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We made the paper for our Fish Fry Friends group. There were a few inaccuracies, however. I am not a coffee-drinking Lutheran, and our friend Keith Davis was renamed “Kevin.” But all in all, it’s a fun piece of fluff in the “St. Paul Pioneer Press.”

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http://www.twincities.com/ci_22640847/lenten-fish-fry-dinners-an-annual-tradition-minneapolishttp://

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Interviews: An Interview with Christopher R. Mihm – By Duane L. Martin
Posted on Wednesday, July 04, 2012 @ 03:11:34 Mountain Daylight Time by Duane


Last month I had the pleasure of reviewing Christopher R. Mihm’s latest retro b-movie, House of Ghosts. This was a bit of a departure for Christopher, as previously he had been focusing on creating classic style b-movies in the mutant and sci-fi genres. His latest film pays homage to the William Castle style ghost story, complete with its own theater gimmick. I always look forward to Christopher’s films, because he’s one of a VERY few people out there right now making this style of films, and he’s one of an even smaller number of film makers who are actually really good at it.

* * *

DLM – Let’s start out by having you tell us a little about yourself and your background as a film maker.

CRM – After a lifetime of wanting to but never having enough motivation, I officially began making movies in 2005. In 2004, my 13-year-old stepdaughter was diagnosed with bone cancer (of which, she is 100% cured almost seven years later!), I decided it was time to finally get moving on realizing my own dreams because, after all, if a healthy, athletic 13 year old kid could be diagnosed with a potentially fatal disease, I, as an overweight 30-year-old, could easily be next! So, shaken out of my complacency, I sat down and wrote the screenplay for my first film, “The Monster of Phantom Lake.” Driven to finally make a “real movie,” I plowed through and completed it within about six months. The following spring, I held a premiere at The Heights Theatre on the outskirts of Minneapolis, MN to a raucous and excited audience. The film quickly garnered many positive reviews and screened in many events and film festivals across the world. Completely addicted to the experience, I decided I had to keep making movies, no matter what the cost! Thus, here I am seven years later with seven features under my belt and another in the works.
DLM – Back when you first started making films, was it your intention to stick to strictly retro, b-movie style films, or was that something you just sort of stuck with because you enjoyed it?

CRM – I made my first film as a tribute to my late father. Growing up he and I would bond by watching those cheesy old movies together. He passed away in 2000 from a rare form of stomach cancer and had been on my mind quite a bit when my step-daughter was diagnosed just four years later. I felt like I wanted to make a movie that my dad would have loved and one he and I would have enjoyed watching together. This is where “The Monster of Phantom Lake” came from. After releasing it, I had the opportunity to screen it at a drive-in in Wisconsin. Seeing it up on that giant drive-in screen was transcendent! Experiencing my cheesy 1950s-style B-movie at a drive-in is one of the greatest moments of my life because it was THE perfect place to see it. I literally rank that experience up there with the births of my children! During that screening I had an epiphany and decided I didn’t want to do anything other than these retro-style features.
DLM – When it came to writing your latest film, House of Ghosts, you took a bit of a different direction from your other films, in that this one is more of a William Castle style ghost story rather than a monster or sci-fi type film like you’ve made in the past. What inspired you to go in this direction this time around, and is it a style and genre you’d like to re-visit again in the future?

CRM – After making six films, I decided I wanted to branch out A LITTLE. Not very much, obviously, since “House of Ghosts” very much fits in with my other work. After doing sci-fi/monster pictures for so long, I wanted to try something that was a little more straight horror. I figured it would allow me to stretch my filmmaking and screenwriting skills in a new direction while staying within my chosen style. As a fan of the films (and gimmicks) of William Castle, it was the perfect way to start branching out by paying homage to the master!
Lastly, it is a style and genre I will revisit in the future. I very much enjoyed it and I think it gave me the courage to branch out in other ways as well. For instance, my next film “The Giant Spider” is my first attempt at a “giant bug” film. I also have plans to make a sort of western film next year!
DLM – I noticed that in this film you had a lot of inside jokes that related to your previous films. Did you have a difficult time fitting those in so that they’d be funny for people who got the references, while still keeping it amusing enough for people who didn’t?

CRM – In the very beginning, I decided I wanted all my films to be standalone stories while simultaneously existing in the same “universe.” Basically, it’s built in such a way that characters, locations, family lines, products, bad-pseudo-science, etc. from one film may appear in another or be mentioned or directly referenced. In this way, it ties all of my films together BUT, they can all be enjoyed one at a time, completely separate from the others. As I add more films to the library, it’s getting harder and harder to include “inside stuff” without alienating folks who may not be familiar with all of the films. In “House of Ghosts” there are many inside references but I don’t think they’re so heavy-handed as to take away from someone’s enjoyment of the final film.
(It should be mentioned that a fan of the films came up with the term “Mihmiverse” as a shortcut to refer to the universe of my films. It, along with the term “Mihmivites” to describe the fans themselves, have since stuck and become synonymous with my work!)
DLM – You have a “stable” of actors that you tend to go to for each of your films. while throwing new and different people into the mix now and then. Tell us about some of the cast members that have become familiar faces in your films, and the benefits to having reliable cast members to work with from film to film.

