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Author Tom Fowler of Overland Park, Kansas, is a big B-movie fan…and that’s really lucky for us in the Mihmiverse because he recently watched and loved Christopher R. Mihm’s B&W 1950s-drive-in-style creature feature, House of Ghosts. In fact, he loved it so much, he has purchased the entire set of Mihm’s seven movies (also including: 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), and he plans to review each in turn throughout the summer. He’s calling this the Christopher R. Mihm Summer Reading Festival.

Be sure to check his website frequently to catch his reviews.

http://www.tomfowlerwritings.com/christopher_mihm

Or better yet, join him in his quest to immerse himself in the Mihmiverse by purchasing your own full set of his films for the special LOW PRICE of just $49.99 + $9.99 shipping and handling. That’s more than a $27 savings!

Visit http://www.sainteuphoria.com/merch.html#dvds to pick up your set!

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{★} Classic Creature Features…Or Not! * Posted by Cherri Bombe {★} on June 5, 2011

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By looking at these posters, you would think they were some of those old-school B horror movies, right? Wrong! These were all made within the last five years by Minnesota-based Christopher R. Mihm, who says that he makes “new ‘old’ films.” On his website, www.sainteuphoria.com, Mr. Mihm says of classic B-movies: “I enjoyed their often poorly written dialogue, sometimes (but not always!) wooden acting, stilted camera work and marginal special effects. It was during one of these marathon movie-watching sessions I had an epiphany: “What would happen if I stopped thinking about it and actually made a movie? And not just ANY movie but THIS kind of movie, one that a ten year old version of my dad would approve of?” His latest is See the trailer here: All his DVD’s are $9.99 + $2.50 shipping and can be purchased here: http://www.sainteuphoria.com/merch.html#dvds Next payday, I’m soooooo going to pick up a couple of these! Yay for cheesy horror movie re-creations!

I first learned of Christopher R. Mihm through a story about his movie Cave Women on Mars published in the Southwest Journal in Minneapolis. His motivation for making B&W 1950s-drive-in-style B-movie homages was to honor his deceased father, who’d instilled in him from childhood a love of charmingly crappy cinematic works. He named his production company “All for George Productions.”

I then attended the world premiere of Cave Women on Mars (2008), and I was sucked into the Mihmiverse forever, where I now happily fester.

The plot, and there actually was one, which is always a bonus, involved a handsome astronaut (Dan Sjerven) who is stranded on, you guessed it, Mars, surrounded by primitive warring Amazonian beauties. Oh, the cheesy sets and costumes…the purposely stilted line delivery ala Shatner…the overacting of the villainesses (who were, it turns out, tinier than Alan Ladd and just filmed to look imposing—this I learned at the after party where I towered over chief baddie, Rachel Grubb, thinking I could have vanquished her simply by sitting on the waif)…What was not to love?

Cave Women was Mihm’s third film, and from the aforementioned article, I knew his first movie was Monster of Phantom Lake (2006). I assure you, the gang at “Mystery Science Theater 3000” would have been ecstatic to watch this one.

There were literally times in watching this film I guffawed so loudly I scared   my dog, Mortimer! I’m a ‘50s-ophile and adore most things created at or about that time. Monster of Phantom Lake had it all. It featured hormone-driven/twist-dancing teens, a crazed war veteran turned urban legend thanks to toxic waste, inept but lovable Canoe Cops, awesome cat-eye glasses, and a lake creature Roger Corman’s special-effects crew would have coveted, adroitly played by Mihm’s teenaged stepson Michael Kaiser.* Also memorable, and truly hilarious, was the campy song Professor Jackson launches into: “A-Rockin, A-Rollin, All the Way A-Ramblin’.” (A quadruple threat in the talent department, apparently Mihm’s not just a writer/director/producer, he’s also an accomplished musician who performed all the musical tracks for the song).

Next, I bought It Came from Another World (2007), Mihm’ second film, and did it ever send me! Professor Jackson (a recurrent role of a sort for Mihm’s best bud/co-producer on most of his movies, Josh Craig) has to go searching for a colleague, Dr. Frasier (Mike Mason), who’s gone missing in the woods where a mysterious meteorite has been seen crashing to Earth. Enter our favorite Canoe Cops, Sven (M. Scott Taulman) and Gustav (Mike Cook), to help him with the tracking. I’ll not be a spoiler, but there’s a certainscene involving an oar and a mushroom you’ll need to be wearing Depends to safely watch.

