SPECIAL! A Conversation with Butch Patrick, TV’s Eddie Munster!


All photos courtesy of The Official Munsters Fan Group on Facebook

Hello fellow insomniacs! We have a great treat for you all this time around. I was very luck recently to talk with one of my favorite TV stars growing up. His onscreen family brought many smiles and laughs. Butch Patrick came into our homes as Eddie Munster on the Munsters! I was nervous when I found out he’d be calling me to do the interview. He called me from the road, and I was honored that he took some time from his busy schedule to talk Munsters, Lidsville, ghost hunting and more! So, grab your Woof Woof and take Spot out for a walk. Then, settle in for my conversation with Butch Patrick…

Ed Davis: First, I would like to say thank you for giving me the opportunity to talk to you for a little while tonight. I was a huge, and still am a huge Monster Kid growing up in the late 70s, early 80s. The Munsters were practically on every day back then. And me being a kid named Eddie thought it was so cool that there was another monster of TV named Eddie. I really enjoyed the show and the character, thank you for that.

Butch Patrick: You’re welcome.

ED: How did you end up getting the role of Eddie?

BP: The people had already cast someone named Happy Derman. If you get a chance to buy the DVD box set, you’ll see the color pilot. And they had a different woman as Phoebe, the name of the Mother character, not Lilly. Her name was Joan Marshall and Happy Derman was playing Eddie. At the last minute before they went into full blown production, they decided to exchange…Joan Marshall for Yvonne DeCarlo. And they thought the character being played by Happy was more of an aggressive little guy. They wanted a normal, even though Eddie Munster was a werewolf, a normal kid playing him. They flew me out from Illinois to California to do a screen test. I went to the studio to do the screen test, and got the part. So, I looked at it as just being in the cards.

ED: Wow! That’s awesome. What was the atmosphere like on the set? Did the family dynamics that played so well on screen, continue off-screen?

BP: Yeah, pretty much. Everybody had kids. They all had families of their own. It worked well. When we got together on stage to do the script reading on Monday morning, it was a good, fun gig.

ED: Just watching the show was always a trip. The house and the set, it must have been a lot of fun being on it.

BP: It really was.

ED: Do you have a favorite episode?

BP: I have several! I’ll narrow it down to three for you. Zombo, Eddie’s Nickname and Hot Rod Herman.

ED: Awesome! I tried to narrow it down myself this afternoon. I got it down to two: Grandpa’s Call of The Wild and Happy 100th Anniversary. I love that one! Such a good episode.

(Butch laughing in the background)

ED: Years later, you ended up back on TV, playing Mark on Sid and Marty Krofft’s Lidsville. This was a lot of fun also. How different was that from working on The Munsters.

BP: Well, it was totally different. The Munsters were shot on film and we did a few pages a day, like seven pages a day. Lidsville was eighteen pages a day! Shot of videotape with multiple cameras, and chroma key. A whole different dynamic, Saturday morning vs. a film style series. They were literally night and day differences.

ED: Billie Holiday (Editor’s Note: Whoops!) must have been a lot of fun to work with.

BP: Billie Hayes.

ED: Billie Hayes, I’m sorry! Witchiepoo!

BP: Witchiepoo and Weenie Genie were a lot of fun. As were the little people and Sharon Baird, the former mouseketeer who played Raunchy Rabbit. She had also done some work with the Pufnstuf crew. Everyone there had been working through the Bugaloos and Pufnstuf, as well.

ED: They had quite the imagination! Those were a lot of fun!

BP: Oh yes, they were very much into the psychedelic age.

ED: I noticed when I was looking at the Munsters website (WWW.Munsters.com), that it is the 50th anniversary of The Munsters. You’re doing the Kids and Tribute Car Tour. How did you get involved with that?

BP: I started that a few years ago. September 24th, 1964 was when the show started and we started 50 years after with Munsters cars and other appearances.

ED: Are the cars still the original ones or are you using replicas?

BP: Yeah, these are called tribute cars.

