Mike “McBeardo” McPadden

Mike McPadden R.I.P. 1968-2020

I barely knew Mike McPadden outside of the world of movies, books, podcasts, and all that he contributed but I felt like he was one of the few that really was into all the decrepit and sleazy shit I was into, as well as appreciating the finer aspects of the arts within film, books, and music.

I remember that first time I saw him at the Music Box Theater as we both were attending a 24 Hour Movie Marathon. It was my first one and I remember seeing this dude with an epic battle vest filled with not metal patches but with horror and cult film patches. I was a novice. I had never seen anyone with mostly patches of horror movies. It was a whole new world opened up to me. I distinctly remember this dude as being gnarly AF.

I saw him again at the Vic Theater and just shouted out his name like a nerdy fanboy at ComicCon. He acknowledged that I recognized him and walked over to me and handed me his business card (Mr. Skin) and calmly made his exit as if I had blown his cover and he had to vacate the premises before more annoying fanboys identified him. In my mind, he was a total celebrity on the Chicago horror movie scene.

When I ran into him again, I was leaving Dimo’s Pizza and he was walking with another fellow who I recall was the artist on his HEAVY METAL MOVIES book. Introductions were made (at this point he had his publishers send me a copy of his book for review on my website) again and he basically only stopped because I was carrying 3 large pizzas and had an equally impressive battle jacket on with patches of some of my favorite metal bands. He said something like,

“You have boxes of delicious pizza in your hands and have a heavily patched denim vest of metal bands. We are kindred spirits.”

Shortly after that encounter, he messaged me on FB and asked if I was in the neighborhood (Wicker Park) because he had a giant trash bag of metal and horror shirts he thought would fit me and wanted to meet so he could give me them all. We met 10 minutes later on Milwaukee at the intersection and he pulled up with the giant said trash bag full of shirts. They all fit me. I wear them all the time. They are so metal. I thought that was quite possibly the coolest thing a celebrity (in my mind he is a fucking rockstar celebrity) had ever done for me. He gave me the fucking shirt (metaphorically of course) right off his fucking back.

The little that I knew of him still told me that this guy was a most righteous and stellar dude…and man could he write. If you haven’t read any of his books or articles over the years on the various websites and publications he has written for, it is quite a delicious literary experience. He had a way with words I could only ever aspire to use in my writing and speech. I looked up to him as an individual that made it in writing on his own terms and wrote about what he wanted to and managed to get a rad publisher like Bazillion Points to publish his epic books. He also hosted one of the few podcasts I actually listen to. I did my own podcast and actually don’t listen to many but he was everything in Crackpot Cinema I wish my podcast could have been. He reminded me how cool MAD Magazine was. He reminded me what it felt like to truly be passionate about things the general populace took for granted and he most certainly reminded me how fun it was to hear someone really hate so many films that the general masses felt were awesome. Sorry Mike, but I dig Star Wars. I actually dig a lot of movies you have nothing but vitriolic hatred for. At times, I found it unbelievable that he hated some of the films I loved so much but that is what makes personal tastes for a film so unique and splendid.

Mike will be missed. Some will remember the pandemic of 2020. Some will remember the holidays of this month. Some will remember a douchebag whose presidency ended this term and year. I will remember that 2020 sucked so much because Mike ‘McBeardo’ Padden was taken from us way too early. He had so much more joy to bring to cinephiles and film geeks around the world. And he was just a really nice guy that was really cool to me and always made some time for me when he only knew me as a big, bearded guy with horror movie tattoos and denim vests that looked like he loved a lot of the same shit that he did. I looked up to him as a writer, as a podcaster, and as a badass, die-hard cinephile and connoisseur of all the trash and filth that I was into, but elevated to a great level of respect with each new book published. I was hoping to make more room for upcoming books of his. I will cherish the books he wrote, though, forever though and try not to lament on the books he never got to write.

Rest in Power,

Mike McPadden

Please consider donating to the memorial gofundme page if you ever enjoyed his work:



black_water_abyss_key_imageSet to be released in theaters in JULY, at least in the U.K. and Ireland, and not sure when it will be out in theaters over by me in the States (but likely streaming or on VOD at some point if not home video) comes another killer croc (or alligator) film likened by the press release to fans of CRAWL (at time of press streaming on Amazon Prime USA), THE SHALLOWS (personally I really dug this sharksploitation film), and THE DESCENT (claustrophobic panic-inducing suspense and horror for this chap). Disclaimer: I am a sucker for animals on the rampage flicks and with sharks eating tasty humans as my go-to in these types of films I am finding that the members of the reptilian order Crocodylia are becoming a very close second. This may be due, in part, to them resembling dinosaurs and I really dig dinos!



The director, Andrew Traucki, also directed the original BLACK WATER (2007) (another killer croc flick), THE REEF (2010), and THE JUNGLE (2013). I recall digging his movies for what they were and hope this one delivers.

