THE UNDERTAKER, conducts an electrifying interview with TV HORROR HOST, BARON TIMOTHEUS Von WOLFSTEIN, B.G.G. (Hereafter, for the sake of this Interview's brevity, to be simply identified as 'BvW'; that being the case, I suppose that we should abbreviate THE UNDERTAKER'S name to 'TUT'... as, in, "It's good to be da KING!")
TUT: Your show appeared back in 1978; does it surprise you, the number of fans that have 'tracked you down', so to speak?
BvW: Humbly so, and, with a resounding YES! Especially, since such loyal fans as CLEVELAND SHARP, BOB HINTON, BARRY HOBART, JEFF McCLELLAN, and, so many others, whose kindly praise of our all-too-brief junket on the Telly, ages ago, has proven to be indispensibly salutary towards re-defining (as well as re-invigourating) our odd career's focus and potential on cable access TV. I count it as being most strange, when you consider the fact that this world is technologically spinning faster all the time!
Why, the dizzying, madcap pace, alone, with which we presently beset ourselves, makes 'Forgetfulness of Treasured Things Past' a concept rife for Total Amnesia!
It is, indeed, most gratifying, to have lingered as an 'iconic' imprint, within so many hearts and minds for these past 25 years! It leads me to believe that We must have been doing something right, on that smidgeon of 'air-time' we were granted, a quarter of a century ago.
The 'We', to whom I am referring, is not the 'Royal We', but, to my sovereign Friends, my Fang-mily (I don't leave home without them, if you'll permit me just a wee bit of an in-sider joke):
A) CARLYLE, The Invisible Wizard (Who has decided to forego his invisible status, by and large, for this Millenium. 'Tis good to see him again... he doesn't look a day older than when last I saw him, at the dawn of the previous millenia.)
B) ROBIN GRAVES, grave robber; reformed, of course... Oh, yes, of course! (Nudge, nudge, wink wink), who now acts as the off-hand version of 'MAJOR DOMO' at CASTLE Von WOLFSTEIN, with organizational skills which belie his modest up-bringing; plus, he doesn't usurp CARLYLE'S extensive history in that same post around the Castle.
C) My evil Vampire Cousin, whose name even I don't wish to pronounce, and, who shall, in all likelihood, return to vex us with his fiendishly despicable plots to over-throw us at CASTLE Von WOLFSTEIN.
D) Of course, there are many other odd characters roaming about within the Castle, and, its surrounding environs... not the least of whom, is, mayhaps, the biggest character of them all: That effervescent young gentleman, who goes by the name of TIMOTHY FRANCIS M. HERRON, B.G.G.
TUT: Give us some background about yourself, Baron. What should Buried readers know about such a talented werewolf?
BvW: Being born of Noble stock, I spent a great deal of my formative years among the Scholarly, the Erudite, the Noble, and, the Religious. 'Twas common practice, in my day, for the young scions of the Great Houses of Europe to develope their character through educational means.
Such preparatory labour hath served me well. That zeal for culture, and, knowledge, in the ripeness of time, placed me squarely among the first, if not conferring, directly, the Title of being "THE MONSTER FANG-MILY HISTORIAN"! To think that I might have been the original, primordial throw-back of the HORROR HOSTING Brethren, to lay claim to that unique Station and soubriquet, is indeed a novel facet within the Hallow(e'en)ed Halls of MONSTERDOM!
I have kept this Title, though, merely as an honourific. This is because, in the present span of awareness, I, personally, consider HALLOWEEN JACK, PROFESSOR ANTON GRIFFIN, and, REMO D., to all outshine me with their brilliantly passionate knowledge of the entire spectrum of the Horror genre. My knowledge pales by comparison.
My plight, of being 'called away on other matters' these past two and a half decades, has left me largely ignorant of many of the fiends who arose in the movie pantheon from the latter 70's, up to this new millenium. They were, simply, beyond my ken of awareness. I shall study them as time permits, and, pursuant to my pledge as Historian, shalt keep thee informed of my contemplations.
My interest mostly comprises the oldest aspects of what I term the MONSTER FANG-MILY: THE UNIVERSAL MONSTERS, and, THE SILENT ERA BROOD of LON CHANEY SR., MAX SHRECK, and Members of that ilk; but, to discourse unto any depth on this subject would require a book unto itself! Also, my 'take' on the MONSTERS is that of the 'taint', or, 'curse' aspect, and, the manifold similarities shared with the human breed's own 'curse'.