ED: I was on the official Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/groups/theofficialmunstersfanpage/) last week, and one of the pictures caught my eye. You were sitting with a younger kid watching an episode of The Munsters. What do you think the appeal is still, heading back to 1313 Mockingbird Lane?

BP: I think it’s the same appeal as we had, watching it as kids for the first time. Kids will be kids, still entertained by the same things. You know, Monsters and make-up, and great sets. The same stuff that worked back then, still works now.

ED: It does! I think there’s good family values in it, as well. You don’t get to see that a lot in today’s shows.

BP: That’s one of the special things about the next generation now. Kids watching with their parents and grandparents, that’s wonderful.

ED: What can you tell me about Property Horrors and 1313 Weekends?

BP: Property Horrors is basically a show being developed and being shopped around…It’s about going to people who bought haunted property like I did, and how you come to terms and deal with you ghost tenants or your ghost roommates. Shavaun Avila is the ghost hunter that my production crew paired me up with. She’s wonderful. She lives in Bing Crosby’s haunted house, out at Toluca Lake.

ED: Oh wow.

BP: She has her own issues. She has her little dog, Tiger, who is a ghost hunting dog. A boxer, very perceptive to this kind of stuff. Her and her dog, and myself…hope to go around and visit people in the same predicament that I am in. And as far as 1313 Weekends, I wanted to have the house available for people who wanted to come spend the afternoon, do a little ghost hunting, see the town that I live in, ride around in the Munster Koach. And have a chance to have lunch or dinner with me, depending on whether you book an afternoon or evening tour.

ED: That sounds like a lot of fun.

BP: It should be!

ED: I’ve done some ghost hunting myself, not in a few years since the coming of our daughter, I went into it not believing a lot of it. But, the deeper you get into it, you think a lot of this could be paranormal activity.

BP: I am definitely a believer now. My sister told me about Miss Ruby before I got there. The people who have lived in the house in my absence are always hearing things. The professional ghost hunters who came in got all kinds of readings, I have pictures, I have videotape of the ghost that Leila (Editor’s Note: Butch’s wife) shot while I was watching TV, she went around the house very in tune with this stuff. Yeah, I am absolutely convinced there is activity going on in the house.

ED: So, where can people find you this Spring with the car tour and any other activities?

BP: The best place to go is: www.Munsters.com . You can go to the schedule on the first page and it’s all listed. From there, you can go to the store, 1313 Weekends, the Woof Woof is for sale, and anything else that is Munster related. There are also buttons for the Facebook and official Fan Group. If you get yourself to Munsters.com, you are on your way to everything else about me. The official Munsters Fan Group, my wife Leila runs that. It’s really family friendly and spam free. It’s kept to be pristine, wholesome, and we don’t let anyone in to mess with it. We give away a lot of stuff, do a lot of contests, it’s really a good group. People say it’s the greatest group on Facebook. I’m very proud of that.

ED: The page is great. I have enjoyed the pictures with Pat Priest from the previous weekend, getting the make-up back on and everything. It was a nice trip.


BP: We try to document everything we do. Hopefully, we will stay pretty busy! (Laughs)

ED: I really appreciate you taking the time to answer some questions!

BP: Thanks Ed, I appreciate it!


So, there you have it, Insomniacs and Munster fans! It was quite the honor to talk to Butch. Make sure you check out the pages mentioned above! Hopefully you can catch up with Butch and Leila as they continue to trek across the states!




The Monster at the Insomniac Drive-In!

Greetings fellow Insomniacs! We actually have two monsters at the drive-in this time around. One seen and the other not! Let’s delve into our two films.

First up from 1953, The Magnetic Monster. This independent film was released by United Artists. It was a tough film to watch as a monster kid and again as an adult. The monster in this film is a microscopic radioactive isotope. Yep… No actually monster to watch in this one. It is growing and is magnetized. As it grows, it will weigh down the Earth’s rotation, and that’s a bad thing. There’s some good acting from Richard Carlson, King Donovan, and Jean Byron. This movie just didn’t do much for me. The exciting parts come towards the end as they try to stop it using the Deltatron. And that footage is actually from an early German thriller from the 1930s called, Gold. It was good to watch in the context of Creature Double Feature but, may not be too rewatchable  for me.

