(Belated) BTC: 60 Years of the Wilhelm Scream

The fine people of Cinexcellence have toiled countless hours to bring us the most comprehensive compilation of “Wilhelm Screams” to date:

Even if you don’t know it by name, chances are you’ve hear the Wilhelm Scream more than once! A film/television/video game stock sound effect first used in the ’51 Western film Distant Drums (during a fatal alligator attack scene), its use has continued to grow in popularity over time. At this point, the Wilhelm Scream’s got to be of the most persistent in-jokes in pop culture history. We should all buy Ben Burtt a drink; he’s the brilliant sound designer who got into the habit of sneaking Wilhelm into various action flicks he was working on, like Star Wars and Indiana Jones.

Via Wiki:

The sound is named for Private Wilhelm, a character in The Charge at Feather River, a 1953 western in which the character is shot with an arrow. This was believed to be the third movie to use the sound effect and its first use from the Warner Brothers stock sound library.

Research by Burtt suggests that actor and singer Sheb Wooley, best known for his novelty song “Flying Purple People Eater” in 1958 and as scout Pete Nolan on the television series Rawhide, is likely to have been the voice actor who originally performed the scream. This has been supported by an interview in 2005 with Linda Dotson, Wooley’s widow. Burtt discovered records at Warner Brothers from the editor of Distant Drums including a short list of names of actors scheduled to record lines of dialogue for miscellaneous roles in the movie. Wooley played the uncredited role of Private Jessup in Distant Drums, and was one of the few actors assembled for the recording of additional vocal elements for the film. Wooley performed additional vocal elements, including the screams for a man being bitten by an alligator. Dotson confirmed that it was Wooley’s scream that had been in so many westerns, adding, “He always used to joke about how he was so great about screaming and dying in films.”

In 2010, a Wilhelm Scream App was released on the Apple iPhone. As of 2011, it is still free to download.

Screaming Private Wilhelm from The Charge at Feather River, 1953. (Third known example of the scream’s use, from whence it gets its name.)

Choice Cuts from “Night of the Lepus”

Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the Arizona desert, it’s… NIGHT OF THE LEPUS.

Bunnies have risen! (Truly, they have risen!)

MGM laid this rotten egg in 1972 to a flurry of bad reviews and barely stifled laughter. Based on the 1964 science fiction novel The Year of the Angry Rabbit by Australian pulp writer Russell Braddon, the film depicts the valiant struggle of Arizona townies who are unexpectedly forced to defend their homes against an onslaught of deadly, gargantuan, carnivorous fwuffy wuffly bunneh wabbits. Daawww:

Shot on location in Bumblefuck, Nowhere, Arizona, the best/worst scenes from Night of the Lepus show soft, cuddly domestic rabbits “rampaging” through miniature model sets with what appears to be ketchup liberally smeared on their muzzles and paws. There are also some golden moments featuring shrieking, ensanguined bunny hand puppets, and several instances of human actors dressed in matted shag-rug rabbit costumes flailing their way through poorly choreographed attack scenes. Plus? Janet Leigh reading off cue cards. And? DeForest Kelley with a sexy porn ‘stache. Yusss.

Happy Ēostre, everybody!

Rob The Rainbow And The Rainbow May Rob You

To his children everything seemed fine: chasing them around the house when he came home from work, helping them with their homework, acting out the books he read them before bed as always. His wife, on the other hand, had noticed an ever so slight change in Bill. Those nights spent reading in the living room after the children had been put to bed, in quiet co-habitation, punctuated by short bursts of conversation, a brief exchange over a particular news story or a bit of neighborhood gossip — the usual discussions that make up the mundane nights of married life — they were different. Now there was something else.

It was the silence. It had always been there, but now that silence had a strange quality, a cold weight to it. It had a density Agnes could feel pressing in on her. These moments were fleeting, but often she would look up when they occurred, only to find Bill staring off into space, at some point far outside the walls of their house. When asked if everything was alright, he would assure her that it was, flashing his goofy grin at her to drive the point home and send her back to her book.