Ahhh, yes... the curse. This leads me back into a direct answer to your question. Many centuries ago, (By All Hallow's E'en! Cannst it truly have been that long ago?!) I became afflicted with the curse of the WERE-WOLF. My elder brother, GUSTAV, had been so befouled since birth. The Von WOLFSTEIN Curse has afflicted our lineage for centuries; one male from each generation. We suspect it to be, likely, the work of an evil Necromancer.
The heart-ache, and, sorrow, of such an hereditary trauma has been truly indescribable, and, oft intolerable; 'tis with deep regret that I tell you this sad fact: I am the last of my kinsmen. Instrumental in my brother's death, I became the recipient of this dark flaw. But, whereas GUSTAV reveled in his arcane 'power', I have sought to find the path of Illuminative Transcendence by which this affliction will be transmuted into a more enlightened, and, hence, harmless condition.
A modicum of success is evidenced by the fact, that, I am more human than MONSTER... or, so, I prefer to believe... (my hirsute visage to the contrary nothwithstanding)... When one unravels the centuries, one has the rather strange 'opportunity' to contemplate, deeply, upon the Mystic and Sacred Meaning of Life; of Personhood, and, True Identity... these become "the pearls of great price"... Mayhaps, I should be better suited to billing myself as being THE MONSTER FANG-MILY PSYCHOLOGIST. There are, doubtless, some who would argue that I put the 'PSYCHO' in PSYCHOLOGIST.
TUT: True: you once turned down a lucrative TV hosting deal due to the contract stipulations of a flea collar being worn?
BvW: TUT, TUT, dear boy, that particular situation has been vastly exaggerated, I assure you! As it happened quite a long time ago, I think that I can safely relate it to you now. Quite humourous, in retrospect, really... Garlic was a major ingredient in this flea collar, touted as being an 'all-natural' repellant... now, thankfully, I don't exhibit the same 'allergic reaction' to this herb that others of my clan do (I refer, primarily, to the Vampire faction)! 'Twas, howe'er, annoyance enough to hamper my concentration. The close proximity of this infusion of The Stinking Rose, with its horrid smell wafting about the enclosed set, drove me to utter distraction. Believe me, when one engages in a career on the Telly, one needs to keep one's wits about one, as concentration is everything.
I've never been one to sport much jewelry of any sort, anyhow. So, those ludicrous claims that surfaced, and, were being bruited about, all because I refused to wear their (expletive-deleted) flea-collar, and, hence, yes, 'sacrificed' what might have been a very lucrative Hosting job, were spuriously hurtful to my elsewise sterling, untarnished reputation.
These disgruntled, greedy vipers were spreading a tissue of lies, claiming, that, 'twas I who demanded that, if, the collar I was to wear on-screen was not made out of gold, and, studded with precious gems, and, so-forth, and, what-not, why then, I simply wouldn't lower myself to wear something not in keeping with my royal stature, the show be damned!
However, this is the truth: Not a single shred of their libel bore any 'semblance to reality! For one thing, being of Noble birth, and, being Truly NOBLE, are oft two different breeds of BEING... I, long ago, abdicated, relinquished, and, abandoned, any possessive sense of the 'grandeur' associated with being a 'Baron'. 'Tis "not all that it's cracked-up to be" to inject a more currently appropriate phrase from the vernacular into this discussion.
'Time heals all wounds', was the operative mantra in this regard, during the height of their vile campaign to malign my good name. This simple fact emerged triumphant: I have simply out-lived them. Compared to this curse which I endure, their slings and arrows were but a moment's trifling blemish. Not only is the phrase: "Living well is the best revenge!" quite true, but, so is its twin sentiment: "Living long is the best revenge." That flea-collar/TV Hosting job offer came from a Transylvanian TV Station, back in the early days of Television, circa AD 1745. Suffice it to say, 'tis doubtful that you've ever heard of Transylvanian Television as a force with which to be reckoned, so, in the long-run, I've been vindicated, and, am happy to report, that, victory is unequivocably mine!
TUT: How has the internet helped your horror host career and those of your brethren?
BvW: Immeasurably; to agree with the intuitive accuracy of GHASTLEE'S hypothesis: "The Web is the TV of the Future." COUNT GORE DeVOL is the Living... well, Undead, Proof of this statement! His reign has lasted five years... and, COUNTING!