BLACK WATER: ABYSS sees adventure-seeking couple Eric (Luke Mitchell AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D.) and Jennifer (Jessica McNamee THE MEG) convincing their friends Yolanda (Amali Golden THE INVISIBLE MAN) and Viktor (Benjamin Hoetjes 10×10) to explore an uncharted cave system, in remote North Australia, with the help of the unpredictable Cash (Anthony J. Sharpe ROBERT THE BRUCE) as their guide. As a tropical storm floods the caves the adventurers are trapped in the dark recesses underground, cut off from the outside world. As the waters rise they soon realize they aren’t alone, and their desperate attempt to escape turns into a frantic man and woman versus crocodile fight for survival.



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For fans of Kaiju, not only are the movies a major passion for them but collecting the different monsters within the movies (as well as the various vehicles) in toy or model form. As many of the toys and models are Japanese and imported toys, the price tag on them can be pretty hefty and there are many companies, some better or more desirable (and collectible) than others. I know little to nothing of this world except that as much as I think the toys are completely awesome, I can’t even begin to get remotely serious about collecting them. I buy random toys here and there but I pick up so many movies, books, and forms of music all of which is physical media (LONG LIVE PHYSICAL MEDIA!) that adding a bunch of cool toys to the mix is not really feasible…until I move into a castle (or at least a bigger apartment!).

The people at Peekaboo Gallery were on hand at G-FEST XXVI and had a small room filled with a huge plethora of various toys and Kaiju collectibles, from vinyl toys to models to anything and all in-between. Some were old and some were new. Many were green, though. The big “G”, a.k.a. GODZILLA himself was the focus of this collection. I posted some photos of the cool toys, which were only a fraction of the entire auction, that Peekaboo Galleries cataloged in this excellent collector’s edition hardcover book entitled, VINYL CONFLICT: THE WORLD OF GODZILLA TOYS. This book features the Mark Livosi collection. Check out their website for info on how to join the live auction via the internet and actually be able to bid while it live-streams in real-time in August. Personally, I am very afraid of tuning in because that temptation to outbid someone and not having the moolah to pay up is too tempting a horrible fate to chance. 




Akira Takarada w: Oxygen Destroyer & translator
Akira Takarada (l) with the Oxygen Destroyer (center) & his translator (r)

The 2019 G-FEST weekend in Rosemont at the Crowne Plaza Hotel and Conference Center was, still is (Day 3 as of this post), my favorite convention with the greatest fans of kaiju and tokusatsu, specifically Godzilla. As I am writing this post via my smartphone at the convention early Sunday morning, it will be brief. In this video, actor Akira Takarada (GODZILLA 1954) walks in the conference room for his panel to a standing ovation by all gathered. It was a packed house. Kyle Yount (KAIJUCAST) conducted the interview, along with Mr. Takarada and his translator.

TRAILER: Tales of Frankenstein

unnamedPremiering in Los Angeles on October 24th, the TALES OF FRANKENSTEIN anthology will be released on DVD and VOD on October 19th. The film stars Mel Novak (Bruce Lee’s Game of Death, An Eye for an Eye opposite Chuck Norris, Samurai Cop 2: Deadly Vengeance), Jerry Lacy (TV’s Dark Shadows), Ann Robinson (War of the Worlds), Jim Tavare (Harry Potter & The Prisoner of Azkaban), T.J. Storm (Punisher: War Zone) and Len Wein (Wolverine and Swampthing creator) in his final film.

I personally find this film to be somewhat interesting to me because I have interviewed writer and director Donald F. Glut, as well as reviewed a number of his B-Films involving dinosaurs, breasts, buns, and blood. Mr. Glut also wrote the “The Empire Strikes Back” novelization, as well as the four short stories of the same name published in his book that this anthology is based upon.

Donald F. Glut
Writer/Director Donald F. Glut rocking an official SHU-IZMZ T-shirt at his home.

“My Creation, My Beloved,” (a deformed descendant of Victor Frankenstein creates the perfect man and woman), “Crawler from the Grave,” (another Frankenstein descendant’s disembodied, plague-infected arm returns from the grave for revenge), “Madhouse of Death” (a private detective winds up in an old dark house filled with loonies…and a gorilla) and “Dr. Karnstein’s Creation,” (a mad doctor creates a monster in vampire-haunted Transylvania – with gruesomely unexpected results).

This film also stars Beverly Washburn (Old Yeller), John Blyth Barrymore, Douglas Tait, Robert Axelrod (Mighty Morphin Power Rangers) and Jena Sims. The film features special make-up and effects by Emmy winner John Goodwin (CSI).

2018 marks the 200th Anniversary of Mary Shelley’s classic novel Frankenstein so the film will be released this fall to coincide with this momentous anniversary.