Holy mackerel, we’re already at the halfway point! Time flies when you’re launching it from a trebuchet. We kick off tonight’s festivities with a bit of old-time radio. It’s the show Sleep No More, with readings by Nelson Olmstead. This episode, “The Storm,” is close to a half-hour in length, so that makes it post-1956 when the show was expanded. The show ended in 1957.
So it’s a night of screaming, apparently. That started with choosing the feature film and it just extended through the rest of this. So let’s get some of it out of our system. The first minute of this is the only part that’s really relevant, though, so bear that in mind.
First up, holy crap, somebody posted another Procession of the Ghouls from St. John the Divine Cathedral in New York. Not only that, they shot it with a 360 camera, going behind the scenes and the whole nine. Check it out and make sure to whip around a bit to check everything out. Sweet.
At Disneyland, they shut the Haunted Mansion down for a while in order to transform it into a Haunted Mansion/Nightmare Before Christmas mashup. And each year, there is a bigass gingerbread house featured during the ride. First up, here’s a quick run-through of the houses up until last year. Warning: this video has jaunty music which could cause seizures in the over-caffeinated.
It occurred to me we hadn’t had any full-on sci-fi mayhem this year, so we’re going to go Beyond the Time Barrier in just a bit. But first, back to two different versions of the classic panel show (yes, we did have them over here), I’ve Got a Secret. Here are two full episodes. The first features Peter Lorre and is from 1954. The second features Vincent Price and is from 1973. They are full episodes so if you want to skip ahead to the gist I won’t blame you, but classic shows like this are hellacious fun, so you should really treat yourself.
For tonight’s Halloween madness, before we get to our feature from 1942, we need to stop back with what’s probably the only spoken word bit I have yet to post from Closed on Account of Rabies, the amazing two-disc Poe tribute from 1997 that I can’t believe is still out of print. But hey, at least the used prices seem to have come down since the last time I looked. This is Marianne Faithfull reading “Annabel Lee.” Please excuse the unnecessary imagery.
Before we get to what’s making Christopher Lee look like he needs to sneeze, let’s do some Twilight Zoning, shall we? What we have first is the non-pilot for the original series. Non-pilot in that it aired not as its own thing but as a part of the Westinghouse Desilu Playhouse. And yes, if you wondering where you remember “Desilu” from, just hang tight, you’ll remember about fifteen seconds in. It stars William Bendix (A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court) and Martin Balsam (yet another of those “oh, that guy” character actors who’s been in freaking everything, including Psycho and 12 Angry Men). Dreams feel really real, right? Sometimes too real. That’s all you need to know going in.
Tonight it’s a smorgasbord of horror icons in The Black Sleep, but first let’s enjoy some outtakes from the absolutely mental set of Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein. I highly recommend the audio commentary that comes on (at least this is where I found it) the Universal Legacy Collection Blu-Ray for The Wolfman. That’s where you can learn about how the film had a substantial pie budget, a “court jester” and so forth.
Tonight we’re in 1955 with the French classic thriller Les Diaboliques, but first…we stop in with our old friend Boris Karloff. His series, Tales of the Frightened, we’ve touched on before. Short creepy stories read with that awesome voice. Perfect for October. We have a twofer for you: “The Man in the Raincoat” and “Mirror of Death”.
And so we come to our feature presentation: it was remade in 1996 as Diabolique to a lesser effect. And it has been an influence on many films that came after. So watch the original and enjoy. (Note: you may need to hit the CC button below on the YouTube embed to see the subtitles.)