Creature Feature Genius Dies

Posted by: Loren Coleman on August 3rd, 2006

Edwin Tobolowsky

The above creature was last seen on drive-in screens in the film Zontar, the Thing From Venus.

Movie producer Edwin Tobolowsky, 86, died on July 29, 2006. He was well-known for his involvement in motion pictures dealing with creatures based very loosely, in some cases, on cryptozoological themes or "cryptozoocinema."

Edwin Tobolowsky Edwin Tobolowsky

Above is the ancient thing from Creature of Destruction. The sci-fi movie concerns a mad stage hypnotist Dr. John Basso who “reverts” his beautiful assistant Doreena into the physical form of a prehistoric sea monster “she was in a past life.”

Edwin Tobolowsky

The plot for Curse of the Swamp Creature takes place "deep in the rural swamps of Texas" where "the mad Dr. Simond Trent is conducting experiments on the local swamp people in an attempt to discover the secret of evolution. When a party of oil surveyors comes upon his isolated laboratory he decides to take the final step and turn one of them into a grotesque amphibious creature."

Now we know that happens all the time in Texas, don’t we?

Tobolowsky was born on February 16, 1920, attended the University of Texas, and received his law degree from Southern Methodist University in 1943.

As a plaintiff’s antitrust and business litigator, Tobolowsky championed the rights of theater owners and small businesses all over the country. In a legal career spanning more than fifty years, he had many shining moments, including successfully challenging the 1960 Dallas movie classification ordinance in the U.S. Supreme Court. In the course of his work, Edwin Tobolowsky became involved in the movie business himself. As Executive Producer for Azalea Films, Tobolowsky helped give the world such film classics as Mars Needs Women and Zontar, the Thing From Venus.

As a producer, Edwin Tobolowsky’s filmography, according to the Internet Movie Database, spanned the years 1965 to 1969. The movies he produced are: ‘It’s Alive!’ (1969) Hell Raiders (1968) Creature of Destruction (1967) In the Year 2889 (1967) Mars Needs Women (1967) Curse of the Swamp Creature (1966) Zontar the Thing from Venus (1966) The Eye Creatures (1965) a/k/a Attack of the the Eye Creatures

Edwin Tobolowsky

Above: One of the creatures from The Eye Creatures attacks the archetypical lover’s lane couple (or their stand-ins) who were found commonly throughout most of America during the summer months of the late 1940s into the 1960s. However, the “lover’s lane Homo sapiens” are a dying breed, rarely seen today.

Edwin Tobolowsky’s connection to Mothman movies is unclear, at this writing, but I am certain Cryptomundo readers will help find the link.

Loren Coleman About Loren Coleman
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading living cryptozoologist. Certainly, he is acknowledged as the current living American researcher and writer who has most popularized cryptozoology in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Starting his fieldwork and investigations in 1960, after traveling and trekking extensively in pursuit of cryptozoological mysteries, Coleman began writing to share his experiences in 1969. An honorary member of Ivan T. Sanderson’s Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained in the 1970s, Coleman has been bestowed with similar honorary memberships of the North Idaho College Cryptozoology Club in 1983, and in subsequent years, that of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, CryptoSafari International, and other international organizations. He was also a Life Member and Benefactor of the International Society of Cryptozoology (now-defunct). Loren Coleman’s daily blog, as a member of the Cryptomundo Team, served as an ongoing avenue of communication for the ever-growing body of cryptozoo news from 2005 through 2013. He returned as an infrequent contributor beginning Halloween week of 2015. Coleman is the founder in 2003, and current director of the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine.

7 Responses to “Creature Feature Genius Dies”

  1. shumway10973 responds:

    That’s too bad. condolences to family and friends. You know, as corny as those were, at the time they weren’t half bad. After all Ed Wood was making films during that same era and his were horrible, yet all these are considered classics (some may even be cult classics). Could we maybe see these as a dvd pack? I just can’t help myself, doesn’t that thing from The Eye Creatures look something like a mummy? Now I see why everyone from that generation was so enamored with Star Wars, which the original release of New Hope or IV really looks almost as bad as some of these mentioned above.

  2. harleyb responds:

    I’d like to get those classics and how many mothman related movies were made ever? anybody?

  3. twblack responds:

    Sad News

  4. jjames1 responds:

    Edwin Tobolowsky was the associate producer on “Curse of the Swamp Creature,” which starred Francine York. York was in “Family Man” with David Eigenberg…who was in “The Mothman Prophecies.”

    There’s your connection, Loren. 🙂

  5. oldbutnotstupid responds:

    I still like those old creature flicks better then the new computer generated stuff.

  6. Tobar responds:

    Wow the Creature of Destruction sounds like a direct ripoff of the She Creature. Anyway, it’s a shame he died. I LOVE B-movies. =(

  7. kaiju responds:

    It wasn’t so much a rip off as a remake. Larry Buchanan, the director, was given the rights to remake several of AIPs classics for the direct to TV market. EYE CREATURES was a remake of INVASION OF THE SAUCER MEN and ZONTAR was a remake of IT CONQUERED THE WORLD.

    All are pretty terrible but now that I’m working in low (ok, actually it’s “no”) budget filmmaking I can appreciate the effort that goes into even the most marginal film.

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