Following a years-long tradition, the first newsletter of the year contains a look back at all the significant events that shaped the Mihmiverse in the last twelve months. This year continues that tradition with a look at 2011, the year that was...

As the new year dawned, principal photography for "Attack of the Moon Zombies" was still in full swing, with the production fighting its way through feisty weather, a nasty virus that ripped through the cast and crew, and general fatigue. January also saw the debut of the films of Christopher R. Mihm on the Monster Channel and the first mention of the ill-fated Mihm-i-CON.

Despite a grueling shoot, "Attack of the Moon Zombies" completed principal photography in early February. The final day of shooting turned into a marathon—a full 12 hours consisting of three pivotal scenes made up of thirteen dialogue-heavy script pages. Actors Mike Cook (Dr. Vincent Edwards), Sid Korpi (Administrator Ripley), Doug Sidney (Dr. Collins), Shannon McDonough (Dr. Hackett), and Robert Silinghia (Dr. Huer), writer/director Christopher R. Mihm, and executive producer Rylan Bachman were all in attendance. The final call for "cut" was punctuated by Mr. Mihm playfully punching a hole through one of the thin set walls, and the movie's completion was celebrated by a quickly drained (by a couple of cast members) bottle of merlot.

Near the end of March, writer/director Christopher R. Mihm finished the final edit of "Attack of the Moon Zombies." A few days later, the premiere date was announced, advance tickets went on sale and they began to sell very quickly. Then, four short days after, the official poster was released and the SaintEuphoria.com store started selling official Jackson Lunar Base replica patches.

The first day of April found Mr. Mihm releasing a synopsis for a film called "A Homemade Funeral," reporting it as if it were his next film. Luckily, the next day it was revealed to be an April Fool's gag! A week later, the official trailer for "Attack of the Moon Zombies" was released. An interview with writer/director Christopher R. Mihm appeared in the June issue of SCI-FI Magazine and was released on April 9th. Other significant events in April included the completion of the "Attack of the Moon Zombies" DVD, an appearance by Mr. Mihm at the Constellation Nebraska sci-fi/horror/anime convention (Mr. Mihm's first as a guest of honor), and the release of the Esperanto trailer for "Attack of the Moon Zombies."

A series of articles about the Mihmiverse and interviews with writer/director Christopher R. Mihm appeared early in May, just in time for the premiere to completely sell out—a first for any Mihmiverse film! The Mihmiverse Bonfire Podcast debuted on May 16th and was very warmly received (pun intended). A week later, "Attack of the Moon Zombies" premiered and was the talk of the town. Several positive reviews of the event and the premiere appeared shortly thereafter. Closing out the month, the film spent Memorial Day weekend screening at the Hi-way 18 Outdoor Theatre and racking up even more positive reviews.

Buzz for the new film continued to grow in June with almost a dozen reviews appearing—all of them good! The film continued to screen in different venues and a new rare collectible went on sale: the Phantom Lake Monsters baseball cap.

The biggest news in July was the announcement of the next Mihmiverse film, "House of Ghosts." The trend continued throughout the month: more positive reviews for "Attack of the Moon Zombies," including a mention on Minnesota Public Radio. The film also screened at a well-attended event at the New Hope Cinema Grill.

The official newsletter of the films of Christopher R. Mihm underwent a facelift in August, transforming from the Phantom Lake Almanac into the more general Mihmiverse Monthly. The fall screening schedule began to take shape, and the month was rounded out by a repeat appearance of the Mihmiverse movies at the Blue Moon Dine-in Theater at the Minnesota State Fair and the beginning of principal photography on "House of Ghosts."

Aside from the filming of "House of Ghosts," September stayed mostly quiet—with a few exceptions: Retail-ready "It Came From Another World!" DVDs and Phantom Lake Monsters baseball caps sold out completely, and a pair of very fun "Moon Zombies" screenings took place in Lakeville, MN and Eau Claire, WI.

October began with another title sell-out, this time "The Monster of Phantom Lake." As in previous years, the films of the Mihmiverse seemed to be everywhere this month, with screenings at film festivals, conventions, drive-ins, and stand-alone events. "Attack of the Moon Zombies" pulled in the award for "Best Horror/Action Film" at the inaugural Highway 61 Film Festival and writer/director Christopher R. Mihm received the "Roger and Julie Corman Intrepid Filmmaker" award at ValleyCON in Fargo, ND. The word "lambent" appeared for the first time in the October episode of the Mihmiverse Bonfire Podcast.

