32 Days of Halloween Part VIII, Movie Night No. 7: The Invisible Ray!

Invisible Ray

For tonight's feature film, it's The Invisible Ray from 1936. Karloff finds evidence of a meteor having struck earth in the distant past and is exposed to radiation from the rock they eventually find. His touch then kills, which isn't, you know, good for his marriage. What follows is a lot of glowing (an effect that reminded me of Chaney in Indestructible Man) and a decent dose of revenge. Karloff's assistant in the film is played by Lugosi and Frances Drake (who had played Eponine in Les Miserables the year before) played Karloff's wife.

But before that, let's have a trailer--Dead Eyes of London from 1961. You might think--hey, that monstrous guy looks familiar...but no it's not Tor Johnson, but he's who could arguably be called the Austrian Tor Johnson: Ady Berber. He was also a wrestler and actor. The film also features Klaus Kinski. Enjoy!

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By |October 6th, 2014|32 Days of Halloween|0 Comments

32 Days of Halloween Part VIII, Day 7: More Tales From the Darkside!

Tales From the Darkside

So last year we posted the pilot episode, "Trick or Treat," of Tales From the Darkside, a George Romero-created anthology series that was occasionally goofy, occasionally cheesy, but oh it was 80s-TV-tastic. This year we return to the Laurel-produced well with a double dose from the series.

Firstly, "The Devil's Advocate," written by Romero himself and starring Jerry Stiller as a radio talk show host having an increasingly bad day. Then, "Halloween Candy," directed by Tom Savini and starring Roy Poole in one of his final roles. Both episodes are from the second season. The second season is available as a stand-alone release although the whole shebang is on sale as I type this for just $45. Nice.

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By |October 6th, 2014|32 Days of Halloween|0 Comments

32 Days of Halloween Part VIII, Movie Night No. 6: Burnt Offerings!

Burnt Offerings

This evening it's an episode of "Spazhouse Presents," with Rox taking on the role of host. Although I would give good money to see Rox play full-on "horror host" for a feature film on some cable access channel or something. Anyway, I'll just say this about tonight's film--Burnt Offerings: it has one of my favorite horror movie titles. It is one of the most no-nonsense straight up titles ever. It's sinister before you even get done saying or reading it. Love it muchly. I now hand the mic to Rox.

Back in 1997 or 1999, Karen Black was at DragonCon. I was excited to see that she was attending and had gotten her to sign the photo of her with Oliver Reed in the movie Burnt Offerings. I found it interesting that no one was really lined up to chat with Karen. This may be of course because it was way before her resurgence into horror fame with Rob Zombie's House of 1,000 Corpses. So even though Karen Black won several Golden Globe awards and was nominated for an Academy award I am not sure how many people sought Karen out at the convention. So I made to most of the time she was at her table.

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By |October 5th, 2014|32 Days of Halloween|0 Comments

32 Days of Halloween Part VIII, Day 6: Karloff's More Tales of the Frightened

Boris Karloff: Tales of the Frightened

On Day 6 waaay back in 2011, we posted a couple of entries from Boris Karloff's audio never-quite-made-it-to-radio series Tales of the Frightened. I had bitched at the time that these stories were out of print and the vinyl editions would set you back $75. The excellent news is that since then, they've been released on both CD and MP3--you can find them here.

The beauty of this series is that Karloff brings the same bemused air that he did to his reading of Kipling's "Just So Stories," but it's just a few shades more macabre. He doesn't turn the Sinister Rheostat up to eleven...because he doesn't have to. He's Boris Karloff. Love it.

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By |October 5th, 2014|32 Days of Halloween|0 Comments

32 Days of Halloween Part VIII, Movie Night No. 5: Giant Gila Monster (Two Ways!)

Giant Gila Monster

The movie poster for The Giant Gila Monster presents what could be construed as an interesting bit of philosophical or religious speculation. You wouldn't think a film from the man who also brought you The Killer Shrews would be up for that, but hey, sometimes you never know.

