Let’s go back to the realm of old-time radio horror for today’s entry. Specifically, we’re going to go across the pond and check out Appointment With Fear, the British radio series that’s been going and coming since 1943. Hosted by The Man in Black (who was most recently portrayed by Mark Gatiss–as though anybody would be surprised about that…), it was your standard hosted dramatized horror play. Alas, only four episodes are to have survived, of which we have one below. The second episode we have for you is from the version called Fear on Four with the man being played by Edward de Souza (Kiss of the Vampire (1963)). And yes, we have another Dahl story for you in the latter episode…but “William and Mary” is just so much horrible fun…Enjoy.
So for Day 21, I thought I would go back into the world of Roald Dahl and grab a couple of adaptations of his short stories from the aforementioned anthology Kiss Kiss. And this led me to Tales of the Unexpected, the series we’ve mentioned before but somehow never posted anything from. It has, quite frankly, one of the oddest opening credit sequences I have ever seen. So if you’re pressed for time you should at least check that out.
But you should catch the episodes as well. There’s “The Landlady,” in which a young traveler finds a nice cozy bed and breakfast to lodge at…and then “Royal Jelly,” about a miracle cure for an ailing infant. When I looked up the anthology on Wikipedia (which is always right–and my copy has been read to nearly pieces, so I don’t open it unless I’m going to actually read it), they said of Dahl that he didn’t write horror but simply the macabre. And that’s a perfect way to describe his adult fiction. Enjoy.
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.
Well, since we did a Lugosi serial last year about this time (The Phantom Creeps), it only makes sense to go back to the serial well and bring you something else along those lines. More on that in a moment.
First up, I think many of our readers will know about the Roald Dahl-led British series, Tales of the Unexpected. I did not realize, however, that a similar show ran for fourteen episodes stateside. In typical American nomenclature it was called Way Out. Here we have the episode “William and Mary,” which has been adapted from Dahl’s story multiple times (including once for Tales).
Headsup: Sketch Comedy, Slacker Animals, Melting People & Other Items From the World’s Strangest Scavenger Hunt
There’s a lot of stuff that comes out all the time, and the companies are want your attention and mostly…your coin. But, you know, it’s your coin and you have to take care where you spend it. With these posts we try to take you through recent releases so you can make up your mind. If you find the info here to be of use, do us a favor and purchase stuff from Amazon through us. Especially if you were going to buy the stuff anyway. That gives us kickbacks, which help pay for things. Like the server. And coffee. And therapy. We thank you.
So Tim Burton‘s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is on iTunes as a download exclusively and comes with bonus content. Said bonus content consists of behind the scenes footage and interviews with Johnny Depp.
And we’ve been given a free download of the aforedescribed package of digital goodies. And we want to give it to one of you. How do you win this? You enter using the form below–and remember always you can enter once a day. If we draw your name when the contest ends, you snag it. Good luck!
It’s Fantastic Mr. Fox, out from Fox on DVD and Blu-Ray this week. Here’s what they have to say for themselves:
Based on the beloved best-selling book by Roald Dahl (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory), Fantastic Mr. Fox is family fun at its finest. Anderson employs a colorful supporting cast to bring his eccentric characters to life including Bill Murray (Lost In Translation), Owen Wilson (Marley & Me) and Willem Dafoe (Spider-Man trilogy).
You want a trailer? Oh sure.
We’ve got two copies of the DVD to give away. Want to win one? Enter using the form below. Enter once a day too. And if we draw your name when the contest ends, you win. Good luck!
Okay, so Playboy has launched the Playboy Archive, and they’ve stuck fifty-three issues online for free, viewable and searchable via Silverlight (which you have to install if you don’t have it already). Now I know lots of people “read” Playboy because of the flesh involved. Me, I actually do read the articles, since in modern issues women airbrushed to hell and back just don’t do anything for me. I went through ten of the early issues they’ve placed up there to see what they might have to offer to people like me. Not that the vintage ads and regular columns and such aren’t worthy just on their own. But just in case.
Click on the month and year to go straight to the issue in question. Click on the story or article title to go straight to it. But I think you should just flip through them–they’re fantastic. Click on names to take you elsewhere in our archives.
Bloomsbury is auctioning off two rounds of kickass books and letters and such. It will make you want to pull a heist in order to be able to effectively bid on some of these things. Like a signed limited first edition of Uncle Bill. Or first edition Dahl. Or first edition Holmes from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Or letters from T.S. Eliot. That’s happening this Thursday in New York at 2pm. Check out the lots here.
Then there’s the Children’s Book Auction. Featuring scads of first edition Frank Baum. A signature from Lewis Carroll. A first edition Pooh from 1926. Again, one weeps with how poor one is. rel=”nofollow”Check out those lots here. That one is happening Wednesday, June 25th, at 2pm. Also in New York.
Book fiends, take note. And…hey, has anyone seen Doc? He tore out of here with a ninja squadron and then headed for the jump jet. Odd.
Apparently the party of kids that ventured into the Wonka factory lost one of their number before the book ever saw print: Miranda Piker. Her encounter with some spotty powder turns into a very bad day for her family. Not sure how I missed this first time around, but this is definite Dahl territory: wacky and mostly disturbed.
And by the way, if you only know Dahl’s children’s stories, you need to grab his short stories, which–incredibly and sadly–appear to be out of print. Here’s an omnibus edition you can snag used.