Monday, March 18, 2019

RIP John Carl Buechler

John Carl Buechler, Horror Effects Legend & Director, Dies at 66

By Mike Sprague
March 18, 2019

As you might imagine when it comes to being a horror movie fan, on top of loving and having an encyclopedia-level knowledge of directors and actors and scream queens, even the casual fan also takes great notice of the people behind the scenes of the make-up effects. One such hero of the gore galore genre is actor, writer, producer, director, special effects artist John Carl Buechler. And today we have the unfortunate news that after being diagnosed with Stage IV prostate cancer in 2019, Buechler has passed away at the age of 66.

As mentioned-above, Buechler is best known for his work as special effects makeup designer on such creepy classics as Luca Bercovici's Ghoulies, Troll, Crawlspace, TerrorVision, Stuart Gordon's Dolls and From Beyond, Cellar Dweller, and Renny Harlin's Prison. He also contributed effects to Brian Yuzna's Bride of Re-Animator, Adam Simon's Carnosaur, and Adam Green's original Hatchet.

He has also worked on some of the biggest franchises our beloved genre has to offer such as Dwight H Little's fourth sequel to John Carpenter's Halloween, Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers. And director Renny Harlan's fourth entry in the A Nightmare on Elm Street series A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master where he created the aged Alice makeups, Freddy's chests of souls, and the infamous horror pizza.

On top of all that, Buechler has worked on a number of more "mainstream" films you may have heard of including Steven Spielberg's Indiana Jones & the Last Crusade starring Harrison Ford and Sean Connery, and my personal cult classic favorite Rod Amateau's The Garbage Pail Kids Movie.

The man has also lent his talents behind the camera as the director on such flicks as Friday The 13th Part VII: The New Blood starring Kane Hodder and Lar Park-Lincoln, Watchers 4 starring Mark Hamill and Lisa Wilcox, and Cellar Dweller starring Debrah Farentino and Jeffrey Combs. He also helmed Troll starring Michael Moriarty and Julia Louis-Dreyfus, and Ghoulies Go to College starring a bunch of Ghoulies looking to further their education. He also had a fun extended cameo in Adam Green's Hatchet series as the piss-drinking old hermit Jack Cracker in Hatchet and Hatchet II where he died a spectacular death.

John Carl Buechler was born in Belleville, Illinois, and was diagnosed with Stage IV prostate cancer in 2019. His wife set up a GoFundMe page to help pay for medical expenses. His mini-biography over on IMDb states that when he ran the make-up effects department at New World Pictures, Roger Corman called him "...the best in the business..." John Carl Buechler was the first person in history to make his way into the director's chair by way of make-up effects superstardom. Buechler's final film as director was The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde starring Tony Todd and Tracy Scoggins back in 2006.

I know I speak for the vast majority of horror fans out there when I say Buechler will be sorely missed. He was one of the very best names in the business alongside such other masters as Stan Winston, Tom Savini, Rob Bottin, Rick Baker, Ray Harryhausen, Robert Kurtzman, Phil Tippett, and Chris Walas. R.I.P. John Carl Buechler. Word on his passing was first shared by

Born: 6/18/1952, Belleville, Illinois, U.S.A.
Died: 3/17/2019,

John Carl Buechler’s western – design engineer, SFX, make-up:
Ghost Town - 1988

RIP William Sabatier

Le Parisien
March 18, 2019

Death of actor William Sabatier, who had doubled Marlon Brando, John Wayne and Gene Hackman

His voice is present in many of the movies of the fifties in the mid-2000s, including "Ben Hur" and "Apocalypse Now".

Actor William Sabatier, who was the French voice of Marlon Brando and Karl Malden, and had also sometimes doubled John Wayne, died Sunday in Limoges at the age of 95, announced his son Jean-Michel.

A former student of the National Superior Conservatory of Dramatic Art, William Sabatier, a supporting actor with a presence for more than 40 years in theater, film and television, began his career in 1948 under the direction of Jean-Louis Barrault in Albert Camus' State of Siege.

Knight of Arts and Letters

In the cinema, William Sabatier was in the casting of Jacques Becker's "Golden Helmet", Costa-Gavras "Bay Slayer", "A Season in Hell" by Nelo Risi, "The Horologist of St. Paul" by Bertrand Tavernier, "The Chinese in Paris" by Jean Yanne or "Flic Story" by Jacques Deray.

On television, William Sabatier, recurring comedian of the series "Au Théâtre tonight", has played in about forty series and TV movies.

He was also the French voice of Gene Hackman, James Mason, Richard Harris, Martin Landau and Anthony Quinn in more than 200 feature films from the 1950s to the mid-2000s, including "Ben Hur" and "Apocalypse Now".

