The 1956 production of “The Mole People” was directed by veteran Universal editor-turned-director Virgil Vogel. Vogel’s other Universal feature productions include “The Land Unknown” (1957, with Jock Mahoney, Shawn Smith, William Reynolds, Henry Brandon, Douglas Kennedy and Phil Harvey) and the finale feature in Universal’s “Ma and Pa Kettle” comedy series (sans Percy Kilbride), “The Kettles on Old MacDonald’s Farm” (1957, with Marjorie Main, Parker Fennelly, Gloria Talbott and a young Claude Akins). The screenplay for Vogel’s 1956 Universal creature production was written by veteran screenwriter László Görög. “The Mole People” was produced by veteran Universal feature film producer William Alland and was filmed over a brief timeframe of 17 days, according to IMDB.
This will mark Sven’s eighth big broadcast of “The Mole People” (1956) on Me-TV. He previously aired Virgil Vogel’s classic Universal sci-fi creature/fantasy-thriller masterpiece back in Oct. 2011*, March 2012*, Sept. 2012*, April 2013, Jan. 2014, Dec. 2015 and June 2018.
Who was in Virgil Vogel’s Universal creature production of “The Mole People?”
The players who appeared in “The Mole People” were John Agar (as Dr. Roger Bentley, Agar also appeared in Jack Arnold’s 1955 Universal monster sequel to “Creature From the Black Lagoon,” “Revenge of the Creature” and in Arnold’s 1955 Universal arachnid-monster production of “Tarantula!”), Cynthia Patrick (as Adad/Adel, Patrick appeared in an uncredited role in Valentine Davies’ 1956 Universal biopic of bandleader Benny Goodman with Steve Allen and Donna Reed; “The Benny Goodman Story”), Hugh Beaumont (as Dr. Jud Bellamin, Beaumont went onto greater fame for his role of Ward Cleaver in the 1957-63 sitcom; “Leave It to Beaver” with Barbara Billingsley, Tony Dow and Jerry Mathers), Alan Napier (as the High Priest Elinu, Napier went onto greater fame during the latter part of his career in the role of butler Alfred Pennyworth in the 1966-68 “Batman” live-action TV series with Adam West and Burt Ward), Nestor Paiva (as Prof. Etienne Lafarge, Paiva previously played the role of Lucas in Jack Arnold’s Universal productions of “Creature From the Black Lagoon” in 1954 and “Revenge of the Creature” in 1955), Rodd Redwing (as Nazar), Robin Hughes (as a first officer), Dr. Frank C. Baxter as himself (Baxter was a professor of English literature at the University of Southern California and was nicknamed “Dr. Research” for his appearances in the Bell System’s series of educational science films), Phil Chambers (as Dr. Paul Stuart), and the “Mole People” creature ensemble of Bob Herron, Bob Hoy, Joe Rubino and Eddie Parker.
Vogel’s directorial debut
According to the American Film Institute’s article on the 1956 production of “The Mole People,” this marked the directorial film debut for Virgil Vogel.
A distinct feature for the “Mole” creature costume design
According to additional information on IMDB’s trivia section, the “bumps” for the “Mole” creature costume design were stuffed with old newspaper material on the backs of the actors who wore the “Mole” costume. The mask for the Universal “Mole” monster creature in “The Mole People” was designed by veteran studio make-up technician Jack Kevan with veteran make-up artist Bud Westmore.
“The Mole People: with two different theatrical aspect ratios
Virgil Vogel’s Universal creature production of “The Mole People” was known to have two different aspect ratios for exhibition, according to additional details from Shout! Factory for the 2019 Blu-Ray disc release of Vogel’s 1956 film. The 1.85:1 widescreen aspect ratio format and the 2:1 aspect ratio format, a.k.a. “SuperScope” (later re-badged as 2.00:1) were utilized for screening Vogel’s 1956 creature feature.
Both widescreen formats were developed by Universal Studios technicians (1.85:1 was used for studio dailies/production review screenings, 2:1 was used for studio executive screenings), according to film preservationist Bob Furmanek and his 3-D Film Archive.
Released theatrically as a double-feature presentation with another Universal creature/monster thriller
According to an original 1956 Universal exhibitors’ ad, the studio released Vogel’s production of “The Mole People” with Curt Siodmak’s Universal creature-monster production of “Curucu, Beast of the Amazon” (1956, with John Bromfield, Beverly Garland, Tom Payne, Beverly Garland, Luz del Fuego and Larri Thomas).
