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Sunday, 6 June 2010

Mood:  cool
Now Playing: Meeting a beach babe, and updating the page

Lunch wth a great ol' gal, and a VOTG side-mission through New York

In late May, I went to visit a friend in New Jersey, and also made plans to visit New York City. Of interest my first time in the Big Apple, was having lunch with two people I had talked to by email, but never met in person: author Tom Lisanti, and Village of the Giants co-star, Gail Gerber.

I met both of them at the New York Public Library (sadly, completely covered up in front while a restoration was being made), and we then walked around the building to the Bryant Park cafe. It was quite a time, reminiscing with Gail and talking to Tom over my strange obsession for this 1965 B-movie. Gail also came prepared with her silver medal (Tom also has one, but not on him at the time) that she won for her memoirs.

We also took pictures, and both Tom and Gail signed my book. Tom also told me that the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts had some stills from the film. So, I then headed north to the center, where (surprisingly), there were a number of the movie stills I had been looking for. I found 7-8 that I had never seen before (including one that appeared in an issue of Box-Office Magazine, showing a film tour before the movie opened up). Sadly, the library would not allow me to scan and post the images. I could only photocopy them and use them for reference. A couple of them even provided me with identification numbers, which I added to some photos in the Photos gallery.

However, I did visit a movie-items store called Jerry Ohrlinger's (not far from Penn Station), a place where most of my stills had been won from eBay. Jerry's store was like warehouse in Raiders of the Lost Ark, only with movie items. An assistant brought me a folder with VOTG in it, and I purchased 5-6 stills, of which I was able to add to the Photos gallery.

Other updates made to the website

 Along with the addition and update of some photos in our gallery, the following changes have been made:

- Added HTML tables to organize the text into something more presentable.

- In Nancy's house, I finally was able to identify an issue of Better Homes and Gardens that is seen in some scenes. This information was added to the Name Brands area of the Information section.

-In 1974, the magazine Famous Monsters of Filmland ran a 2-page pictorial on Village of the Giants. I came across this information, got a copy of the pictorial, and posted it in the Publicity section of our Information page.


Posted by weird2/villageoftheg at 10:55 PM CDT
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Monday, 17 May 2010
Add another award-winner to the list!
Mood:  lazy

We would like to congratulate former actress Gail Gerber(or Elsa, as she's know in Village of the Giants), and 60's Beach Movie maniac/author Tom Lisanti for their win at the Independent Publisher Book Awards for Best Autobiography/Memoir of 2009.

Tom and Gail collaborated to tell of Gail's life growing up, and then where it went when she met famous author Terry Southern. The book is a very entertaining read, and for those not that familiar with Mr Southern, it opened my eyes a bit to what he was like. Gail and Tom's words often make so many events and places come alive.

Posted by weird2/villageoftheg at 9:05 PM CDT
Updated: Monday, 17 May 2010 9:06 PM CDT
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Wednesday, 20 January 2010
The mysterious girls of Village of the Giants- who were they?
Mood:  quizzical

The main cast of teenagers in Village of the Giants stayed pretty close to their respective groups. However, there are some background characters that worked their way into some scenes, and left me wondering who they were.

Here are a couple that have had me wondering for years (with a 'what if' regarding one of them):


1) The Motorcycle girl- She only appeared for a minute or so, but she was the first step in the plan to take down Fred before Mike and the hot rods showed up. There's nothing in the credits as to who she was, and when I even asked Bert I Gordon about her, he couldn't recall. My guess is that maybe she was a stuntwoman that was hired for the brief motorcycle scene.


2) The Basement girl- This girl had a bit more of a role, in that she traded dialogue with the main characters as Mike discussed a new plan to try and get the guns back, and save Nancy.

Actor Hank Jones was in this scene, and even provided us with a call sheet for the day this scene was filmed (this sheet can be found in our Information section on our homepage). However, this girl is the only one unaccounted for on the list for this scene. Hank's call sheet for the day of this scene doesn't give any other names, and even this scene in the original script just refers to this character as "Girl One."

