Harry Hayes had never seen a monster that he did not like! He was Billy’s cousin and several years older than him. His avocation and calling was to research the science fiction and monster movies of the 1950’s and the 60’s.
Harry had several magazines that were devoted to the horror movies of the day. He could speak extemporaneously regarding the make up and prosthetics that the actors used in various movies, such as; Frankenstein, Dracula, and the Creature From the Black Lagoon. He began collecting Monster Masks. Or rather…Monster Masks and Monster Hands! They aligned the walls of his bedroom and some cost upwards of $100 or more.
Harry modeled these, semi-profesional masks for Billy Bump and his buddy, Carl. Carl thought that they were fascinating and began, regularly, asking Billy when they could go over to Harry’s house to look at his masks?
Now, Billy considered the masks to be of the highest quality that he had witnessed. They not only covered your head completely but they looked just like the movie version of the perpetrator.
Harry had made the research of Monster movies and the collection of masks from the movies his primary mission! His mother said that they were creepy and that she did not understand what he saw in them.
But Harry had a vision of becoming a famous film director and his plan entailed Carl and Billy being his primary actors in a eight millimeter one spool demo film to send to all of the prominent movie theaters!
The masks and hands and body suits had been purchased from the Forrest J. Ackerman Studios with the assurance that, ‘You Too Can Be a Successful Filmmaker!”
Billy’s mom had an old eight millimeter movie camera, with no sound, and the running time of a spool of film was three minutes. So the day of filming was set and the decision was made for Billy to portray the Creature From the Black Lagoon and Carl to play the role of the robot from the television series, Lost In Space.
Now, Carl had been practicing his role of the robot for over a year. He was known to be an expert in the genre, and had received both applause and acclaim for his spot on depiction of the nuances of the robot!
The local spillway was chosen and Billy was outfitted in both the full head mask of the Creature while Carl wore a full body suit to portray the robot.
Harry announced, ‘quiet on the set…roll film,’ and the Creature began to arise from the murky waters of the spillway!
The robot, with arms gesturing akimbo, just like in the TV series, called out, ‘that does not compute!’
The Creature slipped on the slippery concrete wall of the spillway and broke Harry’s expensive mask, and bloodied his upper lip and loosened two teeth!
The robot exclaimed that, ‘I must save Will Robinson!’
The robot, or Carl, turned and began to make his way through the woods and despite the many calls of both Harry and the bloodied Creature…he did not respond accept for the, battery powered, blinking lights on his costume!
Billy did not see the robot until the next morning at school where Carl was still in costume and regaling his classmates with his perfect Lost In Space robot impression…
Note: Photos are courtesy of Google search.