Tuesday, October 18, 2011

ATTACK OF THE HORROR HOSTS: LATE NIGHT WITH UNCLE FRIGHT By Bethany Ruthven

Good evening, darlings, and thank you for reading. This evening on the Thir13en For Halloween I am reporting with an Attack Of The Horror Hosts segment, and I have an interview with an up-and-coming horror host: the delightfully cadaverous Uncle Fright from Massachusetts. This young undead (well, young to me, anyway, seeing as I'm 255 years old) is the current host of Late Night With Uncle Fright, which presents classic horror movies and other surprises with a bit of fiendish humor from Uncle Fright, his possessed ventriloquist's dummy Grim, and a strange robot-monster named Chip, all direct from his own crypt. Uncle Fright shared with me his future plans and some thoughts on horror films past and present, and I am delighted to present them here. Read on as I sit down with Uncle Fright.

We are delighted to welcome Uncle Fright to the The MonsterGrrls' Thir13en For Halloween. Will you please share with us about yourself and what you do?

Well, as you know my name is Uncle Fright, and I used to be a TV horror host in the 60’s and early 70’s on Channel 666 until the bigwigs decided that I was no longer needed (those shmutzis!). To this day I still can’t understand why; my show seemed to be a hit… although there were some problems with my assistant Grim (which we will not get into right now). As I was saying, they canceled my show and I found myself unemployed. You see, the thing is I am really an undead being, so finding a real job is not as easy as one may think. After hiding away in a crypt for many years I decided to venture forth and see what had become of the living world. That’s when I heard about this thing called the Internet… and the rest is history.

Television is a chancy business, darling. But how did you get started as a horror host? What is your inspiration?

In the 60's there was a horror host on almost every channel, and looking the way I do and having a history as a monster lover, it seemed like the perfect calling for me. As far as inspiration I noticed that most of the horror hosts out there were trying to be really scary. I think I’m the opposite; I like to think of myself as a cross between Willy Wonka and Bela Lugosi, with a little Pee-Wee Herman mixed in. Horror can be fun!

(Smiles) Oh, I most definitely think so. As you call yourself Uncle, would you describe yourself as a role model for young monsterkind?

I hope so. I would like to bring back the old-time monsters. A lot of children out there don’t know who Frankenstein is, or Dracula… the older movies were scary without being graphic. We need more scary and less blood and guts.

Where may we see Late Night With Uncle Fright?

Right now there are quite a few clips up on YouTube (just look up Uncle Fright), but very soon I will be on public access here in MA.

I wish you all the best, darling. What is your favorite horror movie, and how do you feel about the trend of today's horror remakes?

Oh there are sooo many, but if I had to choose one I would have to say Bride Of Frankenstein; it’s a classic and so well made. I think there is a place for horror remakes for new generations who haven’t seen the classics. I thought the new Wolfman was very well done.

I thought so too; certainly better than the werewolves from the Underworld series, which were a bit dreary. How do you feel about classic horror versus modern horror?

Nothing can beat the classics in my eyes.

What does the Halloween season mean to you?

Halloween is the only time of the year that everyone looks like me. It’s the night that the monsters can mingle with the living. It’s my favorite holiday!!

And so there is my chat with Uncle Fright. I invite my readers to check out his YouTube channel (accessible through the link above) and those in Massachusetts should keep an eye (or perhaps two) peeled for this charming horror host. Do return soon for The MonsterGrrls' Thir13en For Halloween, and warmest felicitations, as always, to all our own "little monsters."

Regards,

Bethany Ruthven

SPECIAL HALLOWEEN TREAT: Learn from Uncle Fright himself how to make your own PET SLIME BLOB!!


ATTACK OF THE HORROR HOSTS: MIDNIGHT MASSACRE THEATRE WITH SINISTER MINISTER AND THE ALTARGIRLS By Harriet Von Lupin

OWW-WOOOOOO!! Hi there, gang, and Happiest of Halloweens to everybody out there in Internet Thingy Land! This is Harriet Von Lupin, your roving reporter for The MonsterGrrls' Thir13en For Halloween, featuring the Attack Of The Horror Hosts! Today I am bringing you an interview with a guy who is just totally out there. He's the Sinister Minister, who hosts wacky horror movies with his Altargirls for The Midnight Massacre Theatre in Las Vegas, Nevada, and he's just so weird. He's this evil demented undead half-vampiric satanical-like dark priest (although we don't hold that against him--hey, dude, everybody's got their quirks!), hosting and commenting on the flicks he presents from deep inside his creepy Chap-Hell Of Horror, and being attended by his amazing Altargirls all through the show! Looks like what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, unless I blog about it first! So here's my interview from deep inside the Chap-Hell's darkest catacombs with the spooky Sinister Minister!