The second feature is one of my favorite 50s monster flicks. The Monster That Challenged The World is great drive-in, popcorn fun! It was shot in just 16 days for $200,000 and released in 1957, also by United Artists. Giant mollusks are released from an underground earthquake in the Salton Sea. Tim Holt and Audrey Dalton star. We get missing swimmers, Parachuter’s, and Navy men. These mollusks are hungry! The design for these creatures were so scary! And just so cool. When they raise from the sea and smash through the lab, you would be screaming in terror! I always thought the title was a little misleading, as they really just become a nuisance for the naval base. I guess they would be the first line of defense. This movie has held up well, and in this age of remakes, I wonder where all the 50s sci-fi ones are. The pacing of the film gets into it pretty quickly and the usual cool score is in place.

Two very different movies. One trying to take the genre more serious and the other, having a lot of fun for the popcorn crowd. Definitely track down the second before the first one to watch.

No Roku channel to shared this time around. I plan to catch up with another article tomorrow, and will spotlight one there.

Thanks for taking some time to read and we’ll talk soon! 

Creature Double Feature, Prehistoric Planets, and Roku!

The first two movies aired were Journey to the Prehistoric  planet and Voyage to the Planet of Prehistoric Women. I did not remember them from my youth. Watching them in those early days without the internet may have confused some kids, because they were basically the same movie! Let me explain…

Greetings fellow insomniacs! Nice to talk with you again. We are into our second year of the drive-in. We’re reaching folks on Facebook and Twitter, and having a ball in the process. It’s been  fun talking to you all about these films.

Growing up, my exposure to horror and sci-fi films owes a lot to Creature Double Feature. It aired for several years on WLVI out of Boston for several years starting in 1976. I’m sure the movie package was much like those seen in your market. Toho, Hammer, and the Universal monsters brightened up Saturday afternoons.

I recently found the list compiled by Timothy Kenyon (look it up online!) and decided for our second and third years, we would revisit the list on a weekly basis. Time to pay homage to the beginnings!

The first two movies aired were Journey to the Prehistoric  planet and Voyage to the Planet of Prehistoric Women. I did not remember them from my youth. Watching them in those early days without the internet may have confused some kids, because they were basically the same movie! Let me explain…

In 1962, there was a soviet science fiction film called Planeta Blur. B movie legend Roger Corman bought the rights to the film, and in 1965 released the film as Journey. He added some new filmed scenes with Basil Rathbone and Faith Domergue. Incidentally, these scenes were shot at the same time Corman was making Queen of Blood, even using thee same sets! The first film is a lot of fun. Soviet astronauts crash on Venus and another group set down to find them. This truly is a prehistoric planet occupied by all kinds of dino monsters! The effects aren’t bad for the early 60s, and quite tame for the children to watch. Some of the dubbed dialogue is quite flat in it’s delivery. Some of the excitement of a Godzilla dub is missing. But, there are some really good shot scenes. And there is a robot! His name is…John? I was expecting something sci- fi and got John. I guess they were trying to humanize him some. One of the characters named Andre is haunted by a mysterious sounding siren call the whole movie. But we never see these females. This leads into the next film!

 Voyage was released about three years later, and honestly, it was tough watching it so close to the first film. It is basically the same film with a few different scenes. We get a new narrative from Andre telling the whole 90 minute story of the first film in about 70 minutes. The other 20 are filled with some new scenes of the Prehistoric Woman led by Mamie Van Doren. It seems they worship this Pterodactyl monster that is killed by our astronauts. Who or what will they worship now? And that is basically that movie!

Both are easy to track down. I believe both are in the public domain. I would recommend for curiosity viewing but not back to back! Maybe a  monster kid in 1976 would have thought differently.

And if you are reading this because you are a Creature Double Feature fan, they are going to have a convention-like event this September in Attleboro, MA. You can find more info at http://www.cdfroundup.org I know I am looking forward to it!