CRM – The greatest benefit of using the same actors over and over is the shorthand we end up having with each other. I know their strengths and they know how I need and want things done. They know what to expect and where to take things and I can trust their instincts to create great performances. This also makes the actual process of shooting one of these films smoother and much more relaxed.
There are so many great actors that have been added to the “stable” that it’s hard to name just a few! Instead, I’ll list the ones that immediately come to mind and say this about all of them: they are all my dear friends, are dedicated, easy and fun to work with, and are extremely talented (and would be a marvelous addition to ANY project)—Mike Cook, Sid Korpi, Shannon McDonough, Daniel R. Sjerven, Jim Norgard, Justen Overlander, Stephanie Mihm, Michael Kaiser, Catherine Hansen, Mark Haider, and Anthony Kaczor. (If I forgot anybody, I apologize profusely!) Also, there are a couple behind-the-scenes folks that I have to mention, specifically Mitch Gonzales (my go-to guy for monster designs and special effects) and Cherie “Rhuby” Gallinati, my lighting and production designer and the only person who can ever get away with telling me “no!”
DLM – What were some of the aspects of this film that you feel came out particularly well, and are there any aspects of it that, looking back on it, you’d have done differently?

CRM – I think we achieved the right atmosphere and level of escalation we were going for. I think the script is solid and the “scares” we got were very close to how I imagined them. I am actually quite proud of the finished product and wouldn’t change much. There are small things I would change that really wouldn’t affect the overall film that much. I struggled with my William Castle-esque intro and wish I could have shortened it a little but, it’s fine for what it is. Some of the special effects weren’t QUITE as special as I was imagining and I really wish we could have gotten actual snow. I live in Minnesota and I wrote a blizzard into my script not knowing that last winter would have one of the lowest snowfall amounts on record! So to answer the question, the changes would be minimal things that in all honesty, would only ever be big enough to bother my own perfectionist sensibilities!
DLM – Tell us about the ghosts in this film. Who made the costumes for them?

CRM – There are really only two ghosts that required their own special costumes. (SPOILER ALERT!) One is the “Angel of Death,” a skeletal creature with, as I called them, “Loki horns” coming out of its head. It wears a simple monk-like black robe that was created by costumer Carol Eade. The creature’s mask and skeletal hands are latex creations made by the uber-talented artist and special effects expert Mitch Gonzales. Mitch also did some cool zombie ghost make-up that appears later in the film.
The other ghost was a callback to a previous film that required us to pull out an old costume that had been in storage for quite a few years! That costume was created by me and two of my kids!
DLM – There’s a scene where one of your cast is in the basement and is attacked by a bunch of spiders. How hard was that scene to shoot and how difficult was it to move the spiders around the way you wanted to?

CRM – Special effects wise, that one was a lot easier to do than I thought it would be. During that scene, the character’s flashlight keeps failing so it made editing different effects shots together much smoother because we end up with short periods of complete darkness. For some shots, we used spirit gum to attach spiders to the actor and for others, we tossed cheap plastic spiders at him while simultaneously using lots of clear fishing line to add the illusion of webs and movement. All things considered, I think it turned out much better (and much cheesier) than we originally anticipated. The “spider attack” is one of my favorite scenes in the finished film!
DLM – One of the things that I noted in my review that was done particularly well in this film was the use of light and shadow, and this was particularly important in the scenes with the ghosts, and the scene with the spiders. How difficult was it to get the lighting just right in these scenes. Was it really time consuming to get it to look the way you wanted, or did it come together fairly quickly?

CRM – This is entirely on the shoulders of lighting designer Cherie “Rhuby” Gallinati. She and I have been friends for many years and she’s not only talented as hell but REALLY gets what it is I need and want. She’s done many theater productions over the years and when she read the script she basically said, “I got this.” I know her inspiration for the film was actually the hard and harsh shadows of film noir. From the beginning, she told me what she needed by way of supplies and I just got out of her way to do what she does best! The final result is 100% her and I could not be any happier with what she was able to achieve! AND, the best part about it is that she works very quickly and efficiently, so it really didn’t cut into our shoot times much at all!
DLM – What was the most difficult scene for you to shoot in this film?

CRM – The hardest scene to shoot involved the first time one of the characters (played by Stephanie Mihm) sees the ghost of her deceased son. In this scene, the spirit keeps appearing in different parts of a hallway in front of or behind Stephanie’s character while the ghost’s face is shrouded in shadow the entire time. It was extremely difficult to get the lighting in that scene JUST RIGHT to hide the actor’s face while still maintaining the tension and moodiness of the setting.
DLM – One of the things I’ve always loved about your films is the selection of music you use. Where do you find all this great old music, and how time consuming of a process is it to pick out just the right selections?

CRM – All of the music I use is old public domain library or royalty free stuff. At the beginning of the editing process I find about five or six big pieces and extract any usable audio. Then during the editing process, I add music at the same time I put together the video—sometimes even editing a scene to the cues in the music. It can add a little extra editing time but it allows me to synch things in such a way that the music becomes almost a secondary character in the film.
DLM – Did you make any technical advancements in this film, like new equipment, new software, etc… that you feel improved your production quality over your previous films?

