So today marks an American tradition. Not only is it the day that we celebrate everything that we’re thankful for by stuffing ourselves with ridiculous amounts of food but it’s the official start of a holiday season filled with family, family discord and other sources of unnecessary stress. (Please note: I realize you probably started seeing Xmas directions back in July, but I’m talking about the official start.)
Three Halloweens is my own particular way of dealing with this mayhem. Thanks to this brilliant suggestion by The Oatmeal, instead of being said that Halloween disappears November 1st, I have two more Halloweens to look forward to! It has saved my sanity. I hope it helps you as well.
Well, sorry to be so predictable. But there’s no better film to watch on Halloween and our traditional way of ending 32 Days: Night of the Living Dead. The original. You know, the good one. I finally saw it on the big screen just a week or so ago–and it was the 4K restoration. Seeing it in a cinema with an audience was kind of amazing. Here’s a brief Q&A held at the Museum of Modern Art after a screening there. You’ve got left to right: Papa George Romero, producer and “Johnny” Russell Streiner, and sound engineer Gary Streiner.
For the 31st day of our madness, we’ve decided to go out with the potential for some seriously lethal hugs. It’s the 1977 flick Tentacles, and the notion of a killer octopus reminds me of course of It Came from Beneath the Sea. And of course that film makes me think Harryhausen. So let’s start off with a short bit of Harryhausen lore, from his work on Mysterious Island.
So as we draw towards the final stretch of 32 Days of Halloween–our tenth year, Gods help us–it becomes a struggle to find the good stuff that we want to make sure we include. It sort of shifts–at the beginning, you wonder if you’re going to have enough stuff. At the end, you realize there’s too damn much. Sort of like life, really. So that’s why after the selection of our feature film, it was easy to post this episode of This Is Your Life, featuring Christopher Lee and a ridiculous amount of talent coming out to talk about him. Priceless stuff.
Tonight we begin with a favorite old-time radio show of mine: The Weird Circle. All of these sort of shows had their gimmicks: strange hosts, sound FX, or a zany concept behind the show. For me, I just love the serious intoning of “Bellkeeper, toll the bell!” This episode is from 1944: “The Werewolf.”
Things just wouldn’t feel right around here without posting something available that stars Burgess Meredith. Thus we go to 1953 and the anthology series Tales of Tomorrow, which has a fantastic opening sequence to kick things off. Then what follows is “The Great Silence.” Why are people losing the ability to speak? An illiterate mountain man is about to find out.
First up, we go to a song that I only heard for the first time this evening. Considering my extension time spent listened to the Doctor Demento show, I’m not sure how this could have slipped past me. It’s by Sheldon Allman, who was not only the singing voice for Mister Ed, but also gave us this gem, “Radioactive Mama.”
Some more classic radio for you tonight. We start with Jack Benny’s Halloween program from 1940, then we go straight to Inner Sanctum and their episode from 1945: “Wailing Wall.” It stars Boris Karloff. The scariest part of that episode might be the Lipton advertising towards the beginning. Brace yourself for it.