Watching the scene recently, as well as an episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000, I think I may have come close to identifying this mysterious blonde. I believe she may be actress June Kenney, who appeared in two other Bert I Gordon films: Attack of the Puppet People, and Earth Vs The Spider (an image of June from Earth Vs The Spider can be seen in the image on the right. The mystery girl in Village of the Giants is the color image on the left).

I was listening to both girls speak in each film, and they sounded so similar, that I'm almost positive that June had an uncredited part in VOTG. Unfortunately, we don't know just what became of June, as her last documented appearance was in an episode of the television show, The Tall Man.


Just remember: if you have any information that could help us solve these mysteries, just drop us a line.

Posted by weird2/villageoftheg at 7:38 PM CST
Updated: Wednesday, 20 January 2010 7:39 PM CST
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Saturday, 16 January 2010
B-movie talk about VOTG. Also, I goofed.
Mood:  not sure

B Movie Cast website talks about the Giants

When it comes to Village of the Giants, I've only ever been on the ball a handful of times. Many times in my youth I missed a showing on TV, and one year in Chicago, I missed a chance to see Bert I Gordon while he was in town.

Well, I missed another VOTG event by a good 2 weeks. The site B Movie Cast conducted a podcast on January second, with a majority of the podcast dedicated to discussing our favorite B-movie. A big smile crossed my face when the guys on the podcast mentioned a particular site online.

Well guys, glad to know my little information page could help you out. Though if you guys ever want to talk more about VOTG, drop me a line.

You can hear B Movie Cast's podcast at the following link: http://bmoviecast.com/tag/village-of-the-giants/


Correction regarding Bert's Autobiography

Recently, I received an email from Bert I Gordon. It's always nice to hear from Bert...and when he finds something amiss, well, I'm apt to jump to attention.

The cover to Bert's upcoming Autobiography was actually designed by Ron Adams (not Stan Adams), the creator and producer of the Monster Bash festival.

This year's festival is taking place on June 25-27 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Don't forget that a special edition copy of Bert's book will be available, and Bert wil also be on hand for autographs.

 I just may attend myself (if you see a bright yellow t-shirt in the sea of people, it'll probably be me).

Posted by weird2/villageoftheg at 12:28 AM CST
Updated: Saturday, 16 January 2010 12:40 AM CST
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Sunday, 20 September 2009
The biggest news of all, Bert gives more details on his autobiography, and more!
Mood:  lazy

The biggest update ever to our Fanpage has finally arrived!

Well, it took alot of time, and alot of hard work, but we finally got posted one of the biggest additions to our site: a PDF file containing a copy of the Final Draft for Village of the Giants

Like our last post, this could not have been achieved without Village of the Giants  co-star Hank Jones, who loaned us his script to copy. While some would have been happy enough to put this script on a photocopier, I wanted to go one better: transcribe it word-for-word, and make it as close to the original copy as possible.

I went so far as to find a typewriter font, and attempted to space and indent just like that script. The final draft I typed out is about 98% close to Hank's copy, with the only major differences regarding some typos, and the line and page indents and spacing. You'll find a link to the script on our Information page. Please be advised that you'll need Adobe Reader in order to read the PDF file.

I've probably thanked Hank 10+ times for all his help, both with his interview and contributions to our page, but let's just say it again: Thanks Hank!

Hank speaks as well!

Along with providing us with his shooting script, we've also posted our interview with Hank. Hank tells of the times he had on set, as well as the friendships he formed on the film. 

Bert provides more information regarding his upcoming autobiography!

We recently received the following image to the right, and more information from Mr. Bert I Gordon, regarding the upcoming release for his autobiography.

The cover for his book was designed by Stan Adams, the administrator of the Monster Bash convention that takes place yearly in Pittsburgh, PA (Bert and his daughter Susan have attended previously). The painting in the background was painted by Lorraine Bush, and depicts Glen Manning (played by Duncan Perkin) in the film War of the Colossal Beast.

