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Thrill to ‘The Occult Files of Doctor Spektor,’ forgotten comic book hero

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#7 April 1974.
 
Excuse me while I drool. I know it’s not polite but really what else can I do? Having missed out on this classic comic book horror series The Occult Files of Doctor Spektor the first time around, I really don’t have much choice. You see, being landlocked on a distant island far, far off the coast of America, Doctor Spektor never made house calls to my neighborhood comic book emporium in Edinburgh or even Glasgow. There were lots of Spideys and Hulks and Avengers but much less of my preferred taste in the Boris Karloff’s or even the Cryptkeeper’s ghoulish delights to keep my boyhood imagination suitably fevered.

And look what I missed….

The Occult Files of Doctor Spektor was the brainchild of one Donald F. Glut—a whizzkid filmmaker who made a total of 41 amateur movies during his teens and early twenties. These mini-movies featured “dinosaurs, the Frankenstein Monster, teenage monsters, Superman and other superheroes”—basically anything that took his fancy. Though none of these films were blessed with any real script they did achieve enough “notoriety”—mainly through the pages of Famous Monster of Filmland—to allow Glut to rope in actors like Glenn Strange—the man who filled the Frankenstein’s monster’s boots after Boris Karloff moved on—to take part on his features. Strange starred as (who else?) the Frankenstein Monster in Glut’s The Adventures of the Spirit in 1963.

Glut’s last amateur film was his take on Spider-Man in 1969 which was a seriously loopy Ed Wood-like film.

But anyhow….

His apprenticeship in home movies earned him a career as a scriptwriter for film and TV. He wrote novelizations of films, too—most notably for Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back. He also wrote storylines for comic books like Marvel’s Captain America (1978) and X-Men Adventures (1993) as well as DC’s House of Mystery (1974-81) among many, many other titles. Since the mid-1990s, Glut has been carving a niche as a writer/director of exploitation horror films like The Erotic Rites of Countess Dracula (2001), Countess Dracula’s Blood Orgy (2004) and most recently Dances with Werewolves (2016).

But we don’t need to know that. What we do need to know is that Glut created the sophisticated Doctor Adam Spektor—occult detective and monster hunter. (Imagine having that on your business card…) Spektor along with his Native American assistant Lakota Rainflower investigated strange goings on in the weird and terrifying supernatural world of vampires, werewolves, ancient curses and swamp creatures.

Now having just about caught up with—or rather having enjoyed a prescription of—Doctor Spektor’s marvellously thrilling adventures I just wanted to share my enthusiasm for Glut and artist Jesse Santos’ work. Look at these covers—just look at ‘em. They are awesome, aren’t they?

The Occult Files of Doctor Spektor ran from May 1973 to February 1977. And while there has been a pale reboot since, here’s a gallery of Santos’ excellent cover art for Glut’s debonair hero who almost manages to make wearing a bolo tie and a goatee beard seem cool.
 
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#9 August 1974.
 
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#23 December 1976.
 
More fabulous covers, after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Spider-Man meets Ed Wood in this loopy amateur fan film from 1969
01.30.2014
02:00 pm

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Movies
Pop Culture

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Donald F. Glut
Spider-Man


 
According to his Wikipedia page, Donald F. Glut is “an American writer, motion picture director, screenwriter, amateur paleontologist, musician and actor.” To that I would add “fanboy extraordinaire” (Pushing 70, Glut is now a respected elder fanman among the ComicCon set). His most notable work was the novelization of The Empire Strikes Back in 1980.

Glut became known to readers of Forrest J Ackerman’s Famous Monsters of Filmland magazine for the amateur films he made between 1953 and 1969—41 in total—many including unauthorized stories starring Superman, Spider-Man, Frankenstein’s monster and Will Eisner’s masked crimebuster, The Spirit.

Glut’s 1969 Spider-Man movie—which has a super-villain called “Dr. Lightning” not seen in the Marvel comic—was his final amateur film. It is considered, historically speaking, to be the very first Spider-Man fan film, and indeed the first live action attempt to put the character onscreen.

A 2-DVD set of all 41 of Donald F. Glut’s amateur films called I Was A Teenage Moviemaker was released in 2006.
 

Glut on set
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment