Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Nosferatu

Every Thursday, I will be posting excerpts from the Horror Crossover Encyclopedia, relating to television or film.  Today, I've chosen the first film to show up in the book, Nosferatu.

Previously, I covered the Universal Dracula, one soul clone of Dracula-Prime.  This is about a different soul clone, and a different offshoot of vampire evolution that came from him.

TALES OF THE SHADOWMEN VOLUME 3: DANSE MACABRE “THE HEART OF THE MOON” (SHORT STORY BY MATTHEW BAUGH)
Release Date: 2007 (Setting is 1790)
Series: Tales of the Shadowmen
Horror Crosses: Captain Kronos, Vampire Hunter (film); Vampire City (Paul Feval); Lovecraft’s Cthulhu Mythos; Nosferatu; The Vampyre
Non-Horror Crosses: Doctor Omega; Telzey Amberdon, Solomon Kane, Maciste (Silent Film Series); Maciste (Revival Sword and Sandal Film Series); Baron Munchhausen; Shadow Warriors; Doctor Who; Northwest Smth; Star or Psi Cassiopeia; The Black Stone
The Story: Doctor Omega and his companion Telzey Amberdon team up with Captain Kronos, Doctor Grost, Solomon Kane, and Maciste against an army of vampires in Selene, the infamous Vampire City.

Notes: Another great horror crossover tale from Black Coat’s Tales of the Shadowmen and author Matthew Baugh. Captain Kronos is from the cult classic 70s film. Vampire City is from author Paul Feval, a French novel reprinted and translated to English by Black Coat Press. Of course, the Lovecraft Mythos are the glue that binds the Horror Universe. Nosferatu is a classic film that was a very loose adaptation of Dracula (loose enough to be considered a separate story.) The Vampyre is one of the earliest vampire works in literature. Doctor Omega is a French novel that has been conflated in recent times in literature with the Doctor from Doctor Who. Since it’s been published, I consider the theory to be canon. Telzey Amberdon is from her own sci-fi series but here she is the Doctor’s companion. Solomon Kane is an immortal hero of literature, while Maciste is an immortal sword and sorcery hero from films. Originally he was featured in silent films, then decades later was revived in several Italian sword and sorcery films. Though separate series, the two versions are conflated here, so I consider both the same character. Shadow Warriors is a Japanese television series. All the horror crosses here are considered fully part of the Horror Universe, with all of their works as canon. As for the non-horror crosses, we can consider that their appearances listed in this book are canon, and perhaps their original appearances by their original authors or production companies, but that’s it. Non-horror crosses do not count as crossover connectors to expand the Horror Universe.

ANNO DRACULA (SERIES BY KIM NEWMAN)
Release Date: 1992 - 2013 (so far) [Setting is 1888 -1991 (so far)]
Series: Anno Dracula
Horror Crosses: Dracula (novel); Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde; Invisible Man (novel); The Island of Doctor Moreau; The Vampyre; Varney the Vampire; The Soft Whisper of the Dead; They Thirst; Hotel Transylvania; The Black Castle; The Vampire Tapestry; Stephen King Universe; Carmilla; Good Lady Ducayne; The Tomb of Sarah; Ken’s Mystery; The Mysterious Stranger (story); The True Story of a Vampire; Carnacki Ghost Finder; Black Sabbath; The Picture of Dorian Gray; Interview with a Vampire (Anne Rice Vampire Lestat series); The Werewolves of London (Brian Stableford); Count Yorga; The Fearless Vampire Killers; Brides of Dracula; Vampire Circus; Dracula (Universal); Dark Shadows; El Vampiro; Black Sunday; Martin (George A. Romero film); Kolchak the Night Stalker; Blacula; Nosferatu; Kiss of the Vampire; Mr. Vampire; Blood of the Vampire; Daughters of Darkness; Dracula (Hammer); Lovecraft’s Cthulhu Mythos; Averoigne; Grave of the Vampire/Seed of Terror; Hellraiser; Alraune; The Black Cat (film); Lemora: A Child’s Tale of the Supernatural; The Vampire Thrills; Faustine; Near Dark; Forever Knight; Fright Night; The House of Dracula (novel by R. Chetwynd-Hayes); Anak Pontianak; Necroscope; Revelations in Black; The Dragon Waiting; The Bloody Pit of Horror/The Crimson Executioner; The Playgirls and the Vampire; The Niece of the Vampire/Fangs of the Vampire; The Phantom of the Opera; Incense for the Damned/Bloodsuckers; Addams Family (television); Frankenstein (Universal); The Monkey’s Paw; Three Mothers trilogy; Toby Dammit; The Exorcist; Cave of the Living Dead; The Golem (1920 film); The Old Dark House; Cat People; Black Magic (film); Spirits of the Dead; Les Vampires; The Awful Doctor Orloff; A Bucket of Blood; Those Who Hunt By Night/Immortal Blood/Traveling with the Dead; The Hunger; Fevre Dream; Empire of Fear; Dr. Blood’s Coffin; The Vampire’s Ghost; The Horrible Sexy Vampire; Mark of the Vampire; Vampire (1979); Vampyr - Der Traum des Allan Gray; El Hombre Lobo; Curse of the Undead; Circus of Horrors; The Horror Chamber of Dr. Faustus; Twice Bitten/Vampire Hookers; The Lost Boys; Deathmaster; Velvet Vampire; I, Vampire; Nancy Baker’s Vampire Stories; Sunglasses After Dark; Vamps (Vertigo Comics); Blade; Scooby-Doo; Hellboy; Nocturna; Rosemary’s Baby; American Psycho; Lost Souls; Elvira; Rosemary’s Baby; The Films of Tarantino and Rodriguez; Light at the End; Andy Warhol’s Dracula/Blood for Dracula; Geek Maggot Bingo; Daughter of Darkness; Nightmare in Blood; Madhouse; Vampire Junction/Vanitas; Buffy the Vampire Slayer; Shadowman; Werewolf of London; Little Shop of Horrors; Texas Chainsaw Massacre; The Howling; Gremlins; Suckers: Bleeding London Dry; Desire the Vampire/I Desire; The Creature Commandos; The Vampire (1957); The Vampire (Sydney Horler)
Non-Horror Crosses: Too numerous to list.
The Story: In 1888, during the events of Bram Stoker’s novel, events diverge and Dracula marries Queen Victoria, causing a major alteration in the socio-political world for the next 125 years and beyond.