Dude, you are like, something. Welcome to The MonsterGrrls' Thir13en For Halloween, and would you please share with us about yourself and what you do?


Greetings, Harriet. It's a pleasure to make your acquaintance...and thank you...you are certainly "something" yourself! Well...I, among other, less complimenting adjectives, am a TV Horror Host. I have a show based out of the "City of Sin", Las Vegas, entitled The Midnight Massacre Theatre, and it's rather self-descriptive...basically, we massacre "B" and classic horror films in the most sadistic way comprehensible on late-night TV, on the national digital network, TUFF TV.

So how did you, an evil demonic vampiric preacher, get to be a horror host? Where'd you meet the Altargirls?

Well. That is quite a story... centuries old, to be exact... here's the short version. In life, I was, at a time, a Priest in the Order of the Catholic Church. I never did fit in, seeing that I had difficulty staying away from the female students of the academy where we were serving... you can imagine how that goes against the "norm" for most Catholic Priests, eh? I also, admittedly, tried the patience of the "higher-up's" with these, among other antics they labeled as "blasphemous." You can imagine their disdain at my behaviour... well, this was the Dark Ages, after all, and they showed their disdain by accusing me of heresy, and Witchcraft... and subsequently executing me by burning. Fortunately for me, they were right. During several of my previous forays into the Dark Arts, I had come in contact with and gained the affections of a certain "Succubus" right from one of the deepest pits of Hell! As the flames began to consume me, she swooped down upon the blazing pyre, and infused me with the Vampyric blood and burning Demonic spirit you know and love today! That's how I attained my Altargirl, "Succubus." We have had other Altargirls at our side throughout the ages... Demonica, Lucretia, Widow, Crymsin, Suki, Pyxie, Syren... and currently, Phyxia. And yes...that was the short version... As far as being a horror host, I just kinda "fell" into it. HA!!!

Uh-huh. Well, I’m personally open to interspecies dating, but you gotta be careful ‘cause it doesn’t always work. So what's your favorite horror movie?

Geez, if you thought the previous answer was long... this would take literally pages! But I will say I enjoy all the Universal and Hammer classics as well as anything Vincent Price did. More modernly, any really good vampire or werewolf tale, or anything ghostly and haunting... I will also say that my absolute favorite vampire films are the Subspecies series. And I am quite fond of the Hellraiser films, as well as An American Werewolf in London... and that hardly scratches the surface.

Dude, that is so very! I am totally cool with Uncle Vinnie, the Subspecies stuff and the great Am-Wolf In London, Minister! Where can we see your show?

My show is available in select cities nationwide on the digital network, TUFF TV... as well as certain other cable access stations and the great World Wide Web (of deceit!) at www.themmt.com, our official "grave-site." Do pay us a visit, won't you?

Sure! OK, so this next one is kind of an ecumenical matter… there's a lot of horror remakes today. What's the Sinister Minister's official position on this? Do you like classic or modern horror movies better?

Hmmmm... touchy subject. I will say that I am not opposed to horror remakes; in fact, I actually have enjoyed a great many of them. It depends on how they are presented. I do know that some people are die-hard fans and hate to see their favorite films even glanced at to be re-made. But I must disagree with this outlook. Simply because if not for the idea of remaking these classic films, most of today's younger horror fans would most likely never know of these stories and characters which I believe should be passed on to future generations of horror fans. A perfect example are Rob Zombie's "Halloween" remakes...the Halloween films were always my favorites in the line of the "slasher" film, and I believe that Rob did an amazing job of bringing that character and storyline to modern audiences with enough of a fresh approach as to re-instill the fear into the character. So, if a classic film is re-made well, then bravo, I say!