Too, the unfeigned Love and Comaraderie with which all the current HORROR HOSTS have shown to me, a relative unknown, via Internet, and, Convention appearances, is nothing less than spectacular in its scope. 'Tis their kindness to their Elder-MONSTERS that I find stupendously gracious, and, most satisfying. I assess their hearts as gold and diamonds and, so, am wealthy beyond measure! Not only am I, EVERNOW, indebted unto them, but, I proudly state, that, I owe my return to television to the Internet, and, most precisely, to both:
E-GOR'S CHAMBER OF TV HORROR HOSTS as 'twas E-GOR, who was the first to cyber-record my ancient assault upon the modern telly (Thanks to the many faithful fans who wrote to him, roughly, two decades after the fact!)... turns out that this is the very same E-GOR whom I knew nearly two centuries previously... he was of the FRANKENSTEIN 'brood', and, e'en back then, was a full disciple of Reddy Kilowatt, if you drift my catch... upon re-kindling our comaraderie of yore, E-GOR has pledged to create the Official BARON Von WOLFSTEIN And FRIENDS Website.
and, to: COUNT GORE DeVOL/A.GHASTLEE GHOUL, and, via them, my gratitude spreads to all of the current breed of HORROR HOSTS, and, FANS, whom I am privileged to count as FANG-MILY!
I would be further remiss in not mentioning the incomparable DAN JOHNSON of MONSTER NEWS and SCARY MONSTER Fame, as well! Our work hath just begun!
TUT: I know you play drums. Was that difficult for you to learn? I mean, claws scratching the skins and all. You jam with Ghastlee Ghoul some, right? Perhaps other Groovy Ghoulies, too?
BvW: Your penchant for posing several questions in one shows a highly original mind... not unlike my very dear friend, CARLYLE, the Now-Visible Wizard. "MUSIC HATH CHARMS TO SOOTHE THE SAVAGE BEAST"... "I've got rhythm, I've got music"; "the magic's in the music, and, the music's in me"! Even with my handicap of bestial 'hands', "I do a bit o' alright", as ROBIN GRAVES often tells me.
Plus, my drum is composed of wood, rather than skins, so, 'tis far sturdier. Actually, keyboards are much harder for me to play, due to the obstruction factor of my claws; it sounds as if I'm simultaneously clacking away on the castenets!
GHASTLEE, and, SUSPIRA (aka, The Bride of GHASTLEE, or, "Missus G.", for short), and, I, all share a deep love of music, the joy of which 'defies' our dark flaws, if you will. Our 'rocking out' is merely the tip of the iceberg. With proper rehearsal, our creative talents would know no bounds.
Most recently, at KEN and PAM KISH'S CINEMA WASTELAND (AD 2003 vintage) in Cleveland, I enjoyed the blissful call to 'share the stage', musically, with GHASTLEE, LOU, The XXXMAS DEVIL, DR.FREAK, and, I.ZOMBI, during the SUSPIRA-GHASTLEE NUPTUALS. The previous year, there was a Huge CINEMA WASTELAND Jam, with all the attending HORROR HOSTS and HOSTESSES, sans rehearsal! Chaos ne'er sounded, nor, looked, so good!
This recent Autumnal CW'03 held a "Once in a Millenium" Event, The WEDDING Of GHASTLEE to SUSPIRA, so aptly presided over by KUZIBAH and CARPATHIAN, of THE PATIENT CREATURES Ensemble, and, was rife with more HORROR HOSTS than you could "shake a drumstick at".
Earlier that day, both THE SON OF GHOUL and GARY LEE (JOHN LENNON Mimic Extraordinaire) got into a BEATLES Medley "Jam" with ROBIN GRAVES (who borrowed the Von WOLFSTEIN wood-drum for the occasion), which drew quite an appreciable crowd, as well as being recorded upon two video-cams.
So, I'd venture to predict that much more music is now in the offing for HORROR HOSTS!
TUT: Tell us about this poor soul JOE NOSFERATU. I hear he's HOMELESS, and, of all things, a VAMPIRE!
BvW: JOE is, indeed, a VAMPIRE... or, a very close facsimile... let's just say, that, his pedigree is a tad muddy, mayhaps, even, a trifle questionable. Other VAMPIRES are not quite certain as to what to make of him. His story is still unfolding... a Mystery, if you will, in search of a Revelation, and, therein, lies the quintessential Paradox that is JOE NOSFERATU.