Notes: This is a divergent timeline, but not a parallel universe. In my theory, a parallel universe is created at the dawn of time at the same time as the main universe and other parallel universes. They may evolve similarly, but they are separate. Meanwhile, each universe has a main timeline, and at each moment, there are an infinite number of divergent timelines created off of the main timeline. When thinking of divergent timelines, try picturing a fork in the road. Both paths lead in different directions, but they both start at the same point, and once were the same road. The Anno Dracula timeline has shown to be an alternate timeline of the main Horror Universe in several other entries in this reference guide. Because it’s a divergent timeline, the above horror crosses, though depicted in an alternate manner, should still count for inclusions in the Horror Universe. Some of the above crossed series are already in, and the others are brought in via this crossover series despite being an alternate timeline series. For the record, the complete Anno Dracula series (thus far) consists of Anno Dracula, the Bloody Red Baron: Anno Dracula 1918, Judgement of Tears: Anno Dracula 1959 (aka Dracula Cha Cha Cha), Coppola’s Dracula (from the Mammoth Book of Dracula), Castle in the Desert: Anno Dracula 1977, Andy Warhol’s Dracula: Anno Dracula 1978 - 1979 (from the Mammoth Book of Vampires), Who Dares Wins: Anno Dracula 1980, The Other Side of Midnight (from Vampire Sextette), You are the Wind Beneath My Wings: Anno Dracula 1984) and Johnny Alucard.

TALES OF THE SHADOWMEN VOLUME 4: LORDS OF TERROR “NIGHT’S CHILDREN” (SHORT STORY BY STEVEN A. ROMAN)
Release Date: 2008 (Setting is 1915)
Series: Tales of the Shadowmen
Horror Crosses: The Vampires; Nosferatu
The Story: Irma Vep runs afoul of Count Orlock while trying to steal a painting in Paris for her master, the Great Vampire.
Notes: Irma Vep is from the Vampires gang, from the serial Les Vampires. Count Orlock is the featured vampire of Nosferatu.

THE BLACK FOREST (IMAGE COMICS)
Release Date: March 2004 (Setting is World War I)
Series: The Black Forest
Horror Crosses: Frankenstein (Novel); Frankenstein (Universal); Nosferatu; Dracula (Hammer)
The Story: A german sub crew discovers the original Frankenstein creature in the Arctic, and employs its own mad scientist to duplicate the process to create an army for them to conquer the world (of course.) However, Dr. Dye (really, that’s his name) needs the original notebooks from Frankenstein’s castle. Meanwhile, an American (of course) pilot and a british occultist (of course) race to the castle to destroy the notes before Dye can get his hands on them.
Notes: One could look at this book as extremely problematic or extremely fun. This book places the novels, the Universal films, the Hammer films, and the rip-off Nosferatu all in the same canon, despite them being very different versions of the same characters. But as you’ve seen if you’ve read these in order, I was up to the challenge. Of course, they include the novels via the original version of Frankenstein. But then they go and throw in an appearance of Visaria, the location of many of the Universal films. Meanwhile, British Intelligence is using the Chateau Meinster as their headquarters, which is from the Hammer film Brides of Dracula. And then Nosferatu is thrown in for good measure with a quick appearance. This graphic novel had a sequel, titled The Black Forest 2: Castle of Shadows, which seems to be crossover free, involving an army of apes this time around. Damn dirty apes.