Following "Attack of the Moon Zombies" film festival screenings in Pennsylvania and New York, things quieted down significantly in November. The only things worth noting were the ongoing production of "House of Ghosts," a front-page article about the film appearing in the St. Paul Pioneer Press, and an appearance as guest speaker by writer/director Christopher R. Mihm at the University of Wisconsin River Falls campus.

December remained mostly quiet in the Mihmiverse. An extended podcast featuring Stephanie Mihm was released and principal photography of "House of Ghosts" was completed. The year came to a close with the "Open House of Ghosts," a crowded and fun-as-heck bash celebrating the 'verse, its inhabitants and its fans. Held on location in the "spooky old house" where "House of Ghosts" was filmed, many behind-the-scenes players, associate producers, Mihmivites, and the uninitiated enjoyed an evening of food, frivolity, and lambent festiveness. A good time was had by most!

And now, with 2012 upon us, we look forward to a lambent year of Mihmiverse chills, thrills, and fun! "House of Ghosts" is on track for a May release, screenings and appearances are already falling into place, and the announcement of the NEXT Mihmiverse film is just around the corner! With so many wonderful things coming up, we hope to see you all at some point this year—and meet some new folks along the way! Happy new year!



From the desk of Sid Korpi, the über-talent known to most Mihmivites
as the "scary-banged" Administrator Ripley in "Attack of the Moon Zombies:"

Not to make anyone start off 2012 with regrets, but, man alive, if you missed the Open House of Ghosts on Dec. 30th, you missed one fabulous event! Nearly 100 Mihmiverse fans and/or curious newcomers gathered in Anthony Kaczor's and my 1886 Victorian home in South Minneapolis to witness where "House of Ghosts" was filmed, and to eat a ton of free grub.

Not to toot my own horn, but I prepared the majority of said victuals (including among more than a dozen entrees/desserts "Moon Zombie Droppings"—a.k.a. spinach balls—and "Monkey Bread Pudding," for which no monkeys were injured). Listen, I cooked and/or baked for almost two solid weeks and I burned my forearm on a hot cookie sheet the night of the party, so I want some major martyr points!

But as this is a particularly "foodie" cast, we were also blessed with notably delicious homemade contributions by the director himself and his wife Stephanie (Korean Pancakes and Dark Chocolate-Mint Bark), Mark Haider and Rhuby Gallinati (Buffalo Chicken Spread), Andy Wilkins (Cheesy Hedgehog), and Jim Norgard's lovely wife Linda (Garlic Chex Mix). Hit them up for recipes.

Many thanks, too, to Rylan Bachman, Catherine Hanson, Aaron McFarland, Dale and Marie Michaeloff, and Mark Scanlan (and anyone I missed because I was out of the room when they arrived with stuff), for their generous contributions to our spread. I am also personally grateful to Dr. Ivan Cryptosis for his fabulous gift of a Fred Flintstone puppet to enhance our Flintstones Shrine in the basement.

Another highlight of the evening was, of course, the auditions. Dozens of folks crammed themselves into our third-floor, '50s-malt shop-style dance studio to participate in or witness the fearless performances of several of Mihm's most notable scenes and/or almost-impossible-to-speak monologues. Everyone's efforts were awesome fun and thus have been videotaped for all posterity. A few possible future stars of the Mihmiverse emerged, as well.

Director Mihm is currently editing these audition tapes into a cohesive work of art that he will soon be uploading to his site and YouTube. Stay tuned for word of when you can start visiting the sites and send everyone you know to see these lambent thespian efforts.

If you did miss out on the event, you can still watch the audition videos and cry softly to yourself, or you can TAKE ACTION and BECOME AN ASSOCIATE PRODUCER TODAY!!! Click here to find out how!




The newest episode of the Mihmiverse Bonfire Podcast is now available for download!

Stephanie Mihm!
In the eighth episode of the Mihmiverse Bonfire Podcast, hosts Mark 'n' Rhuby are kickin' it "holiday style" for the 2011 year-ender. Writer/director Christopher R. Mihm shares some more information about his next film, "House of Ghosts," and continues his crusade to bring the word "lambent" into the mainstream. The special guest for this, the longest episode to date, is Stephanie Mihm, the actress best known as Rosemary from "Terror from Beneath the Earth" and writer/director Christopher R. Mihm's wife!

Also included: "The Breakdown," the newest holiday-themed poem from writer/director Christopher R. Mihm and the first annual Mihmiverse "Versie" awards!

Click here to download part 1Click here to download part 2Click here to download part 3

The Mihmiverse Bonfire Podcast was created as a supplement to this newsletter and will be released on or around the 15th of every month. 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 recurring content!