CRM – Aside from using real theater lights and a “real” lighting designer, the big change was upgrading my camera to HD. In the past I filmed everything on a Panasonic DVX100a, which is a standard-definition 24p camera. For “House of Ghosts,” I purchased a new Panasonic HMC150 AVCCAM. I believe the difference in the way it looks speaks for itself!
DLM – This film, like previous releases, has English subtitles, which are a really fun part of the experience and shouldn’t be missed. It also includes both a language track and subtitles in Esperanto. What language is Esperanto exactly? Who speaks it and what made you want to include it in your films?

CRM – Esperanto was created in the late 19th century and is the most widely spoken constructed language. I’d go into the whole background of it but it’d be much easier to point you to the Wikipedia page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Esperanto!

Basically Esperanto was started as a language that was supposed to be very easy-to-learn and used for “peaceful, diplomatic purposes.” In the 1950s, the language was quite popular among sci-fi and monster fans with Forrest J. Ackerman (who created the seminal classic-movie magazine Famous Monsters of Filmland) being a big fan and speaker. When I wrote my previous film “Attack of the Moon Zombies,” the action takes place on an international moon base in the 1970s (as imagined from the 1950s). During pre-production, a friend suggested that from a 1950s sci-fi perspective, an international science station would absolutely REQUIRE that all crew members know Esperanto to allow communication. I liked the idea quite a bit so I found an organization of Esperanto speakers and asked them to translate a few signs and the base’s motto that was to appear on the all the characters’ mission patches. One thing led to another and they volunteered to translate the entire script AND record an audio track for it. Seeing no negatives, I gladly accepted. “Moon Zombies” has since been very well received in the Esperanto community and the translation team was excited by the prospect of doing more – thus, we ended up with Esperanto subtitles and spoken audio on the “House of Ghosts” DVD—and I love it!
DLM – I noticed that the dialogue in the film is re-recorded and dubbed in rather than using the live recorded sound. While it makes the sound quality of the dialogue excellent, does it create any significant sync problems or delays from a production standpoint when you do it that way?

CRM – I do that purposely just for consistency. I find it quite difficult to capture dialogue live, especially when using the bare-minimum crews as I do. After so many films, I have my audio process down to a bit of a science and it doesn’t really FEEL like it adds that much time to the creation of the film simply because it’s more or less a standard part of how I do things. I just add spoken audio the same way I add music—at the same time I edit the video. And yes, it CAN occasionally create synch problems. But, since it’s digital, I can do a lot to minimize that and, if I absolutely can’t get something to line up right, it just forces me to cut away to something else in the visuals!
DLM – What are your plans for House of Ghosts? Are you going to send it around to various festivals before you put it out there for sale, or are you planning to self distribute it right away?

CRM – I make my films specifically for DVD. I release them the same day I hold the premiere. I had a distribution deal early in my filmmaking career but it really didn’t turn out so well! So, I self-distribute all my films because it’s the only way I’ve been able to make any kind of money back from my investments into producing them. I do send them out to various festivals and events but, those can be hit or miss. A lot of times, I try to set up events directly with other promoters, theaters or live horror hosts.
DLM – You premiered this film to a live audience. Tell us about that evening and how it all went. How was the film received?

CRM – Every year I hold a premiere of my latest film at a local theater that is the longest continuously running movie theater in the Twin Cities—it goes back to the silent era! Every year the profile of this event has been rising. The premiere for “House of Ghosts” sold out the 400 seat theater six weeks in advance! That was definitely a first! Because this film is a tribute to William Castle, we included some extra “shenanigans” to add extra oomph to the experience. We had a faux doctor and nurse on hand in case anyone died, had a planted woman “freak out,” did a pseudo-Emergo thing with a walking skeleton and rained plastic spiders on the heads of theater goers. All in all, the night was a smashing success and the film has been very well received!
DLM – Your next film is The Giant Spider. Can you tell us anything about it, without giving too much away, and do you have any idea when you’re going to be starting production on it?

CRM – It’s a coming of age story about a boy and his dog. Actually, it’s not but that’s what we sarcastically tell people when they ask. “The Giant Spider,” oddly enough (more sarcasm), is about a gargantuan arachnid that is making its way toward a small town. On the way, it stops off to eat people. Meanwhile, a group of scientists, a newspaper reporter, his fiancee, and an army general try to stop it! It’s a very straightforward script and, if I can pull it off, will most likely be my most ambitious and biggest “blockbuster!” We’ve already been in pre-production for at least a month and we’ll be shooting the first scenes in the middle of July!
DLM – Tell everyone where they can find out about your films and purchase copies for themselves.

CRM – Visit my website at http://www.sainteuphoria.com, the online home of the films of Christopher R. Mihm! There you can view clips and trailers and purchase DVDs, posters and other collectibles AND play a special custom-made Infocom-style text adventure game set in the Mihmiverse I created specifically for the site! (You can find it under “Danny Johnson and the Lucky Coin” in the “Special Features” section!)
DLM – Is there anything else you’d like to mention before we wrap this up?

CRM – My films are funded almost entirely by the fans. If you’re at all interested in contributing, we offer associate producer credits for only $55. For every credit you buy, you get your name in the end credits, 5 copies of the finished DVD to share with family and friends, two tickets to the premiere, and a beautiful, frame-able signed certificate stating your involvement in the associate producer program! AP credits can be purchased in the merchandise section of my website. Thanks!

