MONSTER! magazine has published this amazing new article about Pinup Icon JEANNE CARMEN’s exile in Scottsdale, Arizona after the death of her friend MARILYN MONROE, her return to Newport Beach, California after the death of Mob Boss SAM GIANCANA and her unlikely return to the public eye with the help of THE MONSTER OF PIEDRAS BLANCAS. LOL
To see the new article, click on the link below, then click on the magazine image on the left side and then scroll down.
And here is a transcript..
From Brandon James’ author bio at Amazon.com: “Brandon James is a graduate of the world famous USC School of Cinema Television. He has written for magazines such as Femme Fatales, Collecting Hollywood, Classic Images and The Dark Side. He also worked as a consultant on E! Entertainment Television’s TV biography Jeanne Carmen: Queen of the B-Movies fir their award-winning series The E! True Hollywood Story. In addition, Brandon has recently finished a screenplay based on Jeanne Carmen’s amazing life story. Brandon James grew up in Newport Beach, California…
Tim P. received the following much-appreciated message from Brandon via IM on Facebook on April 13, 2014
I just received my copy of Monster #2 with THE MONSTER OF PIEDRAS BLANCAS on the cover. Great Article!!! Jeanne Carmen was my Mom, so I have a special connection to TMOPB. I am always amazed at how much attention this film still gets and how many people know of it, especially considering the fact that I never saw the film or was even sure it really existed until I got of college and tracked it down. LOL
Anway, great job with the article and bringing all the collateral interest up to date by mentioning the ANGRY SAMOANS’ album and the FLIPPER episode and even the recent homage THE REDEMPTION OF THE MONSTER OF PIEDRAS BLANCAS, and even mentioning the book I wrote about my Mom, JEANNE CARMEN: MY WILD WILD LIFE AS A NEW YORK PIN UP QUEEN, TRICK SHOT GOLFER and HOLLYWOOD ACTRESS.
However, there is another piece of recent news on TMOPB i think you would like to know about. Last year, around Halloween a new commercial was released for American Standard Heating and Air that featured a clip of my Mom in THE MONSTER OF PIEDRAS BLANCAS within the commercial. The spot is still on the air in select markets across the country. It turned out really good. Here is the YouTube link:
Anyway, thought I would drop you a line and let you know how much I enjoyed the magazine.
I can’t believe TMOPB has never officialy been released on DVD. If you look at eBay, there are bootleg DVD’s of the film that sell almost every day.
Feel free to contact me if you ever need any photos or info on my Mom!
THE MOMSTER [sic!] OF PIEDRAS BLANCAS?
Okay, excuse the bad pun—absolutely no disrespect intended. I assure you!—but our sincere thanks go out to mine and Tim’s mutual Facebook friend Brandon James (son and biographer of THE MONSTER OF PIEDRAS BLANCAS’ late leading lady, actress and all-around bodacious glamor gal Jeanne Carmen) for his recent complimentary letter about our ‘zine and for kindly taking the time and effort to email MONSTER! some fabulous visual materials from the movie. Especially precious to us is the vintage MOPB-related newspaper clip reprinted hereabouts (see: “Nightmare for Horror Star – Mob Rips Her $300 Dress!) As an added bonus, Brandon was even nice enough to provide us with a high-quality scan of the original photograph which ran with said news item. Below, with his permission, we reprint his combined emails, dated May 15-16,2014:
I found it! Here is the photo with the torn dress.
Yes, this is a real photo and the incident reported in the paper is true. A horde of pre-pubescent and teenage boys rushed her and ripped her dress and pinched her butt and boobs. LOL
Ok.. the Monster of Piedras Blancas has been a fascinating strange odyssey for me. It starred my Mom JEANNE CARMEN. But I never saw the movie or was even sure it existed until I got out of college and finally tracked down a grainy VHS copy of it.
My Mom left Hollywood after Marilyn Monroe was killed and she relocated to a tiny out of the way town called Scottsdale, Arizona. Mom never really talked about her past life. I remember once, when I was in elementary school, my Mom mentioned that she had been in some Hollywood movies and asked her for a name of one of them and she said The Monster of Piedras Blancas. I had never seen or heard of it.. but.. I went with it and I mentioned it to some kids on the playground and one kid went home and told his cow poop stained cowboy boot wearing father who fancied himself an amateur film historian. the kid’s dad said he had never heard of a movie called The Monster of Piedras Blancas and therefore it must not be true and I must have made it up.. so I got jumped the next day at school and given a good work over for “making up The Monster of Piedras Blancas.” I wasn’t stupid so I decided to drop it and never mentioned The Monster of Piedras Blancas again while in school in Arizona.
Then, a few years later, after Sam Giancana was killed in outside Chicago, my Mom decided to move back to California. She still didn’t feel totally safe going back to Hollywood so she moved to a small little beach town called Newport Beach about an hours drive south of Los Angeles. That is where I went high school. it was a town filled with rich kids and surfer dudes. LOL Again, any time I dared mention a movie called The Monster of Piedras Blancas I was greeted with with dumbfounded looks, smirks and guffaws at such a funny name for a movie. At the time, the kids in my high school seemed to think Piedras Blancas was some kind of a made up name. No one seemed to realize it was just two spanish words that meant white rocks in english. LOL Again, I just dropped it and never mentioned it again through my high school years.
