World’s Strangest

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Schlock Jocks: TV’s Coolest Horror Hosts

In 1957, Universal Pictures leased a package of classic horror films and forgotten B-movies to television stations across the country. To promote the package, stations hired actors (and sometimes newscasters and weathermen) to play emcees in the guise of mad scientists, vampires and ghouls. By the mid-1960s, almost every major American city had their own [...]

I Was a Teenage Monster Movie

In the late 1950s, teenage culture was big business-Elvis, James Dean, and rock’n’roll were bringing in the bucks. That’s when (not so coincidentally) a brand new kind of exploitation film appeared-the teenage monster movie. Today it’s just a cliche, but “I Was a Teenage… (fill in the blank)” was hot stuff for a while. Here’s [...]

The Quick 10: 10 Long-in-the-Tooth “Teenagers”

You all know that I’m a big Glee fan. But I’m not delusional – I know that a lot of the actors in the show are nowhere close to being of high school age… unless they’ve flunked many a grade (Cory Monteith and Mark Salling, who play Finn and Puck respectively, are both 27). They’re [...]

NASA Art Work

1962, a NASA administrator named James Webb decided to give artists broad access to the agency’s facilities and programs. In the ensuing five decades, a vast body of work was created by those artists. Many of their compositions have been compiled into a new book called NASA/Art: 50 Years of Exploration by James Dean and [...]

The Quick 10: 10 Movies Shot on Location

There’s a movie filming in town right now – it’s called Smitty and stars Mira Sorvino and Peter Fonda. I’m sure you Manhattanites and Los Angeleans are quite unimpressed, but it’s pretty unusual here in Des Moines. But not as unusual as it used to be – a couple of years ago Iowa approved legislation [...]