Riffed on “Mystery Science Theater 3000”
According to MST3K Info/Satellite News, Vogel’s 1956 Universal creature production of “The Mole People” was riffed on “Mystery Science Theater 3000;” which was telecast on the Sci-Fi Channel (pre-SyFy) on Feb. 15, 1997 (with host Mike Nelson, the vocal stylings of Bill Corbett as Crow T. Robot, the vocal stylings of Kevin Murphy as Tom Servo, Mary Jo Pehl as evil overlord Pearl Forrester and Kevin Murphy as Prof. Bobo).
Be sure to watch “Svengoolie” and his big broadcast of “The Mole People” (1956), this Sat. on Me-TV!
With John Agar, Cynthia Patrick, Hugh Beaumont, Alan Napier, Nestor Paiva, Rodd Redwing, Robin Hughes, Dr. Frank Baxter/”Dr. Research,” Phil Chambers and the “Mole” creature-monster ensemble Bob Herron, Bob Hoy, Joe Rubino and Eddie Parker; you will not want to miss out on Svengoolie’s big broadcast of Virgil Vogel’s “The Mole People” (1956); this Sat. on Me-TV! A perfect creature feature treat for the entire crowd of fellow super SvenPals and Universal monster/creature feature aficionados everywhere with Sven’s extra fun facts, Doug Graves’ evening parody tune and Kerwyn’s “mail call” segment! And Sven’s upcoming big broadcast of “The Mole People” will air on the 23rd anniversary date of the “Mystery Science Theater” version of “The Mole People” (Feb. 15)! You will not be disappointed! Highly recommended!
*Before Me-TV came into the Washington/Frederick area (Me-TV came into the Washington/Frederick broadcast region in early 2013; originally on WJLA-TV and then moved to Fox O&O WTTG-5 in March 2017). -C.H.
In the Frederick, Maryland/Washington, D.C. area: WTTG-5.3/Cable 196/FiOS 489/Antietam Cable 194 (also on QAM digital 68.6 for Antietam cable subscribers)
In the Baltimore, Maryland area: WBAL-TV 11.2/Cable 208/FiOS 460
In the Hanover/Gettysburg/York, Pennsylvania area: WGAL-TV 8.2/Cable 248/FiOS 460
Live-tweet (via Twitter) with all fellow super SvenPals everywhere during #Svengoolie’s big broadcast of “The Mole People” (1956), this Sat. on Me-TV!
Extra! Extra! Extra! To fellow super SvenPals who have not voted yet in the 18th annual Rondo Awards, you still have plenty of time! Official voting for the 18th annual “Rondo Hatton Classic Horror Awards” is open from now until Sun. March 29! Again (to those who have not voted in the Rondo Awards yet), be sure to vote for Svengoolie in the category of “favorite horror host” and be sure to vote for Svengoolie’s City of Chicago honor for his 40th anniversary in 2019 under the category of “Top Event of 2019” on the official online Rondo ballot! To enter, follow all directions on the official Rondo Awards website, vote for Sven for “favorite horror host” and look at all of the other categories for the official Rondo Awards contest! Voting is open until Sun., March 29! Numerous fellow super SvenPals from coast-to-coast, including the writer/author of this blog have entered! Again, to our fellow super SvenPals who have not entered yet, be sure to enter, vote for Sven & look at the other Rondo categories! Follow all directions and enter your Rondo Awards online ballot to the webmaster (instructions are on the official Rondo Site) before Sun., March 29! –C.H.
Extra! Extra! Extra! According to Svengoolie’s official Twitter site, a new official Sven item will be coming soon to the official Sven/Me-TV online store! Stay tuned for additional developments! And to quote the official Sven/Me-TV online store motto, “no personal checks!” And only purchase authentic Sven items through the official Sven/Me-TV online store! –C.H.
Extra! Extra! Extra! Fellow super Svengoolie SvenPals of Berwyn/Chicago and beyond!
Extra! Extra! Extra! Svengoolie will be returning to the Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo (C2E2) festival for his upcoming appearance at the C2E2 2020 festival! According to Sven’s official Twitter site and the official C2E2 Twitter site, Svengoolie’s appearance at the 2020 Chicago Comic and Entertainment Exposition (C2E2) festival on Sat., Feb. 29 at 12:30 p.m. (local time) in room S504 (at the South Building at McCormick Place; 2301 S. Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, Illinois 60601)! Additional details and ticket information are available on the official website of the C2E2 exposition. Be sure to purchase your tickets and make immediate plans for Sven’s upcoming 2020 C2E2 event, according to Sven’s official Twitter site!