This month, Rhuby, Hater, and writer/director Christopher R. Mihm interview each other in a special "year in review" episode! Our February guest will be Jim Norgard, the actor who appeared as the ill-fated Dr. Gabriel in "Attack of the Moon Zombies" and just wrapped the role of Arthur in "House of Ghosts!"

If you'd like to ask a question of the hosts, writer/director Christopher R. Mihm, or any of the show's upcoming guest(s), click HERE to submit your queries! If we like them, we may even include them in a future podcast! OR, like the Mihmiverse Bonfire Podcast on Facebook and "participate" by posting to the podcast's wall during recording! The recording date for the January podcast will be announced on the podcast's Facebook page!



The Mihmiverse Monthly, the official newsletter of the films of Christopher R. Mihm, is trying out some new columns. Alongside old standards like the Classic Movie of the Month, Associate Producer of the Month and Calendar of Events, you'll find an ever-changing array of guest-written columns.

This month you'll find:
  • Monster Hits!
    Mike Cook (Gustav/Dr. Edwards) gives us a historical (and hysterical) perspective on some of the original "popular music" created for the schlocky drive-in films of the 1950s and '60s!
     
  • A Mihm-i-course in Esperanto
    An introduction and primer for the Esperanto language written by George Baker, one of the main linguists who translated "Attack of the Moon Zombies" into this fascinating man-made language!
     
  • From the Mihmiverse Test Kitchens
    Best known as Rosemary from "Terror from Beneath the Earth," Stephanie Mihm will share her favorite recipes sure to satisfy any monster-sized appetite!
If you have any questions, comments or suggestions for other columns, OR if you're interested in writing one, please contact us at info@sainteuphoria.com and let us know what you think! In the meantime, enjoy the new-and-improved Mihmiverse Monthly!



The Alligator People (1959)
Directed by Roy Del Ruth
Starring Beverly Garland, Bruce Bennett and Lon Chaney Jr.

In a plot that comes straight out of "Spider-man" comics, a scientist looking to create a serum that will magically allow people to regrow severed limbs, taps into the regenerative power of the alligator. You can probably fill in the rest of the plot yourself, but in case you can't, rest assured someone gets exposed to this questionable science and slowly turns into the creature the film is named after. Who wouldn't be excited to see a film with such an easily-understood classic B-movie plot? "The Alligator People" is an entertaining film with a truly scary AND ridiculous monster. But, the entertaining part doesn't really begin until two-thirds in. The film moves at a snail's pace in the beginning and, if you're not used to bad 1950s pacing, will seem almost painful to modern sensibilities. Aside from that, the film is competently made and is a great example of 1950s-drive-in cinema! It's hard to recommend "The Alligator People" outright, simply because it is extremely slow in the beginning. However, I believe that if you fight through it until the monster shows up, the film becomes an instant so-bad-it's-good classic that any B-movie film aficionado will love—and the ending is both pointless AND priceless!

— Christopher R. Mihm



Since so many fans and supporters have contributed and become associate producers, we wanted to take time to highlight some of these wonderful people! Thus, every month between now and the release of "House of Ghosts," we will randomly choose and interview one of them.

This month, we interview James Hollaman!

James Hollaman

James Hollaman and
famed director John Waters

Introduce yourself to the Mihmiverse!

Greetings to all of you in the Mihmiverse. My name is James Hollaman and I'm an artist, writer, and thinker of odd thoughts. My art work can be found on the covers of the "Bubba Chronicles" by Selina Rosen, "Marking the Signs" by Laura J. Underwood and half of the cards in the "Bubbas of the Apocalypse" card game. (My friend Sherri Dean did the other half.) My writing can be found in "Flush Fiction," "International House of Bubbas," "Houston, We Have Bubbas" and "A Bubba in Time Saves None." (All of these are available from www.yarddogpress.com.) I also did the cover and have a story in an e-book anthology called "I Didn't Quite Make It to Oz," which is avaliable through Amazon.com or Smashwords. As for odd thoughts... my mind usually is full of them. I once had a gallery showing in Oklahoma City of what I call Precocious Moments. These were Precious Moments versions of bad people and events.

When and how did you discover the films of Christopher R. Mihm?

My friends know my love for strange and bizarre movies. One of them told me about Christopher R. Mihm and all of these strange movies he was creating. I just had to see them. So when I was at a convention (OSFest in Omaha Nebraska) I saw the movies for sale in the dealer's room and picked them all up. I could not believe how great they were. These were the type of movies that I like... no, love. Since then, I have turned some of my other friends to them as well.

Which of the six released films is your favorite and why?