A.GHASTLEE and the HHU are making a 'DRACU-MENTARY' of his raft of perplexing mis-adventures, to better educate a confused public. This epic (or, epidemic) movie is slated to a Premiere date in the SPRING AD 2004 CINEMA WASTELAND.
Then, it will begin some attempt at a 'whistle-stop tour', to further amaze the collective unconscious at the following month's Inaugural edition of GHASTLEE'S SCARY CAMP, in Dayton, Ohio. From there, we foresee it as an unstoppable contagion.
The JOE NOSFERATU Phenomenom will likely be spread across the four corners of the earth, consuming the major continents (and, some major incontinents, as well) in its quest to give this haplessly homeless Lad some shelter from the elements.
A charming chappie, JOE has enjoyed the hospitality of CASTLE Von WOLFSTEIN fairly often... he's even been awarded his very own, personal SKELETON KEY! But, he still prefers the excitement of the New World over a mouldering olde Castle in the wilds of the Carpathian Mountains. Can't honestly say that I blame him... we're thinking of re-locating the castle to America... as it presently stands, the commute is grueling, even aided by CARLYLE'S talents as Thaumaturge...
TUT: Has THE HORROR HOST UNDERGROUND been a big help in your 'resurrection', so to speak?
BvW: Without those ardently stalwart, talented, Great Hearts, who comprise that sterling federation, I should, still, in all likelihood, be finding myself languishing 'On Holiday'... and, 'though the south of FRANCE is delightful at this time of the year, 'tis good to be 'back in harness' once again, as 'twere. It hath been due to viewing these HORROR HOSTS' own inspired works, and, their constant enticements to add my retinue to their various projects, which hath called forth deeper aspirations to re-convene my show.
I am relying upon them, upon their expressed fealty, and, earnest good-will, for my continued progress. As such, I can neither Thank them sufficiently, nor, praise them too highly! I never would have discovered them had it not been for olde fans of our show writing to E-GOR'S CHAMBER OF TV HORROR HOSTS. Aside from the splendid comaraderie and Brotherhood, which E-GOR and I share as an inseparable bond, his website provided me with the Entrance to the wonderland known as: http://www.Horrorhosts@yahoogroups.com and, allowed me to witness, and, celebrate, the Birth of a MONSTER: http://www. HorrorHosts.com
These amazing cyber-addresses are home to many a fine folk of the MONSTER FANG-MILY. Kudos to COUNT GORE DeVOL for creating and maintaining the first site mentioned, and to CURTIS PRATHER (with GHASTLEE and HALLOWEEN JACK'S tireless input) for his good judgment in sustaining the second site's formation and progress!
TUT: They say, that: "Even a man that's pure of heart and says his prayers at night, may become a wolf when the wolfbane blooms and the moon is full and bright." That true or false?
BvW: BOTH! I am not seeking to be evasive upon this matter, but, to limit the Curse Lycanthropic to merely one dictate smacks of being foolishly misinformed.
Oh, of course, we could say that this poetic insight is UNIVERSAL-ly True, but, you'd have to HAMMER out the details with the other Studios. I'm living proof- 100% (Now, that doesn't sound quite right, does it? Oh well, chalk it up to GHASTLEE'S influence again) that there is some validity to the authenticity of that doggerel rhyme. And, believe me, I pray more than most.
Legend, howe'er, permits some rather drastic leeway in the time continuum... some WERE-WOLVES can change AT WILL... no, I am not referring to LIONEL ATWILL; merely, that, some Lycanthropes don't need a Full Moon in order to shape-shift... nor, do some humans, for that matter.
In my more 'Transcendant' State of Being, I remain in a fairly perpetual blending of Man and Wolf. I warn you, though, don't you even try to hit me with the "You and six million other guys!" line from A&C MEET FRANKENSTEIN, or, I'll be forced to show you real WERE-WOLF savagery!
TUT: Tell us about this Timothy Herron fellow that follows you around. A talented chap, isn't he?
BvW: Like anything else in this world, that depends entirely upon with whom you are speaking... most people that really know him would concur with your statement.
Personally, I can't endorse him highly enough! I'm paid to say that, of course... (laughing uproariously, at what appears to be an 'in' joke.) No, actually, TIMOTHY and I have quite a long history together.
