Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Do You Like Monster Cookies?
Frank Zappa once asked, "Do you like monster movies? I looove monster movies." He then went on to describe a particular monster movie and its cheezy production, before cranking into the song "Cheepnis". (This is from the album "Roxy & Elsewhere", a collection of hot live performances from 1973-4. Wanna listen? Click here. Note: this is an audio-only presentation on YouTube.)
Well, I too love monster movies, and I looove Frank Zappa as well. Apparently, it was a Halloween tradition for him to play a Halloween show, which must have been the most fun a person could have at the time, if you like that kind of thing. (Apparently the tradition lives on with his son Dweezil and the band ZappaPlays Zappa.) I've chosen, with much encouragement from Ken, who is the REAL Zappa fan (scary) to commemorate Frank Zappa's contribution to, well, many things in our life. He's definitely contributed to my own madness, and continues to do so, as evidenced here. In addition to the cookie, I'm including a live performance of a great Zappa guitar number, Watermelon in Easter Hay.
If you want to see more stuff, YouTube has a number of juicy offerings, one of which is a BBC documentary from 1992, Jazz from Hell. Also, check out Zappa.com. (You can hook up to "Zappa Radio" through this site.)
I've also chosen to pay homage to some monsters who have recently crossed my path, and with whom I'm pretty sure Frank Zappa would be glad to share company. The first of these is a classic. In 1932, Boris Karloff starred in the original version of The Mummy. This is quite a different role from that of Frankenstein, a recent success at the time this film was made. The mummy Ardeth Bey is a speaking part, and for a few minutes appears to have a chance with the girl. Alas, he is too creepy.
The next strange cookie is fashioned after the Brain from Planet Arous, a giant criminal alien brain set on taking over the world. Here is a link to a more complete synopsis of the film, and if that does it for you, here is a link to watch the movie itself. It's a real hoot to watch the brain bounce through the air on a wire. Sometimes I prefer the bad special effects to the good ones!
Speaking of bad special effects, the last movie monster I've chosen to immortalize in Strange Cookie form is a classic of cheap science fiction cinema, Robot Monster.
Considered to be second only to the great (and awful) Ed Wood classic, Plan 9 From Outer Space, this movie has it all, plus a bubble machine. Watch as Robot Monster picks his way through a field, trying desperately not to step on anything. Be amazed at his subtle manipulation of the rabbit ears antenna as he tunes in his magical space TV to get a better look at the human woman's breasts. Amazingly, the man who played Robot Monster in the film went on to make quite a career for himself in a gorilla suit. I can only speculate, as he was terrible in this movie, that he came with his own suit. The director of this movie attempted suicide after its release, not, as it was rumored, because it was so bad, but because he got screwed out of his cut of the money by the film's distributors. Oh yeah, the original release of this movie was in 3-D! (We saw the 2-D version.) For a more complete synopsis, click here. To watch the movie itself, click here. (The movie link I've included was posted in kind of a TV show format, so if you can sit through, or skip through, the little comedy sketches, the whole movie is there. I don't think it would be that hard to find this movie if that doesn't do it for you.) If all this excites you beyond belief, or if you just want to buy the T-shirt and skip the movie, check out this cool site I found.
And finally, I want to mention that a hugely important election is coming up on November 4th, and I urge EVERYONE to get out there. (There is a website devoted to a national pumpkin carving campaign in support of Barak Obama, Yes We Carve. Check it out. I've decided to contribute a strange cookie to the cause.
And a note to all my friends: you can't really vote twice. I'm just trying to be funny. Let's all hope for a smooth and fair election. Wouldn't that be nice?
COMING NEXT: a lovely whole-brain, uh, I mean whole-grain bread recipe. Mmmmm!