According to Bert, the paperback version of this book will be released this fall, with a special edition hardcover version to be released at next year's Monster Bash convention in June. We'll keep you posted when more information becomes available. Thanks for keeping us in the loop regarding your recent projects, Bert! Always a pleasure.

Where do rumors get started?

Throughout film history, there are all sorts of stories that come about, from strange flubs to deleted scenes. Some may recall the rumor of an actor playing a Munchkin in The Wizard of Oz who was said to have hung himself in the background of a film scene.

While that rumor was debunked with film analysis, a rumor circulated up and down the small fan channels for Village of the Giants for many years. This rumor concerns the disappearance of the Sheriff's deputy, when he doesn't appear after the first confrontation of the giants in the park.

The rumor says that the deputy was to be stepped on by the giants, giving way to his disappearance. However, after perusing the final draft of the script, I found no indication of this scene. My guess is this rumor may have been confused by someone who read how Rick in the final draft, smashed the Sheriff's car. Some may have assumed the deputy was inside, and that's how his life was ended. And of course, some may have assumed that all the giants talk of stomping on people finally came to pass.

I would like to know where this rumor first started, and find out where it came from. At this point, I'd say the final draft of the script can put the rumor to rest, but I feel there will be giant/giantess and foot fetishists who will still insist that this 'rumored death' was intended to take place.

Recent site updates

Along with the addition of the script, there have been some minor additions:

- Information regarding H.G.Wells' story The Food of the Gods has been updated in the Comparisons area, with a more thorough summary, and a newer title.

- In the Production Materials area, I've set up an analysis of the scenes that were on the production call sheet that Hank Jones provided.

Posted by weird2/villageoftheg at 1:13 AM CDT
Updated: Sunday, 20 September 2009 1:16 AM CDT
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Sunday, 30 August 2009
Our Fanpage interviews actor Hank Jones, and much more!
Mood:  incredulous
Now Playing: Amazing news from the world of Village of the Giants

Actor Hank Jones chats with us!

Searching online last week, I was amazed to come across Mr. Hank Jones. Hank played the role of Chuck, one of Tommy Kirk's friends in the film. His scenes included the 'scramble to get the goo' after the teens steal it, to discussing with Mike the plan to rescue Nancy and the Sheriff's daughter.

Hank provided us with some wonderful insight into his career, which also included a stint recording music for RCA Records,  and his career choice in the field of genealogy. Hank was also very kind in providing us with some articles regarding his work on Village of the Giants, including the first item we've seen regarding the production: a copy of part of the production call sheet when he went to work the day of May 11, 1965! 

Look for Hank's information to be added to our Interviews section in the next day or so. We're also updating several other areas, and will include Hank's website in our Links page. But that's not all. Hank is also providing us with something that has eluded me and several others for many years. When we have more information, we'll share it here.


RIP Jim Begg.

While looking around online, I was surprised to see some information that had eluded my eyes for over a year: Jim Begg, who played Fatso in Village of the Giants, passed away on February 15, 2008. Hank did tell us more about his passing, and some can be found in his interview.  I never did have the chance to speak with Jim Begg, but along with his role in VOTG, I always remembered him in another beach film of the era, Catalina Caper, which also starred another VOTG actor: Tommy Kirk. Rest in peace, Jim.


More updates made to the site

Along with last week's updates, this week's also brought even more items to our Information section. These include:

-articles from the magazine Variety. These include information regarding Bert I Gordon's deal with Embassy Pictures, along with the talk of a possible sequel at that time.  We also found the article that was published, referring to the theft of some footage that Bert cut due to the MPAA's objections. And on a bigger note, a copy of the review of the film done by Variety was also found and posted.

-articles and information were also found from some newspapers from Chicago, Illinois. There's even an image of an advertisement for Bert and several of the actors to appear at an autograph signing at the United Artists Theater in downtown Chicago.