NOSFERATU (FILM)
Release Date: June 3, 1929 (Contemporary Setting)
Series: Nosferatu
The Story: The vampire Graf Orlok buys land in a small German village and begins to feed on his new neighbors until slain by his realtor’s wife.

Notes: This story is based on Dracula, but has enough changes to be a distinctly separate, and certainly later crossovers show Orlok is indeed a unique character. Whether Orlock is an original member of the Dracula cult or a soul clone is unknown for sure, but similarity of the events to the original novel makes me believe he may be a soul clone, which is why he carries out such a similar plan to Dracula’s. This film was remade in 1979 as Nosferatu the Vampyre. The film has been referenced many times in non-crossover ways in such films as the Fearless Vampire Killers, Cannibal Holocaust, and an American Werewolf in London. It has also been spoofed in many films such as the Rocky Horror Picture Show, Gremlins, and Vampire’s Kiss.

THE MAMMOTH BOOK OF VAMPIRES “DER UNTERGANG DES ABENDLANDES MENSCHEN” (SHORT STORY BY HOWARD WALDROP)
Series: Broncho Billy; William S. Hart
Horror Crosses: Phantom of the Opera (film); the Cabinet of Dr. Caligari; Nosferatu
Non-Horror Crosses: Sherlock Holmes; Dr. Mabuse; What Price Glory?
The Story: Silent film stars Broncho Billy and William S. Hart (aka Sherlock Holmes) arrive for adventure in Germany.
Notes: This story is meant to invoke a silent film work, literally, with descriptions of flickering black and white landscape and periods of silence during action. However, we could easily ignore this as we do when we watch the silent films themselves that have made their way into the Horror Universe. Or perhaps Broncho Billy had gone quite mad during his years making silent films and believed himself to actually exist in one.

TALES OF THE SHADOWMEN VOLUME 6: GRAND GUIGNOL “J.C. IN ALPHAVILLE” (STORY BY JEAN-MARC LOFFICIER)
Release Date: 2010 (Setting is 1944-1964)
Series: Tales of the Shadowmen
Horror Crosses: Nosferatu; Stephen King Universe (works of Stephen King)
Non-Horror Crosses: Metropolis; Dr. Mabuse; Crisis on Infinite Earths; Alphaville; Gravity’s Rainbow; Mullartown; Last Year in Marienbad; La Invencion de Morel; The Castle; Michael Moorcock’s Multiverse; Chronicles of Amber; Wampus; Bunker Palace Hotel; Brazil; King Ubu; Bloom County
The Story: Four great super-villains who had worked to support Hitler see that the Third Reich is soon to fall and go off for ten years under new identities. Rotwang takes up the identity of Dominus Blicero in California. Leonard Orlok becomes Leonard Von Braun in France. M becomes Morel in Argentina. And Ohisver Muller goes to Turkey but keeps his own name. In 1954, they gather again with a plan to create four pocket realities of which to rule their own ways. Rotwang creates his Metropolis. M creates Marienbad. Muller created Mullartown. And Von Braun creates Alphaville.
Notes: Ready? Orlock is stated to have had a vampire ancestor, referring to Nosferatu. When the mad scientists discuss the multiverse, there is mention of the reality of Stephen King’s Dark Tower series. Rotwang’s Metropolis dimension is from the silent film Metropolis. Thus, as far as the Horror Universe is concerned, that film takes place between 1954 - 1964 in an artificial pocket dimension. Dr. Mabuse is from a series of silent films. The Crisis on Infinite Earths was a 1985 - 1986 mini-series by DC Comics. In it, all of the infinite alternate realities were threatened. Every major DC Comics character appeared. In the end, the multiverse was destroyed and replaced with a single DC Universe. However, shortly after, it was shown that other realities did still exist, and actually only a finite number of realities (the DC ones) were mushed together, and even then, shadows of those previous versions still existed in Hypertime. But non-DC owned realities still had inter-company crossovers showing that the DCU was not alone. And some of those other realities had even shown that they were somehow affected. Companies like Marvel Comics would display that the Crisis did reach all the way to them, but had little effect. Thus, we can assume based on this story, since these scientists in 1954 were aware of the Crisis (which affected time as well as space), then the Horror Universe must have been one of those realities that was not destroyed but still felt the effects, at least briefly. So, having said all that, we should note that the external time/space anomalies may have reached the Horror Universe, but the DC characters in that series were all from their DC Comics realities, and not the Horror Universe, even if the Horror Universe does have some counterparts to DC Comics characters. Alphaville is a 1965 French black and white film about an alternate reality that combines film noir with science fiction. Rotwang’s alter ego as Blicero was the main foe of the novel Gravity’s Rainbow. Though published in 1973, it is set during that 1944 - 1954 period. Mullartown (aka the House of a Thousand Floors) is a 1929 novel by Jan Weiss about a man who wakes with amnesia in a place that isn’t quite right. Last Year at Marienbad is a 1961 French film that is also very bizarre, about a man who seems trapped in a dream-like reality. In The Invention of Morel, a fugitive in Polynesia finds his reality coming apart and doesn’t know if it’s food sickness or something else. The Castle is the setting of said castle in the novel of the same name and also the location where the agent who comes to stop the villains meets his contacts. Michael Moorcock has several comics.that occur in separate but interconnected realities. His multiverse is also mentioned, which implies that the Horror Universe is part of the same Omniverse as Moorcock’s multiverse and the DC Multiverse. The Chronicles of Amber is a series of fantasy novels, which are mentioned by the scientists as existing as an alternate reality in this multiverse. Wampus is a French comic book character, later brought into modern literature by Jean-Marc Lofficier. He also seems to exist in one of the alternate realities connected to the Horror Multiverse. Within the story, it’s shown that the Bunker Palace Hotel, from the 1989 French film of the same name, exists within the pocket dimension of Alphaville. The 1985 film Brazil is also shown to take place in the Alphaville pocket dimension. Meanwhile, King Ubu (Ubu Roi) is from a French improv play that originated in the 1890s. In this story, we find that he exists in the Outlands. This may be a reference to the short lived spin-off of the comic strip Bloom County. Oh, and yes, I just did a Crisis crossover!!!

