Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Eva Lynd..The Girl on the Sweat Mag Cover by Dave Goode

Born Eva Von Fielitz on Sept.2,1937 in Orgyte,Sweden,Lynd posed for glamour girl pin-up pics and appeared as eye-candy on television shows and in movies. She was best known however for her appearances on the covers of "men's sweat magazines". She was a favorite model of Norm Eastman,Al Rossi and Bruce Minney. She was recognizable as the lingerie-clad victims of Nazi brutality. Other times she'd be a sexy resistance fighter battling alongside American GIs and British commandos. And on still other occasions she was the SS She-Wolf torturing a captured P.O.W. If there was more than one woman in the scene look carefully. Chances are it was Eva with different hair coloring.

I was watching the camp classic
SHE DEMONS again the other day and was struck by how
much the story resembled something
out of a sweat mag. Only with more of a sci-fi/horror bent. 

Then I began to imagine
this flick starring Eva Lynd
and Steve Holland instead
of Irish McCalla and Todd Griffin.
Hmmm. Irish McCalla might have
made a good model for Pat Savage
as well. Tarzan actors like Buster
Crabbe, Herman Brix, Lex Barker
would have been great
portraying Doc Savage. Heck
TV's Tarzan of the 1960s Ron Ely
actually did play Doc in a
70s flick.So it's not hard to
imagine McCalla, the definitive
Sheena Queen of the Jungle
portraying Pat Savage..
the Girl of Bronze.

Written by Dave Goode

Layout and graphics by

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Why Couldn't They Just Have Made A Kaanga Movie? by Dave Goode

Comic art by Vance Capley
See how it was done on youtube. 

Something that's fascinated me for years is the love/hate affair Tarzan fans have with Johnny Weissmuller. To most fans he's either their favorite or second favorite movie Tarzan. But at the same time more than a few fans despise his interpretation of the "Lord of the Jungle" for not being more like the Tarzan of author E.R.Burroughs. As for myself I can live with either one. But I do prefer Weissmuller's "noble savage" to Burroughs' jungle ubermensch. And remember Johnny was working with the scripts that other people were writing. Also Weissmuller's Tarzan was hugely popular and provided the blueprint for most of the "kings of the jungle" that appeared in comic books and comic strips around the world for decades. No other fictional character has been imitated more in the pages of comic books than Tarzan. The Lone Ranger might be a distant second. But the majority of the ersatz Tarzans have more to do with Weissmuller than Burroughs.

I know in the past when movie studios bought the rights from the Burroughs
estate to make a Tarzan movie they were paying for the character's name recognition. Tarzan sells. But when the character has so little in common with the literary Tarzan I sometimes wonder why they even bother. Especially since they could've gotten the rights to do a Ki-Gor or Kaanga movie for a lot less.

Lex Barker could have been the greatest screen Tarzan of them all. Except for his blond hair he matched Burroughs' physical description of Tarzan almost perfectly. And he was an actor who was capable of more than just grunting. But whenever I watch one of his Tarzan movies where the writers and directors have him "aping" Weissmuller it's not hard for me to imagine that I'm watching a Kaanga movie.
Especially in the case of Tarzan and the Slave Girl (1950) with a screenplay by Hans Jacoby and Arnold Belgard and directed by Lee Sholem. Co-starring Vanessa Brown and Denise Darcel this was a story from a Fiction House jungle comic book come to life.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

The World's Most Famous Movie Monster? by Dave Goode

My introduction to the classic Universal monsters (Dracula,
Frankenstein's monster and the Wolf Man)was in Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein at a Halloween party when I was about five or six.It's one of my favorite all-time movies.It's both funny and terrifying.In some places it's both at the same time.Just check out the scene in the sub-basement in the "house of Dracula".Or the film's exciting climax.


 My first Frankenstein movie was I WAS A TEENAGE FRANKENSTEIN ( a follow-up to I WAS A TEENAGE WEREWOLF). This variation of the familiar story has a descendant of the original Dr.Frankenstein, portrayed by the great Whit Bissell, following in his ancestor's footsteps. The twist has him assembling a creature from recently deceased high school athletes.

 The creature is portrayed by Gary Conway, an actor who began his career as a model in "physique magazines". I thought that this version of the monster with a fullback's legs and wrestler's upper body would have made a great adversary for a comic book hero without super-powers or for a Mexiluchahero.

 The theme was touched on in several masked wrestler movies with the heroes squaring off against variations of the Frankenstein monster. In some cases, the Frankenstein's monster itself as in Santo & Blue Demon vs. The Monsters. It's sort of like Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein without the laughs. It does have laughs....but they're mostly unintentional. 

