Saturday Frights Podcast Ep. 096 – Mummy Daddy

Friends, we have a brand new episode of the Saturday Frights podcast for you this morning, the subject of the show is a listener request. The Projectionist and I talk about the 1985 Amazing Stories episode entitled “Mummy Daddy”, one of the more comedic offerings from that particular TV anthology series. Although on this episode we might not have been unable to uncover quite as much information on “Mummy Daddy” as we did with The Birds, the Projectionist and I found out some surprising information on how long Universal was attempting to reboot 1932’s The Mummy. Including a rather surprising list of talented writers and directors that were approached before Stephen Sommers was tapped to bring 1999’s The Mummy to the big screen.

Although we have tackled Amazing Stories in past podcasts, both “Remote Control Man” and “Mirror, Mirror” as a matter of fact, we do provide a brief history on the television show itself – including its link to the long-running magazine of the same name.

In addition it might surprise you to learn that Amazing Stories wasn’t a huge hit when it was originally aired on NBC. Not even the legion of talented people in front of and behind the camera, attracted to the series thanks to Executive Producers Steven Spielberg, Kathleen Kennedy, and Frank Marshall, were able to capture the necessary audience for Universal Television and NBC to support it beyond two seasons. Although having said that, and as we touch upon in the show itself, Amazing Stories did manage to earn quite a few Emmy nominations.

If you happen to be a huge fan of “Mummy Daddy” by the way, I think you will be interested to know that the teleplay written by Earl Pomerantz happens to be available to purchase on eBay at this very moment. Assuming of course that you have the spare change to afford such a unique collectible.

Without further ado, please join the Projectionist and myself at the Haunted Drive-In as we discuss 1985’s “Mummy Daddy” on the Saturday Frights podcast. As always we want to thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to listen to the show, and hope that you are enjoying season three of the podcast.

If you have any suggestions for topics you would like for us to cover in a future episode – or possibly you have comments on the current show itself, email them to me at You can also contact me on Twitter and on Facebook. In addition I certainly hope you will take the time to visit the Saturday Frights Facebook Page. There you can find posts from Rockford Jay, Preston Griffith and myself on a daily basis.

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Boris Karloff: The Man Behind The Monster Documentary

Friends, the original plan for this afternoon was to present a new episode of the Saturday Frights podcast – due to work and getting that special episode of the Pop Culture Retrorama out however, those plans fell through. Although at the very least we can enjoy this nearly five minute long trailer for the upcoming documentary entitled Boris Karloff: The Man Behind the Monster from Voltage Films. A documentary that appears to be an in-depth and sincere tribute to the actor who helped make the Frankenstein’s Monster an absolute cinematic horror icon – to say nothing of playing the titular character in The Mummy, or acting as narrator as well as providing the voice for the Grinch in the 1966 animated television adaption… plus about 204 other roles in film and television.

Boris Karloff: The Man Behind the Monster was directed, produced and co-written by Thomas Hamilton – who also wrote, produced, and helmed the 2016 documentary on The Scarlet Pimpernel and Gone with the Wind‘s Leslie Howard.

As I have shared on this site and on the Saturday Frights podcast many, many times – it was seeing 1931’s Frankenstein at the age of three that set me on the path of becoming a Monster Kid. Karloff’s portrayal of the Frankenstein Monster did not scare me in the least – far from it – thanks to the actor’s moving performance I clearly saw the fear and pain of the ‘monster’… his gentle soul.

A gentle soul is by all accounts the perfect description of Boris Karloff – through the years I’ve never heard or read of someone having anything bad to say about the actor. In fact I would say that the sheer number of filmmakers and entertainers that are featured in Boris Karloff: The Man Behind the Monster is a testament to his life and legacy. From the information provided on the YouTube channel:

“Featuring Guillermo Del Toro, John Landis, Joe Dante, Christopher Plummer, Peter Bogdanovich, Ron Perlman, Leonard Maltin, Sir Christopher Frayling, Sara Karloff, Gregory Mank, Roger Corman, Stefanie Powers, Ian Ogilvy, Norman Jewison, Orson Bean, Kevin Brownlow, Caroline Munro, Stephen Jacobs, Dick Miller, Peter Asher, Virginia Bates, Nehemiah Persoff, David J Skal, Donald F Glut, Derek Malcolm, Bernie Coleman, Lee Grant, Rick Goldschmidt, Stuart Hersh, Miles Kreuger, Valerie Yaros, H.M.Wynant, Diane Aubry, Anthony Pratt, Renée Glynne, Sharyn Moffett, Neil Pettigrew, Ruth Shiel, Courtlandt Hull, Ron Simon, Jaymz Bee, Thomas Hamilton, Ron MacCloskey and more… Available in early 2021”

Video and Article Image Provided by SonofFrenzi.