In 2016, William Sabatier was made Knight of Arts and Letters.

SABATIER, William (William Jean Paul Sabatier)
Born: 5/22/1928, Gentilly, Seine, France
Died: 3/17/2019, Limoges, Haute-Vienne, France

William Sabatier’s westerns – voice dubber:
The Treasure of Silver Lake – 1952 [French voice of Herbert Lom]
How the West Was Won – 1962 [French voice of John Wayne]
Adios Grino – 1964 [French voice of Jesus Puente]
Cheyenne Autumn – 1964 [French voice of Karl Malden]
Face to Face – 1967 [French voice of gunman]
Ringo’s Golden Pistol – 1967 [French voice of Ettore Manni]
The Great Silence – 1968 [French voice of Mario Brega]
Drop Them or I’ll Shoot – 1969 [French voice of Gastone Moschin]
A Man Called Horse – 1970 [French voice of Robert Mitchum]
Red Sun – 1971 [French voice of Toshiro Mifune
The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean – 1972 [French voice of Ned Beatty]
Bite the Bullet – 1975 [French voice of Gene Hackman]
Little House on the Prairie (TV) – 1989 [French voice of James Karen]
Dances With Wolves – 1990 [French voice of Wayne Grace]
Lucky Luke – 1991 [French voice of Buff Douthitt]
The Last of the Mohicans – 1992 [French voice of Maurice Reeves]
Tombstone – 1993 [French voice of Robert Mitchum]

Sunday, March 17, 2019

RIP Richard Erdman

Richard Erdman, Actor in 'Stalag 17' and TV's 'Community,' Dies at 93

The Hollywood Reporter
By Mike Barnes

The supporting player also was memorable in 'The Men,' Brando's first movie, and in the film noir classic 'Cry Danger.'

Richard Erdman, the mirthful character actor who stood out on the big screen in The Men, Cry Danger and Stalag 17 and then on the sitcom Community, has died. He was 93.

Erdman, who as a teenager so impressed legendary director Michael Curtiz that he was quickly signed to a contract at Warner Bros., died Saturday, film historian Alan K. Rode reported. No other details were immediately available.

The Oklahoma native also is known for starring as the loutish McNulty, who's given a timepiece that can freeze time, in the memorable 1963 The Twilight Zone episode "A Kind of a Stopwatch."

Erdman excelled at playing soldiers, sailors, wisecracking sidekicks and pals.

In Fred Zinneman's The Men (1950), he portrayed the cigar-smoking, easygoing Leo, one of the patients in a veterans' paraplegic ward who helps an angry new arrival (Marlon Brando in his feature debut, coming off A Streetcar Named Desire on Broadway) adjust to a new life in society.

In a 2010 interview, Erdman was proud to recall that New York Times critic Bosley Crowther, in his review of The Men, wrote that “Mr. Brando is impressive, however, he has a few things to learn from a Hollywood actor named Richard Erdman.”

Erdman was outstanding again in support of Dick Powell and Rhonda Fleming, playing an alcoholic, ex-Marine full of gallows humor in the downtown L.A. film noir classic Cry Danger (1951), the directorial debut of Oscar-winning film editor Robert Parrish.

And in Billy Wilder's Stalag 17 (1953), Erdman portrayed barracks chief Sgt. "Hoffy" Hoffman.

During casting, Erdman told Rode in 2012: "Wilder took one look at me and said, 'No laughs from you. Not one little laugh, because you are the glue that holds this picture together. Everybody else is funny, but not you.' "

Erdman's agent at the time was Ingo Preminger, the brother of Otto Preminger, who played the camp's commandant in the POW classic.

Younger audiences know Erdman as the rowdy Leonard, one of the elderly Hipster students — so nicknamed because they have had their hips replaced — at Greendale Community College on Dan Harmon's Community, which ran on NBC and Yahoo for six seasons, from 2009-15.

For all of Erdman's success, he did lose out on at least one momentous role. Producer Samuel Goldwyn and director William Wyler wanted him to play Homer Parrish, the soldier back home from the war, in The Best Years of Our Lives (1946) — but Warner Bros. studio head Jack Warner refused to loan him out.

Harold Russell, who had lost both hands in a wartime accident, got the part (he had never acted before) and went on to win two Oscars for his performance.

Born on June 1, 1925, in Enid, Oklahoma, Erdman was raised in Colorado Springs, Colorado. He and his single mother moved to Los Angeles in 1941 after his high school drama teacher thought he could make it in the movies.

Erdman enrolled in Hollywood High School and was offered a contract at Warner Bros. minutes after meeting Curtiz in his office. The Casablanca director liked him for the role of the bumbling boyfriend Scooper Nolan in Janie (1944), but first he was given the task of delivering a telegram to Claude Rains in his screen debut, Mr. Skeffington (1944).