But everything was not alright. Bill had endured the smirks and the sniggering for too long now, and it was wearing on him, eroding a great rut in his spirit. Who were these people to sneer at him? All he wanted was to make them gay and the best way he knew to do that was to clothe them in the most resplendent fabrics he could find, which he also knew, as should any fool with half a brain, came from the rainbow. What was so funny about that? What was the goddamn joke?

Maybe, he thought late at night, his wife sleeping soundly beside him, maybe they didn’t deserve to be gay. Maybe, he thought, gritting his teeth until they ached and his gums bled, maybe they didn’t deserve to be gilded in the fruits of his labor, those hours spent toiling on that fucking rainbow. Maybe, he thought, his fists clenched, a white hot fire burning in his brain right behind his eyes, maybe they don’t fucking deserve to be here on this beautiful, gay Earth at all.

And maybe he was going to do something about that.

Via Vintage Ads

Wonderful Irish Anti-Bullying PSA

Written & Directed by Anna Rodgers & Aoife Kelleher. Produced by Zlata Filipovic. (via Sarah Forrester, thanks!)

This moving short was “created as part of BeLonG To Youth Services annual Stand Up! LGBT Awareness Weeks. The campaign promotes friendship amongst young people as a way to combat homophobic bullying. For more information on the campaign please visit BeLonGTo.org.”

Bravo, BeLonGTo. You’re doing it right!

Coilhouse PDF Shop Closes Tomorrow! Last Chance.

Tomorrow, April 21st, at 11:59pm PST, our PDF Download Launch Sale concludes. Thank you to everyone who purchased a PDF of Issues 01-05 this month. The sale was a huge success for us, and we’re so grateful. Issue 06 will be bigger and better than ever because of you!

In the next few weeks, we’ll be reinstating the PDFs in our shop. However, the current special introductory price for our back issues – $5 per issue, and $20 for all five – is only available until tomorrow at midnight. We’ll post an announcement about when the PDFs will be returning to our shop, as well as what their regular price will be, in the weeks to come.

The PDF Shop is still open for a little more than 24 hours. Thank you, everyone, for your support!

Before we close the shop, one more free article for your enjoyment. This is our Neil Gaiman + Amanda Palmer interview from Issue 05:

Farewell, Elisabeth Sladen

British actress Elisabeth Sladen has died at the age of 63, after battling cancer. Sladen played Sarah Jane Smith on the cult classic BBC television series Doctor Who. Over time, her character grew to become one of the most beloved of all the Timelord’s companions.

Sladen was on a short list of people who became deeply involved with the new Doctor Who program in addition to the old one, so much so that Sladen eventually starred in a multi-season, award-winning spin-off series of her own, a program geared towards teen audiences called the Sarah Jane Adventures, which introduced a new generation of viewers to Sarah Jane and her darling robotic sidekick, K-9.

An adorable and windblown Ms. Sladen bounds through the opening credits of the 1981 pilot for a proposed BBC series, K-9 and Company. “Sometimes good television doesn’t depend on money. It depends on imagination and good people directing, casting and doing the job with talented people. Then you’re forgiven a great deal, I think, if sometimes something doesn’t look quite on the money.” ~Elisabeth Sladen

Earlier this evening, in England, Sladen’s friend and fellow Doctor Who revivalist, Russell T. Davies, paid tribute to the woman and her character in conversation with the BBC:

“We found ourselves with a new friend… as we shot that episode I remember thinking ‘I’m not letting her go’.”


The Ross Sisters: Solid Potato Salad!

Clipping via C. Presley.

Singing, healing dancing, sovaldi sale contortionist/acrobat sibling sensations of stage and screen, The Ross Sisters, Aggie and Maggie and Elmira Ross (real names: Veda, Betsy Ann and Dixie), have been internet legends for years, thanks to gunked up, third generation bootlegs of their astonishing act from the 1944 Technicolor musical, Broadway Rhythm, circulating on YouTube. But here, at last, is a crisp, clear, DVD quality upload of the girls in all of their wildly contorted, three-part-harmonized-and-grinning-all-the-while glory:

Via E. Stephen, who says, “Their facial expressions are priceless… even before they all exhibit unnervingly inhuman capabilities.”

