Termite Monster

Hammond Castle Museum in Magnolia has a long history of Halloween season (yes, it’s officially now a “season”) events and special programming.  This year brings a bipartite exploration of John Hays Hammond Jr.’s science-fiction stories with a comedic creature feature, a live adaptation of Hammond’s “The Termite Monster” and a correlating temporary exhibit.

The Creature Feature opens with a reading of “The Pet,” and spotlights a live adaptation of “The Termite Monster,” both of which are a part of Hammond’s collection of creative stories. “The Termite Monster!” is a sci-fi horror comedy written in the classic “B-movie” style popular in the 1950s.  It’s a tale of the brilliant-but-obsessed termite scientist, Dr. David Pius who accidentally transforms himself into the most frightening monster imaginable in an experiment gone wrong.  "A Wondrous New Species” (aka The Pet) tells the story of two intrepid explorers who discover a strange creature in the jungle.  At first intent on taking her back to their museum as a new specimen, it soon becomes clear that there is more to her than meets the eye.

The entire Creature Feature program will run approximately 45 minutes long, with three performances a night taking place inside the Museum’s Great Hall and Courtyard.  Performances began Tuesday and go through Saturday, Oct. 23.  Tickets are $18, and available online at the museum’s website along with the schedule.

In conjunction with the live performances, the museum is also running “Hammond and Horror," a temporary exhibit based on Hammond’s genre writing.  The centerpiece of the exhibit will be an animated adaptation of “The Termite Monster” in the retro, 3D movie tradition, with provided red and blue glasses.  This short, silent film will play on a loop throughout the duration of the exhibit, which runs through October 31. 

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