The Tapho Files


This wasn’t a dead weekend – it was a “mostly dead” weekend.

On Saturday, I went back to the Pioneer Cemetery in Sylmar to get some pictures for an article I’m writing. Pioneer was the cemetery used in Plan Nine From Outer Space – the greatest bad movie of all time – and is only open on the third Saturday of the month.

I met two delightful sisters there, Jacky Walker and Alma Wade, who are members of the San Fernando Historical Society, which oversees the cemetery. They confirmed that Plan Nine was indeed filmed there, and Alma has actually purchased a brick for Bela Lugosi in the memorial courtyard to let the world know about the connection.

I will be going back this week to meet with Jacky, with the portable DVD player in hand, to do a scene-by-scene survey of the film to match it up with actual cemetery locations. The ladies hope to use this information for future tours, and hopefully, for a screening of the film at the cemetery.

Bela's brick at the filming site of his "masterpiece."

Bela's brick at the filming site of his "masterpiece."

Alma & Bela

Alma Wade & Bela's brick

Alma & her sister Jacky Walker later that night after getting all "Zombified" for the march.

Alma (right) & her sister Jacky Walker later that night after getting all "zombified" for the march.

I rushed home to pick up my stepson and then sped to Universal Studios where he attended Halloween Horror Nights with some friends.

I made it back in time to go to downtown Newhall to meet with 600 of my closest “life-challenged” friends for a Zombie March. The march went from a comic book store in downtown Newhall to Heritage Junction inside the William S. Hart Park where the Heritage Haunt was going on. It was a gruesome looking crowd, but I had the distinct impression that lots of the marchers looked better with their makeup on than without it.

"We are the three dead amigos ..."

"We are the three dead amigos ..."

Heritage Haunt gets better every year. They began two years ago by creating a wonderful haunted house (inside the Newhall Ranch House, which IS a haunted house. Ask anybody who regularly works there!) They have expanded their efforts to include much more of the property with new attractions like “Psycho’s Funhouse,” “Haunted Village,” “Desperado’s Haunted Hay Ride,” “Chewy’s Pirate Cove,” and a New World Dance presentation of “Sleepy Hollow.” It is fantastic! Hats off to Ed Marg and the rest of the Haunters. Believe me, it’s as good as the theme parks, and a lot cheaper!

Since we don’t have Boingo concerts to attend at Halloween anymore, we now have time to check out other October happenings. I would suggest the screenings of The Haunting next Saturday at the Alex Theatre in Glendale. It’s a cool film, and what makes this screening special is that psychic Michael Kouri will be on hand to introduce the audience to the ghosts that never left the building after their show closed.

Until next time …

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About deadwrite

Freelance writer, film historian, taphophile View all posts by deadwrite

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