Then, after high school, in the mid 80’s I was at a big record store in Costa Mesa called The Music Market. it was huge and they specialized in used vinyl records. So one day I was there with my Mom and we were flipping through the records and I came across a punk album called by the ANGRY SAMOANS called Back From Samoa. the album cover had a really creepy photo of a Monster holding a severed head so i pulled it out and I said “Hey Mom, check this out” and I started laughing. She immediately said “Oh my God, that’s the monster from my movie.” So i said “What?” and she said “Yeah, that’s the Monster of Piedras Blancas.” That was the first image I ever saw from MOPB. I was still a little incredulous so I looked over the album front and back looking for a photo credit identifying the image. There was none. I had such a hard time over the years with this movie that I wanted a little more proof so we went up to the young guy working behind the counter who looked and sounded like Jeff Spicoli from Fast Times at Ridgemont High. I asked the guy “Is the image on this album from a movie called The Monster of Piedras Blancas.” The guy looked at me and my Mom with and started to guffaw and with a smirk he said “The Monster of what?.. are you guys fucking with me?” Getting the same reaction I had always gotten I decided to drop it. So then I kind of wanted to buy the album anyway so I asked “Can you tell me about this band?” and the guy said “That’s a bunch of crap. You don’t want to buy that.” then he said if i wanted to hear some great punk music I should buy some albums from a local punk band called the “BUTTHOLE SURFERS.” LOL this time my Mom and I laughed and we decided to pass on the suggestion and I passed on The Angry Samoan album. As we were leaving, I said, “You see Mom, that’s the reaction i always get.” She just shrugged and said “Sorry, but that was the Monster from my movie.” At the time, my Mom had a really cool little red convertible Mercedes Benz and as we drove away we saw the record clerk standing out in front of the store with his hands on his hips and staring at us with a silly grin on his face. We just waved and he just stood there staring until we pulled out of the parking lot.
So a few years later, I was attending USC Film School in Los Angeles and I still didn’t mention The Monster of Piedras Blancas to anyone because I was afraid of the reaction. And.. as it turned out.. a fan magazine called FILMFAX did a cover story on The Monster of Piedras Blancas while i was sitting in class in film school a couple miles away and I missed it. A few years later when I stumbled upon the magazine they mentioned that Jeanne Carmen was not interviewed because no one knew what had become of her. LOL
Then a short time later, my Mom went to a celebrity party in Los Angeles, and she went with her old friend Mamie Van Doren who she had starred with in Untamed Youth. Mamie also lived in Newport Beach at the time. Mamie wanted to look cool driving up to the house in Beverly Hills so my Mom let her drive her Mercedes. Mamie was driving, her husband Tom was in the passenger seat and my Mom was in the back seat. As they pulled up a fan broke out from the crowd and started running alongside the car. Mamie assumed the guy was a fan of hers and she parked and got out expecting to sign an autograph.. but instead… the guy said looked at my Mom as she got out and said “Miss Carmen, I’m a big fan of The Monster of Piedras Blancas” and I would be honored if you would sign some of these ” and he handed her some photo stills from MOPB. Mamie was stunned and she said to her husband “Tom, does she know him?” And Tom said, “I don’t think so.” Mamie was astounded and never really got over it because up until then, Mamie had always considered herself the BIG STAR and my Mom the little star. LOL
My Mom came home that night and told me what happened and that’s when I went all out and did a lot of tedious research and tracked down the grainy copy of MOPB and all her other movies and thousands of photo’s and magazine covers. And it took off from there. Ultimately, the E! Channel did a TV bio on my Mom called Jeanne Carmen: Queen of the B-Movies and the show opens with the MOPB crashing through the door in her apartment and scaring her as she lets out a scream.
and now, all these years later, the MOPB is being featured in a national commercial in which a couple that enjoys vintage pinup and monster movies has a date night at their house and they watch an old monster movie called The Monster of Piedras Blancas on TV. LOL
What a strange, fascinating journey, How weird!…. no… How cool is that.
Ok. I have to fit in one more piece of trivia that i think is fascinating about the actual shooting of MOPB. In the climactic scene in the lighthouse stairwell, the MOPB ascends the stairs and then slams his shoulder against the door from the inside the stairwell. In the movie, the MOPB is very lethargic at this point and can barely raise his arms as it pushes on the door with it’s shoulder. Then they cut to the townfolks down below and then they cut back to the outside of the lighthouse and the MOPB suddenly crashes through the door and screams and has his arms above his head. The MOPB is suddenly infused with energy and is jumping around like he just had a shot of adrenaline.
the reason for all of this, my Mom told me, is that the guy in the suit, Pete Dunn became so exhausted in the suit that he almost passed out on the top of the inner stairwell. they had to stop filming and bring Pete down to the ground and take him out of the suit and revive him. Pete couldn’t do any more. He was done. The crew was on limited time shooting at the Lighthouse and they knew they would never be allowed back in if they didn’t get the shot right then. So my Mom’s press agent at the time, a guy named Joe Seide, voluneered to get in the suit. Joe was a big guy and a fighter and a guy with ties to the Mafia and real “nut” as my Mom described him. the producers had no choice, they let Joe get in the suit and he is the guy in the suit that crashed through the lighthouse door and goes out on the ledge and fights with Don Sullivan. LOL
Here are a couple of commercials my Mom was featured in after the E! True Hollywood Story was filmed.
Pacific Bell Campfire
Pacific Bell Realtor
NOTE: There are numerous other clips of Jeanne Carmen up for view on YouTube, so by all means type her name into the search box there and see what you can turn up: there are plenty of links to choose from!