Extra! Extra! Extra! Again, there’s more! Tickets are still available for the upcoming May 2, 2020 WDCB “Those Were the Days” 50th anniversary big Chicago vintage radio broadcast celebration with appearances by Sven’s alter-ego, Mr. Rich Koz; current “Those Were the Days” host/ Nostalgia Digest” publisher Steve Darnall, original host of “Those Were The Days” Chuck Schaden, Trace Beaulieu of MST3K and “The Mads!” fame, Kevin Murphy of MST3K and “RiffTrax” fame, actress Patty McCormack of “The Bad Seed” fame; “Those Were the Days” announcer Ken Alexander, actor/writer Scott Lowell of Binge Networks’ “Adoptable” fame, Tim Kazurinsky of “Saturday Night Live” fame (1981-85) plus live music by the Dooley Brothers and the West End Jazz Band! Remaining tickets are still available for purchase through WDCB’s official website via the official Eventbrite platform! Purchase your tickets today! Note: Ticket prices for the event are $50. The 50th anniversary celebration of “Those Were the Days” will take place on Sat., May 2, 2020 at the Irish American Heritage Center (4626 N. Knox Ave, Chicago, Illinois 60630) from 1 p.m.-5 p.m. (local time)! Again, to all fellow super Svengoolie SvenPals in the greater Berwyn/Chicago region and beyond, have fun seeing Sven during his upcoming Chicago 2020 C2E2 event and Sven/Mr. Rich Koz’s May appearance for the 50th anniversary of “Those Were the Days!” –C.H.
Extra! Extra! Extra! Fellow super jammers and fellow super SvenPals everywhere are jumping for joy this upcoming Sat. morning for the return of fellow super Svengoolie SvenPal Jamie Lee and her Sat. morning WNUR/Northwestern University radio program/jam session serenade/cavalcade, “Jammin’ with Jamie!” Jam along twith Jamie and the big broadcast jam session cavalcade/serenade return of “Jammin’ with Jamie” with Valentine’s/post-Valentine’s songs this upcoming Sat. morning, Feb. 15 at 6 a.m. Central/7 a.m. Eastern on the airlanes of WNUR 89.3 FM/WNUR 89.3-HD1 in the greater Evanston/Berwyn/Chicago listening area, WNUR.org and/or WNUR’s live simulcast on the TuneIn platform from coast-to-coast, around the world and throughout the universe! Stay tuned to Jamie’s official Twitter site and Jamie’s official site for additional details on the Valentine’s/post-Valentine’s “Jammin’ with Jamie” big broadcast jam session serenade theme! And again, if you have a favorite Valentine’s/post-Valentine’s or similar tune request for Jamie’s portfolio of jams for her upcoming “Jammin’ with Jamie” big broadcast jam session cavalcade/serenade for Sat., Feb. 15; be sure to send in your song nomination/request to Jamie’s official Twitter site or Jamie’s official website before Sat., Feb. 15!
The entire crowd of fellow super jammers and fellow super SvenPals are looking forward and jumping for joy for the upcoming big broadcast jam session cavalcade/serenade return of “Jammin’ with Jamie” this Sat. on the airlanes of WNUR.org, Jamie! And again, happy early Valentine’s/”Dracula Day” (in commemoration of the original theatrical release day of the Tod Browning’s Universal monster adaptation masterpiece of “Dracula” w/Bela Lugosi on Feb. 14, 1931) and all Feb. holiday/celebration observances to Jamie & the entire crowd of fellow super jammers and fellow super SvenPals everywhere! Again, keep up the wonderful and excellent work! All of us proud of you! Congrats peace, kudos, “Hi-Keeba,” three cheers and two thumbs up to Jamie and the entire crowd of fellow super SvenPals and fellow super jammers everywhere! –C.H.
In connection to “The Mole People” (1956):
“The Mole People” (1956) is also available on Blu-Ray disc with a new High-Definition transfer (with the “Mystery Science Theater 3000” edition of Virgil Vogel’s 1956 Universal sci-fi creature/monster production, included as a bonus) from Shout! Factory and their “Scream Factory” imprint (by arrangement with Universal Studios). “The Mole People” is also available on DVD (manufactured-on-demand) as part of Universal’s “vault series” of rare feature films and TV programs. Vogel’s 1956 creature feature is also available in Universal’s multi-film sci-fi monster/creature anthology DVD set, “The Classic Sci-Fi Ultimate Collection.”
The “Mystery Science Theater 3000” (MST3K) version of “The Mole People” (1956) is available to watch for free on Shout! Factory’s official MST3K YouTube channel. The MST3K edition of “The Mole People” is also available on Shout’s MST3K DVD box set, “Mystery Science Theater 3000: Volume XXVI” (by arrangement with Universal Studios).
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