FANGORIA #216: SEPTEMBER 3, 2002
Fangoria has landed. That's right, in September and October, Fangoria Magazine is running a mammoth two-part article about William Girdler written by yours truly and Al Adamson biographer David Konow.
The article is gorgeous: a lovely layout and page after page of information and new interviews. There's LOTS of material you won't see here on the website.
Stuff you CANNOT read anywhere but Fangoria #216:
* Lynne Kelly, William Girdler's sister, talks about growing up with her brother.
* Madelyn Buzzard on Three on a Meathook.
* Austin Stoker discusses his roles in Zebra Killer, Abby, and Sheba Baby in an extended sidebar.
Plus Michael Aquino, Claude Wayne Fulkerson, Carol Speed, David Sheldon, and more.
Fangoria #217 boasts a similarly unbeatable lineup, with Jon Cedar and Avis Girdler among others.
Apart from this site, the Fangoria article is THE most comprehensive read on Girdler ever attempted. And possibly the highest-quality study on Girdler to date. I am thrilled to bits about how this article turned out. Support Fangoria and the site and grab a copy today! I'm serious: look for Hannibal on the cover.
You can find Fangoria in most bookstores, many Suncoast video stores, and on newsstands. The cover price is $7.99. The article is worth it, trust me.
You can also purchase the issue at Fangoria's website.
* And as one note: Fangoria mislabeled a photograph on page #63. That's Pat Patterson, not Charles Kissinger.
Devil Graphic By Ethan Halo
Asylum of Satan DVD: Your next purchase after Fangoria?
While the Fangoria article has my heart singing for joy, my participation in the Asylum of Satan DVD ... well, let's just say I was prepared to move to Mexico upon its release. It's not as bad as my worst nightmares made it out to be, but my contribution doesn't come close to matching the standard of the website.
So how's the ACTUAL DVD? Eh. It's fine. It's a Something Weird release: pure quantity. There's something for everyone. There's lots of material on the DVD -- a mish-mash of stuff. The cover is kinda lame; the "booklet" is a piece of paper. The only purpose the liner notes serve in my eyes is to clarify my flubs in the commentary. I had 24 hours to come up with the liner notes. They were originally intended to accompany rare never-before-seen photos from the collection of Don Wrege. I'm not sure why anyone would bother to print a folded piece of paper with nothing but text. Hell, I even sent them a disc of OTHER photos (and additional stuff, some of which was accidentally mailed back to me unopened?). Regardless, the cover and the little pamphlet (re: piece of paper) are nothing dazzling. The magic is on the disc.
As for the Don Wrege pictures, I'll tease you: they include all sorts of f/x makeup pictures, shots of Asmans in action, a few stunning Girdler photos, many of Carla. You'll just have to wait for the book now, I guess.
The main Asylum of Satan feature itself is fine. The print looks nice; very different than the color-corrected videos. Off in spots, but still better than one would expect. I was mildly disappointed it wasn't widescreen, and I only say this because I've seen the film widescreen, and it looks much better in that format. Plus, some scenes actually play out slightly differently with the peripheral action. It's a minor gripe -- the DVD looks dandy. The menus are hilarious.
The extra footage is super way-cool. Culled from the collection of the late Donn Davison, we get to see Girdler in action. Carla swirls and dances. Neat stuff. And I swear I see Don Wrege in one shot.
The rest of the DVD is comprised of another no-budget film called Satan's Children (cool yet unrelated save a vague Satan theme), a few shorts, and some trailers. A fun collection of stuff.
Overall, it's a much nicer DVD presentation of Girdler than Day of the Animals and Grizzly. Sheba Baby remains the nicest DVD transfer available, I'm afraid (but then, that was actually filmed with bigger bucks, too). I suggest that if you purchase a DVD, you do so via AMAZON.COM so I receive a kickback toward a gift certificate. I didn't receive anything for contributing to the DVD, nor do I have any DVDs to sell.
But who the heck am I to judge, right? For a second opinion, check out the review at DVD Drive-In, which discusses the movie as well as my contributions. DVD-FILE also reviewed the DVD online.