Dancing to the Rockin’ Hollywoods. Shown bottom left, Tom “Woody” Strohmeyer on sax. The crinoline you see peeking out from under my dress is actually a half-slip that was so long I had to pull it up over my chest! Check out our dance instruction website, Two Right Feet (www.tworightfeetdance.com), if you’re a beginner and would like to learn swing, rumba, waltz, foxtrot or cha cha in a private setting for cheap.

House of Ghosts

by Tom Fowler on Sunday, May 27, 2012 at 8:52am ·

House of Ghosts is a great little homage to William Castle produced by Christopher and Stephanie Mihm of Minneapolis, Minnesota. The DVD is a delight. Besides the feature film, which borrowed heavily from the 1959 version of House on Haunted Hill, (which most of my friends and fans know is my all-time favorite film of any genre), the DVD contains a number of special features, including a tour of the home the story was filmed in. After a William Castle like prologue from Mr. Mihm, warning of the risk the viewer incurs when viewing such a frightening film, the story begins when several friends gather in a very atmospheric old house and a spiritual medium is hired to provide the evening’s entertainment. The partyers are quite disappointed when nothing happens during the séance. But, soon they experience more than their money’s worth when strange things begin to happen. House of Ghosts is part House on Haunted Hill, part Night of the Living Dead and all parts fun. A twist ending of sorts pays homage to the science fiction films of the 1950s.

More on House of Ghosts is available at www.houseofghosts.com The DVD includes something I have needed for many years. The Fear Shield  has already proved to be invaluable in protecting me from excessive fright when viewing horror and science fiction films. I am certain this free gift from Mr. Mihm will add 5-10 years to my life expectancy.

I first became aware of Christopher Mihm’s work through his advertisements in Scary Monsters magazine. Needless to say, he has a new fan. Great old school stuff for 62 year old kids like me!

Oh, did I mention House of Ghosts is filmed in glorious black and white? However, the tour of the wonderful old Victorian house, built in 1886 and owned by two of the actors in the movie, Sid Korpi and Anthony Kaczor, is beautifully done in color.

It was Wednesday, May 23, 2012. The skies were darkening, a threat of severe weather imminent, as people lined up around the block to see the world premiere of Christopher R. Mihm’s B&W 1950s drive-in-style B-movie, House of Ghosts.

We had a sold-0ut show, with just a few scalpers out front selling available-at-the-last-minute tickets.

My gown cost me $6.99 at a Goodwill store! I borrowed a genuine antique brooch from my friend Carol Johnson. Many enthusiastic fans arrived in vintage clothing of their own, and they deserve some runway recognition.

Executive Producer Bonnie Kane, me, and Kailynn Neal (one of Bonnie’s fellow dog groomers at Royal Pet Beauty Shop, where our Westies were made continuously gorgeous for filming)

’50s Fashionista Jenn Farmer with me.

Josette Elstad, owner of JoJo’s Retro and Vintage (www.jojosretroandvintage.com)    and Kiera McMillan, another of                  Royal Pet’s great staff.

Clockwise from top center, the feet of Jenn Farmer, Maggie Schultz, Anthony Kaczor, me, and Christopher R. Mihm.

Writer/Director Christopher R. Mihm with Ann Segar and me.

Anthony Kaczor, my hubby and butler Piers in the movie, shows off his great new Christian Dior tux (ebay $29). To the right, I’m squishing Bonnie Kane.

Ann Segar and “House of Ghosts” lighting designer,        Cherie “Rhuby” Gallinati, looking spectacular.

The cast and crew of “House of Ghosts.” From left: Sid Korpi, James Norgard, Dan Sjerven, Mark Haider, Andy Wilkins, Cherie “Rhuby” Gallinati, Catherine Hansen, Anthony Kaczor, Horror Host Dr. Ivan Cryptosis, Michael Kaiser, Stephanie Mihm, Liz Kaiser, Christopher R. Mihm and Mitch Gonzales.  I was holding Blanche, and many of the rest of the cast were pouring out an invisible tribute to our “homies” Mike Cook, Mark Scanlan, and Justen Overlander, who’d already left for home.

Nurse Kira checks the Angel of Death (created by Mitch Gonzales) for a heartbeat.

I’m holding Blanche up to Christopher R. Mihm who is beside the Angel of Death and its creator, Mitch Gonzales.

Here I am with the four, four-legged stars of “House of Ghosts.” (Oliver, Blanche, Keely, Ambrose) They’d come down to take their BOWwows.

Stephanie Mihm (Ursula), in a lovely dress made for her by her mother Carol Eade from a vintage pattern, with frequent Mihm-movie star Dan Sjerven, and Mike Cook (Harlan).

Writer/director Christopher R. Mihm prepares to cut the cake by Melissa Dirtzu.

After taking out the bobby pins from my ’50s hairdo (by stylist Hannah Rouser).

The more than 50 bobby pins I’d removed from my hair!

“Doctor” Warren Porter and “Nurse” Kira Pontiff at the Heights Theatre lobby.