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Smashing Robots in 4000 A.D. by Dave Goode

 My favorite Silver Age sci-fi comic book was Gold Key's Magnus Robot Fighter 4000 A.D. That first issue stood out from everything else on the stands. That fantastic cover that featured what appeared to be, serial & B-Movie star, Buster Crabbe smashing a robot with a "karate chop" defending an Ann-Margaret lookalike cowering in the background. 

 Over the decades since it's first appearance back in 1963 the Robot Fighter feature has become a cult favorite. I attribute this to three things...

 First and foremost was the art. Not only did you have Russ Manning, one of the all time great comic book/strip illustrators drawing the stories ,but you also had wonderful painted covers that gave the title the look of science fiction paperbacks.
 Secondly you had robots. Nothing, except for dinosaurs and gorillas on a comic book cover,  was guaranteed to sell a mag like robots. And with a title, like Magnus, Robot Fighter, you were sure to have plenty of robots.  

 Thirdly, there was karate. It was that karate stuff that we had been seeing more and more of in movies and on television. It was never stated that Magnus was using karate, but the reader had little doubt.  I imagined the Robot Fighter was using the form of karate developed by the legendary Mas Oyama - kyokushin.

 Interestingly, Magnus' creator, Russ Manning, didn't originally conceive of Magnus destroying robots with shuto blows. That idea came from his wife. However she originally suggested the idea of Magnus leaping up on the shoulders of robots and unscrewing their heads.

 Manning originally imagined his "Tarzan of the Future" using a stone hammer and not tameshiwari techniques to turn robots into scrap metal. After reading about that. I re-imagined Magnus wearing something different than the "red mini-skirt and white go-go boots". Like something out of a gladiator movie. Even with the stone hammer, it's impossible not to think of Magnus using karate, if only as a back-up.
Faux fun by Vance Capley

For years fan-boys have imagined a live-action Magnus movie. Today, with CGI, that's even easier to imagine. But back in the 60s, we could only imagine Ray Harryhausen and a team of stop-motion animators bringing Magnus' robot antagonists to life. That or you'd have to trade down and use the type of robots seen in Target Earth. Casting the leads for the Robot Fighter movie might have proved a bit easier. Someone once told me, when casting a hero, just go with Ron Ely.
In this case, that was more than just good advice. Ely, who would star as Tarzan on television, would have been spot-on as Manning's "Tarzan of the Future".
Connie Stevens or Mimsy Farmer could have played his love interest Leeja Clane.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Steve Holland...Manly Man Model by Dave Goode

  Holland was a male model turned actor. He was best known for portraying "Doc Savage" on the Bantam paperback series for artist James Bama. Bama called him,
 "the world's greatest male model."
  Holland portrayed Flash Gordon in 39 episodes from October 1 1954 to July 15 1955. The syndicated television series was filmed in West Germany.
  He also stood in for a number of other heroes. He appeared on photo covers as Bob Colt Fawcett's western comic book series. A series created because Fawcett Comics didn't want to have to license the likeness of a cowboy star. 

You can see him on several of Gold Key's Magnus,Robot Fighter 4000 A.D. covers as well as posing for a couple of Phantom covers as the "Ghost who Walks".
  On the covers of Warner's revival of that popular 30s pulp hero, he portrayed the Avenger. He was The Man From O.R.G.Y , The Executioner and judoka Jason Striker just to name a few.
  Holland was probably best known as the "manly man" on men's sweat magazines.One month you might find him as a U.S.Marine in the Pacific rescuing nurses from fiendish Japanese soldiers. The next he might be a British commando captured and tortured by a Nazi dominatrix.

   It was entirely possible to find him on several different covers in the same month. As a jungle explorer on safari, an American soldier fighting Nazis or a private eye rescuing a comely co-ed from white-slavers or bikers. And the titles for these stories were just as much fun as the illustrations themselves.
"I Found the Pleasure Geishas of Kamikaze Island and Death Cruise of the Cuban Cuties.

In the alternate universe that I sometimes find myself inhabiting A.I.P made a series of low-budget action movies adapted from these stories and starring Steve Holland.The reason they cast Holland was because he already appeared on the cover illustrations that saw double-duty as movie posters.Starring opposite model/actress Eva Lynd who appeared with him on several sweat mag covers,Ginger Grant,Starliss Knight and several other B-Movie actresses he rose to cult movie stardom.


Graphic design and layout by Vance Capley