Friday, April 13, 2012


Actor James Laurenson portrayed a character called Raven the Shadmock in the 1981 horror movie The Monster Club, from the book of the same name by British writer R. Chetwynd-Hayes. The Shadmock is described by Vincent Price's character Erasmus in The Monster Club as being the lowest on the wrung of monsterdom, but possessing this power. 

The lowly Shadmock. (lower left)

What power could this possibly be inquires a curious John Carradine, who's character, the aforementioned R. Chetwynd Hayes has just voluntarily offered Erasmus a meal of his blood and been repaid by the grateful vampire with inclusion in a secret club of monsters known as (you guessed it) The Monster Club. Now, in the safety of the Monster Club, surrounded by werewolves, ghouls, zombies, and creatures too revolting for the human imagination, Vincent Price begins to tell the tale of the lowly Shadmock to Carradine. 

Raven Shadmock is a gentle enough bloke. In fact, he's downright overly polite and demure. He never leaves the confines of his estate and considers the pigeons his only friends.

One day this cat, who I have always called Figeroa although he's not listed in the credits, makes the mistake of doing this. Which angers Raven Shadmock into using his awesome monster power. A power so horrific even vampires fear it. the power to...

Whistle. That's right, Shadmock's are whistlers. One starts humming Sittin' On the Dock of the Bay and that's your ass. You don't find that frightening? Well, I know a man who saw the effects of a Shadmock's whistle once. That's all he saw. And yet. And yet...

Make it stop. I'll actually let you watch The Monster Club yourself, or read the book, to learn what happens when a Shadmock whistles.

Drawing of Raven Shadmock by artist Jenny Mathews
Buy books by Thomas L. Vaultonburg


Here are some pictures where actor James Lauresnson isn't being Shadmocky at all. In fact, Laurenson has a diverse acting career on stage and off that includes the movie The Wall and several portrayals of Shakespearean characters from Rosencrantz in Hamlet to The Earl of Westmoreland in Henry V, a role he is currently filming. I doubt actor James Laurenson gets asked about playing the only Shadmock ever filmed except by a few weirdos like me, but I wonder how he feels about the role. 

I am currently compiling a data base of men who look like Shadmocks. Currently I have only one entry, Indiana University basketball coach Tom Crean, but feel free to add to the list if you know of anyone who looks like a Shadmock in real life. 


February 11, 2013 update: With the Indiana men's basketball team seeming to possess a seemingly supernatural hold on the #1 spot in the men's rankings, one wonders if coach Tom Crean isn't doing a little whistling during games to throw off opposing players.

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1 comment:

  1. Great post. Perhaps Johnny Depp's "Barnabas" from the new "Dark Shadows" film should be Shamocked.


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