Earlier: Getting Nurse Rachet’s hair ready. Behind the scenes, back home just before all the hubbub was to transpire, I helped to prep our faux nurse (Kira Pontiff) and faux doctor (Warren Porter), who were going to pass out “fear shields” to audience members to save them from dying of fright.
Retro-style movie maker Christopher R. Mihm’s “House of Ghosts” screens at the New Hope Cinema Grill for a special “dinner-and-a-movie” event Thursday, June 7 following sold-out world premiere in May.

PRLog (Press Release)May 02, 2012
Arden Hills writer/director Christopher R. Mihm is the king of new old, good bad movies. Known as Minnesota’s own Roger Corman (“Little Shop of Horrors”), he brings to life spot-on re-creations of the B&W 1950s-drive-

in-style creature features many of us grew up loving. Fans from across the country will be swarming the Heights Theater on May 23 for the world premiere of his latest B-movie, “House of Ghosts.” Trouble is, the event sold out on Friday the 13th of April (how’s that for a positive omen for a ghost movie?), leaving hoards of people upset that they’ll be missing out.

Well despair not. Diehard fans who are kicking themselves for failing to order their tickets early have been issued a reprieve of sorts. Mihm’s message to them: “If you chose to snooze on buying your tickets to the World Premiere of ‘House of Ghosts’ at the Heights Theater, you lost because that show is 100% sold out. We have, however, scheduled a second chance for you to experience this awesome B-movie in another great theater, the New Hope Cinema Grill.”

“House of Ghosts” screens at the New Hope Cinema Grill for a special “dinner-and-a-movie” event! Mark your calendar for Thurs., June 7, 7:00–10:00PM.

“Do NOT delay this time,” Mihm advises. “The Heights holds 400 and it sold out. The Cinema Grill theater holds about 150. Do the math. Get your tickets TODAY if you know what’s good for you! This is an exceedingly rare opportunity.”

Located in a suburb of Minneapolis, the New Hope Cinema Grill is a full-service restaurant (with three showrooms) that offers a variety of entertainment, including movies, live standup comedy, sporting events, and the latest film from writer/director Christopher R. Mihm! The New Hope Cinema Grill is also one of the select establishments serving Surly beer on tap!

This screening of the newest Mihmiverse film is in the perfect setting for the whole family. For only $15.99 a ticket, you’ll be treated to a screening of “House of Ghosts” and a kid-friendly all-you-can-eat pizza/salad/pop buffet. PLUS, alcoholic beverages will be sold on-site to make the evening that much more enjoyable for those inclined to partake in adult libations!

A Q&A with writer/director Christopher R. Mihm and a few of the actors and behind-the-scenes folks from the film will follow the screening. DVDs and other merchandise will also be on sale at the event.

Check out the official movie trailer at

Advance tickets are now available! Check out the events section of the http://www.SaintEuphoria.com merchandise page to order yours right now!

New Hope Cinema Grill, 2749 Winnetka Avenue North, New Hope, MN 55427

SYNOPSIS

With “House of Ghosts,” his first supernatural thriller, writer/director Christopher R. Mihm pays tribute to the works of the master of classic horror, William Castle! (“The Tingler,” “House on Haunted Hill,” “13 Ghosts”)

Rich socialites Isaac and Leigh have a tradition of throwing exclusive dinner parties that include unique (and expensive) forms of entertainment. This time, they’ve booked a spiritual medium who promises to “open a portal to the great beyond” and allow the couple’s equally eccentric guests to contact the “afterworld.” But, before he begins his presentation, the occultist offers a warning: once the door has been opened, no human being can anticipate or control what might come through. Regardless, the group collectively agrees to go forward, only to find itself greatly disappointed by the results… at first. Trapped in the couple’s oversized house by a massive winter storm, the partygoers begin to experience unexplainable and increasingly frightening things. As these occurrences intensify, it becomes apparent that something evil is at work. Can the group survive the night or will ignoring the medium’s warning be the last thing they ever do?

STARRING
Mike Cook, Justen Overlander, Michael Kaiser, Sid Korpi, Mark Scanlan, Stephanie Mihm,
James Norgard, Catherine Hansen, Andrew Wilkins, Mark Haider, Anthony Kaczor, and
Christopher R. Mihm as himself

I can’t get enough of these awesome interviews/reviews of “Attack of the Moon Zombies” by Christopher R. Mihm (in which I play Administrator Ripley). This one gives a little teaser about next year’s movie, too. For some reason, it wouldn’t let me paste the pages here, so just click on the link below the picture.—Sid

‘Attack of the Moon Zombies’: monstrous mutant mayhem in the magic of Esperanto!

 

 

 

Check out this month’s Phantom Lake Almanac, the newsletter of director Christopher R. Mihm. It contains movie reviews, news on upcoming screenings of “Attack of the Moon Zombies” and a link to the first-ever Mihmiverse Bonfire Podcast with me as the guest! Sign up to be on the emailing list yourself at <www.sainteuphoria.com>—Sid

P.S. Click on this link if the edge of the newsletter is cut off on your screen.

 

   THE MOON ZOMBIES HAVE LANDED!

