Monthly Archives: August 2009

DRAMA (Of the free audio variety)

It has recently come to my attention that a British company called Big Finish Productions has re-released an audio drama called UNIT: The Coup as a free download on their website. From what I can tell from its Wikipedia entry, it was originally released on a CD given away with an issue of Doctor Who Magazine in order to promote an upcoming spin-off of their Doctor Who audio plays.

For those not in the know, Doctor Who is a long-running British science fiction television series about the adventures of a time-traveling alien who saves the Earth (and other planets) from monsters and alien invasions. The Doctor sometimes aids (or is aided by) the British branch of the Unified Intelligence Taskforce (UNIT for short), an organization dedicated to combating unusual threats to global security. There’s a note here that UNIT was originally called the “United Nations Intelligence Taskforce,” but the producers had to remove the reference to the UN from the name in 2008.

I’m afraid I can’t comment about the quality of the audio play, as I’m not a fan of Doctor Who and didn’t bother listening to it. I only know that it involves a race of reptile-people from prehistoric times called the Silurians. However, I thought that both fans of the series and monster fans in general might be interested in such a freebie. Enjoy!

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Free D&D

So I was looking for information about an old horror comic book when I stumbled across the Wikipedia page for Tomb of Horrors (link contains spoilers). Instead of containing information about a comic book, it was devoted to a Dungeons and Dragons adventure. Said adventure is apparently infamous the its sheer number of deadly traps and reputation as a player-killer. Despite its apparent lack of monsters, I thought that some readers might be interested to know that Wizards of the Coast has put up a version (revised for 3.5th Edition rules) as a free download.

After poking around Wikipedia some more, I managed to find two other monster-related free downloads: a never-published supplement for the horror-themed Ravenloft campaign setting and the monster-filled adventure, White Plume Mountain (also revised for 3.5th Edition rules). I should note that I personally haven’t downloaded or opened any of these. As is the case with all links to downloadable content, open them at your own discretion.

Deep(ly odd) thoughts

So I was watching From Dusk ’til Dawn recently and was surprised to see that the staked vampires in the movie stayed dead even when their stakes were removed. Having been raised on movies where removing a stake meant a vampire would rise again, I was initially against the idea, but further consideration had me rethinking my position. Think about it, if rupturing the heart of a vampire killed it, then it wouldn’t matter if the stake was removed or not. On the other hand, if the material the stake is made of is what kills the vampire, then removing it could potentially let a vampire “live” again. After all, a vampire theoretically wouldn’t need organs to function and something that would permanently kill a human being might not work the same way for them. There’s also the issue of how, in the original folklore, driving a stake through a vampire’s chest only pinned them in their coffins so they couldn’t escape. Do we factor that in and make the whole argument moot or do we ignore like most depictions of vampires in popular culture?

This actually reminds me of a conversation Strange Jason and I once had. For some reason, he had started thinking about vampires having a divorce and how the process would work. The big question on his mind was whether or not alimony and/or child support have to be paid for all eternity, while I wondered if being undead would create any loopholes. If a couple is married “’til death do [them]” part, does it mean the marriage is invalid if both parties are undead?

Speaking of bizarre monster-related conversations I’ve had, one of my cousins came up with an interesting series of questions about zombies: Do they simply eat until their stomachs rupture or are they able to somehow digest the flesh they consume. If they do digest their “food,” then would they poop? If they do, would they just soil themselves or would they have a basic memory about things like using a toilet or going behind a bush?

Come to think of it, would vampires have to urinate after they’ve digested blood (assuming that’s what they do with it) or would they have really bad diarrhea?

The (Vincent) Price is right

I was pleasantly surprised to see that the Onion AV Club recently posted an article devoted to Vincent Price, and the films starring him that were most likely to make viewers devoted fans. I link to this both because I agree with the movie choices they list and because the users comments offer a wealth of trivia about the man. For example, I learned that he made a cameo in the movie Beach Party for the sole purpose of plugging The Pit and the Pendulum and that he provided vocal work on Alice Cooper’s album, Welcome to My Nightmare (long before Price did his “rap” for Thriller). Price also appeared in Cooper’s TV special, Alice Cooper: The Nightmare. Said special’s VHS release has some hilariously cheesy (albeit intentionally so) cover art that I doubt anyone would try doing nowadays.

Inspired by these discoveries, I decided to visit his Wikipedia entry. My favorite factoid has to be this quote:

“In an often-repeated anecdote from the set of Batman, Price, after a take was printed, started throwing eggs at series stars Adam West and Burt Ward, and when asked to stop replied, “With a full artillery? Not a chance!”, causing an eggfight to erupt on the soundstage.”

How can you not love that man?

Saving the best for last, check out vincentprice.org for a treasure trove of Vincent Price-related trivia, pictures, sound files and much more. Trust me, you’ll be glad you visited.

UPDATE: The Price may be right, but it turns out that Beach Party trivia was incorrect. Although Vincent Price did appear in the movie and made a The Pit and the Pendulum joke, his appearance was done to plug The Haunted Palace. Had I bothered to look up the release dates prior to making this post, I would have realized that The Pit and the Pendulum was made long before Beach Party went into production.