32 Days of Halloween VII, Day 8: Chamber of Horrors (1940)!

Chamber of Horrors aka The Door With the Seven Locks

Before we get to today's 1940 feature presentation, let's stop off at the most excellent anthology series, Thriller, hosted by your friend and mine, Boris Karloff. This episode is based on the short story by Robert E. Howard, "Pigeons From Hell." It may sound like Bert's greatest nightmare, but it's much more sinister than that. Speaking of sinister, Karloff is so damn good you don't even care that he's obviously reading off of cue cards.

Next we have a reading of Poe's poem "Annabel Lee" by Basil Rathbone. I'm not sure where this was available...the Caedmon Poe collection (which also features Price) doesn't have a track listing on it and I couldn't lay hands upon mine without strip-mining my CD collection.

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By |October 7th, 2013|32 Days of Halloween|0 Comments

32 Days of Halloween VII, Day 7: The Undying Monster!

Undying Monster

Day 7 of 32 Days of Halloween we've done some fun with anthologies, so this year is no different. Tales From the Darkside was George Romero's entry into the TV anthology series. Apparently, since Creepshow was a success, it could have been made into a series--but Warner Brothers owned the rights to that specifically. So if you strip out the comic-y nature of that film but keep the EC Comics feel, you get Tales. It lasted four seasons and I did really enjoy the intro, in which the magic of flipping a camera to negative was still amazing. At some point, I did the same thing with my parents' video camera while I was filming some piece of parody nonsense.

This is the pilot episode, "Trick or Treat." Scribed by Romero himself, it was directed by Bob Balaban (Close Encounters) and stars the normally-kindly Barnard Hughes as Gideon and ALF's dad, Max Wright, as Mr. Kimble. If you don't recognize Hughes by his voice alone, then you need to go and refresh your knowledge of 80s films.

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By |October 6th, 2013|32 Days of Halloween|0 Comments

32 Days of Halloween VII, Day 6: Boris Karloff in Arsenic and Old Lace

Boris Karloff and Erich Von Stroheim in Arsenic and Old Lace

Holy shit, I'm excited. More on that in a second. First up, one of the best voices ever was Karloff. He could make anything terrifying. Granted, when it comes to "Today's Teens," he doesn't have to work very hard. Some horror movies are simply timeless. "Marx and Lenin never taught them this!!"

And then for our feature film, which comes second, it's 1932's The Old Dark House. If you don't have time to check out the full thing, take a moment and appreciate the disclaimer at the beginning. Lovely old school marketing.

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By |October 5th, 2013|32 Days of Halloween|2 Comments

32 Days of Halloween VII, Day 5: Monster From the Ocean Floor!

Monster From the Ocean Floor!

We'll get to our feature presentation shortly, but before then a couple of stops: firstly, Christopher Lee is on hand to read Dracula for you. And more than that, someone's taken the 1966 comic adaptation and put the two together. Then, since we've got a Corman-produced flick for today's main event, poking about for more Corman-related material found 1990's TV special, Horror Cafe, in which Clive Barker does a sort-of expanded Dinner for Five routine. Among those in to have a nosh are Corman, John Carpenter and Ramsey Campbell. If you feel the onset of cheese, just keep telling yourself over and over: "It's only 1990, it's only 1990..."

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By |October 4th, 2013|32 Days of Halloween|0 Comments

32 Days of Halloween VII, Day 4: Guillermo Del Toro Breaks Some Sort of World Record, We're Sure...

Guillermo Del Toro vs. The Simpsons

...for number of horror movie references crammed into less than three minutes. The only thing I can figure is that because he has so many damn projects in the works, this enables him to get at least thirty or so out of the way. You will see this every damn place on the Internet. Because it's that amazing. Any video that has Matthias from The Omega Man and Phantom of the Paradise? It deserves to be every damn place on the Internet. Enjoy.

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By |October 3rd, 2013|32 Days of Halloween|1 Comment

The Short Film That Should Be the Trailer for a New Wonder Woman Feature

Wonder Woman short film by Rainfall

Just the other day, Rainfall Films and director Sam Balcomb proved they could do what DC Entertainment has so often said was impossible: they've made what looks like it should be the trailer for a feature-length Wonder Woman movie.