Wow. Few words in the English language exist that can adequately describe the palpable wonder and excitement of the “Attack of the Moon Zombies” world premiere. It was truly THATincredible! Were you lucky enough to be there? Did you enjoy it? Was it everything you were hoping for… and more?For all of us here at the Phantom Lake Alamanac, and by extension, SaintEuphoria.com, the online home of the films of Christopher R. Mihm, the “Attack of the Moon Zombies” premiere was something… special. We’ve attended all six (!) Mihmiverse premieres and we can honestly say that this was, by far, THE BEST of the bunch. As for the film, we can truthfully say, after having seen it multiple times, “Attack of the Moon Zombies” is writer/director Christopher R. Mihm’s most entertaining and downright impressive film to date!Here are a few quotes from a pair of reviews of the film (and the premiere itself) that recently appeared online:

“…a hilarious and well-orchestrated send-up of sci-fi films and their audiences. It’s as if you’re participating in a live episode of “Mystery Science Theater 3000.” “Attack of the Moon Zombies,” much like Mihm’s other films, is a love-letter to cinematic cheddar played to the hilt.”

— Jay at Exonauts!, Far-out, Sci-fi Adventuring

“There was much to appreciate in this, Mihm’s sixth film. Once again, Mihm stayed faithful to his premise—making a cheesy film with no onscreen violence, no swearing with a “Star Wars” reference or two and a cameo appearance. That word ‘cheesy’ is his own as in his statement, “I love to make cheesy films for the sake of knowing exactly what they are with no pretense.” The thing is, these films are so much more than that to an audience that has been bombarded with high-tech, overly-graphic, 3D-infested assaults on the senses. In short, these ‘cheesy’ films are a welcome antithesis to all that, confined to the basics of filmmaking. Story, acting, directing, special effects and music.”

— Darrell Moen, Minneapolis Movies Examiner

All in all, it was a night well worth remembering! Below is a small sampling of photos from the event! From left to right, top to bottom: a line forms outside the theater, moon zombie cake, then, most of the cast of the new film!

In addition to the world premiere of the new Mihmiverse film, “Attack of the Moon ZombiesALSO held its very successful drive-in premiere over the Memorial Day weekend at the Hi-way 18 Outdoor Theatre in Jefferson, Wisconsin! In addition to writer/director Christopher R. Mihm, several stars of the film showed up at different stages of the three-day event, including Mike Cook (Dr. Edwards), Stephanie Mihm (Dr. Rutherford), Sid Korpi (Administrator Ripley), Anthony Kaczor (Dr. Phillips), Michael Kaiser (Glen Hayes) and, as can be seen in the photos below, a moon zombie!

If you have not yet seen “Attack of the Moon Zombies,” WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?! If you are even REMOTELY a fan of writer/director Christopher R. Mihm’s films (or, really, movies in general), you absolutely NEED to either order a copy on DVD AS SOON AS IS HUMANLY POSSIBLE, or find a screening near you and GO! (And bring all your friends and family—they’re going to love it, too!)

   CURRENT NEWS

Now that “Attack of the Moon Zombies” has officially arrived, a handful of new screenings has been added to the calendar!

First on the list is the June 11th Mihmiverse Double Feature at the Time Community Theater in Oshkosh, Wisconsin! Both Mihmiverse films starring Mike Cook as Dr. Vincent Edwards (“Attack of the Moon Zombies” and “Terror from Beneath the Earth!”) will screen back-to-back, with a little intermission comedy from the event’s host Dr. Ivan Cryptosis, the official horror host of the films of Christopher R. Mihm!

In addition, several familiar faces from the new film are slated to appear, including star Mike Cook (Dr. Edwards), Robert Arndt (Dr. Banks), Michael Kaiser (Glen Hayes), Rob Wartick (Dr. Rod), and writer/director Christopher R. Mihm. Also guaranteed to be there: the monsters from both films! This is a unique, family-friendly fun event that is NOT to be missed! Check out the poster featured here for more info!

A week later on June 19th, “Attack of the Moon Zombies” will screen—in Esperanto!—at the Annual National Esperanto Congress, Esperanto-USA, at the Woodfin Hotel, Emeryville, California!

The evening’s program will consist of a banquet and auction, followed by the newest full-length Mihmiverse film presented in the alternate spoken audio track available on the film’s DVD! If you’re near Emeryville, make sure to come down and check out writer/director Christopher R. Mihm’s newest film in this truly unique presentation!

Last on the list of currently scheduled screenings: “Moon ZombiesRevisited!

After the smashing success of the sold-out world premiere, demand is high for more public Twin Cities screenings of the new film. Luckily, we’ve arranged for a very special “dinner-and-a-movie” event at the New Hope Cinema Grill at 7:00pm on July 14th!

Located in a suburb of Minneapolis, the New Hope Cinema Grill is a full-service restaurant with three showrooms that offers a variety of entertainment—including movies, live standup comedy, sporting events, and now… the films of Christopher R. Mihm! The New Hope Cinema Grill is also one of the few select establishments serving Surly beer on tap!

This screening of the newest (and best) Mihmiverse film is in the perfect setting for the whole family. For only $15 a ticket, you’ll be treated to a screening of “Attack of the Moon Zombies” and a kid-friendly pizza/salad/pop buffet. PLUS, alcoholic beverages will be sold onsite to make the evening that much more enjoyable for the grown-ups. And if that weren’t enough, we’re in the process of planning some extra fun, games, giveaways, and an appearance by the film’s title monsters!

