Monday, October 31, 2016

Happy Halloween!

Hey, folks, whatever you're doing tonight, have a good one! I managed to get a comp ticket to the theater, so I'm having a nice cheap night. (And thankfully, I had a promising job interview on Friday so maybe some Halloween luck come my way!)

Thanks for hanging with me!

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

October's Night Out at the Movies!

Cool weather seems to have finally settled in to stay, and we gather at the usual restaurant for a meal before this month's movie. Leaves are falling, at last, and we're sitting around discussing our individual plans for Halloween, and all our other trials and tribulations.

Then it's up to that shabby old movie theater....that's just remodeled a bit, which is why we're late this month....and time for our monthly movie date! October is bringing us 1935's "The Crime of Dr. Crespi"

Isn't Erich von Stroheim a blast? And yeah, it claims to be a Poe story, but really, it's very, very loosely inspired by "The Premature Burial." But this is one of the more highly-praised Poverty Row horrors, and quite a bit of fun.

And seriously, sorry to be so late this month, but last week's heat wave left me ill and unable to sleep for three days. I'm back to normal (almost) and feeling better. Still looking for work.

The show over, we head out for a final drink before going our separate ways....

Sunday, October 16, 2016


More supernatural hijinx in New Zebedee!

In the first novel of the Barnavelt series, mention is made of an enchanted bridge that was supposedly built by a local wizard to prevent an ancestor's ghost from coming for him. This book uses that and builds on it.

The old Wilder Creek Bridge is being torn down, and to be replaced by a new modern bridge. Uncle Jonathan and Mrs. Zimmermann are concerned, but won't say why. Lewis and Rose Rita begin to suspect that they're hiding something major, and begin looking into things themselves. They find out a meteor fell to earth years ago, bringing with it something unholy...

Yes, this is basically a reworking of Lovecraft's "The Colour Out of Space" for young readers, but it works well. The titular beast isn't a colour, but a classic Cthulhoid semi-shoggoth, and scenes of Lewis and Rose Rita visiting a blasted farmstead are some of the more striking horror images that have ever featured in any of the Bellairs/Strickland canon. They actually worked on me a little, rousing memories of abandoned farms and withered fields around my childhood home.

It also has an appearance by inept witch Mrs. Jaegar, always welcome.

One of the more significant things about the Edward Gorey cover art is that it's probably the only time that Gorey illustrated Cthulhu. (The back cover is a scene from the novel where one of Uncle Jonathan's illusion shows is hijacked by other forces, and they witness the rising of a creature, presumably Cthulhu. It's memorable.)

This is a particularly recommended part of the series, because it tackles Lovecraft so effectively for younger readers.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

October at the Phantom Recital Hall!

And now it's time to kick off October with a trip to that old concert hall for a night of good music. Tonight is a special tribute to Halloween, featuring Bernard Herrmann's "Concerto Macabre," originally composed for the movie HANGOVER SQUARE.

Herrmann was a magnificent composer, who gave us two immortal music cues...the themes from PSYCHO and THE TWILIGHT ZONE, but who composed many remarkable film scores. HANGOVER SQUARE is a wee bit obscure; not many people know of it, and it's not perfect as a movie, but this concerto, composed to be performed during the film's climax, is simply amazing.

Let's go have a cup of coffee after the show, shall we?