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Happy Birthday, Bela!

I cannot figure out how to get pictures from my Tablet to my blog.  That could have something to do with the amount of wine I have been drinking.  Hey!  It is my anniversary!  Don’t judge, there, Judgy McJudgerson!

I thought I could do a Sunday Cinema, but I guess it will be without illustration. I’ll have to owe you some pictures.

We started out with White Zombie, (1932), because it stars Bela Lugosi, and Oct. 20 is his birthday.  How cool is that, that I got married on Bela Lugosi’ s birthday!  I only knew I did years later. Full disclosure: we were not that nuts about the movie.  It was kind of slow and boring, to us anyways.

We went with something more fast moving next: Plan 9 from Outer Space (1959).  I know, many count that as The Worst Movie Ever.  I say they are wrong,. I have argued this before and will again,  no doubt.

Steven fell asleep by the end of the movie,  so I put in Nightmare Castle (1965).  It is pretty creepy. I love a cheesy Halloween movie.  I hope to do a better post with pictures at some future date.  In the meantime,  I am quite content to be lounged on the couch, typing in one letter at a time with the stylus on my Tablet. Happy Anniversary,  me!


Not Cheesy on Wrist to Forehead Sunday

We were supposed to be watching cheesy movies.  I am wearing my t-shirt from Original Herkimer Cheese, which says, “Keepin’ It Cheesy Since 1949.”

The moment I saw this shirt, I knew I had to own it one day.

I gave Original Herkimer Cheese one of my favorite plugs in a murder mystery for the Herkimer County Historical Society.

One character tells another she looks remarkably like Frangelica Inferno, “Uh, not that I watch porn movies.”

Character that looks like Frangelica:  “She was not a porn star!  Those were art films!”

Another character:  “Oh, please, those movies are as cheesy as Chutter from Original Herkimer Cheese!”

I do love chutter, and Original Herkimer Cheese.  But I digress. My original subject was cheesy movies, which I adore to watch on Wrist to Forehead Sunday.  We watched a good one last night, The Tingler, starring Vincent Price and directed by William Castle.  We thought of continuing the Price/Castle theme today with House on Haunted Hill.  However, I had also mentioned All About Eve as a possibility.  Steven was more interested in All About Eve.  How could I possibly object to a Bette Davis classic?

After All About Eve, Steve suggested another favorite of ours, Being Julia, starring the divine Annette Bening.  In addition to being one of my all time favorite movies, this one seemed related to All About Eve, because both are about highly talented, greatly admired stage actresses who have just a little bit of trouble in their offstage lives.

I am having a bit of trouble in my offstage life these days, as well as onstage, but how tiresome of me it would be to cry about it now, even on Wrist to Forehead Sunday.  Additionally, I have movies to watch.  For a blog post, this will have to do.  I hope to see you all again on Monstrous Monday.


Monday Movie Matinee

That title is purely for alliterative purposes and not an accurate reflection of this post’s contents.  At least, I will talk about a movie, and today is Monday.  It was a little after matinee hours when we watched the movie, and in fact we watched it on Sunday.  OK, I’m not even going to talk that much about the movie.  This is going to be a really stupid post, but at least I will try my hardest NOT to whine about how I can’t write a decent post today.

We all know I love cheesy movies.  It should come as no surprise, then, that I adore William Castle.  I adore him not only for the cheese factor in his flicks, though:  he is ENTERTAINING!  The man truly loved his audiences and intended to give them a thrill.  I am slowly acquiring a collection of DVDs of Castle movies.  Recently Steven gave me I Saw What You Did (1965), starring the inimitable Joan Crawford.  We watched it yesterday, when I had finished swooning over my blog post.

I don’t know why there are two Joans.

I’ve used this photo before, mostly for the gorgeous necklace.  That is a necklace to die for, or to kill for, or, you know, to find somewhere and pay money for.  Crawford’s part in this movie is really not all that major or even pivotal (my favorite description of a small role).  But it’s Joan Crawford.  I gotta love a movie with Joan Crawford.

Look, there’s that necklace again!

Now that I think of it, Crawford’s role is pivotal, because…  wait a minute.  I did not include a spoiler alert.  I won’t put one in now.  Watch I Saw What You Did, the 1965 version.  It’s a fun flick.  William Castle, I salute you.