I recently discovered Roku and it is amazing for horror and sci-fi fans. Thought I would shine the light each week on a channel I have checked out. Roku attaches to your TV as a stick and works off your WiFi giving you so many streaming choices! This time around I want to give a shout to B-Movies TV. This channel is great! It’s a live 24 hour streaming channel featuring martial arts, horror, sci-fi, action and other great exploitation films. Zombie Robb’s Metal Music Show is something to behold, as is The Forbidden Zone with Elizabeth Ashton. It’s great watch anytime of the day for cult films! Great selection.

So, that’s all for now. Next week, we have a pair of early zombie films for review! Can’t wait. So until next time, you keep coming to the drive-in and we’ll keep spooling up the reviews!

Musings on a Tuesday Night

Hey fellow Insomniacs! I really had no intentions of getting back in touch so soon. But, sometimes events get you thinking. And since it feels good to to be talking to you again, here we are.

I had intended to just talk about the developments concerning our friend with the hockey mask and machete, but I can’t let the passing of today’s genre star go untalked about. Richard Hatch, of the original and new Battlestar Galactica fame has passed away at 71.

Sunday nights, 1978! You couldn’t tear me away from the TV my parents had in their bedroom. It was exciting times, we now had two TVs and I had the bed littered with Star Wars figures. The theme song would come on, I can still hear it! Battlestar  Galactica was on! Starbuck was cool, but I wanted to be Captain Apollo. We were treated briefly to the show, and it was gone too soon. I know Richard Hatch had a long career with many roles, but Captain Apollo will always be how he’ll be remembered to me. Sad to hear he has passed today.

The Final Chapter? The Final Friday?

In other news, apparently Paramount has pulled the plug on the upcoming Friday The 13th reboot. And though I am saddened, I am also a little relieved. We didn’t really know what we were getting into. Was it a new beginning or found footage, going to focus on growing up a mongoloid? Paramount thought it was a good idea to slit the throat on this version. I haven’t read much on the why’s, so I won’t speculate. But, it got me thinking, what do I want to see in the next Friday The 13th film? 

I asked my wife her opinion. She wants to see a prequel focusing on how the family became so screwed up. What kind of crazy was Pamela Vorhees? I thought briefly about the supposed Friday TV prequel that’s been threatened the past couple of years. Bates Motel has pulled off the origin of Norman Bates quite well. I worry that the show would have covered much of the same ground. A prequel would work, but I want Jason doing what Jason does best.

And then I realized, I want a Friday The 13th movie set back in the 1980s. To me, the first four original movies are just awesome. Everything a slasher film should be. And maybe it is my age, but set in the perfect timeframe. Jason doesn’t belong in the modern times. He belongs in a time before cell phones, WiFi, and other modern trappings. Modern camping is different comforts for today’s teens. 

So, what will paramount do? Time will tell. Maybe Netflix will woo the rights and make their own original film (that comes from my wife too and I loved the idea). The new video game should be out soon, and hopefully will garner enough buzz for Paramount to revisit it. Let’s strip the concept back down. We don’t need a whole origin story. We know who Jason is and what he does. No need to over think it.

Till next time Insomniacs…

Women’s Camp 119 and Domestic Disturbance

Greetings fellow insomniacs! It’s been too long since we had a chance to talk. The cobwebs have grown thick and we’ve spooled up two features this week. One is  grindhouse classic and the other is a more polished modern thriller. Let’s see what the drive-in has to offer…

Our first feature is a Nazispoitation film from 1977. It’s called Women’s Camp 119 aka SS Extermination Love Camp. It was filmed in Italy and it has all the qualities that made the grindhouse movies profitable in their time. Lots of T & A, large doses of violence, and a low budget. Directed by Bruno Mattei, I felt like a needed a good hot shower afterwards. Basically, a fresh group of female slaves arrive at the Nazi camp and become unwilling specimens in ongoing experiments to revive frozen German soldiers. Most of the depraved things you think, make their way into this film. It was interesting to see a piece of Grindhouse history. Not my favorite kind of film, but parts of it kept me entertained. I do not recommend for the younger crowd.

