Monster Bash plans horrifying, timely return to Pittsburgh |
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Monster Bash plans horrifying, timely return to Pittsburgh

Mary Pickels

With Halloween lurking just around the corner, those who enjoy being scared silly, or who just enjoy being scared or silly, can check out the Monster Bash produced by Creepy Classic Collectibles in Cranberry Township.

Another installment of classic horror, sci-fi and fantasy film screenings, along with celebrity appearances, vendor shopping, and fun and games, is back Oct. 18-20 at the Marriott Pittsburgh North.

“If you grew up with the pop culture of the 1960s and 1970s, that’s the core audience,” says Ron Adams of Ligonier, who produces the shows each June and October.

Remember “Lost in Space,” the 1965-68 sci-fi television show about a family of space colonists whose spaceship crash lands on an alien world? There’s also a saboteur aboard. And a talking robot.

“Our biggest draw, the thing I’m getting a lot of phone calls about, is for ‘Lost in Space,’” Adams says.

This weekend’s event includes a replica of the show’s space ship and robot and visits from two cast members .

Mark Goddard played Maj. Don West, pilot of the Jupiter 2, and Marta Kristen played Judy Robinson, the Robinson family’s oldest daughter. The two will meet and greet fans on Oct. 19.

Goddard’s acting career includes numerous guest spots on television shows including “Barnaby Jones,” “The Next Step Beyond,” “The Streets of San Francisco,” “Adam-12,” “The Mod Squad,” “The Fugitive,” “Gunsmoke” and “Perry Mason.”

Kristen’s television appearances include “Mannix,” “Project UFO,” “Wagon Train,” “The Man From U.N.C.L.E.” “Alfred Hitchcock Presents,” “My Three Sons” and “Leave it Beaver” along with the movies “The Mephisto Waltz,” “Beach Blanket Bingo” and “Battle Beyond the Stars.”

“Once word got around and (their appearances) were on the website, I got contacted by people who make full-size replicas of ‘Lost in Space’ robots, and they are coming with them to the Bash,” Adams says. A “super fan,” he adds, built a “perfect, perfect” interior set of the Jupiter 2. “People can get photos taken with them,” Adams says.

Salute to a classic

“A friend mentioned that Victoria Riskin, daughter of Fay Wray, had a book coming out. I found her on Facebook and just messaged her. She’s here all three days,” Adams says.

Oct. 18 is Fay Wray Day, with numerous of the screen siren of the 1930s’ films being shown, including the one for which she may be best-known, “King Kong,” released in 1933.

Also on the schedule are her films “The Clairvoyant,” “The Vampire,” “Below the Sea,” “Dr. X” and more.

Wray died in 2004.

Riskin, Wray’s daughter with screenwriter Robert Riskin, will sign copies of her book, “Fay Wray and Robert Risken — A Hollywood Memoir.” She also will share stories of her famous parents and her own career as a television writer and producer.

Child actors recall early roles

Donnie Dunagan and Janet Ann Gallow are former child stars whose careers date back to the Universal Frankenstein film series.

Dunagan’s credits include “Son of Frankenstein” and “Tower of London,” and he has an interesting role in a far less frightening classic film as well.

“He is the voice of Walt Disney’s ‘Bambi,’ ” Adams says.

Dunagan left his Hollywood career and went into the military, largely staying mum about his childhood career for fear of being mocked, Adams says.

Even his wife was in the dark, until years later when she discovered photos and letters from those early days and encouraged him to share his story, he says.

“He figures it’s safe now to go out as ‘Bambi,’” Adams jokes.

Gallow appears in “The Ghost of Frankenstein” and “It Ain’t Hay” with Abbott and Costello.

Both will attend question and answer sessions during the weekend.

Spouses will appear

Husband and wife actors Andrew Prine and Heather Lowe also will be available for autographs and photos.

Prine is known to viewing audiences for appearances in “Crypt of the Living Dead,” “V” and “Kolchak — The Night Stalker.”

Lowe’s credits include “Battle for the Planet of the Apes,” “The Spiral Staircase” and “American Hot Wax.”

The weekend also will feature the following, available for autographs and photos: Sharyn Moffett of “The Body Snatcher” with Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi and “Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House” with Cary Grant; “Night of the Living Dead” screenwriter John Russo; Jeremy Ambler, who played a zombie on “The Walking Dead;” and animator Rick Catizone of “Creepshow,” “Creepshow II” and “Evil Dead II.”

Fun and games and breakfast

Guests can play the Monster Bash game show, “What’s My Monster?” at 10 p.m. Oct. 18 and compete for various prizes.

Beginning at 9 a.m. on Oct. 19, visitors can enjoy an old-fashioned Saturday morning with cartoons and cereal, along with television horror host Son of Ghoul.

“We are trying to make it like when we grew up in the ’60s and ’70s, and pass out the little mini boxes of cereal as finger food,” Adams says.

Mary Pickels is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Mary at 724-836-5401, [email protected] or via Twitter .

Courtesy of Creepy Classic Collectibles
Two of the original stars of cult television favorite “Lost in Space,” Marta Kristen and Mark Goddard, will greet visitors to Monster Bash in October.
Courtesy of Creepy Classic Collectibles
Actor Andrew Prine, who has worked on television shows including "Crypt of the Living Dead" and "V," will appear at this month’s Monster Bash.
Courtesy of Creepy Classic Collectibles
Vicki Riskin, daughter of actress Fay Wray ("King Kong") and screenwriter Robert Riskin, will share stories of her parents and sign copies of her book at this month’s Monster Bash.
Courtesy of Creepy Classic Collectibles
Guests at this month’s Monster Bash can pose for photos with this recreation of television’s "Lost in Space" Jupiter 2 spaceship set.
Courtesy of Creepy Classic Collectibles
Former child star Janet Ann Gallow, shown with "Frankenstein," will attend Monster Bash.
Courtesy of Creepy Classic Collectibles
A young Donnie Dunagan, who appeared as a child in "Frankenstein" movies and voiced Disney’s "Bambi," will attend Monster Bash.
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