With apologies to Forrest J. Ackerman and James Warren, welcome to the premier issue of the e-zine dedicated to kids of the
'60s whose lives revolved around monster movies. The local Shock Theater TV show was the most exciting event of the week and
the latest issue of FAMOUS MONSTERS OF FILMLAND was never far away. It's been over 35 years since most of us first saw a broken-necked
blacksmith play his weird horn, a living Mummy go for a little walk, a man who is pure at heart become a wolf and a blind
hermit teach a misunderstood monster to speak. Somehow after all this time they still have a hold on our emotions and imaginations.
Perhaps through our now grown-up eyes we can clearly see the flaws in these sometimes modest productions, but once a Monster
Kid, always a Monster Kid and even in adulthood we can't escape their spell. We still like to discuss burning issues like
who was the better Dracula - Bela Lugosi or John Carradine? Which film is better - HOUSE OF FRANKENSTEIN or HOUSE OF DRACULA?
Who was the worse actor - Rhondo Hatton or Acquanetta? With DVD technology and modern film restoration, many of these vintage
films look better than they ever have in our lifetimes, all the more reason to be excited about watching them again. If you
share this affection for the great movie monsters and the actors and filmmakers who brought them to life, please join us in
celebrating the classic (and not-so classic) films and the electric thrills of those Shock Theater Saturday nights, Aurora
model masterpieces, summer afternoons with Famous Monsters magazine, 8mm Castle films on home movie projectors and the clubhouses
where you talked monsters with your friends - the special ones who understood, like you. You and the rest of... the MONSTER
-- Count Gamula
WHO ARE THE MONSTER KIDS?
America Online's Classic Horror Film Board is a special place for fans of vintage horror, sci-fi and fantasy films. It is
a forum that lets AOL members share information, opinions, memories and experiences concerning classic horror movies and practically
everything else. It evolved from an AOL bulletin board folder created by David Colton called UNIVERSAL HORRORS to discuss
the classic Universal horror movies like the Frankenstein, Dracula and Wolf Man films of the 30s and 40s. As more horror fans
on AOL discovered it, the area grew to include folders devoted to other subjects like 50s sci-fi, horror directors, horror
stars, giant monsters and much more. The discussion was always lively and intelligent and participants included a surprising
list of writers, publishers and film professionals. Even though there have been disagreements and arguments among those who
post in the CHFB, there has always been the bond of our common love for the films, characters and actors that so affected
us during our formative years. The following is the essay by David Colton from which this website gets its name. It was originally
posted in the AOL Universal Horrors folder a few years ago and captures nicely the spirit that binds all of us together as
The Monster Kids
by David Colton
Read it in black-and-white, please, and thanx to everyone here who keeps this place full of such interesting cobwebs. So once
again, we say...
These fragile remembrances of monsters past evoke a feeling that all of us here are somehow refugees from different corners
of the same theater. How many of us in the last few years have shared similar tales of discovering our first childhood
chillers -- the neighborhoods or names changed, but the evocative messages of autumn and late summer nights so much the same.
We share in purest essence a collective and sweet memory of something very special. Whether it's Chiller Theater or a
younger brother refusing to turn the channel to watch KING KONG, a stationery store with only one remaining copy of Famous
Monsters, or the sheer excitement of the MYSTERIANS ads on Channel 9 when Godzilla was still only a movie old -- or especially
the laugh of Zacherley interrupting Atwill's crazed one-armed lecture -- somehow we were all at the same place at the same
time, with the same ability to call it all up like THAT! As if yesterday really was the day before today, not tens and twenties
of years now gone. Baseball fans at the same game or cheering for the same hero can all recall the same home run. The
smells and the colors of the 60s and 70s run through many of us still. I imagine the grim urgency of big bands and World War
II hold the same power over our parents, and that MTV, the Muppets and Nintendo will rustle the same collective tugs in our
children. But the monster kids -- that's us, the monster kids, young and old -- seem somehow special. Take a walk through
these boards and hear what we've all said about why we're here and why we stay and why, decades now later, the sight of John
Carradine still means something incredibly special, something that makes people wonder what we're talking about when, on AMC
during a showing of STAGECOACH, we point and say knowingly, "That's John Carradine." We understand somehow because
we are all parts of the same shared visual. We all hail from the same place, sitting cross-legged on the same sofa with the
same Sylvania or Emerson or RCA black-and-white TV flickering with the Universal Globe or the RKO Radio tower or even the
Twilight Zone signposts there up ahead. Somehow we're all from the same family, all rushing home from the same school down
the same cracked sidewalks, kicking the same leaves on the same November afternoon to catch the same Shock Theater movie on
the same night. And with Bela Lugosi, too! It's always chiller night for us -- for us the monster kids. The older the films
get, the more distant the players and the more obscure the sources, somehow the younger we become. Edward van Sloan is old.
Not us. Not the monster kids. Lon Chaney is gone. Not us. Not the monster kids. Even decades gone by, we're still kicking
leaves in a swirl, waiting for the commercial to end, the parents to go to sleep and the castle to loom through the fog. The
same fog we've been trying to see through for all these years, before digital magic made everything too easy to believe.
Because the best horror movies are the hardest to see, after all. It's what keeps the monster kids squinting through the mist,
somehow in this world of death and awkward and weird, sharing together what it was like to be...young. When we were the
Monster's Best Friend