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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!


Fired Because of

The Exorcist.....?

by Michael Copner

There are trends and fashions which unfold in the entertainment field, as they evolve in most other areas of our daily life. Let me tell you about one cycle of evolution which took place between 1931 and 2015.

For me, it began in the mid 1970s and concerned the film The Exorcist, and my first real enjoyable employment as a daytime relief manager for Sterling Recreation Organization (or simply SRO). The job required that I get in at 11 am to get three Seattle movie houses up and running: The Music Box, Town and 7th Avenue Theatre (alas, all are now gone). At age 18 it was the closest to show business I’d achieved and often allowed me to see six new movies for free—weekly! My employment with SRO lasted three months.

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George Clayton Johnson

On Christmas Day 2015, George Clayton Johnson passed from this realm to the next. I first met him on a street in Hollywood. What he was doing there that day, I don't know. I was roaming around, checking out the sights, as I was still new to the town and still fairly stunned that I actually was living in LA. At some point, I saw walking towards me, a gentleman in a straw boater and with a gentle smile. I recognized him immediately; there was no mistaking the man. I caught his eye and smiled and put my hand out to introduce myself. "Oh!" he said with a wide smile, "I know you. You're the writer!" After I pulled myself up off the ground, I admitted that I was surprised he knew my name and he said—I will never forget this—"Who doesn't know Jessie Lilley?" I figure there are several million people who never heard of me, but you wouldn't know it from George. We walked together for over an hour, just chatting about this and that and then we went our separate ways.

George and I saw each other at Forry Birthday parties, horror conventions and best of all, the Paperback Book Show in the Valley. There we could visit and share a smoke and catch up. I drove him home from that show several times over the years. More time to converse. More time to learn.

And now there is no more time. I shall miss this darling man. With his passing, a small part of my heart shrivelled and died with him. There was no one else like George.

—Jessie Lilley


We begin with remembering the man and his work through the eyes of L.J. Dopp,
in his portrait entitled FICTIONEER, depicting the author and some of his characters.

All original artwork related to this George Clayton Johnson Celebration is © L.J. Dopp
and may not be used without the artist's permission.

A Voice Behind the 8-Ball

by Brad Linaweaver

George Clayton Johnson has left us.

He also left us exquisite works of science fiction and fantasy. He was one hell of a writer, and one of the most unassuming famous people I ever met.

Of the unforgettable episodes of The Twilight Zone that he wrote, my favorite is a "Game of Pool." I like it even better than the classic movie, The Hustler. The Johnson script takes the idea of a balls-out pool game between the acknowledged greatest player and a desperate newcomer, but isn't restricted to the mundane world of prosaic reality. We're talking about the Zone.

Jonathan Winters is Fats Brown, master of the game. Jack Klugman is Jesse Cardiff, the hungry man with something to prove. He must beat the best to be the best. The only difficulty is that Fats is dead. That would normally be a problem, but not in the Zone.

When shooting pool with a ghost, the stakes can be your life. In the competitive world of Hollywood, George knew all about soul testing trials. Perhaps the only way to preserve your soul is love of what you do. That's true, whether the last sound you hear is a keystroke—or a ball dropping into a pocket.

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A Conversation with George Clayton Johnson

by L.J. Dopp

Copyright 2011 - L.J. Dopp

This interview, originally published in early 2000 on the Subterranean Press website, was commissioned and paid for by William K. Schafer, in order to detail and underscore Mr. Johnson’s 465-page, hardcover career retrospective, All of Us Are Dying and Other Stories (Subterranean Press, ed. W.K. Schafer). It was conducted over the phone Thursday, October 28, 1999. Updated and re-edited here on my website, it remains one of the most fascinating, informative, and important pieces of writing I have ever been associated with. Okay, so I end a sentence with a preposition now and then, but I love writing, and if you do too and would like a lesson from a true master—a Jedi Knight of the written word—then read on. Besides illuminating a wonderful book, this dialogue hopes to enlighten, describing the “between the lines” process that a great writer undergoes in order to present us, the readers, with these tightly humming short stories, teleplays and story outlines. The book also includes essays on writing and a complete screenplay by Johnson. Making things look (and read) easy is where the true craftsmanship comes in, as you will see. The book, All of Us Are Dying and Other Stories, also includes a wonderful introduction and a stirring afterward, by Christopher Conlon and Dennis Etchison, respectively. The book is sold out, but might be available on-line, and it wouldn’t hurt to contact Subterranean Press regarding reprinting it, or to inquire there about other books by Mr. Johnson.