Family-friendly Mihmiverse B-movie excitement, dinner, fun and games, monsters and beer! What more could one ask for in an affordable evening’s entertainment!?

Advance tickets for this event are now available at SaintEuphoria.com, the online home of the films of Christopher R. Mihm!

Remember, the “Attack of the Moon Zombies” world premiere sold out a 400-seat theater very quickly, and the New Hope Cinema Grill only seats 150! DO NOT HESITATE! Order your tickets TODAY or risk missing out AGAIN!

Don’t live in the Twin Cities? Why not check with an independently owned theater near you about hosting a Mihm-movie-night event? If you can successfully book a screening of one or more Mihmiverse films in your area, you’ll earn a $25 gift certificate to put toward any merchandise featured on the merchandise page at SaintEuphoria.com, the online home of the films of Christopher R. Mihm! Please contact us at info@sainteuphoria.com for more information on availability and for help (if needed). And, depending on scheduling and distance, writer/director Christopher R. Mihm and a monster or two may even make it to your event!

There’s something new and exciting going on at SaintEuphoria.com: the new Mihmiverse Bonfire Podcast! Moderated by hosts “Rhuby ‘n’ Hater,” this free-to-download monthly audiocast features exclusive news, interviews with the folks who make the Mihmiverse possible, shameless self-promotion, and original, reccuring content!

Our inaugural guest, Sid Korpi!

The premiere episode of the Mihmiverse Bonfire Podcast features intrepid hosts Rhuby ‘n’ Hater recording around a REAL backyard bonfire! In addition to some Mihmiverse updates with writer/director Christopher R. Mihm, this episode features Sid Korpi (pictured at left), the actress earning rave reviews for her turn as Administrator Ripley in the just released “Attack of the Moon Zombies!”

Also included: “Feelings,” the first of many bad poems from writer/director Christopher R. Mihm, a mock commercial for Old Man Yates Whiskey and a new “Moon Zombies“-inspired “Monster Word of the Day” with Michael Kaiser!

Click here to download last month’s episode
The Mihmiverse Bonfire Podcast was created as a supplement for this newsletter and will be released on or around the 15th of every month! Scheduled to appear on the June episode is the “king of the Mihmiverse monsters,” Michael Kaiser! Hear him speak and tell his side of the story!

Lastly, it is important to note that we will soon be “retiring” some of the Mihmiverse plushies to make room for new ones! If you haven’t purchased these fine collectibles yet, now is the time because they WILL NOT last forever!

To purchase your set of Mihmiverse monster plushies, visit the collectibles section of the SaintEuphoria.com merchandise page!

For all the latest information about screenings, events, goings-on, and general news, make sure to frequent SaintEuphoria.com, the online home of the films of Christopher R. Mihm!

   CLASSIC MOVIE OF THE MONTH

First Man into Space (1959)
Directed by Robert Day
Starring Marshall Thompson, Bill Edwards, and Marla Landi

During the inaugural flight of the experimental Y-13 spacecraft, hotshot pilot Dan Prescott (Bill Edwards) ignores orders and takes the craft twice as far as he was supposed to. During his record-breaking climb, he passes through a cloud of mysterious meteorite dust that shuts down his ship and forces him to crash land in the New Mexico desert. When the proper authorities arrive to secure the craft and pilot, they find only the ship—strangely covered in a hard-to-break, impenetrable-to-all-technologies, rock-like crust. Later that evening, weirdness begins to happen in the nearest town as the local blood bank is violently broken into, a nurse is killed, and much of the blood disappears! Next, local cows are found dead and completely drained of blood, and stories of a hideous monster begin to surface. When a shred of evidence is discovered linking the burglary, cattle mutilations, and the experimental aircraft, the pilot’s brother and girlfriend begin to piece together the true story of what may have happened to Dan Prescott—and it’s as cheesy and “terrifying” as any classic B-movie fan can imagine! Despite trying a little too hard to be serious, and taking into account the B-movie “cheese factor,” “First Man into Space” succeeds in being a well-put-together film. The monster costume is very cool and unique, albeit painfully obvious very early on what it is and what created it. One thing this movie really has going for it is the ending. Many low-budget monster films of the 1950s end with the creature being defeated in some asinine way (quicksand, anyone?), but this film definitely has a cool conclusion you may not be expecting. “First Man into Space” is a solid, entertaining film that I recommend wholeheartedly! Check it out if you’ve never seen it!


— Christopher R. Mihm
   CALENDAR OF EVENTS

June 11 – doors at 5:30pm, movies at 6:30pm

Hosted by the official horror host of the Mihmiverse, Dr. Ivan Cryptosis, “Attack of the Moon Zombies” and “Terror from Beneath the Earth” will screen as a double-feature at the Time Community Theaterin downtown Oshkosh.Time Community Theater, 445 North Main Street, Oshkosh, WI
June 19 – 9:00pm

Attack of the Moon Zombies” will be screened in Esperanto during the Annual National Congress, Esperanto-USA. This event is open to the public.Landa Kongreso, Esperanto-USA, June 17–20, 2011, San Francisco, CAWoodfin Hotel Emeryville, 5800 Shellmound Street, Emeryville, CA

For advance registration for the congress, visit: http://esperanto-usa.org/

June 21–August 6

M. Scott Taulman (Sven) will appear in the Old Log Theater production of the “The Reluctant Dragon.”Old Log Theater, 5185 Meadville Street, Greenwood, MN
June 27 – 6:30pm

Gehenna,” a film featuring James Norgard (Dr. Gabriel) premieres at the Heights Theatre.The Heights Theatre, 3951 Central Avenue NE, Columbia Heights, MN
July 14th – 7:00pm (Click here to purchase advance tickets)

Attack of the Moon Zombies” screens at a very special “dinner-and-a-movie” event at the New Hope Cinema Grill.New Hope Cinema Grill, 2749 Winnetka Avenue North, New Hope, MN
   ONLINE, ETC.

