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32 Days of Halloween Part VIII, Day 26: Quality Time With Uncle Ray
Posted on 10.25.14 by Widge @ 7:32 pm

Ray Bradbury

For our first entry of Day 26, let's have some time with your Uncle Ray. Ray Bradbury, of course. The best creative writing teacher I never had.

I realize we've posted "The Veldt" previously, but this is from the radio series Bradbury 13, which I recall as being on BBC Radio...but may have wound up (or originated) elsewhere. The reason we're going back to that story is that it's narrated by Paul Frees, for crying out loud. You can't deny Mr. Frees. Then after that, we go to a fantastic tribute to Mr. B from The Neil, "The Man Who Forgot Ray Bradbury." Enjoy.

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32 Days of Halloween Part VIII, Movie Night No. 25: I Was a Teenage Werewolf!
Posted on 10.24.14 by Widge @ 11:00 pm

I Was a Teenage Werewolf

Long before Michael Landon was an angel or a pioneer father he made his feature film debut in 1957, in I Was a Teenage Werewolf. The troubled teen genre meets, well, lycanthropy as a hypnotherapist takes Landon's character back to his primitive nature...and into the realms of horror-ridden teen angst. Which was a new thing. And granted, American International Pictures (the people who would go on to give you stuff like Beach Party) went nuts with it, but for horror movie posterity, it's definitely worth watching.

The film was popular enough that Landon released a single, which we've included below simply because we can. So let's lead off with "Gimme a Little Kiss (Will Ya Huh)."

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32 Days of Halloween Part VIII, Day 25: Tales From the Crypt!
Posted on 10.24.14 by Widge @ 10:01 am

Tales From the Crypt

Ah, the EC Comics vein. No pun intended. There's just something so satisfying about the normal plot structure of these stories, in which somebody winds up getting their just desserts. Or even unjust desserts, doesn't much matter. For today's 32 Days of Halloween entry, I've selected a couple of episodes for your dancing and dining pleasure. First up, "The Reluctant Vampire," because anything that has both Malcolm McDowell and George Wendt in the cast is pretty much a shoo-in. Then we go to "Death of Some Salesmen" with another amazing cast: Ed Begley, Jr., Yvonne De Carlo (yes, Lily Munster) and Tim Curry thrice. How could you say no?

NOTE: Remember, this was an HBO series. So these episodes should be considered definitely NSFW. Enjoy.

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32 Days of Halloween Part VIII, Movie Night No. 24: The Most Dangerous Game!
Posted on 10.23.14 by Widge @ 9:42 pm

Most Dangerous Game

One of the greatest short stories ever written, Richard Connell's The Most Dangerous Game, got the feature film treatment in 1932 with folks who would go on to make King Kong: co-director and co-producer Ernest B. Schoedsack, co-producer Merian C. Cooper and stars Fay Wray and Robert Armstrong. In case you somehow managed to never read a single short story during your entire time at school (and if it was only one and it wasn't this one, it must have been Shirley Jackson's "The Lottery"), a ship goes down and the survivor manages to make it to an island. The island is the home of a Count Zaroff, who is an avid hunter but has gotten bored of hunting animals. He desires a far more entertaining and challenging sport. And so, hijinks ensue. Enjoy.

P.S. The video page on YouTube has students who are watching it instead of reading the short story for class. Poor stupid kids. I hope they flunked spectacularly.

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32 Days of Halloween Part VIII, Day 24: The Devils of Georges Méliès
Posted on 10.23.14 by Widge @ 11:32 am

Le Manoir du Diable: Georges Melies

Silent horror shorts day here at 32 Days of Halloween. And we watch these for...well, three reasons. First, because pretty much everything you've watched--from Guardians of the Galaxy to Godzilla--is a direct descendant of this kind of thing right here. Secondly, the stuff they were doing special effects-wise in 1906 is sort of mind-blowing. And thirdly--and to me most importantly--I just said 1906. Go access this post from a phone if you're not already and watch a 108-year-old short film on your phone. You might ask: but if I'm watching this on a nice cozy full-blown computer, why would I want to get out my phone and do that? Because you're living in the future and you can and that is freaking badass that you can.