The second feature is a good thriller named Domestic Disturbance. This one came out in 2001. A great cast of John Travolta, Vince Vaughn, and Teri Polo add to an enjoyable story. Matt O’leary plays the son of divorced Travolta and Polo. He gets into some trouble in school and lies sometimes. Vaughn plays the new husband with a dark past. I love when Vaughn plays these kinds of characters. Steve Buscemi makes an appearance trying to collect some money. He’s just a great character actor. Vaughn kills him and the son sees the whole thing but no one believes him. It’s a good premise, executed well. Travolta has been a staple of my movie viewing history and he comes off well and convincing, as a man fighting for his son. It’s a straight forward, popcorn thriller and I had fun revisiting it. I do recommend and safe for the pg-13 crowd.

It was nice touching base with you all. Hoping to do this on a  more regular basis again! It’s been a long road to get back to this spot. And I was nervous wondering if the words would come back out. And I got some of them out. You may not all comment, but I appreciate that you stop by and see what’s playing. Say hi now and then. And the Insomniac will help keep you awake. Till next time, friends…

An update from The Insomniac…

Hello fellow Insomniacs,

It’s been a bit since we’ve had reviews and whatnot.  And I do have to apologize. I’ve missed roaming the drive-in with you all and hope to get back 100 % soon.

The mind is such an interesting instrument. Sometimes, real life events impact it so that it gets tough to do the things that you love.

I do not know if I will be able to watch horror movies the same way I did before. I hope I can get back to them the same way I enjoyed them prior to what has happened.

I know real life horror movies, and stuff that could happen, are going to be out. A lot of the current product is going to be tough to watch. So, I am going to ease back into all of this.

I don’t know if I will find the words to review but I will still share my love of this with you all.

Thanks for all of your support as we try to get back on track. I love you all, fellow insomniacs!

Talk soon…

Exclusive Interview with Scream Queen Jamie Bernadette!

Photo by Paul Van Kleef

Greetings fellow Insomniacs! There’s a lot of excitement around the drive-in tonight. We are presenting an exclusive interview with Jamie Bernadette, who has been featured in over 35 features!

She grew up in Kankakee, Illinois just 70 miles south of Chicago per her bio on her website jamiebernadette.com. She resides in Los Angeles now building a great filmography and producing, writing, and conversing on Twitter. 

This is where the Insomniac Drive-in’s own Ed Davis happened to posting some tweets on the remake of I Spit on Your Grave. Jamie is going to be starring in the sequel to the original film called, I Spit on You Grave: Deju Vu out later in 2016. After some conversing, Ms. Bernadette graciously agreed to take some time from her busy schedule to answer some questions on the the sequel for our review. After concluding the interview, we decided to share it by itself and not try to tack it on to the review, to let it stand on it’s own. 

We here at the Insomniac would like to express our thanks to Jamie for the interview and look forward to seeing the finished product in the future!

INSOMNIAC: What was it like to work on a sequel to one of the most iconic horror films? To be doing it alongside original Star Camille Keaton and Writer/Director Meir Zarchi?

JAMIE BERNADETTE:  It was absolutely surreal.  I had seen the 1978 original “I Spit on Your Grave” film way before I ever knew of any sequel and auditioned.  I fell in love with the film because of the stark honesty in which the story is told.  There is nothing hidden or glossed over in this film.  Meir took the harsh reality of rape and told it truthfully in all of its pain and horror, which I respected and the world has grown to respect over the years.  The film that was once banned and called “trash” is now highly regarded and taught in film schools.  When I went to the second audition, the callback, and Meir was sitting there in the room, I was happy.  I told myself before the callback, “Whatever happens as far as getting the role or not getting it, if I get to meet Meir then I am happy”.  So to work with him and then to meet and work with Camille was something that I will cherish for the rest of my life.  Both of them are exceptionally kind human beings and a joy to work with.  Camille and I have become best friends and talk nearly a couple of times every week.  We really are like mother and daughter and best friends, just as we are in the film.  I just adore Meir and he is keeping me updated on the status of the film, as is his son and producer of the film Terry Zarchi.  Meir and Terry are like family to me.    

