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Where did Swampira come from ?

I grew up watching the films of Tim Burton and was influenced by his art. His films were a gift to the teenagers with dark emotions who did not fit in to mainstream America. As a child I loved Halloween and wished everyday we could dress up and pretend to be other people.

This love of pretend grew into a love for theatre and film. For over a decade I was able to teach students how to make costumes from different time periods.

Let's talk about monster movies !

I love Dracula,Frankenstein,King Kong and the Creature from the Black Lagoon. Modern technology has made anything possible on a movie screen but we seem to have lost the heart and soul of the monster,not to mention the FEMALE monster. Where is she in all this? I did a bit of research of female superheros but they all have big boobs and I am not sure who they were drawn for. We will discuss Wonder Woman and Catwoman in another blog post.

Where did Swampira come from ?

Just like a good cake there are numerous ingredients to this perfect storm.

1. Milicent Patrick

I was researching the Creature from the Black Lagoon and found this image.

How awesome is this!

Milicent Patrick was an actress and costumer. She performed in over twentyone motion pictures. Her real name was Mildred Elizabeth Fulvia di Rossi and and she was born an Italian baroness — the Baronesa di Polombara.

Her father was an architect and engineer of William Randolph Hearst’s Castle estate in San Simeon, California.

Milicent played a key role in the character design of the Creature of the Black Lagoon and she was asked to leave when a department head got pissed that she was given more credit than him. She was responsible for "Xenomorph for It Came from Outer Space (1953), the Gill Man (Creature from the Black Lagoon ), the Metaluna mutant for This Island Earth(1954), and was a mask maker on Abbott and Costello Meet Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1953) and The Mole People (1956)" (

This woman inspired me and I was curious about her life and what it must have been like to work in the studio system during that time making moster movies.


Looking at these Images I wondered about the Female monster left behind !

3. Maila Nurmi

There is much to say about Maila and her life. She had a second wave of fame when Tim Burton directed "ed Wood" and people learned about this movie host who dressed like morticia Addams. Malia hung out with Marlon Brando,james Dean and Elvis Presley. I wish she was alive and was on youtube. We will explore Her life more with a book report on Vampira: Dark Goddess of Horror by W. Scott Poole

Swampira was inspired by these three main ingredients; A woman Who created a monster,a Forgotten woman who hosted monster movies and the Unseen female monster counterpart.

I have many ideas,screenplays and Paintings in the works but Swampira would not let go of me. So I have given her a page to grow and explain her origin story.

"Good Night Ladies and Lizards,may your Dreams be Green with Envy of your Nightmares"....swampira

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