Well, we’re getting in the gimmick side of things tonight…and since we are, we have to give a nod to the King of Horror Gimmicks: William Castle. Here’s a brief retrospective of his genius/madness.
For tonight’s mayhem, we start off first with an episode of Suspense! from 1950. And this is a radio show that ran from 1942 to 1962. This particular one is “On a Country Road” and it stars some guy by the name of Cary Grant…
Let’s kick it off with Lon Chaney Jr. tonight…did you know he was a damn fine singer? Here he is (still using his real name, Creighton Chaney) from the 1934 film, Girl o’ My Dreams…
Before we go to tonight’s feature film, I have to share a couple of sick things with you. Sick as in “I’m going to hell because I’m laughing at this” not “Is it Captain Trips this time?” They’re both mashups and…well, they both kind of need no introduction…
Yes, we’ll get to our friends up top in a second. First up, we have the second episode of Kolchak, The Night Stalker (found via Rox, naturally). In this, our hero finds himself dealing with an old woman who’s brought her son back from the dead so he can go around getting revenge for his murder. And anybody who gets in the way of that, well, it’s going to be rough. And yes, if you only know Darren McGavin as The Old Man from A Christmas Story, shame on you. Get to know Kolchak. The series is available on DVD here.
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.
Movie Night No. 19 of 32 Days of Halloween has been a chance to catch up with the Chaneys…and here we are with Lon Chaney Jr. and The Cyclops from 1957. This came out the same year as director Bert Gordon’s Beginning of the End. And you’ll probably recognize Gloria Talbott from I Married a Monster From Outer Space. And you’ll also probably recognize The Cyclops, since the same guy (Duncan Parkin) played a remarkably similar giant creature in Gordon’s War of the Colossal Beast (the Amazing Colossal Man sequel). Enjoy…
Getting a bit of a late start today due to various and sundry fun things. But we shall catch up shortly. Because Day 19 has generally been about the Chaneys in one form or fashion, we bring you 13 Demon Street. This was a Swedish horror anthology series from the 1950s that Lon Chaney Jr. “hosted.” I put that in quotes because the framing story involves Chaney explaining that he’s presenting these stories because then maybe he can eventually escape the address of the title, where he’s condemned to live because of some unnamed crime he committed. And there’s not much to that…if you’re used to Rod Serling, see what you make of Chaney’s introduction of the story in this, the first episode. (Excuse the subtitles, but this is originally for a Swedish audience…)
I told you we’d have a nice visit with the Chaneys before the day is out. Here was have the relatively short feature film Man Made Monster from 1941 (also known as The Atomic Monster), starring Lon Jr. Also here is a stunning Lionel Atwill in full-on “But I Am a Scientist!” mode. Chaney plays a sideshow performer who plays with electricity and, as a result, has built up a tolerance to the stuff. He comes under the control of the aforementioned mad scientist who wants to use him as the prototype in an army of electrically-powered zombie killers. And things just crazier from there. Enjoy!
Two black magicians, brothers in the DeSade family (spelled in the IMDB as “Desard” but we see what you did there), are in conflict. Probably because they’re in a film that ran out of money, was cobbled together from bits and makes little in the way of actual sense. The brothers are Lon Chaney Jr. and John Carradine and the film is known as either Blood of the Man Devil or House of the Black Death, depending on who you ask.
If nothing else–if you are pressed for time–at least watch the first part so you can hear the Lord of Darkness himself spout some poetry that makes Nipsey Russell sound like T.S. Eliot.
Thanks to Rox for finding this for us.