Read The Full Article ...



Saying goodbye to an old friend is never easy. It's taken some time for Brad and me to gather our wits after the loss of this man. Slowly, ever so slowly, the sad reality has wormed its way into our hearts and detonated there.

And so, goodbye Eric. And yes, it's true, it seems we hardly knew you. Fair winds.—Jessie


Monster Dad by Brad Linaweaver

Original Art by L.J. Dopp








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.

Read The Full Article ...


EXTRA! EXTRA! READ ALL ABOUT IT!

Click to read an exclusive interview with our own

MONDO GIRL

Vicki Marie Taylor!

Get to know Vicki Marie on FaceBook, too!


WATCH IT BEFORE IT'S GONE!

Click to see a Special YouTube Preview of J. Neil Schulman's Alongside Night


They Spit On His Grave

Remembering the Hollywood Memorial

for Jerry Gross

One of the happiest memories I have of Harry Novak is seeing him at a Ray Courts Hollywood Autograph Show at the huge Shrine Auditorium. Novak was dressed in silk suit and tie and was pushing a wheelchair. In the chair sat Sam Arkoff, co-founder of American-International Pictures—a much higher budget rendition of Harry’s own enterprise. Mr. Arkoff could no longer walk as his health was failing in advanced years. I got the impression Sam had never attended such a huge event, and that Harry wanted his friend to see how popular the genre films were among a new generation of young people.

Harry called me over and introduced me to his long time friend. I had about 5 minutes to speak to the great man. I asked about his work with Roger Corman, the imported Godzilla films from Japan. Sometimes he had a smile and an answer to my questions, sometimes he just couldn’t recall details from so far back.

Read The Full Article ...


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Richard Hatch and Brad Linaweaver interviewed at MegaCon 2014

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SILICON ASSASSIN on YOU TUBE | Keep Up With The Hit Counter!



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."

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Mondo Cult Online Proudly Presents

The May 2016 column: Text-Nichal Foul

Check Back Monthly for a New Column


May 2016

Text-Nical Foul

You’ve finally taken enough time off from your busy day-to-day insanity to head to the theater and squeeze in the latest blockbuster. Yay you! And now, you’re more excited than anyone has the right to be at a movie. Sure, you used to go to the movies at least once a week but lately, the rigors of everyday life have sucked any entertainment out of your weekly schedule, save from plopping down on the couch in your sweatpants—you know, the ones with that stain—and watching the latest installment of abhorrent behavior from the “Hausfraus Of East Bumfuk”. But now, you’re back! Taking your seat in the darkened theater, you plunk down a trough of Mr Pibb in your lap and you are ready, steady, go for a good time.

The Coming Attractions begin. Ahhhhhh, movie foreplay. And as Will Smith’s giant face fills one wall of the theater, but just before your brain screams “Aw crap! Not another friggin’ Will Smith movie” your pupils are reduced to the size of dust mites as the row of seats in front of you lights up like a quasar. Minutes later, as your eyes slowly grow accustomed to their new surroundings and you begin to check your skin for radiation burns, you realize that it isn’t a quasar at all, just some douche-canoe who decided that this would be a good time to check his texts. Yeah, you read right. Some dickless wonder with a Samsung Galaxy Note 4, that has a screen the size of your left lung, has lit up the theater to the point that you feel like you have a klieg light stapled to your forehead...

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


Sapiens Failing

Ex Machina

reviewed by Jerry Jewett

Recognizing that a movie is a morality play can sometimes take a while, just as figuring out who to root for when watching it turns much on ascertaining “who is who” early on—c hecking to see if there is any character with whom one might sympathize or identify. The recent movie Ex Machina presents both problems.