Mihm masterfully uses public domain footage and music to set the mood, as well as ping-pong balls to create the alien-possessed creature’s fiendish googly-eyed visage. A highlight of the film is a fabulous campsite sing-along featuring the infectious song “Paddlin’ Along,” performed by Echo Driver, Mihm’s musical nom de plume.

More than any of Mihm’s movies to date, his 2009 release, Terror from Beneath the Earth, was truly a family affair, with his lovely spouse Stephanie, son Elliot, stepdaughter Liz Kaiser and stepson Michael Kaiser taking prominent roles. Dan Sjerven returns, this time as a frantic father searching caves**—made radioactive by local atomic testing, naturally—for his two lost children (Liz and Elliot). Mike Cook, otherwise known as Canoe Cop Gustav, is Dr. Vincent Edwards, renowned geologist and all-around brainiac, who is called in on the search with his assistant Rosemary Bennett (Stephanie). The mutant bat creature (Michael, the inveterate Mihm-monster portrayer) the search party discovers is one of the best film monsters ever devised. (Check out the corn-cob holders that have been used to make its teeth!)

The B-movie-loving world thrilled at last spring’s premiere of Mihm’s fifth film, Destination: Outer Space! (2010) at the historic Heights Theater in Columbia Heights, Minn. Josh Craig reprised his roles as Captain Jackson (and his father), taking the character to new depths as an alcoholic loser whose life has no meaning until he tests a rocket ship that flies faster than the speed of light and sends him into new galaxies of terror and adventure with a space pirates named Urina, a robot named ADAM (played by Michael Kaiser and voiced by writer/director Mihm himself), and evil, eyeball-headed Oculon monsters.

Mihm’s films have racked up the cult-movie accolades, including Best Science Fiction Feature—2007 ShockerFest International Film Festival; Best of Fest Award—Big Damn Film Festival, Kansas City; and Audience Choice Award—Big Damn Film Festival, Cincinnati and Indianapolis; and many others.

This brings us to Mihm’s latest movie marvel, Attack of the Moon Zombies, due to premiere May 25, 2011. Dr. Vincent Edwards (Mike Cook, of Terror from Beneath the Earth fame) is back, on the moon in the distant future (the 1970s), and readying himself for a peaceful retirement. That is until a mysterious space plant is discovered in a moon cave by his young replacement and seeks to replicate itself by any means possible, thus threatening all the inhabitants of the Moon Base. This movie marks a subtle shift in Mihm’s storytelling style, incorporating a much larger ensemble cast with, dare I say it, character development galore. The crazy-talented Mitch Gonzales created the zombie monsters, marking an up-notch in sophistication without the sacrifice of that precious cheesiness. This is bound to be one of Mihm’s very best and is a must-see for any true B-movie aficionado. I know I wouldn’t miss it for all the world(s) in the Mihmiverse!

Become an associate producer of Mihm’s movie for a mere $50 donation and you’ll get a free ticket to the premiere, several copies of the finished DVD AND your name on the silver screen for all time. More info on this at www.sainteuphoria.com.

Sid Korpi is a Minneapolis-based writer and former film studies teacher, and in the spirit of full disclosure, she also plays Administrator Ripley in Attack of the Moon Zombies.

* I now own framed pieces of the Monster of Phantom Lake’s actual scaly hide (i.e. painted-on bits of plastic lawn and leaf bag).

**Ever generous to his fans, Mihm bestowed upon me one of the original papier maché stalagmites from the bat cave, which is proudly displayed in my basement!

The following is an article about the movie in which I and my hubby have cameo appearances—and one line apiece—and for which our dear, departed dog Mortimer was given an associate producer’s credit! Note: some corrections to my quote are 1) I am NOT yet 50!; b) my stalagmite is just over 3 feet tall, NOT man-sized, unless we’re talking midgets/little people, AND I said it was from “Terror from Beneath the Earth” NOT “Cave Women on Mars”; and c) Mihm’s movies are “wonderfully cheesy ’50s drive-in movie homages,” not merely “silly”! I hate being misquoted. She left out the part where I called Mihm “The Roger Corman of Minneapolis,” too, but otherwise, I thought Ms. Ford did a nice job on the piece. Please join us for the premiere on Tuesday, May 25, 2010 at 7 p.m. at the historic Heights Theater in Columbia Heights, Minnesota! For more info and to order tickets, go to <www.sainteuphoria.com>.