Did you know that he is the 'Founding Father' of the HAUNTED HOUSE (for CHARITY) Movement? 'Twas how we met, long ago; He called upon me to make a commercial for one of his HAUNTED HOUSES. 'Twas how our artistic association began, back in AD 1977. We have remained largely inseparable, ever since that night.
His genius with make-up is self-evident... that is the primary reason why We at Castle von Wolfstein leave all of our 'cosmetic enhancement' needs to him... that, and, he works cheaply, too. He is, also, a published poet. Here is one of his works, which I fancy as being amongst his best.
No choice, save Love...
No choice, save Love, Makes any sense to me, It is the 'yes' that inspires, Motivates, and, sets me free;
Love is the only option, That breathes Life into my Soul; I drink it as my sustenance, And, nourished, am made whole.
Love's peace imparts Eternal Bliss, Remaining our only worthy goal; Knowing such Wondrous Light, Life is not reducible to meaning less, For, I can neither own, nor, sell it, But, only gladly receive, and, give it, As, in Love's purest power, I bless.
Immersed in radiant depth so freeing, True joy creatively schools my heart, Reality, so Holy, turns time and space, Evernow, into Love's Very Being... And, my Self; into Love's most willing foole.
Speaking of The Foole, TIM is a Clowne; in very fact, the first Clowne (LUCKY OLDE BEANE) that KINGS ISLAND ever had! (And, whose trick of speech uncannily mirrors that of ROBIN GRAVES!) TIM also launched their HALLOWEEN Week-end Celebrations, back in the early-mid '70's, whilst pulling double-duty, masterminding the WSAI HAUNTED HOUSES in Cimcinnati.
As we shall later discuss, his talents cover the spectrum of both painting, and, sculpting, too. His multi-faceted abilities, howe'er, cover not only sight, but, sound, as well! TIM is a song-writer/singer, who, also, plays a mean wood-drum!
His capabilities encompass a most fascile knack at replicating various voices and dialects. His vocal impressions of the residents of Castle von Wolfstein are 'spot on', and, more than once, have reduced us to helpless tears of laughter, when he entertains us.
I've a sneaking suspicion, that, just to keep Life from having any spare moments, and, certainly, as few dull ones as possible, TIMOTHY has become an adept of all things nutritional, as well as Spiritual. He spent two years of postulancy and novitiate within JOHN MICHAEL TALBOT'S Monastic Community, back in the early '80's. He might have thought that JOHN MICHAEL was a distant relation to his dear Friend, and, Fellow Lycanthrope, LARRY TALBOTT. Aside from that experience, he has swum all the waters, East and West, in his DIVINE Voyaging. He has regaled me with his remarkable adventures, the telling of which exceeded a span of twenty hours!
A stimulating conversationalist, as you might well imagine, TIM is afflicted with a different curse... He is trying (VERY TRYING!) to put the bite upon the 'funny bone' of all those within ear-shot... as such, he falls into that tragic catagory, of being a truly inveterate (as opposed to 'invertebrate'; not that he's opposed to invertebrates, mind you) Punster.
In fact, his stature in that niche is of such venerably epic proportion, that his long-suffering friends, which comprise the likes and calibre of such exalted beings as FATHER RICHARD D. McCALL, have christened his passionately feeble attempts at humor as both a venial sin, and, a new sub-species of pun, (same difference, I assure you) several decades ago. They are called (what else?!)... "HERRONISMS". Vast Civilizations around the globe breathe a heavy sigh of collective relief, whenever TIMOTHY decides to take a respite from punning as a Lenten Abstinence. It actually makes people pray for LENT to occur... which, in this day and age, could in and of itself, account as a major religious conversion experience of epic proportion!
TUT: What new projects are you working on; what future plans you may have in the works?
BvW: Friend UNDERTAKER, precisely HOW MUCH SPACE is allotted to this Interview?! I am aware that Cyber-space is a vast frontier, but, I'd hate to 'clog it up', irreparably, with notice all of my doings!
I'll try to limit the events of near the future to a brief synopsis, rather than the customery treatise, or, thousand page thesis. Suffice it to say, Great things portend for the assemblage of CASTLE Von WOLFSTEIN... Now that "Weeeeee'rrreee Baaaacccckkkk!" we want to celebrate our unique gifts within the Modern Framework of MONSTERDOM.