Doesn’t he look like he’s having fun, too?

I close with a picture of the master himself.  I may watch another William Castle movie tonight.  Happy Monday, everyone.


Where’s My Head At?

OK, so I had three real Mohawk Valley posts this week.  You didn’t think that was going to continue, did you?  I didn’t.  Anyways, today I’m tired and hungry and haven’t gotten all my stuff done yet (not whining, just giving you the picture).  I just went through a couple of pages on Facebook looking for fun pictures I could share.  The pictures may seem unrelated and my commentary disjointed, but, hey, it’s Non-Sequitur Thursday.  Just go with it!

I went first to a page I recently Liked (actually, more than Like, I LOVE) B-Movie Mania.   While scrolling down, seeing all kinds of cool stuff, I noticed the poster to one a great cheesy movie I saw years before I ever wrote about them or even blogged about anything, The Thing with Two Heads.

I always thought it should be called The Guy with Two Heads.

If I ever come across that movie in cable or find it on DVD, I’ll write a blog post about it.  It’s fun!

In my search for more fun pictures, I discovered a new (to me) Facebook page called the  Trash Cinema Collective.  Ooh, do they have a lot of fun stuff!  Where to begin?

It’s one of those movie posters that looks like it could be the cover to a pulp fiction paperback from the ’50’s.

Ah, if only I had see this movie when I was young and straitlaced.  I might have gotten some tips on how to be more popular with the boys.

Another instruction manual from which I may have benefited.

I finish with an actual pulp fiction paperback cover.  I once had a catalog of a company that sold post cards of these covers.  I sent away for some and eventually sent them all to folks who appreciated them. How I wish I still had the catalog and could order more!  Hey, I wonder if they are online?  Is everybody online?  Once again, I show my internet ignorance.

On the brighter side, I see that I am over 300 words.  I call that respectable for a Non-Sequitur Thursday.


Posting from the Couch

Earlier today I remembered (and posted on Facebook) my personal rule for myself (as opposed to my personal rules for other people, which we won’t get into right now) that on Sundays it is OK for me to be completely useless.  It occurs to me that this is the source of my Wrist to Forehead Sundays: the conflict between the fact that I am useless and the nagging suspicion that I ought not to be.  I suppose a blogger could take a day or two off in the course of a week, but we all know, that’s not for me.

I’m thinking I will eschew Wrist to Forehead Sunday and begin a feature called Sweats and Sweetie Sunday.  I reach the bra off, sweats on portion of the day very early on many Sundays.  Additionally, my husband Steven is usually off work by one in the afternoon, and we almost never have the same day off, so Sunday is our day together.  We do get silly (what a surprise), so I will feel free to get silly on my Sunday post (which will differentiate it from the other days a week not at all).

Today is National Cheese Day. I thought I would like to mark it by watching cheesy horror movies.  However, we could not think of one we really wanted to see today.  I was actually in the mood to watch something like The Postman Always Rings Twice.  During our great discussion about what movie to watch (we would probably watch more movies if we spent less time deciding which movie to watch, but there’s no point in chasing dreams), we started suggesting movies substituting “cheese” for one of the words in the title.  And can I just say, movie makers who make movies with one-word titles are most inconsiderate.

Our suggestions included Cheese on Haunted Hill, Cheese on the Orient Express, All About Cheese, The Bride of Cheesenstein, Plan Cheese from Outer Space (which we just recently watched), Grosse Point Cheese, and His Cheese Friday.  Finally we settled on The Postman Always Rings Cheese.  It is not a cheesy movie, but it could be argued that the characters are a little sleazy (but I shall not argue that, because it would be too much trouble on Sweats and Sweetie Sunday).  Now we are watching Hush… Hush… Sweet Cheese.  Steven had to ask if it was Hush… Hush… Sweet Cheese or Cheese… Cheese… Sweet Charlotte.  It was the former, because in my On This Day in Facebook, I noted that I had made a blog post with just that title.

As an additional note:  Cecil Kellaway is in both of our movie choices for today.  That makes it a Cecil Kellaway film festival.  I hope my blog post has entertained somebody.  As for myself, I am going to continue to sit on the couch and enjoy my movies, cheesy and otherwise.  Happy Sunday, everyone.