This is an amazing piece of proof-of-concept fan-art, made more amazing by the quality of the effects done by a smaller studio, and the amount of narrative layering they do in such a short space. the story moves from present day to Themyscira and back, showing Diana acting alone and as a part of a tactical force.

But I've talked it up, enough; take a look after the jump...

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By |October 3rd, 2013|Stimuli|0 Comments

32 Days of Halloween VII, Day 3: The Old Man in the Cave & Death Ship

Death Ship: Twilight Zone

Day 3's feature presentation has normally been The Twilight Zone as a twofer, but we'll get to that in a moment. The first bit of audio we have for you today is an outtake from Michael Jackson and Vincent Price's studio time for "Thriller." It's obvious they were able to trim the truly cringe-worthy bits of Vincent's "rap," but here you get an additional verse of it. It would be really terrible stuff but Vincent sounds like he's having a blast. So like tons of other sub-par material, he saves it.

Then next, an appearance by Boris Karloff on Spike Jones' show from 1949. The whole thing is about twenty-four minutes long, but if you're pressed for time, skip to 18:55 in for the high point of Karloff's involvement. If anything, it makes me wish we had more of Karloff doing comedy...because he's excellent. Wish somebody had thought to record him as Jonathan Brewster in Arsenic and Old Lace.

You can find both of those goodies after the jump.

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By |October 2nd, 2013|32 Days of Halloween|0 Comments

32 Days of Halloween VII, Day 2: I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream

I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream

We start off Day 2 with a bit of Edgar Allan Poe, as we have done in the past. In this case, we once again turn to that most excellent (and sadly out of print) collection of audio, Closed on Account of Rabies. There are a lot of fantastic tracks on there. Another is "The Tell-Tale Heart," read, in a very interesting interpretation, by Iggy Pop. You can snag it for about $30 used on Amazon, but I wish like hell somebody would put it out as a legit MP3 bundle.

We follow that up with something even more disturbing than our feature film that follows, in which Tiny Tim appears in a slasher flick. Does this notion fill you with terror? It should. Because secondly, there's the BBC Radio production of Harlan Ellison's "I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream." David Soul stars but Ellison himself plays the psychotic computer intelligence, AM. Ellison's portrayal is as unnerving as the story itself--which is saying something. I don't think it's ever been released stateside but different versions of collections with the story can be found here.

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By |October 1st, 2013|32 Days of Halloween|0 Comments

32 Days of Halloween VII: The New Blood Begins Here!

Abandoned New Orleans Amusement Park

Just when I thought I was out...they pull me back in. That's right, you can't keep a good celebration of the best holiday in the universe down. Thus we return with Year 7 of 32 Days of Halloween, aka The New Blood, aka you can expect some chick with telekinesis to show up and fight us. Fine. This year it's one daily post to rule you all and in the darkness bind you. So enjoy. Because we alternate between Warner Brothers and Disney, we veer back over to the Looney Tunes side of the house to bring you the Chuck Jones action of 1955's Jumpin' Jupiter.

Incidentally, that badass image up top is from an abandoned amusement park in New Orleans, found via Sophia's Motion Burns the Mood Tumblr. (There's an entire set there.) When you look at it, just in your mind's ear, hear the Cyclone pinball saying "Welcome to my house." It adds something.

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By |September 30th, 2013|32 Days of Halloween|0 Comments

Honestly, You Should Live Every Day Like It's National Coffee Day.

Maxwell House: Out of Coffee

Yes, it's National Coffee Day. But we never like the whole "national" moniker anyway, especially when we're dealing with something as universally loved as coffee. So we hereby invite all of our many international readers to celebrate the day with us.

First Things First: if you want a run-down of where to get free coffee, here's your agenda. Once you have your free coffee (which is one of my favorite types of coffee, incidentally), come back here to disturb yourself.

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By |September 29th, 2013|Stimuli|0 Comments