• Hey! We're on Twitter!

  • Buy The Book!



    Click to Buy The Mug

    Buy The Book

Archive for the 'One Of The Good Dead Ones' Category

…and because of it, the greatest in the Universe.”

R.I.P. Peter Graves (née Aurness). March 18, 1926 – March 14, 2010.


“There is hope. But it has to come from inside. From Man himself.”

Star of the Mystery Science Theater 3000 episodes It Conquered the World and The Beginning of the End.

Update: Caitlin reminds us that Peter had a small part in the Sci Fi Channel episode Parts: The Clonus Horror. He was also in the KTMA episode SST: Death Flight, and was (according to various sources, including imdb.com) the Narrator of the USAF Briefing Film in the Comedy Central ep, Attack of The The Eye Creatures.

Turn Off the Lights

Posted by scott on January 14th, 2010

Teddy Pendergrass
Born: March 26, 1950. Died: January 13, 2010.
Teddy was the lead singer of Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes, and went on to a successful solo career throughout the late ’70′s and early ’80′s, even after an auto accident that left him paralyized in 1982.
Here he is singing his biggest solo hit, ““, in a live performance from 1979.

So Pat Robertson’s still here. Rush Limbaugh — still up and walking about. But we lose this guy.
Life ain’t fair.

–Bill S

It’s My Way or the Highway to Heaven

Posted by scott on September 14th, 2009

R.I.P Patrick Swayze (August 18, 1952 – September 14, 2009)

Well, this year’s traditional Christmas Eve viewing of MST3K’s Santa Claus Conquers the Martians is going to be all super poignant.  But then, as our friend Blanche says, “Why wait till Christmas?”

O! Let’s Have a Patrick Swayze Christmas One and All!

And A Flight Of Vlasics Sing Thee To Thy Rest…

Posted by scott on December 7th, 2008

Longtime Friend of the Show Ivan Shreve, from Thrilling Days of Yesteryear reports that Beverly Garland has died at the age of 82.  Coming on the heels of Forrest J. Ackerman’s passing, it seems that Death, as I mentioned at Ivan’s place, has been toiling a bit too hard in the vineyards of pulp and B-grade entertainment, and really needs to take a holiday.


Triumph of the Dill

To my eternal delight and gratitude, Garland was in a lot of bad movies, and boy did she know it.   But fortunately, Beverly never considered herself, as she put it, “very much of a passive kind of actress,” and rather than winking at the audience, or mumbling her way through with a bare minimum of effort to show she was slumming, Garland would seize the viewer and shovel that crappy film down his gullet with a trowel.  Surrounded by cheap effects and mediocre actors, she seemed to be throwing off sparks, generating such intensity in her meandering, poorly written scenes it was as though she was saying, “Yes, I know, this whole thing’s a ramshackle abomination that isn’t worth bottom billing at a Drive-in triple feature, but as long as I’m on screen we’re all going to pretend it’s actually a movie.”

Forget believing a man can fly; Beverly Garland could make you believe anything — that a cold-blooded bayou bitch who’d left a string of dead bodies in her wake could be moved to seek redemption after one touch from Mike “Touch” Connors, or that upon seeing a man with the head of an alligator, the proper response is to scream, rather than shoot milk from your nose.

The Mystery Science Theater 3000 Amazing Colossal Episode Guide overflows with encomiums to Bev, including this analysis of her appeal by writer Paul Chaplin:

Now I could get into how life is hard, and how we men rely on women for motivation, because sometimes we just lose any sense that it’s all worth it.  So it’s nice if women are peppy, at least, and if they can manage what Ms Garland manages, bringing true fire to all she does, you can’t beat that.  it just makes life a lot easier. [...]  All of her women combine intelligence and aggressivness with a strong (and I mean strong) femininity, and women like that as well as men do.

I don’t mean to imply that “intelligent” and “feminine” are usually not found together…[h]owever, genuinely strong and motivated women are rare in movies, especially the movies we’re forced to watch.

Then you look at Beverly Garland in It Conquered the World.

Married to an idiot, she realizes it and takes matters into her own hands.  She finds the Venusian pickle and delivers a dressing down that had to leave the poor creature more than a little abashed.  Unfortunately she’s then eaten, but she goes down shooting, probably praying she’ll get stuck in the bastard’s throat and choke him.

In certain respects it’s a ridiculous scene.  Yet she delivers her lecture with the strongest commitment you could hope for.  In that moment she is a woman enraged at a pickle.  I mean this.  It shows such pride to perform like that, and to make sure your characters all have pride.

Check Ivan’s place for more on Bev’s career, including her stint — unknown to me — as TV’s proto-Pepper Anderson.


George Carlin.  1937 – 2008

This Was No Boating Accident!

Posted by scott on February 11th, 2008

Farewell Marq

Posted by scott on January 16th, 2008

Thanks to a kindly correspondent, I’ve just learned that Mark H. Smith, known to Wo’C readers as the irrepressible commenter “marq,” passed away on Christmas Day.

Mark occasionally alluded to his chronic health problems, but always in a blithe and fatalistic manner, and his unfailing humor and enthusiasm made it difficult to think of him as ill. He never failed to goose a thread with some outrageous comment, but the astringency and irreverence was always leavened with a profound empathy. I think I can speak for most of us who knew him, if only through his contributions here, when I say that his sunny wit, well-timed sensitivity, and general devil-may-care ballsiness will be sorely missed.

Farewell, Mark.

We Now Pause…

Posted by scott on September 24th, 2007

As some of you know, I’ve been looking after my grandfather for the past year and a half.  After 3 months of declining health, he finally passed away on Saturday, following a bout of pnuemonia, and two days after his 92nd second birthday.  So in addition to the script I’m dealing with, I have a number of post mortem issues to settle that will likely keep me away from blogging for awhile.  However, s.z. has kindly agreed to take time out from her menagerie to keep the flywheel spinning.

See you all soon.

Rittenhouse Square Goes Dark

Posted by scott on July 3rd, 2007

As you may already know, if you visit blogs whose proprietors either get up earlier or aren’t bowed down with the burdens of running a quadruped intensive care unit, this is a sad day for the blogosphere — Jim Capozzola has passed away.

Jim was a fine writer with an insightful grasp of the medium, who was somehow able to make the political personal and the personal universal, while avoiding both mirror gazing solipsism and wonkish droning.  He was also uncommonly generous with his online notoriety, adopting a number of bloggy little urchins and helping them to flourish.  Like Tbogg, he was one of the very first high profile bloggers to link to World o’ Crap, and did much to expose new readers to s.z.’s unique brand of gentle, but thorough snark.

Perhaps the greatest thing about blogging is how it works to amplify, rather than mute, an original voice.  The immediacy of the medium preserves flaring, but fleeting passion, the daily accretion of small details creates a map of the writer’s mind, and the absence of an editorial filter leaves the writer free to improbably fold, squeeze, and twist the language like balloon animals, allowing the reader to see that the proper response to cynicism, chicanery, and malfeasance isn’t always despair; sometimes it’s a giraffe.

The blogosphere has lost a unique and irreplacable voice.  And a great giraffe maker.  Farewell, Jim.

R.I.P. Gordon Scott

Posted by scott on May 3rd, 2007


Actor Gordon Scott has died at the age of 80.  A former bodybuilder best known as the star of a series of mid-to-late 50s Tarzan films, he will always be remembered hereabouts as super secret agent “Bart Fargo” in the Mystery Science Theater 3000 classic, Danger: Death Ray!