First, and, foremost, we're getting the show 'back on track', this time on cable access. If the winds that blow from Fans' applause are favourably strong, then, a return to the commercial telly is not to be ruled out.
Our Brother, DR. GANGRENE, has successfully made the jump onto UPN. Likewise, PROFESSOR ANTON GRIFFIN & Crew have sortied with effortless ease amongst the commercial stations in Austin, Texas, in addition to their cable access show.
I was privileged to attend numerous Conventions with GHASTLEE And SUSPIRA this past year, with many more in the offing. More on this at a later juncture. In like manner, print opportunities are just beginning to blossom.
Until these 'hinted-at' potentials truly manifest themselves, I prefer to play 'close to the vest'. I shall, happily, share more with you and your readers as these projects become reality.
TUT: Have you ever been accused of being a wolf in sheep's clothing?
BvW: Yes, but, wrongly so... Despite my most ardent denials, however, such rumour still persists. Nor, have I ever been victimized by assertions of being a Were-Wolf In Women's Clothing... Any claims to myself as regards that front are vague and unsubstantiated. The similarity ceases, following those loony lyrics in The Lumberjacks' song (by MONTY PYTHON): "I work all night, and, I sleep all day."
Accusations also arise of my being the prime suspect in A WERE-WOLF IN A GIRL'S DORMITORY. These spurious insinuations have floated about the Internet for decades, but, that, too, was an embarrassing case of mistaken identity.
'Twas some other Lycanthrope who was the culprit in that fiasco, I can assure you... Also, an empathetic 'NO!': "Billy Jean is not my Lover... and, the kid is not my son", either, just in case you were wondering!
Hmmmmmmm, well, now that I think back on't; there was that isolated incidence, which I suppose accounts for 'a wolf in sheep's clothing' mis-perception, back in the Winter of AD 1816, in BAVARIA. A terribly harsh winter, as I recall it. Sheep's wool-skins enjoyed a brief vogue as a popular style of clothing; warm, wooley, fleecy and comfy... being covered in this white fur, well, I got stuck in a snow-drift during a skiing/avalanche accident, and, no one recognized me until some 30 years later, during the spring thaw of AD 1847! Talk about your chilling tale... mine was frozen so severely that it had to be amputated! To this day, I'm plagued with a near-mortal fear of sheep.
TUT: How has lycanthropy changed your life? Your sex life?
BvW: Aha! Snuck in yet another two-parter, didn't you! And, one of them X-rated, as well!
I'm sure that inquiring minds don't really want to know about that facet of my life... but, Friend UNDERTAKER, since it's you that is asking, how can I possibly refuse? A-HEM "Lycanthropy: Life-change, or, Life-style?"... 'Twas the title of an article, which I scribed for BEASTLY TOMBS AND GRAVEYARDS Magazine, back in AD 1794. It had a limited circulation... so limited, in fact, that, rigour-mortis set in. An attempt was made at ressucitation, but, sadly, to no avail.
I'll try to dig up a copy of my article for you... and, I do mean 'dig it up'! As to your query regarding sex, and, the single WERE-WOLF... What can I tell you? I'm an animal... but, a sensitive, monogamous one.
Until recently, I was single... but, there is a special soul, whom I've met within this previous year, that may well become my Bride. Oh, also... being at peace with my 'condition', I gave up the arduous ordeal of shaving, and, have saved quite a fortune in cash from needing neither razors nor blades.
TUT: Who, or, what, have been your greatest influences in horror hosting?
BvW: In the past, it was The total spectacle (no, not the one, which I routinely make of myself!) of the CLASSIC MONSTER ERA! "Keeping the 'Class' in the Classic Monsters." is one of my Fang-mily Mottos.
Don't misunderstand me, I like to lark about the set during taping, as much as the next HORROR HOST, especially, when that next HORROR HOST is my Illegitimate Step-Son, A.GHASTLEE GHOUL, but, there is a sincerity, a seriousness, which beats within my breast for honouring the Classics, olde and new. The dilemma of being a cable access host is the inaccessibility of showinng the classics.
As regards my present foray unto a revitalized show for cable access and beyond, influences abound, in the form of friendships forged with:
GHASTLEE & SUSPIRA, PROFESSOR ANTON GRIFFIN & CO., HALLOWEEN JACK, SHADOWGOBLIN, DR.CREEP, COUNT GORE DeVOL, THE BONE JANGLER And NOCTURNA, COMMANDANT GORE & DR HORRIFIC, DR.FEAR, LADY TRINKA, And MR. GRIMLEY, CURTIS And DR. SARCOFIGUY, THE MORTICIAN... why, The List becomes more extensive with each passing night!