IDI: What was the best advice Camille Keaton gave you?
JB: Camille gave me a lot of advice while we were on set about love, life, career, everything.  She still does.  She loves to tell me not to “sell out”, meaning she wishes the best for me in my career.  She tells me to reach for everything that I want and not give up and she always has positive words to tell me about my acting abilities, which encourages me to try to get as far as I possibly can in this business.  I always appreciate her beautiful energy and just the fact that she believes so much in me and my work.  
IDI: You’re playing Christy Hills, daughter of Jennifer Hills from the original film. Can you tell us anything about her character and what drew you to her?

JB:  Christy is a strong woman, just like her mom.  She’s a model who just wants to be done with her career.  She finds the business to be shallow and pointless and aches for something more meaningful in her life.  She longs for a husband who loves her and children.  I tend to be drawn to characters like Christy, whose strength and wisdom are tested in the direst of circumstances.  It is a challenge for me as an actor, an artist, and I love to be challenged with a multifaceted role like Christy.    

IDI: What would you like to let people know about this film?

JB:  The script is fantastic and all of the actors I worked with on this are phenomenal.  Meir and the producer Terry Zarchi saw hundreds and hundreds of actors for only eight roles.  I, myself, went through three auditions, totaling about six hours.  So, I have not seen a cut of the film, but with a fantastic director who has a very clear vision, a solid script, and great actors, I hope we bring justice to the original 1978 film with a very strong sequel.  

IDI:  What else are you working on?

JB: just wrapped as the lead female in “Sinbad and the Furies” from The Asylum, the company that brought us the “Sharknado” movies.  It’s a mythological story that takes place in present day, starring John Hennigan (aka John Morrison), written by Scotty Mullen (Zoombies) and directed by Scott Wheeler (Milf).  

I am preparing to begin shooting in “4/20 Massacre” as the lead female, a tough martial artist who is very kind and down-to-earth.  The synopsis reads: “A group of five women go camping in the woods to celebrate a friend’s birthday over 4/20 weekend. But when they cross the turf of an illegal marijuana grow operation they must struggle to survive the living nightmare.”  I had been wanting to work with director Dylan Reynolds for years after attending the premiere of his film “Nipples and Palm Trees”, which I thought was witty, funny and very dark all at the same time.  His artistry in film I find to be very original.  I am so excited to work with him on this horror film.  

I am in full marketing mode on “The 6th Friend”, the film I wrote with director Letia Clouston, produced with Chantelle Albers, and act as the lead actress “Joey”.  Here is the synopsis: “In this slasher film with a paranormal twist, six college best friends throw their own private graduation party when the stoner of the group orders in a psychedelic from her drug dealer, who sticks around to join in their fun.  Drugged and disoriented, the girls’ special night quickly becomes a dark, foggy nightmare of blood and violence. Five years later, the girls gather together once again in hopes of rekindling that close friendship that they once had, only to find themselves being hunted by who, or what, they do not know.” We have submitted to many film festivals and are connecting with potential distributors.  I am very proud of this film.  It turned out really well and I hope to bring it to the world in 2017.  Follow the film on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook for updates.  We are releasing film stills slowly and a trailer will soon follow.     

Lastly, if you would like to check out some of my work, watch the feature horror/thriller film “All Girls Weekend”, which is available on Comcast, iTunes, Amazon, Google Play, VUDU, Xbox, Cox, Cablevision and Dish.  I play the lead as “Nancy”, the dark, melancholy one of the group of five girls.  The film reminds me of “The Blair Witch Project” meets “The Descent”.  There is a powerful message about the environment behind this film.  Writer/director Lou Simon delivers that message creatively and brilliantly.    

 We here at The Insomniac will be adding some movies to our ques the next few weeks! Look up Jamie Bernadette on Twitter and Facebook for all kinds of updates on the above projects. Until next time when we will review the I Spit on You Grave remake,  we’ll see you around the drive-in!