That's like asking a parent which child they like the best. I like all of the movies. Each one is so unique and different in its own way. That's what I like about them.

You recently became an associate producer of "House of Ghosts." Why?

I have a list of off-beat directors I like: John Waters, Ed Wood Jr. and William Castle. When I found out I could help with a movie that paid tribute to William Castle, I jumped on it. William Castle was one of the greatest showmen/directors who has ever lived. So, it was with great pride that I became an associate producer of "House of Ghosts." I know I can trust Christopher R. Mihm to do Castle proud.

Interested in becoming an associate producer? For a miniscule monetary investment, all associate producers will get their names listed in the end credits of "House of Ghosts," a pair of collector's tickets to the premiere, five copies of the film on DVD, and a frame-able certificate with their name and title—perfect for your own "wall of fame!"

Visit the merchandise page at SaintEuphoria.com, the online home of the films of Christopher R. Mihm, for more information. Who knows? Maybe next month we'll be interviewing YOU!



And now for something completely different:

In 1965, writer/director Herschel Gordon Lewis made (what he thought was) a clever little splatter film entitled "Two Thousand Maniacs."

This tarnished little gem was based on the Broadway musical "Brigadoon," with a couple of insane twists.

#1: Instead of a mythical Scottish town that appeared once every hundred years, it was a mythical American Confederate town that had been destroyed by Union troops in 1865.

#2: Instead of dedicating themselves to preserving their simple ways of life and love, the townspeople were hell bent on killing any Yankee who set foot within the city limits in the most gruesome ways possible.

These included dismembering a woman and barbecuing her remains over an open fire, tying a man's limbs to four different horses and yelling "giddyup," and...well, you get the idea.

When a couple of Yanks finally escape and contact the authorities, they return to the town only to find it has disappeared into the mist...just like "Brigadoon."

Filming took place over 15 days in a small Florida town with an unknown cast and scores of townspeople helping out. The fact that "Two Thousand Maniacs" was released during the rise of the Civil Rights Movement made it one of the most politically incorrect films of all time. But nobody seemed to care.

Of course, a movie like this needed music that fit the Civil War South, so Mr. Lewis wrote "The South's Gonna Rise Again," a bluegrass story song that was performed by the Pleasant Valley Boys in the tradition of "The Ballad of Jed Clampett" and "The Battle of New Orleans."

The banjo pickin' was pretty good, but the rest of the song...not so much.

Notes: This film was remade in 2005 with everyone's favorite Freddy: Robert Englund and titled "2001 Maniacs." The film inspired the name of the band 10,000 Maniacs.

— Mike Cook



Esperanto was invented by the Polish doctor Ludwig Lazarus Zamenhof. In the streets of his native city Bialystok it seemed to him that there were no "people," only "Russians," "Poles," "Germans" and "Jews," each with their own language, looking on the others as enemies. Zamenhof resolved to change this situation. In 1887, he published his proposed universal language to a Europe quite receptive to the idea. It was an age of reason, and many endorsed the ideal of peace and understanding. Esperanto grew rapidly, as it is quite expressive, despite being disarmingly simple. Zamenhof was not a linguist, rather he was a very practical man, and through years of testing, he hit upon a lambent balance of elegance and flexibility with a minimal grammar.

Spelling is phonetic, with one sound for each letter. Each vowel makes a syllable, and most consonants are pronounced as in English, with the accent on the second-to-last syllable. There are only five vowel sounds in Esperanto: "a" as in father; "e" as in pet; "i" as in machine; "o" as in no; "u" as in ruse. As you read further, you can now pronounce any Esperanto words that appear.

To a great extent, Esperanto grammar is intuitive. The various parts of speech are formed from any word by adding endings to the same root word. For example, all nouns end in "ľo," all adjectives end in "ľa," all adverbs end in "-e." In Esperanto "cat" is "kat-" whether used as a noun, adjective, verb, or adverb. The word "cat" is "kato," while "cat-like" (or feline) is "kata." So "in a feline manner" is "kate" (remember this is a two-syllable word like "caht-eh," accenting the "caht"). In Esperanto, once you know one word, you know dozens more, by using the the many prefixes and endings.

All verbs are conjugated in one way, and you form the basic past, present, and future tenses by adding "-is," "-as," "-os." The verb "to have" has the base "hav-," and so you get: "had = havis," "have = havas," "will have = havos." All verbs form this way; there are no irregular verbs.

Sentences may have a subject, verb, and object. Objects of the verb are made by adding "-n" after the other endings of the word. Other words in a sentence are linked together in various ways by using prepositions, as in English.

