"There is so much writing in English on Japanese cinema that can't be accepted at face value — not because the writers are careless, but because the differences in culture and language are just too intricate. When I see August Ragone's name on a piece of writing, it gives me permission to place my faith in it completely. Among Japanese fantasy film historians, he's the best working in English." —Tim Lucas, Video Watchdog

Wednesday, January 7, 2009


UPDATES (01/25/2008): The memorial service for Bob Wilkins on Saturday, January 24th at the Montclair Presbyterian Church in Oakland was very touching and also filled with much laugher and warm remembrances of Bob. One of them was that he begrudgingly attended Sunday Services with his wife and kids, and every week, he would fill out one of the comment cards found on the pews with "Get me out of here!" Another was that Bob would clip out interesting stories from the newspaper for his kids, and add his own one-line commentaries on them; one was a crime report about a Piedmont woman whose house was egged two nights in a row. Below the story, Bob wrote, "I guess Piedmont isn't all what it's cracked up to be."

Bob's children, Nancy and Rob, gave touching and funny eulogies, as did his widow, Sally. Nancy also sang "Unforgettable" with Rob on trumpet, and there was an excellent slideshow, sprinkled with video clips, representing a slice of Bob's truly wonderful life, which Sally described as being like Bob Clark's A CHRISTMAS STORY (1983). Some family and friends — and a couple of fans — were also invited to stand up and share some memories of Bob. Sure, there was reflection, sorrow, and tears. But, there was far more laugher that day, and I'm sure that's the way Bob would have wanted it, because he always wanted to see people happy, and he always wanted to make people laugh.

But, this is certainly not the end by any means. As John Stanley opened his eulogy at the memorial, "Bob Wilkins is not dead; he's alive in all of us!" And to underline this, "Creature Features" archivist Tom Wrysch announced that were will be two public extravaganzas to celebrate Bob Wilkins, one in Sacramento and the other in San Francisco, which will be large enough to accept the throngs of Bob Wilkins fans, and will be staged in the following months. The exact dates and venues to be announced — stay tuned for more details.

In the meantime, a recently-completed documentary, WATCH HORROR FILMS: KEEP AMERICA STRONG, will be screened at WonderCon taking place at the Moscone Center in San Francisco on February 27th—March 1st, with special guests participating and sharing their memories of the late, great Bob Wilkins. This event will also double as the DVD release of WATCH HORROR FILMS, which includes hours of extras, and copies of the documentary will be available for purchase at WonderCon.

The current issue of the San Jose Metro has published a lengthy and comprehensive feature on Bob Wilkins, which is required reading for fans and those who might not know who the "Creature Features" host was, and what made him tick. The Sacramento Bee published a wonderful piece, while other Nor Cal newspapers followed suit. January 9th's San Francisco Chronicle published a long and moving tribute, while Pat Craig's piece ran in several Bay Area papers, including The San Jose Mercury News and The Contra Costa Times.

There are also stories on several Nor Cal television station websites, including KTVU-2, KTXL-40 and KXTV-10 — please check them out for rare photos and clips. What I find amazing about these news stories, are the hundreds of responses on these respective websites, an outpouring of love for our host, which is a small indication of how popular and beloved Bob Wilkins remains — 28 years after he retired from television.

The first pair on online radio tributes for Bob Wilkins took place on Saturday evening, January 10th on the Rondo-Award winning Cult Radio A Go-Go with myself, John Stanley, Mr. Lobo, and Bob's webmaster, Scott Moon. You can download and listen to the show, here: CRAGG Bob Wilkins Tribute. On Monday evening, January 12th the The Joe Flynn Show dedicated their entire show to Bob Wilkins with clips and live chat.

For more information please visit the Official Bob Wilkins website.

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