You can read more about the second feature, Satan's Children, by clicking here.
CLICK HERE TO ORDER THE DVD
Talk about the DVD in the Discussion Forums.
Commentary on Commentary (Only for those who have seen the DVD)
I had no intention of ever doing a DVD commentary. I wanted to moderate a commentary of Asylum vets. Or at least help arrange a commentary of Asylum vets. That was what I proposed. Then there was no commentary. Then there was no Girdler commentary. Then, with a weekend to prepare, there was commentary again.
The commentary itself was done in low-budget, one-night shotgun fashion; and it was initially one of six commentaries set to record in the same 24 hour period. I had engaged in some serious round-the-clock written preparation and authored a lengthy biographical outlook on Girdler. But they didn't want a "straight" historical Girdler commentary from just me ... which sort of undercut my preparation. Just the same, I had a good chunk of my notes rehearsed and memorized ... you can tell in spots, I think. When I lose my place, I dip into the tedious Nick Jolley jokes, or I just blather mindlessly until I catch my groove again: that's my worst crime, in my opinion. We re-took the beginning a zillion times because I was still trying to head in a historical direction. I was too hung-up on reading, too. That part's still a mess. I can still hear a few remnants from the scant few retakes that probably don't make much sense. For the most part; what's in that commentary is in real-time. There was some editing (thank you) -- I would say, though, what you hear is what we recorded. We had 80 minutes of gibber and that's about what's on there. I never got to listen to any of it until it came out on the DVD; it was sealed in a Fed Ex packet and shipped off as soon as the tape stopped.
In my migrained blubbering, I made the following misstatements, some of which have haunted me for months now, but once uttered, were set in stone. A few are things I heard for the first time upon watching the DVD:
* Right in the beginning, I've a bought of verbal dyslexia when trying to describe the differences in the opening credits from the original theatrical version, but I think you get my drift. And hey, I talk too fast.
* The movie Carla Borelli filmed in New Jersey recently was called Indian Cowboy, not Daddy India.
* Sherry Steiner did NOT work at Bob Lee's ad agency. She was a receptionist at a television station. Duh.
** Avis and William Girdler were married in July 1977 according to my notes. Not 1978. And it was a pure slip of the tongue because I know better -- he didn't see much of 1978. I don't think I heard myself or else I would have tried to ask for a cut. I didn't recall saying it until I heard it in the commentary. So to clarify, Avis and William Girdler married in July of 1977 and he died in January of 1978. Ugh. Very sorry, folks.
* I incorrectly credit Don Wrege for the cat "meow." In fact, he takes credit for Carla's high-pitched scream right afterward.
** My personal MEGA screw-up: the police stations are sets. Duh. ANY room with that beam across the back is a set. I wanted to talk about Girdler's future flicks with the local cops. Instead, I blubbered over a pre-memorized segue that was designed to lead into a point, I misspoke, and then adamently forced a totally WRONG point. We stopped about ten seconds afterwards, and I totally wanted that whole thing cut out. I knew it wouldn't be. So right -- those are sets. Don Wrege even has pictures of the police sets which never made it to the DVD. There was ONE other take that really bugged me which was indeed removed, but I KNEW the set thing would stay somehow. Ugh. Please ignore it.
* My connecting the Asylum of Satan speech to Devil's Rain is not quite right. I included clarified info from the source in the liner notes.
* Exaggeration: The Louisville Police Department stands more than two blocks away from Girdler's studio. This Philly girl's got long legs ... the hospital is across the street. (I know the difference between an organ and a piano, too, thanks.)
That's it. Everything else I related to the best of my ability with the information available from my head and from notes gleaned from interviews. Hey, I tried.
NOTE: For some truly mind-bending and authoritative information on Asylum of Satan, be sure to check out the SCRIPT REVIEW.
DR. GORE is also now available on DVD. CLICK HERE to grab a copy. The film features music by Bill Girdler. You can read my review/summary of the video version HERE