I like the classic Halloween movie, but I dunno about Rob Zombie much. Hopefully the kids will check out the old and the new, ‘cause that’s what we do! (Hey, that rhymes!) So what is your favorite Halloween memory?

Hmmm.... since I pretty much live Halloween all year, that's a tough one... Perhaps we can say that Halloween night of 2003; that's when the Midnight Massacre Theatre made its debut, haunting the airwaves of Las Vegas for the very first time. That was memorable... but then again, so is every Halloween... just because.

OK, so judging from… well, you so far, I'm almost scared to ask this… but what are you and the Altargirls doing for Halloween? Any special movies planned?

Well, I am glad you overcame that fear and asked, Harriet... we will be terrorizing Las Vegas, as usual, paying a visit to all the local haunts, especially Freakling Bros. "Trilogy of Terror", where we film excerpts for the Halloween show each year. The show will also air on our local government station, KCLV, Cox. Ch. 2 on Halloween night and the few preceding nights. This year’s "Sadistic Sermon" will be, in my opinion, the best film Mario Bava ever made, and a fantastic film to set the Halloween mood... Black Sunday, a.k.a. The Mask of Satan! Ahhhhh, can’t you just smell the burning Jack O' Lanterns now?

Ooh, yeah, pumpkin pastries! We roast up the leftover Jack-O’s and do those every Halloween, baked over a roaring fire! Hey, thanks so much for doing this with us!

No problem at all, Harriet... and thank you for (fearlessly) having us and for being such a gracious hostess. Oh, and just one more thing... LOVE your tail!

(???) What tail? Dude, am I shedding again?

So that is my interview with the Sinister Minister, and you can see his show at the Midnight Massacre Theatre's official website (but I gotta mention, you gotta be 18 or older! It's that Vegas thing again!) I've gotta run 'cause there's so much going on right now with Halloween and stuff, but make sure you come back soon for the next MonsterGrrls' Thir13en For Halloween! With all these horror hosts and stuff we've got going, it's gonna be epic!! OWW-WOOOOOOOOOO!!!

Love to all you monster kids,

Harriet Von Lupin


THE ART OF DIANE IRBY By Bethany Ruthven

Good evening, darlings, and thank you for reading. Welcome back to The MonsterGrrls' Thir13en For Halloween, and this evening we take a small detour from our usual monster madness into the realm of fine arts. Darkened, of course, in the spirit of Halloween, don't you know.

I had the pleasure of chatting recently with the lovely Miss Diane Irby, artist-photographer and proprietor of Good Mourning Glory Studios, based in Detroit, Michigan. Miss Irby's grandly Gothic spectrum of graveyard photographs, collages, prints and artwork reveal a deliciously dark sentimentality that is the perfect counterpoint to the bright fall spirit of Halloween, and in our chat she shared some of her deepest thoughts with yours truly. Delight forthwith in the musings of Diane Irby as you read on.

Darling, thank you for participating in our little soiree. Please tell us about yourself and what you do.

Thanks for having me! Well, first and foremost, I'm a mom to two beautiful girls, ZoĆ« and Trinity Rain, two very precocious kitty cats, Pumpkin and Shadow, and also a pretty red fish named Oskar. They keep me pretty busy but, in my spare time I like to create mixed-media artworks, make jewelry with postmortem photos from the 1800s, take photographs and express myself in any other sort of way that strikes me at the moment. I spent a lot of time this summer exploring and taking photographs of street art and abandoned places in the Detroit area and had the time of my life doing it! The weather is turning now though, so I'll be shifting my focus until the spring comes. Right now I'm working on several projects, including one I recently started called "After The Monsters", in which I create mixed-media pieces from photographs I've taken of ceramic portrait plaques found on tombstones in the many cemeteries I've visited over the past few years. In this case "Monsters" are symbolic of Life and what it can do to us. I find the posed "smile" portrait fascinating, as it reveals really so very little about its subject… or perhaps so very much.

What inspired you to become an artist? What inspires your work?

I was inspired to become an artist because I really just couldn't contain my love of the beauty in what most people consider "dark" any longer. I felt the need to reveal to others that longing, pain, loneliness.. that craziness you feel when you can't be with someone you adore - it's all a derivative of the very thing we are put here for, our very purpose - to feel love and to be loved. I think Charles Baudelaire said it best, "I can barely conceive of a type of beauty in which there is no melancholy."