A year later, Erdman portrayed a private opposite Errol Flynn in Raoul Walsh's Objective, Burma! (1945), one of nearly 30 films he made at Warners through 1947. And he was a pinball wizard in The Time of Your Life (1948), when he worked alongside one of his favorites, James Cagney.

Erdman played an ensign in You're in the Navy Now (1951) with Gary Cooper, and in 1970, he graduated to colonel in Tora! Tora! Tora! (1970).

Erdman's film résumé also included The Admiral Was a Lady (1950), the Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis comedy The Stooge (1951) and Saddle the Wind (1958), which was written by Serling and directed by Parrish.

Erdman also had regular roles on the TV series Where's Raymond?, where he played the press agent and landlord to song and dance man Ray Bolger, and The Tab Hunter Show, where he was a wealthy playboy and best pal of the cartoonist played by Hunter.

On a 1986 episode of Cheers, he appeared as the wealthy widower who becomes engaged to Cliff Clavin's mother (Frances Sternhagen). He also showed up six times on Perry Mason and on other series including December Bride, Mister Ed, The Dick Van Dyke Show, Hogan's Heroes, Police Story, Lou Grant, Wings and Felicity.

Erdman also directed back-to-back episodes of The Dick Van Dyke Show — in the second, Morey Amsterdam's character had his bar mitzvah — and helmed the 1973 feature The Brothers O'Toole, starring John Astin in dual roles.

ERDMAN, Richard (John Richard Erdmann)
Born: 6/1/1925, Enid, Oklahoma, U.S.A.
Died: 3/16/2019

Richard Erdman’s westerns – actor:
The Star in the Night – 1945 (cowboy)
The San Francisco Story – 1952 (Shorty)
The Rawhide Trail – 1958 (Rupe Pardee)
Saddle the Wind – 1958 (Dallas Hanson)
The Wild Wild West (TV) 1969 (Mordecai Krone)
The Brothers O’Toole – 1973 (Judge Quincey P. Trumbell)

Friday, March 15, 2019

RIP Tom K. Ryan

King Features
March 15, 2019

King Features mourns the loss of TK Ryan, creator of Tumbleweeds. Join us in honoring the cartoonist with a look at one of our favorite strips of his. RIP.

Born in Anderson, Indiana, Tom K. Ryan attended both Notre Dame University and the University of Cincinatti. He started his career as a commercial artist, designing football helmets, but also drawing editorial and sports cartoons for local newspapers. Out of boredom, he started reading Western Literature. This resulted in the creation of an innovative newspaper strip called 'Tumbleweeds', which combined the Old West with a hip, modern approach.

Originally syndicated by Lew Little Syndicate, it first appeared in 1965, and was then distributed to over 300 newspapers by King Features until Ryan's retirement from the strip in December 2007. The strip has been collected in many paperbacks, and has even been made into a musical, that was performed in Las Vegas in 1983. 'Thumbleweeds' has inspired many comic artists, including Jim Davis, creator of 'Garfield', who assisted Ryan from 1969 until 1978.

RYAN, Tom K. (Tom Kreusch Ryan)
Born: 6/6/1926, Anderson, Indiana, U.S.A.
Died: 3/?/2019, Florida, U.S.A.

Tom K. Ryan’s western – comic strip artist:
Tumbleweeds – 1965-2007 [artist]

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

RIP Aron Tager

Cranky Kong Cartoon Voice Actor Aron Tager Dies at 84

March 4, 2019

Aron Tager, the voice of Cranky Kong in the Donkey Kong Country animated series, has passed away. He was 84.

Tager was a Canadian voice actor, actor, and artist who was known for his love of painting. According to Tager's Wikipedia page, he had numerous art exhibitions over the years, and won many accolades for this work as well.

As an actor, Tager appeared in many films, such as X-Men, Murder at 1600, and The Salem Witch Trials. In TV, he was a member of the repertory cast of the A&E TV series: A Nero Wolfe Mystery, and like in film, he appeared in minor roles in countless shows, such as At the Hotel, Earth: Final Conflict, and Relic Hunter.

Tager also performed many voices for characters in animated children and adult shows over the years, including Kranky Kong in Donkey Kong Country, which is undoubtedly where most gamers will know him from.

Born: 6/30/1934, Brooklyn, New York, U.S.A.
Died: 2/28/2019, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Aron Tager’s western – actor:
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (TV) – 1976 [English voice of Pap Finn]
The Legend of White Fang (TV) – 1992-1994 [English voice of various characters]
Tales of the Wild: Kazan – 1995 (McCready)