Also of note, Mr. Mihm is the creator of the wonderful “Good Grief: Finding Peace After Pet Loss” website! Contact him at <chris@asterisksoftware.com>.

—Sid

An Arden Hills filmmaker’s fans pitch in to

help finance and produce his latest movie.

Marlin Levison, Star Tribune Christopher Mihm displayed some of the props used in his new movie “Destination: Outer Space.” At left is the head of Oculon while the robot at right is named ADAM. The movie will be shown at drive-ins and sci-fi conventions. That’s an asteroid at top left.

‘Destination: Outer Space’
ALYSSA FORD Special to the Star Tribune April 21, 2010

B-moviemaker Christopher Mihm of Arden Hills knew he had a fan base for his black-and-white creature features with their bug-eyed lake monsters, alien-possessed meteorites and matriarchal colonies on Mars.

He’s accustomed to getting fan e-mails from people all over the country, and he’s been able to finance his moviemaking hobby in part through the sale of patches, posters and DVDs of his four previous films: “The Monster of Phantom Lake” (2006), “It Came From Another World” (2007), “Cave Women on Mars” (2008) and “Terror from Beneath the Earth” (2009).

He’s even gotten to the point where he’s pleased (but not surprised) to see fans dress up for his premieres — in ball gowns or their own googly monster eyes made of pingpong balls.

But Mihm says he wasn’t prepared for what happened last year when his fan base pitched in to save his latest film, “Destination: Outer Space.”

It all started when one of Mihm’s financial backers had to back out due to recessionary troubles. “It was a job thing,” said Mihm, with a shrug. “It happens.”

But that left “Destination: Outer Space” in a lurch. “I was kind of racking my brain,” says Mihm, “and I kind of concluded that if I couldn’t figure out a way to raise a little money, I’d have to postpone shooting until I could save some up myself.”

But then Mihm, a 33-year-old freelance computer programmer in his grown-up life, put a notice on his website, www.sainteuphoria.com, asking for $50 donations to the project in exchange for future DVDs, tickets to the premiere on May 25 and “associate producer” credits in the film.

“I knew I’d get maybe four people to do it and that would be it,” Mihm says.

To his great surprise, 50 people signed up to be associate producers for “Destination: Outer Space,” giving this black-and-white B-movie an even bigger budget than it was going to have in the first place.

“I was stunned and pretty touched, too,” says Mihm.

Some fans also offered to help produce the film, donating their time to build sets and engineer monsters. One volunteer was Mitch Gonzales, 45, of Maple Grove, who discovered Mihm’s films while surfing online in 2007.

For “Destination: Outer Space,” Gonzales — a project manager for an injection-molding company by day and a B-movie fan by night — built a starfish-inspired monster out of chicken wire and foam latex with a giant bulbous eyeball for a head. He also created a pair of wiggly antennae for an extra, and was even allowed to make a cameo appearance in the film wearing a tall, made-up forehead. “I was thrilled to be allowed to play in the Mihm sandbox, so to speak,” says the father of two.

Fan Rylan Bachman, 31, of Cambridge, Minn., spent long hours hunting for iron-ore rocks along a railroad bed for an asteroid scene in “Destination: Outer Space.”

“I wanted to find some great rocks with nice pits and crevices,” Bachman says.

Mike Obrecht, 34, of Omaha, made a 14-hour round trip to Arden Hills to help build some sets for the film and play a capitalist alien named B’Kee in a crowded bar scene.

Mihm, 33, says that all of his films have relied heavily on family members and even neighborhood kids from around Arden Hills, but “Destination: Outer Space” is the first one created by the “Mihmiverse” — the name he has given to his small but rabid fan base.

As a result, he says, this production has quadruple the number of sets and costumes of any of his previous movies.

“It’s my B-movie version of ‘Star Wars,’ ” Mihm says.

The reason for all this fan mania is simple, says Sid Korpi, 50, of south Minneapolis, who is such an aficionado of Mihm films that she keeps a man-sized stalagmite in her basement — a souvenir from the set of “Cave Women on Mars.”

“It’s all about Chris,” says Korpi. “When you’re around him, you can’t help but want to get involved in these silly movies. He’s made monsters of all of us.”

Alyssa Ford is a Minneapolis freelance writer.

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