The 1978 version of the classic George Romero film Dawn of the Dead premiered in the USA. We follow a group of survivors as they take refuge in a mall trying to outlast the ever growing horde of the undead that looms just outside. This is the second installment in the still going strong series by Romero! He was a visionary then and proves he still is! This is a must see for any fan of the very popular Zombie horror, and its hard to imagine where we would be if not for the genius that is Romero, of course assisted by Savini who played a huge role in the effects as well as a very memorable character in this one! So celebrate the 36th anniversary by dusting this classic off for a trip down memory lane!
Poltergeist 2 premiered this day in 1986. Poltergiest 2 the family has moved but unfortunately evil follows, with one of the most creepy looking antagonists of the day in Julian Becks portrayal of Rev. Henry Kane, who to this day still kind of creeps me out!
The franchise carries a long running legend of being cursed with believers citing the unusual deaths of several of the cast members over the years as proof. The curse is believed to stem from the fact that during the filming of the original real skeletons were used in the infamous pool scene, where we see characters struggling to get out of the muddy unfished flooded pool hole only to have corpse after corpse pop up as they struggle to get free.
And the trend continues for this week with Kenneth Bianchi's birth 1951 in Rochester New York. He made up one half of the family team of serial kidnapper, rapist, and killing duo known as the Hillside Stranglers, with cousin Angelo Buono. Kenneth Bianchi is currently serving life imprisonment in Washington after being convicted, he is known to have at least 12 victims but many believe the number is much higher as he is still considered to be a suspect in several unsolved cases. During trial he tried to claim "multiple personality disorder' and had several authorities in mental health fooled before finally being outed as a very sane manipulator of the system.
Serial Killer week it is... With the birth of prolific serial killer Jeffery Lionel Dahmer, originally born in Wisconsin, but moved to Ohio while still very young. He took his first known victim back in 1978 at his family home while temporarily living there alone due to family issues. It was the start of a long career of killing taking 17 lives over the course of the next 13 years. Dahmer was finally arrested July 22, 1991, when one of his intended victims was able to escape after being held for 5 hours, while running from the scene he flagged down an officer, and told them of his ordeal. The cops then took him back Dahmer apartment where upon closer inspection they found pictures of naked male bodies in various stages of dismemberment and decay, leading them to check the house farther where they discovered one of the most horrific scenes imaginable in modern history, frozen heads, organs and various other body parts, along with numerous other evidence the like of which I have no doubt still haunts those officers. Dahmer was found dead in prison of head trauma in 1991, seems prison justice is a reality for some.
With this past weekends near record box office sales for the release of GODZILLA, we have to make mention of the 1998 version, released this day in history (Bastardized and Amercanized, as I say), with Matthew Broderick, Jean Reno, and Hank Azaria all of whom are fine actors but they couldn't save this one! Godzilla fans were outraged worldwide, the creature didnt at all resemble or pay homage to the Mythic beast we all loved growing up! Yes I admit I am a Lover of Godzilla, and my family is made up of fervent fans as well! So Thankfully this week we all got to say out with the bad and in with the good! Long Live TOHO Godzilla!
Seems like this is historically a pretty big week for Serial killers, as on this day back in 1870 the Werewolf of Wysteria aka Albert Fish was born in Washington DC. He is actually known by numerous names including The Gray Man, Moon Maniac, and even as the BOOGEYMAN!!! Thats some scary stuff there, but when you are a known abductor, raper, killer and EATER of children thats what happens. Fish was convicted of 3, and suspected of another 6 childrens deaths. He claimed that he had more than a hundred victims, though the police were never able to determine the truth to this and to this day it is not known if Fish was talking about victims that he had raped or victims he had killed. Albert Fish has a story that is long and fascinating with a multi generational history of severe mental illness, a less than easy childhood and countless other issues finally culminating in being left by his first wife to raise 4 children alone that seems to have been a tipping point for Ol Albert. He is referenced countless times in pop culture and if you would like to read more on Albert Fish and his crimes you will find a plethora of resources out there. Even today he is still regarded as one of the vilest serial killers in American History.
1971 Elizabeth Anne Porteous is found in her Calgary apartment after failing to show for work. She would be the final victim of Wayne Boden aka "the Vampire Rapist" a moniker he earned for his unique MO of savagely biting the breasts of his victims. His killing spree went on from 1969-1971 that police are aware of. His was the first case in North America to utilize forensic odontological evidence to convict, paving the way for the Bundy trial in Florida in 1979. Wayne Boden died in 2006 while still in confinement of skin cancer, he was serving 5 life sentences.