 1935 masterpiece, The Raven. Something film fans and collectors lamented, “We’ll never see!” A short while ago, I was searching around the ‘net and up came the pristine trailer for my favorite film; totally devoid of any splices or scratches—it appears as clear as the day it was shot. Where has it been secreted away (for over 92 years)?

It’s as action and thrill packed as the feature itself and very compact at 2 minutes long. The single most exciting fact is that the film is billed as starring Bela Lugosi (first!) and Boris Karloff—the only time Bela received top billing over his supposed rival.

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The Mysterious Existence of

Twin Peaks

by Josh Bravo

For a television show that is bursting at the seams with secrets, it’s not a secret that Twin Peaks is one of the greatest cult television shows of all time. If you haven’t seen it, you’ve definitely heard about it. And if you have seen it, you’ve definitely talked about it.

If you fall into the “haven’t seen it” category, what are you doing here? Go watch it! Immediately! And when you come back, you can agree with mostly everyone on the importance of Twin Peaks; a show filled to the brim with mystery.

Its entire existence is a mystery in itself. The idea that something like this can exist on prime time television on a major network—not HBO or Showtime, but ABC—the same channel as Full House (let that simmer for a second.) You could be watching the Olsen twins one minute and enter The Black Lodge the next. This show was so ahead of its time; it was almost as if David Lynch could see into the future. Like the early 90s showed up at a Halloween party dressed as the mid 2000s. David Lynch and Mark Frost really cemented the type of stories that you can tell on television; a model that is just blossoming today. Years and years before Breaking Bad or Mad Men or Game of Thrones, Twin Peaks was a completely new ballpark for TV to play in.

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Resident Evil

How to Make a Successful Film Series
Out of a Video Game

Bonus Interview with the late, lamented

Ray Zone (1947-2012)

by Jessie Lilley

[This article first appeared in truncated form in Famous Monster of Filmland Issue # 251. The article in its entirety, is presented here with permission from the publisher.]

The last thing I ever wanted to do was get involved in what I assumed was another hash up of the Apocalypse on film; even worse, the idea of the film was purportedly based on a video game. I was not looking forward to the three DVDs that had been glaring at me from the top of the TV for a full week. Finding myself with some free time early one morning however, I admitted defeat and sat myself down-fortified with some strong coffee, to view the films. Imagine my astonishment when about 10 minutes into the first film I realized I was enjoying myself. Either I’m getting less picky in my dotage or this film is actually pretty good.

A little history: RESIDENT EVIL is based on the Capcom PlayStation game of the same name (it’s called Biohazard in Japan which is where the game originated). We won’t dwell on the game itself, other than to note the basic premise: learn the mystery of the mansion—while vanquishing zombies, their zombified dogs and countless other bad guys along the way—and escape alive. In short, the game is your basic quest fantasy.

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Trick and Treat

(Some candy from our publisher)

by Brad Linaweaver

In the near decade of Mondo Cult's existence (magazines and the site), I have never been happier to make a Halloween announcement than in 2016.

My old pal, Fred Olen Ray, has always said that I'm a lucky bastard. In keeping with that grand tradition, allow me to report that I'm executive producer on one of the best haunted house movies ever made.

Chris Ray (Son of Fred) is the director of A House is not a Home. The film had an official premiere in Philadelphia, on September first. That happens to be my birthday. Also, it was an auspicious way to enter the Fall, after a long, hot summer.

A few years earlier, A House is not a Home received acclaim as Best Horror Film at Jeff Rector's Burbank Film Festival. Everyone involved knew that was only the beginning.

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Mondo Cult Online Proudly Presents

Check Back Often for a New Column


July 2017

Bye George

(A Different George)

Before I begin, this is the second column I’ve written for Mondo Cult Online, entitled “Bye George”. The first one was saying goodbye to George Lucas and it outlined my pleasure that he handed over the Star Wars reins to Disney. And based on the success of both Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Rogue One and the general suckiness of Episodes I, II and III, I think you’ll agree that it appears that this new marriage seems to be working out just fine and dandy.

This second “Bye George” does NOT mark such a happy occasion.

In March of 2015, I wrote a column entitled “The Game-Changer”, about my experience seeing Night Of The Living Dead in the theater, in 1971. (Please scroll down a ways and you’ll see it. I promise.)

Now, two years later, I find myself sitting here contemplating the rest of my life without George A. Romero—something I didn’t really want to have to do.

Read The Full Article by Richard J. Schellbach...


Gary Rhodes

2 Biggest Hits

by Michael Copner

Liz Renay used to claim that good things come in pairs. And in her magnificent body of work they truly did!

In this Mondo Cult assignment there will be a lot of twos. Buddy Barnett and me: we’ll each write reviews about the two books to reach the market written by Gary Rhodes. They may as well be “book end” books about the final two films released while Bela Lugosi was alive, as these books are devoted to the works of Ed Wood and Bela Lugosi—two truly unique filmmakers in the horror field.

To continue the pattern of twos, I’d almost like to call this article “If Bedrooms Could Talk” or some such thing. For Cult Movies magazine was birthed in the front bedroom of an apartment I lived in for 15 years. The first two issues were collated and stapled by work parties in that room.

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Silicon Assassin

Lady Twilight and Friends

This is the one and only official Mondo Girl stopping by to say hello and sound off on working with the various directors in The Silicon Assassin project.

