32 Days of Halloween Part VIII, Movie Night No. 15: The Ghost Train (1941)

Ghost Train (1941)

Rox has been panning for gold in the film archives and comes up with tonight’s pick. Starring the comedy double act of Arthur Askey and Richard Murdoch, the 1941 film, The Ghost Train, was based on the highly popular play from 1923 by Arnold Ridley. I say “highly popular” because at least six filmed adaptations of the play occurred before this one. Askey and Murdoch starred in Band Waggon, “the first comedy show to be designed specifically for radio” (says Wikipedia, which is always right). The series became a film starring Askey and Murdoch, and their third film together was this one–propaganda’ed up for being made in the midst of World War II.

To compare this to a different version, afterwards you’ll find a later radio adaptation for the BBC from 2008. Because we can. Enjoy.

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By | 2017-09-24T22:26:01+00:00 October 14th, 2014|32 Days of Halloween|0 Comments

32 Days of Halloween Part VIII, Day 15: The Story (Album) of The Haunted Mansion

Haunted Mansion exterior

True enough…we’ve posted this next bit before…but it wasn’t embedded and it was eight years ago. And not even for Halloween. So I would say it’s fair game again. I’m talking about the Edward Haber and Citizen Kafka bit entitled “Abbott and Costello Meet the Antichrist.” Which fills me with joy, so it should for you as well.

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By | 2017-09-24T22:26:02+00:00 October 14th, 2014|32 Days of Halloween|0 Comments

32 Days of Halloween Part VIII, Movie Night No. 14: The Crimson Cult!

Crimson Cult

Known also as The Curse of the Crimson Altar and just The Crimson Altar, The Crimson Cult (as it was called stateside) features the final filmed role of Boris Karloff (although other films would be released posthumously). The film also stars Christopher Lee, Barbara Steele and Michael Gough. Tigon was the production company that made this, trying to do battle with Hammer and also Amicus in the late 60s and early 70s. You would be forgiven for thinking this was meant to be an anthology film, seeing as how the three main leads have their performances all over the place (and not together in any sense of the word) and how the thing feels weird and disconnected…even for 1968. But no, it’s based on Lovecraft’s “Dreams in the Witch House”–though no credit is given.

And Barbara Steele’s Lavinia voice is so godawful with all the effects they put on it, it makes you beg for a vocoder…which ordinarily people will open their veins to avoid. For the film, I recommend a pairing with an alcoholic beverage. And I recommend…anything with alcohol in it. Enjoy.

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By | 2017-09-24T22:26:02+00:00 October 13th, 2014|32 Days of Halloween|0 Comments

32 Days of Halloween Part VIII, Day 14: The Horla!

Horla

For today’s kickoff, let’s go back to 1887, and a well-known short story by Guy de Maupassant, The Horla. The title character or being or thing is imagined to be an invisible creature not unlike a vampire that can possess and control the minds of men. Our protagonist falls prey to either its sway or the sway of its idea, one or the other. I was not aware until I looked it up on Wikipedia (which is always right), that “Horla” “…is not French, and is a neologism. Charlotte Mandell, who has translated ‘The Horla’ for publisher Melville House, suggests in an afterword that the word ‘horla’ is a portmanteau of the French words hors (‘outside’), and là (‘there’) and that ‘le horla’ sounds like ‘the Outsider, the outer, the one Out There.'”

We have two interpretations of the story for your perusal. The first is recent and is from BBC Radio, read by David Tennant. It’s from the series A Night With a Vampire, originally broadcast in 2010, when Tennant probably felt in advance he had to do something to make up for the Fright Night remake. I put it first because the idea of following Peter Lorre‘s version from Mystery in the Air…well, that would be cruel. Nobody does histrionics like Lorre. Enjoy.

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By | 2017-09-24T22:26:02+00:00 October 13th, 2014|32 Days of Halloween|0 Comments

32 Days of Halloween Part VIII, Movie Night No. 13: Dark Night of the Scarecrow!

Dark Night of the Scarecrow

A young girl and an older Steinbeckian Lennie-esque man have a friendship which upsets a lot of people in the small town where they live. When the girl is injured in a dog attack, it’s assumed that Bubba (the aforementioned friend) was the culprit. In search of justice, a small cadre of assholes wind up killing Bubba…this of course while the later is hiding out in a field, dressed as a scarecrow. Well, justice is coming, all right. Because a killer scarecrow is going to seek out the murderers and make them pay…hence, it’s the Dark Night of the Scarecrow.

I didn’t realize there were enough “killer scarecrow” films to warrant there being a true sub-genre (or I guess it’s just a sub-sub-genre of the “masked maniac” sub-genre) but hey, it was cited in Wikipedia, which is always right. The star of this telefilm (and head of the gang of assholes) is Charles Durning. The director was Frank De Felitta (author of Audrey Rose). And it was picked out for you by Rox of Spazhouse.