In closing this article I want to thank John Squires of Bloody Disgusting for the heads up on the trailer as well as the documentary itself. In addition you can visit the Facebook page for Boris Karloff: The Man Behind the Mystery to keep up to date on the latest news concerning the release date, etc.

Stan Winston Studios Behind The Scenes Video For The Monster Squad

Friends, on the weekend of August 14th of 1987, my Father and myself made sure that we caught the matinee screening of a brand new film boasting the teaming up of classic monsters and a group of kids who opposed them. Being raised as a Monster Kid, to say I was blown away by Fred Dekker and the Stan Winston Studios’ ode to classic Universal Monsters is the definition of an understatement. From the opening tongue in cheek title crawl to our first glimpse of the regal and imposing Duncan Regehr as Count Dracula and the assault upon his castle – I was hooked. And while the casting of the Squad themselves – these fellow Monster Kids – is perfect and delivers the heart of Dekker and Shane Black’s screenplay… it is the exceptional work of Stan Winston Studios on Frankenstein’s Monster, the Mummy, the Wolfman, Dracula, and of course the Gillman that made me a lifelong fan of The Monster Squad!

“No autographs!”

In August of 2019 the Stan Winston School of Character Arts, posted on their blog an article about the work the Stan Winston Studio did for The Monster Squad. I highly suggest you take a few moments and check it out for yourself, if you too are a fan of this most excellent 1987 film. Because as the article , which I believe was written by Balazs Foldesi with excerpts from 2006’s The Winston Effect: The Art & History of of Stan Winston Studio by Jody Duncan points out – the Stan Winston Studio during 1985 to 1987 were busy working on the likes of Amazing Stories, Aliens, Pumpkinhead, and Predator. So not only was the studio creating some truly memorable creature designs and effects – helping to spawn franchises with three of the projects – they had to come up with monsters that captured the essence of the Universal Monsters… and not get sued.

The article is a treasure trove of information for all of us fans of The Monster Squad – providing character sketches from the late and great Stan Winston to behind the scenes photographs of the make-up and special effects artists at work. In addition they have a wonderful video from the 2013 Monsterpalooza – where Dekker as well as crew members and actors share their memories of the film. Having said that I thought you might enjoy this shorter and vintage behind the scenes video for The Monster Squad – showing off the talents of not only Winston but Tom Woodruff Jr. (Death Becomes Her, Starship Troopers), Shane Mahan (Iron Man, The Mandalorian), Michael McKay (Se7en), John Rosengrant (Galaxy Quest, Jurassic World), Matt Rose (Hellboy, Bright), and Steve Wang (Deepstar Six, Reign of Fire).

Video and Article Image Provided by Stan Winston School.

Remember the Pepsi And Doritos Monster Match Sweepstakes?

Pepsi and Doritos Monster Match - Sweepstakes - 1991

In my time as a writer of Pop Culture related articles I am pretty positive I have successfully got the point across that I rather love the Universal Monsters. While that is thanks to watching 1931’s Frankenstein on the late, late show one night when I was three years old – there is just something about those iconic film characters that were introduced in the 30’s, 40’s, and 50’s that have stuck with me. I think it is totally fair to say that over the years we fans of the Monsters that helped to save the Universal studio have been getting a bit more product of late – collectibles and such – especially compared to our options back in the day. Which is why I recall how excited I became when I first saw this 1991 television for the Pepsi and Doritos Monster Match sweepstakes. It’s hard to not have a huge grin spread across your face when we get a glimpse into the domestic life of a disgruntled Frankenstein’s Monster and his put upon Wife – who is off-screen the entire time.

Video and Article Image Provided by Television Archives YouTube Channel.

I believe this was actually the start of a nice little promotion between Pepsi and Universal Studios with their Monsters – that similar contests and events ran for a couple of years after this first one. At the time of this Pepsi and Doritos Monster Match sweepstakes my Father was actually starting to get a little money – so grabbing a couple of bags of Doritos or cases of Pepsi products in an attempt to find the correct Monster Money pieces wasn’t exactly going to wreck the weekly budget. And I most certainly did attempt to win that million dollar prize – even at a 20-year annuity and after taxes – I could have bought myself all manner of Universal Monster collectibles.

I kept hold of those Monster Money pieces for many, many years… honestly I might have one or two of the halves of the ‘money’ lurking around somewhere. There were stickers that were part of the Monster Match campaign too – they didn’t let you actually win anything but they featured that really nice artwork of some of our favorite horror icons. I’ve never been able to find out who the artist was that illustrated the likes of Dracula, the Wolf Man, the Mummy, the Bride of Frankenstein, the Creature from the Black Lagoon, and of course Frankenstein’s Monster. You know, this is a good time to bring up the money value your would have received if you matched the correct left and right pieces together… because I have a bone to pick with the lowest prize amount of the sweepstakes:

Frankenstein’s Monster: $1,000,000
Dracula $1,500
Bride of Frankenstein $500
The Mummy $75
The Creature from the Black Lagoon $25
The Wolf Man $5?!