First, I would like to say, working in the Richard Hatch directed episode “Problem Child” was a blast. Mr. Hatch is an accomplished actor with a career in television that spans decades. He is best known for his recurring role as Apollo in the original Battlestar Galactica and Tom Zarek in the SyFy Channel reboot. He directed the very first episode in our unique series. I didn't just enjoy working under Richard's direction but also I loved that he was open to allowing me to suggest some direction for the episode. The scene in which BubbleBlonde Girl and Lady Twilight appear to fight and then share a sweet onscreen almost kiss for the camera. I like to refer to myself as being one of the “ghost directors” for that episode since I helped guide that particular shot.

Edward L. Plumb directed “Dead Reckoning”, a multiple-award winning episode. His tasteful presentation of lingerie and ray guns helped to garner enough attention to take home awards for his efforts. The main characters of the series entire, portrayed by Richard Hatch, Paula Labaredas and myself as Lady Twilight, only appear briefly at the very end of this episode. We use our ray guns to fight the lingerie clad enemies. One could easily say our cameo was worth it given that this episode has some of the best special effects in the entire series.

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Boneyard Rising

by Jessie Lilley

In Mondo Cult 2, we featured a story on The Boneyard Collection. An amusing anthology of spine tinglers from our friends Edward Plumb and L.J. Dopp.

A host of luminaries appear in these vignettes, including Brad Dourif, Ken Foree, Tippi Hedren, George Clayton Johnson, Robert Loggia, Kevin McCarthy, Rod McKuen, William Smith, Barbara Steele, Brinke Stevens, Susan Tyrrell and countless others. The entire series is wrapped around your host, Dr. Acula as pertrayed by the inimitable Forrest J Ackerman.

One vignette, Her Morbid Desires, was adapted by Plumb from the short story by our own Brad Linaweaver and features both the author and Ray Harryhausen in cameo roles.

The film was great fun. Everyone in town got in on it, even your intrepid editor, as an Irish screenwriter pitching a script to a mummy, trying to make his mark in the business! But as with many of its ilk, it came and went like a summer breeze.

Read The Full Article by Jessie Lilley...



The Ides of March

by Brad Linaweaver

That time of year is on us again, when assassins emerge from the shadows, knives glinting in the cruel light. We remember the assassination of Julius Caesar. I once wrote an alternate history about Caesar for Harry Turtledove's Alternate Generals. In my story, Caesar changes his politics at the penultimate moment. Then he's murdered by Mark Antony. Just goes to show that when your time is up, your time is up.

Originally, Jessie and I were going to devote this space to an update article on Silicon Assassin. After all, there's a lot of assassinatin' going on in that epic. I'm halfway through the article, "Are We Free Yet?" What has put the article on hold is a timely piece by our own J. Kent Hastings that needs to be highlighted now.


Mondo Cult Readers and Writers comment on the magazine and website.
Check out the LETTERS page now!








Welcome to Mondo Heinlein. Something like this had to happen eventually. With a subject this fecund, and a wealth of contributions, Mondo Cult opens the Doors of Perception to imagination unafraid.

My only regret is that my friend, Bill Patterson, is not with us for the launch party. He finished his life's work of the Authorized Biography of Robert A. Heinlein in time for us; but not in time for him to reap the rewards of his splendid craft and dedication.

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WATCH ALONGSIDE NIGHT—THE FULL MOVIE, FREE!

Click HERE to see J. Neil Schulman's Alongside Night for free!


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Richard Hatch and Brad Linaweaver interviewed at MegaCon 2014

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Check out this review of SILICON ASSASSIN at L.Neil Smith's The Libertarian Enterprise.



Lest we forget, we honor the original cast that launched the Silicon Assassin series.
(L to R) Vicki Marie Taylor, Paula LaBaredas, Charles P. Hammill, Victoria Plumb,
and our star, Richard Hatch.



In Print: Order Your Hard Copy Of Mondo Cult Today!

Click The Cover To Order. Once the last issue is sold, it's done.
No reprints. No new print issues. Nuthin'... This is all there is and there ain't no more...!

"MONDO CULT comes as a cool breeze of giddy literary fun... Your inner Monster Kid will freak out!"

—HK AND CULT FILM NEWS

"As the title suggests, the focus is on the world of cult entertainment. The first issue contains departments addressed to new movies on disc, new music (including an especially solid collection of soundtrack reviews), new books, and more."

—Tim Lucas - Video WatchBlog


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What Do Other Publications

Think of us?

Mondo Cult #3

Edited by Jessie Lilley

Published by Brad Linaweaver

2012, 1601 pages, $13

from the Prometheus newsletter

This brief review can in no way do justice to the third issue of Mondo Cult, which packs in several magazines' worth of material between full-cover pages. Although adhering to no solid publishing schedule, Mondo Cult, when it arrives, has become a critical vehicle for the review and study of classic film, music, books, and people of science fiction, horror, and fantasy. In this issue over 30 writers contribute articles. Photos of actors, writers, and other personalities fill virtually every page, along with images of classic movie posters, advertisements and cartoons, not to mention a Frank Frazetta picture on the back cover. One could spend hours reading and re-reading this magazine, and still discover or re-discover new aspects of what is covered.

Read The Full Article by Anders Monsen...


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