Now with some vocabulary you can start making sentences.

mi – I kat – cat est – is mal – "un" (opposite)
tio – that tag – day hav – have bon – good
pri – about, regarding salut – greeting sent – sense, feeling malbon – bad


From this simple toolbox, you can make such sentences as:



"Saluton" – "greetings"

"Bonan tagon" – "good day"

"Mi havas katon" – "I have a cat"
Mi havas malbonan senton pri tio.

"Mi havas malbonan senton pri tio."

During World War II, Esperanto was decimated in Europe by the those who considered it a language of spies, internationalists, and worse. Nevertheless, it continues to grow. In the age of the Internet you can have intelligent conversations with fellow speakers from all over the world, and they won't struggle with English grammar to answer you. The website www.lernu.net, which has over 100,000 registered members, is a place to learn and develop your knowledge of the language (as well as pick up hundreds of free electronic books in Esperanto). Big Brother does not want you to learn Esperanto, but he can't stop you.

Then, when you get your DVD of "Attack of the Moon Zombies," or "House of Ghosts," try switching on the Esperanto soundtrack and hear speakers from different countries working together without a hitch.

— George Baker



Craving chicken strips, but don't want to start the new year eating at your favorite fast food joint or bar and grill? I have a tasty recipe for you with only a faction of the calories!

Easy Chicken Strips
Easy Chicken Strips


Ingredients
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon seasoned salt
  • 1-1/4 cups crushed cornflakes
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted
  • 1-1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch strips
Directions

In a shallow bowl, combine flour and seasoned salt. Place cornflakes and butter in separate shallow bowls. Coat chicken with flour mixture, then dip in butter and coat with cornflakes.

Transfer to an ungreased baking sheet. Bake at 400° for 15-20 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink.

Yield: 6 servings.

One serving equals 281 calories. Serve with your favorite dipping sauce. Add a garden salad or a serving of veggies and you have a nice little meal. Enjoy! My family of monsters gives this dish 5 "claws" out of 5.

You can find this recipe (and many more like it) and its corresponding nutrition information on the Taste of Home website!
— Stephanie Mihm



Now through January 15

Mike Cook (Gustav/Dr. Edwards) appears in "A Very Rudyful Christmas" at the Fanny Hill Dinner Theatre.

Fanny Hill Dinner Theatre, 3919 Crescent Avenue, Eau Claire, WI
January 26 through April 1

Mike Cook (Gustav/Dr. Edwards) plays 10 characters in "Tuna Does Vegas" at the Fanny Hill Dinner Theatre.

Fanny Hill Dinner Theatre, 3919 Crescent Avenue, Eau Claire, WI
February 3

Sid Korpi (Administrator Ripley) will be speaking on "Pet Loss and the Pet Professional" at the Minnesota Veterinary Medical Association annual meeting at the Hyatt Regency-Minneapolis, 7:30–8:30AM and for the Minnesota Association of Veterinary Technicians at 9:30–10:30AM.

Hyatt Regency-Minneapolis, 1300 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis, MN
February 11 - 11:30PM (EDT)

"The Monster of Phantom Lake" screens at the first-ever Midnight Monster Movies with Dr. Bob event at the Grandview Theatre!

First 10 people in the door will get a free "The Monster of Phantom Lake" movie poster! The poster is free; admission is free. Your host, Dr. Bob, is taking time off from his experiments in the basement of the theater to present this movie to you... Let's just hope none of those experiments escape!

Grandview Theatre, 1247 Grandview Avenue, Columbus, OH
February 14 - 8:00PM (CDT)

Join Sid Korpi (Administrator Ripley) and host Janet Roper for a discussion of how to handle holidays after pet loss on Talk 2 The Animals Radio.
Starting February 18

Leigha Horton (Stephanie Yates) will be performing in the Science Musuem of Minnesota's new Real Pirates exhibition, portraying both Anne Bonney and Mary Read. The exhibit runs for roughly six months.

The Science Museum of Minnesota, 120 West Kellogg Boulevard, St. Paul, MN


Check out Deanne McDonald's (Elizabeth) very cool new website at www.deannemcdonald.com!
Mike Cook (Gustav/Dr. Edwards) plays "The Landlord" in the ongoing Sci-Fi/Fantasy web series "Forsythia." Watch the story develop at www.forsythia.tv.
Keep track of all of Sid Korpi's (Administrator Ripley) signings, interviews, 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.



"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 Lake" Collector's Edition DVDs, exclusive movie posters, patches, collectibles and other merchandise are now in stock. Everything is available in extremely limited quantities, so get yours today before they run out!
 


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