Of course some of my art is just for fun, but I tend to have a running "theme", although not intentionally. I'd have
to say what inspires my work the most is my knowledge of and deep connection to the fact that one day all of this will be gone, and eventually everything and everyone will just become a memory.

Indeed. Do you have any artists who have influenced your photography and artwork?

Well, my two favorite artists would have to be Salvador Dali and Andy Warhol - both for very different reasons. I wouldn't say that either one has directly influenced the content of my work, but they've definitely inspired me to just feel free to express myself and not worry what others think, and to see art everywhere and in everything, and to incorporate it in everything that I do - to not just make art, but to live art.

A most eloquent statement, Miss Irby. But your photographs seem to indicate a fascination with cemeteries. Can you elaborate? Is there a historical interest?

(Smiles) I get that a lot actually. A lot of people seem to think that I have a fascination with death because I love
cemeteries. But really, I have a fascination with life. Death is just a chapter in life. To some it is the final chapter, to others a segue into another kind of existence.

No historical significance for me, the dead just make the best company if you ask me. They are truly at peace - a state that is nearly impossible to achieve while you're living. Walking through a cemetery gives me the feeling of no worry, no pain, no stress, no fear. I leave a cemetery feeling refreshed and recharged and ready to make the most of the life that I've been given.

I know that our Mad Doctor owns a few of your prints. Where may we find your work?

Right now is actually a very exciting time for me because I have a new website, dianeirby.com, launching soon; hopefully by or before the first of the year! But in the meantime, you can find me on Facebook at facebook.com/TheArtofDianeIrby. Right now my artwork is available directly from me, or from my shop goodmourningglory.etsy.com.

You apparently own your own hearse. How did you acquire this lovely vehicle?

Well, I don't want to bore you with the whole story but... I'd always wanted one since I was a little girl. For a few years I'd been looking on Ebay and Craigslist, just window shopping, thinking to myself that I'd never really have one. Until this past year when I turned 39 and decided that I would have one before I turned 40 - that this was one of those things that I was just going to have to make happen. So I did. I found her on Craigslist about an hour away. She'd been parked behind a barn for several years, but when I put a new battery in and primed the carburetor she started right up! So I drove her home on rotting tires with rotting hoses and belts and she did me just fine! Next day I took her in to get all that replaced and she's been a gem since!

OK, she's a little rough on the eyes but I love her like that!! In fact, she just won her first "How In The Hell Did You Make It Here?" award this past weekend! She also was part of a new World Record for longest hearse parade on September 17th in Hell, Michigan--number 41 out of 51 hearses! People ask me all the time when I'm going to get her painted, but I'm not. I'm going to have her lightly sandblasted to take away any peeling paint and then sealed just the way she is to keep her creepy always!

Delightful. What is your favorite memory of Halloween?

My favorite memory of Halloween...? Oh, it's so hard to choose! You know, each year is just as special as the last, I don't think I can decide! It's truly my most favorite holiday of the year! There's no pressure; it's just fun! My most favorite thing to do on Halloween is pass out candy. I love seeing all the costumes and especially the little kids who are trying to figure out "Is all this creepy scariness OK?" and then watching them discover that yes, it is! Thankfully there are still a lot of families that come out for Halloween in my neighborhood and they know I like to give out only the best candy to my trick-or-treaters!

Thanks again for having me! So lovely to chat with you, Bethany!

I assure you, the pleasure is all mine, and thank you for sharing with us, darling!

Diane Irby's work is available at her shop on Etsy, which can be accessed by clicking our title link above. Do ramble through her online studios and view her beautiful works, and do return soon for our next installment of The MonsterGrrls' Thir13en For Halloween. I believe I shall prepare a nice cup of dark chocolate cocoa (spiked with a good B-positive, which is just the perfect blood-type as it doesn't disturb that wonderful coffee-esque bitterness) and view the gallery in Castle Ruthven. There's a spot on the wall near the alcove that's needing a print...

Regards,
Bethany Ruthven

NOTE: We extend special thanks to Diane Irby for allowing us not only to interview her, but allowing the use of much artwork for this post. All the prints shown here can be found at Good Mourning Glory Studios; merely click the link above to arrange a purchase. --B.R.