Posted by weird2/villageoftheg at 5:14 PM CDT
Updated: Sunday, 30 August 2009 5:38 PM CDT
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Sunday, 23 August 2009

Mood:  hungry
Now Playing: Updates and new Information!

The following information was updated:

*The inclusion of the soundtrack for Quentin Tarantino's Death Proof was added to the Music section, as Jack Nitzsche's The Last Race was included for that film's title theme.

*Several of the crew bios were updated.

*New photos were added to the scrapbook section in Gail Gerber's fan gallery, which now contains stills from the film The Girls on the Beach. Two banners were also added for the Elvis Presley films Gail starred in, which can lead viewers to Amazon.com where they can be purchased.


 New images from Boxoffice Magazine:

I was amazed to find during my internet searches, a site dubbed issuu.com, that has scans of magazines. One of those magazines was titled Boxoffice, in which one issue contained a 2-page spread advertising Village of the Giants in September of that year. Of great amazement was an article in an October issue, that told of a promotional tour that Bert and several of the cast members took. Bert had told me about this in the interview I conducted with him, and it was neat to seethis chronicled, as well as a photo with the article. This article, along with a larger version of the 2-page ad to the left, can be found in the Publicity section of the Information page.

 Another issue I found also contained more information regarding the making of Village of the Giants that year. In March of 1965, the same magazine published an article that told of Bert's plans to begin filming, as well as giving the production value for this film. This article can also be found in the Publicity section.

Posted by weird2/villageoftheg at 4:30 PM CDT
Updated: Sunday, 23 August 2009 8:44 PM CDT
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Sunday, 16 August 2009

Mood:  quizzical
Now Playing: Bert gives us a peek, and some other updates to the site

Gordon's got us Covered!

I spoke again with Mr. Bert I Gordon, and he resent an image regarding the cover of his upcoming Autobiography, which you can see to the left. Nice job, Bert. As explained before, can't wait to read it.

Spruced up the ol' homestead

Well, as not a whole lot had been done to the site, I went in over the last week and updated a few things. Here are some recent changes made to the Information section:

  1. In the Publicity section, cleared up a color issue with the Movie Trailer graphic, added a better link feature to the audio clips of the film's promotional materials, and added a graphic that appeared in a TV Guide regarding the film.

  2. In Home Video, added an image of the Beta-Max release box, and the second DVD release from MGM, pairing the film with Bert I Gordon's Attack of the Puppet People.

  3. In Merchandise, I added a new image regarding the film having a Blu-Ray release, and the idea of the film having been made into a game for the Atari 2600 video game console.

  4. In Name Brands, the mystery over what type of record player Mike and Nancy were using has finally been solved! Special thanks goes to River Huntingdon who provided more information about the player, and sent us some photos of his same model, though with a red/white color combination.

  5. In Vehicles, we have found a 2-page bit from Barris' Kustom City, about their work on the film, including a special stunt during the hot rod confrontation with Fred.

  6. I reorganized some of the information under the Effects section, added some more pictures, and effects information regarding some props using special platforms and wire-work.

Posted by weird2/villageoftheg at 4:27 PM CDT
Updated: Sunday, 16 August 2009 5:58 PM CDT
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Saturday, 8 August 2009

Mood:  lazy
Now Playing: Talking to Bert I Gordon, Gail Gerber's book, and a couple images

Well, it's been a little over 2 years, and news has been a little slow. So, here's some news tidbits.


Talking to The Notorious B.I.G.

 I was surprised recently to receive an email from Mr. Bert I Gordon. I helped provide Bert with an image or two for his upcoming Autobiography. The cover looks nice, and it will be interesting to read what Bert has to say about some of his other films, such as Tormented, which was one of the first films of his I saw before Village of the Giants. I'll be sure to let everyone know once his book has been published.