“5 bucks?! Are you kidding me!”

You could have also obtained a coupon for a percentage off your next purchase on a Pepsi or Doritos product – pretty sure I’m not making that up. I totally miss the days when you could walk into your local grocery store and see the likes of the Universal Monsters plastered on products – like with this 1991 Pepsi and Doritos Monster Match sweepstakes… at least we have the memories of it all to share as well as that TV ad, right?

Universal Monsters Mystery Minis From Funko Have Come For You!

Universal Monsters Mystery Minis - Pop Culture Retrorama - Funko - Barnes and Noble

Let me make something perfectly clear on two things before I continue – one is that my adoration for the Universal Monsters borders on the pathological. I feel it has something to do with growing up as a Monster Kid and not being able to get enough of the monsters that helped build up and save Universal Pictures. On the Saturday Frights podcast I have often shared how my Father awoke after midnight to find I was completely captivated by 1931’s Frankestein – as you might imagine he implored me to go to bed… to which I plainly said I would not until I had finished the movie. There is so very, very much to love about the Universal Pictures adaptations of Frankenstein, Dracula, The Invisible Man as well as The Phantom of the Opera. But one certainly cannot overlook their own cinematic monsters like The Wolf Man, The Mummy, The Bride of Frankenstein, and The Creature from the Black Lagoon. For 94 years the Universal Monsters have become more than iconic – they are legends of horror, with their stories being retold throughout the years. And while quite a bit of that praise can be heaped on the shoulders of make-up effects artist Jack Pierce and his team… there is something else that makes the characters stand out. That is pathos, besides a handful of the Universal Monsters there is an amazing amount of tragedy to the monsters – you just can’t help but side with these misfits.

Pretty much how I have felt about myself… since forever.

The second thing I want you to understand is that Funko… is going to end up ruling the World. From their Funko Pop! collectibles to various licensed properties for their Funko Mystery Mini lines featuring Stranger Things, X-Men, Harry Potter, and Star Wars to name just a very few. The company has managed to produce about everything that anyone who enjoys pop culture will want to collect in one form or another. They have created sets for science-fiction characters from Robocop to TRON and horror characters like Beetlejuice to the all mighty Cthulhu. There were even Universal Monsters in the Horror Classics Mystery Mini sets… but now… the children of the celluloid night have been given their very own series with Funko’s Universal Monsters Mystery Minis!

“Listen to them. Children of the night. What music they make.” – Dracula (1931)

I was visiting my local Barnes and Noble a couple of days ago and noticed they had set up a table for Halloween. What you might expect, books and even board games that fit the spirit of the season… and that is when I spied a box of Funko’s Universal Monster Mystery Minis. My eyes grew wide and my very breath caught in my throat as I lunged forward and grabbed the box of minis off the table. Catching my understanding Wife’s eye as I did so… and she just sadly nodded her head in acceptance. Having long ago realized that when it comes to the Universal Monsters I cannot walk away from collectibles – even when in this case it was going to get a little expensive to buy nearly the entire box. I would be lying to you if I said I didn’t feel a twinge of guilt about depriving another Universal Monster fanatic the chance to pick up a few minis of their own… but I told myself that Barnes and Noble would eventually order more. So clutching the box tighter than Gollum grasped the One Ring I made my way to the register… mentally hissing at anyone who dared come too close to my prize. Then with barely contained excitement we made our way to the cafe where I could rip open the boxes and find out which of the plastic versions of the icons were coming home with me!

Honestly I had a pretty good haul with Dracula, the Invisible Man, and even a Mole Man from 1956’s The Mole People.

I also was able to obtain Frankenstein’s Monster and his Bride, the Mummy (probably Kharis) as well as the Wolf Man.

The Wolf Man smells something funny about Kharis…

Right there in front of a horrified cafe of patrons battle lines were immediately drawn between the Funko Universal Monsters Mystery Minis. The Wolf Man sided with both the Monster and his Bride – with the Prince of the Undead using his will to call Kharis and the Mole Man to his side. Abstaining with a hearty chuckle was Dr. Jack Griffin who stood on the sidelines waiting to see which of the armies would appear to be the victor before choosing to enter the fray!

Place your bets!

I thank you for that bit of silliness I just indulged in – there were two character missing from the blind boxes I purchased, the Creature as well as the Phantom. To be fair I’m sure before the season is over I’ll be able to pick up the inhabitant of the Black Lagoon – the odds for Erique Claudin (the mini appears to be based on 1943’s The Phantom of the Opera) are less favorable. Will I buy another box of them… no, I don’t think I will… but being able to look over to my shelf and see my Universal Monsters friends – it was totally worth it the first time.

I however would love to hear which side you think would win the battle – leave your thoughts in the comment section?