TUT: How's the future look for the ranks of horror hostdom?
BvW: Better than any other time in the history of HORROR HOSTING, since so many of the artificial shackles (the imposed business restraints) have been split asunder, and, cast by the wayside. The advance of technology has so permeated our western culture, that, virtually anyone can become a HORROR HOST.
Our inspiration breeds further inspiration, which might have, otherwise, lain dormant in afficianados of the HORROR Genre. New Hosts and Hostesses are appearing all of the time, giddy with the contagion of seeing the current crop of HORROR HOSTS' fine examples of excellent creativity!
We welcome them into the fold, with, as GHASTLEE would say, a rousing, "GABA, GABA, HEY!" (Whene'er I hear that, I am always reminded of: "GABBY, GABBY HAYES!")
TUT: Do you find it hard to paint with those claws of yours?
BvW: I prefer to use brushes, rather than claws, when I paint... clever of moi, to so adroitly side-step the issue, eh, wot?! That's another notch for my side of the tally-sheet, in our keen battle of (half-)wits.
Your point, howe'er, is well-taken: a WERE-WOLF who paints! Novel to the point of eccentricity, I shouldn't wonder. Why, I can count on one paw, the number of MONSTERS that do art-work. Again, that's TIMOTHY'S influence, he's been giving me art lessons. That man has the patience of a saint.
Of course, having witnessed the incomparable Artistry of BASIL GOGOS for 'lo these many years, and, most recently, meeting him and his beautiful lady, LINDA (who is, herself, a very fine Artist!), and, having had the pleasure of enough sharing to call them 'FRIENDS', and, beholding, closely, his enchanting imagery, why, these experiences give me a thirst to get back to the canvas for more in-depth bouts of MONSTER-OUS IMAGERY!
TUT: Who is the greatest werewolf of all time? The greatest werewolf movie?
BvW: Purely my opinion, you understand, as I ne'er claim the power of authoritative 'infallibility'; to declare 'ex cathedra', but, I do possess some measure of what might be termed "insider knowledge". (wink, wink, nudge, nudge!) 'Tis my considered opinion that LON CHANEY, the Younger, wins the laurel wreath as the top-seeded Lupine title-holder.
I love them all, though, and, confer heart-felt accolades unto HENRY HULL, OLIVER REED, MATT WILLIS, DAVID NAUGHTON, GLENN STRANGE, MICHAEL LANDON, DEE WALLACE-STONE, PAUL NASCHY, and, a number of others... the Lycanthropic List, whilst not as extensive as the performers of the VAMPIRE Realm, is more mind-boggling in the breadth of their cinematic variations.
As to a favorite film of the WERE-WOLF Persuasion, many potent scenes come to mind. A vast canvas, if you will, of Marvellously Startling and Unnervingly Shocking Transformations, which excite me, even as we hold this impromptu Cyber-conversation. 'Tis an 'in the moment' sort of revery, this choice of what I deem to be my 'favorite'. One moment, I re-member Dr. Glendon taking the fatal bullet, as he stalks his beloved. "Thanks for, the bullet, Inspector, it was the only way. In a few moments, I shall know why all this had to be."
In another flashback, RETURN OF THE VAMPIRE co-star MATT WILLIS, metamorphasizes from WERE-WOLF into his dying human form by the power of the Cross, to bravely stake a claim upon the UNDEAD Heart of ARMAND TESLA, superbly portrayed by BELA LUGOSI.
So many like examples readily spring to mind, that, I'd need an Encyclopedia just to catalogue and reference them all (with effusive amounts of classic photographs, to be sure)!
But, to me, it is LON'S Genius, which so gloriously defines the Lycanthropic Facet of the Genre, just as it is JACK P. PIERCE'S Brilliant dedication to his inner-vision, and, labouriously pains-taking artistry in 'fleshing-out' the visage of THE WOLFMAN, that has etched upon the public consciousness the perfect archetype of WERE-WOLF!
TUT: When will the 10 rare episodes of your show be available?
BvW: They have been trickling back into the popular imagination, and, limited circulation, thanks to GHASTLEE, and, E-GOR.
