Notes and Comments

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but... true cheepnis is exemplified by visible
nylon strings attached to the jaw of a giant spider...
I tell you, a good one that I saw one time...
I think the name of the film was "It Conquered The World"
From: demery <demery>
  Roger Corman's 1956 SF-classic movie [with Peter Graves & Lee Van Cleef]
From: Ulrich Mrosek
  I got a copy of IT CONQUERED THE WORLD and yes I saw the monster that looked like an inverted icecream cone....but the scene FZ described on ROXY (Monster comin out of the cave) doesn't contain the CHEEP stuff he it possible that my copy got cut...or is anybody able to confirm Frank's story--??
From: Patrick Neve (
  This has come up before, and there were a couple of theories. One was that Frank was taking some artistic license from a movie he might not have remembered as well as he thought, so as to more accurately describe his notion of Cheepnis.
  Another possibility is that the film was panned and scanned for video release, losing some of those important little details around the edges of the picture. Critics of this theory say that most movies in the 1950's were shot in a screen ratio comparable to today's tv screen ratio. So, not until someone comes forward who has seen it on the big screen at the drive-in will we know for sure. One thing is for sure, that sure is a cheap monster.
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... and... uh... Did you ever seen that one?
The monster looks sort like an inverted ice-cream
cone with teeth around the bottom... it... it's like a...
like a teepee or... sort of a rounded off
pup tent affair...
From: Vladimir Sovetov <>
  Simon Prentis once suggested (in one of his letters to me) that this "pup tent affair" could provide some movie clue to the mystery of Pup Tentacle from Apostrophe(') Excentrifugal Forz.
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and then... obviously off camera somebody's going:
"No, get it back!" and they
drag it back just a little bit as the guy's going:
KCH! KCH!" Now that's cheepnis...
awright... and this is Cheepnis here...
One, two, three, four
From: (Sam &/or Karen Rouse)
  That noise is the classic imitation of a small firearm (the guy with the little pistol, trying to drive the monster back) as rendered by kids playing cops & robbers, cowboys & Indians, or whatever, probably since the days firearms became commonplace.
  I've seen the movie on TV a couple of times and have looked for that, to no availl. It may have been cropped in formatting for television, but there were a lot of films from that period that were shot in an aspect ratio that's actually pretty close to TV - so I suspect it was pretty minimally seen even in the theater. Contrast also suffers on TV relative to the big screen, so it's also possible that it's lost in shadow. It's also very possible that Frank was taking a bit of creative license & combining memories of more than one movie - the scene described where the lady "falls down & twists her ankle" while the guy with the pistol is going "KRGGGG, KRGGGG" doesn't really happen, either.
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Little Miss Muffett on a squat by me, yeah
Took a turn around, I said: Can y'all see now?
The little strings on the Giant Spider?"
From: (Biffyshrew)
  She is a character in a very well-known nursery rhyme:
Little Miss Muffet sat on a tuffet
Eating her curds and whey
Along came a spider and sat down beside her
And frightened Miss Muffet away.
  The relevance to "Cheepnis" is in the scary spider, and possibly also that she's "in a squat" on that tuffet. (A tuffet is a mound or hillock, but my dictionary claims that the use of the word in this rhyme is "of doubtful meaning." I think the word sounds like it oughta mean a SOFA cushion.)
From: D Lavallee)
  A young girl sits down on a pile of grass eating a cheese-like substance. A spider shows up. Young girl runs.
  This may show up in Cheepnis because of the spider reference, as well as to make Cheepnis sound like a fairy tale or something. Its presence in the TV show is a mystery to me.
From: (Nick )
  In my house growing up (an English household, FWIW) a tuffet was the same as what was called a hassock here in America. For those under 30 who cannot remember a day before recliners, this is the footrest object which sits in front of an upholstered or leather chair, matching its appearance. There's probably a more common name that I'm not thinking of at the moment.
  Actually curds and whey are created in butter churning. She was probably eating a bowl of pre-butter: curds of thick cream in buttermilk. [And me with a lactose intolerance!]
From: AJ Wilkes <>
  We called that a 'poof' [rhymes with 'who-ff'] or 'pooffet' or something like that.
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The Zipper From The Black Lagoon?
The vents by the tanks where the bubbles go up?
(And the flaps on the side of the moon)
From: Patrick Neve <>
  Just pointing out that the zipper on the monster suit is showing.
From: Michael Pierry <>
  The line about the zipper is when you can see the zipper on the rubber suit being worn by the guy pretending to be the monster. This tends to make an already cheap movie that much less convincing, and much funnier.
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The monster,
Which the peasants in this area call
(Apparently a very large poodle dog)
  Another song another poodle.
From: TRFZB (The Real Frank Zappa Book) p.247
  It has traditionally been my job to name things around the house. When somebody brings a cat or dog home, everyone waits until I name it, and then taht's what we call it - with very few exceptions ["Go find grouchy guy and get him to name this damn thing."]
  We had a sheep dog named Funey. He eventually turned into Frunobulax, the monster in the song "Cheepnis".
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  For old SF movies reproduction continuity see The Man From Utopia. The Radio Is Broken
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A thousand of the troopers are now lined up
and are calling to the monster...
Here Fido
Here Fido
  Check out Apostrophe(') Stink Foot

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