Post then Popcorn

In my defense, it has been a week since I published a foolish post about not writing a post.  Perhaps some of you are surprised it took me this long.  I am having quite an enjoyable Sunday, as I often do, but feel not the least bit inclined to compose anything of substance.  I shall therefore type in a couple of paragraphs off the cuff and pass it off as a Wrist to Forehead Sunday.

Steven and I spent the morning cleaning our house for our — wait for it — Halloweddinganniversaweenary Party.  I paused in the midst of cleaning to go running.  As I ran, I realized that when I have mentioned the party in this blog, I always preface it with  “wait for it.” I like that.

I had thought I could do a Running Commentary.  I still have a couple of adventures from last Saturday I have not detailed. We just watched a cheesy movie that may or may not make a good blog post.  I mention these things to give you a preview of coming attractions, although some readers may be sitting there saying in that snarky tone of voice, “Well, why don’t your write them then?”  You know who you are.

In the meantime, we are watching Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds.  Yes, Halloween movie viewing is in full force at my house.  I believe a bowl of popcorn is in order, but I wanted to make my blog post so I wouldn’t have it hanging over my head.  You know, my head that has a forehead with a wrist on it.  Happy Sunday, everyone.


I Hope Your Sunday is Good, Too

I did mention yesterday that this would be Wrist to Forehead Sunday, didn’t I? In fact, I ran this morning and had the vague idea in my head that I would do a Sunday Running Commentary. I may yet write about that run, but, um, not today.

I went adventuring with some family members later in the day. We went to the antique shops in Little Falls, an excellent topic for me to write about. I hope to write that post later in the week.

In between the run and the adventure (doesn’t “adventure” sound better than “shopping trip”?) I cleaned the house. I achieved more of a fast tidy than in-depth cleanliness, but I could have come up with a post about it. Would the post have been less lame than my usual Wrist to Forehead Sunday? Perhaps I will write it later in the week and we can judge.

Now I am home with my husband and my dog, watching old movies. Nothing particularly cheesy thus far. I have written about non-cheesy movies on occasion. I will no doubt do so again. But not today.

In short, this is what I’m publishing today. A kind of a This Has Been My Day/Preview of Coming Attractions. I hope my readers are having an enjoyable Sunday.

Cheesy Queen

I thought I might have found a cheesy movie when I saw the title Queen of Outer Space (1958) on the TCM schedule. When I saw that Zsa Zsa Gabor starred, I was even more hopeful. My hopes were confirmed with Ben Mankiewicz’s pre-movie commentary. A typical ’50s sci fi flick: low budget, cheesy special effects and a lot of fun. I will say: not the most fun movie I could think of, but considering the cheese shortage I have been experiencing lately, it’ll do.

Spoiler alert: I’m going to give a lot away. I don’t think I’m spoiling much, though, because it’s the sort of movie where you pretty much see everything coming.

My first disappointment was that Zsa Zsa was not the queen. I learned that during the pre-movie commentary. My next disappointment was that the movie takes forever to get started.

The plot concerns that staple of cheesy movies, a civilization of all women. This one is on, what a surprise, Venus. But of course we can’t start out actually on Venus tussling with the ladies. We must start out on Earth, learning the mission of the three astronauts and their important passenger blah blah blah. Important takeaway: these guys are tops in astronauting but the mission is supposed to be a milk run.

I did not notice what year the movie is supposed to take place in — the future of 1958 anyways — but space travel has certainly advanced. The astronauts are taking Important Guy to a space station, which one astronaut refers to as a bus depot.

A word about the three astronauts. They are a captain and two lieutenants. I think they were supposed to have distinct personalities. The stalwart leader, the ladies man and the wise cracker. However, they seemed pretty much interchangeable to me.

Take off is slightly delayed when Ladies Man (I think) pauses on the tarmac to kiss a beautiful blond good-bye.

“Space ships are dangerous,” she squeaks in the approved airhead voice. “What if you get lost?”

As things turn out she should be more worried about his wandering eye than any wandering the ship might do, but I’m getting ahead of myself. Then again, this blond is not seen, mentioned nor thought of again, so I guess the whole movie is hard luck on her.