BLOODSTONE (MARVEL COMICS)
Release Date: 2001 - 2002 (Contemporary Setting)
Series: Bloodstone
Horror Crosses: The Frankenstein Monster (Marvel); the Living Mummy (Marvel); Tomb of Dracula; Nosferatu; Lovecraft’s Cthulhu Mythos
The Story: Elsa Bloodstone is following in her father Ulysses’ footsteps. Aided by Adam (the Frankenstein Monster) and N’Kantu the Living Mummy, she first battles Dracula, then works with him against a greater threat presented by an army of Nosferatu type vampires.
Notes: Ulysses Bloodstone was a monster hunter who first appeared in Strange Tales # 73 (February 1960). Elsa debuts with this mini-series. Though Marvel operates in “comic book time”, clearly the Bloodstone series characters aged in real time. The Frankenstein Monster here is Marvel’s version, who is likely not the original. N’Kantu is from another Marvel Monster series, the Living Mummy, and this cross finally brings in that series. The Dracula here then is naturally Marvel’s version as well, from Tomb of Dracula. Apparently Orlock is not the only one of his type of vampire, which bears out with further evidence of Orlock types in Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel. Elsa has inherited some items from her father, including a set of Neolithic scrying stones from the Leng Plateau and a Micronesian votive idol possibly of Dagon. Both the Leng Plateau and Dagon come from Lovecraft.

CRIMINAL MACABRE: TWO RED EYES # 1 - 4 (DARK HORSE COMICS)
Release Date: December 20, 2006 - March 21, 2007 (Contemporary Setting)
Series: Criminal Macabre/Cal McDonald
Horror Crosses: Nosferatu
The Story: A menacing vampire comes to L.A. to be menacing, of course.
Notes: Though not named, the vampire is clearly depicted to be Graf Orlock from the film Nosferatu.

THE DARKNESS VS. EVA, DAUGHTER OF DRACULA # 1 - 4 (TOP COW COMICS AND DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT)
Release Date: March 1 - June 1, 2008 (Contemporary Setting)
Series: The Darkness; Eva, Daughter of Dracula
Horror Crosses: Nosferatu
The Story: Eva is doing her slaying thing when she encounters the Darkness, who is having problems controlling his powers.
Notes: The Darkness is already in due to crosses with Aliens, Predators, and Vampirella. Eva is one of many daughters of Dracula, but she is a vampire who kills vampires, and doesn’t even have the courtesy to pay royalties to Angel and Blade for stealing their act. Or at the very least, Vampirella. In this series, Eva seems to slay Orlok, or rather Graf von Orlock from Nosferatu, but don’t you believe he’s dead for good. This cross with Nosferatu brings in Eva to the Horror Universe.