Gail Gerber's latest book release with Tom Lisanti

The Unofficial Village of the Giants webpage owes some gratitude to Mr. Tom Lisanti, whose books on 60's starlets helped us to find information in regards to several of the film's starlets. One starlet who stands out is Gail Gerber, of whom we have honored with a fan gallery. A few months ago, Gail and Tom finally completed their project: The memoirs of Gail's time with Terry Southern, the author of the book Candy, and writer of such films as Easy Rider & Dr. Strangelove.

 I have currently ordered Gail and Tom's book, and look forward to reading more about one of my favorite actresses from Village of the Giants.

Comments from Village of the Giants' screenwriter

Through the power of Google Books,  I found an interview of Alan Caillou, the screenwriter for Village of the Giants. You can find out more information by visiting the following link: http://books.google.com/books?id=tMBYAIrVGNgC&pg=RA1-PA49&lpg=RA1-PA49&dq=village+of+the+giants+screenplay&source=bl&ots=R-WwZEShF5&sig=L-0_Sj4TWHbDmzokLkxXMlHVE1Y&hl=en&ei=9vJ4SrHdA4ndlAfP8oCZBQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=10#v=onepage&q=&f=false , which is an excerpt from the book
Science Fiction and Fantasy Flashbacks by Tom Weaver.

 3 New Keybook Images

 I recently uploaded 3 new images to our Photos section. One of interest is a caricature of several characters from the film. The piece was done by artist Sam Norkin, which takes some visual cues from the artistic stylings of caricaturist Al Hirschfeld.


Posted by weird2/villageoftheg at 5:33 AM CDT
Updated: Saturday, 8 August 2009 5:42 AM CDT
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Saturday, 1 December 2007

Mood:  caffeinated
Now Playing: Of Fanart, Glamour Girls, and the End of the Road.


 I'm a bit of an internet junkie, but usually, the internet doesn't provide everything one is looking for. One such case was my search for some good fanart of Village of the Giants. Perusing through DeviantArt one day, I was shocked to find some Mystery Science Theater 3000 art by
*jbwarner86. Along with some WB-inspired art, he had also done a great piece that you can see a preview of here (thanks to *jbwarner86 for letting me post it).

The image contains some nice cartoon likenesses of Tim Rooney, Beau Bridges, Joy Harmon, Tommy Kirk, Charla Doherty & 'Ronnie' Howard. I have to say, that other than the little image on the Aunt Joy's Cakes site, this is probably the only other caricature I've ever seen of Harmon. Thank you *jbwarner86, for making us laugh about love...again. :)

You can see the full image at *jbwarner86's page, by clicking on the image above.


The Glitz and the Glamour

 Sometimes, life gets away from me, and I lose track of time. Unfortunately, I didn't get around to mentioning the release of Glamour Girls of Sixties Hollywood when it debuted in early October.

 Our good buddy Tom Lisanti has oublished a new book with over 75 profiles, including our very own Vicki London. With Glamour Girl, Tom has interviewed each of the lovely giantesses from Village of the Giants.  Tom's latest book has also garnered praise, such as this:

"...a fascinating look at many of Hollywood’s most beautiful and overlooked talents." - Kimberly Lindbergs, Cinebeats

For more information, please be sure to visit Tom's webpage at http://www.sixtiescinema.com 


Gail goes back to college in her Fan Gallery

And on a final note, I'm pleased to say that I have finally been able to procure images from all of Gail Gerber's onscreen film appearances. Last month, I was able to find a copy of The End of The Road, a film starring Stacy Keach and James Earl Jones. The film was co-written and produced by Gail's friend Terry Southern, who also wrote Dr Strangelove & Easy Rider. A very powerful film. It's so powerful, that I'm not sure I could ever write a summary that could do it justice. The film will really make you think on several levels.

In the film, Stacy Keach's character teaches a college class, of which Gail is one of the students. Though during one lesson, Gail is more enamored with rolling a joint, than listening to Keach's lecture.

You can find more images of Gail's appearance in The End of The Road by clicking on the photo above.

Posted by weird2/villageoftheg at 9:34 PM CST
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