Stalwart Leader looks out the window (!) at them, then gets on the loudspeaker (!) and tells Ladies Man to get on board. After a few more smooches, he does.

The movie is further delayed when they feel the need to let us hear the whole countdown. Couldn’t they at least have started on five? In your better movies, during the countdown a character is trying frantically to get something done or a villain perpetrates some nefarious act. This movie just flashes on the spaceship, the blond looking worried, and the guys strapping themselves into beds. Apparently space travel has become very relaxing in whatever year this is supposed to be.

It’s gotten pretty hands-off as well. After the space station is blown to smithereens before their eyes and they are under attack themselves, Stalwart Leader puts it on autopilot and they strap themselves back into the beds.

“Who’s flying the ship?” I asked.

Flash to some of those cheesy special effects: either a model or a cardboard cut-out of the ship moves shakily across the screen while fake-looking flames squiggle below.

As is often the case in science fiction, the gravity and atmosphere on another planet are nothing to worry about. As a nod to reality, one of the astronauts says to Important Guy that he thought the atmosphere on Venus was too heavy from… something.

“I used to subscribe to that theory,” Important Guy says importantly.

“But my subscription ran out and I didn’t renew it,” I interjected and thought I was pretty clever for making Steven laugh.

The men disembark from their disabled but not totaled spacecraft and are soon captured by women with some pretty tough firearms. They speak English because, as one explains scornfully, they have been intercepting Earth’s radio transmissions.

I must say I was pretty glad to see the women show up. Who knew single gender movies could be so dull? Naturally the women wear low-cut, form fitting mini- dresses. I expected something like that. I have to ask myself: is it feminist or anti-feminist that with no men around to impress or entice, movie women just naturally pick the sexiest way to dress?

Another thing I wonder about thee all-female societies is the age distribution. It seems the entire population is in the 18 to 29-year-old range (Zsa Zsa might be a little older, but we’ll let that slide). Where are the little girls and the old ladies? Some mention is made about how the men are sequestered somewhere in a “breeding colony.” I wondered if they had figured out a way to make the men be pregnant, because I didn’t see any baby bumps either.

You know I don’t pay too much attention to these things, especially the boring parts like explanations. As near as I could figure out, the women, led by the one who is now queen, kicked out all the men, because the women were tired of war. They promptly built the super-duper weapon that destroyed the space station and now plan to destroy the Earth as well, for reasons unspecified. It is either a profound statement on absolute power corrupting absolutely, some kind of feminist or anti-feminist propaganda, or a typical B movie “Waaaait a minute” plot development.

However, one lets these considerations slide when enjoying a cheesy sci-fi flick. I’m afraid it was not an hour and a half on unalloyed enjoyment, but for an evening’s entertainment and the subject of a blog post, it was OK.

“Marvelously Theatrical” Cheese

It was a sad day for me when I realized I had seen all 50 of the Horror Classics on the DVD set I gave Steven some birthdays ago. Now where will I find cheesy movies to write about, I lamented. Then I remembered that I had also gotten him 50 Mystery Classics. I don’t know if I can expect mysteries to be as cheesy as horror movies. Still, murder and mayhem, what’s not to like? I would give it a try.

I selected Fog Island (1945), starring George Zucco. Zucco, I remembered, was described as “marvelously theatrical” in a horror classic I had seen. That boded well. I eschewed the description on this one, because I know from experience they often give too much away.

Speaking of which, SPOILER ALERT!!! A big one this time, because I am going to tell you EVERYTHING, including the climax and the end. So you’ve been warned.

I’m actually not too worried about giving away the plot, because I didn’t properly understand it. I think Zucco just got out of prison where he had been sent on trumped up charges of cheating some people who think there is still some money to be had somewhere. While Zucco was in prison, somebody came to Fog Island and murdered Zucco’s wife in hopes of gaining said money.

Zucco and his beautiful stepdaughter (the obligatory beautiful young girl) are on Fog Island, discussing this while at least two suspicious-looking types listen in. The stepdaughter wants only to be left alone, but Zucco has invited all his malefactors to the island. The malefactors will accept the invitation, because they think they might get at the money. Zucco, of course, has other plans.