CABIN IN THE WOODS (FILM)
Release Date: April 13, 2012 (Contemporary Setting)
Series: Cabin in the Woods
Horror Crosses: Alien; Half-Life; Evil Dead; Poltergeist; Frankenstein (Universal); Child’s Play; Creature from the Black Lagoon; Corpse Bride; Killer Klowns from Outer Space; Stephen King Universe; Killjoy; Devil’s Rejects; Clownhouse; Drive Thru; Funhouse; Amusement; Circus of Fear; Clown Camp; Demonic Toys; Demons; Night of the Demons; Supernatural; Charmed; Gremlins; Ghoulies; Creeps; Troll; Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde; Frankenstein (novel); Dr. Giggles; The Human Centipede; House on Haunted Hill; The Dead Pit; Buffy the Vampire Slayer; The Strangers; Underworld; Attack of the 50 Foot Woman; Troll Hunter; Anaconda; Python; Mega Snake; Snakes on a Plane; Resident Evil; Hellraiser; Cannibal Holocaust; Creepshow; Legend of Sleepy Hollow; Attack of the Jack-O-Lanterns; Pumpkinhead; Frankenfish; The Mummy! Or a Tale of the Twenty-Second Century; The Mummy (Universal); The Hills Have Eyes; Wrong Turn; Chernobyl Diaries; 28 Days Later; Signal; the Works of Quentin Tarantino; Left 4 Dead; Lovecraft’s Cthulhu Mythos; Re-Animator (film); Siren; The Exorcist; The Exorcism of Emily Rose; Reptillicus; Jurassic Park; Abomidible Bigfoot; The Legend of Boggy Creek; Ape Canyon; Curse of Bigfoot; Night of the Bloody Apes; Wendigo; Night Beasts; Night of the Scarecrow; Scarecrows; Husk; Scarecrow Gone Wild; The Scarecrows Walk at Midnight; The Town that Dreaded Sundown; The Craft; Witches of Eastwick; Hocus Pocus; Jack Frost; Hellboy (film); Rumplestilskin; Lephrechaun; Hansel and Gretel Witch Hunters; Gingerbread Man; The Vampyre; Dracula (novel); Nosferatu; The Wolf Man; An American Werewolf in London; The Howling; Wolf; Texas Chainsaw Massacre; Friday the 13th; Night of the Living Dead; Return of the Living Dead; F.E.A.R.; The Blob; Feast; Horrors of the Wendigo; Frostbiter; Ghost; Bram Stoker’s Dracula (film); The Cyclops; Cyclops Giant; Nightbreed; Leeches!; Attack of the Giant Leeches; Rows of Teeth; The Birds; Killing Birds; Birdemic: Shock and Terror; Silent Hill; Attack of the Killer Lane Gnomes; Alligator; Lake Placid; Them!; Legion of Fire: Killer Ants!; Ants; Empire of the Ants; King Kong; Centipede Horror; The Giant Claw; The Ring; Attack of the Giant Gila Monster; The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms; Tarantula; Eight Legged Freaks; Jaws; Frogs; Lord of Darkness; House of the Dead; The Grudge; Chopping Mall; BlinkyTM; The Kraken; Kraken: Tentacles of the Deep; Octopus; The Beast; Deep Rising; It Came From Beneath the Sea; Tentacles; Eye of the Beast; Mega Shark; Giant Octopus; Castle Freak; Tokyo Gore Police; Septic; Mutants; Ogre; Blood Pool; Legend of the Ogre; Killing Floor; Little Shop of Horrors; The Breed; Hatchet; Phantasm; See No Evil; Thinner; Monster House; Attila; Dead Snow; Frankenstein’s Army; Manhunt; The Monster in the Closet; Killer Eyes; Demomata; CSP-682; Parasite Eve 2; Dead Space; Night of the Lepus; Creature from the Haunted Sea; Tremors; Hostel; The Collection; The Butcher; Dead Rising; My Bloody Valentine; The Exterminator; Willard; War of the Worlds; Signs; Lollipop Chainsaw; Ghost Ship; Curse of the Pirates; Jolly Roger; Lead Soldiers; Vampire Vikings; The Witch; Blair Witch Project; The Village; The Thing; Vampire Breath; Goosebumps; Angel; King Cobra
Non-Horror Crosses: Harry Potter; Wizard of Oz; Great Expectations; Batman; Labyrinth; Land of the Giants; The Wrath of Paul Bunyan; Dreamscape; Last of the Mohicans; Blood Meridian; Scalps; Savage Sam; Sin City; Kevin Spencer; We Need to Talk About Kevin; Jacob’s Ladder; Doctor Who; Black Swan; Pan’s Labyrinth; Nutcracker; Blade Hunter; The Chronicles of Narnia; Time Bandits; The Princess and the Frog; Pirates of the Caribbean; Futurama; The Incredible Shrinking Man; Pee-Wee’s Playhouse; Red Planet; Terminator; Zathura; Hardware; Robot Wars; Bacterial Contamination; Firefly; Clash of the Titans; Team Fortress; Man from Planet X; Starship Troopers; Silence of the Lambs/Hannibal; Twisted Metal
The Story: A group of teens head out for a weekend in a cabin in the woods, not knowing that they have been chosen as sacrifices to an ancient deity in order to save the world from his wrath.
Notes: This film exposes the secret truth behind modern horror. Behind it all is a secret organization, chosen to sacrifice youth to ancient gods. All of the above named crossovers have been linked in this film, and revealed to be part of this secret conspiracy. Most of the crossovers above come from the monsters and artifacts contained in the facility. While some of the monsters and artifacts are clearly from certain films above, many are based on certain types of horror films, in which case I included the more well-known of these film types. I recommend the well-researched Cabin in the Woods Wiki for a more detailed listing of the monsters and their inspirations. Note that I included in the above crossovers some monsters that only appeared in the official novelization and the official Universal Theme Park attraction tie-in. With this film, I break one of my major rules of crossover connecting. Though some of the crosses are direct crosses, like Evil Dead and Left 4 Dead, most of them are only connected because the films represent the more well-known films of the trope from which a certain monster comes. Normally, I would not count something that is “like something from”, but there is dialogue within the film that makes me break my rule. In one scene, referring to the monsters, security officer Daniel Truman says “They’re like something from a nightmare.” Lin, a head scientist, responds, “No, they’re something nightmares are from.” She goes on to explain that these monsters are the creations of the Ancient Ones, having been around since the beginning, and different cultures have told stories that interpret them in different ways. Thus, in the instance of this film, “like” is enough because of the author’s intent. And thus my love/hate relationship with Joss Whedon, for expanding the Horror Universe dramatically but making me do a lot of work to write this entry. Note that this film ends with the start of an apocalypse, so the end must veer into a divergent timeline. We must presume in the main Horror Universe, the virgin shot the fool. And if you haven’t seen the movie, that last sentence probably seems very bizarre. This film has been referenced as fictional in South Park, The Cinema Snob, Scary Movie 5, and Doc of the Dead. It is also paid homage to in Red Dawn when Chris Hemsworth and his friends once more wind up in a cabin in the woods. The film has also been spoofed in Robot Chicken and Scary Movie 5.