This story begins in the operations center of a major internet search company (like Yahoo or Google). We are introduced to a young male protagonist who is apparently a top-notch coder and budding genius in Artificial Intelligence applications. As a member of the homo sapiens clan, I thought when coder/geek Caleb Smith (played by Domhnall Gleeson) appeared, he was the main character. A true fair-haired boy, he is introduced as the winner of a corporate-wide competition which will let him visit—and be mentored by—the company’s founding genius, Nathan Batemen, at his remote estate. The story’s era could be Right Now. Caleb appears as a likeable-enough young character. I bought into it. In short order, Caleb leaves corporate HQ to meet Nathan, the founding genius of the enterprise. (Steve Jobs might have provided some inspiration for the character modeled as Nathan, but quirkiness is definitely a character factor, in tandem with megalomania).

A lengthy helicopter trip for Caleb in a large commercial helicopter (a Eurocopter Super Puma?) foreshadows how far, in many dimensions, corporate founder and prime genius Nathan (played with prideful swagger by Oscar Isaac) has removed himself from the world Caleb is leaving behind in this flight.

Read The Full Article ...


Bela Lugosi

In Person

Bill Kaffenberger and Gary D. Rhodes

Bear Manor Media—2015—419 Pages

reviewed by Michael Copner

Film professor and historian, Dr. Gary Rhodes, has always exhibited a tenacity for attention when digging for details on his many books and articles on motion pictures. Just a glance at the huge number of chapter footnotes demonstrates that fact. How Dr. Rhodes interprets these facts is further evidence of a rare genius for cinema history.

In his most recent book, BELA LUGOSI IN PERSON, Rhodes works with co-author Bill Kaffenberger to produce one of the most thorough actor biographies this writer has read in the last 50 years. Until now, the most uniquely complete book in the field was W.C. FIELDS BY HIMSELF, written by—rather, one should say—compiled with commentary by Fields’ grandson.

The young heir to the family estate found a long lost trunk hidden away in the attic. Said trunk was filled with correspondence between the great comedian and other celebrities the likes of which include John Barrymore and Edgar Bergen as well as W.C.’s family members.

Read The Full Article ...


Hammer

Imperialist Studies

No. 2

The Brigand of Kandahar

by Ron Garmon

In every movie they make, every time an Arab utters the word “Allah”
something blows up
—Eyad Zahra

This lurid cheesebomb from the Studio That Dripped Blood is buried under several layers of obscurity. Aside from One Million Years B.C., a pair of pirate movies with Christopher Lee and Terence Fisher’s vivid, oft-copied The Stranglers of Bombay, Hammer’s period adventure films enjoy little fannish constituency. Not many new-minted cultists keen to check out The Nanny, Dr. Jekyll and Sister Hyde or the uncut When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth know of this 1965 low-budget bloodbath and few cheer news of its existence. Anchor Bay’s lavish and meticulous DVD releases of potboilers like The Viking Queen and The Vengeance of She did very little to stimulate interest in non-horror Hammer on this side of the pond and that’s a pity since The Brigand of Kandahar is superior to both of those turkeys. Never mind your dogeared video guide or some crap consensus you’ve read online; the worst criticisms usually leveled against this film—a paltry 81-minute runtime and the substantial amount of footage borrowed from another movie—are actually virtues and far from covert ones.

Read The Full Article ...


Secondborn

Lafayette's Sweet Hard Core

Secondborn "Symbols" (EP) 2015

When lions dream, do they remember?

Hailing from Lafayette’, Secondborn’s polished sound is all over their EP, Symbols. This is exciting stuff. Lush production, provocative lyrics and voices that are actually on key and in tune with each other.

Fans of Rise Against, Thrice and Saosin will recognize the influence on Secondborn, who seem committed to keeping the danger in rock ‘n roll while retaining seamless beauty in harmony. These guys are not afraid of a melodic baseline and their drummer knows his skin. Impressive guitar work as well—simply an all around, noisy, enjoyable rock band.

Read The Full Article ...


The Unravelling

Calgary’s Progressive Rockers

Nail it with New Single

Welcome Back Steve Moore!

Just under two weeks ago, Independent Music Promotions announced the release of REVOLT, the new and introspective single from Calgary’s The Unravelling. We’ve not heard from this band since lead singer Steve Moore’s (happily) successful battle with cancer. Before this dark episode in their collective career, The Unravelling opened for acts such as Helmet and Bison BC, topped the CJSW Metal charts and had been nominated for three 2010 Alberta Metal Awards, winning in the Best Album Production category. Not too shabby.

