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Win this old Charlton contest and be magically whisked away to watch a movie that was never made not be filmed!

March 15, 2014

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Many times you flip through an early 1960s Charlton mag and come across the ad above, for a contest that would maybe, just maybe send you to Hollywood to see an actual honest to goodness movie being filmed. Which sounds great. Hollywood! Stars! Tinseltown! Science-fiction movies! Every young boy’s dream!

That is, just so long as the movie gets made.Off on a Comet, one of the many works from the godfather of literate science-fiction, Jules Verne, was supposed to go in front of cameras back in 1962 — another product of American International Pictures, noted purveyors of schlock and low-budget matinée fare (including much of the Roger Corman repertoire). But the source material had been adapted loosely — and I mean loosely — in the previous year’s Valley of the Dragons. Which would have rendered the AIP product redundant. D’oh!

Or maybe AIP couldn’t scrape together the usual twenty dollars and a case of beer they usually budgeted for their films. Whatever.

My belated entry in the above contest? I’d name my comet “Crushing Disappointment.” My fifteen words or less reason? “Because that’s what you made me feel, American International Pictures and Charlton Comics.”

Anyway — no movie, no grand prize, no trip. But fear not, there were consolation prizes, found on the second page of this luxurious ad spread — though who the hell knows if they were even awarded:

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Okay, the movie camera would be nice. But getting “Glitter Magic” is the stuff of which lifelong vendettas are made.

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