Now I don’t properly understand high finance, but if the money-stealing charges against Zucco were trumped up, shouldn’t the malefactors already have the money? And if there is no money, as in fact seems to be the case, where did it go? I guess money can just disappear in these investment schemes, but I thought usually somebody somewhere eventually ended up with it. But no matter. We have a murder, we have a guy seeking revenge. What more do we need?

The eavesdroppers from scene one turn out to be Zucco’s colleague who was also sent to prison (different prison, similar charges) and the mysterious butler, who, if his mystery was ever explained, I missed it (in my defense, I was writing notes in the TV Journal).

Of course the greedy malefactors show up at Fog Island. As many of you saw coming, the only boat on the place returns to the mainland and there is no phone. I don’t have a problem with the set-up; it’s the basis of many a good thriller. However, you would think a villain clever enough to get George Zucco sent to prison on false charges when they don’t even know where the money is would be foresighted enough to take their own damn boat to an island.

Before his guests arrive, Zucco rigs a rather heinous booby trap. In a room deep in the basement, the door will lock and water will pour in. He moves a table over the device that triggers the trap and put a skull on the table. I am rather fond of skulls as decor myself, so I would undoubtedly be lured by such a trap. I’ll have to watch my step.

Amongst the malefactors is the son of one who had died, a nice-looking young man who apparently has some past with Stepdaughter (just when you thought there wasn’t going to be a love interest). The other malefactors include a turbaned psychic, a hot blonde and a couple of guys. The psychic was my favorite, but I tried not to get too attached to her, because I figured they would all come to a bad end.

And of course they did, even George Zucco (I TOLD you I was going to tell the ending!). Zucco at least dies happy, because he feels that in stabbing him, the guy has as good as confessed to murdering his wife. The guy next stabs the psychic, who is dumb enough to turn her back on him. Then he and the remaining two malefactors get trapped in the heinous set-up I mentioned earlier. That scene was as disturbing as I feared it would be, but I have a horror of being trapped and drowning.

In the meantime, Young Man and Stepdaughter have patched up their differences and are preparing to leave the island (is it morning already? How time flies when you’re killing off malefactors!). While Stepdaughter packs, Young Man discovers the corpses.

“I should tell my stepfather I’m going,” she says.

He tells her he’s seen stepdad, who is OK with her leaving. He also tells her, in effect, not to worry her pretty little head over the others, just get on the boat. They exit happily into sunshine. Get it? Fog Island is no longer covered with fog. Romantic sigh.

I have left out a few things, but we don’t need this blog post stretching off into eternity after all. I do tend to get long-winded in these movie write-ups. I was quite pleased with the cheese factor in the movie. I look forward to watching others in that DVD set. And I may take some Lame Post Friday to philosophize half-bakedly on the meaning of “marvelously theatrical.”

How James M. Cain Makes Steven Nervous

How about a new feature called Tired on Tuesday? I may have suggested that before.

I was afraid this would happen when we did not watch a cheesy movie on Sunday. I was just too lazy to look for one. Instead, we watched two film noirs (films noir?) based on James M. Cain novels, The Postman Always Rings Twice (1946) and Double Indemnity (1944).

I can’t write about these movies the way I usually do about more cheesy cinematic fare. They’re really good movies. I suppose I could do a compare/contrast about them, because both are about sexy blondes who enlist boyfriends to help kill their husbands. Or I could be silly and tell how my husband Steven gets a little nervous because they are two of my all-time favorite movies. Or I could bag both movies and write instead about the walk I took with my schnoodle Tabby yesterday.

What I cannot do, it seems, is go right downstairs and watch a cheesy movie or have a Mohawk Valley adventure so I have something to write about.

The funny thing is, I almost had a topic this morning. Steven was driving me to work, and I went into one of my foolish analyses of words, this time critiquing the name of a certain chain drug store. Steven’s reply was, “Blog post.” I won’t write it, though, because on reflection, I feel it is not a spot-on analysis.

And now I see I have over 200 words (love that word count feature), which by my definition makes a respectable blog post. Tune in tomorrow (if you will be so kind), when perhaps I will wax eloquent about Valentine’s Day. Happy Tuesday, everybody.