For more vampires, see the Buffy/Angel timeline.

Monday, April 13, 2015

The Right Side of the Page

We interrupt your scrolling to point out a very important but often overlooked feature of this website.  I'm speaking of all that stuff on the right hand side?

So what's over there?


  • First there's a link to the page for the Horror Crossover Encyclopedia on Goodreads.  That page is where you can post a review, rate the book, find a link to where you can purchase the book, and click on the author pages to read more from the three guys who put together the book.
  • Next is a little button so you can Google Plus "like" this page.
  • After that is the total views the website has had.  Might not be important to you, but it feeds my ego.
  • Next is a list of the contributors, aka the "TVCU Crew".  If you click on the names, you can see little bios of each of us.
  • Search this blog.  Put in anything there, and if we wrote about it, a list of posts about it will appear.  You say you want to read about X-Men, we'll give you a list of posts that had X-Men crossovers.  Hannah Montana?  Sure, why not?  Pink pussycats from Mars?  Well, good luck with that...
  • Then you can subscribe to this blog!
  • Under that is the list of our all-time most popular posts, based on views.  
  • Under that is the archives.  There you will find a list of every post ever, in reverse chronological order, with the newest first.
  • Under that is a very large list of topics.  If you were depressed that you couldn't find pink pussycats from Mars, take a look at the list of the topics.  The list includes series, characters, genres, themes, and other stuff.  The list is ordered so the most recurring subjects come first.  Click on a topic and a page will open with every post that has featured that topic.
  • Way down under that list is a list of other websites that you may like if you like the TVCU.  This includes links to TVCU inspired books, other crossover websites, discussion groups, and sites frequently used for research.
  • The Followers, or the expanded TVCU Crew!
  • Donate!  If you feel generous.  We don't get paid to write this blog.  
  • Merchandising!!  Don't you want a TVCU coffee mug?

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

The Faking of "THAT'S OUR RALPH!"

In case you haven't figured it out, THAT'S OUR RALPH! is a completely made up TV series.  It was an April Fool's Day prank.  It was a lot of fun trying to create a fake TVCU blog that seemed real, and I thought I'd share the process.