Let's not even get into how the 108-year-old film will get beamed down to your phone from space. Because our heads might explode.

Anyway, Rox was kind enough to curate these films for you today: The 400 Tricks of the Devil or The Merry Frolics of Satan and also The Black Imp from 1905. See? That one's a year older! Awesome. Enjoy.

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32 Days of Halloween Part VIII, Movie Night No. 23: Bloody Birthday!
Posted on 10.22.14 by Widge @ 9:00 pm

Bloody Birthday

Our 23rd Movie Night of our 32 Days of Halloween festival has usually been reserved for kids who are evil. Well. More evil than normal kids. Because there's just something inherently super-evil about critters that are supposed to be good. What is more creepy, a hyena with a chainsaw or a kitten with a chainsaw? The kitten, of course. Because you expect hyenas to have chainsaws. Granted, I would be sneezing my head off before said kitten got the first bloody swipe in, but still. You take my meaning.

We go to 1981 and Bloody Birthday, where the lesson to be drawn from it is: don't give birth during an eclipse. I guess. It stars Susan Strasberg (daughter of Lee and star of one of my perennial gonzo favorites, The Manitou) and José Ferrer (Stalag 17) as well as having Michael Dudikoff in a smaller role. Enjoy.

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32 Days of Halloween Part VIII, Day 23: Gather Round the Radio, Kids...
Posted on 10.22.14 by Widge @ 10:43 am

Gathered Round the Radio

We haven't spent a lot of time gathered around the giant radio to listen to some old-time horror. Let's fix that, shall we? There are tons of shows to choose from. Our first stop will be The Hermit's Cave (1930-1944), wherein The Hermit sounds like a close relation to The Crypt Keeper. We'll listen to "Buried Alive." Then we'll switch over to Suspense from 1943 with "The Black Curtain," starring Cary Grant.

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32 Days of Halloween Part VIII, Movie Night No. 22: The Beast Must Die!
Posted on 10.21.14 by Widge @ 7:00 pm

Beast Must Die

As Day 22 is Peter Cushing Day, that means it's time for the 1974 werewolf film from Amicus: The Beast Must Die. Like a lot of genre films, a very rich individual invites a bunch of people over to his place to hang out...but he has a hidden agenda. The film comes complete with the gimmick of "The Werewolf Break," a pause in which you have a chance to reflect and decide who in the film is the werewolf, since that's the mystery at hand. (Although I think other films might do well with a "Werewolf Break," like Pearl Harbor or Cars 2.) Alongside Cushing, other suspects include Michael Gambon and Charles Gray (Rocky Horror). Good luck in your detective work...

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32 Days of Halloween Part VIII, Day 22: Fun With Peter Cushing!
Posted on 10.21.14 by Widge @ 9:27 am

Peter Cushing

Day 22 has traditionally been a day for hanging out with Peter Cushing, so we have two brief snippets for you to kick things off. First up is footage from what purports to be the final meeting between Cushing and Christopher Lee. And after a while, you just wish the people taking photos would shut the hell up and let the two gents get back to telling anecdotes and laughing their asses off--because it's obvious they're having a blast. And then after that, we have some apparently silent footage from British Pathe...this is of Cushing on the set of 1966's Frankenstein Created Woman. Yes, it might seem a bit tame, but fiends like myself should find interesting to see Cushing mark up his script and will probably also wish there was audio. "I'm supposed to be doing what exactly in this tank of green liquid?" Enjoy.

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32 Days of Halloween Part VIII, Movie Night No. 21: Scared to Death!
Posted on 10.20.14 by Widge @ 8:26 pm

Scared to Death (1947)

For tonight's feature we go back to 1947 for a bit of curiosity: the lone color film in which Bela Lugosi has a leading role. In fact, as you can see from the poster snippet, Scared to Death was "Photographed in Full Natural Color." I think you'll agree that this seems like natural color in the same way that TV commercials you find on VHS tapes where you recorded Battle of the Network Stars are in "natural color." Also notice how it's so cheaply made even in the first two minutes, people are flubbing lines and they just had to keep the take.

Oh Bela. You poor guy. You were so much better than all of this.

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