Lucas Camargo

The draw of Lucas Camargo’s work, I think, is its density. Packed into each drawing is a cacophony of tiny details, jostling to make themselves known. They’re almost like those once ubiquitous Magic Eye images, at first they’re a mess of lines until, suddenly, their long-faced subjects unveil themselves.

Via supersonic electronic

Weegee Tells How:

Via Siege, thanks!

Arthur Fellig, better known as Weegee, was a New York city freelance news photographer from the 1930s to the 1950s. Here he talks about his career and gives advice to those wanting to become news photographers.”

Weegee’s a phonetic version of Ouija. The cigar-gnawing Fellig earned his nickname “because of his frequent, seemingly prescient arrivals at scenes only minutes after crimes, fires or other emergencies were reported to authorities.”

Crassly manipulative at times, and an unapologetic opportunist, Fellig also claimed (as heard in the interview above) to be a humanist at heart. As questionable as some of the paparazzo’s methods might have been, the human pathos of his imagery, whether it features tenement fire survivors, public drunks, murdered gangsters or smooching space cadets (seen below) is unquestionably powerful indeed.

© Weegee

Other great Weegee related stuff:

Seriously, Facebook? WTF.

EDIT: Dangerous Minds just posted an update on this story, clarifying a few things. It included this response from the Kiss-In organizer, Paul Shetler:

“Hey I just saw this. Before it goes too far, I just want people to know that FB have NOT removed the kiss-in event page; it’s still there, but _I made the event private after the event_ was over and only visible to those who had been invited as there were starting to be trolls posting abusive nonsense on it.”

(Thanks for the heads up, Kevin!)

While it’s already a well established fact that Facebook is ethically bankrupt, this particular example of arbitrary heinousness is the worst in a while. The story’s already gone viral; just doing our part to ensure it disseminates as widely as possible. Reposted verbatim from Richard Metzger over at Dangerous Minds:

This is perplexing. And annoying. And infuriating.

I woke up this morning to an email from Facebook with the subject “Facebook Warning”:


Content that you shared on Facebook has been removed because it violated Facebook’s Statement of Rights and Responsibilities. Shares that contain nudity, or any kind of graphic or sexually suggestive content, are not permitted on Facebook.

This message serves as a warning. Additional violations may result in the termination of your account. Please read the Statement of Rights and Responsibilities carefully and refrain from posting abusive material in the future. Thanks in advance for your understanding and cooperation.

The Facebook Team”

Ah… yeah… it seems that the sight of two fully-clothed men kissing was too much for Facebook, or too much for some closet-case asshole (Hi Jerry! Remind me why you and I are “friends” again? I sure didn’t ask to be yours, pal…) who complained about it. The photo appeared here on Dangerous Minds in the context of Niall’s post about the “kiss in” demonstration that was cooked up, ironically ON FACEBOOK ITSELF, in London to protest against the rude treatment two gay patrons experienced at a pub called The John Snow. The two men, Jonathan Williams, 26, and Jamie Bull, 23 were sitting in a corner kissing when the owner asked them to leave. Over 750 people signed up for the protest.

Oh, WAIT A MINUTE, I went to check on the Facebook page that organized The John Snow pub protest… and it’s gone, too.


I’ve written to Facebook asking them why this content was removed, but have at this point received no reply. I’ll update this post when I do. In the meantime, why not share this photo on FB as much as you can? I’m hoping they’ll restore the post as it was so everyone can pile on the jerk who wrote all the homophobic stuff on my FB wall. I think that’s the best outcome here, Jerry getting a taste of his own medicine…

In any case, the protest went off last night against The John Snow pub, with protesters chanting “We’re here, we’re queer and we won’t buy your beer.” You can see the BBC News report here.