  • The title--I was really trying to capture the essence of the early 1980s, and the numerous really bad failed sitcoms that I remember.  Thus I came up with this generic, cheesy title that just seemed perfect for the type of show I was trying to represent.  
  • The premise--Using that logic, I created a show that was the typical sitcom trope of that era, which had come before and still exists, but really seemed to populate the 1980s.  A man who is kind of the dumb, scheming family man, with the smart nagging wife, and cute, generic kids.  

  • The picture used for the show's star is a generic picture I found in a Google images search.  I have no idea who this guy is.  But he's absolutely not Billy Stiper.
  • In fact, Billy Stiper is completely fictitious.  There was no such comedian.  But this was an era when many stand-ups were getting really bad, generic sitcoms that didn't last more than half a season, so it seemed to make sense.
  • Jill Larson--This is a real actress.  For the actress playing the mom, I looked up actresses who would have been 35 years old in 1982, and then looked for an actress who could look like a generic TV wife/mom.  I also wanted someone not as famous, perhaps someone whose career was kind of fizzled at the time.  Jill Larson was doing a lot of one time appearances on numerous TV shows around this time.

  • The kids.  I did a search of actors who would have been 12 and 8 in 1982, who may have had acting careers at that time or shortly after.  Ethan Hawke was 12 and Alyson Hannigan was 8 in 1982.  Both had not started acting yet (according to IMDB) but had their first acting credits shortly after.  Also, it helped that I found pictures of both that were from when they were that age.  It's pretty common for big name stars to have early credits on failed sitcoms, especially as child stars, so it seemed logical to find two bigger names for the kids.
early alyson hannigan

  • The plotlines and story titles--Again, went for some very generic tropes.
  • Crossovers--I tried to find a wide range of plausible crossovers that would span the genres of the TVCU.  Also, I really wanted this to be a lame show, but written by someone in Hollywood who loved Easter egg type crossovers that he could sneak in.  Additionally, I wanted this to be one of those shows where the writers would have had a fondness for the show enough that even though it was bad, it would still be remembered enough in Hollywood to get homages later on.
  • All in the Family/Gloria Crossover--This was around the time of the Gloria spin-off, and I was looking for a real classic sitcom to cross over with.
  • Greatest American Hero Crossover--I really wanted to make an A-Team cross, but I set this show a year to early for that, so I compromised by this and the Mr. T crosses.  
  • I just had to make a Superman connection, and I tried to do so in a general way.  It also made this feel more authentic as a TVCU post by throwing in some reference to one of my TVCU generational heroes theories. 
  • Mr. T was appearing as a boxer and wrestler, playing himself or a similar character in numerous roles prior to the A-Team.  The picture I used in the blog was from Rocky III.

  • Another attempt to make this a typical TVCU post was to make a link to the Looniverse/Cartoon Universe, by making the Acme connection.
  • I used a generic modern Henry Winkler picture for Senator Fonzerelli.  I just really liked the idea of showing what became of a Happy Days character in the future, while Happy Days was still on the air, (set 20 years in the past).  
  • The two parter.  To demonstrate how networks operate typically, I left the series with an unresolved cliffhanger.  
  • I used a real issue of Action Comics, which does not have any appearance of Ralph Wiggum of course.
  • I also used a real episode of the A-Team, but the crossover reference is completely made up.
  • Harold Ramis never made any such claims in the commentary for Vacation.  For all of these crossovers, I tried to make claims that seemed plausible and were not likely to be fact checked.
  • Ethan Hawke was not in Last Action Hero.
  • The picture I used for Last Action Hero isn't even from that film.  Nor is it Ethan Hawke in the picture.  It came from a generic search of police station scenes.  

  • How I Met Your Mother is one of my favorite shows, one I just finished rewatching from start to finish, and I'm currently working on an expanded update of that post.  I had already decided to cast Hannigan as the daughter, so why not make the Lily doppelganger whose real name was never revealed as Lucy Wiggum?  Of course, that would mean the accent is fake.
  • Ralph Wiggum.  I chose the name Ralph because it just seemed perfect for the title character, and was an homage to Ralph Cramden.  As I was coming up with this, I was going to use a generic last name, but I kept thinking of Ralph Wiggum from the Simpsons, so I just went with it.  Saying Groening used the name as an homage seemed plausible.  Also, having at least one thing in the AU section made it seem like a more realistic TVCU post.
  • The flaws:  Normally, a TVCU post would have some reference to Toobworld or Poobala, and some quotes from TVCU Crew members like Matt Hickman.  But since they weren't in on the joke, I didn't want them to see themselves referenced and immediately identify this as a fake blog post.  I also didn't include my usual cut and pastes from IMDB or Wikipedia references that often appear in different fonts.  I could have made some fake ones, but I didn't think they would really add value.  
  • I hope you enjoyed my little joke.  I had a lot of fun making it.