Since REVOLT’s release, The Unravelling have been putting out 24 separate art pieces—each with lyrics to REVOLT—over a total of 24 days: This in celebration of the single which will end with the full cover.

Read The Full Article ...


The Continuing Adventures of Mondo Girl

Stupefyin' Taylor

Where HAS Our Girl Been?

Mondo Girl Vicki Marie Taylor has been pretty busy lately, but we finally have a new update. Her latest role will be filming this summer in LA. It’s a part in a horror film that is already in production.

Since our last update, that of Mondo Girl’s participation in her local Gay Pride Parade in Arkansas, she has been spending what little free time she has, with her daughter Savannah, who now jokingly refers to her famous Mom as Lady Vicki. The rest of her time is spent preparing for this summer’s role.

Read The Full Article ...



Hammer Imperialist Studies No. 1

Terror of the Tongs

by Ron Garmon

The glory years of Hammer coincided not only with what film critics now recognize as a golden age of British cinema, but also the final fadeout of the British Empire. That this played out by proxy on U.K. cinema screens has been taken by for granted by critics and cultural observers since the first James Bond movie, so it isn’t surprising that we see this specter of a subtext haunting the Studio That Dripped Blood, particularly their historical adventure films. While major studios and international production companies spent floods of cash recreating the short life of T.E. Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia), the Battle of Roarke’s Drift (Zulu), “Chinese” Gordon’s dramatic demise (Khartoum), Tennyson’s deathless ode to upper-class incompetence (The Charge of the Light Brigade)—Hammer took the predictable route of creating violent, lurid, character-driven melodramas out of the more exploitable elements of colonial exploitation. Calling Hammer’s end of this genre “U.K. Grindhouse” or “Mondo Bray” or even “Empiresploitation” wouldn’t be wide of the mark, except the latter term is more than a little redundant.

Read The Full Article by Ron Garmon...


Unmutual

by Brad Linaweaver

"Our elections are the envy of the world."

Sam Waterston's character gives a pep talk in THE NEWSROOM

Every now and then, I watch all the episodes of my favorite continuing character TV series. It's an iconic vision from the 1960s. There are seventeen episodes, an hour each.

I refer, of course, to the greatest cult television show of all time, Patrick McGoohan's The Prisoner. It wasn't only different from other shows. It stood in opposition to other shows, including the wrongheaded attempt at a remake.


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I Saw What I Saw When I Saw It

Growing Up in the 1950s & 60s

With Television Reruns and Old Movies

Frank J. Dello Stritto—Self Published—2014—400 Pages


reviewed by Michael Copner

It has been said that every member of the Baby Boomer Generation recalls where they were when they heard the news in 1963 that President JFK had been shot. In his new book, I Saw What I Saw When I Saw It, writer Frank Dello Stritto makes the contention quite clear that most in our Monster-Boom Generation know where they were and in what stage of development their life was when they discovered horror and sci-fi. In a unique blend of autobiography and film commentary, Mr. Dello J. Stritto unfolds his own unique discovery of our favorite film genre in a way to which every film fan may relate.

The development of motion pictures, radio and television—how each evolved and held influence over the other media—that is one focus of this book.

How the post cinema mythology was unveiled randomly on TV in the 1950s and 60s to a young generation of viewers, and particularly the impact it had on family life, and later career decisions. These are the base of a second connecting thread running through this book.

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Portrait of C. Courtney Joyner by L.J. Dopp

A Conversation with

C. Courtney Joyner

Interviewed by L.J. Dopp

C. Courtney Joyner is foremost a writer—of screenplays, teleplays, short stories, and lots of non-fiction. He’s had over 25 scripts produced, and has directed three of them. He’s an avid collector of all things Universal—as in horror—as well as nearly all things filmic, and has been my friend for 27 years. Court is also a well-known western writer and a film historian to the point that AFI calls him to host their screenings and DVD distributors seek out his commentaries for classic films. This interview was taped at my Sherman Oaks apartment on two Wednesdays, February 8 and 22, 2012.