The poster states: "Only Hell could breed such an enormous beast...only God could destroy it!" First of all, and not to spoil the ending for you, but a giant Hand of God a la Stephen King's The Stand does not appear to save the town being menaced by the titular giant reptile, as that poster might seem to promise. But most importantly, it seems to beg the question: "Could God create a gila monster so ginormous and indestructible that he himself could not destroy it?" For future reading on this subject, Heraclitus wrote an entire diatribe along those lines.

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By |October 4th, 2014|32 Days of Halloween|0 Comments

32 Days of Halloween Part VIII, Day 5: The Black Cat!

Black Cat by Aubrey Beardsley

Oh, BBC Radio. You've given so much to us for Halloween over the years. A shining example is getting Christopher Lee to read...well, let's face it, we'd listen to Sir Christopher read any goddamn thing he wanted. I still maintain you could get the likes of him and James Earl Jones to just go on tour and read random things...and we would all pay good money to see this. But I digress. Lee's Fireside Tales, which we've mentioned before, gave us some excellent readings...including this one of Poe's The Black Cat.

(Do me a favor--if you haven't listened to my version, do that first, since his kicks mine in the arse.) And then, of course, this has very little to do with the 1934 film starring Lugosi and Karloff, since the film has marginally more in common with the original short story than the Will Smith I Am Legend had to do with its source material.

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By |October 4th, 2014|32 Days of Halloween|0 Comments

32 Days of Halloween Part VIII, Movie Night No. 4: Jekyll Sequel Double Feature!

Son of Dr. Jekyll

Well, tonight we go for a non-sequel, then a sequel to the non-sequel. Confused? Of course you are. Hollywood in the 1950s will do that to a person. The first film is from 1951, The Son of Dr. Jekyll. This film, which wasn't really a sequel to the 1941 Spencer Tracy-starrer, asked the question nobody was probably pondering: what if Dr. Jekyll had spawned before getting killed?

Then following that is a true sequel, which is The Daughter of Dr. Jekyll, in which Gloria Talbott (I Married a Monster From Outer Space) is the titular character and may have gotten that "Jekyll Family Problem." This was a double bill with The Cyclops, which also starred Talbott.

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By |October 3rd, 2014|32 Days of Halloween|0 Comments

32 Days of Halloween Part VIII, Day 4: Quality Time With Stephen King

Yes, yes. I know I said I don't like to send you places for things--I much prefer embeddable content. But Desert Island Discs is one of my favorite radio programs. Over the course of an episode, a guest is presented with a fictional situation: they're going to be marooned on a desert island. They get to pick eight songs to bring with them, as well as a luxury item and a book. And they do this while in the middle of a fantastic and candid interview. You'd be amazed at some of the songs people pick.

Desert Island Discs also did one of the best Stephen King interviews I've ever encountered. So you owe it to yourself to go check that out.

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By |October 3rd, 2014|32 Days of Halloween|0 Comments

Your Weekend Justice #223: Who Says You Can't Buy Anything For $2 Anymore?

Christopher Walken

It's Weekend Justice: the Internet's #1 audio trainwreck, the podcast that prefers to hang out on Chap Roulette, where we sit around and smoke pipes and drink tea. Occasionally, Rox wears a pith helmet.

Note: Please excuse random and brief noises. Not sure where they came from. Maybe it's all in my head.

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By |October 3rd, 2014|Podcasts, Weekend Justice|0 Comments

32 Days of Halloween Part VIII, Movie Night No. 3: Twilight Zone Double Feature!

Rod Serling with film projector

Ah, The Twilight Zone. The most famous and influential dark sci-fi/fantasy TV anthology show of all time. How we love you. And generally, this night has been when we throw two back to back episodes at you. Most of our traditions have collapsed since, well, we've been doing this for eight goddamn years and you tend to run out of items of a particular flavor. But Rod Serling brought us the gift that keeps on giving. And if when you watch episodes like these you think, "Hey, I've seen that before." It's because Serling and company, in a huge number of situations, got there first.

We have two classics for you: first, the original "Eye of the Beholder," written by Serling and remade for the CBS revival in 2003. Then "Five Characters in Search of an Exit," again written by Serling but adapted from a story by Marvin Petal. This would go on, apparently, to inspire the cleverly mental feature film Cube in 1997.

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By |October 2nd, 2014|32 Days of Halloween|0 Comments