In addition to a June 7th appearance (8:00pm) on blog talk radio show Talk 2 the Animals with host Janet Roper, Sid Korpi (Administrator Ripley) has a bunch of interviews and appearances scheduled over the next couple months. Keep track of all her signings, appearances, and other promotional events for her book “Good Grief: Finding Peace After Pet Loss” by visiting the appearances page at her website: www.goodgriefpetloss.com.
In addition to providing the Mihmiverse featurette on the “Attack of the Moon ZombiesDVD, Justen Overlander (Sheriff Elliott/Jonathan) has released a series of articles and video interviews with Christopher R. Mihm. The latest article and video, in which Mihm offers his take on success, can both be found here. Upstart filmmakers can take Mihm’s advice to “just do it” as he states in this article and video. And for insight into “Attack of the Moon Zombies” and the entire Mihmiverse, check out the first of Justen’s interviewswith the prolific writer/director/producer.Be sure to subscribe to Justen’s Minneapolis Independent Filmmaking Industry column. You’ll be notified the moment the exclusive interview with the man behind the Mihmiverse monster masks, Michael Kaiser, is released sometime this June!
Maggie Schultz (Dr. Deering) is now participating in #teamphotoblog on Twitter and will be posting a new photo to her blog (www.bymaggie.com) five days a week. Make sure to visit her site often to check out the latest updates!
   DID YOU KNOW?

The Monster of Phantom Lake,” “It Came From Another World!,” “Cave Women on Mars,” “Terror from Beneath the Earth,” “Destination: Outer Space,” and “Attack of the Moon Zombies” DVDs are now available at SaintEuphoria.com, the online home of the films of Christopher R. Mihm. In addition, “The Monster of Phantom LakeCollector’s Edition DVDs, exclusive movie posters, patches and other merchandise are now in stock. Everything is available in extremely limited quantities, so get yours today before they run out!

Copyright © and All Rights Reserved Saint Euphoria Pictures / All for George Productions 2011If you no longer wish to receive the “Phantom Lake Almanac” send a blank email
with the subject “unsubscribe almanac” to newsletter@sainteuphoria.com

Hey everyone,

I know I’ve been shamelessly promoting this B-movie my hubby, Anthony, and I are in (by famed local writer/director Christopher R. Mihm), but I have HUGE NEWS to report. Today, as a birthday gift to Anthony, Chris Mihm invited us to his and his wife Stephanie’s home to watch the newly completed “Attack of the Moon Zombies” movie!!!!! (The end credits haven’t even been added yet…that’s how “hot off the presses” it is!)

Anthony hams it up with the Mihm clan at a Dad's Belgian Waffle breakfast

Most everyone else has to wait until the official premiere on May 25th at the Heights Theater in Columbia Heights, MN, so we’re feeling pretty special!

I have to report—and this is not just hype or obligation talking—this is Mr. Mihm’s BEST MOVIE YET!! And that’s saying a LOT since I deeply LOVE his other five flicks (“Monster of Phantom Lake,.” “It Came From Another World,” “Cave Women on Mars,” “Terror From Beneath the Earth,” and “Destination: Outer Space.”) And, I’m also not saying this because we’re in it. Actually, that’s the hardest part for me and would normally render me mute on the subject altogether; seeing myself on the screen and shutting up the brutal inner critic is tough. But stepping back and just looking at this movie for being true to its ’50s drive-in-creature-feature heritage, as well as its pacing, humor, themes, performances, direction, special effects (i.e. zombies by Mitch Gonzales) and emotional punch—yes, I said emotional punch—this movie is absolutely top notch.

I know I could go on a talk show circuit and not be having to lie my way through a plug of the movie. Quite seriously speaking, I couldn’t be prouder of having been a part of something creative than I am of my role as Administrator Ripley (thanks again to Stephanie Mihm for recommending me for the role, which she could have had herself) and part of a wonderful ensemble cast including, but not limited to Mike Cook, Shannon McDonough, Doug Sidney, Dan Sjerven, Mark Haider, Bob Arndt, and many, many other talented folks.

If you love old B&W monster/sci fi movies from the ’50s, you simply MUST SEE “Attack of the Moon Zombies.” Contact Christopher R. Mihm at www.sainteuphoria.com for tickets to the premiere or to preorder your copy of the DVD. You’ll thank me for it!!—Sid

Click on the Petlitzer Prize link above to read the terrific winning entries for round two, the short stories contest! Fabulous job, winners! And special thanks to all the creative writers who entered. We judges really did have to agonize to pick the finalists. You’re all deserving of praise for your efforts.—Sid

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