32 Days of Halloween Part VIII, Movie Night No. 9: The Magnetic Monster!

Magnetic Monster

When one hears the title The Magnetic Monster, several things might spring to mind. Some dickhead back in the day using a magnet to screw up your precious floppy diskettes (since they could screw themselves up just fine on their own, thank you very much). Someone ruining the masterpiece you created on your Wooly Willy toy. That sort of thing. You probably don't think about an artificial isotope, sucking up energy from its surroundings and growing larger and larger, like the freaking "Chicken Heart" of Lights Out! radio fame.

But that's the case with this 1953 sci-fi flick from co-director Curt Siodmak (who we've already had mentioned this year) that stars Richard Carlson (Creature From the Black Lagoon), King Donovan (Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956)) and Jean Byron (The Patty Duke Show).

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By |October 8th, 2014|32 Days of Halloween|0 Comments

32 Days of Halloween Part VIII, Day 9: Berenice and The Conqueror Worm!

Berenice by Nelson Evergreen

For today's kickoff, let's go to the best Edgar Allan Poe spoken word album that is, for some bizarre goddamn unknown reason, still out of print. That would be Closed on Account of Rabies, which features some amazing performances of Poe's work. Our lead-in is voice-over god Ken Nordine's take on "The Conqueror Worm." You probably recognize his voice. Don't panic. It happens.

And then we go to one of Poe's stories that has puzzled me the most. Yes, even more than "Manuscript Found in a Bottle." I'm talking about "Berenice." And I've gotten fixated on a lot of things in my time. Some weirder than others, admittedly. Lea Thompson in the 80s? Totally understandable. The movie MegaForce? I mean, sure, flying motorcycles that fire rockets...but that can only explain so much. But still, the notion of odontophilia is never something I've been able to relate to despite all of this. But here, Dr. John reads the hell out of it. Enjoy.

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By |October 8th, 2014|32 Days of Halloween|0 Comments

32 Days of Halloween Part VIII, Movie Night No. 8: When Worlds Collide!

When Worlds Collide

Tonight we go to 1951 for what sounds like the ultimate collaboration between Irwin Allen and Michael Bay: When Worlds Collide. But no, it's slightly before the start of Allen's string of disaster movie classics and Bay wasn't even born yet. The film is based on the 1933 novel by Philip Wylie and Edwin Balmer and helped to inspire Flash Gordon. The film was also produced by George Pal (Time Machine) and featured a rogue star that was headed to Earth to punch our planet in its face. So yes, it kicked off the sub-genre of Planet Face Punching.

The film is available for free from Amazon Prime streaming and the DVD is available for pretty darn cheap. And while we're on the subject, the book is available in paperback for cheap...and you can get the sequel (which was never made into a film) for cheap as well. Enjoy.

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By |October 7th, 2014|32 Days of Halloween|0 Comments

32 Days of Halloween Part VIII, Day 8: Vincent Price Speaks!

Vincent Price with gun

We've previously posted both the 1927 feature film version of The Lodger and the Peter Lorre radio adaptation from Mystery in the Air. Now it's time for the version from 1946's Hollywood Star Time starring Vincent Price--equally awesome stuff here. In addition, we have a truly fantastic interview with Price from 1972 centered around old-time radio.

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By |October 7th, 2014|32 Days of Halloween|0 Comments

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