I'm hopeful of their translation from olde 3/4 inch tape into DVD format by the early Spring... just in time for the new Convention season of AD 2004, which includes, but is not limited to: CINEMA WASTELAND (Spring edition #1), GHASTLEE'S SCARY CAMP (Innaugual Fete), and, THE MONSTER BASH. The HHU website has a cyber-store, as does E-GOR & my future site.
TUT: You look like a werewolf, Baron, but, sound quite like Boris Karloff, wonder why?
BvW: WILLIAM HENRY PRATT and I were both Students at the same School... of HARD KNOCKS! We both wish that it had been FORT KNOX, instead, howe'er, you can't always get what you want... because "a Rolling Stone gathers no moss."
I was in awe of the lad, and, of his prodigious talents, since first we met... He, too, knew what it was like to be a Person under a curse, yet, his eloquent sensitivity of Spirit always resonated with me. I count myself fortunate to be amongst his global legion of fans.
Many years later, the opportunity presented itself for TIMOTHY to 'take a star turn' in that venerable workhorse, the stageplay of ARSENIC AND OLD LACE. He was cast as evil JONATHAN BREWSTER, the role created specifically for, and, originally performed by, BORIS KARLOFF.
As BORIS so inspired TIMOTHY to undertake his own choice of a career in Theatre, How could he not attempt a vocal homage unto The MONSTER MASTER? The sinister, yet, genteel quality of The KARLOFFIAN dulcet tones was a preferred 'music to my ears'... 'twas, also, a nod to those movies and characterizations made truly 'Classic' by his presence in them. MONSTER-LOVERS everywhere recognize those resonant vocal cadences; it is comforting, precise, and, pure fun to indulge in authentic mimicry of his uniquely identifiable pronouncements.
TUT: What films have you enjoyed over the years?
BvW: Very few, there are, which I haven't, on one level or another, found enjoyment. Again, I do not seek to be evasive on this matter, but, my education of the genre is still unfolding, so, this blanket statement is precisely true. With my Classical background, and, the simplicity of the early technology, I am oft amazed at what recent film-makers are able to materialize upon the cinema screen.
My personal tastes run to the character-driven end of the spectrum, rather than the effects-driven aspect, although, I hold, in the highest esteem, those wizards of make-up and special effects! Make-up, I find to be particularly fascinating, and, treasure my association with TIMOTHY and KEVIN HANEY. Howe'er, without a significant character to imbue life into the visage, such artistry remains, merely, an outstanding make-up.
TUT: One last question, well, actually, here's your chance to speak your mind, say what you will, any last thoughts? Plugs? Silver bullets (kidding)?
BvW: With all the hair that I have, the issue of 'plugs', or, hair-grafts, is likely to remain a moot point... Oh, wait! I drift your catch! Er, uh, I mean, catch your drift. You're talking about a different type of plugs... those of the advertising variety! (Sorry, silly of me. TIMOTHY must be rubbing OFF on me, and, with nary a mosquito in sight!) And, wherever you find vast quantities of HAIR, you'll always find HAIR-SPLITTING! Thusly, your SILVER BULLET reference, even, when spoken in Jest, permits arguable insight, upon which further revelation might be expounded.
My 'take' on the matter, is, that, Silver bullets work as well, if not, better than, regular bullets, but, you might think me an olde-fashioned elitist for saying so.
But, seriously, folks... MONSTERDOM is, on one level, a psychological facet, (assuming that psychos are logical) a colourful, archetypal realm, whereby the Mind's connection to the Supernatural may be 'explored', and, their perspective contemplated; replete with kinships recognized, choices made, and, healing processes begun. Our True Identity is so much more than any conditioned dark, or even, Light, side of our Beings. All Life is A MIRACLE, a GRACE Of LOVE DIVINE. 'Tis better to reform than to deform, but, the exquisite examples of MONSTERDOM can be amongst our better teachers. We identify with the MONSTERS because finite life is unfair in a million different directions. But, if we are observant, and, wake-full, then, we can realize our deepest Nature, and, claim that even these beknighted bogeymen are among our best friends.
THE UNDERTAKER: Thanks, Baron, for your time!
BARON Von WOLFSTEIN: The pleasure has been all mine, UNDERTAKER. Thank you for having me here, ad perpetuam in cyber-space, or, until you next forget to pay your electric bill.