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By | 2017-09-24T22:26:02+00:00 October 12th, 2014|32 Days of Halloween|0 Comments

32 Days of Halloween Part VIII, Day 13: Rathbone and Poe

Basil Rathbone Reads Edgar Allan Poe

We posted one of my favorite Basil Rathbone readings of Poe last year, with “The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar.” But thanks to your friends and mine at Caedmon, they released three albums of Rathbone reading Poe over time. We start with “The Tell-Tale Heart,” taken from Volume 3. Then we have “The Masque of the Red Death,” from Volume 1 of the collection. Thirdly, “The Cask of Amontillado” from Volume 2. And lastly, also from Volume 3, he gives us an excellent interp of “The Haunted Palace.”

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By | 2017-09-24T22:26:02+00:00 October 12th, 2014|32 Days of Halloween|0 Comments

32 Days of Halloween Part VIII, Movie Night No. 12: The Devil’s Daughter (1973)

Shelley Winters and Jonathan Frid from The Devils Daughter (1973)

Another Spazhouse pick for this evening: it’s 1973’s The Devil’s Daughter. Here’s what Rox has to say for herself:

“Shelley Winters and a whole house of 70s character actors such as Jonathan Frid from Dark Shadows. I have vague recollections in watching this. I watched and it has the same glee quality as re-watching other 70s horror where evil triumphs.”

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By | 2017-09-24T22:26:03+00:00 October 11th, 2014|32 Days of Halloween|0 Comments

32 Days of Halloween Part VIII, Day 12: The Worst Witch

Tim Curry - Anything Can Happen on Halloween from The Worst Witch

Many are the Halloween specials that we’ve enjoyed during 32 Days of Halloween over the years. However, can any of them be as 80stastic as 1986’s The Worst Witch which aired multiple times on The Disney Channel? In the UK, the Jill Murphy book series spawned a TV series, a spinoff series and a sequel series (which starred Felicity Jones (Felicia Hardy from Amazing Spider-Man 2 and Una Stubbs (Mrs. Hudson in BBC’s Sherlock)). But here we received Diana Rigg, Charlotte Rae and a very young and post-Return to Oz Fairuza Balk. We also got Tim Curry–and the song “Anything Can Happen on Halloween” has no doubt been seen (at least a bit of it) by everybody.

Even if you don’t watch the whole thing, you truly owe it to yourself to watch the first few minutes because 1) you’ll appreciate Hogwarts even more the next time you see and B) their method of bell-ringing is fan-tastic. Enjoy.

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By | 2017-09-24T22:26:03+00:00 October 11th, 2014|32 Days of Halloween|0 Comments

32 Days of Halloween Part VIII, Movie Night No. 11: The Ghoul (1975)

Peter Cushing in The Ghoul

No relation to the Karloff film, The Ghoul from 1933, which we posted previously–this 1975 British horror film, pointed out to us by resident Cushingologist, Rox, stars Peter Cushing as a doctor living out on his estate with a terrible secret in his attic. I’m not sure what it is about attics in Britain, but very seldom does anything good come out of them. It’s a generalization, yes, but a fairly accurate one. Anyway. When racing out in the countryside, a couple wrecks their car and winds up taking refuge with Cushing and his gardener, played by John Hurt. It was directed by Freddie Francis (cinematographer for The Elephant Man and tons of other films) and scribed by Anthony Hinds (who wrote tons of horror flicks of the sort we love here at 32 Days, under his pseudonym of John Elder). Enjoy.

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By | 2017-09-24T22:26:03+00:00 October 10th, 2014|32 Days of Halloween|0 Comments

32 Days of Halloween Part VIII, Day 11: Way Out with Roald Dahl!

Roald Dahl: Way Out

When I was in a creative writing magnet program in high school, my teacher asked me one day, flat out, “Why can’t you just write something normal?” However, I persisted in being abnormal, so she gave me one of the nicest things everyone has ever given me. And I’m not talking about the copy of Roald Dahl’s Kiss Kiss. I’m talking about the message (which if written, as I remember, it I probably still have). It said, in essence, well, if you’re going to be weird you might as well study the best at being weird. And as I tell people: if you think Dahl’s children’s literature is odd, imagine what he could do with dark fantastical stuff for adults. Well, you don’t have to imagine. You too can snag a copy of the book–even though it’s out of print in the U.S. and not available digitally. Figure that out. (Your best bet to try and find it is to get the Collected Stories used. Highly recommended.)

May that as it be, we mentioned before that Dahl hosted a show over here in 1961 entitled Way Out. And these episodes are worth watching for his intros alone. But also the first one, “Dissolve to Black”…watch for Michael Conrad (Hill Street Blues) and Leonardo Cimino (everything), plus in “Death Wish” we have Don Keefer (Quincy) and Charlotte Rae (Facts of Life). Enjoy.

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By | 2017-09-24T22:26:03+00:00 October 10th, 2014|32 Days of Halloween|2 Comments