That's Our Ralph!

A little known series from the 1980s, That's Our Ralph! aired on NBC in 1982 for just six episodes as a mid-season replacement.  It didn't do well enough to be picked up for a second season, and the show has been mostly forgotten.  And yet, as far as crossovers go, it has made a huge impact on the TVCU and pop culture in general.


The series was set in an unnamed suburb, featuring wacky dad Ralph Wiggum, his wife Nancy, and children Scotty and Lucy.  Ralph was played by stand-up comedian Billy Stiper, a graduate of Second City.  Nancy was played by Jill Larson, better known for her soap work. The kids were little known at the time but have become big names since.  Scotty was played by Ethan Hawke in his first role.  Lucy was played by the adorable little Alyson Hannigan.

early alyson hannigan

The basic premise was that Ralph would typically screw up in some way, in the classic tropes, like forgetting an anniversary or lying so he can go bowling.  It was a really bad show.  But here's the chronology.
c. January 7, 1982--THAT'S OUR RALPH!--"Pilot"--Ralph forgets his wedding anniversary!  In this episode, Ralph mentions his cousin Archie, whose daughter married that Polish liberal and how that marriage ended badly.  This is clearly a reference to ALL IN THE FAMILY, which spun-off another bad show called GLORIA, which would debut later in this year.

c. January 14, 1982--THAT'S OUR RALPH!--"The Great Frame-Up!"--Ralph looks just like a man who is wanted by the FBI!  Robert Culp appears as an unnamed FBI agent.  At one point, he says that nothing surprises him since the "little green men".  This is a reference to his character Bill Maxwell on the Greatest American Hero.  Despite the fact that the aliens who gave Ralph Hinkley his super-suit were not little green men, Bill would often refer to them as such.  The agent played by Culp in this episode also ask Ralph is he's wearing wearing red pajamas, another clear identification as to who the agent is.


c. January 21, 1982-THAT'S OUR RALPH!--"The Big Lie"--Ralph pretends he has to work late in order to go bowling with his friends.  In this series, the setting is never named, nor is Ralph's occupation ever stated, but in this episode, Ralph refers to his boss as Mr. White, adding "Boy, does he hate being called Chief."  He also says he has to work late because he's the only reliable employee, as Clark, Lois and Jimmy are always leaving the office sticking Ralph with all the work.  Clearly, this is a Superman reference, and so the series must take place in Metropolis.  But which Superman and which Metropolis?  For TVCU purposes, this is likely the silver age Superman, Clark Kent who is the Superman from the Adventures of Superman, thus placing this Metropolis as Los Angeles.

c. January 28, 1982--THAT'S OUR RALPH!--"Mr. R"--Ralph takes Scott to a boxing match where Ralph accidentally upsets the champion, played by Mr. T.  Mr. T, as always, seems to portray the same character in everything, but here he even is called Mr. T!

c. March 11, 1982--THAT'S OUR RALPH!--"Pizza Pizza!"--Ralph offers to manage his friend's pizza place while the friend is in the hospital.  In one scene, Nancy scolds Ralph from constantly ordering things from the Acme mail-order catalogue.  

Image result for acme mail order catalogue

c. March 25, 1982--THAT'S OUR RALPH!--"Grand Canyon Vacation Part I"--The family takes a trip to the grand canyon and get stranded in the desert.  This story was never concluded.  There's a news report that references Senator Fonzerelli of Wisconsin.  So now we now what became of the Fonz from HAPPY DAYS!

Image result for henry winkler 2002

July 1982--ACTION COMICS # 533--"Trackdown!"--A Daily Planet staff member is drawn to resemble Ralph Wiggum, as a nod to the reference from the show.  

Action Comics 533

c. January 23, 1983--A-TEAM--"Mexican Slayride"--B.A. yells at Murdock, "I'll take you out like I did that fool Ralph Wiggum!"

1983--NATIONAL LAMPOON'S VACATION--According to the DVD commentary, Harold Ramis states that the skeleton Clark Griswald finds in the desert is Ralph Wiggum.


1993--LAST ACTION HERO--In the police station, Ethan Hawke is seen in the police station, handcuffed.  A cop calls him Wiggum.  

2014--HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER--"Gary Blauman"--In Ted's story to his kids, he reveals that Scooter married Lily's doppelganger, Jasmine.  Jasmine's real name is revealed to be Lucy Wiggum.

Stripperlily

ALTERNATE REALITIES:

CARTOON UNIVERSE--According to Matt Groening, Ralph Wiggum on the Simpsons was a nod to this not so classic series.

Ralph Wiggum

Happy April Fool's Day!!!