LJD: You made a film when you were a student at USC—how did you get Sam Peckinpah to go along with the documentary?


CCJ: It was difficult; I just sat down and started writing letters… to everybody I could think of who’d worked with Sam. I had no contact info for anyone, so if I got any answer at all it was from some agency telling me they weren’t interested—that type of thing. Finally, the two people who responded were L.Q. Jones and Warren Oates. And—Warren Oates wrote me a very, very sweet letter from his filming location.

Read The Full Article ...



Fade Into Day

J. Neil Schulman's

Alongside Night

Reviewed by Jerry Jewett

Ayn Rand published her monumental magnum opus Atlas Shrugged in 1957. Producing it for the big screen took until 2011 for the first of three segments, an achievement Rand did not live to experience. J. Neil Schulman wrote Alongside Night in 1979, with a substantially shorter 'gestation period' to reach the big screen beginning in 2014.


Both movies have in common that they deal with philosophies, ideas and the consequences of ideas, shockingly radical ideas offensive to neo-cons, majoritarians, liberals or other conventional or statist thinkers: ideas about moral culture, property, liberty and economics that are at odds with contemporary dogma and in defiance of historical trends.

Read The Full Article ...

WATCH IT BEFORE IT'S GONE!

Click to see a Special YouTube Preview of J. Neil Schulman's Alongside Night


Mondo Girl Recommends...

Our own Mondo Girl, Vicki Marie Taylor, shows off her latest recommendation! Taylor, a long time fan of the iconic 80s actor Corey Feldman took the time to pose with his latest biography Coreyography and is demanding that all who are fans of Feldman add this to their collection or else!

Feldman shares intimate details of his friendship with Corey Haim, details of his career and discusses some of the perils and pitfalls of Hollywood. Feldman can also be seen in a horror film titled Six Degrees of Hell. Our lover of the world of horror, the sexy Taylor, also owns this film and says that Feldman carries the entire film as Super Stars tend to do. She notes that certain scenes remind her of childhood nightmares, which is a very good thing. Finally, she states that this film should be added to any horror film collection.

Read The Full Article ...


Silicon Assassin

The Man of the Hour

by Jerry Jewett

Troubled times beget troubling art: witness Zamyatin's We, Huxley's Brave New World, Picasso's Guernica or Orwell's 1984. When life has become torturous or fearsome for ordinary people owing to usurpation of their rights and liberties by high-handed "executives," "administrators" or "leaders," conflict and strife abound. And in the early phases of consolidation of power after a coup d'état, things often go still worse for the subjected hordes. The early Soviet era in 20th century Russian history, or Hitler's acts of brutal police power after the Reichstag Fire, exemplify this.

Read The Full Article by Jerry Jewett...


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...


The Visible Ray

by Brad Linaweaver

There is a special fraternity that experienced a crushing loss this year. I count myself a member. We have no old dark house in which to meet. There are no arcane handshakes, or glittering rings on anyone's fingers, to herald membership in this particular fraternity.

Ray Bradbury referred to me as an honorary son. I've met others who received this honor. I told Ray that he was my second father. He heard that from a chorus of voices throughout the years. There is a fraternity, but the number is not infinite.

We now live in a world without Ray Bradbury. But memory never dies.

Read The Full Article by Brad Linaweaver...




Deap Vally

Live & CD

by Jerry Jewett

Sometimes things happen curiously, or rather, curiosity finds more than it sought. There I was, Tuesday, September 17th, with my Fender Showmaster stuck in the shop at McCabe's Guitars for upgrade work. I borrowed a few moments from office work on the computer to peruse the Fender website, the better to drool over the amp I would like to get to enhance my sound. That 65 Twin Custom 15 is still on Fender's website, thank God!

Read The Full Article...


Window of Opportunity

Exclusive Photos from the set of the

Silicon Assassin Project

Production on this project is wrapping up and we're all very excited about it here at Mondo Cult. Series creator (and Mondo Cult Publisher) Brad Linaweaver has given us permission to post these exclusive pix from this past weekend's shoot.

This episode, "Window of Opportunity", was directed by Mondo Cult favorite Christopher Douglas-Olen Ray.

Read The Full Article by Jessie Lilley...



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