“The Cliff Monster”
A man (Bob Burns) and a woman (Jackie Blaisdell) are looking for a good spot to have a picnic. They decide to go to Indian Park. This is the first day the park is open to visitors. The man tells the woman about a legend he found that tells of an evil monster that lives in the southern cliff. The monster is sleeping and care should be taken not to wake it. The monster awakens and chases after the couple. When the monster knocks over a tree the woman is trapped. The man rushes to his car and gets some dynamite. He rescues the woman and kills the cliff monster.
The Story Behind "The Cliff Monster" and "AIP Filmland Monsters"
In the fifties Paul Blaisdell was busy creating monsters. Bob Burns was busy being monsters. When the two got together they noticed that monster magazines were all the rage. Since they both had lots of experience with monsters, they took the next step. The monster movie magazine market was filled with lots of options available to consumers. Paul and Bob decided to try their hand at making a monster movie magazine that was special. The original name of the magazine was to be “The Devil’s Workshop”. Their focus was to be on homemade special effects and tutorials. Eventually their vision changed to something a little more traditional. The new name “Fantastic Films” would have a section called “The Devil’s Workshop”. When their printer suggested that the name monster had to be in the title to gain the readership they were looking for, the title was again changed to “Fantastic Monsters of the Films”.
Unfortunately, the magazine had a short run. While it did run, the magazine offered for sale two 8mm movies made by Bob and Paul, “The Cliff Monster” and “AIP Filmland Monsters”. “The Cliff Monster” was directed by Bob Burns. The film itself is a little over four minutes long. “AIP Filmland Monsters” is a compilation of trailers for movies that feature some of Paul Blaisdell’s monster creations that he did for Roger Corman. This too is only about four minutes long. Both are silent films. They were only sold through Fantastic Monsters of the Films magazine. There was a form you filled out and mailed with your $2.00 for each film and they would mail you your 8mm films. For $6.95 you could get them in 16mm. In sparkling black and white. Satisfaction Guaranteed.
The magazine had a "Name The Nameless Monster Contest" for the film. The contest expired on March 31, 1963 and the winners were awarded a monster pin-up of their choice.
The monster, “Cliff”, was a foot tall puppet that used a clock drive mechanism. The creature was wound up and was programmed to make specific movements in a specific sequence. Blaisdell created another mechanical creature that was a dinosaur, but no movie was ever made with it. It did appear in a photograph in the magazine. "The Cliff Monster" was shot using Bob Burns’ 16mm camera.
For the “Filmland Monsters” Blaisdell received permission from American International Pictures to take some footage from the trailers to put together the film. The movie trailers he chose were “The Day the World Ended” 1955, “It Conquered the World” 1956, “The She-Creature” 1956, and “Invasion of the Saucer Men” 1957. He combined the trailer footage with newly shot scenes of the monsters in action.
Both films are in rough shape but at least they are still around.